Lady Elizabeth Ralegh

(1051 words)
  • Anna Beer (Oxford University)

Bess Throckmorton was connected with three major families, the Carews (her mother’s family), Greys (her step-father’s family), and Throckmortons. Executions dominated the history of each family: Nicholas Carew in 1539; Lady Jane Grey in 1554; and Francis Throckmorton (a Catholic plotter) in 1584.

Despite this background, Bess became a Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber in 1584, and thus close to Queen Elizabeth I. During 1591, she became clandestinely involved with Sir Walter Ralegh, who had risen to prominence during the 1580s. Pregnant by Ralegh in the summer of 1591, she was secretly married to him in November 1591. She served at Court almost until the baby was due, and returned to her Court duties within weeks of t…

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Beer, Anna. "Lady Elizabeth Ralegh". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 April 2009
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]

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  1. Renaissance Women's Writing