>Once upon a time in England….

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The lady in the above portrait on the left is an unknown woman of the Tudor period but largely believed to be Lady Amy Robsart Dudley upon the occasion of her marriage to Lord Robert Dudley on June 4, 1550. I believe this portrait is, in fact, Lady Amy. More accurately, I do believe and have believed for many years that I was Lady Amy in one of my previous lives. To read about my reincarnation case, please visit this page that describes it in detail.

Lord Robert Dudley

I have been rather unsettled by being aware of that lifetime for as long as I’ve known about it. I almost never talk about it openly, mainly because I haven’t made peace with it yet, but also because there is so much controversy about it that the things I remember can never be proved. The things I remember will damage Lord Robert Dudley’s reputation even more than just the whisper of a hint that he might have been involved in my death. The only solid, known fact is I was found at the bottom of a staircase at my home. How I got there has been pondered and speculated over since then. Was it murder? Was it suicide? Was it an accident? There are arguments for and against all of those scenarios but nobody really knows. There was never a smoking gun, so to speak.

It is known that Robert enjoyed an unusually close relationship with Queen Elizabeth I and harbored desires to marry her even though he was already married to me. That was enough to wound me enough that I wound still resent him now but adding everything else on top of it, I have a lot to work out before I feel any peace over it. I resent him still – the man he was then and the man he is now – and I still haven’t found it in me to totally forgive and let go. Maybe if he had been kinder to me in this lifetime, but it just wasn’t in him. So, I never really talk about it. I don’t want to sound like a bitter, scorned woman. The truth is, though, my wounds from England don’t change the truth of what I know happened in terrible detail. It’s not even really my death that I’m talking about. I truthfully don’t know if he had anything to do with it but I know he was capable of getting rid of me based on his previous behavior. I suspect that he had something to do with it.

Our marriage wasn’t always a source of bitter contention though. We were happy in the beginning, but then again, we were very young. Everybody is happy when they’re eighteen and hormones are raging and their marriage is important enough for the King of England to party with them. Robert was in jail for much of our early marriage for being involved in the plot to make Lady Jane Grey into the Queen. After Elizabeth ascended to the throne, I think that’s where things started to go bad for us. He left me alone for months at a time because he was at her beck and call. I wasn’t stupid. I knew what was happening but I kept quiet about it for the most part when he was home. If I questioned him about her, there was a lot of anger and telling me to mind my tongue and things of that nature. Looking back on it now, I suppose he was angry because he thought he was married to the wrong woman and there was nothing he could do about it and I couldn’t do anything to keep him home.

Broad example of a Tudor room.

I’ve had a recurring dream about this period. Like I have written before about it: I was seated quite stiffly and formally in a room in an old home that had timbers across the ceiling and a massive fireplace. There was a large table to my left and a man seated in front of me dressed in late Tudor attire (it originally took a bit of research to figure out what he was wearing). The atmosphere was so tense that I was fighting tears. Finally, I began to plead with the man to stay and to convince him that he didn’t need to leave again. At first, I felt as if I might have been a servant because I feared that man as much as I needed him, but I slowly peeled back the layers until I realized that I did love him at some point but it was covered over by intimidation at that time. My sense of it boiled down to (in modern words), “If he doesn’t leave again, we can salvage this mess.” The man appeared as stubborn as he did resolute in his impending departure, which seemed to break me even more. He stood, and in passing, squeezed my hand. I woke up at that moment each time feeling lost as if I forgot where I was in the present.

The parts that I hesitate to talk about usually involve physical abuse. It’s not something I can prove and there are a lot of people who still like and admire Lord Dudley, so I could make enemies with the things I say. Regardless of reactions people might have, that doesn’t change the truth. I’m one of those people who has to talk it out or write it out to make sense of any troubling issue and to make peace with it. Blogging is cathartic. Sometimes if I “blog it out” whatever dream is troubling me will go away, at least temporarily. It can’t matter to me that people might not accept that there was abuse.

