Elizabeth and Essex by Lytton StracheyOne of the most famous and baffling romances in history-between Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex-began in May of 1587, when she was fifty-three and he was just shy of twenty. Their relationship continued until 1601, when the Earl of Essex was beheaded for treason. And, in a succession of brilliant scenes, Strachey portrays the Queens and the Earls compelling attraction for on another, their impassioned disagreements, and their mutual contest for power, which led to a final, tragic confrontation. Here we also have superb portraits of influential people of the time: Francis Bacon, Robert Cecil, Walter Raleigh, and other figures of the court who struggled to assert themselves in a kingdom that was primarily defined by her sovereign, and so now seen through historys lens as Elizabethan England.
April 15 - The beginning of the end for Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex
Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex
On this day in history, 28th September , Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, strode into Queen Elizabeth I's bedchamber unannounced and saw the Queen without her makeup or wig, without her "mask of youth". His campaign against the Irish was unsuccessful. Essex had assumed that he'd be able to defeat the Earl of Tyrone and his men quickly, but as things dragged on he became disillusioned with the situation. Exhaustion, disillusionment and a fear that his enemies at court were undermining him and influencing the queen against him, led to him giving up on the Irish situation, making a truce with the Irish rebel leader against the queen's wishes and returning to England without the queen's permission. This amounted to desertion and disobedience, something which Elizabeth I could not and would not tolerate.
Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years' War in He was brought up on his father's estates at Chartley Castle , Staffordshire, and at Lamphey , Pembrokeshire , in Wales.
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28 September 1599 – Robert Devereux upsets Elizabeth I
Earl of Essex
For a queen known for her alleged virginity, Elizabeth I's love life has long been the subject of great speculation. Here, Dr Anna Whitelock, a reader in early modern history at Royal Holloway, University of London, explores what really went on behind the closed doors of the so-called Virgin Queen. Within days of her accession, Elizabeth had appointed Dudley as master of the horse — a position that guaranteed almost daily contact. In the years that followed, their close relationship continued, but any lingering possibility of a future marriage was cast aside. It was not an ideal match. Anjou was a something tiny and pockmarked Catholic who was widely rumoured to be a transvestite.