Born – 31st March 1555
Died – 16th January 1582
Father – Sir William Cavendish (1505 – 1557)
Mother – Bess of Hardwick (1527 – 1608)
Spouse – m. 1574 – Charles Stuart, Earl of Lennox (1557 – 1576)
Children – Arabella Stuart (1575 – 1615)
1555 (31st March)
Elizabeth Cavendish, was born to Bess of Hardwick and William Cavendish at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire. She was the couple’s sixth child.
1556 (17th December)
Elizabeth’s sister, Mary, was born to Bess of Hardwick and William Cavendish.
Elizabeth’s father, William Cavendish was accused of embezzling Crown funds.
1557 (25th October)
Sir William Cavendish died in London. His charge of embezzlement had not been settled and his death left the family in debt to the Crown.
1558 (17th November)
Queen Mary I died. She was succeeded by her half-sister who took the throne as Queen Elizabeth I.
Elizabeth’s mother married Sir William St Loe, a widower with children. Sir William was Captain of the Guard to Elizabeth I. St Loe managed to intercede with Queen Elizabeth to have Bess’s debt to the Crown negated.
Bess of Hardwick, a Lady of the Bedchamber, was sent to the Tower of London for not telling Queen Elizabeth that Katherine Grey, sister of Jane Grey, had married Edward Seymour without permission.
Elizabeth’s stepfather, William St Loe died. He left his entire estate to Bess of Hardwick.
Elizabeth’s mother married George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, a widower with six children. Bess gained the title Countess of Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury owned a number of properties including Tutbury Castle, Pontefract Castle, Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor.
Elizabeth’s sister Mary married Shrewsbury’s son Gilbert Talbot and her brother, Henry married Shrewsbury’s daughter Grace in a double wedding celebration.
1568 (16th May)
Mary Queen of Scots crossed the Solway Firth into England where she sought the protection of Queen Elizabeth I. The Scots Queen had fled to England seeking refuge and support after being implicated in the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley. However, Elizabeth saw her as a threat and wanted her carefully watched. She was taken to Wokington Hall.
Elizabeth’s mother and stepfather George Talbot, were informed by Queen Elizabeth that they were to be guardians of Mary Queen of Scots at Tutbury Castle.
Mary Queen of Scots was moved to Tutbury Castle and placed in the care of George Talbot. Talbot’s close relationship with the Scots’ Queen as well as the financial cost of housing their ‘guest’ placed a strain on Elizabeth’s mother’s marriage.
Elizabeth accompanied her mother to stay with Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, mother of the Queen of Scots’ murdered husband, Lord Darnley. While there Elizabeth fell in love with Margaret’s son, Charles Stuart. The young couple married without Queen Elizabeth’s permission.
Elizabeth I was furious when she discovered that Charles Stuart and Elizabeth Cavendish had married. Bess of Hardwick, Margaret Douglas and the young couple were summoned to London.
On arrival in London, Charles and Elizabeth were placed under house arrest at Hackney and forbidden to meet or communicate with any other persons.
An enquiry into the marriage of Elizabeth Cavendish and Charles Stuart found no evidence of treason.
A daughter, Arabella Stuart, was born to Charles Stuart and Elizabeth Cavendish.
Charles Stuart, died of tuberculosis leaving Elizabeth Cavendish a widow.
Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, Elizabeth’s mother-in-law died.
Elizabeth Cavendish died. Her daughter Arabella was placed in the care of her grandmother, Bess of Hardwick.
Published Apr 30, 2022 @ 2:11 pm – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2022). Elizabeth Cavendish, Countess of Lennox 1555 – 1582.