THE MAIN PLOT
1 page folio, addressed on the verso, with a clerk written note as to its contents, mounted within a margin,
On the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, a plot known as the "Main" Plot, was formed for the purpose of placing Arabella Stewart on the English Throne. She was the daughter of Charles, Earl of Lennox, the younger brother of Lord Darnley and therefore niece of Mary Queen of Scots, and next heir to the English Throne after James I. Lord Cobham was arrested for complicity, and he in turn implicated Sir Walter Raleigh and both were sent to the Tower, where Lord Cobham remained, until 1618 when he was released and died weak and ill in the following year. Cobham was a common butt of veiled satire in Elizabethan popular literature; he figures in Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humour. His connection with Shakespeare and Falstaff appears tenuous. His father is recorded as intervening in the writing of The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, and may have a better claim to the role.
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