Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




The position of Robert Dudley as one of the most influential courtiers and statesmen during the reign of Elizabeth I originated with the affection that queen held for him. For this reason, historians have often discounted his role in Elizabethan politics and patronage. His contemporaries, however, recognized his unique status and frequently wrote him, requesting his assistance to obtain ecclesiastical and secular offices, assistance in purchasing land, and other favors. He responded successfully to many requests, and his influence with Elizabeth made him one of the most powerful nobles in England. This thesis explores the many requests addressed to Robert Dudley and is based on two main sources: the Dudley Papers at Longleat House, and the Pepys Manuscripts at Magdalene College, Cambridge. An analysis of these collections will show that Dudley merited the attention that he received, and successfully employed his influence with Elizabeth to assist his proteges.

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