Robert Dudley was born on 24th June 1542 to John Dudley and his wife Jane. They were from Northumberland. He initiated his education in renaissance humanism by very accomplished teachers.
His teachers always commented about his merit in the study of languages and they expected him to pursue it further but Dudley opted for mathematics instead. He also learned the craft of the courtiers at the royal court.
In 1549 during Elizabethan era, Robert participated in the Ket's rebellion and it is here that he first laid eyes on Amy Robsart whom he married in 1550. It is said that they had a love marriage and were very happy together. Robert's father saw this as an important political alliance and he blessed the happy couple. Robert became a prominent member of the parliament.
However, circumstances took a negative turn for Robert by 1553. When King Edward died, the duke of Northumberland planned out a sequence of rebellions to establish Lady Jane Grey as the ruler. Lady Jane Grey was married to the youngest daughter of the duke.
Hence, Robert was involved in this upsurge. He took an army of 300 men and secured many towns for Lady Jane Grey and managed to pronounce her authority at the marketplace of a town called the King's Lynn.
However, this rule was short lived and just after one day Lady Jane Grey was overthrown and her supporters were captured. Robert Dudley was one of the prisoners and he was condemned to death but he managed to avoid this ordeal that befell on his father and brothers.
On Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne, Robert's good fortune seemed to return. He was very close to the queen and immediately after her enthronement he was made the master of the horses. This was a very important post and later on Robert was promoted to various other higher dignified posts.
Robert was so close to the Queen that he was considered her unofficial consort. He enjoyed unparalleled privileges and rights and he had the strongest influence in the court. He was however, never accepted by the Queen in marriage.
During this time Amy died of an accident. People speculated that Robert and the Queen had arranged for the murder to start their own marital life. This was proved a false accusation but the speculations never stopped.
Robert never married the queen but he did remarry the very charming Lettice Knollys. They say that the queen was extremely jealous by this action and had stopped all correspondences with Robert but they soon made up their differences.
Robert died after his participation in the Spanish Armada. The cause of his death was malaria. His death was a very deep blow for the Queen and he was deeply mourned by his wife and all his acquaintances.