Sir Christopher Blount, MP

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Christopher Blount, MP

Birthdate: (36)
Birthplace: Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom
Death: March 18, 1601 (32-40)
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom (Beheaded for treason during the Essex rebellion)
Place of Burial: London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of James Blount, 6th Baron Mountjoy and Catherine Blount
Husband of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex & Leicester
Brother of William Blount, 7th Baron of Mountjoy; Charles Blount, 8th Baron of Mountjoy, earl of Devonshire; Ann Blount and Edward Blount

Managed by: Shirley Marie Caulk
Last Updated:

About Sir Christopher Blount, MP

Find-a-Grave Memorial #77646450


Sir Christopher Blount (1555/1556 – 18 March 1601) was an English soldier, secret agent, and rebel. He served as a leading household officer of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. A Catholic, Blount corresponded with Mary, Queen of Scots's Paris agent, Thomas Morgan, probably as a double agent. After the Earl of Leicester's death he married the Dowager Countess, Lettice Knollys, mother of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. Blount became a comrade-in-arms and confidant of the Earl of Essex and was a leading participant in the latter's rebellion in February 1601. About five weeks later he was beheaded on Tower Hill for high treason. Career

Blount's stepson, the Earl of Essex. Blount was a conspirator in the rebellion of 1601.

Christopher Blount was born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, the younger son of Thomas Blount, a relative of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester on the Earl's mother's side, and one of his chief household officers until his death in 1568. Blount's mother was Mary Poley from a Suffolk Catholic family. As a child Christopher Blount was sent to Louvain to be privately tutored by William Allen. Despite being a Catholic, he was Gentleman of the Horse to the Earl of Leicester by 1584.

He corresponded with Thomas Morgan in Paris, the exiled agent of Mary, Queen of Scots. Apparently Blount offered to "do [her] notable service". In his dealings with Morgan Blount probably had the backing of Leicester and Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's spymaster. Leicester trusted Blount, calling him "Mr. Kytt" and caring for his well-being.

Blount served in the Netherlands Campaign from 1585 till 1587, when Leicester was Governor-General there.

In the spring of 1589, about seven months after the Earl's death, Blount married his widow, Lettice Knollys, whom Queen Elizabeth hated for having married the Earl of Leicester. Accordingly, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, Lettice's son and the new favourite of the Queen, termed this an "unhappy choice". Lettice seems to have been very happy with her choice, as is shown by her later correspondence. Lady Leicester (she continued to be styled thus) and Sir Christopher were busy repaying the Earl of Leicester's colossal debts and were engaged in numerous lawsuits because of this.

Blount was Member of Parliament for Staffordshire, where he lived, in the Parliaments of 1593 and 1597; he was elected at the instance of the Earl of Essex, who was influential in the county. In 1596, Blount was a colonel in the Cadiz expedition, and in 1597 in that to the Azores. One of the main followers of the Earl of Essex, he became much involved in the latter's rebellion in 1601.

On Sunday, 8 February, he tried to raise London, riding side by side with his stepson, the Earl, and was badly wounded in the cheek. Following his arrest, he was carried on a litter to his trial, still weak from his injury. He was beheaded about four weeks after Essex on Tower Hill for high treason.


Adams, Simon (1995): Household Accounts and Disbursement Books of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester Cambridge ISBN 0-521-55156-0 Adams, Simon (2002): Leicester and the Court: Essays in Elizabethan Politics Manchester UP ISBN 0-7190-5325-0 Hammer, P.E.J. (1999): The Polarisation of Elizabethan Politics: The Political Career of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex 1585–1597 Cambridge UP ISBN 0-521-01941-9 Hammer, P.E.J. (2008): "Blount, Sir Christopher (1555/6–1601)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn. Jan 2008 (subscription required) Retrieved 2010-04-04 Haynes, Alan (1992): Invisible Power: The Elizabethan Secret Services 1570–1603 Alan Sutton ISBN 0-7509-0037-7 Jenkins, Elizabeth (2002): Elizabeth and Leicester The Phoenix Press ISBN 1-84212-560-5 Lacey, Robert (1971): Robert, Earl of Essex: An Elizabethan Icarus Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN 0-297-00320-8

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Sir Christopher Blount, MP's Timeline

Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom
March 18, 1601
Age 36
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

Executed for High Treason

March 1601
Age 36
London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Greater London, England, United Kingdom