Home  »  Every Day in the Year A Poetical Epitome of the World’s History  »  Epitaph on the Earl of Leicester

James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

September 4

Epitaph on the Earl of Leicester

By Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618)

  • Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was a celebrated courtier and politician of Elizabeth’s time, a son of the Duke of Northumberland. He took part in the attempt of his father and brother to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne at the death of Edward VI. On the failure of that attempt he was sentenced to death for high treason but was afterward pardoned. He became the chief favorite of Queen Elizabeth, whose affections he had gained before her accession, and he intrigued, though unsuccessfully, to obtain the consent of the great nobles to his marriage with her. His career as a soldier was not so satisfactory. He was appointed general of a force against the Spaniards but was recalled, owing to his incompetence. He died Sept. 4, 1588.

  • HERE lies the noble warrior that never blunted sword;

    Here lies the noble courtier that never kept his word;

    Here lies his excellency that governed all the state;

    Here lies the L. of Leicester that all the world did hate.