People/Characters: Frances Carr, Countess of Somerset

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The Tower of London in the History of England by A. L. Rowse

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Frances Carr, née Howard (1590-1632), Countess of Somerset, was involved in a sensational 17th-century English scandal. She was married at the age of 13 to the young Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, to unite two warring factions at court; but she fell in love with Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, the favorite of King James I. When she sued for annulment of her first marriage, the case became a public spectacle overlaid with suspicion of the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, a close friend of the Earl of Somerset. She was found guilty but spared execution, and was eventually pardoned by the king in 1622.

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