Margaret Willoughby was the daughter of Henry Willoughby of Wollaton (1510-August 27, 1549) and Anne Grey (d. January 1548). Upon the death of her father, Margaret and her younger brother Francis (1546-1596) were sent to live in the household of her mother’s half brother, George Medley, at Tilty in Essex and in the Minories, London. A 1553 entry in Margaret’s account book, in her own hand, records the purchase of a pair of virginals (26s. 8d.) and payments in May and July to two different music teachers. After Wyatt’s Rebellion in 1554, the house in the Minories was searched and Medley was briefly in prison. Margaret’s uncle, Henry Grey, duke of Suffolk, and her cousin, Lady Jane Grey, were executed at that time. Margaret seems to have joined the household of the widowed duchess of Suffolk (Frances Brandon) and been with her at the court of Queen Mary, although she was only eleven at the time. The duchess was at court from July 1554 until May 1555. At Christmas 1555, still a very young girl to be a maid of honor, Margaret joined the household of Elizabeth Tudor at Hatfield. It was while she was there that John Harington wrote his poem in praise of six of Elizabeth’s gentlewomen. He calls Margaret “worthye willobe” and comments upon her “pearcing eye.” It is not clear if she stayed on after Elizabeth’s household was reorganized by order of Queen Mary in June 1556. At fifteen or sixteen, in 1559 or 1560, Margaret married Matthew Arundell of Wardour (c.1535-December 24, 1598). Their children were Thomas (1560-November 7, 1639), Catherine, and William (d. February 16, 1592). On July 16, 1565, Margaret supped with her cousin, the Lady Mary Grey, and two other gentlewomen. At nine that evening, Mary married Thomas Keyes without the queen’s permission. Margaret knew about the wedding but remained outside the chamber where it was performed so that she could say she had not actually witnessed the exchange of vows. She resumed her friendship with her cousin after the Lady Mary was released from captivity and was mentioned in Mary’s will in 1578.

The portrait of Thomas Arundell, 1st Baron Arundell of Wardour (1560-1639), the son of Margaret Willoughby and grandson of Anne Grey bears a startling resemblance to that of his uncle, Sir Francis Willoughby, Anne Grey's son, and both of them to the portrait of the aging Elizabeth Grey, Lady Audley, Anne Grey's sister.

Sir Francis Willoughby, Anne Grey's son

Sir Francis Willoughby, Anne Grey's son

We have here however a painting of the aging Elizabeth Grey, Lady Audley. (Note the same striking blue eyes as in the picture above of her sister's Anne's son, her nephew Sir Francis Willoughby.)

And in this painting you can clearly see the inscription A ~ 1569 * ÆTATIS * SVE * 53 *

«Age could be expressed in sixteenth century England using either of two formulae. One was "anno" or "anno suæ," meaning "in [his/her] year." By this formula, a newborn infant was "in his first year," and upon the first anniversary of his birth entered his second year, and so on. The alternate formula expressed age as "ætatis suæ," or "at his/her age of," calculated according to the annual anniversary of birth most recently achieved. "Ætatis suæ" is therefore the same as modern Western European reckonings of age, while, while "anno suæ" equals the modern reckoning plus one year.» J. Stephan Edwards, A Queen of a New Invention, p. 106

In other words, the painting was painted in 1569, when the sitter was 53 years old.

This gives us Elizabeth's birth year pretty accurately as either 1515 or 1516.

ELIZABETH GREY (c.1510-c.1564)

Elizabeth Grey was the daughter of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquis of Dorset (June 22, 1477-October 10, 1530) and Margaret Wotton (1487-1541). On April 22, 1538, she married Thomas, baron Audley of Walden (1488-April 30, 1544). They had two daughters, Margaret (1539-January 10, 1564) and Mary. In her widowhood, Elizabeth lived at Audley End, near Saffron Walden. Her daughter Margaret, who had married the duke of Norfolk, came to her there to give birth to each of her children. According to the catalog of an exhibit of works by Hans Holbein, Elizabeth married Sir George Norton in 1549 and died before her daughter, but other sources, including Neville Williams’s biography of Thomas, 4th duke of Norfolk, say she looked after her grandchildren from the time of her daughter’s death until Norfolk remarried in 1567. Portraits: Holbein sketch at Windsor c.1540; miniature (watercolor on vellum) c.1540; portrait said to be Lady Audley in the 1560s and attributed to John Bettes the Younger.

She was probably the child born prior to the eldest son Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, who was born on the 12th of January 1517. This means that the birth year of 1510 above is wrong. It is probably based on the fact that we know her parents were married in 1509. Since we know that they had eight children and that their eldest son was born in 1517, it is not an unreasonable assumption that they had a few daughters prior to this and the eldest soon after the wedding.

