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People/Characters: Frances Carr, Countess of Somerset

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Works (2)

TitlesOrder
The Tower of London in the History of England by A. L. Rowse
Uppity Women of Shakespearean Times by Vicki LeonFrances Howard

Character description

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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