By Leo Daugherty
Ferdinando Stanley used to be the 5th earl of Derby, a number one claimant to the throne. thought of a guy who had every little thing, he used to be additionally the consumer of the corporate of gamers which used to be lucky sufficient to incorporate William Shakespeare. on the time, Shakespeare used to be an up-and-coming junior member who had simply all started to jot down performs for them--plays which have been already the controversy of London. Lord Stanley used to be incalculably wealthy, having married one of many wealthiest heiresses in England. His domestic in Lancashire was once known as the "Northern court docket" due to its grandness, surpassing any in England yet (perhaps) the Queen's personal. Then sooner or later, April Fool's Day, 1594, he used to be reportedly approached through a witch (one of the well-known legion of "Lancashire witches") and so they engaged briefly dialog whereas walking open air his greatest palace, Lathom corridor. 4 days later, he fell violently unwell. For twelve days he lingered, whereas 4 of the simplest medical professionals within the kingdom, together with the recognized Dr. John Case of Oxford, worked in useless to save lots of him. of his retainers wrote gruesomely distinct money owed of the growth of his "diseases"--accounts that live to tell the tale in manuscript this present day. while he died, Dr. Case used to be heard to murmur (as pronounced through Sir George Carey, the earl's brother-in-law): "Flat poisoning. And none different but." For months after his passing and interment, not anyone may well get shut adequate to the kinfolk crypt to pay his or her respects due to an overpowering stench that persisted to emanate from his physique. Who killed him and why? Historians began debating that question nearly once he died, and outraged gossip was once to be heard all over in England. This ebook experiences the loss of life of Lord Derby in the speedy contexts of Elizabethan energy politics, succession mania, passionate spiritual controversy, the documents of sought after households within the North, and the cult of character simply then commencing to turn into a significant factor within the nation's social heritage. The book's scope additionally contains subcultural contexts similar to Elizabethan poetry (Lord Derby used to be a pastoral love poet, a few of whose paintings survives), witchcraft, drugs, undercover agent networks, and either licensed and disapproved tools of political assassination (with poison being the main frowned upon due to its disreputable "Italianate" connotations). This ebook is the 1st to survey and learn the approximately 420-year-old documentary list when it comes to the loss of life of Lord Derby, together with all proper unique manuscripts, a few of that have remained unprinted beforehand. this is often the 1st research to piece jointly these kinds of fragmentary, disparate scraps of knowledge to shape a coherent narrative--a tale not only of the assassination of 1 of the main trendy individuals of the interesting "Age of Elizabeth" but additionally of eu strength politics as an entire over the last decade of the 16th century. it's also the 1st to provide an answer to the "murder secret" that's in accordance with unique records (most of them being heated back-and-forth letters written instant to and from the principals, either instantly sooner than and instantly after the assassination). This ebook could be of curiosity to all readers attracted to Elizabethan heritage, literature, and politics, probably in particular those people who are drawn to the striking significant avid gamers of the age: Elizabeth, Essex, Lord Burghley, his son and successor Sir Robert Cecil, and the Stanleys of Lancashire--the latter so trendy within the early heritage performs of the younger Shakespeare, who spun these performs to be able to flatter his Stanley patrons.