Ambitious adventurer and favorite of Elizabeth I.
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, who relished his lively mind and eloquence, as well as his skills as a showman and in courtly love. Military exploits with Drake and Raleigh produced mixed results. She rewarded Essex anyway with a lucrative royal monopoly. However, his relationship with Elizabeth would lead to his downfall when he underestimated the Queen, believing himself to be her equal. His later behavior became disrespectful.
In 1599, his campaign against Irish rebels failed. Intrigue against him by Elizabeth’s ministers encouraged him to attempted overthrow. He was tried and executed for treason. An Historical Figure of England, Tudor Dynasty.
Portrait by artist-historian George Stuart.
Courtesy Museum of Ventura County.
Images © copyright by Peter d'Aprix