Leicester and Essex
earl of Leicester (1532-1588) and his stepson, Robert Devereux, earl of
Essex (1567-1601) were two favorites of Elizabeth. Both men were handsome,
physically fit, and intelligent.
Leicester from the time they were children, and of all her suitors, he
came closest to being the husband she might have had. When he died in
1588, she took his impetuous, headstrong stepson under her wing.
Essex was more
a soldier than a courtier, and finally his impatience with Elizabeth's
regime cost him his life.
Dudley, earl of Leicester
Autograph Letter, signed, to Queen Elizabeth I
ap Rice Collection of Writings
relating to the trial of the earl of Essex