The Admiral immediately ordered H.M.S. Adventure to pursue the French ship, which the
swift naval frigate overhauled in mid-channel and ordered it to heave-to. After some resistance
from the French ship was boarded and the unhappy Arabella was seized and brought back to
London and lodged in the Bell Tower, where she was closely guarded.
At first her imprisonment did not bother her too much. At least her husband had escaped
and she knew that he would leave no stone unturned until he could get her release, for he had
influential friends. Arabella did not relax her efforts to appeal to James for her liberty and the
Queen did her utmost to this end.
But James was adamant. He had been scared, quite certain that Arabella and her husband
had been a party to a conspiracy to seize the throne. It has been said that the fugitives were to
have been received in the Netherlands by the Spanish commander, at the instigation of the King
of Spain and the Papists, whose plan had been to bring them back to London at the head of a
Catholic host. James was determined that nothing like that should happen if he could help it.
While it is true that in the case of Arabella his fears on this score were groundless, it is just as true
that his fears of a conspiracy against his throne in order to place a Roman Catholic monarch upon
it were very real. There were several such conspiracies actively afoot, both in England and on the
At first Arabella bore her imprisonment well, but as time went by and James showed no
sign of relenting and the Queen was unable to influence him, for he was convinced that Arabella's
only wish was to take his place on the throne, all hope gradually left her, and she sank into the
deepest melancholy. Of her husband she never heard again. He had to go into hiding on the
Continent on account of activities of James's agents, and he was unable to lift a finger to help her.
Arabella's end is wrapped in mystery. It is said that her splendid and sensitive mind
eventually gave way and she became hopelessly insane. The only certainty is that she died on 27
September, 1615, after having been four years in the Tower, and she was buried in the tomb of
Mary Queen of Scots in Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
Arabella Stuart's ghost has been seen several times since her death terminated her sad
romance. Occasionally a lady in grey is seen at a certain window in the Bell Tower. She does
not, however, often show herself, but doors are sometimes opened by unseen hands and the
tapping of heels is heard along the corridors.
She is seen more often in Lambeth Palace where she roams the corridors and corridors and
staircases in a rustling grey gown looking for her lost love. Sometimes the two lovers are seen in
the palace gardens as dusk gathers, walking hand in hand.