During the 1580s, Queen Elizabeth I intervened in a marital dispute between two of her foremost subjects, George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, commonly referred to as Bess of Hardwick. The Queen appointed several of her Privy Councillors to negotiate a reconciliation. These events provide a case study of the use of arbitration and mediation in resolving familial disputes among the elite of Elizabethan England, and their particular application by the Queen and her closest advisers. This article also highlights the importance of contemporary conceptions of gender and honor to dispute resolution.



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