Since Elizabeth is the most famous daughter, thanks to the miniature by Holbein, it would make sense that she was also the eldest daughter (something that carried great distinction in Tudor times).

It would, however, make sense if Katherine was elder than Elizabeth. Katherine's husband was an earl, higher in status than Elizabeth's husband, who was a baron. Also, Katherine was in the household of Princess Mary from 1525 until 1533 when it was dissolved, also perhaps indicating a greater age than Elizabeth. Katherine was in the household of Princess Mary from 1525 until 1533 when it was dissolved, also perhaps indicating a greater age than Elizabeth. Furthermore, Katherine was married in 1532, six years before Elizabeth's marriage in 1538. 

Katherine's birth year on Wikipedia is probably a result of the same kind of conjecture as for Elizabeth's birth year, and while often reliable, is not proof positive.

'The rule of thumb' for arranged marriages for aristocratic girls was that the eldest girl got the best match, though one of course wanted the best possible matches for all of one's daughters, and that they were married in the order of their birth (though there are of course exceptions).

Nor was it talk of a lengthy engagement for Elizabeth, as her groom up until a few months before he married her had been married to someone else.

Nicola Tallis, in her book Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey, makes the following the statement regarding Mary's relationship with the Greys, and Katherine, Lady Maltravers, in particular:

«During the years of estrangement from her father it is unlikely that Mary saw much of her cousin Frances. Prior to the disbanding of her household, Mary's accounts for the beginning of 1533 reveal that she did, however, spend time with Henry Grey and his family. Despite their apparent loyalty to Anne Boleyn, they had evidently managed to retain good relations with Mary, for not only was Henry's sister Katherine, Lady Maltravers, a member of Mary's household, but Mary's accounts demonstrate that Henry and his mother came to dine with her at Otford in June. By this time plans for his marriage to Frances were well underway, and it is certainly possible that Henry discussed these with Mary, who would have taken a keen interest in her cousin's impending wedding.»

Margaret Audley, Duchess of Norfolk (1540 – 9 January 1564)

Margaret Audley, Duchess of Norfolk (1540 – 9 January 1564)

Margaret Audley, Duchess of Norfolk


Hans Eworth

Item, I give to every of my Lord Marquess’ younger brethren twenty pounds apiece to buy either of them a great horse;

Item, I will that mine executors make two rings of gold, flat hoops, every of them of the value of five marks, and I will that my Lady Frances have one of them and my Lady Anne, my wife’s sister, another;

Also I will that mine executors shall make five rings of gold, every ring thereof(?) of the value of twenty shillings, whereof I will that my Lady Guildford have one

And I desire and pray my good Lord, the Lord Marquess Dorset, and my loving friend, Sir William Herbert, knight, to be my supervisors and to help my wife and executors in their lawful suits, and I bequeath to my said Lord Marquess twenty pounds and to the said Sir William Herbert ten pounds, praying them to accept this as a remembrance of a poor man.

Thomas Audley, Chancellor. Henry Dorset,

William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke – He was knighted in 1544.

The Greys of Dorset

All sources I have thus come across agree that Margaret Wotton and Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquis of Dorset, had four sons and four daughters.

Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquis of Dorset, mentions only two daughters by name in his will of 2nd of June 1530, Mary and Anne. He does not exclude the rest of them:

«ALLSO I will that every other of my daughters that be not maried at the tyme of my decease have to wardes their mariage one thousand poundes so that thei be maried by thadvise of my wiff And after the deathe of my said wiffe by thadvise of my executours»

But Mary and Anne are the only two daughters mentioned by name.

Mary is singled out two times in her father's will: «ALLSO I will my daughter marye have towardes hir marriage one thousand poundes so that she marye by thadvise of my wif, and after the deathe of my wif by thadvise of the more parte of myn executours [...] for lacke and defaulte of Issue male of my bodye laufully begotton I will that my doughter Marye have all and singulier my said [Manours?] londis and ten(emen)tis in the said counties of Combr and Lancastre to hur and to the heires of hur body lawfully begotton only»

Anne was «married by agreement dated 20 Sept. 1528»[] and is mentioned in terms of that marriage. Anne was still under the canonical age of consent of 12 nearly two years later when her father wrote his will on the 2nd of June 1530:

«Allso I will that if the mariage solemnised and had betwene Anne my doughter and Henry Willowghby Esquier sonne and heire apparannt of s(ir) Edwarde Wyllowghby knyght be dyssolvid by reason and disag^r^ement of either of them at their laufull age of consent or by reason of dethe of the same Henry Willowghby and before carnall knowledge had betwene them that then the said Anne shalhave towardes hir mariage one thousand poundes sterling as hir other susters shalhave.»

