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Was Queen Elizabeth 1st Really A Man?

Updated on November 2, 2010

Conspiracy Theory

I remember being told about this theory when I was very young. Like most children I was not really that interested in history, but now wish that I had listened more carefully.

The theory is this. A body was found in a stately home in England. It was the body of a girl about 12 years old. There were things buried with her - a ring etc, that led people to believe that she could be royal. Further research showed that Henry VIII's daughter Elizabeth frequently stayed at his house, and tests showed that the body could be from the Tudor period.

The story continues that the owners of the house were too scared to tell Henry that his daughter had died, so they looked round for a substitute. Henry was not the most loving father to Elizabeth and had not seen her for some time. There were no girls suitable to take her place, so they took a gamble. Henry had many illegitimate children, and there was a boy about the same age and height as Elizabeth, and somehow he was persuaded to take her place.

For him this would mean a life of luxury compared with the life of an outcast, but would also have many risks. How would Henry react to finding out that he had been duped?

All this sounds very far fetched, and through minimal research I have not been able to find anything on line. But there are things that lead to wards it being possible.

Firstly - Elizabeth was known as the Virgin Queen. As royalty, she would have a good choice of husband, both from British and foreign nobility and royalty. As she was renowned for saying she would do anything for her country, why did she not marry and provide an heir? She said at one stage said that she had the body of a feeble woman but the heart of a King, Was this her way of hinting about her circumstances?

Another thing was the invention of the ruff. If "she" was really a man this would be an ideal way to hid an Adams apple. The clothes of the day would hide any obvious male characteristics, but this would have to be dealt with.

Then there was the make-up. There have been stories that it was worn to cover scars from an illness, but it would also be an ideal way top cover 5 o clock shadow.

All of this is off course unproven. As mentioned  I have looked on-line, and while I have found claims that Elizabeth had a son, and a fictional work regarding her marriage,I cannot find anything relating to it. I would love to have something to back it up,so if anyone knows anything can you please let me know?


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    • profile image

      muky 6 years ago

      look up the bisley boy

    • rachellrobinson profile image

      Rachel Woodruff 7 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Interesting, I have never heard anything like this theory before, you might check out Phillipa Gregory's site, she has done extensive research on that time period, I would say go so far as to e-mail her you never know she might have more information regarding this theory.

      An interesting Hub, I hope you do a follow up.