The Tudor Society

August 4 – William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

William Cecil, Baron Burghley, Portrait attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger

William Cecil

On this day in Tudor history, 4th August 1598, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, died in London aged seventy-six. He had been Elizabeth I's chief advisor.

Here are a few facts about Burghley:

  • Burghley’s father was Richard Cecil, former Groom of the Robes, Constable of Warwick Castle and High Sheriff of Rutland.
  • He was educated at St John's College, Cambridge, where he met men like John Cheke and Roger Ascham, and his first wife, Mary Cheke.
  • He started his career by serving Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector.
  • He served Edward VI as Secretary of State.
  • He served Elizabeth I as Secretary of State and her chief advisor. She called him her “spirit”.
  • He was a Lincolnshire man and was buried at St Martin's Church, Stamford.

Click here to read more about this fascinating Tudor man.

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Image: A portrait of William Cecil, Baron Burghley, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, National Portrait Gallery.

There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. A

    Hello Claire what do you think was in the English psyche which was responsible for such horrendous executions and what about the men who carried out these horrid sentences. Hanging drawing and quartering the mind just boggles at such inhumanity. Do you have any insight?

    1. C - Post Author

      The mind does boggle at the brutality, doesn’t it, but we still live in a world where people are stoned, hanged, electrocuted etc. for crimes, so I’m not sure we’ve moved on much.

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August 4 – William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley