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Elizabeth I visits Otford

Elizabeth I visited Otford where she stayed in her own mansion from July 23 to 28 July 1559.[1]  Supplementary space also had to be found here, and Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, acting as host, had his tents sent from London at the cost of 77s 8d.  In one of the tents he entertained the queen to a banquet costing £6 14 0d.[2]  It is likely that she went hunting while in Kent because the earl of Derby wrote to Robert Dudley on 15 July 1559 that he had been looking out for a lyme dog and suitable greyhounds which he would send ‘when the Quenes highnes shalbe in progesse.’[3] Also Robert Dudley’s account book shows that he sent two bucks from Otford to Mr Chelsham and Mr Gresham, the carriage cost of which was 6s 8d.

[1] MacCaffrey, Sir Henry Sidney (1529-1586) (

[2] Adams S. (ed.), Household Accounts and Disbursements Books of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, 1558-1561 & 1584-1586  (London 1995) pp.76-77, accounts 20/12/1558 to 20/12/1559.

[3] Owen G.D. (ed.), Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Most Honourable the Marquess of Bath; Talbot, Dudley and Devereux papers 1533-1659 (London, 1980) V p.142.

(from Pittman, S. (2011) Elizabethan and Jacobean Deer Parks in Kent. PhD Thesis submitted to the University of Kent at Canterbury)