Who was Robert Dudley and what role did he play in Tudor History? Who was his relatives and which Queen was he a known favourite?





  • 24TH JUNE Robert Dudley was born the fifth son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and his wife Jane Guildford.


  • Guildford Dudley is born, Robert's younger brother.


  • Robert's sister Katherine was born.



  • JULY Robert and his brother Ambrose and their father John Dudley fight against the rebels in The Kett's rebellion,

  • Ambrose, Robert's brother married Anne Whorwood,


  • John Dudley Robert's father is now Lord President of the Council

  •  JUNE Robert's older brother John married Anne Seymour, eldest daughter of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset

  • 4TH JUNE Robert married Amy Robstart at the royal palace of Sheen, with Edward VI in attendance


  • Robert's sister Mary married Henry Sidney.


  • Robert is now Master of the Buckhounds 1552–1553 This was was an officer in the Master of the Horse's department of the British Royal Household.

  • Robert is now Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk 1552–1553


  • Robert and his wife Amy live at Somerset House.

  • Robert is now Chief Carver

  • Ambrose Robert's brother married for a second time to Elizabeth Lady Tailboys

  • 25TH MAY Robert's brother Guildford married The Lady Jane Grey at Durham House. On that day there were Three weddings were celebrated at Durham Place Durham House was the Duke of Northumberland's town mansion. Robert's sister Katherine was matched with Henry Hastings. The Lady Jane Grey sister married Lord Herbert. It was a magnificent festival, with jousts, games, and masques.

  • 6TH JULY King Edward VI is dead

  • 7TH JULY Robert s sent by his father John into Hertfordshire with 300 men to secure the person of Mary Tudor

  • 9TH JULY The Lady Jane Grey as Queen of England for nine days

  • 19TH JULY The Lady Jane Grey is now deposed. Jane and Guildford Robert's brother are imprisoned in the Tower of London. Now  Mary  Tudor is Queen of England.

  • John, Ambrose, Robert, and Henry Dudley were all imprisoned in a room of the Beauchamp Tower, In the Tower of London. They made carvings in the walls, John carving their heraldic devices with his name "IOHN DVDLI".

  • 22ND AUGUST Robert's father John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland is executed at the Tower of London for High Treason

  • 13TH NOVEMBER The Lady Jane Grey was tried at Guildhall, together with Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and Robert and his brothers Ambrose and Henry. Guildford. They were all convicted of high treason after pleading guilty


  • FEBRUARY The Thomas Wyatt's Rebellion was a This popular uprising in England, named after Thomas Wyatt, one of its leaders. The rebellion arose out of concern over Queen Mary  I's determination to marry Philip of Spain, which was an unpopular policy with the English. \this rebellion sealed the fate of Guildford,  Robert's brother and the Lady Jane Grey

  • 12TH FEBRUARY Robert's brother Guildford, Dudley and his wife Lady Jane Grey was beheaded at the Tower of London

  • Jane Guildford, Robert's mother, and his brother-in-law, Henry Sidney, were busy befriending the Spanish nobles around the new king consort, Prince Philip of Spain as well in England as in Spain

  • JUNE Jane Guildford, Robert's mother pleaded with the authorities to allow her remaining sons to hear mass

  • OCTOBER Robert and his brothers were released from the Tower of London.

  • 21ST OCTOBER John Dudley, Robert's older brother died at Henry Sidney's house Penshurst in Kent.


  • 22ND JANUARY Robert's mother Jane Guildford died at Chelsea, London

  • Robert and his brother Ambrose took part in one of several tournaments held by Philip to celebrate Anglo-Spanish friendship. Robert and Ambrose were only welcome at court as long as King Philip was there;


  • JANUARY Robert and his wife Amy were allowed to repossess some of their former lands

  • MARCH Robert was at Calais where he was chosen to deliver personally to Queen Mary the happy news of Philips return to England

  • 10 TH-27TH AUGUST Robert is present at The Battle of Saint-Quentin Part of the Italian War of 1551–1559 Location Saint-Quentin, France Result Decisive Spanish victory Henry Robert's brother is killed following the siege by a cannonball—according to Robert, before his own eyes at this battle.

