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Amy Dudley
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Biographical Information
Real Name: Amy Robsart
Title: Lady Dudley
Born: 7 June 1532
Death: 8 September 1560
Age: 28
Religion: Protestant
Gender: Female Female.png
Originally From: London, England
Husband: Robert Dudley
Family: Sir John Robsart (Father)

Elizabeth Scott (Mother)

COD: Broken Neck
TV Character Information
First appearance: Three Queens, Two Tigers
Portrays: Amy Dudley
Portrayed by: Clara Pasieka

Amy Dudley was the first wife of Robert Dudley, favorite of Queen Elizabeth of England. She is primarily known for her death by falling down a flight of stairs, the circumstances of which have often been regarded as suspicious.


Amy Robsart was born in Norfolk, the heiress of a substantial gentleman-farmer and grazier, Sir John Robsart, and his wife, Elizabeth Scott. Amy grew up at her mother's house, and, like her future husband, in a firmly Protestant household. She received a good education and wrote in a fine hand. Three days before her 18th birthday she married Robert Dudley. Amy and Robert, who were of the same age, probably first met about ten months before their wedding. The wedding contract of May 1550 specified that Amy would inherit her father's estate only after both her parents' death, and after the marriage the young couple depended heavily on both their fathers' gifts, especially Robert's. Their marriage was rare, as is was organized out of love, and not for profit. The marriage was celebrated on 4 June 1550 at the royal palace of Sheen, with King Edward VI in attendance.

The Earl of Warwick and future Duke of Northumberland was the most powerful man in England, leading the government of the young King Edward VI. The match, though by no means a prize, was acceptable to him as it strengthened his influence in Norfolk. The young couple dwelt mostly at court or with Amy's parents-in-law. On May 1553 Lady Jane Grey became Amy Dudley's sister-in-law, and after her rule of a fortnight as England's queen, Robert Dudley was sentenced to death and imprisoned in The Tower of London. He remained there from July 1553 till October 1554, where Amy was allowed to visit him.

After his release the couple lived in strait financial circumstances until, with the Elizabeth Tudor became Queen in 1558, Dudley became Master of the Horse, an important court office. The Queen soon fell in love with him and there was talk that Amy Dudley, who did not follow her husband to court, was suffering from an illness, and that Elizabeth would perhaps marry Robert when she died. The rumors grew more sinister when Elizabeth remained single and would not marry any of her foreign suitors.

Amy Dudley lived with friends in different parts of the country, having her own household and hardly ever seeing her husband. On the morning of 8 September 1560, at Cumnor Place near Oxford, she insisted on sending away her servants and was later found dead at the foot of a flight of stairs with a broken neck and two wounds on her head. The coroner's jury's finding was that she had died of a fall downstairs; the verdict was "misfortune", accidental death.

Amy Dudley's death caused a scandal. Despite the inquest's outcome, Robert Dudley was widely suspected to have orchestrated his wife's demise, a view not shared by most modern historians. He remained Elizabeth's closest favorite, but with respect to her reputation she could not risk a marriage with him.


  • Married for love, and 3 days before her 18th birthday.
  • Married Robert Dudley on June 4, 1550, with King Edward VI  (Brother of Queen Elizabeth) in attendance.
  • Sister-in-law to Lady Jane Grey, who was known as the '9 Day Queen of England.'
  • Married for 10 years, but never had any children. Died at 28 years old.
  • The most widely accepted modern explanations of her death have been breast cancer and suicide, although a few historians have probed murder scenarios. The medical evidence of the coroner's report, which was found in 2008, is compatible with suicide and other violence.

Family Tree

John Dudley
Jane Guildford
John Dudley
Ambrose Dudley
Lettice Knollys
Robert Dudley
Amy Robsart
Guildford Dudley
Lady Jane Grey
Mary Dudley
Katherine Dudley
Robert Dudley
Sir Robert Dudley