Elizabeth of York

«The daughter of Edward IV, Elizabeth married Henry VII in 1486, an act which reconciled moderate Yorkist opposition to the Tudor dynasty. In this portrait, which was made a considerable time after her death, Elizabeth holds a white rose, the symbol of the House of York, while portraits of Henry from the same period frequently depict him holding the red rose of the House of Lancaster.»

«This small painting was copied by the Flemish artist Remigius van Leemput for Charles II from the life-size mural on the wall of the Privy Chamber in Whitehall which was painted by Holbein for Henry VIII in 1537. The wall-painting was destroyed by the fire at Whitehall Palace on 4 January 1698 and this is the only complete record of the mural. Holbein's original preparatory cartoon for the left half of the composition is in the National Portrait Gallery.

The first part of the Latin inscription on the plinth in the centre of the composition translates: ‘If it pleases you to see the illustrious images of heroes, look on these: no picture ever bore greater. The great debate, competition and great question is whether father or son is the victor. For both, indeed, were supreme'.»

«The original wall painting was commissioned by Henry VIII from his court artist Hans Holbein the Younger in 1537. It was painted in his palace of Whitehall in central London. The Holbein painting was destroyed by a fire in Whitehall in 1698 but its appearance is recorded in an oil painting made by Remigius van Leemput for Charles II (also in the Royal Collection), and in this early eighteenth-century watercolour, a copy after van Leemput’s piece. One of Holbein’s cartoons for the mural, for the figure of Henry VIII, is in the National Portrait Gallery.»

Maria of Aragon

The painting is inscribed «Maria Arragonia».

There were several Maria of Aragon. One possibility is the sister of Katherine of Aragon, Maria of Aragon, Queen of Portugal.

The coat of arms in the top left of the painting can probably give us a conclusive answer as to which Maria of Aragon she is.

Portrait of Arthur Prince of Wales, c.1509

«It is difficult to exaggerate the rarity and the importance of this small royal portrait. When discovered it was described by Catherine MacLeod, curator of sixteenth and seventeenth century portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, as ‘the only surviving portrait of Arthur that could have been painted within his lifetime,’ which means that it is one of the earliest surviving easel portraits in British art.»

«From the sitter’s age it is apparent that this portrait was executed in the concluding stages of the marriage negotiations, and by costume may be dated to c.1500. The association with the Prince’s marriage is especially probable when one considers the flower that he is depicted holding. The white gillyflower traditionally connotes betrothal and purity, by reason of its colour, and kingship, by reason of the coronet-like shape of its flowers. The identification of this motif is confirmed by the description of this panel in a seventeenth century inventory of the Royal Collection, compiled between 1637 and 1640 by Abraham van der Doort, Keeper of the Royal Pictures to Charles I:

A Whithall peece 
Item the i5th being Princ Arthure in his minoritye
In a black cap and goulden habbitt houlding in his right 
hand a white gillifloore in a reed pintit goulden frame»

Katherine of Aragon

Katherine of Aragon as the Virgin Mary

Michael Sittow

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Katherine of Aragon

Michael Sittow

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Katherine of Aragon

Michael Sittow

Katherine of Aragon

Early 18th century

National Portrait Gallery | NPG 163


«This portrait of Katherine is a version of a widely-circulated likeness that depicts the queen circa 1530 (a similar version is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston). Technical analysis has revealed that this portrait is not contemporary with the sitter and instead dates from the early eighteenth century, demonstrating a market for Tudor portraits during this period. 'Prussian blue', a pigment invented between 1704 and 1710 and only commercially available on a wide scale from the 1720s, was found to be present in the paint used for the background, the jewel of Katherine's headdress and in the sprig of foliage that she holds in her hand.»

Katherine of Aragon (1485-1536)

Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77), signed and dated 1652

Royal Collection | RCIN 421499


«Hollar must have copied her portrait from one of the miniatures of the queen attributed to Lucas Horenbout, such as the example now in the Buccleuch collection.»

Katherine of Aragon (1485-1536)


Attributed to 16th century English School

Royal Collection | RCIN 404746


«This is a version of a standard type of portrait of Katherine of Aragon which probably derives from an original portrait type associated with the artist Johannes Corvus (c. 1510-20). Other versions are in the National Portrait Gallery London, Merton College Oxford and at Petworth.»

Katherine of Aragon (1485-1536)


17th century English School

Philip Mould


«This small portrait of Henry VIII's first wife was presumably painted towards the end of Queen Eliabeth's reign to complete a set of Kings and Queens of England hanging in a patron's long gallery or library.»

Katherine of Aragon (1485-1536)


16th century English School

Philip Mould


«This bright and boldly painted image derives from the best known easel portrait of Katherine, that attributed to Jan Corvus, or Jan Rav (d. c.1544) now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This example, most probably painted in the 1560s (according to a dendrochronoligical analysis of the oak panel) would have formed part of a series of ‘corridor portraits’ in an important English house. In this case, given the inscription identifying Katherine as the wife of Henry VIII (as opposed to the mother of Queen Mary I), it was almost certainly commissioned as part of a set of Henry’s six wives.»

