Amy Robsart Dudley by William Frederick Yeames (1877); public domain
Of Rumors, Scandals, Eclipses, and a Symbolic Horoscope of a Mysterious Death
by Jude Cowell
One of the more famous cold cases of the Western world is that of Amy Robsart Dudley's mysterious death on September 8, 1560 at Cumnor Place, Norfolk, England. A rival of Queen Elizabeth I for the attentions of Lord Robert Dudley, Amy's husband, the mystery is well known and well documented through the centuries. Perhaps Forensic Astrology can provide a few clues concerning the event if not the name or names of the culprit/s. A few basic rules relating to death charts are listed, below.
Lady Amy Robsart was born June 7, 1532 (OS) in Norfolk, England during an unknown hour. At noon that day, her Sun was @25Gemini and Moon @12Leo. And since the Moon remained in solar-ruled Leo for the entire 24-hour period--assuming that her date of birth is correct--Amy was born under the influence of Sun Gem-Moon Leo, a crackling 'live wire' Air-Fire combination of energies and a signature of the 'eternal child'. This personality blend reveals her to have been 'fussy about her love life' and an 'ideas person' (Harveys). By comparison, Elizabeth Tudor was a more practical, common sense sort of woman with a double Earth blend of Virgo and Taurus.
Lord Robert Dudley was born June 24, 1532 in London (RR: DD) so his and Amy's natal planetary positions are quite similar but with her Sun in Gemini, his in Cancer, and her Moon in Leo, his in late Pisces. His natal Moon conjoins Amy's natal Neptune which shows that theirs was a rosy romance, at least at the outset but other links were needed for stability. It is well known that the couple married for love a few days prior to their 18th birthdays on June 4, 1550 (OS). Later on Lord Robert Dudley married a second time to Lettice Knollys, and he died September 4, 1588 at Cornbury, England of unspecified causes, 28 years after first wife Amy's mysterious demise.
Queen Elizabeth I was born on September 7, 1532 (OS) with Sun @24Vir03 and Moon @7Tau33 and her natal chart (RR: AA) may be viewed at astro.com if you're curious about the 'Virgin Queen' whose natal Sun was, after all, in Virgo, sign of The Virgin. Yet rumors of her bearing five children with Dudley, her favorite companion, have circulated through the years and one of them is said to have been (Sir) Francis Bacon which implies that he was actually a Tudor. Well, I'm not certain of his true parentage though you'll find some interesting details online, plus, you'll also find his natal chart here (RR: C) and that he was born in early 1561, a few months after Amy's death. If Elizabeth I is his mother, she was pregnant with baby Francis when Amy died, a fact that could be significant to the mystery. View their natal charts side by side at Sir Bacon.org. There her chart shows 16Capricorn rising which is the first ASC I used for her until finding the earlier Ascendant of 6Capricorn at astrodatabank. ASC 16Cap brings asteroid Tisiphone with it which seems to fit her well with its penchant for retaliation. Do you see this daughter of Henry VIII as a Tisiphone figure?
Here's one documentary worth checking out if you haven't: Elizabeth I: Killer Queen.
Now as you know, several plausible theories for the cause and perpetrator of Amy's death may be found in books, articles, blogs, and websites if you're curious. Actually, you'll find a lot of information in the Elizabeth Files on Amy Robsart Dudley's death, plus, on other topics such as Elizabeth I and Lord Robert Dudley as possible murder suspects. Of course, one of Elizabeth's creatures, William Cecil (Dudley's rival for Elizabeth's favor) is said to have had a motive for killing Amy for the scandals and whispers concerning her death meant that Dudley and Elizabeth could never marry since it was thought that Elizabeth would never risk her reputation and royal crown by marrying Dudley once such a scandal tainted his own reputation. Thus, Cecil would retain his influence over the Queen and thereby maintain his honored position. In fact, William Cecil went on to become a very wealthy fellow.
Some Synchronicitous Astro-Curiosities
An intriguing cosmic synchronicity is shown in the horoscope, below, for Queen Elizabeth I ('QEI') had a Lunar Return (7Tau33) on the very day that Amy Robsart Dudley was killed, or should I say, murdered? There are many chart factors squished onto the chart (sorry!) but hopefully the image can be enlarged and/or printed for reading details. Sabian Symbols which include children, mothers, and such are noted and there are several. Was QEI expecting? Was Amy?
