I spent Easter Sunday at Kenilworth Castle. I’ve always loved that castle, with its red stone ruins, associations with Elizabeth I and the centuries old graffiti. And now I’ve found it has a few connections with Lichfield!
|Some centuries old graffiti.|
In 1575, after her famous last visit to Kenilworth, where Robert Dudley made his final (and of course unsuccessful) bid for her hand in marriage, Elizabeth’s next stop was Lichfield. She arrived on 27th July and during her stay attended service at the Cathedral and had a trip to Alrewas. No one seems sure where the Queen stayed (although it is suggested by the Middleton Hall Trust, in Tamworth, that Elizabeth stayed there for two nights). However, there are records of ‘Charges when the Queene’s Matie was at the Cyttye of Lich’ and amongst the payments for trumpeters, horses and paving and mending the market cross and guildhall, there is a payment to ‘Wm Hollcroft, for kepynge Madde Richard when her Matie was here’. After Lichfield, the Queen carried on to Stafford, which was the furthest north she ventured during her reign!
As well as the Elizabethan links, Kenilworth is also connected to Lichfield via Geoffrey de Clinton, the founder of Kenilworth Castle. If that names sounds familiar, it’s because his nephew was Bishop Roger de Clinton (appointed 1129), responsible for the fortification of the Close and for laying out the city of Lichfield as we know it.
(There is also a connection with my previous post about Drayton Manor. Robert Dudley, married Lettice Knollys in 1578 and they are buried together at St Mary’s, Warwick, opposite the tomb of their three year old son).
The progresses and public processions of Queen Elizabeth: Volume 1 – John Nichols