How Would You Best Describe the Rebellion of the Earl of Essex?

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The Earl of Essex was a very ambitious and temperamental man who through the talent of charm, became a firm favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. Although, Elizabeth enjoyed Essex’ flattery and admiration, she was never one to let her heart rule her head. Essex first gained Elizabeth’s affections when he led a successful expedition to attack the Spanish port of Cadiz, capturing the town and destroying many Spanish warships. He was welcomed back as a hero. Essex wanted to be the most important minister in Elizabeth’s court and the only obstacles in his way were William Cecil and his son Robert. The rivalry between Essex and the Cecils dominated the Privy Council meetings and in result, Essex would start to lose his temper when he would not get his way. In 1598 Essex asked Elizabeth to appoint one of his supporters as Deputy of Ireland and she refused. Essex lost his temper with Elizabeth and declared that her ‘conditions are as crooked as her carcass’ before turning his back on her. Elizabeth in response punched him on the ear, which caused Essex to grasp his sword. This was completely unprecedented and could have been viewed as treason. Essex then stormed out during the meeting and was banned from returning to court by Elizabeth. During Essex’ absence from court, Elizabeth’s closest friends and ally William Cecil passed away in 1599. Cecil was a key figure during Elizabeth’s reign and some historians conclude that he was in fact the man who was running the country. With the death of her childhood friend Robert Dudley years before, this would mean that an ever aging Elizabeth was now on her own, surrounded by a court of young ambitious men. In light of Cecil’s death, Elizabeth decided to give Essex a final chance to prove himself to her. A rebellion, led by the Earl of Tyrone, had broken out in Ireland and Essex was ordered to take an army of 17,000 soldiers to defeat
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