Amy Robsart Suffers an Unfortunate Accident

Or suicide. Or murder. You make the call

Kathy Copeland Padden
5 min readApr 24, 2021


How’s about a little hey nonny-nonny hubby? Photo by

When Amy Robsart and Robert Dudley married in 1550, it was unquestionably a love match. Both were a few days shy of their 18th birthdays and apparently on the randy side, according to Baron William Cecil, who described their union as

a carnal marriage, begun for pleasure”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But there had always been another woman in Robert’s life, his childhood friend, Queen Elizabeth I. They met while imprisoned in the Tower during the reign of Queen(Bloody)Mary, and the shared trauma drew them ever closer.

After Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1558, she appointed Dudley as her Master of the Horse. This position conveniently allowed them daily contact. From that point on, poor Amy was on the shelf. Her husband sent her the occasional gift, but other than that he ghosted her.

It didn’t take long for the rumor mill to titter about the young Queen’s obvious favor for Robert Dudley – wife or no wife.

The Count of Feria wrote on April 19, 1559:

During the last few days, Lord Robert has come so much into favour that he does whatever he likes with affairs. It is even said that Her Majesty visits him in his chamber day and night. People talk of this freely that they go so far as to say that his wife has a malady in one of her breasts (breast cancer) and that the Queen is only waiting for her to die to marry Lord Robert.

This brings us to September 8, 1560, when Amy Robsart Dudley was found dead at the foot of a staircase at home in Oxfordshire, England. Robert was not in residence at the time.

Well. This sucks. Photo by

When Robert learned of Amy’s fall, he ordered an immediate inquest. The cause of her death was ruled as accidental. But considering the players and the high stakes involved, this pronouncement did nothing to keep suspicions from growing and rumors from spreading.

Dudley had suspected this might be the case, so he requested that the matter be…



Kathy Copeland Padden

is a music fanatic, classic film aficionado, and history buff surfing the End Times wave like a boss. Come along!