I recently had the opportunity to watch a documentary on PBS called Elizabeth I: Killer Queen?. The show piqued my interest when I saw it listed on my guide because it went over theories that connected Queen Elizabeth I to the death of Lady Amy Robsart Dudley.
You see, the Queen had been involved in an affair with Robert Dudley in the first few years of her reign. They were in love, according to many rumors at court, and they wanted to marry each other. The thing was Robert already had a wife – Amy. He married her when she was 18 in about 1550 but there were long separations and after a while, he all but abandoned her for the Queen. Her Majesty was head over heels in love with him, although many believe (myself included) that his love only extended to the power that came with her favor. I personally feel that Robert was not capable of loving anything beyond himself. Anyway, two years into Elizabeth’s new reign, Lady Amy suddenly turned up dead. She was found with a broken neck at the bottom of a staircase in a home where she had been staying, far away from court. Some said it was an accident. Some said it was suicide. Some said it was murder. Centuries have passed without the mystery ever being solved and Amy’s death ensured that Elizabeth could never marry Robert. As history famously records, she became The Virgin Queen and never took a husband at all.
What does this have to do with me? Well, as many of you already know, Amy was my other identified past life much earlier than Fanny. I have known I was Amy for years, although I’m not very vocal about it. I don’t hide it but I don’t go around yelling, “Hey, I used to be Lady Amy Robsart Dudley a zillion years ago! Cool, right?” because the truth is it’s not cool at all.
Before I even knew about Amy on a historical level, I spent the majority of my life battling an irrational and bizarre phobia of staircases. It’s such a weird phobia but it has been with me for as long as I can remember. My family often veers between making fun of this phobia or losing patience with it. Since I’m disabled, I have to be carried up and down stairs a lot and simply being on a staircase at all sends me into a panic attack even if I’m totally secure and surrounded by people. Basically everyone in my life has witnessed the intense fear I feel, especially going down stairs. The only people I really feel secure with on staircases are my brother Michael, my uncle Ben, my friends Lindsey, Sarah, Ryan and Sergey. Even with them, I still find myself either repeating, “Don’t let me fall,” or fighting the urge not to repeat it out of embarrassment.
I never attributed this phobia to anything past life related until well into adulthood though. It’s perfectly natural for someone with a disability to be fearful of staircases but the difference with me throughout my life was I never saw myself falling in a wheelchair. Even in childhood, visions of falling down stairs were of me on my feet. That’s not normal. I don’t have a clue of what it feels like to stand on a staircase or feel like I’m being pushed down them.
When I was about twelve or thirteen, we lived in a townhouse on Dorset Road in St. Louis. The stairs in that townhouse were split, meaning it went down about four or five steps, made a 90 degree right turn on a small landing, and then made another 90 degree right turn down to the first floor. I often found myself looking down the first portion of the stairs from my bedroom having strange visions of being thrown down the stairs. It repeated over and over again in my mind’s eye if I gave into it, so I simply avoided it at all costs. I always felt myself pitched forward against my will when I was on those stairs.
Much later in life, I found out myself as Amy had been found at the bottom of stairs of a very similar design. It was such a similar design that I was experiencing flashbacks without knowing it.
The question if whether Amy had been murdered or not will always be hotly debated by Tudor historians unless a confession document by her murderer is ever found. I have maintained since I came forward with who I was that I was murdered. The anger, resentment, sorrow and abandonment that I feel in connection to that time does not coincide with someone who accidentally tripped on her skirt and fell. The question of suicide has always made me cry out, “NO!” with the kind of fervor that translates in me as being insulted. I don’t know exactly how it was done or by whom but I’m certain I didn’t go of my own accord. My feeling is that someone came up behind me on the staircase and hit me with some object, which sent me flying down the stairs. I also feel that my body was arranged by the killer to look like an accident. I was found with my dress in order and my head veil still in place despite gaping head wounds and a broken leg. Things don’t fit.
