Lauderdale House was built in 1582 for two wealthy members of a radical religious community. During a time of religious turmoil, Richard and Dorcas Martin trod a fine line. They supported Queen Elizabeth I in public, while undermining her in private.
Dorcas and Elizabeth both contributed to a popular book of religious writings, which published the same year Lauderdale House was built. However, the two women’s beliefs clashed. So much so that Dorcas risked going to jail – or worse – when she secretly published an author who challenged the Queen.
Richard shared his wife’s views, even while he worked as Elizabeth’s personal goldsmith and Master of the Royal Mint. Plus, he helped fund an ambitious naval expedition launched at Elizabeth’s specific request.