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Possibly the collar of gold which

Katherine of Aragon brought out of Spain with her

and left to her daughter Mary

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The recent reidentification of the portrait in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna from Katherine of Aragon to Mary 'Rose' Tudor is in my view entirely erroneous.

Such arguments were made that the 'K' letter that is repeated throughout the necklace stood for 'Karolus' (the Latin spelling of the Charles. Mary 'Rose' Tudor was engaged to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V for a time, and was in fact known as the Princess of Castile in her youth), not 'Katherine', but Katherine of Aragon spelled her name with a K in all of her known letters. Furthermore, she corresponded with her betrothed, Prince Arthur in Latin, their only common language, and Katherine is spelled with a K in Latin as surely as Karolus is.

Perhaps the main argument seemed to be that the lady is wearing a necklace of Tudor roses, so obviously she must be a Tudor rose.

I would instead like to make the argument that it was the portrait of Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy, the sister of Edward IV of England, that popularised this fashion.

Tommaso di Folco Portinari (1428–1501); Maria Portinari (Maria Maddalena Baroncelli, born 1456), ca. 1470, by Hans Memling, Netherlandish

Tommaso di Folco Portinari (1428–1501); Maria Portinari (Maria Maddalena Baroncelli, born 1456)


Hans Memling

Metropolitan Museum of Art


In this portrait in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we see Maria Portinari wearing a similar necklace.

«The Patron: Tommaso di Folco Portinari (1428–1501) was a member of a prominent Florentine family who emigrated to Bruges to eventually become the branch manager of the Medici bank there. In about 1470, when he was about forty-two, he married Maria Maddelena Baroncelli (born Maria di Francesco Bandini Baroncelli in 1456), a mere fourteen-year-old from another leading Florentine family. They lived in elegant style in one of the grandest houses in Bruges, the Bladelinhof, which also served as Tommaso’s business offices beginning in 1466. Portinari was a strong supporter and patron of the reformed Observant branch of the Franciscan order, highly fashionable in Bruges at the time, which also received the court patronage of Margaret of York and Isabella of Portugal. In addition, he worshipped at the church of Saint James, located near the Prinsenhof and frequented by Dukes Philip the Good and Charles the Bold when they visited Bruges. Portinari was in fact a generous patron of Saint James’s church, particularly contributing to its rebuilding in the 1460s and 1470s. He was granted a funerary chapel there which he decorated lavishly. Tommaso was associated with the prestigious Confraternity of the Dry Tree, a cult promoted by the Franciscans that drew its membership from the elite society of Bruges—courtiers, foreign merchants, patrician families, and distinguished artists such as Petrus Christus and Gerard David. Portinari was a leading patron of the arts and commissioned important works from the most highly sought-after artists of his day. Among these works are Hans Memling’s Passion of Christ (Galleria Saubauda, Turin) and The Met’s Portinari portraits, as well as Hugo van der Goes’s Portinari Triptych (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence) and perhaps a lost Crucifixion.[1]

Tommaso Portinari began working at the Bruges branch of the Medici bank in about 1440, when he was only about twelve years old. Advancing slowly, due to apparent opposition from Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici, Portinari did not become the branch manager and a full partner in the bank until 1465. Around the same time, Tommaso held an increasingly privileged position at court, participated in diplomatic affairs, and became a confidant of the future Duke Charles the Bold. By 1464 he was serving as the “faithful councilor” to Philip the Good, a position that he continued when Charles the Bold succeeded Philip at his death in 1467. During Portinari’s tenure at the Medici bank in Bruges, he made large and extremely risky unsecured loans to Duke Charles the Bold that were never fully repaid, eventually leading to the demise of the bank.[2] The Bruges branch closed in 1480, and in 1497 Tommaso and his wife returned to Florence where he died in 1501. Tommaso was buried in the church of Sant’Egidio, on the high altar of which was Hugo van der Goes’s Portinari Triptych. Sant’Egidio was part of the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova.[3]

The Commission: The portraits of Tommaso Portinari and Maria Baroncelli were most likely commissioned around the time of the couple’s wedding in 1470. Originally they formed a triptych with an image of the Virgin between them.


