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    1564 - Robert Dudley, artist unknown

    Robert Dudley,(1532-1588). Earl of Leicester, c1588, by William Segar. Elizabeth I put him in overall command of the English Land Forces during the Spanish Armada. He rode along side her in her great speech to the troops at Tilbury. Dudley was a principle patron of the arts, literature and the theatre. He was a suitor, and close, life long friend of Elizabeth I.

    Mary Fitzalan, Duchess of Norfolk, daughter of Lady Jane Gray's Aunt Catherine Grey, 1st cousin of Lady Jane Gray

    Detail of a miniature 'of a lady called Lady Jane Grey

    English lady c1555

    Lady Jane Grey  By Richard Burchett  Oil on panel, 1850’s

    Sir Philip Sidney, National Portrait Gallery, (1554–1586) was an English poet, courtier and soldier, remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age. Wrote: Astrophel and Stella, The Defence of Poesy, and The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia. Son of Sir Henry Sidney & Lady Mary Dudley (sister of Leicester).First husband of Frances Walsingham,daughter of the Queens spy. Died fighting the Protestant cause in the Netherlands, 1586.

    Lady Jane Grey(1536/1537–Feb 12,1554),also known as The Nine Days' Queen from 10 July-19 July 1553. She was subsequently executed.According to the account she recited Psalm 51 (Have mercy upon me, O God).The executioner asked her forgiveness,which she granted him."Will you take it off before I lay me down?",and the axeman answered:"No, madam."She then blindfolded herself.With her head on the block,Jane spoke the last words of Jesus:"Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit!"She was then beheaded

    Catherine Lyte Howard ca. 1618 William Larkin

    Lady Mary Grey (1545-1578). When her sister Catherine died in 1568, Mary Grey was the last surviving grandchild of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's sister. This made her a possible claimant to the throne. Elizabeth I was now 35 years old, unmarried and childless. The hapless Mary, who suffered from dwarfism, became the next target of Elizabeth's paranoid tyranny, Mary was imprisoned in the Tower in 1563 and remained under house arrest till 1572. She died childless and in poverty in 1578 aged 33.

    Marie Antoinette

    Juana of Castile with her eldest children: Eleanor of Habsburg, Queen of Portugal and France, and Charles V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor.

    Effigy of King Edward III at the White Tower - the earliest European death mask. Edward III reigned from 1327 to 1377; his surplus of sons eventually led to the conflict between the houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne.

    Emperor Charles V, son of Juana of Castile, Nephew of Catherine of Aragon | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Isabelle of Castile, Mother of Catherine of Aragon

    "Yours as long as life endures..." This is the only surviving letter from Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife. She wrote this ill-advised letter to Thomas Culpepper, a gentleman of her husband's Privy Chamber.

    Margaret of Anjou (1430 –1482) - wife of Henry VI; a key figure in the Wars of the Roses & at times personally led the Lancastrians. She lost her son Edward, Prince of Wales, at the Battle of Tewkesbury.

    Sir Francis Drake (1549-1596). Pirate, navigator,slaver during the reign of Elizabeth I. In 1589, under orders from Elizabeth I, Francis Drake and John Norreys were accompanied by Anthony, Prior of Crato, who was making a bid for the Portuguese throne against Philip II. The expedition was partly financed by the Crown jewels of Portugal, which Anthony had stolen. Anthony had misguidedly expected that the Portuguese would welcome him and rise up against Philip II. The expedition was a failure.

    Elizabeth I

    Portrait of William Fitzwilliam, Earl of Southampton by Hans Holbein Sir William FitzWilliam was an English Lord Justice of Ireland and afterwards Lord Deputy of Ireland. In 1587, as Governor of Fotheringhay Castle, he supervised the execution of the death sentence on Mary, Queen of Scots. Born: 1526, England Died: 1599

    Anna of Austria, (1549-1580). Philip II of Spain is without a male heir when his son Don Carlos dies. Anna becomes his fourth wife, she is beautiful and young, they are married in 1570. She is connected to the powerful Habsbugs and this marriage unites the two most powerful empires in Europe. Both empires are Catholic, and this again puts pressure on the prevaricating Elizabeth to marry and secure the succession with a male heir. Maria has three sons but only one survives into adulthood.