Date of Award


Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History and University Honors








This thesis will begin by focusing on and analyzing Arbella Stuart's arrival at the court of Queen Elizabeth in 1587. By examining letters sent by Stuart' s uncle William Cavendish, reports by ambassadors established at court, and the events surrounding Arbella's arrival this thesis will detail the first political experiences of a woman who, despite her later relocation to Hardwick Hall, remained in the eye of the political storm. In chapter three this thesis will consider the events surrounding Stuart's attempt at a marriage match long after she had reached a marriageable age. Examining the unsuccessful attempt at marriage orchestrated by Stuart provides a look at the emergence

of a woman determined not to marry but to secure freedom from the care of her grandmother at any cost. Finally, in chapter four this thesis will take a detailed look at a letter written by Arbella Stuart in the winter of 1603 in which Stuart makes a final attempt to gain the attention of Queen Elizabeth by fashioning a fake lover to cause alarm. By looking at these three events in Arbella Stuart's life it become clear that, far from a bystander, she was very much an active participant in the politics and society of Early Modem England.


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