The portraits of Tommaso and Maria, of course, were intended as representations not solely of the couple’s piety; they also express their social status and connections at court. The couple are dressed in the height of fashion. Franke compares the appearance of the Portinaris with that of Charles the Bold and Isabella of Bourbon in two anonymous portraits (mid-sixteenth-century copies of fifteenth-century portraits, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent; fig. 3), noting that the couples not only resemble each other, but the costumes and haircuts of the men are quite similar, as are the necklaces, necklines, and hennins of the women. Just as the initials of Charles and Isabella decorate the latter's hennin, the initials of Maria and Tommaso were once visible on Maria’s hennin (as discussed below).[25] Maria in particular wears an ostentatious necklace very similar to one worn by Margaret of York, the third wife of Charles the Bold, at her wedding in 1468, which Tommaso and Maria attended (fig. 4).[26]»

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Anne of Cleves


Hans Holbein the Younger

Victoria & Albert Museum


And here we see a similar necklace on the bride of another Tudor prince, Anne of Cleves, in a miniature from 1539 now in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Mary I Tudor

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Queen Mary I


Master John

National Portrait Gallery | NPG 163



For more portraits of Mary I Tudor see our Mary I Tudor page.

Anne Boleyn

Buccleuch Miniature of Anne Boleyn

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Buccleuch Miniature of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein the Younger

Anne Boleyn – NPG 668

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Nidd Hall Portrait of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn – The Nidd Hall Portrait

Anne Boleyn, Loseley House, 18th century

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Anne Boleyn, Loseley House, 18th century

Anne Boleyn, Loseley House, 18th century

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Queen Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein the Younger

On the verso, a coat of arms of the Wyatt family, and other heraldic sketches c.1533-6

For the life of me I have not been able to see the Wyatt coat of arms on the verso on the sketch.

I can sort of see a boar's head now, and what looks like a moustache repeated.

Wyatt Coats of Arms

The three roses, however, are a dead ringer for the Carey coat of arms.

Though upon further reflection, what I took to be the rose in the middle in the sketch looks like a bird.

Carey Coat of Arms

William Carey and Mary Boleyn

William Carey and the Private Collection Mary Boleyn

George Boleyn?


George Boleyn? – An Unidentified Man by Hans Holbein the Younger | RCIN 912259

George Boleyn? – An Unidentified Man after Hans Holbein the Younger


Metropolitan Museum of Art | Accession number 49.7.28

«This painting is based on a drawing in the Royal Collection at Windsor. Scholars do not these days attribute it to Holbein, owing to the style of the underdrawing and weaknesses in the execution. Susan Foister believes it to be a workshop portrait painted by an assistant under Holbein's supervision, while John Rowlands believes it is the work of a follower who might have trained under Holbein.»

Surely I am not the only one who has looked at this portrait and thought that it might be George Boleyn? 

It would mean that he was a little younger than usually surmised, though, born in 1506/7 rather than 1504.

Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I, Armada Portrait, 1588

Queen Elizabeth I in Procession, c. 1600

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger

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Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger (1521 – 11 April 1554)

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Henry Carey

Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon (4 March 1526 – 23 July 1596)

Katherine Parr

Katherine Parr (1512 – 5 September 1548)

Katherine Parr

c. 1545

Master John

National Portrait Gallery | NPG 4451


For more portraits of Katherine Parr see our Katherine Parr page.

Thomas Seymour

Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley ( c. 1508 – 20 March 1549)

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset (?1497-1587)

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset (?1497-1587), aged 16

Thomas Youngerman Gooderson

In the manner of Bernaert van Orley

Petworth House

On loan from the Egremont Private Collection

National Trust | NT 485062


«Oil painting on canvas, Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset (?1497-1587), aged 16 (in the manner of Bernaert van Orley) by Thomas Youngerman Gooderson (fl.1846-1868), inscribed across top of painting: THE . DVTCHES . OF . SOMERSET . / ÆTATIS . HER . GRACE, / SVE . I6. A head-and-shoulders portrait of a young woman, turned slightly to the right, gazing to the right, wearing a white coif, brown dress, with dark brown fur collar and with a small chain round her neck and hanging chain tucked into the white triangle of her bodice. The original at Syon House looks Flemish c.1530-90 but is probably not of an English sitter.»

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset – The Original at Syon House © Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide

The Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide’s photograph of Lady Katherine Grey and her son, catching the original painting of Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset, aged 16, at Syon House at the same time.

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset (?1497-1587)

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset (?1497-1587)

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset

Published by Edward Harding

After Sylvester Harding

Print made by Henry Meyer

After Antonis Mor

The British Museum | 1848,1125.371


«Portrait of the Duchess of Somerset, three quarter length, nearly full face, standing, holding gloves and miniature; from a picture formerly at Strawberry Hill; after A More; No X in a set of plates; vignette Stipple on chine collé»

This engraving must be based on the same portrait as the engraving above.


Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset (?1497-1587)

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset



This portrait must be the one the above two engravings are based on and that was in Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Collection:

«1774 Description: Anne Stanhope duchess of Somerset, second wife of the protector, whose portrait she holds in one hand: a present to Mr. Walpole from Mr. Bateman.»

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset (?1497-1587)?

Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset?

Said to be Queen Mary I, Daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon

Museums Sheffield

Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation


Possible identification is based on the similarity to the Chevening Portrait above. Facial similarity, but also the unusually large hands and arms in both portraits. The fashion is also similar, and entirely in keeping with when Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset would have been at the age of the lady in this portrait.

