Thursday, October 22, 2015

GLORIANA! The ABC's of the Reign of Our Most Gracious Sovereign, Elizabeth K is for Kirby Hall

Elizabeth I had no problem with the filter between her brain and her mouth; she just acted that way.
Image result for no filter
"I just said that out loud, didn't I. . . "
Her comment to a courtier, upon visiting his house, was pithy and insulting; 'My Lord, what a little house you've gotten!" 
(That gem comes courtesy of Suzannah Lipscomb from her book,  A Visitor's Guide to Tudor England .) 

Elizabeth returned, however, to that 'little house' some years later - something she never got around to doing when one of her favorite loverboys from court built this pile named Kirby Hall: 
Kirby Hall - Northhamptonshire
Sir Christopher Hatton 
Sir Christopher Hatton was Elizabeth I's on-the-down-low boyfriend. Or one of them, anyway.
was a man in the Elizabethan court, desperately in love with the queen, and she, if not as desperately in love with him, never failed to send him silver-gilt plate - which is silver covered with a layer of gold - in amounts up to 10X as much by weight as anyone else received.
As a young man, Sir Christopher Hatton got Elizabeth's attention while strutting his stuff to the music at court.

He was a handsome devil, and moved like a dream on the dance floor. 
Elizabeth I had him on her personal security squad 
Wrong Elizabeth's security team - but right idea. .. . 
faster than you can say kevlar vest - and soon after that, he was in charge of it.

Hatton, an orphan from the time he was a little kid, had a sweet nature and although he had every reason not to be modest because he had it all; good looks, money, the favor of the queen, snappy dresser and good dancer, he was very modest about his good fortune. 
Naturally, many of the courtiers hated him.
"Hey, Orphan Boy, quit being so LIKABLE!"
Hatton was also a great guy who helped out the artistic community by serving as the benefactor/angel to keep the creativity alive.
Not just creativity, either, but also discovery.
Sir Francis Drake, whose ship was called The Golden Hind after the golden hind:

 associated with the Hatton family, received backing from Christopher Hatton to explore the oceans and exploitable lands of the earth. 

As Hatton had so much love for the queen that he wrote the soppiest of love letters to her 
every single time they were apart, he wanted to please her.
And how best to please Elizabeth I? 
By taking on the expense of a visit from her, her people, her servants, her animals, her furniture and wall hangings (all transportable) 

- feeding all those mouths, entertaining the queen, feeding the mouths of those entertaining the queen - the list goes on forever.
A visit from Elizabeth was the kind of favor she expected asked of her favorite people.
If you're thinking it sounds like the kind of favor that could drive a person to bankruptcy, you are absolutely right.


Here's the inside courtyard of the site of Hatton's longed-for visit from his queen (above.) 

Looks decent enough, don't you think?

After working on his home improvement project for ten years, and going broke as a result, Hatton's thanks was this: she never even showed up.
Not happening, Hatton. 
And then Hatton, with his love and his hopes dashed, got another ugly surprise.
Every single penny he owed the crown (meaning Elizabeth) was due at that instant and not in that instant plus even a single second,

 he went from hopes dashed to man destroyed.

Heartbroken by the avarice and just plain meanness of Elizabeth I, he responded with such dignified hurt that for perhaps the first time in her life, she regretted her cavalier treatment she'd shown her very loyal servant.
"I thought you liked me?"
A crushed Hatton whose health was destroyed got busy dying.

Hatton, on a serious downward spiral was visited by the queen who fed him and comforted him, and generally tried to make up for the shit way she'd treated him.

Too little, too late, and she'd shown him a capricious nature she'd inherited from her father, and the parsimonious genes from her grandfather, Henry VII.
It destroyed the sweet-natured Hatton.
He died, ill and only fifty-one years old - his massive building project having never fulfilled his purpose, and no doubt his faith in love smashed beyond repair.
The legend around his death is that heartbreak at the sting of Elizabeth's unforgivable treatment actually *did* break his heart, his spirit, and ultimately killed him.
Not a nice ending to the story.
Not nice at all.

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