Tag Archives: William Cecil

In Luctu Terminantur or To End in Grief

William Cecil, Elizabeth I’s chief minister, had a habit of preparing memoranda for his own later use. He would make lists of things and arguments he found worth remembering. Two of these lists concern Robert Dudley and his role as … Continue reading

Posted in Amy Robsart, Elizabeth I, errors & myths, Robert Dudley, sources & historians, strange facts from popular books | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Books, Dudley-Related (3)

In the spring of 1584 the English government (in the person of Sir Francis Walsingham) became aware of a new publication that had surfaced in France. Smuggled into England, The Copy of a Letter written by a Master of Arts … Continue reading

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Robert Dudley’s Health

Robert Dudley was a fit man – an excellent dancer and horseman of athletic built. Even his diet was (according to our standards) reasonably healthy: He abhorred the heavy drinking habits of his time and had a taste for salads … Continue reading

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The Lovesick Earl, Part I

By 1565, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, ambassador first to France and then to Scotland, had become Leicester’s “political brain”.1 As will appear, he had also become the chief advisor of the earl’s love life. – For the first time since falling … Continue reading

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Dudley – A Name Hated?

It is a widespread cliché that the Dudleys were a very unpopular family and that, accordingly, Robert Dudley was an unpopular man. One can even read that the project of putting Lady Jane Grey on the English throne failed because … Continue reading

Posted in Ambrose Dudley, Elizabeth I, errors & myths, John Dudley, Robert Dudley, sources & historians | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

William Cecil and Amy Robsart: Was He Behind Her Death?

It has always been a popular notion that Lord Robert Dudley’s wife, Amy, was murdered. The theory that this was done on the orders of Sir William Cecil, the queen’s Principal Secretary, is much more recent, but only slightly less … Continue reading

Posted in Amy Robsart, friends & foes, letters, Robert Dudley, sources & historians | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

William Cecil and Amy Robsart: Visiting Lord Robert

In the week following his wife’s deadly fall from a flight of stairs Robert Dudley wrote many letters. He had left the court at Windsor for his house in Kew, “whither the lordes resorted to him to comforte him.”1 He … Continue reading

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William Cecil and Amy Robsart: Talking to de Quadra

On a day in September 1560 Sir William Cecil, Principal Secretary to the Queen, had a talk with Bishop de la Quadra, the Spanish ambassador. Cecil had recently returned from Scotland, where he had concluded the Treaty of Edinburgh, a … Continue reading

Posted in Amy Robsart, Elizabeth I, errors & myths, friends & foes, Robert Dudley, sources & historians | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Plotting the Demise of Mary Queen of Scots in 1572

It is often said that Robert Dudley supported his brother-in-law, Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, in the Elizabethan succession question. There is not much substance to this, however, and from early in Elizabeth’s reign his favourite candidate was clearly … Continue reading

Posted in Elizabeth I, letters, Robert Dudley | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Acquitted, Delivered, Discharged

In November 1579, on a Tuesday afternoon, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote one of his most personal letters; addressed to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, it speaks about his relationship with the queen like no other. A couple of months … Continue reading

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