Was Queen Elizabeth 1st of England a man? Part 1.
Should the question be, was she murdered in 1542 aged just 10 years?
In May 2012 I decided to make my August 2012 monthly history snippet an analysis of the possibility that Queen Elizabeth 1st of England was a man. There are 2 occasions when she could have ‘turned into a man’ in my opinion so the first is Part 1. Bearing in mind I am trying to run a tour operation & this analysis was for interest rather than intrigue I have found that one thing has led to another & I am now quite staggered by what has come to light. This newsletter has to be online on Tuesday 14th August & most of the contentious stuff has only arisen since last Wednesday & indeed one vital piece of the jigsaw only 3 hours ago. I will stick with the original plus a few touch ups since the new ‘evidence’ requires further investigation.
I am eating humble pie about last month’s newsletter which was ‘3000 years of wacky Olympic Games history‘ in which I doubted that Team GB would do any good. I was proved completely wrong of course I am delighted to say. Naturally the men & women’s soccer teams did not let me down as they were hopeless as usual.
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There are lies, damn lies & Royal portraits. What is wrong with the van Dyck portrait of King Charles 1st on the left? Mickey Murphy of Dundalk in Ireland is going to have a go. “Mary Poppins looks like a horse.” Not quite Mickey. Charles 1st was only about 5 feet tall & that was before Oliver Cromwell had him beheaded. Conveniently van Dyck shows the horse nodding but even so, unless the horse is actually a Shetland Pony this portrait puts the King over 6 feet tall. In family portraits Charles 1st usually stands whilst other members of the Royal Family recline or sit down.
The point of this is to demonstrate that very little history relating to the elite of society can be regarded as fact. In 2012 do any of us ordinary mortals believe what we are told by politicians & central bankers about today’s events? Not on your Nelly! Likewise we can only learn today about history, what the elite of society in history want us to learn. So remember that when a learned person, like a history professor says “This is what happened” don’t be too sure as back in history it was much easier to deceive than it is today. So it is important to keep an open mind about Queen Elizabeth 1st.
The question of Queen Elizabeth 1st’s gender ranks alongside other major questions of our time like, “What is Julian Clary?” & “Did the Great Britain Olympic cycling team really have ‘magic wheels’ as the French accused us?” “Monsieur L’arry Pottaire he wave ‘is wand de magique!” The idea that Queen Elizabeth 1st was a man is not new but in this narration I will be introducing some new logical deductions of what actually happened not what was reported to have happened. It has mostly been fueled over the decades by her refusal to allow an autopsy after her death. Autopsies seem to have been fairly common on the death of a monarch just to make sure that their death was natural causes. In Queen Elizabeth 1st’s case she was 69 years old so the likelihood of any criminal action was virtually nil. Perhaps the old Queen just didn’t like the idea of being messed around with unnecessarily after her death. Refusing an autopsy is hardly evidence that she was a man of course so there must have been some other ingredients in the mix & there were. It was primarily the Dublin novelist, Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula & the Victorian actor Sir Henry Irving, who reignited the possibility that Queen Elizabeth 1st was the ‘Bisley Boy’ based on accounts by one Reverend Thomas Keble in Bisley, Gloucestershire.
Queen Elizabeth 1st was born on the 7th September 1533 & that is a very significant date. More on that later. Her dear old dad was that lecher & murdering monarch Henry 8th whilst her dear young mum was the ill-fated Anne Boleyn. Marrying within the same family often causes physical & mental defects over time. Since intra-marriage was rife amongst the ‘aristocracy’ it is hardly surprising that Anne Boleyn was perhaps a ‘victim’ of it. She was allegedly ‘cursed’ with 6 toes on one foot, 6 digits on one hand & three nipples. The third nipple was probably only a prominent mole looking like a nipple & was located on her neck. You would have to have some kind of imagination to regard it as a nipple. The extra finger was nothing more than a small stump where perhaps another finger tried to form in the womb. Extra bits like this in any event occur in about 1 in 600 people. Nowadays it is not indicative of ‘being in league with the devil’ but it was in the 15th/16th centuries which was why I used them term ‘cursed’. On the plus side I bet she could count to 6 before all the other kids in her class.
