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Definition of the Earl of Essex from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the Earl of Essex

 
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Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex (1566-1601) an English soldier born to an important family who was for some years a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and may have had a sexual relationship with her. In 1601 he tried without success to make the people of London turn against Elizabeth. He was condemned to death and had his head cut off.