  • 17TH NOVEMBER Queen Mary of England is dead and now her half sister who is Protestant is now Queen of England.

  • 18TH NOVEMBER Robert witnessed the surrender of the Great Seal to the new at Hatfield.


  • 17TH NOVEMBER Queen Mary  Tudor is dead and now her half-sister Elizabeth is Queen of all England

  • 18TH NOVEMBER Robert witnessed the surrender of the Great Seal to the new Queen Elizabeth at Hatfield.

  • NOVEMBER Robert is Master of the horse 1558–1587 This was an important court position entailing close attendance on the sovereign.


  • Robert's sister Katherine was married to Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon

  • Robert is Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire and Worcestershire

  • EASTER Robert visited his wife Amy for four days.

  • APRIL Robert is a knight of the Garter

  • The court observers noted that Queen Elizabeth kept Robert close from her side.

  • Roberts wife Amy visited him for last time in London.

  • DECEMBER Amy Dudley lived at Cumnor Place, near Abingdon in Berkshire


  • APRIL Queen Elizabeth granted Robert is the first export licence, worth £6,000 p.a.

  • 8TH SEPTEMBER Amy Robsart was found dead at the foot of a pair of stairs at Cumnor Place

  • 9TH SEPTEMBER. Robert was at Windsor Castle with Queen Elizabeth, was told of her death by a messenger


  • AmbroseRobert's brother is now Earl of Warwick and the owner of Warwick castle.

  • The Inner Temple in gratitude for the favours he had done, admitted Robert as their most privileged member, their "Lord and Governor".

  • From around this time, Robert advocated and supported the Huguenot cause. Huguenots were French Protestants


  • OCTOBER Robert is now Master of the Horse to Queen Elizabeth 1st of England.

  • OCTOBER When Queen Elizabeth became was critically ill with smallpox; Mary Dudley, Robert's sister nursed her until she contracted the illness herself, which according to her husband greatly disfigured her beauty. Queen Elizabeth, believing her life to be in danger, asked the Privy Council to make Robert Dudley Protector of the Realm and to give him a suitable title together with twenty thousand pounds a year. There was the universal relief when she recovered her health Robert was made a became a Privy Councillor.


  • JULY Robert went to welcome him at Portsmouth despite the plague and much to Elizabeth's annoyance

  • JUNE Kenilworth Castle is restored to Robert. Robert continued his father's modernisation of Kenilworth, attempting to ensure that Kenilworth would attract the interest of Elizabeth during her regular tours around the country. He also received the lordships of Denbigh and Chirk in North Wales.

  • Queen Elizabeth repeatedly declared that she was prepared to acknowledge Mary as her heir only on condition that she marry Robert Dudley


  • Robert was created The Earl of Leicester

  • Robert is now in Office of Chancellor of the University of Oxford 1564–1588

  • Queen Elizabeth gave the lordship of Denbigh as a gift to Robert


  • JANUARY Thomas Randolph, the English ambassador to Scotland, was told by the Scottish queen that she would accept the proposal. To his amazement, Robert was not to be moved to comply:

  • 11TH NOVEMBER Ambrose, Robert's brother married for a third time to Anne Russell. Robert had arranged the match. The wedding -was quite an event, tournaments and banquets, the bride was given away by the Robert himself in the presence of Queen Elizabeth she later became one of Elizabeth closest friends. Robert made it clear to the Scots at the beginning that he was not a candidate for Mary's hand and forthwith had behaved with passive resistance. He also worked in the interest of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, Mary's eventual choice of husband

  • Between 1565 and 1578, four German and French princesses were mooted as brides for Robert as a consolation for giving up Elizabeth and his resistance to her foreign marriage projects


  • Queen Elizabeth visited Kenilworth Castle

  • Robert was invested into the Order of Saint Michael, by King Charles IX of France.

  • Robert held Tolmers Park Newgate Street Village near Hatfield in Hertfordshire, England.


