Interesting topic, Savannah. You have a knack for Queen Elizabeth history & that is quite the interesting story. I am setting my DVR to record it.
Here's some info I already know on the subject from brief research:
Bram Stoker based his best known story, of Count Dracula, on the legend of a real prince of Transylvania who reputedly drank the blood of his victims
- an example of how fact can be stranger than fiction. For his book "Famous Imposters", Stoker was told by the famous actor, Sir Henry Irving, the
first reported beginnings of the story that the rest of England was to hear of as "The Bisley Boy".
Some suspicious facts about the 'Queen' first:
----Elizabeth’s refusal to marry
----Rumours that Elizabeth could not bear children – In April 1559, when Elizabeth was only 25, the Count de Feria wrote: “If my spies do not lie,
which I believe they do not, for a certain reason which they have recently given me, I understand that she [Elizabeth] will not bear children.”
----A significant change in literary style between the letters Elizabeth wrote
----She wore high collars, possibly to avoid 'her' adam's apple.
----It is known that no doctors were allowed to examine her body before or after her death:
----She grew bald in middle age and used wigs:
----If one studies the portraits of her, she wears 'over-the-top' dresses, jewels and masses of make-up. In fact, your everyday drag queen style,
beloved by many TVs in the eye of the public (read any programme that has Danny La Rue and they can't wait to tell you that this or that dress cost
£3000 or £5000 each and has twenty yards of this and that).
----During her reign very little is made of her ladies-in-waiting but she seems to have a large company of seamen-or pirates as the Spanish called
----Her one-time governess became her nurse and was her closest attendant.
This is me paraphrasing directly from Bram Stoker's book on the subject below.
In London the pestilence of plague was raging, and the twelve-year-old daughter of Anne Boleyn, the Princess Elizabeth, was sent to the Manor of
Bisley to escape this cursed blight but unfortunately she succumbed to a fatal illness.
At this very time, the King - Henry VIII - felt a need to see his younger daughter, after ignoring her for years. This was a disaster, as the King was
short of temper and to break such grave news to him was a task which no-one was prepared to undertake - a lengthy sojourn in the Tower of London was
the likeliest reward to the bearer of such tidings.
The governess of the late Princess was fearful and in despair hid the body and rushed to the nearby village of Bisley to find a young girl to take the
place of the late Princess. It was felt the substitution might succeed as the King had only seen his daughter on two known occasions, the last being
when she was about three years old. It was soon obvious that no suitable girl could be found to take the Princess's place.
So it was decided to take an even greater risk. It was quite common practice in those days for young children to be brought up in households other
than their parents', often the bastards of Kings were accorded new households perhaps to become Kings themselves, as William the Conqueror did. There
was a youth, believed to be a bastard son of Henry VIII. A boy who had been a fellow pupil, friend and playmate of the Princess - Neville; said to be
the son of Henry and Elizabeth Blunt, who later became the Duke of Richmond and Somerset. He seemed the perfect answer, having some of the King's
features and colouring, notably the red hair to assist in the deception.
In the few days before the King's visit, the boy was dressed and taught the correct manners of a royal princess; the image of a young lady ready to
greet a King and father. He was a King to reckon with; one who was shrewd, and not easily fooled.
If this is true, one can well imagine the immense pressure which existed in that manor house. Yet it is recorded that the King was indeed pleased to
find his daughter well versed in Latin, French and Spanish; was a comely lass and "a wise head on young shoulders".
In Bisley Manor, the sigh of relief was surely the loudest ever gusted. But the actions of the governess had not passed unnoticed by the simple
village souls and so began the record in the Boy May Queen, to continue, I believe, up to the late nineteen-fifties. I have no idea if this still
happens as we so seldom see the Maypole on the village green, or the dance with coloured ribbons weaving their own special magic. Today the ‘May
Dance' of father cleaning his car works a different magic - it brings rain!
But the story is by no means over. The boy's masquerade was only just beginning and no one realised that this simple deception would extend to the
highest seat in the land, the Throne of England. That in fact this slip of a lad would one day be Queen.
edit on 25-1-2011 by TheLegend
because: (no reason given)