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“The Queen who never was” – report

Sheffield Cathedral – Friday 25 September 2015

Some time ago  I suggested to David Templeman of the Friends of Sheffield Manor Lodge the idea of Bess of Hardwick reflecting on her life with George Talbot the Sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, by herself, in the Shrewsbury Chapel of Sheffield Cathedral. After the success of the Lady Arbella Stuart event on Friday 25 September let’s hope this is next on the agenda.

300 Sheffielders attended what was a poignant, interesting and thoroughly entertaining night, performed against the backdrop of the ancient stones of what is my favourite Sheffield building, subtly illuminated as opposed to the gloomy shadows of Wolf Hall. It was a commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Arbella’s tragic death, performed with dignity, pomp and circumstance and accompanied by the authentic music of the Doncaster Waites with costumed players and a cast dressed in their Tudor best.

David’s talk – the first part of the event – climaxed with the ultimate tragedy of this victim of circumstance which her heartbroken but stoic shade later reflected upon before a solemn and dignified promenade and a laying of a floral tribute (which the Cathedral does like no other in the city). It was history and human tragedy brought to life in a manner that did credit to all those concerned.

Little wonder I was on my feet applauding with the audience and calling Bravo! Bravo!

Ron Clayton



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