So they were friends since childhood, Lettice Knollys was introduced early into court life...
Walter Devereux, who in 1572 became the 1st. Earl of Essex.
So Robert1 of Essex and Lettice had a son was also named Robert
( the 2nd earl of Essex)
became the second Robert
"Too many Roberts"
After Lettices husband Walter went to Ireland in 1573 she possibly became involved with
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
There was plenty of scandalous talk.
Lettice incurred the Queen's undying hatred due to her marriage to Elizabeth's "favorite" Robert Dudley
effectively curtailing her social life.
and ending all prospects for the continuance of the House of Dudley.
as was her third marriage to the much younger...
only six months after the Earl's death.
She continued to style herself Lady Leicester.
thanks to http://www.elizabethfiles.com/