They Lost Amy’s Grave

Inspired By The SFC Prompt: BAD GIRL ON THE BLOCK

Artist Unknown

Amy has a place in history because in 1560 she fell down a very short flight of stairs and broke her neck.

On Amy’s last day in this world she had encouraged members of her household to  attend a fair and at the inquest into her death it was stated that she had been in a bad mood and a dark frame of mind as she encouraged her staff to go without her.

Despite the fact she lived a comfortable lifestyle- she had servants, a beautiful home she wore fashionable dresses and received presents from her husband Amy had a reason to be in a dark frame of mind because-

her husband Robert Dudley had a ‘special relationship ‘ with Queen Elizabeth I- and according to the stories, Elizabeth in her lofty royal position insisted Amy’s husband stay at her side so it’s not like he could say ‘no – I gotta get home and to the wife and tackle that  ‘honey do ‘ list.”

I feel for Robert. It must have been rough fo him to have to hang around the Queen’s place while his wife stuck back home in their upper class lodgings waiting for the check to clear so she could buy dresses and stuff like that.

So, given Amy and Robert’s marital issues it should come as no surprise that her death was viewed as suspicious and it was out there that she had either been murdered or had comitted suicide.

I’m not sure if falling down a short flight of stairs would break your neck, but I know falls from short heights are bad because you don’t have time to brace yourself, so the part of you that hits the ground takes the full force of your fall.

Not to make light of Amy’s pain, but I can’t imagine how her neck ended up broken and nothing else. Did she bounce down the stairs on the top of her head ( yes I’m being facetious)  or maybe the damaged to her neck had happened before she fell down the stairs.

Or maybe that’s not how she died at all  because if you are the Queen of England and the wife of the man you’re bonking cut her wrists or drank poison and expired in a mess of sick or blood, people are just not going to think you’re Queen material. They might even blame you for it.

That’s not a picture you would want getting into anybody’s head in a political ( or in this case Royal ) scenario.

A short fall, a broken neck- quick clean and almost painless. The husband goes into mourning for six months. End of Story. End of Amy.

The Death of Amy Robsart – William Frederick Yeames

After Amy’s death had been ruled an accident and that  she had not died by suicide or murder Roberts name was mud and there was no way he was going to be allowed to marry Elizabeth ( because being a toy boy  to the Queen is not a disqualifier in itself ).

But these two Soulmates soldiered on- even as the shadow of Amy’s death hung over them like a dark, noxious cloud.

Robert remarried- get this- to Elizabeth’s cousin,  Lettice Knollys . Being Queen Elizabeth, didn’t go as far as to have her cousin’s head cut off, but she did banish her from the Court.

Lettice got the final word in on that score-despite the fact she had remarried after Robert’s death she asked to be buried next to Robert and that request was granted


The tomb of Robert and Lettice Dudley


I’m going to say straight up that I don’t believe that Amy was assassinated so that Robert and The Virgin Queen ( yep that was how Elizabeth  was known ) could be together. I think that optics in the truth of the manner of her death troubled the Royal Court and they dealt with the situation badly.

All of that aside, it should be noted that in the course of history Amy’s grave was lost- nobody  knows where it is.

It’s not like her husband ever saw it,  he did not attend her funeral and as to her family? Would history care if they had spoken of Amy’s grave? Doubtful. History would have taken not had the Queen’s Boy Toy had referred to it now and then.

Sad as it is that Amy’s actual grave was lost, when you think about it she got to rest in peace and after the life she lead that may not be such a bad thing,

Amy was buried in the chancel of St Mary’s Church, Oxford, but her grave has been lost. Professor Ian Aird wrote: “The exact site of Amy’s grave has never been known, though in the contemporary account it was said to have been at the east end of the church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford.”
A memorial tile in the church, however, pays tribute to her:
In a Vault of brick at the upper end of this Quire was buried Amy Robsart Wife of Lord Robert Dudley K.G. on Sunday 22nd September AD 1560


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