Person:Lettice Knollys (1)

Lettice Knollys
b.Nov 1543
d.25 Dec 1634
  1. Henry Knollysabt 1542 - 1582
  2. Lettice Knollys1543 - 1634
  3. William Knollys, 1st Earl of Banbury1544 - 1632
  4. Edward Knollysabt 1546 - 1575
  5. Robert Knollysabt 1547 - 1619
  6. Richard Knollysabt 1548 - 1596
  7. Elizabeth Knollys1549 -
  8. Sir Francis Knollys, Knight1553 - 1648
  9. Anne Knollys1555 - 1608
  1. Lady Penelope Devereux1562 - 1607
  2. Dorothy Devereuxabt 1564 - 1619
  3. Robert Devereux1565 - 1601
Facts and Events
Name Lettice Knollys
Gender Female
Birth[1] Nov 1543
Death[1] 25 Dec 1634
Reference Number[1] Q269329?

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

Lettice Knollys (sometimes called Laetitia, also known as Lettice Devereux or Lettice Dudley), Countess of Essex and Countess of Leicester (8 November 1543 – 25 December 1634), was an English noblewoman and mother to the courtiers Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and Lady Penelope Rich, although via her marriage to Elizabeth I's favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, she incurred the Queen's unrelenting displeasure.

A grandniece of Anne Boleyn and close to Princess Elizabeth since childhood, Lettice Knollys was introduced early into court life. At 17 she married Walter Devereux, Viscount Hereford, who in 1572 became Earl of Essex. After her husband went to Ireland in 1573 she possibly became involved with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. There was plenty of scandalous talk, not least when Essex died in Ireland of dysentery in 1576. Two years later Lettice Knollys married Robert Dudley in private. When the Queen was told of the marriage she banished the Countess forever from court, effectively curtailing her social life. The couple's child, Robert, Lord Denbigh, died at the age of three, to the great grief of his parents and ending all prospects for the continuance of the House of Dudley. Lettice Knollys' union with Leicester was nevertheless a happy one, as was her third marriage to the much younger Sir Christopher Blount, whom she unexpectedly married in 1589 only six months after the Earl's death. She continued to style herself Lady Leicester.

The Countess was richly left under Leicester's will; yet the discharge of his overwhelming debts diminished her wealth. In 1604–1605 she successfully defended her widow's rights in court when her possessions and her good name were threatened by the Earl's illegitimate son, Robert Dudley, who claimed that he was his father's legitimate heir, thus implicitly declaring her marriage bigamous. Lettice Knollys was always close to her large family circle. Helpless at the political eclipse of her eldest son, the second Earl of Essex, she lost both him and her third husband to the executioner in 1601. From the 1590s she lived chiefly in the Staffordshire countryside, where, in reasonably good health until the end, she died at age 91 on Christmas Day 1634.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Lettice Knollys. 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.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lettice Knollys, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
  2.   Lettice Knollys, in Lundy, Darryl. The Peerage: A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe.