Robert Devereux 3d earl of Essex

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Essex, Robert Devereux, 3rd earl of (1591–1646). Essex was the son of Elizabeth I's favourite, and was 10 when his father was executed. His sympathies being on the parliamentary side, he was appointed commander-in-chief as soon as war came. He fought prudent defensive campaigns at Edgehill and Turnham Green in 1642. In September 1643 he succeeded in relieving Gloucester and fought his way back to London at the first battle of Newbury. In September 1644 he led the ill-advised foray into Cornwall which ended in disaster at Lostwithiel. Essex resigned in accordance with the self-denying ordinance in 1645 and died the following year. Clarendon praised him for the good discipline of his troops and he seems to have been well liked. But he did not really gain one notable victory and his position depended mainly upon his name and rank.

J. A. Cannon

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Essex, Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of (1591–1646) Parliamentary commander in the English Civil War from July 1642. A poor strategist, his failures perhaps prolonged the war. He was effectively superseded by Oliver Cromwell when the New Model Army formed in 1645.

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