Elizabeth I, Then and Now
March 21 through August 2, 2003
a Folger exhibition

Leicester and Essex

Robert Dudley, 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.

Elizabeth knew 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.


Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester
Autograph Letter, signed, to Queen Elizabeth I



Francis ap Rice Collection of Writings
relating to the trial of the earl of Essex

Elizabeth I, Then and Now
Exhibition Highlights

Introduction | Court Life | Elizabeth's Wardrobe | Foreign Affairs | Leicester and Essex | The Scottish Connection | Elizabeth as Ruler | Elizabeth's Funeral | Afterlife, Then and Now

Exhibition Catalogue | Elizabeth For Young People | Curator's Notes | Elizabeth I Exhibition Home Page


This page updated August 15, 2003