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Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1565-1601), Soldier; favourite of Elizabeth I
Sitter associated with 25 portraits
Elizabeth I's last favourite. Described as having 'a nature not to be ruled', Essex organised royal entertainment in his capacity as Master of the Horse. Confirmed as a popular hero when he took Cadiz in 1596, he lost his place at court as a result of his activities in Ireland in 1599. He tried to raise a rebellion against the queen's ministers in 1601, which failed, and he was executed for treason.