One primary example is wounded Chiron, apex of the brutally violent Mars-Pluto opposition across the Virgo-Pisces victim-savior axis (highlighted in red) which forms a dynamic, forceful T-Square pointing toward Chiron @8Sag44 which is rising in the behind-the-scenes 12th house of Karma and Politics--rounded up for Chiron (the wound; one who needs healing) we have, "A Mother with Her Children on the Stairs"!
Now as you know, Amy was discovered by the household servants returning from a day at the Abingdon Fair--discovered lifeless at the bottom of a staircase on which she allegedly fell, accidentally, the coroner's report said. A side note is that Dudley's natal Siva is conjoined by the 1560 Chiron. Please read the notes, upper right, concerning the Mars-Pluto opposition for more details on this 'brutal assault' pair. And I should also mention that Amy was born under a Mars-Pluto opposition as well but in the 00-1 degree range of Leo-Aquarius, the self-will axis. In fact, with Elizabeth, Dudley, and Amy all born in 1532 and 1533, they shared the same degree of Pluto--00AQ+. But Amy was the one with Mars @1Leo opposing Pluto and her opposition lies upon the 2/8 cusps of Elizabeth's Lunar Return chart.
Not penned on the chart is the fact that creepy Pluto can represent certain powerful figures when we take planets to signify 'actors'. Astrological Pluto can indicate The Pope and though such a theory involving the Vatican isn't mentioned on any of the websites or blogs I've read, or in any of the documentaries I've watched about the event, such a theory isn't completely at odds with the era since Elizabeth I returned England to Protestantism after Bloody Mary's Catholic reign, and for Elizabeth to marry could have meant Protestant offspring in the line of succession, something any Pope might wish to prevent at any cost.
So the destruction of Robert Dudley's reputation--already in tatters from spending all his time with Elizabeth--by assassinating his wife isn't so far out of the realm of possibility. Hence, Pluto orders the murder and Mars executes it--and note that the two planets are precisely at the same degree and minute--9:29 of Virgo and Pisces at the cosmic moment of Elizabeth's September Moon Return. Plus, Taurus rules the Neck, as you know, yet there seems to be some question as to whether Amy's neck was broken in the fall (which the coroner didn't mention). However, two blows to her head could not be disguised, and there's royal Jupiter in Aries, sign of the Head, which also happens to be the sign on the IC of the chart, the Endings-Partings-Death angle. Planets tend to be angular in Death Horoscopes, as you know, and Jupiter is a usual suspect for angularity since he expands what he touches, either positively or negatively, and Amy's ending was significant, I'd have to say, due to its history-changing ability.
Curiously, QEI's natal Moon is at a critical degree (7Taurus) and she isn't free of planetary links to Amy's death. In fact, if this post could be a book, we'd list them all. One of the more significant links is the Ascending degree of 20Sag53 for QEI's natal Jupiter, a planet of royalty and the freedom to do as one wishes, is placed @20Sag06 in her natal 11th house of Groups and Associations--so her Jupiter is rising in this chart. Also, noted on the chart, upper right--Amy was murdered the day after Elizabeth's 27th birthday (her Solar Return). The confluence of QEI's Solar and Lunar Returns occurring within hours of one another marks this time period and year as very significant and eventful for her. So--27 years old--was this day of murder part of QEI's Saturn Return, too? Not quite, for her natal Saturn is in Cancer (23:12, loosely conjunct natal Uranus 17Can13) so Saturn returns in a year or so--on July 7, 1563 to be exact. Some sort of accounting, difficult lesson, and/or regret over past mistakes then arrived for the Queen who, I've heard, preferred others to 'do her dirty work'. Perhaps this was in part because Virgo is the sign of cleanliness and purification, as you know.
