Robert Devereux Earl of Essex antique print


Robert Devereux 2nd Earl of Essex a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, he was beheaded on Tower Green in the Tower of London and is buried in St Peter ad Vincula. Early nineteenth-century line engraving published by W. &. G. Caulfield. Paper size approx 10 x 6 inches. Nice clean image with staining around the perimeter of the print (see scan.) Price shown is ex VAT.

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Robert Devereux 2nd Earl of Essex. Early nineteenth-century line engraving published by W. &. G. Caulfield.
On 8th. February in 1601 Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, led a short-lived rebellion against Elizabeth I. As Lord Lieutenant of Ireland the Earl of Essex had been given 16000 troops to suppress Irish rebels led by Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone. Far from suppressing the rebels, he led a lacklustre campaign ending in a truce with the Irish chieftains. Essex returned to England, against Elizabeth’s expressed wishes, and presented himself in her bedchamber, before she was properly wigged or gownedThe Privy Council met and concluded that the truce with O’Neill was indefensible and his flight from Ireland a dereliction of duty. After a trial Essex was confined to York House in the custody of Sir Richard Berkeley.A further trial before a commission of 18 resulted in continued confinement. followed by being released with his privileges withdrawn. Included in the withdrawn privileges was the ‘sweet wines monopoly’ a duty charged on wine that had been Essex’s main source of income. Having once been one of the Queen’s favourites on the morning of 8 February, he marched out of Essex House, his fortified home in the Strand with supporters and entered the City of London in an attempt to force an audience with the Queen. However, Essex and his supporters were stopped by loyal troops at Ludgate Hill and withdrew to Essex House, where they were later arrested. Following a trial on a charge of ‘treason’ the Earl of Essex was beheaded on 25th. February 1601 at Tower Green, becoming the last person to be beheaded in the Tower of London. The executioner on that day, Thomas Derrick, took three strokes to complete the beheading. Derrick himself had been convicted of rape but was pardoned by the Earl of Essex (clearing him of the death penalty) on the condition that he became an executioner! Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, is buried in St. Peter ad Vincula.

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