The Career of the Earl of Essex from the Islands Voyage in 1597 to His Execution in 1610

By Laura Hanes Cadwallader | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
TYRONE'S REBELLION

"War was the natural and constant state of the inhabitants and peace only existed in the shape of brief and feverish truces."

WALTER SCOTT, Introduction to The Monastery

During the absence of Essex on the Islands Voyage, his rivals had gained important favors at court. Sir Robert Cecil had been made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, on October 8, and on October 23, Admiral Howard had been created Earl of Nottingham. The letter conferring this honor on him stated that it was a reward for his services at the taking of Cadiz, in 1596. The new earl also became "Lord Steward," a position which gave him precedence over all other peers of the same rank. Essex was unwilling that such a reflection on his own services should stand without challenge, for the success of the Cadiz expedition had been universally accorded to him rather than to Howard. He therefore demanded an investigation of the merits of the case.1

The enemies of Essex had discredited him also during his absence on the Islands Voyage, by censuring his attitude to Ralegh at Fayal. Although Ralegh's actions had been condemned at the time by a full court, yet his friends at home were so influential that they were able by their "wisdom and authority" to protect him, and to disparage his chief.

Neither at court, in Council nor in Parliament would Essex show himself. Not even at the anniversary of the

____________________
1
Sydney Papers, II, p. 77.

-23-

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