This chapter details events following the Queen's death on 24 March 1603, at about two or three o'clock in the morning. With no appointed successor, the choice of the new monarch was ratified by a ‘Great Council’ comprised of the Lord Mayor of London, Privy Council members from the previous reign, and non–member peers and bishops. When the Council convened at Whitehall about nine o'clock in the morning, Cecil appeared with a draft proclamation, which thirty–four worthies signed on the bottom half of the second page. Oxford was not one of the signatories. In the days before Elizabeth's death, Oxford was so enfeebled in person, so wanting in friends, and so short of money, that he was no conceivable danger to the state. He was a toothless lion.
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