Edwinstowe Historical Society

by | 10 January 2024 | Heritage, Sherwood

Shirley Moore, Chair of the Edwinstowe Historical Society, introduced Ian and Diane Hibbert, whose selection of Elizabethan music was a prelude to David Templeman’s talk ‘Arbella Stuart – the Queen That Never Was’ at their last meeting.

David explained that Bess of Hardwick orchestrated a marriage between her daughter, Elizabeth Cavendish, and Charles Stuart, son of the Countess of Lenox, in the knowledge that any child of Charles Stuart had a claim to the throne after the death of the childless Elizabeth I. The marriage was arranged at Rufford Abbey, and their daughter Arbella was born in 1575.

Following the death of her parents, at the age of six Arbella became the ward of her grandmother Bess. She was highly educated and spent time at the court of Queen Elizabeth, but was banished for misbehaviour and became exiled at Hardwick, which she found frustrating.

During the reign of her cousin, King James I, she married William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset, in secret. The King imprisoned William and placed Arbella under house arrest. They managed to keep in touch but their planned dramatic escape to France failed; Arbella was recaptured and imprisoned in the Tower, although William managed to reach safety on the continent. Arbella never saw William again, and she starved herself to death at the age of 39.

The Society participated in St Mary’s Christmas Tree Festival and chose ‘Architecture’ for the theme. Members were reminded there is no meeting in January, and that the annual lunch would be held on Wednesday 17th January at the Forest Lodge Hotel, Edwinstowe.

The next meeting on Wednesday 21st February is entitled ‘A Journey along the River Maun’.

Meetings are held in the Church Rooms, Mansfield Road, Edwinstowe NG21 9NJ on the third Wednesday of the month, starting at 2.00pm and lasting for approximately two hours. Tea, coffee and biscuits are available.

The annual subscription is £15.00, and visitors are welcome at a charge of £3.00. For more information visit www.edwinstowehistory.org.uk or email EdwinstoweHistorySoc@gmail.com.