1642, reprinted in Harleian Miscellany, ii. Robert Cecil, the son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke, was born on 1st June, 1563 at Cecil House, Strand, London. :77, The Kingdom of Ireland was a major source of concern and expense during Robert Cecil's time in government. Elizabeth styled him her pygmy; his enemies delighted in vilifying his "wry neck," "crooked back" and "splay foot," and in Bacon's essay " On Deformity," it was said, "the world takes notice that he paints out his little cousin to the life. Robert Cecil was 5 ft 4 in (163 cm) tall, had scoliosis, and was hunchbacked.  However, his attitude to Roman Catholics was not, for the time, especially harsh: he admitted that he was unhappy with the notorious Jesuits, etc. Spedding, Life and Letters of Bacon, iv. It is difficult, however, in the absence of complete information, to understand the exact nature and signification of these strange relations. During the year preceding his acceptance of that office the expenditure had risen to £500,000, leaving, with an ordinary revenue of about £320,000 and the subsidies voted by parliament, a yearly deficit of £73,000. Cecil demanded as conditions that James stop his attempts to obtain parliamentary recognition of his title, that an absolute respect should be paid to the queen's feelings, and that the communications should remain a secret.:76. He fell into dispute with Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and only prevailed upon the latter's poor campaign against the Irish rebels during the Nine Years War in 1599. On Lord Burghley's death on the 4th of August both Essex and Bacon desired to succeed him in the supreme direction of affairs, but the queen preferred the son of her last great minister. Like most moderate Englishmen at the time, he thought that exile, rather than death, was the appropriate penalty for the priests. Pauline Croft in, G. D. Owen. ; Somers Tracts, v.). During the year preceding his acceptance of that office in 1608 the expenditure had risen to Â£500,000, leaving a yearly deficit of Â£73,000. ii. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. In foreign affairs his aim was to preserve the balance of power between France and Spain, and to secure the independence of the Netherlands from either state. Owing to Cecil's action, on the death of Elizabeth on the 24th of March, 1603, James was proclaimed king, and took possession of the throne without opposition. , In 1611 Cecil disapproved of the proposed marriage between the Prince of Wales and the Infanta. During his long political career he had amassed a large fortune, besides inheriting a considerable portion of Lord Burghley's landed estate. Please try again. died May 24, 1612, Marlborough, Wiltshire English statesman.  Cecil had a disposition for building and tore down parts of it and used its bricks to build Hatfield House. , It is to Cecil's credit that the Queen, largely at his urging, treated the rebels with a degree of mercy which was unusual in that age. 1 Correspondence of King James VI. He was in favour of peace, preoccupied with the state of the finances at home and the decreasing revenue, and, though sharing Raleigh's dislike of Spain, was instrumental in making the treaty with that power in 1604. Cecil attended St John's College, Cambridge, in the 1580s, but did not take a degree. ", Croft, Pauline. He married Elizabeth, daughter of William Brooke, 5th Baron Cobham, by whom, besides one daughter, he had William (1591-1668), his successor as 2nd earl. Trained in statesmanship by his father, William Cecil, Robert entered the House of Commons in 1584. Meanwhile Cecil's success had completed the discontent of Raleigh, who, exasperated at his dismissal from the captaincy of the guard, became involved — whether innocently or not is uncertain — in the treasonable conspiracy known as the "Bye Plot." 278 note, 279. Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, plays a very interesting part in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. , Sir Robert Cecil now promoted James as successor to Elizabeth. Writing later in the reign of James, Cecil says: "If Her Majesty had known all I did, how well these (?she) should have known the innocency and constancy of my present faith, yet her age and orbity, joined to the jealousy of her sex, might have moved her to think ill of that which helped to preserve her"1. If, as has been stated,2 he received a pension also from France, it is not improbable that, like his contemporary Bacon, who accepted presents from suitors on both sides and still gave an independent decree, Cecil may have maintained a freedom from corrupting influences, while his acceptance of money as the price of information concerning the intentions of the government may have formed part of a general policy of cultivating good relations with the two great rivals of England (one advantage of which was the communication of plots formed against the government), and of maintaining the balance of power between them. Although the applicant was poor he could become rich by charging a fee to all the girls in England who wished to meet the Prince. 4 Gardiner, History of England, i. 3 Spedding, Life and Letters of Bacon, iv. On the other hand, if the King was assassinated, then his heir, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, would be made Sovereign, someone more closely associated with the 'Rosicrucianist' networks spreading through Europe, and likely a more pliable sovereign for the English parliamentary state's interests. In the "great contract," the scheme now put forward by Salisbury for settling the finances, his lack of political wisdom was still more apparent. :76, Although King James I would often speak disparagingly of Cecil as "my little beagle" or "young Tom Durie", he gave him his absolute trust. Everything2 ™ is brought to you by Everything2 Media, LLC. Secretary Of State (1596-1612) and Lord Treasurer (1608-1612)  Living in an age which attached much importance to physical beauty in both sexes, he endured much ridicule as a result: Queen Elizabeth called him "my pygmy", and King James I of England nicknamed him "my little beagle". The Commons were to guarantee a fixed annual subsidy, on condition of the abandonment of impositions and of the redress of grievances by the king. Between 1603 to 1604 difficult negotiations with the Spanish delegation took place, but through Cecil's determined statesmanship the treaty bought an 'honourable and advantageous' peace for England. Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG, PC (1 June 1563 – 24 May 1612), son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, and half-brother of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, statesman, spymaster and minister to Queen Elizabeth I and King James I.Lord Salisbury was responsible for the demolition of most of the old palace of Hatfield House and the building of the new one.
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