Sunday, August 7, 2011

Robert Dudley

"No, Dudley!" said Elizabeth, raising him with one hand, while she extended the other that he might kiss it. "Elizabeth hath not forgotten that, whilst you were a poor gentleman, despoiled of your hereditary rank, she was as poor a princess, and that in her cause you then ventured all that oppression had left you--your life and honour. Rise, my lord, and let my hand go--rise, and be what you have ever been, the grace of our court and the support of our throne! Your mistress may be forced to chide your misdemeanours, but never without owning your merits.--And so help me God," she added, turning to the audience, who, with various feelings, witnessed this interesting scene--"so help me God, gentlemen, as I think never sovereign had a truer servant than I have in this noble Earl!"

Robert Dudley was born on August 7, 1574.  Not the Robert Dudley featured in Walter Scott’s “Kenilworth”, but his son.  Robert was illegitimate, and was born 14 years after Dudley’s first wife Amy Robsart died.   

The younger Robert ultimately inherited Kenilworth Castle, but not the titles his father held; though he tried, claiming that his mother, Lady Douglas Sheffield had been secretly married to his father.  Dudley made his mark as an explorer and cartographer.

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