Author Topic: Bess of Hardwick  (Read 14637 times)

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Yseult

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Bess of Hardwick
« on: September 22, 2006, 07:39:40 PM »


I think that no one could imagine the fate of Bess when she was born on 1521, one of the four daughters of a minor nobleman, the esquire John Hardwick, by his wife, Elizabeth Leake. When Bess´s father was died, leaving to his daughters just a small wedding dowry, and Bess´s mother remarried another member of the gentry, Ralphe Leeche, no one could imagine that the young girl would became one of the most wealthiest and powerful ladies in the Elizabethan Times.

Bess made a great career! She married fourth times, the first when she was only twelve years old, with Robert Barlow; the second, with the highly respected Treasurer of the king´s chambers Sir William Cavendish; the third, with the wealthy William St Loe, the love of her life; and the fourth, with the richest nobleman in England, George Talbot, 6th earl of Shrewsbury. By her second happy marriage, Bess had eight children, of wich six survived childhood. She was also the step-mother of the children born in the two previous marriages contracted by St Loe and the six children born in the first marriage of Talbot.

She was a great friend of Frances Brandon, wife of the marquis of Dorset. So, she became involved in the dangerous business of the marriage of lady Catherine Grey, daughter of Frances. She was, also, friendly to Margaret Douglas, countess of Lennox, and the two ladies aroused the anger of Queen Elizabeth when Charles Stuart, second son of Margaret, married Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of Bess. The couple had a child, Arabella or Arbella Stuart, pressumpted heiress of the crown.

I think that Bess deserves her own thread here... ;)

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2006, 07:25:37 AM »
This is more suited to the Tudor board.  ;)
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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bell_the_cat

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2006, 08:21:36 AM »
Liam, you mentioned once that you didn't like Bess very much - nows your chance to explain why!

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2006, 08:46:25 AM »
Thanks Bell, I never refuse an invitation to complain.  ;D

I think that she just seemed devoid of any sort of feelings for anyone but herself. She made poor Arbella's life a misery. This will sound silly, but I just don't find her that interesting!  :P I tried to read Sarah Gristwood's 'Arbella' but I gave up because the whole book seemed totally dominated by the supposedly 'fascinating' Bess.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Yseult

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2006, 01:28:59 PM »
I´m not such a knowledge about the Tudor historical figures as you, Lieven, but...I feel pity for Bess. Margaret Douglas and Bess payed the price for the marriage between Charles and Elizabeth. The marriage was contracted secretly, a Royal Assent had not been obtained, and I understand the anger showed by Queen Elizabeth...everybody was marrying without her placet, Catherine Grey with Edward Seymour, Mary Grey with Thomas Keyes, Mary of Scotland with Darnley, Robert Leicester with Lettice Knollys...too much for Her Majesty! But Margaret and Bess payed the price.

It seems to me that Arabella blamed her grandmother because she keep her away from the court, seclused in rural Debyshire, but I think that Bess had not another way to manage the dangerous situation. Queen Elizabeth played not fair with her cousin Arabella, but this is not strange, since she played not fair also with her cousins Catherine and Mary Grey.

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2006, 02:53:59 PM »
Well, I think Margaret and Bess were downright stupid when they married Charles Stuart to Elizabeth Cavendish - did they not know that Elizabeth would be furious? It boggles the mind!  ???
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Yseult

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2006, 04:24:48 PM »
I was reading a wonderful website about the Tudors that states:

"In Oct 1574, Bess went to Rufford with her daughter, Elizabeth Cavendish. they had invited the Countess of Lennox and her son, Charles, to stay at Rufford Abbey, which Bess had renovated to her taste. Charles Lennox was the younger brother of Mary Queen of Scots' husband, Lord Darnley, who had met his death so mysteriously in Kirk O'field.

The Countess of Lennox fell ill for five days. Bess nursed her to health and Elizabeth and Charles were left to entertain each other. During the five days that the couple were thrown together, Elizabeth fell completely under the spell of the easy manner of the sophisticated Charles. She was enchanted with him and fell deeply in love. For his part Charles was taken with this naive, unspoiled virgin who obviously adored him. And at the end of five days, by which time Lady Lennox had 'recovered', Elizabeth Cavendish was no longer a virgin. The two Countesses pecked over the situation and felt they could not stand in the way of true love. They were in agreement that their children should be married at once. The Countess of Lennox wished her son happiness and Bess wanted her family wedded into the Royal Family with or without Queen Elizabeth's consent".

It seems that the two mothers, Margaret and Bess, had not a better way to act. Elizabeth Cavendish was in love, Charles was in love, and five days were days enough to had sexual relationships. But I suppose Bess remembered so well the ill-fated Catherine Grey...I don´t understand why she didn´t shake imagining her loved daughter Elizabeth imprisoned at the Tower for years and years...



Offline Kimberly

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2006, 03:21:09 AM »
IMHO I don't think Bess would have "shaken" over anything. I think that she was an imperious woman who felt she was better than anyone else (including the Queen). I have never warmed to this woman and I think she was full of her own self-importance with a large dose of "whats in it for me" attitude. Don't ask me for sources because its just my own impression and my feminine intuition, ;)
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2006, 03:40:34 AM »
Gulp....scary lady;
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Ian (UK)

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2012, 03:04:59 AM »
HARDWICK HALL

The hall

The ruins of the old hall

From the top of the ruins in black and white

Old and new together

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardwick   Visit Hardwick Hall .........Link by The National Trust



Offline Suzanne

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Re: Bess of Hardwick
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2013, 01:09:22 PM »