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Tudor fact file

Robert Dudley

Born circa 1532
Died 1588
Son of the Duke of Northumberland


  • Earl of Leicester.
  • He was an English courtier.
  • He was made Master of The Horse in 1558.
  • It is possible that Elizabeth I might have married him if he had not already been married to Amy Roberts.
  • His wife died in 1560 when she fell down stairs and Robert was suspected of murdering her, but the case was not proved.
  • He was made Earl of Leicester in 1564.
  • In 1576 Dudley secretly married the widow of the Earl of Essex.
  • He was put in charge of the army by Elizabeth I and sent to the Netherlands in 1585 to 1587.
  • In 1588 he helped prepare for the threat of an attack by Spain.
  • He was not a very experienced soldier.
  • In both military actions he was not successful.
  • He still managed to remain one of the queen's favourites until he died.


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