Katherine and Elizabeth we know of from other sources.

Katherine was one of the ladies who accompanied Princess Mary Tudor into Wales in 1525 and received a quantity of black velvet. She remained in the Princess's household until it was dissolved in 1533. Katherine was married to Henry FitzAlan between September and the 19th of November 1532, the first occasion on which Katherine is named as the wife of Lord Maltravers. They had three children, Jane or Joan (b.1536-7), Henry (b.1538) and Mary (b.1540). The fact that Katherine was chosen as a companion to the Princess could indicate that she was about the same age as Mary Tudor, born in 1514-1515, a year or two after her sister Elizabeth. The fact that her marriage was not consummated right away further seems to indicate a later birth year.

Elizabeth we know was born either in 1515 or 1516.

He does, however, list all of his four sons, in the following order, Henry, Thomas, Edward and John.

  • Mary Grey (c. 1510–1530+), died young. She was born between 1509, when her parents married, and 1530, when her father mentions her in his will.[1] Probably dead before 1544, when her brother-in-law Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden, the Lord Chancellor, does not make a mention of her in his will.[2] Probably dead before 1533, when it written in the household accounts of Princess Mary that «on Tuesday, 15 April, the marchioness of Dorset, lady Matravers and her two sisters, with others» came to dine with the Princess, implying that at that point there were only three Grey sisters left. In all probability she died between the 2nd of June 1530 when her father made his will and the 19th of November 1532, the first occasion on which her sister is named as the wife of Lord Maltravers. Since her father singles out Mary two times in his will it is exceedingly likely that she was the eldest sister, and would have been the wife of Lord Maltravers herself if she had lived. If Mary were the eldest sister, as seems probable, she was likely born around or not long after 1510, as we know that her younger sister Elizabeth was born in 1515/6, and there was another sister between them in age.
  • Katherine Grey, Lady Maltravers, second daughter (d. 1 May 1542[3]), who married Henry Fitzalan, 19th Earl of Arundel, by whom she had issue.
  • Elizabeth Grey, Lady Audley (1515/6–1569+), who married firstly Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden by whom she had two daughters, Margaret Audley, Duchess of Norfolk and Mary (d.c.1546 in Hendon Middlesex[4]); she married secondly, George Norton[5].
  • Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk (12 January 1517 – 23 February 1554), who married Lady Frances Brandon, by whom he had three daughters: Lady Jane Grey, Lady Katherine Grey and Lady Mary Grey. Executed for treason, together with his eldest daughter, Lady Jane Grey, and younger brother, Lord Thomas Grey, for having participated in Thomas Wyatt's rebellion in 1554
  • Anne Grey, Lady Willougby, born after 1518, (d.1548), who married Sir Henry Willoughby (slain 27 August 1549 during Kett's Rebellion) of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire, by agreement dated 20th September 1528, by whom she had two sons, Thomas (c.1540–1559) and Sir Francis (1546/7–1596), and a daughter, Margaret (1544-1578+).
  • Lord Thomas Grey, second son[6] (1526(?) – 27 April 1554[7]), who was executed together with his brother, Henry, and niece, Jane, for having participated in Thomas Wyatt's rebellion in 1554. Two days before his brother's execution, Lord Thomas was brought to the Tower after being captured at Oswestry, after laying for some time in concealment. On the 27th of April he was beheaded on Tower Hill. His body was buried at Allhallows Barking.[8] He had an illegitimate daughter named Margaret Grey or Lenton[9], probably by Elizabeth Lenton[10], the daughter of John Lenton and later the wife of John Danett. Margaret married John Astley, Master of the Queen’s Jewel House by a license dated October 13, 1565. John Astley's first wife had been Katherine Champernowne, Elizabeth I's beloved Kat Ashley. By him Margaret had a son, Sir John Astley, two other sons, and three daughters, Margaret, Bridget and Eleanor.
  • Edward Grey, third son[11]. Born between 1517 when his eldest brother was born and 1530 when his father mentions him in his will. Dead before Thomas Wyatt's rebellion in 1554.
  • Lord John Grey of Pirgo, fourth son[12] (1523(?) – 19 November 1564[13])


[1] The will of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquis of Dorset

[5] T

[6] The will of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquis of Dorset

[7] «On the 27th of April, the Lord Thomas Grey, Brother to the Duke of Suffok, was beheaded on Tower Hill» History of England, Volume 1 by John Oldmixon (1739), Confirmed executions at the Tower of London, John Foxe's the Acts and Monuments Online, Luminarium: Encyclopedia Project, Notes and queries (gives the wrong year), the mistake probably comes from Burke's Peerages (1826), which gets the year of death wrong, 1555 instead of 1554, for all three members of the Grey family of Dorset executed that year. The updated Burke's Peerages (1839) has changed the year to 1554-5. «The unhappy father suffered soon after his eldest dau., 23 Feb. 1554-5, and his brother, Thomas, 27 April following.» The whole quotes makes it clear that that Thomas was executed two months after his brother, i.e. in 1554. Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 23 Grey, Henry (d.1554) by Emily Tennyson Bradley confirms this: «On 26 Jan. 1554 the duke and his brothers, Thomas and John [...] Lord Thomas fled to Wales, where he was taken two months later, and executed on 27 April.»