The thing is, officially I had no children with him at that time, but I did. I had a premature stillborn child. There was an incident in which I had angered him somehow and I think it was at night because I was in my nightgown. I was following him. He was walking fast, trying to get away, and rubbing his forehead the way a man does when he’s angry. Then he turned suddenly and backhanded me hard enough that I slammed into a wall, which felt like it was made of stone. A medium friend confirmed this incident without me telling her about it and she filled in the blank that this incident triggered labor and I had a baby that never drew breath and it was all done away with and hushed up quickly. I wondered how it could be possible that a woman could be pregnant and have a stillborn child without history taking note of it. When I asked someone who has studied Tudor and Elizabethan history, I was told that miscarriages and stillbirths happened so much that they were often not recorded, even in upper classes. So while it’s not proven that I was pregnant once, it’s not totally outside of the realm of possibility either, especially when one considers how very little is actually known about “Lady Amy” and how isolated women were when they were pregnant.

In another recurring dream, I stood in a bedchamber wearing what I supposed to be like a nightgown but I don’t know if that’s the right word. I reached for a candle on a table and I noticed discoloration on my wrist peeking out from the sleeve. I pulled the sleeve back and saw a series of bruises along my forearm as if I had been grabbed and wrenched violently. The man from my previous dream who I later discovered was Robert went through my mind. I went to a wall where a mirror hung. One side of my face appeared slightly battered. Despite the fear and intimidation rushing into me, I also experienced feelings of relief that he was gone, mixed with the longing and mourning for the man I had married.

Depiction of Amy on the stairs.

Being a battered wife in a time where there was no help is harder to cope with for me than being pushed down a flight of stairs, or falling down a flight of stairs, or whatever happened. Like I said, given his violent eruptions at that time (he was not always violent though), I do think he was capable of doing something drastic if he was determined enough to marry Elizabeth. I encountered Robert again in this lifetime. I fell in love with him instantly and it made me angry much of the time because he was stringing me along and made it seem like he was unhappy with his fiance. I never did anything inappropriate with him but our relationship was magnetic, dark, complicated, and my nightmares of violence and intensity became so much more frequent and intrusive in my life when he was part of it. It was like my subconscious was throwing red flags at my conscious mind telling me to run for my life. He has not improved the condition of his soul at all. He’s still a womanizer, a liar, a manipulator, and he never takes responsibility for his own actions. We severed ties with each other when things got too weird and intense. I know now that I am not going to be able to fix him. Only he can fix whatever broken part of himself that makes him treat women the way he does.

I still can’t be anywhere near staircases without feeling a rush of terror and impending doom. The weird staircase phobia has been in me since I started toddling around as a little girl. People in my family used to make fun of it until I realized why I was so fearful. Thankfully they stopped making fun of me. Even though I know why I get panicky on staircases now, I still haven’t overcome the fear, especially when there are turns in the steps. I freeze up and close my eyes until it’s over. It’s a very bizarre feeling to be somewhere typically very harmless but have thoughts chanting in your brain like, “I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die.” I don’t even like sidewalk curbs. It takes a split-second to fall down a set of stairs, but when it’s the end of your life, that split-second takes an eternity and opens big wounds on the soul that turn into phobias later. One day I will manage to overcome it all. Cutting ties with that man was a huge step in the healing process. We will have to work out our issues in a future lifetime but it’s not going to happen in this one.

3 responses to “>Once upon a time in England….”

  1. Anonymous says:

    >I wonder who I was a long long time ago now. Thanks for making me think! lol

    Bright Blessing's!

  2. Courtney says:

    >What you describe sounds fairly typical for the time frame and the way men treated women, especially women they may have only married for the family alliance or whatever. (Not that I doubt Amy & Robert were once in love and that circumstances & Robert's ambition tore them apart.)

    I do believe that it's entirely possible that Robert had something to do with Amy's death. I've also read the argument that certain advisors close to Elizabeth, eager to prevent Dudley from becoming the Consort, had Amy killed. They knew the resulting scandal would effectively prevent Elizabeth from marrying Robert.

    Whatever happened, it was awful that a young woman died violently.

    There's something I am curious about though, if you're comfortable with answering. I've heard various rumors that allege that Amy was ill, possibly with breast cancer. Is there any truth to that?

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading about your life as Amy. Thanks for sharing.

  3. grace_face says:

    >I think Amy's life should be documented in a novel or a period film. She needs a voice written by your hand.

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