The sitter is clearly not Mary I Tudor.

Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford and 1st Duke of Somerset (c. 1500 – 22 January 1552) and his wife Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset (?1497-1587)

Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk

Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (1473 – 25 August 1554)

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1516/1517 – 19 January 1547)

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1516/1517 – 19 January 1547)

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1516/1517 – 19 January 1547)

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1516/1517 – 19 January 1547) – Henry Howard Earl of Surrey at age 29, 1546, by William Scrots

Margaret Wotton, Marchioness of Dorset

Elizabeth Grey, Lady Audley

Elizabeth Grey, Lady Audley (1515/1516 – 1569+)

Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford

Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford (1499 – 1544+)

Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk?

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Portrait of a Woman

sometimes identified as the Duchess of Suffolk


British School, 16th Century


«The sitter has been linked tentatively to Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk. A portrait at Petworth (see Collins Baker, 'Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures', 1920) appears to represent the same woman on a larger scale and is inscribed with the date 1560 and the sitter's age (24). Another version of the portrait is in the Duke of Sutherland's collection.»

After having gone to considerable trouble to get a hold of a copy of this book, it does not even contain a picture of this other supposed portrait. I would like to determine for myself whether or not this is another version of the same portrait, and the same woman, people in earlier times being notoriously more lax about these matters.

There is an entry (for what must be the portrait referred to above) which simply reads: 


«194 A Lady holding her Gloves (1560)

Half length, three-quarters left. Aquiline nose, chestnut hair, yellow lace ruff and cuffs, dark brown bodice with furred collar and sleeves, brown chequered under-sleeves and black bonnet. Her gloves in her hands, a bouquet of red and white flowers on her breast, green background. Inscribed: “AN DNI 1560 AETA 24.”

WOOD, 13½ by 10¾ in.

On the back: “1748. No. 21.” Formerly catalogued as by Marc Gerard. L. Cust assigns it to Hans Ewoouts (Walpole. Soc., vol. ii, p. 31. pl. xxx(b)).»

Collins Baker, 'Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures', 1920, p.42-43

And that's it.

The portrait referred to does not appear to be in the Petworth Collection today, which is now a part of the National Trust, though I could refind nearly every painting mentioned in the book in it today.

Of course, if the lady in the painting was 24 in 1560, she was born in 1535/6, and could not possibly be lady Frandon Brandon.

The Online Books Page Online Books by C. H. Collins Baker (Baker, C. H. Collins (Charles Henry Collins), 1880-1959)

Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures in the Possession of Lord Leconfield. By C[harles] H[enry] Collins Baker

It couldn't possibly be this portrait, could it?

Portrait of a Lady by a follower of Hans Eworth

This portrait was sold by Christie's on the the 3rd of November 1972 as lot 189. Provenance is given as the 5th Duke of Sutherland. That must be George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland (1888 – 1963).

At first appearance there is not anything to link either him, or the painting, to Petworth.

However, the painting fits the above description perfectly:


«194 A Lady holding her Gloves (1560) Half length, three-quarters left. Aquiline nose, chestnut hair, yellow lace ruff and cuffs, dark brown bodice with furred collar and sleeves, brown chequered under-sleeves and black bonnet. Her gloves in her hands, a bouquet of red and white flowers on her breast, green background. Inscribed: “AN DNI 1560 AETA 24.” WOOD, 13½ by 10¾ in. On the back: “1748. No. 21.” Formerly catalogued as by Marc Gerard. L. Cust assigns it to Hans Ewoouts (Walpole. Soc., vol. ii, p. 31. pl. xxx(b)).»

If we compare it to the description of the portrait given by Christie's we see that the inscription and even the dimensions are precisely the same.

Follower of Hans Eworth Portrait of a lady, aged 24, small half-length, in a black fur-trimmed dress and white ruff with inscription and date 'ANDNI 1560/AETA.24.' (upper right) oil on panel 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm.)

Most curious. Like I said, most of the paintings recoreded in the Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures is still in the collection today. Reading over the description in the Royal Collection again answered that seemingly unsolvable mystery. 'Another version of the portrait is in the Duke of Sutherland's collection.'

Ah. They must have meant that another version of the Petworth portrait was in the Duke of Sutherland's collection. This must be that version.

I still wonder what happened to the Petworth version and where it is today, and would dearly like to see it.

My initial hunch proved correct. I remain unconvinced, but open to the possibility that this is the same woman.

J. Stephan Edwards dismisses the possibility of the portrait in the Royal Collection being Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk on account that it dates to no earlier than 1560, based on the starched ruff (starched ruffs were introduced into England no earlier than 1560). Frances died late in 1559, so any portrait of her must necessarily have been produced before the summer of 1559 at the very latest, before starched ruffs came to England.