Also notable is listed on the chart, lower left: that chart-ruler Jupiter applies to two planets (due to retrogradation, I'm saying Jupiter applies)--first Jupiter opposes Mercury ("22Libra" = "A child giving birds a drink at a fountain"), an aspect that denotes jumping to conclusions before having all the facts, and coming up with grandiose schemes, and second, Jupiter sextiles Saturn which suggests that opportunities had come along for the execution of previously made plans. Apparently so. We may also wish to note that Mercury is traveling in tandem with asteroid Vesta, the Vestal Virgin.
Solar and Lunar Eclipses
So what about disruptive, shocking Uranus, planet of separation? At 17Sco14 (conjunct Return 11th cusp) transit Uranus conjoins both Robert's and Amy's natal Jupiters (both of which are retrograde). Some lucky break or chance is promised by this but Amy's was illusory while Robert's may have been of a sinister variety. (The Prenatal Solar Eclipse of this event in the 13 South Saros series is marked in the 8th house and manifested on August 21, 1560 at 7Vir50--with weapon-wielding soldier Mars at 7Vir02 conjunct and activating the malefic qualities of the solar eclipse. 13 South themes are 'sinister energies underneath', and 'group endeavors, either positive or negative' (paraphrasing Predictive Astrology, B. Brady).
And as noted, a Lunar Eclipse had occurred just 4 days earlier @21Pis40, marked here in 3rd house--lunar activity is perhaps even more to the cosmic point when it comes to a mysterious death with the astrological Moon representing on one level the physical body, and 'a woman', here, in secretive, furtive Pisces. All eclipses are Uranian in nature for they often disrupt, herald shocking events, and act as 'wild cards of the Universe' much as planet Uranus can do.
But let's look again at Pluto in Pisces for the manipulative yet coping planet could represent William Cecil, Robert Dudley, Catholic agents sent from abroad, or domestic activists such as those who were determined to put Mary Queen of Scots on England's throne and assassinate Elizabeth in the process. Distant Pluto tends to operate from some sort of 'ivory tower' in secret or invisibly and has great wealth hidden in dark places--perhaps especially so when in sneaky Pisces. So who could this Pluto represent? An astrology chart only suggests possibilities and this post mentions only some of them yet more clues can be found in the chart, 'tis true, for those who care to look. And of course, Elizabeth as primal instigator is not immune from having plutonian motives.
Because, in case you hadn't noticed, not knowing Amy's exact time of death or when the blows were delivered (from an intruder through the door on the landing?), I'm using Elizabeth's accurately timed Lunar Return Horoscope for September 8, 1560 as a symbolic Death Horoscope for the cruelly victimized Amy Robsart Dudley.
For, perfecting at 1:41:08 pm LMT, Elizabeth's natal Moon does return to natal degree 'after noon', the hour the servants said they left Cumnor Place (except for Mrs. Odingsells) to go to the Fair leaving Amy Dudley alone to meet (North Node) powerful Pluto in a secret tryst of some kind! Tragically, the encounter didn't turn out at all how she wanted.
Yet Amy may have been seriously ill and was said to be depressed so did she despair of her marriage and commit suicide to implicate Robert in scandal and thus prevent his marriage to Elizabeth? Not unless she'd figured out how to forcefully bash herself on the head--not once, but twice! Now how likely is that?
Forensic Astrology: Conditions and Afflictions Especially When Angular
The Ascendant is the victim or the crime so its state, quality, and aspects must be noted
Moon = danger and matters that go badly via aspects, critical degrees, angularity
Mars = violence, bloodshed, assaults or attacks, brutal force, weapons
Jupiter expands either positively or negatively and is often active by angularity
Saturn = cruelty, injury, stoppage, loss, and/or death
Uranus = sudden catastrophic or shocking events, upheaval, disruption, separation
Neptune = deceit, confusion, hidden factors, poison, fumes, addiction and/or overdose, dissolution of a body
Pluto = destruction, sabotage, assassination, mass murder, a hidden 'boss' who orders or directs the action or crime, and/or who funds it.
South Node of the Moon = separation, karmic conditions of a Saturnian nature, inherited dependencies or behaviors that are no longer useful in present situations.
Also note that Saturn through Pluto are karmic planets that bring the harvest of what was previously sown, perhaps from the distant past.