|Charles Blount. Who was he? Why should you care?
Well, I'll tell you. Shakespeare couldn't have made a better character.
Love, romance, adventure, intrigue, tragedy, it's all there.
Now, that's one helluva story.
In 1403 Sir Walter Blount, an ancestor of Charles, was at the Battle of
Shrewsbury along with King Henry IV. Sir Walter wore the arms of the king
in order to take the blows of knights determined to single out the king
and kill him at all costs. He was killed in the fight. His story is told
in Shakespeare's King Henry IV.
Charles was born in 1563 into a noble family that was on the verge of bankruptcy.
He vowed to restore his family to its previous glory.
He went to Court about the age of twenty and the Queen took an instant
liking to him. She later gave him a gold enameled chess piece off of her
chess board for his skill in tilting. Robert Deveroux, later the Earl of
Essex, remarked that "Now I perceive that every fool must have a favour."
Charles didn't take that remark too well and challenged him to a duel.
Charles disarmed Essex and then stabbed him in the thigh. They later became
Penelope Deveroux, sister to Robert Deveroux, married Robert, Lord Rich.
He was a horrible husband, and frequently abused her. Charles and Penelope
fell in love with each other. She bore Charles five children, some of them
while she was still married to Baron Rich.
Charles served on the Rainbow, the flagship of Lord Henry Seymour
during the Armada of 1588.
He accompanied Essex, Lord Howard, Sir Walter Raleigh and others in an
expedition to Cadiz to burn the Spanish fleet and then to the Azores to
plunder the Spanish treasure galleons.
Charles was sent to Ireland to bring the Irish under control, something
no other lord, including the Earl of Essex, had been able to do. It took
him three years, but finally Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, surrendered
He was involved in the fringes of a conspiracy against Queen Elizabeth.
Only his victories in Ireland saved him. Robert Deveroux, the Earl of Essex,
his friend and the leader of the conspiracy, lost his head because of it.
Charles finally was able to marry his long-time love in Dec, 1605. Four
months later, at the age of 43, he died.