|1st Earl of Leicester|
|Reign||July 1618 - 13 July 1626|
|Born||19 November 1563|
|Died||13 July 1626 (aged 62)|
|Spouse(s)|| Barbara Gamage |
|Issue||Sir William Sidney|
Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester
Lady Mary Wroth
Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester– 13 July 1626), second son of Sir Henry Sidney, was a statesman of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. He was also a patron of the arts and a poet. His mother, Mary Sidney née Dudley, was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I and a sister of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, an advisor and favourite of the Queen.(19 November 1563
He was educated at Shrewsbury and Christ Church, Oxford, afterwards travelling on the Continent for some years between 1578 and 1583.In 1585 he was elected member of parliament for Glamorganshire; and in the same year he went with his elder brother, Sir Philip Sidney to the Netherlands, where he served in the war against Spain under Robert Dudley. He was present at the Battle of Zutphen where Sir Philip Sidney was mortally wounded, and remained with his brother.
After visiting Scotland on a diplomatic mission in 1588, and France on a similar errand in 1593, he returned to the Netherlands in 1606, where he rendered distinguished service in the war for the next two years. He had been appointed governor of the cautionary town of Flushing in 1588, and he spent much time there. In 1595 he sent his business manager Rowland Whyte to court to lobby for resources for Flushing, and to send him information about events at court including the latest political gossip. Whyte's letters provide a major resource for historians of the period. Whyte himself regularly complains about the indecipherable handwriting of his employer's replies.
In 1603, on the accession of James I, he returned to England. James raised him at once to the peerage as Baron Sidney of Penshurst, and he was appointed chamberlain to the queen consort, Anne of Denmark. In 1605 he was created Viscount Lisle. In August 1605 he decided to visit Vlissingen, but a storm forced his ship to land in Spanish territory at Gravelines. A suspicion arose at the English court that he had intended to go there, perhaps to betray the English-held fortress. Sidney managed to clear himself.
He wrote to William Trumbull in September 1614 with news of the queen's illness, she was "much troubled with paines in her legs and feet".In August 1615 he went with Anne of Denmark to Bath, and was joined by his daughter Catherine and her husband Lewis Mansel who travelled from Margam. Catherine came for medical advice in Bath.
In May 1618 he wrote to Sir Thomas Lake, the king's secretary with news of the queen declaration about efforts to reduce household expenses. She had told him that "while she lives she will obey the king in all things ... She therefore desires his majesty to take what order it shall please him, which shall please her also, for being wholly ignorant in household business, she will not any meddle with them".
In July 1618 he became Earl of Leicester. The title had become extinct in 1588 on the death of his uncle Robert Dudley, part of whose property he had inherited. Sidney wrote to his wife that their promotion was due to Anne of Denmark.
He was ill in September 1618 and was attended at Hampton Court by Henry Atkins and Théodore de Mayerne at the request of Anne of Denmark.
Sidney married twice:
Firstly to Barbara Gamage, a noted heiress and beauty, the daughter of John Gamage, of Coity Castle, a Glamorgan gentleman. By his first wife, he had eleven children.
Secondly to Sarah Blount, daughter of William Blount, and widow of Sir Thomas Smythe, by whom he had no children.
Leicester was a man of taste and a patron of literature, whose cultured mode of life at his country seat, Penshurst Place, was celebrated in verse by Ben Jonson. Robert Sidney was a patron of musicians, as is proved by his being the dedicatee of Robert Jones's First Booke of Songes and Ayres (1600) and A Musicall Banquet (1610) compiled by Robert Dowland, son of the composer John Dowland. Sidney had agreed to be godfather to John Dowland's son, and A Musicall Banquet opens with a Galliard by John Dowland entitled Syr Robert Sidney his Galliard.
Though the brother of one of the most famous poets in the English language, it was not suspected that Robert Sidney had himself been a poet until the 1960s, when his working notebook emerged (in a 19th-century binding) through the dispersal of the Library of Warwick Castle. Subsequent research showed it had been acquired in 1848 after passing through a number of sales beginning with the dispersal of the library at Penshurst in the early 19th century. Sold again at Sotheby's and acquired by the British Library in 1975 (catalogued as Add MS 58435), the autograph is, as its first editor P. J. Croft pointed out, "the largest body of verse to have survived from the Elizabethan period in a text entirely set down by the poet himself".
The arms of Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester showed sixteen quarters as follows:
1. A pheon (Sydney) 2. Barry of ten a lion rampant crowned (Brandon) 3. A lion rampant double queued (Dudley) 4. Two lions passant (Somerie) 5. Barry of six in chief three torteaux a label of three points for difference (Grey, Viscount Lisle) 6. A maunch (Hastings) 7. A wolf's head erased (Lupus, Earl of Chester) 8. Barry of ten as many martlets in orle (de Valence, Earl of Pembroke) 9. A lion rampant (Marshall, Earl of Pembroke) 10. Seven mascles conjoined three and one (Ferrers of Groby) 11. A lion rampant within a bordure engrailed (Talbot) 12. A fess between six crosses crosslet (Beauchamp) 13. Checky, a chevron ermine (Newburgh, Earl of Warwick) 14. A lion statant gardant crowned (Baron de Lisle) 15. A chevron (Tyes) 16. A fess dancetty (West); over-all an inescutcheon of pretence of his wife's paternal arms: quarterly: 1. Five fusils in bend on a chief three escallops (Gamage) 2. Vair (Martel?) 3. Checky, a fess ermine (Turberville of Coity Castle) 4. Three chevrons (Llewellyn)
Viscount De L'Isle, of Penshurst in the County of Kent, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1956 for William Sidney, 6th Baron de L'Isle and Dudley, VC, KG, GCMG, GCVO (1909–1991).