[8] «LORD THOMAS GREY, 1554. When the Duke of Suffolk, the father of Lady Jane Grey, was guilty of his second and fatal attempt at insurrection in 1553-4,* his brothers, Lord Thomas and Lord John Grey, were involved in the responsibility. The latter was subsequently pardoned. The Duke was beheaded on the 23rd of February, 1553-4; two days before which date Lord Thomas had been brought to the Tower, having been captured at Oswestry, after lying for some time in concealment. On the 27th of April he was beheaded on Tower Hill, when his body was buried at Allhallows Barking»

«* In the notes to The Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary, edited by me for the Camden Society, in 1850, were first published some particulars relating to this occurrence, derived from documents in the State Paper Office. (J.G.N.)»

[9] MARGARET GREY (d.1601)

Margaret Grey, also called Margaret Lenton, was the illegitimate daughter of Lord Thomas Grey (x.1554), third son of the marquess of Dorset. By a license dated October 13, 1565, she married Sir John Astley, Master of the Queen’s Jewel House (c.1507-August 1, 1596). They had three sons, John, William, and Francis, and three daughters. In a letter dated November 12, 1590, Margaret complained to her cousin, Vincent Skinner, that she could no longer use Astley’s lodgings in the Tower of London because of a new ban by the Privy Council on the residence of women there. In another letter to Skinner, in 1590, during an Exchequer suit over Astley’s Allingham property, she wrote: “It will shorten Mr. Astley’s life to see the son of a Welsh cobbler prevail against him by craft.” Under Astley’s will, Margaret kept the “great house” at Maidstone but she was forbidden to cut down trees on the estates. As executrix she also had the responsibility to procure a discharge for the Crown Jewels. In 1593, Edmund Southerne dedicated his A Treatise concerning the right use and ordering of Bees to her. One source says that a poem, “The Wizard: A Kentish Tale,” commemorated her death, but this was written in 1805 (Sir Edward Brydges, Censura literaria) and although it praises “fairest Margaret,” it goes on to say that “many a day Didst thou Eliza’s favor sway,” which seems to be a reference to Astley’s first wife, Katherine Champernowne.

Sir John Astley (1565-1639), the son of Margaret Grey

Sir John Astley (1565-1639), the son of Margaret Grey

[10] ELIZABETH LENTON (d.c.1562)

Elizabeth Lenton was probably the daughter of John Lenton, but nothing further is known of her background. She married John Danet (Dannet/Dannatt/Dannett) in about 1553 and between 1554 and 1562 they were involved in a series of court cases against Richard Mytton in an attempt to claim a grant made to Elizabeth by Queen Mary of the possessions of Lord Thomas Grey, a traitor, at the time of his capture by Mytton. Mytton claimed the right to keep them for himself, since Grey had been captured (in February 1554) in Oswestry in the liberty of the earl of Arundel, whose officer Mytton was. The contested possessions included £200, two jeweled rings (one of gold with a ruby), a suit of mail, and at least one horse. No outcome of the case is recorded. Elizabeth and John had no children. It is unclear why Queen Mary granted her Grey’s possessions.

[11] The will of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquis of Dorset

[12] The will of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquis of Dorset

Katherine Grey, Lady Maltravers

159. Portrait of a Lady with clasped hands, and an agate brooch attached to her cap.

This portrait is probably the one recorded in the Arundel collection in 1655.

It listed under paintings by Holbein.

The fact that it is in a German museum today strengthens this supposition, that it, like the Jane Seymour by Holbein listed shortly after it and today in Vienna, never found its way home again.

No portrait of Katherine Grey, Lady Maltravers, is recorded in the Lumley Collection.

That in itself is odd, as the collection contains portraits of practically every distant relative the FitzAlan-Lumleys had, as well as cupious portraits of themselves. John Lumley, 1st Baron Lumley, is richly represented, as is his father-in-law, Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel, from whom a lot of the nucleus of the collection was inherited, Jane FitzAlan, Lady Lumley, his first wife and the daughter of Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel, has two portraits, as far as I can gather, Lord Maltravers, the son of Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel, who died young, is represented, Mary FitzAlan, Duchess of Norfolk, who died at sixteen, is included, the second wife of Lord Lumley, the second wife of Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel, heaps of their relations through the Grey connection, Margaret Wotton, Marchioness of Dorset, the Guildfords, Lady Jane Grey, Lady Jane Grey's sister Katherine, the Willoughbys – Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby.