  • Queen Elizabeth visited Kenilworth Castle

  • Thomas Gatacre after being ordained a priest became domestic chaplain to Robert


  • Robert began an affair with the widowed Lady Douglas Sheffield née Howard


  • JANUARY Robert saw his brother Ambrose at Kenilworth and reported to Queen Elizabeth: "all this hard weather [he] hath every day travelled on a horse, Your Majesty's service hath made him forget his pain ... assuredly he is marvellous weary, though in my judgment it hath done his body much good"


  • Robert founded The Lord Leycester Hospital Warwick, Warwickshire, England. This was for aged or injured soldiers and their wives, under royal charter from Queen Elizabeth' I, run by 12 resident "Brethren" (originally soldiers) under the charge of a "Master" and funded from the income of various estates.


  • 3RD JANUARY James Burbage, on behalf of Leicester's Men, writes to their patron, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, requesting that they are given the special status of "household servants"

  • Robert is offered the post of Lord High Treasurer which he declines and suggests William Cecil for the post instead.


  • Robert was Custos Rotulorum of Warwickshire. 1573–1588

  • Queen Elizabeth's School, Barne is founded by Robert.


  • 7TH AUGUST Robert's illegitimate son Sir Robert Dudley is born through his mistress Lady Douglas Sheffield née Howard. Robert acknowledged the paternity of his "base son" and was very fond of him, caring much for his well-being and education

  • DECEMBER Leicester's Men performed at Court. Robert's players.o Robert obtained for them the first royal patent issued to actors to allow them to tour the country unmolested by local authorities


  • JULY Robert hosted a spectacular 19-day-festival at Kenilworth Castle as a final, allegorical bid for the Queen' Elizabeth's hand; it was as much a request to give him leave to marry someone else. There were a Lady of the Lake, a swimming papier-mâché dolphin with a little orchestra in its belly, fireworks, masques, hunts, and popular entertainments like bear baiting . Elizabeth brought an entourage of thirty-one barons and four hundred staff for the royal visit.

  • Essex house, Originally called Leicester House is built for Robert. in 1590, it was recorded as having 42 bedrooms, plus a picture gallery, kitchens, outhouses, a banqueting suite and a chapel. Lettice Knolly was present at this event,

  • DECEMBER Leicester's Men performed at Court. Robert's players


  • Robert miniature portrait is done by Nicholas Hilliard


  • Robert had a personal meeting with Mary Queen of Scots and listened to her complaints about her captivity


  • 21ST SEPTEMBER Robert secretly married Lady Essex, Lettice Knolllys the Queen cousin and lady in waiting at his country house at Wanstead, with only a handful of relatives and friends present. Robert flirted with her in the summer of 1565, causing an outbreak of jealousy in the Queen. The marriage of her favourite hurt Queen Elizabeth deeply. She never accepted it, humiliating Leicester in public:

  • Leicester's Church, originally known as St David's Church, Denbigh was built for Robert.


  • SPRING The poet, Edmund  Spenser was accepted into the employment of  Robert and was living in Leicester House on the Strand


  • Robert and Lettice son was born. Robert Dudley styled Lord Denbigh.


  • 4TH APRIL Robert was present and stood as Godparent for, Francis Wolley a child' of Elizabeth Wolley Lady in waiting for the Queen.

  • Queen Elizabeth informed ambassadors that Lettice Dudley was "a she-wolf" and her husband a "traitor" and "a cuckold"


  • The book which later became known as Leicester's Commonwealth was written by Catholic exiles in Paris and printed anonymously. This was a scurrilous book that circulated in Elizabethan England and which attacked Queen Elizabeth favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. The work was read as Roman Catholic propaganda against the political and religious policy of Elizabeth I's regime.

  • Robert and Lettice son Robert Dudley, styled Lord Denbigh, died at age three years old.

  • Sir Christopher Blount becomes Gentleman of the Horse to Robert.


  • Robert is now in the Legal office of Justice in Eyre south of the Trent 1585–1588

  • 3RD JULY Robert is made Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and Essex

  • Robert took part in the fighting of the Dutch Revolt (1585–87). This was largely Protestant Seven Provinces of the Low Countries against the rule of the Roman Catholic King Philip II of Spain,

  • Thomas Holland served as personal chaplain to Robert

  • NOVEMBER Robert along with Queen Elizabeth is God Parents to Francis Walsingham's granddaughter Elizabeth.


