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Famous Elizabethan Women

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Elizabethan Times - Famous Elizabethan Women
Famous Elizabethan Women were governed by the rules of society and their roles were subservient to the male members of their families. Elizabethan woman were raised to believe that they were inferior to men and that men knew better. Disobedience was seen as a crime against their religion.

The Church firmly believed this and quoted the Bible in order to ensure the continued adherence to this principle. The Scottish protestant leader John Knox wrote:

"Women in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man."

The fabric of Elizabethan society was built with this belief and Elizabethan women could not be heirs to their father's titles. All titles would pass from father to son or brother to brother, depending on the circumstances. Elizabethan women could, however, assume the property left by their deceased husbands. A woman could therefore become wealthy in her own right. Two famous Elizabethan women who became wealthy and therefore powerful through their marriages were Katherine Parr and Bess of Hardwick.

Famous Elizabethan Women
Some interesting short facts and information about Famous Elizabethan Women and their roles in society. For additional information please click the following link The Elizabethan Lady in Waiting

  • Queen Elizabeth I(1533 -1603) never married. Queen Elizabeth I was an independent and dominant woman who would not share her throne with a man. She would have also been required to show total obedience to her husband
  • Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury- (1521 - 1607) Bess of Hardwick started her life relatively poor. She married four times, became a lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth and was the second most powerful Elizabethan woman, next to Queen Elizabeth
  • Lady Arabella Stuart- The grand daughter of Bess of Hardwick. Groomed by Bess as a future Queen of England. Arabella married William Seymour and the two lines of descendants of both sisters of Henry VIII were united, and both Arabella and William were claimants to the throne. Lady Arabella Stuart was sent to the Tower of London where she died in 1615
  • Margaret Douglas( 1515 - 1577 ) Countess of Lennox and Famous Elizabethan beauty. Her mother was Margaret Tudor
  • Frances Brandon(1517 - 1559) was the elder daughter of King Henry VIII'S younger sister, Mary Tudor. Ambitious mother of the Grey sisters - Lady Jane Grey, Catherine Grey and Mary Grey
  • Lady Jane GreyQueen of England (15371554) - Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for just Nine Days from Monday 10th July 1553 to Wednesday 19th July 1553
  • Catherine Grey( 1540 - 1568 ) Daughter of Henry Grey and Frances Brandon, sister to Lady Jane Grey. Lady in Waiting to Mary Tudor
  • Mary Grey( 1545 - 1578 ) Daughter of Henry Grey and Frances Brandon, sister to Lady Jane Grey - unfortunate to have been born a dwarf and regarded as very ugly. Lady in Waiting to Mary Tudor
  • Lettice Knollys1540-1634 - Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth - married the Queen's favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in secret
  • Margaret Radcliffe( 1577 - 1599 ) Lady in Waiting & Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth
  • Margaret Russell( 1560 - 1616 ) Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth
  • Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke- 1561-1621 referred to as the Swan of Avon. The second most important woman in England next to the Queen
  • Amy Robsart- ( 1540 - 1560 ) Robert Dudley's first wife who died in mysterious circumstances
  • Kat Ashley- Faithful servant of Queen Elizabeth from a small, neglected child to the most powerful woman in England
  • Mary Queen of Scots1542-1587- Mary Queen of Scots was Elizabeth's cousin who was kept prisoner in England until her execution for treason - conspired with Roman Catholics culminating in the Babington Plot
  • The Four Mary's- the Ladies in Waiting to Mary Queen of Scots - Mary Beaton, Mary Seaton, Mary Fleming and Mary Livingstone
  • Elizabeth Cooke(1528 - 1609 - celebrated for her great learning
  • Anne Dacre(1557 - 1630) - Elizabethan heiress
  • Penelope Devereux( 1562 - 1607 ) Famous Elizabethan beauty, daughter of Lettice Knollys, said to have inspired the verse of Phillip Sidney
  • Margaret Pole (Plantagenet), Countess of Salisbury( 1473 - 1541 ) Daughter of George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence.
  • Levina Teerlinc- female artist of the Elizabethan era
  • Elizabeth Barton the "Nun of Kent"The career of this visionary, whose prophecies led to her execution under King Henry VII
  • Lady Margaret Bryan- Lady Margaret Bryan was the governess to Queen Elizabeth
  • Katherine Carey- Catherine Carey was the daughter of Anne Boleyn's sister Mary Boleyn and the cousin of Queen Elizabeth. She married Francis Knollys
  • Cecilia, Princess of Sweden- visited the Court of Elizabeth on behalf of her brother King Eric who was a suitor of Queen Elizabeth
  • Catherine de Medici- This notorious Italian Queen was the mother in law of Mary, Queen of Scots, who married her second son, Francis
  • Blanche Parry- Blanche Parry had cared for Queen Elizabeth since her childhood and became Gentlewomen of the Bedchamber
  • Eleanor Bull- Eleanor Bull was the sister Blanche Parry (both cousins to John Dee). She owned the house where Christopher Marlowe was reputedly killed
  • Anne Russell- Lady in Waiting & Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth. Anne Russell married Ambrose Dudley the brother of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
  • Lady Douglas Sheffield- Lady Douglas Sheffield was the high born daughter of Lord William Howard. She had an affair with Robert Dudley and gave birth to a son, also called Robert Dudley. She claimed to have married Robert Dudley but he denied that they had married
  • Helena of Snakenborg- female painter of the Elizabethan era
  • Elizabeth Throckmorton- Elizabeth Throckmorton was Lady in Waiting & Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth and the wife of Sir Walter Raleigh
  • Lady Elizabeth Tyrrwhit- Lady Elizabeth Tyrrwhit was the chief Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth
  • Anne Vavasour- Anne Vavasour was Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth and the mistress of the Earl of Oxford
  • Frances Walsingham- Frances Walsingham was Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth and the wife of Sir Philip Sydney. Her second husband was the Earl of Essex
  • Countess Elizabeth Bathory Nadasdy- Countess Elizabeth Bathory Nadasdy ( 1560 - 1614 ) is famous as a real historical figure from Transylvania who was reputed to have not only drunk but bathed in the blood of young virgin girls she murdered in order to retain her youth

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