Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1565-1601), Soldier; favourite of Elizabeth I
Sitter associated with 25 portraits
Elizabeth I's last favourite, 'a nature not to be ruled', Essex organised royal entertainments 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.