  • 4TH FEBRUARY Robert was urged to accept the title governor-general by the States General of the United Provinces. The expedition was a military and political failure, and it ruined the Robert financially. Queen Elizabeth was in a rage at Robert accepting this position.

  • 9TH AUGUST Mary Sidney Robert's sister died.

  • 11TH AUGUST Robert left the court for a vacation at Kenilworth Castle.

  • Ambrose wrote to Robert saying "if I were you ... I would go to the furthest part of Christendom rather than ever come into England again. ... Let me have your best advice what is best for me to do, for that I mean to take such part as you do."

  • Robert commissioned Maarten Schenck van Nydeggen to erect a fortress at the Waal/Nederrijn fork

  • 22ND SEPTEMBER Robert fought at the Battle of Zutphen Part of the Eighty Years' War Location Zutphen, Guelders
    (present-day the Netherlands) Result Spanish victory After the battle Robert knighted Henry Norreys

  • DECEMBER Robert returned to England


  • Robert is appointed was appointed Lord Steward of the Royal Household. Robert's duties included being in charge of the supply with food and other commodities.


  • JULY-AUGUST Robert fought in the Spanish Armada Location North-west Europe Result Decisive Spanish defeat Robert's 14-year-old Illegitimate son Robert joined his father, who was commanding the army at Tilbury Camp, preparing to resist a Spanish invasion

  • After the Armada, the Robert was seen riding in splendour through London "as if he were a king"

  • 4TH SEPTEMBER Robert Dudley died at Cornbury, Oxfordshire England.


Robert Dudley was buried in Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick


  • Robert Dudley was the 1st Earl of Leicester and known the favourite of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England. Elizabeth called Robert “Her Eyes”


  • Robert was one of thirteen children, His father was John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland and Earl of Warwick Lord president of the Kings Council. Robert's brother was Guildford Dudley, the husband of the nine days Queen the Lady Jane Grey.


  • Prior to Robert's family fall from grace in 1553, He and his brother frequently took part in tournaments and other court festivities.


  • Robert and Ambrose adopted the bear and ragged staff, the heraldic device of the medieval Earls of Warwick. The two Dudley brothers were on the closest personal terms and Ambrose said of Robert: "there is no man [that] knoweth his doing better than I myself", while Robert's recurrent phrase about Ambrose was: "him I love as myself". Elizabeth, who liked Ambrose, loved to joke that he was neither as graceful nor as handsome as his brother Robert and stouter as well. Lacking a grand London residence of his own, Ambrose had his suite of rooms in the palatial Leicester House: "the Lord of Warwick's bedchamber, the Lord of Warwick's closet, the Lord of Warwick's dining-parlour"In the administration of their lands the brothers shared their estate managers and lawyers, while their local affinities consisted of the same gentry families. Privately, they were "almost inseparable", passing time together whenever possible


  • The Earl of Leicester's Men was a playing company or troupe of actors in English Renaissance theatre, active mainly in the 1570s and 1580s in the reign of Elizabeth I. Robert had kept players as early as 1559; they can be traced through the 1560s and into the 1570s by the records of their performances in various English cities as they toured the country


  • Robert and his first wife Amy were Sixth cousins once removed.It is believed this marriage was for love. When Amy Robstart died, this sparked off court gossip and a scandal due to the circumstances she died in. Robert pressed for an impartial inquiry which had already begun in the form of an inquest. The jury came to a conclusion that her death was an accident: Lady Dudley, staying alone "in a certain chamber", had fallen down the adjoining stairs, sustaining two head injuries and breaking her neck. However, it was widely suspected by many that Dudley had arranged his wife's death to be able to marry the Queen. Politicians and nobles used this scandal as an excuse to prevent Queen Elizabeth from contemplating marriage with Robert.


  • Lettice Knolly, Robert's second wife was a Sixth cousin. Lettice was a first cousin once removed to Queen Elizabeth 1st of England. Lettice was also a lady in waiting to Queen as was her mother and many of her family were courtiers. Queen Elizabeth learned of their secret marriage months after the event. Lettice was exiled from court and Elizabeth never accepted the marriage.




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