I have tried to trace the development of ruffs in England on the 1550s and 1560s page.

To my mind, however, the ruff the woman in the Portrait of a Woman sometimes identified as the Duchess of Suffolk is wearing looks precisely like the one Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex (1541 – 1576) is wearing in the below portrait of him painted in 1572, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The painting style even seems similar.

Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex (1541 – 1576) in 1572

His wife Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex and Countess of Leicester (1543 – 1634) was born on the 8th of November 1543, however, so the portrait cannot be of her, thus negating any thoughts that the portrait in the Royal Collection may have been a pendant to the one of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex.

Instead I believe that I have conclusively identified the lady in it on my The Pagets page.

But what then of the original of the Sutherland Portrait, the one at Petworth in 1920 and attributed to Hans Eworth by Lionel Cust?

It would appear that when HM Government in the 1950s accepted a portion of Petworth’s art collection in lieu of inheritance tax (the first arrangement of its kind), the Egremonts did keep some of the art collection.

So it may still be privately owned by the Egremonts.

Another possibility is that they sold it off.

The portrait below was at Petworth in 1920.

«FRENCH SCHOOL (c. 1560)

336 Lady in a White and Brown Cap

      Half length three-quarters left ; auburn hair, gold-brown cap with white and gold crown, deep black-green bodice, with gold border, full white sleeves, rose and gold embroidered cuffs and white undersleeves.  Pearl and gold necklace and fine gold chain ; green curtain, left.

     Wood, 8 by 6¾ in.

Formerly catalogued as by Van Leyden. On back : "292 A. Godolphin May 4, 1738" and "Hugford."»

Collins Baker, Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures (1920), p.45

There is a black and white photograph of this portrait in the book, so it is definitely this one.

Portrait of an Unknown Young Lady by Claude Corneille de Lyon (1510–c.1574)

Portrait of an Unknown Young Lady


Claude Corneille de Lyon (1510–c.1574)

Polesden Lacey

National Trust | NT 1246455



The provenance given by the National Trust at Polesden Lacey confirms a sale from Petworth in 1927.

The National Trust remarks under Marks and inscriptions Fr Godolphin May 4 (inscribed on reverse in fine black ink, part of inscription on reverse may be covered by Agnew label)

From Collins Baker's Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures (1920) we know that a transcription before the Agnew label was added reads:

"292 A. Godolphin May 4, 1738" and "Hugford."»

Probably purchased by Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin (1678–1766) from Ignazio Enrico Hugford (1703–1778) (on the 4th of May 1738?), like a sketch in the British Museum bearing a similar inscription. 

Another portrait of the same lady is at Château de Chantilly, inscribed Laure de Noves. Laura de Noves (1310–1348), however, lived in the 14th century, while our lady lived in the middle of the 16th century.

Portrait of a lady at Château de Chantilly, inscribed Laure de Noves

The importance to our lady, the lady sometimes said to be Frances Brandon, is that it shows that the Egremonts could also have sold off the original painting said to be of the same woman that was in their possession in 1920 since then.

It is of course also possible that they still have the original in their possession.

Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk?

Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk?

(Image of portrait digitally restored by gogmsite.net)


Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk?

Called Princess Mary Tudor

British School

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology


«A disastrous cleaning in 1976 revealed that the painting is substantially a nineteen century pastiche, perhaps over a seventeenth-century original.»

See also a discussion of this portrait here.

Possible identification is based on the similarity to Frances's mother Mary 'Rose' Tudor. This lady has the same roundness of features. Here I quote unashamedly from myself: «Now, by roundness, I am not referring to plumpness, but rather to a certain roundness in facial shape and to the nose. This roundness of features can also be found in one of the commemorative wedding portraits of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon».

Furthermore, this lady is dressed in the precisely the right fashion for Frances's youth, 1530's-1540's.

There are, of course, some anachronistic details, the earrings would not be worn in England by the English until the second half of the reign of Elizabeth I Tudor (see, for example, A Queen of a New Invention by J. Stephan Edwards, p. 114), and the French hood does not look quite right, it looks like it is painted by someone who did not understand how the French hood works. Both of these facts, of course, are the results of the actual image we are looking at being a Victorian pastiche. If there is another image underneath, an actual portrait of a Tudor woman from the 1530's-1540's, we can expect these details to be 'corrected', no matter who the portrait is of.

The sitter is clearly not Mary I Tudor. Any similarity could be explained by the fact that, well, Frances and Mary were first cousins.

She is also dressed according to Frances's stature.

For the kind of jewellery Frances had access to, see the list of things given to her by her cousin, the Princess Mary:

Gifts from Mary to Frances

Gifts from Mary to Frances

Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk?

How the portrait actually looks like today.

For a black and white photograph of how the portrait looked before the disastrous cleaning in 1976 see here.

Eleanor Brandon, Countess of Cumberland?

