William knew this penalty was far more gruesome than being forced to marry Anne Hathaway, who’d been pregnant with his child.
“Noblemen father bastards every day and never go to prison for it,” Greene snickered. “And despite her peculiar mercy, the Queen made Lord Oxford suffer for his errant romance. When she learned that he and his mistress had exchanged secret vows to marry after he was granted the divorce from his adulterous wife, the Queen denied it to him. She had no desire to see Catholicism persist in any of England’s noble families, and since Lord Oxford’s mistress was Catholic, he was forced to abandon her and return to his Protestant wife.
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