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Arden insults Leicester

Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, visit Kenilworth. Edward Arden, head of a respected and influential Catholic family in Warwickshire, dangerously and publicly shows his contempt for the Queen's favorite, Robert Dudley, by refusing to wear his livery, as is a customary show of respect.

Arden has open contempt for Dudley – a Puritan when it suits him, who also supports poets and players – and calls him an upstart and an adulterer.

Edward Arden, the head of Shakespeare's mother's family, has made a dangerous enemy.

It's entirely possible that the 11-year-old William Shakespeare witnesses this event himself. Years later he makes a reference to it in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."


portrait not availableRobert Dudley, The Earl of Leicester

portrait not availableEdward Arden

Elizabeth IElizabeth I

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