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She had Friends in High Places,
but Blood on her Hands!
- Elizabeth Cooke was the daughter
of Sir Anthony Cooke from Essex. He was teacher to the boy King,
Edward VI, in Tudor Times.
- Girls didn’t usually get an
education in those days. Elizabeth and her sisters did though. They
were very clever.
- In 1558, she married Sir Thomas
Hoby and became Lady Hoby. They lived at Bisham
'Abbey' Manor. Thomas was very
clever too and was made Ambassador to France. He died there and Lady
Hoby remarried to Lord Russell.
- Lady Hoby’s brother-in-law was
Lord Burghley. He was the Secretary of State in Queen Elizabeth I’s
reign. This was a bit like being the Prime Minister today.
- Lady Hoby used Burghley’s
position to get nice jobs for all her friends. She became a very close
friend of Queen Elizabeth too.
- She was a very strong character:
stubborn, arrogant and self-important. Legend says she beat her young
son to death because he made ink spots all over his school books!
- In old age, her favourite hobby
was taking the law into her own hands and suing people for fun!
- The servants of her neighbour,
Lord Lovelace of Hurley, nearly had a big fight with Lady Hoby’s
servants because she had locked two of them up.
- She died in 1609 and has a
fantastic monument in Bisham Church, but her ghost still haunts the Abbey!