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My wife's ancestors - Dudley - Contents


Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester



Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, by unknown artist, c.1564.
From Wikipedia and Tudor Place.
See full size.




Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester (see here and here and images),
favourite of Elizabeth I (though could not persuade her to marry him),
born 1532.
Had estate at Wanstead, near London.

He mar 1stly to Amy Robsart (see here).
She died of a fall downstairs 1560, possibly murdered by him.
She was bur University church of St.Mary the Virgin, Oxford.
His seat (restored to him 1563) was Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire (formerly held by John of Gaunt).
He was cr 1st Earl of Leicester 1564.

He mar 2ndly, 1573 (secretly) to Douglas Howard (see here) and had issue.
He entertained Elizabeth I in 1575 at Kenilworth Castle.
He built a grand town house, Leicester House, Strand, London (later called Essex House) around 1575.

He mar 3rdly, 1578 (secretly and bigamously) to Lettice Knollys [widow of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex and mother of Penelope Devereux].
He thus became stepfather of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex.
He built up one of the first large collections of portraits.
His nephew Sir Philip Sidney wrote The Lady of May prob. 1578 to promote his and Leicester's causes to the Queen.
He was appointed 1588 to command the forces against the Spanish Armada, but died before it came.
He died 1588, age 56 yrs,
bur Collegiate Church of St.Mary, Warwick.
Title extinct, later revived in Sidney family.
See Portraits of 1st Earl of Leicester.






Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, dancing with Elizabeth I, c.1580.
From here.
Sitting (in white) on RHS with his arm around a lady is Francois, Duc of Alencon, who was meant to be courting Elizabeth at the time. Sir Philip Sidney is on the far RHS by the fireplace pointing out this indiscretion to his uncle. Both he and his uncle were strongly opposed to Elizabeth entertaining a Catholic.



Lettice Knollys.
Attributed to George Gower.
From Wikipedia.



The Strand, London, on Norden's map of Westminster, 1593.
Note Leicester House on the river at the E end.
See full size.
From London Maps and Panoramas.



The fairy-tale Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick.
This was a hospital for aged or injured soldiers, founded by 1st Earl of Leicester.
Photo 2007. See full size. From here.
See more images.
See street view.



The movie Elizabeth (1998).
Dudley features as Elizabeth I's unfulfilled love, played by Joseph Fiennes.
In one scene Dudley uses the poem My true-love hath my heart by his nephew Sir Philip Sidney to woo Elizabeth.




Tomb of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester

In the Beauchamp Chapel, Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick.


Tomb of 1st Earl of Leicester and his wife Lettice Knollys.
Church of St Mary in Warwick.
See full size.
Photo by Chris Nyborg, 2006. See terms of use (and here).
See wider shot from Tudor Place.



Tomb of 1st Earl of Leicester and his wife Lettice Knollys.
Church of St Mary in Warwick.
See full size.
Photo by Tony Grist, 2008. From here.



Plaque from above.
Photo 2012. See full size. From here.
See translation. Also here.






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