Monday, February 25, 2013

On This Day in Elizabethan History: Essex, Excommunication, and Burghley

A miniature of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, circa 1596. By Isaac Oliver. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

On this day in Elizabethan history in 1601, (which had been an Ash Wednesday) Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex, was beheaded for treason.

How did this royal favorite wind up with his head upon the block? And what were the repercussions for his friends and family? Learn the answers to these questions and more in our article on the fall of the Earl of Essex.

Also today in Elizabethan history....

A composite image of Pope Pius V and Queen Elizabeth I (The Ermine Portrait). Shared for public use on Wikimedia Commons by JW1805.

In 1570, Queen Elizabeth I, despite being a Protestant, was excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Pius V. As a confirmed heretic in contempt of the "one true faith", Pius V had effectively absolved Catholic Europe of sin if they were to assassinate Elizabeth.

A portrait of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, depicted in his robes for The Order of the Garter. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

In 1571, Queen Elizabeth promoted her hardworking Secretary, William Cecil to the peerage, creating him Baron Burghley. He also earned a seat in the House of Lords.