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Robert Devereux
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Military Personnel
    (November 10, 1565-February 25, 1601)
    Born in Netherwood, England, United Kingdom
    Second Earl of Essex
    Royal favorite of Elizabeth I
    Named Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1599)
    Convicted of treason and beheaded
    During a heated Privy Council debate, Elizabeth reportedly cuffed him about the ear for his insolence.
    He knighted so many of his officers that Irish rebels joked, ‘He never drew a sword but to make a knight.’
    After a disappointing military campaign in Ireland, he returned to London against the Queen’s express orders.
    He was accused of dereliction of duty and deprived of his offices (June 5, 1600).
    He and a group of 300 followers attempted to march on London and seize Buckingham Palace (February 8, 1601).
    He distinguished himself in battles in the Netherlands and Spain.
    Although the peace treaty he signed with the Irish rebels was initially considered a humiliation, Elizabeth later said it was ‘seasonably made… as great good has grown by it.’
    His punishment for his Ireland campaign had more to do with jockeying for position among Elizabeth’s advisers than his performance.
    At his execution, three strokes from the axe were needed to complete the beheading.
    He was portrayed by Errol Flynn in ‘The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex’ (1939).

Credit: C. Fishel


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