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The Tudor Tournament

Robert Kett vs. Robert Cecil

On Friday,  Guildford Dudley advanced to the second round of the Tudor Tournament. A tie at midnight led to the poll remaining open for Edward Courtenay and Gerald FitzGerald, but by the end of Saturday, FitzGerald slipped by Courtenay with one additional vote. Today’s contest is a showdown between two very different Roberts: who will you vote for between Robert Kett and Robert Cecil?

Showdown of the Roberts: Robert Kett vs. Robert Cecil

Robert Kett

Robert Kett, leader of Kett’s Rebellion

Date: 1492 – December 7, 1549

Strengths: Kett was a model yeoman of Tudor England: he was a successful landowner, a faithful parishioner, and a natural leader. There was, however, the tiny detail of leading a rebellion against the king. When a group of rioters began destroying hedges in protest of the enclosure of land (a sticky topic at the time, as enclosing land limited grazing options), Kett listened to their grievances. He then joined their cause and became the movement’s leader. For several weeks, Kett held the band together and attracted new followers. Indeed, his force was able to capture Norwich. He even defeated William Parr, the Marquess of Northampton, in battle.

Weaknesses: Kett’s success eventually ended. The Marquess of Northampton returned, this time as second-in-command to John Dudley (who was, at that time, the Earl of Warwick). Facing a much larger force, the rebels were defeated at the Battle of Dussindale. Kett was captured, and eventually hung for treason.

Manner of death: Hung by the neck

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Robert Cecil

Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury

Date: June 1, 1563 – May 24, 1612

Strengths: Robert had the good fortune to be the son of William Cecil, the chief advisor to Elizabeth I. Like his father, he carried a good deal of influence with the queen. This was especially true after Robert became Secretary of State in 1590. He would go on to not only advise Elizabeth on matters foreign and domestic, but he also paved the way for the smooth transition of power to James I & VI upon Elizabeth’s death.

Weaknesses: Like all of the men who surrounded Elizabeth, he had to compete for Elizabeth’s ear and approval. Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl of Essex, particularly tested Robert Cecil’s patience. Cecil, however, would emerge a-head in that particular competition (couldn’t resist!).

Manner of Death: Natural

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