Portrait of a Lady of the Wentworth Family (Probably Jane Cheyne)


Hans Eworth

Art Institute Chicago


I have seen this portrait sometimes identified as Eleanor Brandon, Countess of Cumberland.

Probably the same sitter as below, in a portrait also purportedly of Eleanor Brandon, Countess of Cumberland.

If they are indeed the same sitter, and has some relation to the Cumberlands, it is probably Margaret Clifford, Countess of Derby, her daughter, instead.

Margaret Clifford, Countess of Derby?

Portrait of an Unknown Lady


Hans Eworth

Tate | T03896


From the Wikipedia article of Eleanor Brandon, Countess of Cumberland:

«There is a discrepancy as to who the sitter is in the Hans Eworth portrait which is featured. The coat of arms in the top left corner, which may have been added later, are the impaled arms (those of a husband and wife) of Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, and his wife Lady Eleanor, daughter of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and Mary Tudor, Dowager Queen of France. As a result, the painting has been frequently exhibited in the past as a portrait of Lady Eleanor, regardless of the fact that she died in 1547, well before the date of this portrait. It is, however, a rule of heraldry that impaled arms are not used by the children of a marriage, as they would have their own. Hence the later addition and erroneous use of the arms here suggests that the identity of the portrait was already unclear only two or three generations after it was painted, a situation by no means unusual amid the frequent early deaths, multiple marriages, and shifting alliances and fortunes of the most powerful families of the Tudor era. Later the portrait was thought to represent the only child of Eleanor and Henry to survive infancy, Margaret. Unfortunately the inscription on the right which might have provided a check (Margaret would have been aged 25–28 at the time of this portrait) has been truncated; although the Roman numerals of the year can apply only to 1565-8, the age of the sitter cannot be ascertained with any useful accuracy. The National Portrait Gallery has an online sketch of this portrait identified as Lady Eleanor, but the portrait remains in dispute. There is, however, a portrait of Lady Eleanor featured at Skipton Castle. It is reportedly a very poor work of art, but nonetheless interesting.»

It cannot be Eleanor Brandon, Countess of Cumberland (1519 – 27 September 1547), because the fashions are all wrong. They date to the second half of the sixteenth century, at which point poor Lady Eleanor Brandon would have been long dead.

Kate Emerson believes that this portrait in the Tate is Margaret Wentworth (d.1587/8), and the top picture in the Art Institute Chicago called Portrait of a Lady of the Wentworth Family (Probably Jane Cheyne) her sister Jane Wentworth (c.1539 – 16 April 1614).

For my own part I have always though that they both bear a remarkable resemblance to the portrait of Mary Browne, Countess of Southampton,  (22 July 1552 – April 1607) below.

The painting in the Art Institute Chicago bears inscriptions, however, and perhaps even more useful for identification purposes, a coat of arms: Inscribed: AETATIS 24 / 1563 / HE (on tablet at upper right), coat of arms of the Wentworth (upper left)

So she cannot be either Eleanor Brandon Clifford, her daughter Margaret Clifford Stanley or Mary Wriothesley Browne Heneage Hervey, as neither of them were from or married into the Wentworth family.

For a further discussion of the portrait in the Tate see also tudorqueen6 and Tudor portrait identification issues: Lady Eleanor Brandon, her daughter Margaret, or Margaret Wentworth?

Mary Browne, Countess of Southampton. Painted at thirteen (1566) by Hans Eworth. This painting is at Welbeck Abbey.

Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk

Mary Monteagle

Mary Monteagle by Hans Holbein the Younger

William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, who received the Monteagle letter, warning him of the gunpowder plot, was her grandson.

Eleanor Brandon


Amelia of Cleves?

The Lady Parker



From a print of 1812 published by J. Chamberlaine

Unknown Woman

The Lady Ratclif

John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland

Anne Stafford

Anne Stafford


Margaret Roper

Margaret More (1505–1544), Wife of William Roper


Hans Holbein the Younger

Wrest Park Portrait - 1545-1549 - Mary Nevill Fiennes Lady Dacre (www.gogmsite.net/the_early_1500s_-_up_to_155/subalbum-mary-neville-lady-/)

Claude de France?

Katherine Willougby, Duchess of Suffolk




Susan Bertie





Lettice Knollys


I have seen speculation that this is Lettice Knollys.



If the portrait above is Lettice Knollys, surely this one is too, because this is clearly the same woman.


Lettice Knollys, 1585 (?the date)



Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Countess of Lincoln - 'The Fair Geraldine'

Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Countess of Lincoln - 'The Fair Geraldine'


Steven van der Meulen 



Lady Jane Dormer (1538–1612), Duchess of Feria

Ye Lady Dormer

This portrait is called Dorothy, Lady Dormer by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, c. 1596.

According to gogm, it's a 1590s lady, traditionally identified as Lady Denman, portrait sold by Christie's. 

