bed breakfast norfolk

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Amy Robsart was the only legitimate child of Sir John Robsart, Lord of the Manor of Syderstone in Norfolk, by Elizabeth the daughter of John Scott of Camberwell (Surrey) - and widow of Roger Appleyard (d.1530), Lord of the Manor of Stanfield, also in Norfolk. By her first husband, Lady Robsart had four children: John, Philip, Anne and Frances; and, to her, the manor of Stanfield was bequeathed, with remainder to her son, John. She died in 1549. Amy was, like her husband, about eighteen at the time of her marriage to Lord Robert Dudley, the future Earl of Leicester. The wedding took place on 4th June 1550 at the Royal palace of Sheen (Richmond) in Surrey. Lady Amy's father settled some property on her just before (May 1650) and, at the same time, a second deed of settlement was signed by both Sir John Robsart and Dudley's father making provision for Dudley. On 4th February 1553, Dudley's father granted Hemsby Manor, near Yarmouth (Norfolk), to "Robert Dudley, Lord Dudley, my son, and the Ladie Amie, his wife." The early days of their married life were apparently spent in Norfolk, where Dudley was prominent in local affairs. He became Joint-Steward of the Manor of Rising and constable of the castle there (7th December 1551); Joint-Commissioner of the Lieutenancy for Norfolk (16th May 1552) and MP for the county in 1553. However, Dudley's father increasingly took him to court, while Lady Amy stayed at home. Here, he began currying favour and acquiring lucrative appointments, as well as property.

Upon the death of the young King Edward VI, on 6th July 1553, Dudley aided his father and brothers in their, temporarily successful, attempt to place his sister-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne. By 26th July, however, the plot had collapsed and Robert was committed to the Tower. He was arraigned, attainted and sentenced to death on 22nd January 1554. During his confinement in the Tower, the now impoverished Lady Amy was allowed to visit him. Her husband was eventually released and pardoned on 18th October at the end of the same year. In 1557, Amy was alone once more, when Robert accompanied his brothers, Ambrose and Henry, to Picardy. He acted as Master of Ordnance to the English army engaged in the Battle of St. Quentin, where his brother, Henry, was killed, and, for his military services, he and his surviving siblings were restored in blood by Act of Parliament (7th March 1558). Thus Lady Amy's prospects were at least partially restored. King Philip is said to have subsequently shown her husband some favour and was employed to carry messages between the Spanish monarch and Queen Mary.

Queen Elizabeth's accession gave the Dudleys the opportunity they needed to climb the social ladder once more, for Robert had known the Queen from childhood. On 11th January 1558, he was named Master of the Horse, followed by his being chosen a Knight of the Garter on 23rd April when he was sworn onto the Privy Council. Land grants, mercantile licenses and numerous other appointments followed, including the Lieutenancy of the Forest and Castle of Windsor. The Royal liberality was plainly due to the queen's infatuation for Dudley, of which she made no secret. Despite Lady Amy's inconvenient presence, upon her accession, the Queen had actually contemplated marrying him.

As early as April 1559, De Feria, the Spanish Ambassador, declared that it was useless to discuss, as Philip II wished, the Queen's union with the Archduke Charles, seeing that Elizabeth and Dudley were acknowledged lovers. Dudley, at first, seemed willing to entertain the match with the Archduke but, in the following November, he told Norfolk, its chief champion, that no good Englishman would allow the Queen to marry a foreigner. De Quadra, De Feria's successor, reported that the Queen's encouragement of Dudley's "over-preposterous pretensions" so irritated Norfolk and other great noblemen that the murder of both sovereign and favourite had been resolved upon.

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