robert-dudley

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“Lord Robert Dudley, Master of the Horse, and son of the late Duke of Northumberland, a very handsome young man (giovane bellissimo)….” [Paulo Tieplo, Venetian Ambassador]

“The messenger I thought to send you found himself better at ease where he is; so wanting so fit a Mercury, I send you such an one as I had of my own, only to hear of your good estate, which I pray to continue longer in this world than ever earthly prince has done.” [Robert Dudley, in a letter to Elizabeth I]

Robert Dudley + Modern AU

For your own matter I assure you I found her majesty as well disposed as ever at any time… and so, I trust, it shall always continue. God be thanked, her blasts be not the storms of other princes, though they be very sharp sometimes to those she loves best. Every man must render to her their due and the most bounden the most of all. You and I come in that rank, and I am witness hitherto [to] your honest zeal to perform as much as man can. And it cannot be but [that] it will work satisfaction, which shall be recompense to your toiling body and a great quieting of your careful mind…
— 

Robert Dudley to William Cecil, February 1573. Cited in Sweet Robin: A Biography of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester 1533 - 1588 by Derek Wilson

Whenever you will hear somebody saying that Dudley and Cecil served Elizabeth only out of fear or that they couldn’t stand her and would have gladly welcomed any other monarch, remember these lines by Robert Dudley where he affirms his belief in Elizabeth’s enduring loyalty to them and expresses conviction that they are lucky to have Elizabeth as their monarch instead of other princes.

CORRESPONDENCE SERIES 53/53

Robert Dudley to Elizabeth Tudor
29 August 1588

I most humbly beseech your Majesty to pardon your pôôr old servant to be thus bold in sending to know how my gracious lady doth, and what ease of her late pain she finds, being the chiefest thing in the world I do pray for, for her to have good health and long life. For my own poor case, I continue still your medicine and find that [it] amends much better than any other thing that hath been given me. Thus hoping to find perfect cure at the bath, with the continuance of my wonted prayer for your Majesty’s most happy preservation, I humbly kiss your foot. From your old lodging at Rycote, this Thursday morning, ready to take on my Journey, by Your Majesty’s most faithful and obedient servant,
                                                                                        R. Leicester

Even as I had written thus much, I received Your Majesty’s token by Young Tracey.

Transcript (extract)

Robert Dudley to Francis Walsingham, 28 September 1585

Mr. Secretary, I find hir majesty very desirous to stey me, she makes the cause only the dowtfullnes of hir owen self, by reason of hir often decease taking hir of late & this last night worst of all. She used very pittyfull words to me of hir fear she shall not lyve & wold not have me from hir. You can consider what manner of perswasion this must be to me from hir.

2

I most humbly beseech your Majesty to pardon your pôôr old servant to be thus bold in sending to know how my gracious Lady doth and what ease of her late pain she finds, being the chiefest thing in this world I do pray for, for her to have good health and long life. For my own poor case, I continue still your medicine and find it amend much better than with any other thing that hath been given me. Thus hoping to find perfect cure at the bath with the continuance of my wonted prayer for your Majesty’s most happy preservation I humbly kiss your foot, from your old lodging at Rycote this Thursday morning, ready to take on my journey, by your Majesty’s most faithful and obedient servant, 

R. Leycester.  

Even as I had written thus much I received your Majesty’s token by young Tracy.