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Robert Dudley KG, PC, 1st Earl of Leicester

Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester KG PC (24 June 1532 - 4 September 1588) was an English nobleman and the favourite and close friend of Elizabeth I's, from her first year on the throne until his death. He was a suitor for the queen's hand for many years.

Dudley's youth was overshadowed by the downfall of his family in 1553 after his father, the Duke of Northumberland, had failed to establish Lady Jane Grey on the English throne. Robert Dudley was condemned to death but was released in 1554 and took part in the Battle of St. Quentin under Philip II of Spain, which led to his full rehabilitation. On Elizabeth I's accession in November 1558, Dudley was appointed Master of the Horse. In October 1562, he became a Privy Councillor and, in 1587, was appointed Lord Steward of the Royal Household. In 1564, Dudley became Earl of Leicester and, from 1563, one of the greatest landowners in North Wales and the English West Midlands by royal grants.

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was one of Elizabeth's leading statesmen, involved in domestic as well as foreign politics alongside William Cecil and Francis Walsingham. Although he refused to be married to Mary, Queen of Scots, Dudley was for a long time relatively sympathetic to her until, from the mid-1580s, he strongly advocated for her execution. As patron of the Puritan movement, he supported non-conforming preachers but tried to mediate between them and the bishops of the Church of England. A champion also of the international Protestant cause, he led the English campaign in support of the Dutch Revolt (1585 - 87). His acceptance of the post of Governor-General of the United Provinces infuriated Queen Elizabeth. The expedition was a military and political failure, and it ruined the Earl financially. Leicester was engaged in many large-scale business ventures and was one of the main backers of Francis Drake and other explorers and privateers. During the Spanish Armada, the Earl was in overall command of the English land forces. In this function, he invited Queen Elizabeth to visit her troops at Tilbury. This was the last of many events he had organised over the years, the most spectacular being the festival at his seat Kenilworth Castle in 1575 on occasion of a three-week visit by the Queen. Dudley was a principal patron of the arts, literature, and the Elizabethan theatre.

Robert Dudley's private life interfered with his court career and vice versa. When his first wife, Amy Robsart, fell down a flight of stairs and died in 1560, he was free to marry the Queen. However, the resulting scandal very much reduced his chances in this respect. Popular rumours that he had arranged for his wife's death continued throughout his life, despite the coroner's jury's verdict of accident. For 18 years he did not remarry for Queen Elizabeth's sake and when he finally did, his new wife, Lettice Knollys, was permanently banished from court. This and the death of his only legitimate son and heir were heavy blows. Shortly after the child's death in 1584, a virulent libel known as Leicester's Commonwealth was circulated in England. It laid the foundation of a literary and historiographical tradition that often depicted the Earl as the Machiavellian "master courtier" and as a deplorable figure around Elizabeth I. More recent research has led to a reassessment of his place in Elizabethan government and society.

How is Robert related to Steven Dudley

Here's how:
1. Barry Ronald Dudley is Steven's father
2. Philip Henry Dudley is the father of Barry Ronald Dudley
3. William Henry Dudley is the father of Philip Henry Dudley
4. James Robert Dudley is the father of William Henry Dudley
5. James Augustus Granbury Dudley is the father of James Robert Dudley
6. Peter Dudley, Sr. is the father of James Augustus Granbury Dudley
7. Robert Dudley is the father of Peter Dudley, Sr.
8. Willam Dudley is the father of Robert Dudley
9. James Dudley is the father of Willam Dudley
10. William Dudley is the father of James Dudley
11. Edward Dudley is the father of William Dudley
12. Robert Dudley, Jr. is the father of Edward Dudley
13. Robert Dudley, Sr. is the father of Robert Dudley, Jr.
14. John Dudley is the father of Robert Dudley, Sr.
15. Richard (Sutton) Dudley is the father of John Dudley
16. Thomas Sutton (Dudley) is the father of Richard (Sutton) Dudley
17. Sir Edmund Sutton, Kgt is the father of Thomas Sutton (Dudley)
18. John ('of Dudley') Sutton, of Atherington, Esq. is a brother of Sir Edmund Sutton, Kgt
19. Edmund Dudley is a son of John ('of Dudley') Sutton, of Atherington, Esq.
20. John (Duke of Northumberland) Dudley is a son of Edmund Dudley
21. Lord Robert Dudley, KG is a son of John (Duke of Northumberland) Dudley





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