I had a question about Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. I know that Elizabeth had nicknames for most of her favorites, but so far I haven't heard of one for him. Did Elizabeth ever give him a nickname? Is it possible that she gave him one, but it wasn't recorded? Or was "Robin" a good enough nickname in her opinion? Thank you for any answers you can give me.
I thought perhaps someone else would have an answer to this. You bring up a good question. Elizabeth did nickname most of her close friends. But for the life of me, I can't come up with one of hers for Essex. Paul Hammer would be the historian who would know Unfortunately I don't have a copy of his book to hand.
I don't know if she had a nickname for Essex but she definately had one for Robert Dudley the earl of leicester it was Sweet Robin.
I remember that Dudley was "eyes" and Robert Cecil was "pygmy", but those are all I can think of off the top of my head. I can't recall hearing one for Essex, but that doesn't mean she didn't have one since I don't always trust my memory on these things!
Elizabeth called Baroness Margaret Williams Norris 'mine own crow' because of her dark hair and complexion. Norris was the chief mourner at Amy Rosbart Dudley's funeral. She served at court till her death in 1599.
Sorry. I hit the enter key before I meant to.
Frances Howard Seymour, countess of Hertford was called 'good Franke'.
She also called Lettice Knollys Devereux Dudley countess of Essex and Leicester 'she-wolf' - an indication of her animosity towards Lettice after her marriage to Robert Dudley. Lettice was also supposedly 'the little western flower' whom 'the bolt of Cupid fell' in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.
Helena Snakenborg marchioness Northampton, a former attendant of Princess Cecilia of Sweden who stayed in England was nicknamed 'milady Marques' although that doesn't seem like much of a stretch. She was chief mourner at Elizabeth's funeral - apparently Arbella declined the honour.
Robert Dudley was "Eyes, William Cecil was "Spirit," Robert Cecil was "P," Francis Duke of Alencon was "Frog," Francis Walsingham was "Moor." She nicknamed most of her favorites, so she must have had one for Essex, right? Or maybe, because he was already arrogant enough and popular with the people, she didn't want to show him any more favor?
He was the "Turtle" of the Phoenix and the Turtle written upon his execution.
To clarify- The poem uses various birds to masque it's message.
Essex was the Turtledove.Elizabeth I was often referred
to as the Phoenix.
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