Lady Frances Howard – Magic, Murder and Misogyny at the Court of James I

Ah the good ole days – “a poisoned enema containing copper vitriol (sulfuric acid) was administered by an apothecaries boy” by a boy, hmmmm. Having worked in the ER i know most ODs will vomit up any oral meds so the per vas neferum (to quote AC’s diaries) method works better.

This reminds me of across the channel in France about the same time, the affair of the poisoners and dear La Voisin, poisoner, Satanist working with defrocked Catholic priests, etc, much like Madame Marie Laveaux in New Orleans. Seriously, i remember being there, heading some occult political group, then escaping with my head intact, turning back watching Paris burn (like in the Anne Rice books almost), escaping to the Caribbean island and then to N.O. to finish out my life as a “chemist apothecary” I still feel guilt to this day regarding those we had to leave behind, some of whom i have run into again in this life who remember it all too, and they are not just repeating movie scripts.

Well researched and written Lenora, and i will reblog it. Yr servant. L / S.

Oh, forgot to say in my comment how much i Love those quotes at the beginning.

The Haunted Palace

“She that in every vice did soe Excell,
That she could read new principles to hell;
And shew the fiends recorded in her lookes
Such deeds, as were not in their blackest books:
Canidia now draws on.”


“Whose waxen pictures fram’d by incantation,
Whose Philters, Potions for loves propagation
Count Circe, but as a novice in the trade,
And scorne all Drugs that Colchos ever made;
Canidia now draws on.” [1]

Lady Frances Howard, Countess of Somerset and formerly Countess of Essex, stares out confidently, or wantonly perhaps, from her gilt frame.  A strikingly beautiful woman, in a daringly provocative dress, she seems to be sizing up the viewer.  She looks as though she could be the keeper of dark secrets.  She was condemned as a murderer and accused of resorting to witchcraft to achieve her ambitions.  And in the end a king stepped in to save her from…

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2 thoughts on “Lady Frances Howard – Magic, Murder and Misogyny at the Court of James I

    • Yr research is meticulous and well sourced and on such interesting real humans who were not particularly pc in their day. i think she was mentioned in the PBS series i blogged, cant remember the name, something about women lions or something like that about the forgotten women behind and on the throne from the 1200s thru today. Been up since 4am and starting to fade a little…..

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