Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Salisbury
KG PC
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury by John De Critz the Elder (2).jpg
The Earl of Salisbury by John de Critz the Elder ca. 1602
Lord High Treasurer
In office
4 May 1608 – 24 May 1612
MonarchJames I
Preceded byThe Earl of Dorset
Succeeded byCommission of the Treasury
The Earl of Northampton, First Lord
Lord Privy Seal
In office
1598–1612
MonarchElizabeth I
James I
Preceded byThe Lord Burghley
Succeeded byThe Earl of Northampton
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
8 October 1597 – 1599
MonarchElizabeth I
Preceded byIn commission
Succeeded byIn commission
Secretary of State
In office
5 July 1590 – 24 May 1612
MonarchElizabeth I
James I
Preceded byWilliam Davison
Succeeded byJohn Herbert
Personal details
BornRobert Cecil
(1563-06-01)1 June 1563
City of London, England
Died24 May 1612(1612-05-24) (aged 48)
Marlborough, Wiltshire
England
Spouse(s)Lady Elizabeth Brooke
RelationsThe Lord Burghley (Father)
ResidenceHatfield House
Alma materSt John's College, Cambridge
 
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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Salisbury
KG PC
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury by John De Critz the Elder (2).jpg
The Earl of Salisbury by John de Critz the Elder ca. 1602
Lord High Treasurer
In office
4 May 1608 – 24 May 1612
MonarchJames I
Preceded byThe Earl of Dorset
Succeeded byCommission of the Treasury
The Earl of Northampton, First Lord
Lord Privy Seal
In office
1598–1612
MonarchElizabeth I
James I
Preceded byThe Lord Burghley
Succeeded byThe Earl of Northampton
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
8 October 1597 – 1599
MonarchElizabeth I
Preceded byIn commission
Succeeded byIn commission
Secretary of State
In office
5 July 1590 – 24 May 1612
MonarchElizabeth I
James I
Preceded byWilliam Davison
Succeeded byJohn Herbert
Personal details
BornRobert Cecil
(1563-06-01)1 June 1563
City of London, England
Died24 May 1612(1612-05-24) (aged 48)
Marlborough, Wiltshire
England
Spouse(s)Lady Elizabeth Brooke
RelationsThe Lord Burghley (Father)
ResidenceHatfield House
Alma materSt John's College, Cambridge

Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG PC (1 June 1563? – 24 May 1612) was an English administrator and politician.

Life[edit]

Quartered arms of Sir Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG

He was the son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke. His half-brother was Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter and philosopher Francis Bacon was his first cousin.

After his education at St John's College, Cambridge,[1][2] Salisbury was made Secretary of State following the death of Sir Francis Walsingham in 1590, and he became the leading minister after the death of his father in 1598, serving both Queen Elizabeth and King James as Secretary of State. He fell into dispute with Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and only prevailed upon the latter's poor campaign against the Irish rebels during the Nine Years War in 1599. He was then in a position to orchestrate the smooth succession of King James, maintaining a 'secret correspondence.' For most of his working life he served as spymaster for King James.

King James raised him to the peerage on 20 August 1603 as Baron Cecil, of Essendon in the County of Rutland, before creating him Viscount Cranborne in 1604 and then Earl of Salisbury in 1605. James I persuaded Sir Robert Cecil to exchange Theobalds Palace, the royal palace on the site of the present Cedars Park, for Hatfield House, so that it became a true Royal Palace. Lord Salisbury was extensively involved in matters of state security. The son of Lord Burghley (Queen Elizabeth's principal minister) and a protégé of Sir Francis Walsingham (Elizabeth's principal spymaster), he was trained by them in matters of spycraft as a matter of course. In 1603 his brother-in-law Lord Cobham was implicated in both the Bye Plot and also the Main Plot, which were an attempt to remove James from the throne and replace him with Lady Arbella Stuart.

Salisbury served as both the third chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin and chancellor of the University of Cambridge [3] between 1601 and 1612. In addition, the Cecil family fostered arts: they supported musicians such as William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Robinson.[4]

In 1589 Cecil married Elizabeth Brooke, the daughter of William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham, and his second wife, Frances Newton. Their son, William Cecil was born in Westminster on 28 March 1591 and baptized in St Clement Danes on 11 April. Elizabeth died when their son was six years old.[5] He succeeded his father as Earl of Salisbury.

Portrayals[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cecil, Robert (CCL581R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Britannica.com
  3. ^ Cam.ac.uk, "Chancellors of the University of Cambridge"
  4. ^ William Casey (pub.), Alfredo Colman (pub.), Thomas Robinson: New Citharen Lessons (1609), 1997 Baylor University Press, Waco, Texas, ISBN 0-918954-65-7
  5. ^ G. D. Owen. "Cecil, William, second earl of Salisbury (1591–1668)," in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004–2007.
  6. ^ http://www.parenfaire.com/faire/cast.php
  7. ^ http://www.renfair.com/ny/

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Francis Walsingham
Secretary of State
1590–1612
Succeeded by
Sir Ralph Winwood
In commission
Title last held by
Sir Thomas Heneage
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1597–1599
In commission
Title next held by
Sir John Fortescue
Preceded by
The Lord Burghley
Lord Privy Seal
1598–1608
Succeeded by
The Earl of Northampton
Preceded by
The Earl of Dorset
Lord High Treasurer
1608–1612
In commission
Honorary titles
Vacant
Title last held by
The Lord Burghley
Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire
1605–1612
Succeeded by
The Earl of Salisbury
Preceded by
The Viscount Howard of Bindon
Lord Lieutenant of Dorset
1611–1612
With: The Earl of Suffolk
Succeeded by
The Earl of Suffolk
Peerage of England
New creationEarl of Salisbury
1605–1612
Succeeded by
William Cecil
New creationViscount Cranborne
1604–1612
New creationBaron Cecil
1603–1612
Head of State of the Isle of Man
Preceded by
Henry Howard
Lord of Mann
1608–1609
Succeeded by
William Stanley