And yet not one of Katherine Grey, Lady Maltravers.

Was such a painting simply not created? For a woman we know whose mother and sister we know were painted by Holbein? Whose aunt and uncle were early patrons of the same? A woman whose husband was a great patron of the arts, had himself painted multiple times, by multiple artists, including Holbein, and had an art collection that practically included his wife's entire family tree?

Well, we do know that the painting did not end up with her daughter Jane Lumley. Because Jane Lumley's widower (and the main beneficiary of her father's will) handily had his entire portrait collection inventorised in 1590. Katherine's only son died young and childless.

But there was another daughter.

Mary FitzAlan, Duchess of Norfolk.

She married Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk in 1555. Theirs was the great social event of the spring of 1555 - 'all the Council being busy' over Norfolk's wedding, the business of government slowed to a standstill.[]

The bride was only 15. Is it possible, when she quitted her father's house, she brought with her (with or without – as children sometimes do – her father's permission) her mother's portrait?

I think it would have been normal to feel nervous in such a situation. And most of us, when we are nervous, like to surround ourselves with tokens of loved ones.

Or she may have simply wanted it. Her mother's portrait.

Mary FitzAlan (1540 – 23/25 August 1557) had one child, Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel (28 June 1557 – 19 October 1595), Philip had two children, Elizabeth (1584 – 1600), who appears to have died young and childless, and Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel (7 July 1586 – 4 October 1646) – who was in possession of this painting.

The inventory of his paintings was conducted in 1655, nearly a decade after his death. It was also after his wife's death. It is fully possible that the lady's identity was lost then. 

The Saint Louis Art Museum's description of their portrait of Mary, Lady Guildford contains the following information: «Thomas Howard's 1641 will contains an inventory of his collection. There is a reference to "Two pictures, the one a yong Man at large, leaning upon his sword, the other of a Girle" [Cust, Lionel. "Notes on the Collection Formed by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel." "Burlington Magazine." 20 no. 104 (November 1911), p. 98]. It is possible that this refers to the SLAM picture and its companion. Listed in the "Inventory of pictures, etc.»

If this description refers to the paintings of Sir Henry Guildford and Mary, Lady Guildford, they were also his kin, and their identities had been lost between the Lumley inventory of 1590 and his will in 1641, it is equally possible that if he indeed did inherit this painting, its identity was lost somewhere between the premature death of Mary FitzAlan at age 16 in 1557, and the imprisonment from 1585 to his death in 1595 of her son Philip.

At the passing of Philip, all of Katherine Grey, Lady Maltravers's immediate family was gone.

Of the ones who had survived the events of 1554, her brother John died in 1564, her sister Elizabeth sometime around 1569, her widower Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel in 1580, all of their children predeceasing him.

Even distant family members who might have remembered Lady Jane Grey, or her sister Elizabeth Grey, Lady Audley, would probably not have remembered the appearance of Katherine Grey, Lady Maltravers, because she died so early, on the 1st of May 1542.

Equally, Queen Mary I Tudor, Frances Aylmer, and all of the others she had served with in the Princess's household were probably all gone by then.

It has to be said, though, that Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel, was an avid collector of Holbein, with a virulent interest in the artist. «The work of Holbein appealed to Lord Arundel with peculiar force; and ultimately formed one of the chief glories of his collection. It was his special hobby; he spoke of it himself, as early as 1619, as his 'foolish curiosity in enquiringe for the peeces of Holbein'.» Hans Holbein the Younger: A Guide to Research by Erika Michael

This interest was precisely because, however, Holbein had portrayed so many of his family.

Perhaps it was not so odd for him to look backwards. Apart from his mother he had no immediate family until his marriage. His grandparents on both sides were gone. His sister died young. He had lost both his father and his grandfather to the crown.

There is in this regard furthermore one entry that is interesting to us in the Arundel inventory:

419. Portrait of the Countess of Arundel, mother of the "old Earl."

This appears to be a portrait of Lady Ann Percy, daughter of Henry, fourth Earl of Northumberland, and mother of Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, often known as the "old Earl."

Does this not seem like something her own son, the art collector, would have wanted to possess for himself?

And yet there is no record of it in the Lumley collection.

Could Mary FitzAlan have absconded with more pictures?

Or some family paintings were left directly by his grandfather Henry Fitzalan, 19th Earl of Arundel to his grandson Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel.

