9. Relationship


As they reached the top of the staircase, the two men saw Sir William Cecil leaning on the balustrade of the balcony. His shrewd, politician’s face gave away nothing as he acknowledged the silent nods of the two men.

Behind a door came a muffled scream of pain. The midwife knew the sound of a woman in labour and a flicker of relief crossed her face. They opened the door of the dimly lit birthing room and gently pushed her inside. The lone attendant, Lady Kat Ashley, removed her blindfold and stepped back. The midwife found herself blinking in the candlelight. The door closed quietly behind her as a scream rang out. The room was dimly lit by only a few candles.

On the far side of the room stood a four-poster bed, the canopy above draped in expensive curtains that shimmered in the flickering light.

The midwife found it strange that there was only one woman in attendance with the crying, birthing girl. Usually, there would be several women to attend any birth, even the most ordinary. This birth must be a blueblood, else why the horsemen and the secrecy? T’was all quite strange, she thought.

“There is a baby on the way,” Kat Ashley stated.

“Yes, ma'am. And soon too.”

“I’m glad you’re here. I could not do this by myself.”

(Paul Streitz, Elizabeth’s Son. A Tudor drama of the Earl of Oxford, son of the Virgin Queen.)


9.1. Was the Earl of Oxford the son of Queen Elizabeth?
9.2. Was the Earl of Oxford Queen Elizabeth’s lover?
9.3. Was the Earl of Southampton the son of Oxford?
9.4. Was Queen Elizabeth a virgin?