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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 8 months ago

The Essex Rebellion in a nutshell

Robert Devereux (19th Earl of Essex and 3rd Devereux 1566-1601) was the handsome young man who became the favourite of ageing Queen Elizabeth. He hankered after military power and riches. After several expeditions, which were either failures or lead to rows with the Queen, she madehim Viceregent (1) of Ireland to suppress the Irish leader, the Earl of Tyrone. Essex made peace with Tyrone, against the Queen's orders, then made a lightning dash to Nonesuch Palace to explain to the Queen. He burst into the presence chamber before the Queen was dressed and had been made up. He was placed under house arrest, and later that year the Queen

deprived him of his main source of income.


After Essex was permitted back to Court, he was still facing financial ruin, and was convinced his enemies, particularly Sir Walter Raleigh, were plotting to kill him. Surrounded by young aristocrats and young Catholic gentry, who were also mostly in desperate financial straits he staged a desperate attempt (in February 1601) to raise the City of London to his support. One of the rebellion's objectives was to force the Queen to get rid of Essex's two rival parties at Court: those of Robert Cecil and of Sir Walter Raleigh. Another objective appears to havebeen to force Elizabeth to acknowledge James VI of Scotland as her successor. He had no intention of harming the Queen.


The Essex Rebellion failed. The Earl surrendered at Essex House in the Strand, was tried before his peers, and was executed in the Tower of London.


Practically all those who subsequently became Gunpowder Plotters took part in the Essex Rebellion and were heavily fined. Lord Monteagle (then Sir William Parker, having been knighted in Ireland by Essex) was one who took part in the Essex Rebellion, together with his friend the Earl of Southampton. Both were imprisoned in the Tower of London. Most of those taking part in the Essex Rebellion were released from prison, but the fines made them even poorer. Monteagle was fined £8,000 and released from the Tower to close house-arrest aIn August 1601, but Southampton was only released from imprisonment after the death of Elizabeth in 1603. Monteagle was released from house-arrest in December 1601, and in early 1602 was said to have been in Spain with Guy Fawkes trying to foment an invasion.


So what has all this got to do with Lord Monteagle and Yateley?


(1) a post we should now call Viceroy


Back to The Yateley Gunpowder Plot Myth

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