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The Romance of Elizabeth I and Christopher Hatton

Posted September 1, 2012

miniature of  Sir Christopher Hatton

Christopher Hatton of Holdenby in Northamptonshire was a student at the Inns of Court who, after attending school in Oxford proceeded to the Inner Temple where he excelled at everything – except law!   In 1561, he was made Master of the Game, a fabulous event hosted every year for the students of the Inns of Court by Queen Elizabeth I.  The Queen immediately noticed the handsome masquerader and made him – in rapid succession – Gentleman Pensioner, Captain of the Guard, Privy Councillor and finally Chancellor of England. Christopher Hatton, described by his contemporaries … 

“ He danced with grace,

he’d a very fine form and a very fine face”

but that …

 “… his parts were above his learning”

… and finally that :

 “… his name almost rhymes with mutton”

 He was Elizabeth’s sheep or mutton!