Provenance: 1685 Prague; Detected in the gallery in 1783

«Lord Arundel also possessed several works which so far have not been traced, though the titles may help towards their future rediscovery. Among them is a portrait said to be of Holbein's wife, which is most probably the picture at the Hague; one of a lady "con gli mani giunti e un agato atacato al beretino"; another of a lady, aged 40, with the inscription, "In all things, Lord, thy wilbe fulfilled"; the portrait of a musician; one of an armed man, which may possibly be the portrait of Sir Nicholas Carew ; the portrait of the goldsmith Hans of Zurich ; the Death's-head and bones already referred to in speaking of Ambrosius Holbein; a picture of gamblers or people playing games (" un quad- retto con divers figure Jocatori, &c."); another with the title " Legge Vecchio & Nove " (ancient and modern law); and the Arms of Eng- land in water-colours. Before his relations could interfere Lord Stafford had sold a number of pictures to the Spanish Ambassador in London, to Eberhard Jabach, of Cologne, and to the agent of the Archduke Leopold, and this may account for the fact that certain of them remained abroad, such as the Jane Seymour and Dr. Chamber in Vienna, and the Thomas and John Godsalve in Dresden.» Hans Holbein the younger by Arthur Bensley Chamberlain

We have already found the lady con gli mani giunti e un agato atacato al beretino, Portrait of a Lady with clasped hands, and an agate brooch attached to her cap.

From the start it has been my guess that this too was one of the portraits that got left behind in foreign parts after the death of the Arundels.

There is clearly no inscription on it. Equally clearly it is the work of Holbein. It even looks like she is wearing one of the medallions created by Holbein, though that specific design has not survived.

It is probably the one registered in the Arundel collection as entry 184 under works by Holbein as simply A Portrait.

The provenance of the portrait further strengthens this supposition. The painting is first registered as early in 1685 Prague, not many years after the passing of Alathea Talbot, Countess of Arundel in 1655, when the collection was dispersed.

The entire time I have been researching the first portrait I have kept mixing it up with this one.

I don't mix up paintings, or photographs, so this has been a source of great annoyance to me.

And then, when I once again mixed them up, nearly linking to one when I meant the other, it suddenly struck me: Could it be that I kept mixing them up because they were in fact the same woman?

Separated by ten years and the birth of three children?

Could this also be a portrait of Katherine Grey, Lady Maltravers?

Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford. Margaret Wotton, Marchioness of Dorset's sister.

In his will in 1523 Robert Wotton leaves to his «daughter Mary to hir mariage one hundred pounds st wherof to be in redy money thre scor/ pounds st whiche is redy in a Bagge for her And for the residue xl£ I will that she shalhave the/ Avo serplers of wolle standing in my wolle house at Caleis whiche ii Serplers I bought for her/ purposly and they dyd cost me at the first bying xlii£ st Item I geve and bequeth to my said/ Daughter Mary the Cheyne of gold w[ith] a Crosse of gold to the same that was my wifs»

Mary clearly put her surplus of wool to good use, because by 1527 she had married Sir Henry Guildford, comptroller of the royal household.

When did Margaret Wotton die?

MARY WOTTON (1499-1543+)

Mary Wotton was the daughter of Sir Robert Wotton of Boughton Malherbe, Kent (1465-1524), and Anne Belknap (d. before 1524). She may have been the Mistress Wotton who was a chamberer to Mary Tudor, queen of France, in 1513. She married Sir Henry Guildford (1489-1532) and was his executrix. She received a release from all her obligations to the king on March 25, 1533 but was still deeply in debt in 1535 when she wrote to Lord Cromwell on the subject. In July 1540, she married Sir Gavin (Gawen/Gawain) Carew of Exeter and Wood, Devon (c.1503-1583). She was at court in 1543 as one of Queen Katherine Parr’s ladies. Carew remarried by December 1565. Portraits: a sketch by Holbein in Basle; portrait by Holbein (1527) in the St. Louis Art Museum; Holbein’s sketch of two women at the Tudor court, c.1527, now in the British Museum, may be another preliminary study for this portrait.

Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford was the receiver of New Year's Day's gifts from the King in 1538, 1540 and 1541.

She was also given a ring in the will of her nephew-in-law, Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor, who was married to her niece Elizabeth Grey, Lady Audley.

Also I will that mine executors shall make five rings of gold, every ring thereof of the value of twenty shillings, whereof I will that my Lady Guildford have one

The will of Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden, Lord Chancellor was dated the 19th of April 1544, two days before he would resign the great seal on the 21st of April. He passed on the 30th.

To his daughter Margaret Robert Wotton left a ring of gold with a turquoise.