So that was Lady Elizabeth’s mum. From here I will call Queen Elizabeth 1st, Lady Elizabeth when referring to her in childhood since that was her title. It was quite likely that Lady Elizabeth would have inherited some of those minor deformities & she did although not exactly the same. What about her dad? Forget the image of Henry 8th as a gargantuan, syphilis infested, smelly old man. Henry 8th was a skinny lathe of a boy. In fact you couldn’t get more of a difference in a chap between boy & man. It was almost like he was 2 different people with a changed personality to match.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Lady Elizabeth reportedly had an index finger that was longer than her middle finger. This, apparently, is usually a feature of the male gender. She was around 6 feet tall which was well above average for a man in those days never mind a woman. Incidentally Mary Queen of Scots was around 6 feet 1 inch. Lady Elizabeth’s personality was that of a man for those days as she was domineering, demanding & could verbally be a warrior if required. In horsemanship she could outrun & out jump most men. I suppose we might describe her nowadays as an Amazon female or a virago. OK we all know at least one woman who looks like a man in our life. I have just seen about a half-dozen in the Olympics. None of the foregoing proves that the Lady Elizabeth was a man of course.
Enter the ‘Bisley Boy’! Bisley is a small town in Gloucestershire nestling in the beautiful Cotswolds. A house in the town is known as Overcourt House [Privately owned nowadays.] which in Tudor times was Crown property & the centre of a hunting/farming estate. Bisley would be a slight detour for Henry 8th if traveling from London ['London' here embraces Hampton Court Palace, Hatfield House, Woodstock & several other Royal locations close to London.] to Berkeley Castle for a spot of hunting making a total distance of about 120 miles taking about a week in 1542. The plague had just returned to London & Henry decided to drop his 10 year old daughter, the Lady Elizabeth, off at Overcourt so she could enjoy the clean, fresh Cotswold’s air. It was likely that Lady Elizabeth was already sick in London anyway. Henry continued on to Berkeley Castle to enjoy his hunting. So far this scenario is ‘pretty much fact’.
Now this is where things get decidedly iffy. Henry sent word that he would call into Overcourt to see Lady Elizabeth on his way back to London. Unfortunately Lady Elizabeth had been taken ill again & was at death’s door. Before the King arrived to see her the story goes that Lady Elizabeth died. The nannies & staff were pressing the panic button as they knew that Henry 8th would not be best pleased! The only answer was to find a doppelgänger to impersonate Lady Elizabeth. Far fetched? Not really since the King didn’t see his daughter that often & he was now in poor health generally with deteriorating eyesight. The problem of course was how to find a girl who looked like Lady Elizabeth, had bright red hair, was tall-ish & could present herself at the Royal Court (Not that Elizabeth was there much, if at all.) behaving like a ‘princess’ in the middle of the Cotswolds in 1542 in a just a few of hours! It was, of course impossible but what wasn’t impossible was that in Bisley was a ‘pretty’ boy with red hair who looked like Lady Elizabeth. Coincidence? Well not really ………….
Before we get onto him let me just mention one not so obvious discrepancy here – the iffy bit. I just cannot get my head around why the King would return to Overcourt to see his daughter with a view to taking her back to London when a few weeks before he had got her out of London because of the plague. Allegedly Lady Elizabeth was already ailing before she left London anyway. The plague had not suddenly ‘gone away’. Perhaps Henry was just calling in to see her & found that ‘she’ was in remarkably good health so decided to take her back with him. One other very salient point that would affect Henry’s actions & attitude was if he didn’t have a legitimate son to inherit the throne. Many kids died before the age of 10 in those days. It was just a hazard of life so in truth why on earth would it be regarded as ‘nanny neglect’ especially if Lady Elizabeth was unwell in London a couple of months before anyway. Henry did indeed have a legitimate son by then anyway, the 5 year old Edward by his third wife Jane Seymour so going out of his way for Lady Elizabeth would not seem to be on Henry’s radar to me. A ‘Royal’ reconciliation between the King & his 2 daughters, Mary & Elizabeth was still some way off. The biggest flaw in this scenario is that Henry mollycoddled his fairly frail son Edward. Edward’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace were pristine & that’s where he stayed. His education was there. He had vetted friends ‘imported’ into the palace to receive their education so he had some company. Henry did not want to lose his son to disease so it seems highly improbable that Henry would go out of his way to encounter the illness of his daughter Elizabeth. It is quite likely that the repeated bouts of illness for Elizabeth were ‘only’ migraines but the King did not know that.