Wikipedia provides the information that there is an inscription at top left reading Ye Lady Dormer and identifies the portrait as Portrait of Dorothy, Lady Dormer (1577 - ?), daughter of Sir Robert, 1st Baron Dormer, of Wing (1552-1616) and wife of Henry Hudleston of Sawston.

Dorothy Dormer Hudleston (b. 1577) would never have been known as Lady Dormer, however. 

The two likeliest candidates based on the title and the fashions of the sitter in the portrait are:

DOROTHY CATESBY (c.1527-September 30, 1613)

Dorothy Catesby was the daughter of Anthony Catesby of Whiston, Northamptonshire (c.1500-October 10,1554) and Isabel Pigott. In about 1550, Dorothy married Sir William Dormer of Eythorpe and Wing, Buckinghamshire (c.1503-May 17, 1575). The Dormers were a Catholic family and sheltered priests during the reign of Edward VI. When Elizabeth Tudor took the throne, Dormer’s daughter by his first marriage, Jane, married a Spanish duke and moved to Spain. Dormer’s mother settled in the Netherlands. The family in England were under suspicion. Dormer was listed as a “hinderer” of Protestant religion in the 1560s and was on a list of alleged supporters of Mary Queen of Scots in 1574. Dorothy’s children by Dormer were Katherine (c.1550-March 23, 1615), Robert (January 26,1551-November 8, 1616), Margaret (1553-April 26,1637), Mary (c.1555-1637), Richard, Frances, Anne, and Peregrine. Magna Carta Ancestry adds Grizzel and Amphyllis and omits all sons except Robert. After Dormer’s death, Dorothy took as her second husband Sir William Pelham (c.1530-November 24, 1587), by whom she had one son, William. Pelham died of wounds suffered in battle at Flushing. Dorothy founded an almshouse in Wing, Buckinghamshire in 1596. She died at Eythorpe. Biography: Oxford DNB entry under “Pelham [née Catesby; other married name Dormer], Dorothy.” Portrait: alabaster effigy in Wing Church, Buckinghamshire; portrait c. 1596 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger.

Dorothy Catesby – A Who's Who of Tudor Women

If this is a wedding portrait due to the intertwined wines, it could be painted around the time of Dorothy's second marriage to Sir William Pelham, sometime between the death of Sir William Pelham on the 24th of November 1587 and the death of her first husband on the 17th May 1575.

The black and yellow pattern of the lady's stomacher does complement the yellow and black of Sir William Pelham's armour in the portrait on his  Wikipedia page. 

The other candidate is Elizabeth Browne, daughter of Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu and Magdalen Dacre. She was the half-sister of Mary Browne, Countess of Southampton whose portrait is shown further up on this page. Elizabeth (d.1631) was married to Dorothy's son Robert Dormer, 1st Baron Dormer.

According to Wikipedia, this is a late 16th century, c. 1592, oil portrait of a member of the Browne and or Dormer family.

According to the Wikipedia page for Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu, it's either Mary Dormer Browne or Elizabeth Browne Dormer as widows, c. 1592 or c. 1616, oil-on-panel, (35 x 29 inches).

Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria (?)

Lady, 1580 by Frans Pourbus the Elder (Flemish, 1545-1581)

Portrait of a Woman


Frans Pourbus the Elder

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston



AE (interlocked) TA (interlocked) 19 upper right; dated 1581 upper left


By 1733, gallery of the Princes of Liechtenstein, Vienna [see note]; 1918, removed from the gallery and taken to Schloss Valtice (Feldsberg), present-day Czech Republic; 1922, sold by the Princes of Liechtenstein to Glückselig (dealer), Vienna. William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston; 1927, bequest of William Sturgis Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 22, 1927)

NOTE: Information about the movement of the painting within the Liechtenstein collection and its sale in 1922 was provided by Gustav Wilhelm, Director of the Liechtenstein Collection, in a letter to the MFA of December 30, 1955. The painting bears a seal from the Liechtenstein collection that dates from 1733. It was included in the Katalog der fürstlich Liechtensteinischen Bilder-Galerie im Gartenpalais der Rossau zu Wien (1885), cat. no. 77.»

Another photograph of the portrait above, found on Flickr.

