2nd Earl (1566-1601)
Essex was a family of English
nobles who had considerable influence in Ireland during the 16th
century. Walter Devereux 1st Earl (c1541-76) was sent to Ireland
in 1576 to subdue the rebellious O'Neill's of Ulster and to expel
their Scottish allies. This he did in the most ruthless fashion,
people including Scottish women and children, he captured and executed
the leaders of the O'Neill rebellion. He was later granted estates
and appointed Earl Marshal of Ireland.
Walter's son Robert (1566-1601)
despite his insolence and intrigues was a favorite with Elizabeth
I. In 1599 she made him governor Governor General of Ireland, and
sent him to suppress the rebellion raised by Aodh O'Neill. His army
was defeated at Arklow, he made a truce with O'Neill which was to
be renewed every six months.
Upon his arrival back in London
he was charged with making a dishonorable and dangerous treaty and
imprisoned, he was freed in 1600. In 1601 he was re-arrested was
tried for treason on other charges and was executed.