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Robert Cecil

Picture of Robert Cecil

Picture of Robert Cecil


Short Biography of the life of Robert Cecil - Diplomat, Politician and Statesman


The following biography information provides basic facts about the life Robert Cecil:

  • Nationality - English
    • Lifespan - 1563 - 1612
    • Family - Father was the great William Cecil, Lord Burghley. Cousin was Francis Bacon
    • Education - Tutored in his fathers house and at Cambridge University
    • Career - Diplomat, Politician and Statesman
    • Famous for his brilliant mind and acting as the Senior Statesman to both Queen Elizabeth I & King James I

What did Robert Cecil look like?
Robert Cecil slightly deformed with a hunchback which is said to be the result of being dropped by his nursemaid. He was extremely sensitive about his looks. The appearance of Robert Cecil in 1588 was described in Motley's History of the Netherlands as follows:

 "A slight, crooked, hump-backed young gentleman, dwarfish in stature, but with a face not irregular in feature, and thoughtful and subtle in expression, with reddish hair, a thin tawny beard, and large, pathetic, greenish-coloured eyes, with a mind and manners already trained to courts and cabinets, and with a disposition almost ingenuous, as compared to the massive dissimulation with which it was to be contrasted, and with what was, in aftertimes, to constitute a portion of his own character..."

Facts & History about the life of Robert Cecil - Diplomat, Politician and Statesman
The following are additional facts about the life and history of Robert Cecil:

  • Robert Cecil was raised with Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. William Cecil, Lord Burghley was the guardian of Essex
  • 1588 Robert Cecil was sent on his first diplomatic mission to to the Spanish Netherlands to negotiate peace with Spain
  • 31 August 1589 Robert Cecil married Elizabeth Brooke. They had three children - Frances, Catherine and William
  • Queen Elizabeth is said to have referred to him as "my elf" or "my pigmy"
  • In 1589 Robert Cecil began to perform the duties of secretary of state
  • In May 1591 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth
  • In 1596 Robert Cecil was officially appointed to the position
  • In 1597 Robert Cecil became chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster
  • 1598 Robert Cecil succeeded his father as principal secretary
  • 1601 The fall and execution of the Earl of Essex. Robert Cecil and Essex had continuously clashed at the Court of the Queen and in the Privy Council
  • Robert Cecil entered into secret negotiations with James VI of Scotland to arrange his accession to the English throne as James I on the death of Queen Elizabeth
  • 1603 Robert Cecil was created Baron Cecil
  • 1604 Robert Cecil was created Viscount Cranborne
  • 1605 Robert Cecil was created Earl of Salisbury
  • 1605 Cecil was extensively involved in events surrounding the Gunpowder Plot, some say his was implicated in the plot
  • 1608 Robert Cecil undertook the duties of Lord Treasurer
  • Robert Cecil died on 24 May 1612
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