The Tudor Society
  • September 28 – Elizabeth I’s favourite sees the queen without her mask of youth

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th September 1599, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, Elizabeth I’s favourite, strode into the queen’s bedchamber unannounced. Elizabeth wasn’t ready to see people. She wasn’t made up and she wasn’t wearing her wig. She must have been furious with Essex.

    Why would Essex do such a thing?

    Find out why Robert Devereux needed to see his queen so urgently and how Elizabeth I reacted to his visit…

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  • 25 February – Elizabeth I is excommunicated and The execution of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th February 1570, Pope Pius V issued the papal bull “Regnans in Excelsis”. This bull not only excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, it also freed her Catholic subjects from their allegiance to her and called on the English people to disobey her orders, mandates and laws. It threatened excommunication for those who did obey her.

    It put Elizabeth I in danger and it put Catholics in an impossible situation.

    Find out more about the bull and its impact in this talk…

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  • 8 February – The Queen’s favourite rebels and the Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th February 1601, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and Queen Elizabeth I’s former favourite, did a rather foolish thing and raised a rebellion against the queen and her council.

    Spoilers: It didn’t go well and he ended up being executed as a traitor.

    Find out exactly what happened in this talk…

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  • 30 October – Elizabeth I’s refusal to renew Robert Devereux and the coronation of Henry VII

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th October 1600, Queen Elizabeth I refused to renew Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex’s monopoly on sweet wines, saying that “an unruly horse must be abated of his provender, that he may be the easier and better managed.”

    It may not sound like a major event, but it was for Essex and it drove him to desperation and, ultimately, to the scaffold.

    Why? What was going on? How could the queen’s refusal to renew this monopoly lead to Essex’s undoing?

    Find out what was happened in 1600 and what happened next with the queen and her favourite, in this talk…

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  • 28 September 1599 – Robert Devereux upsets Elizabeth I

    On this day in history, 28th September 1599, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, strode into Queen Elizabeth I’s bedchamber unannounced and saw the Queen without her makeup or wig, without her “mask of youth”.

    Essex had been confirmed as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland on 30th December 1598 and he left England on 27th March 1599, arriving in Dublin on 14 April. His campaign against the Irish was unsuccessful. Essex had assumed that he’d be able to defeat the Earl of Tyrone and his men quickly, but as things dragged on he became disillusioned with the situation. Exhaustion, disillusionment and a fear that his enemies at court were undermining him and influencing the queen against him, led to him giving up on the Irish situation, making a truce with the Irish rebel leader (against the qqueen’s wishes) and returning to England without the queen’s permission. This amounted to desertion and disobedience, something which Elizabeth I could not and would not tolerate

    Devereux rushed back to court at Nonsuch Palace to offer an explanation but ended up making things worse when he strode into the queen’s bedchamber unannounced while she was getting ready:

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