How far do the sources suggest that the Earl of Essex caused his own downfall

Topics: Lord Privy Seal, Secretary of State, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex Pages: 2 (743 words) Published: February 21, 2014
In 1600 Essex's source of income (the monopoly) was not renewed and his attitude shifted from sorrow to rage and rebellion when his freedom from going behind Elizabeth's back to go to war was granted. His power at court was weakened when he led an unsuccessful rebellion in 1601 where he rebelled against Elizabeth and the court faction - led by Robert Cecil - to gain further influence and control at court. These sources suggests the Earl of Essex caused his own downfall.

Source 10 suggests that Elizabeth had a decent relationship with Essex as she gave him "£4,000 to clear" his "debt". This questions how he came into debt. She understands why Essex was acting like a child; he didn't want to grow up. She says that her "hand shall be readier to help" him "than any other". She told him to be "wise to help yourself" and not to give his "enemies advantage". This is a system of patronage. By "enemies", she means the Cecil faction. This source was written by Elizabeth herself to Essex in 1594, five or six years before the rebellion and his downfall had not been complete yet. However, he started to rebel long before that. This was because he was used to the way Elizabeth spoilt him like he was her child. Source 11, written by Sir Robert Naunton in 1641, tells us that if they had a more "proper conduct" - if they maintained a professional relationship - he might not have rebelled. Their affection would also not be "so hot and cold". This means that they had many arguments and falling outs which could be a reason why he started to rebel. In addition to this view, Essex's response in Source 12 at the time of his death was that he "never had any treacherous intentions towards Her Majesty". This makes me consider whether he was lying about that as his and Elizabeth's affection was hot and cold (as it says in source 11), where they had lots of arguments. Possibly Essex could not have his way and that is why he rebelled. He might have had no intentions to hurt Elizabeth...
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