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The Earl of Essex.

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The Earl'sof Essex.

1st Earl (c1541-76)
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, massacring ordinary 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.

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