Elizabeth I’s physician-in-chief, Rodrigo Lopez, was executed in 1594 for allegedly conspiring to poison the queen. Lopez was born in Portugal to parents of Jewish descent. He was raised a Catholic before he moved to London in 1599 and became the queen’s physician-in-chief in 1581. Unfortunately, he mortally offended some of Elizabeth I’s courtiers, among […]Continue reading

Dr Dee was an astrologer and mathematician who became an influential scholar in Elizabeth I’s court. As the royal astrologer, he advised the queen, Francis Walsingham, Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake on matters ranging from national security to navigation at sea. Dr Dee was even consulted to find the most auspicious day for Elizabeth I’s […]Continue reading

During the Reformation, Catholic Spain was a long-standing enemy of England and during the reign of Elizabeth I a series of attempted invasions prolonged the enmity between the two countries. The uneasy and short-lived alliance between England and Spain during the reign of Mary I was replaced by hostilities exacerbated by the Spanish Armada’s attacks […]Continue reading

Francis Walsingham, who signed his last will and testament in December 1589, is primarily remembered as Elizabeth I’s ‘spymaster’. He established a wide-reaching system of surveillance to safeguard both the personal safety of the queen and the national security of England. His wide-reaching system of surveillance even extended into the playhouses of early modern England. […]Continue reading

Shakespeare acted in some of Ben Jonson’s plays when they were performed by his playing company. He was listed in the  cast of Sejanus His Fall as the first ‘principal tragedian’ in 1604. Shakespeare also acted in a performance of Ben Jonson’s Every Man in His Humour.  In the 1616 publication of The Works of Benjamin Jonson, Shakespeare […]Continue reading