There could be only one possible explanation why Henry would deliver his ‘sick’ daughter to Overcourt, go off hunting & then go back to collect her to return her to London & that was if he was complicit in any skullduggery that went on in the village of Bisley those few weeks. The whole idea of taking Lady Elizabeth 100 miles to Bisley when she could just nip 25 miles up the road to the Royal residence, Hatfield House, well out in the country was highly irrational & questionable. Why was Lady Elizabeth not sent there? Indeed there is a very strong possibility that she was there in the first place.
So what of ‘John’ the name I will give to the pretty boy with red hair who just happened to be handy in Bisley? We know that Henry had one illegitimate kid but probably 4 more. Back in the early 1980s when I first started visiting Hampton Court Palace [Olympic cycling venue.] I was amazed at how many people in the surrounding district looked like Henry 8th & their husbands even more so. Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond was one of those bastard kids whose mum, Elizabeth Blount had a dalliance with the King. Henry 8th seemed to really love Henry Fitzroy (HF) & gave him numerous important positions so much so that he ended up with more titles than Roger Federer in his short 17 year life span. It was widely believed that King Henry would have made HF, King of Ireland as well. Even though HF died when he was 17 he still managed to get married when he was 14 to Lady Mary Howard. Officially they didn’t consummate their marriage – LOL! Come on, we are talking about the son of King Henry 8th here! HF was probably the most powerful boy in the land & if he wanted a bit of nookie with his wife it would be a brave man to try to stop him. 3 years of marriage & no offspring in Tudor times – in your dreams! Of course HF could have sown his seed elsewhere so that his son was also illegitimate.
‘John’ is one of the names put forward for this son who roughly would have been 2 years younger than Lady Elizabeth. It is not inconceivable that ‘John’ was chosen as one of the companions for Lady Elizabeth at Overcourt since she was related to him. One of the other names suggested was Henry but we already have 2 x Henry & 2 x Elizabeth which is getting confusing. Being of the same blood as the Lady Elizabeth there would be physiological similarities. It has been suggested by more scholarly people than me that Henry 8th had as many as 5 illegitimate children. I am inclined to agree since if a husband ‘donated’ his wife to King Henry for a bit of nookie he was invariably rewarded with some land or titles. Just use your imagination here. Take a look at the Henry Fitzroy portrait above left (before the map) & imagine his son dressed up as a woman. Feasible? Absolutely. In addition if Henry had several other bastard kids there would have been other candidates to fill the role. However, I would go for the son of Henry Fitzroy who would have been Henry 8th’s grandson. He would have been the right age, appearance & most importantly there is no official record of him which would be essential. The official line heavily emphasizing that HF did not have a son/daughter suggests he probably did! ‘Wool, eyes over, pull’ springs to mind! Just out of interest if King Henry didn’t know about the swap then if you were the guy wearing Lady Elizabeth’s knickers you would want to be damn sure that you would not come to any harm if the King sussed you. The only person who could get away with it for sure was Henry Fitzroy’s son.
So did the 10 year old Lady Elizabeth die in Bisley & was ‘John’ dressed up to fool the King? It would be very easy to veto the idea as fantasy but there have been 2 reports of the body of a Tudor girl with Royal finery & red hair being found in Bisley.
