Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Bess of Hardwicke.

 Bess o’ Bedlam.Bessemer Iron. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Bess of Hardwicke.
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, to whose charge, in 1572, Mary Queen of Scots was committed. The countess treated the captive queen with great harshness, being jealous of the earl her husband. Bess of Hardwicke married four times: Alexander Barley (when she was only fourteen years of age); William Cavendish; Sir William St. Loe, Captain of Queen Elizabeth’s Guard; and lastly, George, Earl of Shrewsbury. She built Hardwicke Hall, and founded the wealth and dignity of the Cavendish family.   1

 Bess o’ Bedlam.Bessemer Iron. 


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