Cracroft's Peerage
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Leicester, Earl of (E, 1564 - 1588)


Creation: let.pat. 29 Sep 1564


Extinct: 4 Sep 1588


Family name: Dudley













Robert [Dudley], 1st Baron Denbigh later 1st Earl of Leicester, KG PC

5th son of John [Dudley], 1st Duke of Northumberland, by his wife Jane Guilford, dau. and hrss. by his first wife of Sir Edward Guilford, Marshal of Calais


24 Jun 1532

mar. (1)

4 Jun 1549 Amy Robsart (b. c. 1532; dsp. 8 Sep 1560), only legit. dau. of Sir John Robsart, of Siderstern, co. Norfolk, by his wife Elizabeth Appleyard, widow of Roger Appleyard, of Stansfield, co. Norfolk, and dau. of John Scott, of Camberwell, co. Surrey

mar. (2)

c. Dec 1573 Hon Douglas Sheffield (widow of John [Sheffield], 2nd Baron Sheffield; mar. (3) 29 Nov 1579 as his second wife Sir Edward Stafford, of Grafton, co. Northampton), dau. of William [Howard], 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, by his second wife Margaret Gamage, 3rd dau. of Sir Thomas Gamage, of Coity, co. Glamorgan (Editor's Note: the balance of probability is that this marriage did not take place. Not only did an investigation by the Star Chamber in 1605 come to the conclusion that the marriage had never taken place, but the Earl of Leicester himself, although acknowledging the paternity of his son by Douglas Sheffield, referred to him as his "baseborn son" in his will. However, see the note sub Duchess of Dudley.)

mar. (3)

21 Sep 1578 Lettice Devereux (b. c. 1539; widow of Walter [Devereux], 1st Earl of Essex; mar. (3) Jul 1589 Sir Christopher Blount MP, 3rd son of James [Blount], 6th Baron Mountjoy; d. 25 Dec 1634; bur. with her second husband in St Mary's Church, Warwick), sister of William [Knollys], 1st Earl of Banbury, and 1st dau. of Sir Francis Knollys KG, by his wife Mary Carey, sister of Henry [Carey], 1st Baron Hunsdon, and only dau. of William Carey, Esquire of the Body to King Henry VIII (by his wife Lady Mary Boleyn, mistress of King Henry VIII and elder sister of Lady Anne Boleyn, suo jure Marchioness of Pembroke, herself second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I, 1st dau. and cohrss. in her issue of Thomas [Boleyn], 1st Earl of Wiltshire and 1st Earl of Ormonde), 2nd son of Sir Thomas Carey, of Chilton Foliat, co. Wiltshire, by his wife Margaret Spencer, 2nd dau. and cohrss. of Sir Robert Spencer, of Spencercombe, co. Devon, by his wife Lady Eleanor Butler, widow of James [Butler], 5th Earl of Ormonde, and 1st dau. and cohrss. of Edmund [Beaufort], 1st Duke of Somerset

only child by third wife

1. Hon Robert Dudley, styled Lord Denbigh (dvp. an infant 19 Jul 1584)


s.p.s. legit 4 Sep 1588


28 Sep 1564 Baron Denbigh

29 Sep 1564 Earl of Leicester


Member of Parliament for Norfolk 1549-52 and 1553; Gentleman of the Privy Chamber 1551; Master of the Buckhounds 1552-53; supported his father in opposing the succession of Queen Mary I, arrested and committed to the Tower of London 1553; found guilty of high treason, attainted and sentenced to death 1553; released from the Tower 1554/5 and restored in blood by Act of Parliament 1557/8; Master of the Horse 1558/9-87; Knight of the Garter 1559; Privy Councillor 1559; Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire 1559, of Berkshire 1560, of Worcestershire 1569-70, of Essex, Hertfordshire and Middlesex 1585, and of Oxfordshire, Leicestershire and Rutland 1587-88; Constable of Windsor Castle 1562-88; High Steward of the University of Cambridge 1563-88; Chancellor of the University of Oxford 1564-88; Chamberlain of Chester 1565-88; Knight of the Order of St Michael (France) 1566; Lieutenant of the Order of the Garter 1572 and 1584; High Steward of Lynn and of Yarmouth 1572-88 and of Norwich Cathedral 1574-88; Lord Steward of the Household 1584-88; Chief Justice in Eyre South of Trent 1585-88; Governor of the United Provinces 1585/9-87; a Commissioner for the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots 1586


On the death of the Earl of Leicester both his titles became extinct. For details of his illegitimate son, Sir Robert Dudley, see Anne Leigh later Dudley, suo jure Duchess of Dudley.


 First written 26 Jan 2003



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