The first occasion in the 1870s was by one Reverend Thomas Keble vicar of All Saints Church in Bisley. He claimed that he found a stone coffin in the grounds of Overcourt during building works that contained the remains of a girl with red hair, Royal finery & wearing a Tudor dress. Initially I thought this was nonsense until I changed my mind 24 hours ago. He was regarded as a sober churchman but was anxious to publicize Bisley. He also claimed that he then conveniently re-buried the body in an undisclosed place to prevent Bisley becoming an overcrowded ‘shrine’ which seems to be a contradiction. In any event Queen Victoria would not allow the possibility of the remains of Lady Elizabeth to just be buried willy-nilly in the Cotswolds! She might even ask who is buried in Westminster Abbey if it ain’t Elizabeth! So why no action by the Royal Family over the claim by Rev. Keb.? Probably because they actually know the truth anyway & who is to say they didn’t act. What about the security forces of European foreign powers? They would hardly sit back. What a great chance to destabilize the most powerful nation on earth at the time by the undermining the Royal Family.
What about the Rev. Thomas Keble who had become vicar in Bisley like his father before him? It is his uncle that we are interested in here however. John Keble was such a highly regarded student at Corpus Christi College, Oxford that he went on to be a great churchman, philosopher & literary scholar. So great was he that about 6 years prior to his nephew discovering ‘the Tudor girl’ at Overcourt, Keble College in Oxford was named after him. Why on earth would Thomas Keble threaten the reputation of his family by making a wild claim about discovering the remains of Lady Elizabeth. Thomas Keble specifically mentioned finding the body in Overcourt during building works but why would he think that Lady Elizabeth would be there? The idea that Lady Elizabeth died there had never before been publicly discussed. So if Keble found a body why did he think it was Lady Elizabeth? If he didn’t find a body why did he make the story up. Something happened in Bisley in the early 1870s to kick start all this & Reverend Thomas Keble was part of it. On Saturday August 11th 2012 I found out exactly why the dear old Reverend was totally convinced that this was Lady Elizabeth & I agree with him because he spoke to someone who knew the true events at Bisley back in 1542.
Now this is where it gets really interesting. In 1995-ish a similarly described female body was discovered at Overcourt behind a fireplace during building works. It could have been the body discovered by Keble & that was where he put it since he said he discovered the body in a stone coffin in Overcourt! Not the actions of a vicar one would think to take a decaying body from a coffin & brick it up behind a fireplace! There were several witnesses to this discovery in the mid-1990s including the builders. In addition there was a very reliable witness staying in a nearby house at the time who witnessed the rapidly spreading news of the discovery. I have every reason to believe the account of that witness to what happened in the mid-1990s. You just have to watch Midsomer Murders to see how fast the word spreads around an English village! The difference this time was that everybody knew the story of Lady Elizabeth at Overcourt whereas in Keble’s time it was hardly known about. So 2 identical bodies discovered in the same house 120 years apart! If Keble made the story up how come the body that was discovered in the 1990s matched Keble’s version 120 years before? Either Keble did discover the body or he was given a ‘first hand’ account of what Lady Elizabeth was wearing when she died. What gives this story remarkable credence? The fact that nothing happened about it. I can find no reports in local newspapers for the time. I can’t get any info. online from locals etc. and yet this body was discovered of that I am sure. I have a representative up in Bisley doing a bit of digging as we speak! My gut feeling is that Reverend Thomas Keble did find the body but not in a stone coffin but behind the fireplace because he knew it would be there. Being a man of the cloth he may not have liked the idea of fibbing so his ‘stone coffin’ may well have been a large space in the stone behind the fireplace. He then bricked it up again. Remember that this happened within months of him becoming the vicar in Bisley. He knew exactly where the body was!
Just like in the Sherlock Holmes story “Silver Blaze” when Inspector Gregory asks Holmes, “Is there any other point to which you wish to draw my attention?”
“Yes, to the curious incident of the dog in the night-time,” Holmes replied.
Inspector Gregory quizzically, “…. but the dog did nothing in the night-time.”
“That was the curious incident,” the great detective observed.
