Lettice Knollys

Lettice Knollys
aliases
Laetitia Knollys, Lettice Devereux, Lettice Dudley
Lettice Knollys ( /ˈnoʊlz/ nohlz, sometimes called Laetitia, also known as Lettice Devereux or Lettice Dudley), Countess of Essex and Countess of Leicester (8 November 1543[1] – 25 December 1634), was an English noblewoman and mother to the courtiers Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and Lady Penelope Rich; through her marriage to Elizabeth I's favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, she incurred the Queen's undying hatred.[2][3]
A grandniece of Anne Boleyn and close to Princess Elizabeth since childhood, Lettice Knollys was introduced early into court life. At 17 she married Walter Devereux, Viscount Hereford, who in 1572 became Earl of Essex. After her husband went to Ireland in 1573 she possibly became involved with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. There was plenty of scandalous talk, not least when Essex died in Ireland of dysentery in 1576. Two years later Lettice Knollys married Robert Dudley in private. When the Queen was told of the marriage she banished the Countess fore…more

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