Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex

Date 1565 - 1601
Biographical NotesSecond Earl of Essex, soldier and politician. Married to Frances Walsingham, widow of Sir Philip Sidney and daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham. He variously held the offices of Master of the Horse, Privy Councillor, Earl Marshal, Master General of the Ordnance and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was a prominent proponent of a more aggressive policy towards Spain and commanded the English land forces in the attack on and sacking of the Spanish port of Cadiz in 1596. He also lead the English forces which were to crush the rebellion of the Earl of Tyrone in Ireland in 1599. The expedition ended ignominiously, with Essex on the verge of being charged with treason for negotiating with Tyrone without Elizabeth's permission. In disgrace Essex became a focus for disaffected noblemen and in 1601 he was tried for treason and beheaded, following an unsuccessful rebellion.

Though Essex wrote a number of personal letters to the Earl of Rutland, his 'First Letter of Advice to the Earl of Rutland' [1596], giving moral advice on travel, was edited (possibly by Bacon) and disseminated for public consumption, with the intention of highlighting his statesmanlike qualities, at a time when he was a royal favorite with growing influence at court.
Work(s)Author of The Late E[arl] of E[ssex] his Advice to the E[arl] of R[utland] in his Travels (1633) in Profitable Instructions Describing what Speciall Observations are to be Taken by Travellers in all Nations, States and Countries; Pleasant and Profitable. By the Three much admired, Robert, Late Earle of Essex. Sir Philip Sidney. And, Secretary Davison
Author of First Letter of Advice to the Earl of Rutland [1596]
Author of Profitable Instructions Describing what Speciall Observations are to be Taken by Travellers in all Nations, States and Countries; Pleasant and Profitable. By the Three much admired, Robert, Late Earle of Essex. Sir Philip Sidney. And, Secretary Davison (1633)