Item I geve/ and bequeth to my daughter Margaret the lady Marques Dorsset my Ryng of gold with a Turkes/ to pray for me

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Nicholas Wotton, the brother of Margaret Wotton, Marchioness of Dorset

Nicholas Wotton was one of the three-man delegation sent to Cleves In March 1539 to negotiate the ill-fated marriage between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves and to establish a defensive league with the German princes.

By late summer the ambassadors had achieved success, and Hans Holbein the younger was commissioned to paint a portrait of Anne, which Wotton swore was a faithful representation of her.

Wotton had however earlier expressed serious reservations about the match: «she (Anne of Cleves) occupieth her time most with the needle... She can read and write her own language but of French, Latin or other language she hath none... she cannot sing, nor play any instrument, for they take it here in Germany for a rebuke and an occasion of lightness that great ladies should be learned or have any knowledge of music.»

The couple did not share a common language. Henry VIII could speak in English, French and Latin but not in German.

Wotton also pointed out that she «had none of the social skills so prized at the English court: she could not play a musical instrument or sing – she came from a culture that looked down on the lavish celebrations and light-heartedness that were an integral part of King Henry's court».

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.'

Lady Jane Grey

Lady Katherine Grey "The La Kathe'/ Graye. / Wyfe of Therle of / Hertford" is inscribed on the reverse of this miniature by Levina Teerlinc, c. 1560

Lady Katherine Grey with her elder son Edward, Lord Beauchamp

Lady Katherine Grey with her elder son Edward, Lord Beauchamp

There is no 


After Hans Holbein the Younger

Margaret Wotton, Marchioness of Dorset


After Hans Holbein the Younger

Margaret Wotton, Marchioness of Dorset


After Hans Holbein the Younger


After Hans Holbein the Younger

C. 1538

Hans Holbein the Younger 

Margaret Wotton was the daughter of Sir Robert Wotton (1455-1519) of Boughton Malkerte, Kent and Anne Belknap (b.1460); married first William Medley, and second in 1509, Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset (1477-1530)

No picture is currently known of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The above picture is not Henry Grey. It is a misattributed print after a portrait of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester.

Nicola Tallis, in her book Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey, describes him as «self-indulgent, lazy and incredibly naïve.»

Portrait of Katherine Grey in the Astor Wing at Hever Castle

Portrait of Katherine Grey in the Astor Wing at Hever Castle

This beautiful painting of Lady Katherine Grey and her son Edward, Lord Beauchamp, is located at Hever Castle and taken by Tamise at the Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide.

Called Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford by Follower of Marcus Gheerarts the Younger

Called Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford by Follower of Marcus Gheerarts the Younger

Called Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford

Called Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford

KATHERINE GREY (August 1540-January 27, 1568)

