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Mary Shelton (abt. 1550 - 1603)

Mary Shelton
Born about [location unknown]
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 23 Nov 2018
This page has been accessed 85 times.


She was at court as a chamberer to Queen Elizabeth from 1 Jan 1571, and remained in the Queen’s service until her death. She was one of only six women who were appointed to the Privy chamber. When her close friend, Dorothy Stafford, was ill, it was Mary who was the Queen's sleeping companion. Mary Shelton weds Sir James Scudamore of Holme Lacy, Herefordshire, a gentleman usher, without the Queen’s consent. In a letter from Eleanor Brydges to the Earl of Rutland it was written that "no one ever bought her husband more dearly", speaking of an incident when the Queen reportedly broke Mary’s finger by hitting her with a hairbrush. The Queen, in a passion at the discovery of what had taken place, "telt liberall bothe with bloes and yevel words". But after that, Elizabeth not only sanctioned the marriage, but appointed the new Mrs. Scudamore as gentlewoman of the bedchamber. Mary had hundred of gowns under her charge, and kept careful inventory of them all. Mary continued as a chamberer and became quite influential at court as well as being a favorite with the Queen. Royal gifts included £400 in 1591 and £300 in 1594.

Research Note

The above biography is based on unreliable information and should be viewed skeptically. Additional information is desirable.


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