Person:Robert Dudley (25)

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Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
b.24 Jun 1532
d.4 Sep 1588
  1. Ambrose Dudley, 3rd Earl of Warwick1528 - 1590
  2. Lady Mary Dudley1531 - 1586
  3. Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester1532 - 1588
  4. John Dudley, 2nd Earl of Warwickbef 1534 - 1554
  5. Lord Guilford Dudley1536 - 1554
  6. Katherine Dudleybet 1538 and 1545 - 1620
  • HRobert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester1532 - 1588
  • WAmy Robsart1532 - 1560
  • HRobert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester1532 - 1588
  • WDouglas Howardbet 1542 and 1543 - 1608
m.
  1. Robert Dudley1574 - 1649
  • HRobert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester1532 - 1588
  • WLettice Knollys1543 - 1634
Facts and Events
Name Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Gender Male
Birth[1] 24 Jun 1532
Marriage  Cohabitation without marriage formalities?  
to Douglas Howard
Death[1] 4 Sep 1588


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, KG (24 June 1532 or 1533 – 4 September 1588) was an English nobleman and the favourite and close friend of Elizabeth I from her first year on the throne until his death. The Queen giving him reason to hope, he was a suitor for her hand for many years.

Dudley's youth was overshadowed by the downfall of his family in 1553 after his father, the Duke of Northumberland, had unsuccessfully tried to establish Lady Jane Grey on the English throne. Robert Dudley was condemned to death but was released in 1554 and took part in the Battle of St. Quentin (1557) under Philip II of Spain, which led to his full rehabilitation. On Elizabeth I's accession in November 1558, Dudley was appointed Master of the Horse. In October 1562 he became a privy councillor and in 1587 was appointed Lord Steward of the Royal Household. In 1564 Dudley became Earl of Leicester and from 1563 one of the greatest landowners in North Wales and the English West Midlands by royal grants.

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was one of Elizabeth's leading statesmen, involved in domestic as well as foreign politics alongside William Cecil and Francis Walsingham. Although he refused to be married to Mary, Queen of Scots, Dudley was for a long time relatively sympathetic to her until from the mid-1580s he strongly advocated her execution. As patron of the Puritan movement he supported non-conforming preachers, but tried to mediate between them and the bishops within the Church of England. A champion also of the international Protestant cause, he led the English campaign in support of the Dutch Revolt from 1585–1587. His acceptance of the post of Governor-General of the United Provinces infuriated Queen Elizabeth. The expedition was a military and political failure and ruined the Earl financially. Leicester was engaged in many large-scale business ventures and a main backer of Francis Drake and other explorers and privateers. During the Spanish Armada the Earl was in overall command of the English land forces. In this function he invited Queen Elizabeth to visit her troops at Tilbury. This was the last of many events he organised over the years, the most spectacular being the festival at his seat Kenilworth Castle in 1575 on occasion of a three-week visit by the Queen. Dudley was a principal patron of the arts, literature, and the Elizabethan theatre.

Robert Dudley's private life interfered with his court career and vice versa. When his first wife, Amy Robsart, fell down a flight of stairs and died in 1560, he was free to marry the Queen. However, the resulting scandal very much reduced his chances in this respect. Popular rumours that he had arranged for his wife's death continued throughout his life, despite the coroner's jury's verdict of accident. For 18 years he did not remarry for Queen Elizabeth's sake and when he finally did, his new wife, Lettice Knollys, was permanently banished from court. This and the death of his only legitimate son and heir were heavy blows. Shortly after the child's death in 1584, a virulent libel known as Leicester's Commonwealth was circulating in England. It laid the foundation of a literary and historiographical tradition that often depicted the Earl as the Machiavellian "master courtier" and as a deplorable figure around Elizabeth I. More recent research has led to a reassessment of his place in Elizabethan government and society.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
References
  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
  2.   DUDLEY, Sir Robert (1532/33-88), in The History of Parliament.
  3.   Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, in Lundy, Darryl. The Peerage: A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe.