Into the Storm

Tuesday 30th May. 5.30 PM – The Nave, Ely Cathedral. Scenes today centre around Elizabeth’s discovery that she has been betrayed by one of her own.

Elizabeth closely controlled many aspects of the lives of her ladies-in-waiting. Paramount amongst these was her granting permission (or not) for them to marry. This was not simply because she wanted a good match for them however as organising the marriages of her ladies – particularly ladies with large inheritances – allowed her to reward loyal courtiers. Her attitude towards marriage however was inconsistent. She was often reluctant to allow her ladies to marry at all, fearing that a husband and family might divide the loyalties of one of those closest to her.
Of course sometimes events ran out of her control and ladies who had either fallen pregnant, or simply despaired of waiting for permission, married without her consent. The Queen always found out in the end and when she did that fiery temper she had inherited from her father Henry VIII flared. The results could vary from a box round the ears (as happened to Mary Shelton) to imprisonment for one or both of the unhappy couple.
For Elizabeth such secret arrangements were a betrayal and the worst sort at that – one by those closest to her. In our scene it is Bess Throckmorton who feels the force of her tempestuous anger. Not only has she become pregnant and wed behind the Queen’s back but the man she has married is none other than Sir Walter Raleigh. As the waspish Sir Edward Stafford wrote as the storm broke “if you have anything to do with Sir Walter Raleigh or…Mistress Throckmorton, at the Tower tomorrow you may speak with them…”. He was not wrong.

7 thoughts on “Into the Storm

  1. Hey Hey Hey Hey Justin and others,
    In a way Raleigh was doing the right thing in the wrong way, he worked hard to get the advantages he was not entitled to at birth like many othe courtiers. He was moving on in age and wanted children, he found a royal connection in his family background. I guess to imagine he could be a husband to the Queen but it did not appeal her. In 1589 Essex was climbing that great wall of Elizabeth and she fancied him more and more. I feel Raleigh noticed this being capton of her guard and thought it time to start a family he has always wanted because the Queen has moved on to a younger courtier like the Queen once moved on from her Sweet Robin and Hatton for Raleigh. Essex was the reason for the disgrace on Raleigh and Bess, it is strange to see that Essex is godfather to Raleigh’s and Bess’s first born child Damerei Raleigh b.1592- d.1592. Essex knew of the marraige since the beginning and most likely wanted his rival put down for good by telling the Queen at the right moment. For this marraige Raleigh spent close to 6 months in the Tower seperate to his wife, until Raleigh had an expedition return and he was released to sort out the prizes which obviously went more towards the Queens pockets. Raleigh was eventually forgiven but for Bess R. was banned from court for the rest of her days, she lived until 1646. The Queen was not publicly furious of the maraige, her feelings show through the two of them being sent to the Tower. I remember a funny joke about Sir Walter and Bess T. that was accounted from the time, Walter had Bess against a tree and she was moaning “Oh sweet Sir Walter” “Sweet Sir Walter” as the danger of what they were doing grew the moaning turned to ” Swisser Swatter” “Swisser Swatter” “Swisser Swatter” just a historical account I found funny.
    The big question about this marraige was whether they married before or after Bess was pregnet? Anyone have an opinion?

  2. I love hearing about these little personal details about Elizabeth. It makes me want to see the movie even more and.. since I have a deep interest in the British royal household in general, it’s always awesome to hear how a royalty’s personal beliefs and emotions affected his/her reign or behavior. I’m really looking forward to seeing these things on screen! Keep up the amazing work =)

  3. Ohhhh….I can’t wait to see that scene in the finished film! I know with Shekhar’s direction, the scene is gonna come out great.

  4. Sir Walter: This was’nt Bess as far as I recall, just a young lady whom he was erm..pleasuring..possibly a Lady in Waiting – the quote is from John Aubreys “Brief Lives”, contemporaneous with Elizabeth….

  5. Yes Ravi, you are half right, it is not written whom the Lady in Waiting against the tree was, it is written however it was a Maid of Honour, most historians agree that it was Bess T. whom he married in secret. It would be quite daring if he were in relation with more then one Lady in Waiting.

  6. Sir Walter – Robery Lacey in his biography of Raleigh suggests that Walter and Bess married in the autumn of 1592 following the discvoery that Bess was pregnant, but is has been suggested that they secretly married as early as 1588. Could Walter and Bess really have kept their secret for four years though? Personally I think the pregnancy probably provided the impetus to the marriage.

  7. hey hey Justin,
    Ya I remember reading that, I personally feel that Essex sparked the relationship, for his star was rising and Raleigh’s maintaining and like the old courtier favs Raleigh replaced in the late 70’s he must of felt history was about to repeat with Essex the younger, he wanted a family so he let it happen. I agree that the Damerei R. was the main reason for marraige and the marraige was in my mind 91-92, but they could have been intamite for longer and 88-89 sounds like a good meeting date. I feel Raleigh really loved the Queen, and he eventually realized the reality that he must release himself from her to start a family and to think of new and unique ways to achieve his dream of surviving the ages. A secret like that marraige would not last 4 years, especially in that circle. In my researching of Raleigh I try to screen out the materials that were simply written to defame him, and what better way then to state he decieved the Queen for 4 years.
    My question to you is, do you think Raleigh realized the consequences of this act too late, and that he would of been better off admiting his new love and apoligizing to the Queen once the pregnancy was realized?

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