Arbella Stuart

Life Story

Arbella Stuart was the granddaughter of two of the most ambitious women of the Tudor age – Margaret Douglas and Bess of Hardwick. Brought up with an education befitting a future queen, Arbella’s family hoped that she would succeed Elizabeth I, but the queen, who hated all mention of successors, ensured that Arbella was kept away from the limelight. Under James, Arbella’s life took a turn for the better, but she could never escape the curse of royal blood.

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Following in the Footsteps

Most of Arbella’s life was spent at Hardwick Hall, but once she joined the court of James VI & I, she had more freedom and stayed in several palaces in the south of England – until a forbidden marriage brought her to the Tower of London.

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Find out more about Lady Arbella Stuart

Many of Arbella’s biographers have raised the intriguing possibility that she suffered from the inherited disease, porphyria. But do the claims stand up to scrutiny?

Book Reviews

Arbella has been the subject of many biographies over the years, and also plays a part in works on other monarchs. Her cousin, James VI of Scotland was the eventual heir to Elizabeth, ruling in England as James I. The latest biography of him, by Steven Veerapen, is reviewed here.