Baron Lisle was a title which was created five times in the Peerage of England during the Middle Ages and Tudor period, and once in the Peerage of Ireland in the 18th century.
The title of Viscount Lisle has been created six times in the Peerage of England. The first creation, on 30 October 1451, was for John Talbot, 1st Baron Lisle. Upon the death of his son Thomas at the Battle of Nibley Green in 1470, the viscountcy became extinct and the barony abeyant.
John Dudley, 2nd Earl of Warwick, KB was an English nobleman and the heir of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, leading minister and regent under King Edward VI from 1550–1553. As his father's career progressed, John Dudley respectively assumed his father's former titles, Viscount Lisle and Earl of Warwick. Interested in the arts and sciences, he was the dedicatee of several books by eminent scholars, both during his lifetime and posthumously. His marriage to the former Protector Somerset's eldest daughter, in the presence of the King and a magnificent setting, was a gesture of reconciliation between the young couple's fathers. However, their struggle for power flared up again and ended with the Duke of Somerset's execution. In July 1553, after King Edward's death, Dudley was one of the signatories of the letters patent that attempted to set Lady Jane Grey on the throne of England, and took arms against Mary Tudor, alongside his father. The short campaign did not see any military engagements and ended as the Duke of Northumberland and his son were taken prisoners at Cambridge. John Dudley the younger was condemned to death yet reprieved. He died shortly after his release from the Tower of London.
Penshurst Place is a historic building near Tonbridge, Kent, 32 miles (51 km) south east of London, England. It is the ancestral home of the Sidney family, and was the birthplace of the great Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney. The original medieval house is one of the most complete surviving examples of 14th-century domestic architecture in England. Part of the house and its gardens are open for public viewing. Many TV shows and movies have been filmed at Penshurst.
Barbara Sidney, Countess of Leicester was a Welsh heiress, and the first wife of Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester. Her family connections tied her to prominent contemporary figures such as Sir Walter Raleigh.
Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester was an English diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1614 and 1625 and then succeeded to the peerage as Earl of Leicester.
Sir John Hobart, 2nd Baronet was an English politician and baronet.
Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford (1580–1627) was a major aristocratic patron of the arts and literature in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras, the primary non-royal performer in contemporary court masques, a letter-writer, and a poet. She was an adventurer (shareholder) in the Somers Isles Company, investing in Bermuda, where Harrington Sound is named after her.
Lady Mary Sidney was a lady-in-waiting at the court of Elizabeth I, and the mother of Sir Philip Sidney and Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke. A daughter of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, she was marginally implicated in her father's attempt to place Lady Jane Grey on the English throne and affected by his attainder.
The House of Stratford is a British aristocratic family, originating in Stratford-on-Avon between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The family has produced multiple titles, including Earl of Aldborough, Viscount Amiens, Baron Baltinglass, Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe and the Dugdale Baronets. The Viscount Powerscourt and Baron Wrottesley both claim descent from this House. Historic seats have included Farmcote Manor and Stratford Park in Gloucester, Merevale Hall in Warwickshire, Baltinglass Castle, Belan and Aldborough House in Ireland, and Stratford House in London, amongst many others. The house was at its most powerful in the fourteenth, sixteenth, and eighteenth centuries.
Mabel Harington, was a courtier to Elizabeth I of England and the sixth daughter of Sir James Harington and Lucy Harington, the daughter of Sir William Sidney of Penshurst, Kent. She married Sir Andrew Noel of Dalby and Brooke, having 7 children. Later dying in 1603.
Stephen Lesieur or Le Sieur was a Swiss-born English ambassador to Denmark, Florence, and the Holy Roman Empire.
Philip Sidney, 2nd Baron De L'Isle and Dudley DL was an English Peer.
Sir John Throckmorton was an English soldier, Lieutenant-Governor of Flushing or Vlissingen and the Rammekens fortress. He was a son of John Throckmorton, and grandson of Sir Richard Throckmorton of Higham Ferrers.
Robert Wroth was an English courtier and Member of Parliament for Newtown.
Sir Lewis Mansel of Margam was a Welsh landowner.
Elizabeth Moleyns was an English courtier.
Anne of Denmark (1574-1619) was the wife of James VI and I. She visited Bath, Somerset in the belief that drinking and bathing in mineral waters could improve her health. The warm springs at Bath had been used for medicinal purposes since Roman times. During her progresses to Bath she was entertained at country houses along the way. The court physician Théodore de Mayerne left extensive notes in Latin describing his treatment of Anne of Denmark from 10 April 1612 to her death. Primarily, she was seeking help for gout or dropsy, a swelling of the legs and feet which made walking difficult. Her companion and servant Jean Drummond described an occasion when the queen was unable to set her swollen foot on the ground. During these progresses, Anne of Denmark also promoted the image of the Stuart monarchy.
Matthew Lister was a physician to the English royal family and is known for his relationship with the Countess of Pembroke.