Margaret Dormer, Lady Constable – Jane Dormer's half-sister

Elizabeth Knollys, Lady Layton,1577

Elizabeth Lyttelton, Lady Willoughby

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, 1590

Katherine Carey, Countess of Nottingham, 1597

Katherine Carey, Countess of Nottingham, 1597

Elizabeth Brydges

Elizabeth Brydges,1589 

Arbella Stuart

Mary Zouche

MARY ZOUCHE (c.1512-1542+)
Mary Zouche was the daughter of John Zouche, 8th baron Zouche of Harringworth (c.1486-August 10, 1550) and his first wife, Dorothy Capell. In about 1527, she wrote to her cousin, Sir John Arundell of Lanherne (Mary’s grandmother was Margaret Arundell, Sir John’s aunt), asking to be taken into royal service because her new stepmother (Susan Welby) was cruel to her. The letter was probably written before 1529. It is dated only “at Notwell, the 8th day of October.” Mary was at court as a maid of honor, possibly to Catherine of Aragon and certainly to Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. She is the “Mrs. Souche” who was given jeweled borders by Queen Jane and attended Jane’s funeral. In 1537, Mary was granted an annuity of £10 for her services to the late queen. It was to continue until she married. She was still receiving it in 1542. A number of accounts say Mary never wed, but the will of Robert Burbage of Hayes Park Hall, Middlesex (d. 1575), identifies his late wife as “the eldest daughter of John Zouche, knight, Lord Zouche, Saint Maur and Cantelupe.” It would appear that they married shortly after the payment of her annuity in 1542, when Mary was about thirty. They had one daughter, Anne, who married William Goring of Barton, Sussex (d.1601) in 1563. Burbage’s will, dated July 1, 1575 and proved October 15, 1575, instructed that his tomb include Mary’s arms and he also left a bequest of ten pounds to Marie Pigott, for her faithful service to his wife “when she was alive and to him since her mistress’s death.” Portrait: Although the “M” in “M. Souch” could be an abbreviation for “Mistress” rather than “Mary,” or indicate that the likeness is of Margaret Cheney, second wife of Richard, 9th baron Zouche, it is far more likely that Mary Zouche is the subject of the Holbein sketch at Windsor.

Mary Zouche - A Who’s Who of Tudor Women



ANNE GAINSFORD or GAYNSFORD (d. before 1548)

Anne Gainsford was said by John Foxe, author of the Book of Martyrs, to be the daughter of John Gainsford of Crowhurst, Surrey. John Gainsford, also of Guildford, Surrey (1467-October 28, 1540) had six wives. Anne was the daughter of the second, Anne Hawte or Haute (1473-1508) and was likely born between 1495 and 1501. Foxe further states, giving his source as John Lowthe, archdeacon of Nottingham, who had spent the early part of his career in the Zouche household, that Anne Gainsford, as yet unmarried, was a member of Anne Boleyn’s household as early as 1528. She was in possession of her mistress’s copy of William Tyndale’s The Obedience of the Christian Man, a book deemed heretical by Cardinal Wolsey, when Anne Boleyn’s equerry, George Zouche, who was courting Anne Gainsford, filched it. Having begun to read, he refused to return it, and he was caught by the dean of the Chapel Royal, who reported the matter to Wolsey. According to George Wyatt, who wrote the first biography of Anne Boleyn c.1590, Anne Gainsford herself recounted this incident to him, but there is some doubt about that claim, given the probable date of her death. The story goes that around the time Anne Boleyn became queen, Anne Gainsford married George Zouche, who then became a gentleman pensioner to the king. Later, as Anne Zouche, Anne was obliged to testify against Queen Anne. George Zouche is Sir George Zouche of Codnor (c.1494-1557). Some online genealogies have George Zouche married to Anne Gainsford well before 1528 and taking a second wife in 1526. Others date their children’s births from 1523-1535 and have George remarry in 1536. Mary S. Lovell in her biography of Bess of Hardwick (Bess was raised in Lady Zouche’s household at Codnor Castle) says that Anne Gainsford was a lady in waiting to both Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour before her marriage. This would place their marriage in 1536 or later. However, S. T. Bindoff, ed, in The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1509-1558, in the entry for John Zouche (August 27, 1534-June 19, 1586), states that he was the first son of George and Anne. The correct chronology appears to be that Anne and George married c.1533. Their first child was John, but after that matters once again become confused. Anne may be the mother of seven additional children (including William, George, Lucy, Anne, Margaret, and Francis). George’s second wife, Helena Lane (d.1560) is usually credited with eleven more. Anne had died by July 16, 1548, when George made his will and named his wife as Ellen. According to a family tree drawn in 1550 and showing all eleven children of the second marriage, the Eleanor and Bridget mentioned in the will belong to Helena, thus moving the date Anne died even earlier. Portrait: If the Holbein sketch of M. Souch at Windsor is not Mary Zouche, then it is probably Anne Gainsford.






Sir Francis Willoughby




Anne Boleyn

Called Queen Jane Grey but based on a portrait of Queen Katherine Parr - http://web.archive.org/web/20131207033836/http://somegreymatter.com/kingscollegeportrait.htm

Katherine Parr - The Glendon Hall Portrait - NPG 4451 - This portrait was purchased by the Gallery in 1965. The portrait was originally at Glendon Hall, the seat of the Lane family. Glendon Hall once belonged to Sir Ralph Lane who married Maud Parr, a cousin and Lady in Waiting to Katherine Parr.

Katherine Parr - The Melton Constable or Hastings Portrait - Owned by the Astleys at Hillmorton by 1770 – http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/1276906

Katherine Parr - The Jersey Portrait