Friday, September 04, 2009

Today In History, Losing Robert Dudley

On September 4Th 1588 the favorite of Queen Elizabeth I the famous playboy Robert Dudley passed from his realm to the next. Robert is absolutely one of my favorite historical leading men. It is said that when he suddenly lost his life that Elizabeth had barricaded herself in her chambers and would not admit anyone for days. Her leading councilor William Cecil had to literally break down the door to make sure she was alright.

Upon Elizabeth's passing fifteen years later, they found among her personal affects a letter from Robert. It was labeled his last letter. She had saved it all those years. The letter proved how deeply Elizabeth truly loved Robert. For more information on Robert check out my birthday post for him.

"I most humbly beseech your Majesty to pardon your old servant to be thus bold in sending to know how my gracious lady doth, and what ease of her late pain she finds, being the chiefest thing in the world I do pray for, for her to have good health and long life. For my own poor case, I continue still your medicine, and it amends much better than any other thing that hath been given me..."


  1. I love Robert Dudley, or maybe it's that I love the thought of Robert Dudley. You can feel the love between them when they speak. It's wonderful. I love also the way they speak. I'd love to speak like that, use those words on a regular basis and have them roll off my tongue like it's the most natural thing in the world. I'm afraid that people here in Texas would lock me away in the looney bin if I tried it, though.

  2. Hi, Robin Maxwell here. I, too, am a lover of Robert Dudley (he was "Robin" to Elizabeth). I did extensive research on this fascinating courtier, as he was a character in three of my novels -- as the Princess Elizabeth's friend and confidant in VIRGIN, as her lover in SECRET DIARY OF ANNE BOLEYN, and as father of her illegitimate son in THE QUEEN'S BASTARD. Hated and envied by everyone because he was so close to Elizabeth's heart and deeply trusted, he was universally villified (much like Anne Boleyn was despised for the place she held in Henry VIII's life). Even after they were no longer carnal lovers, Dudley was one of her closest counselors till his death. Those who would imply that he had lost favor (like Michael Hirst, who wrote the feature film "Elizabeth") should remember that when the Spanish Armada set sail to invade England, the queen named Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester the high commander of all her land forces.

    I've always believed that when he died (shortly after the English victory over the Armada) Elizabeth's humanity died along with him. That is when she grew cold and brittle, the kind of ruler that thought nothing of killing half the population of Ireland in order to control it (THE WILD IRISH).

    Yes, my hat's off to Robin Dudley today. Thanks for reminding me of his passing.

  3. Patti, if I could get away with it I would too!

    Robin, I think truly the books you named made me love him. I loved him in The Queens Bastard. I have read them all and LOVED them all. I think you are completely right about her humanity, it did die with him. She became bitter with out him. I would have too though, it was like loosing a husband/BFF. I did not like how the movie just left him out it was BS, he was there by her side when she gave that speech. He even tried to stop her from going out and giving it. I do think in the first Elizabeth movie the guy they had play him was a perfect for the role, ah dreamy.

  4. I always had a soft spot for Robin. I think because I know what it's like to be in love with your bestfriend. At the same time, I don't blame her for becoming old and bitter about love, when she could never have her Robin.

  5. Great post Lizzy- and great reminder for me too. Elizabeth was definitely at a loss for any kind of 'human' emotion after her beloved passed...can you imagine keeping the love of your life a secret never fulfilled- and then he passes on. Some of life's simplest, yet important joys were too often denied to queens...Thanks:)

  6. Very true Ladies, it must have broke her heart to loose him.


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