I have had a couple of repeating nightmares about that time since before I knew someone named Amy Robsart Dudley existed. They began by being triggered by encountering who Robert is today. I had fallen for a man who was – big shocker – a womanizer, a liar, and manipulated people to get further in life. Basically “Robert” hasn’t grown or changed much at all in 450 years and we were briefly reconnected in a toxic relationship. Such relationships often repeat in different lifetimes until they are done correctly or until they are resolved. Being with him again (without knowing it yet) brought on nightmares about his abuse and abandonment during the Tudor period. I was very confused and disillusioned by the nightmares because I couldn’t believe this “knight in shining armor” brought out such darkness from my subconscious.
They were not very lengthy nightmares or filled with historical detail. One was of me in a nightgown reaching for a candle on my bedside table and seeing bruises on my inner wrist. I pulled back the sleeve and saw what looked like marks from someone wrenching me by my forearm. Then fear set in until I reminded myself that he was gone. I looked in a foggy mirror and saw similar bruises on my face. Does this mean Amy was a battered wife when he did see her or is this a visual representation of how abused and alone I felt? I doubt I’ll ever know for sure.
Another dream involved being almost full term pregnant and thrown against a stone wall by him. I actually saw him that time. I felt my back and my head smash into the stone wall. It led to a stillborn child. Officially Amy had no children but so very little is known about her life that it’s entirely possible a stillbirth has been lost to history. I have searched high and low for evidence of a pregnancy but I have found that Amy has largely been reduced to a scandal in Robert’s life. Only two letters of her entire life survive in the present. The only chatter about her from other people was gossip in Elizabeth’s court. Amy almost never set foot at court because Elizabeth was notoriously jealous of other women. She needed to be the center of the universe.
I also have one very clear recollection of begging Robert not to go back to court. I could describe in great detail what the room looked like, what the clothing looked like, what was said, etc. It was that vivid. What was equally as vivid was the sensation of being no more important to him than a valued servant, not a wife, and how it wasn’t always that way. There had been love once, before her.
Lastly, I have the slightest hint of a recollection of what I think was my last moments. It was shadowy and difficult to pinpoint because I have meditated on it numerous times instead of it coming by spontaneous recall like the other clearer memories. I was in a confined space and felt someone behind me so I looked over my left shoulder. There I saw the leg of a man before everything went black. It was an intense moment of fear like when you think you’re alone but you realize you’re not.
The majority of my recollections came before I knew about Amy yet I had knowledge of certain things. I called my former involvement “Robert” in one of the recollections without knowing who he was at the time. Most importantly, I described what he looked like to multiple people before Robert Dudley ever came across my desk as a historical figure. It could not have been more exact than if I had drawn a picture of him. Added to that are repeating date and name phenomenon often seen with past life evidence. As I put together the case, I found the repeating dates and names lining up with both “Robert” and myself. None of it came to light, however, until after we ended our toxic relationship. I knew that he was a stagnate soul unwilling to learn from his lifetime upon lifetime of mistakes. No matter what I did or how I loved him, he was not going to be worthy of that love.
My theory about what happened to me in 1560 is that Robert Dudley’s men, his supporters, thought if I was gone, he stood a shot at marrying the Queen of England. If Robert rose, so would his friends. I think no more than three discussed it and just one did the actual deed. It was not as simple as being pushed down the stairs and breaking my neck. The man approached from behind and struck the back of my head with some object of force and I went flying down the stairs, breaking a leg on the way, and breaking my neck at the bottom. Then I think he messed with the position of my body and the layout of my clothes and veil to ensure it resembled an actual fall. Robert was not directly involved but he was indirectly at fault for his ambition becoming bigger than himself. It destroyed both of us.
I don’t think I passed into the afterlife for many years either. I think my sense of anger and betrayal about how everything played out meant that I was unwilling to die – unwilling to accept my end. In other words, I was a ghost for a long time before something intervened and I moved into the afterlife in order to reincarnate again. Not every haunting is a permanent state of being. In fact, very few are permanent. Spirits can move into the afterlife of their own free will or they can be “rescued” by those in both the living world or the spirit world. I have no idea how I managed to move on from that kind of life, to be honest. I still feel quite a lot of anger when I hear those names.