3rd Earl of Southampton
|There were rumors at Court that Elizabeth and Oxford were romantically
involved. "..."… that even the count of Oxford dared not reconcile
himself with his wife for fear of losing the favour, which he hoped to
receive, by becoming your lover. Marie R."
The Letter of Scandal from Mary, Queen of Scots to Elizabeth I, 1584
In May 1574, Elizabeth started her summer royal progress to
Woodstock, but instead went to Havering-attre-Bowre. This was an
ancestral estate of the de Vere family. She stayed there to July. Shortly
after she resumed her progress in July, Oxford fled to Europe.
Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton, fled to the Continent in
1574 under suspicion of traitorous behavior with the Catholics. He was
persuaded to return home by the Earl of Sussex. When he returned home
he found Sir Thomas Dymoke had been installed by the Queen in his
household. The earl’s wife had recently given birth to a son. The
conclusion is that the Queen's child was put in the family to be raised as
the 3rd Earl of Southampton.
He made a will in June 1581 and although claiming to be in good health
in the will died four months later on October 4, 1581. Upon the earl’s
death his putative son also named Henry became the ward of the Queen
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