The Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury

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Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury (June 1,1563 -May 24, 1612), son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and half-brother of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, statesman and minister to Elizabeth I of England and James I of England. Robert Cecil is the one who tore down most of the old palace of Hatfield House and built the new one.

Robert Cecil was vilified by some of his contemporaries and, as is still common today, some of his less attractive physical features were exaggerated to make an ideological point. His appearance in 1588 is described in Motley's History of the Netherlands this way: "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..."

Queen Elizabeth is said to have referred to him as "my elf" or "my pigmy", the latter term not to his liking.

Cecil was made Secretary of State following the death of Sir Francis Walsingham in 1590, and he became the leading minister after the death of his father in 1598, serving both Elizabeth and James as Secretary of State. James raised him to the peerage on August 20,1603 as Baron Cecil of Essendon, before advancing him to Viscount Cranborne in 1604 and then Earl of Salisbury in 1605.

Preceded by:
New Creation
Earl of Salisbury Followed by:
William Cecil