If there is any truth in the story about Lady Elizabeth dying in Bisley then almost certainly it has been known about in Royal circles over the centuries. Once this ‘news’ broke in the 1990s Bisley would have been crawling with MI5 agents & by an amazing coincidence the UK Central Intelligence Gathering Unit (GCHQ) is just 12 miles up the road in Cheltenham. Then all of a sudden nothing happened! I will take a look at the Royal succession in the 17th century in next month’s newsletter. That suggests the event must be signifcant. We must not forget that if true then the body didn’t have to be the Lady Elizabeth but if you will pardon the pun there is no smoke without a fireplace! It could have been anyone since the plague was around but to my way of thinking DNA tests would have been the most obvious course of action. It was not customary to bury people behind chimneys when they died of the plague so perhaps this young girl was murdered. You couldn’t dismantle a Tudor fireplace, put a body behind it & put the chimney back again in just a few hours waiting for the King to arrive.
I know that not everybody is into astrology but for a moment cast aside your doubts & consider that according to astrologists a Virgo female is a very determined woman with lots of energy, loads of loyalty & can do anything. Queen Elizabeth 1st was that in bucket loads & was indeed born slap bang in the middle of the Virgo sign on 7th September 1533. If in addition Elizabeth had male physiological characteristics like the index finger being longer than the middle finger as mentioned she would have been quite formidable but still would have been a woman! So that is looking at the mystery from the other point of view. Queen Elizabeth 1st was, what she was born to be from an astrological point of view.
So to conclude Part 1, I hope that some of you did not expect me to tell you that when Robert Devereux the 2nd Earl of Essex burst into the aging Queen’s bedchamber unannounced that he found her there swigging a can of Boddington’s beer & clutching a season ticket for the Emirates Stadium which would have definitely confirmed her manliness. He was immediately executed afterwards but had been the Queen’s favourite and got away with a lot. Now he bursts into the Queen’s bedchamber & is summarily executed. Did he see something dangling? My gut feeling is that something is not right about Queen Elizabeth 1st of England. I am more inclined to believe that Lady Elizabeth was murdered at Overcourt in Bisley which was why her father took her there in the first place. Much of this 1990s info. I only got yesterday (August 8th 2012) & this newsletter has to be out by Tuesday so I don’t have enough time to digest it all.
In closing let me say that there is one very significant part of the info. from yesterday that I have not included here which seems to me to be staggeringly important but I have just have not had time to check it out. I have never found it mentioned anywhere in connection with ‘The Bisley Boy’. The ironical thing is that it is online & available to anyone. It is just a question of putting 2 & 2 together. Let’s suppose the Royal Family have known that Lady Elizabeth was buried somewhere in Bisley for decades/centuries but not where. It would be really handy to have someone they could trust living there. Guess what, they did! FWIW I am 99.999% sure that something nasty happened in 1542 in Overcourt in Bisley, Gloucestershire that led to a political decoy being put in Lady Elizabeth’s place probably with the King’s grace.
The options :
- Lady Elizabeth died of natural causes.
- Lady Elizabeth was murdered.
- Lady Elizabeth was murdered at the behest of her father.
- Lady Elizabeth never went to Overcourt in the first place but her political decoy did. She was already dead & subsequent events in Bisley were to cover up her death & give the substitute time to sort himself/herself out.
- The body discovered in Bisley was in fact the body of the political decoy. Lady Elizabeth back in London was ill & was expected to die. The decoy was being prepared in Bisley when the news reached that Lady Elizabeth had recovered. The decoy had to go!
When you watch the video clip of the ghost notice that the doors open themselves but the ghost closes them. Keep an eye open in front of the doors after they have swung open. There is a bit of grey mist heading away from the building as if another unseen ghost has flung the doors open. It is almost as if the visible ghost is chasing the other ghost out. Notice how tall the ghost is. I have opened & closed hundreds of these sorts of fire doors in England. They are about 6 feet 6 inches high so the ghost is tall. Also note that the ghost appears angry and crashes the doors shut so that they fling open. Anybody used to closing these sorts of fire doors knows that you can’t crash them shut as the bolt misses the recess & the door flies open.
Regards & best wishes,
Gregg, Jolly Good Tours.