Born on 12 October, 1555, he was baptized at the church of Saint Willibrord on 14 October. On Elizabeth I's accession to the throne in 1558, his parents returned to England and applied for a patent of naturalization for him. He formally became English on 2 August 1559. He married Mary de Vere, daughter of the John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford between Christmas 1577 and 12 March 1578. When his mother died in 1580, he applied to assume her title and he took his seat in the House of Lords on 16 January 1580.