Lady Katherine Grey was the middle daughter of Henry Grey, 3rd marquis of Dorset and duke of Suffolk (January 12, 1517-February 23, 1554) and Frances Brandon (July 16, 1517-November 20, 1559). By the time she was eight, Katherine was studying Greek, although she was not as clever as her older sister, Lady Jane Grey. In May and June of 1549, riots and rebellion came close to Bradgate Manor in Leicestershire, the Grey family seat, while the family was in residence there. On November 26 of that year, during a stay at Tilty in Essex, all three girls were taken to visit Mary Tudor, the king’s sister, at Beaulieu. In February the family was at Dorset House on the Strand. On May 25, 1553, at age twelve, Katherine was married to Henry Herbert (1540-January 19, 1601), the earl of Pembroke’s heir. Although the marriage was not to be consummated, Katherine was sent to live in Pembroke’s London residence, Baynard’s Castle. When the plan to put Katherine’s sister, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne of England in place of Mary Tudor failed, Katherine’s marriage was annulled. Her sister and father were executed after Wyatt’s Rebellion a few months later. In April 1554, with her mother and younger sister, Katherine was living at Beaumanor, near Bradgate, but in July her mother was called to court to join the Queen’s Privy Chamber and her surviving daughters went with her. Under both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Katherine lived at court, possibly serving as a maid of honor, although she had her own room, personal servants, and both dogs and monkeys as pets. She was considered by many to be heiress presumptive and as such was not, by law, allowed to marry without the queen’s permission. Katherine spent the summer of 1558, when there was sickness (probably influenza) at court, at Hanworth in Middlesex with the Seymour family. It is at that time that her romance with Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford (1539-April 6, 1621) is said to have begun. In November or December 1560, Katherine secretly married him. When the marriage was discovered the following summer, both parties were imprisoned in the Tower. There Katherine gave birth to her son Edward (September 24, 1561-1639). Sympathetic jailers allowed the young couple to meet and the result was a second son, Thomas (February 10, 1563-1619). Because of the threat of plague in London, Katherine and her younger son were removed from the Tower and sent to her uncle, Lord John Grey, at Pirgo in Essex, arriving there on September 3, 1563. With them were the baby’s nurse, three ladies-in-waiting, and two manservants. Hertford and their older son were sent to his mother, the duchess of Somerset, at Hanworth. Katherine never saw either of them again. She was moved to Sir William Petre’s house of Ingatestone, Essex in the autumn of 1564. That same year, Hertford was removed from Hanworth and placed with Sir John Mason. When Mason died in April 1566, Hertford remained with his widow in London for a time, then was transferred to the keeping of Sir Richard Spencer. Three-year-old Lord Beauchamp remained with his grandmother. In May 1566, when Sir William Petre fell ill, Katherine was moved a few miles east of Ingatestone Hall to Gosfield Hall, the house of Sir John Wentworth. Wentworth was 76 and his wife was 71, but their plea that they were too old to act as warders was ignored. Wentworth died in late September 1567, after which Katherine and her son were moved to Sir Owen Hopton’s house, Cockfield Hall, in Yoxford, Suffolk. It was there she died, probably of tuberculosis, although the theory has been advanced that she starved herself to death. Her younger son was then sent to join his brother. Katherine was buried at Yoxford, but in 1621, following Hertford’s death, Katherine’s grandson, the surviving male heir, had her body moved to Salisbury Cathedral and buried with her husband. Biographies: Hester W. Chapman’s Two Tudor Portraits and Leanda De Lisle’s The Sisters Who Would Be Queen; Oxford DNB entry under “Seymour [née Grey], Katherine.” Portraits: There are three possible portraits, a miniature of her as a child, c.1549-50; a portrait by Marcus Gheeraerts; and a portrait with her son, c.1561-2. There are at least seven extant copies of the latter, which were painted for propaganda purposes. Some have been misidentified as other Tudor women by biographers. Katherine’s effigy, together with Edward’s, is in Salisbury Cathedral, although the date of her death on that monument is mistakenly given as 1563.

MARY GREY (1545-April 20, 1578)

Lady Mary Grey was the youngest daughter of Henry Grey, 3rd marquis of Dorset and duke of Suffolk (January 12, 1517-February 23, 1554) and Frances Brandon (July 16, 1517-November 20, 1559). When her sisters were married on May 25, 1553, the Lady Mary was betrothed to Arthur, Lord Grey of Wilton, a man much older than she. The betrothal was called off when Queen Mary prevented Lady Jane Grey from claiming the throne. Mary Grey was at court with her mother and sister Katherine from July 1554 until May 1555 and then left with her mother when Frances remarried. She was a maid of honor under Queen Elizabeth and, like her sister Katherine, fell out of favor for marrying without the queen’s permission. Lady Mary was reportedly only a little over four feet tall with red hair, freckles, and enough of a physical deformity to be nicknamed “Crouchback Mary.” On July 16, 1565, at Whitehall Palace, she married Thomas Keyes of St. Radigund’s, Kent (d.before September 5, 1571), the queen’s Sergeant Porter. Keyes was 6’6″ tall, a widower twice Mary’s age who had several children by his first wife. The wedding was secret but not clandestine. The date was chosen because most of the court would be at another wedding, that of Henry Knollys and Margaret Cave, at Durham House. As many as eleven people witnessed the ceremony, including Keyes’s brother, Edward, and one of Keyes’s sons. When the queen heard about the marriage, on August 21st, she sent Keyes to Fleet Prison in London and dispatched the Lady Mary to Chequers, the Buckinghamshire house of Sir William Hawtrey. She was allowed only one groom and one waiting woman. On August 7, 1567, she was transferred to the care of her step-grandmother, Katherine Willoughby, dowager duchess of Suffolk, who was then at her house in the Minories in London. The duchess was shocked to find that Mary had few possessions and that what she had was in very poor condition. Mary’s husband, meanwhile, was rleased from prison after three years but was forbidden to see her. In June 1569, the Lady Mary was moved to the London house of Sir Thomas Gresham in Bishopsgate, where she spent much of her time locked in a room with her books. She remained there until May of 1572, when she was at last set free. Keyes had died and Mary was no longer considered a threat. Initially, she went to stay with her late mother’s second husband, Adrian Stokes, at Beaumanor in Leicestershire. By February 1573, she had purchased a house in St. Botolph’s-Without-Aldgate, London. She wanted to raise her husband’s children, but she was denied permission to do so. She did remain on friendly terms with them. In 1577, she spent Christmas at Hampton Court. She made her will on April 17, 1578 and died three days later in her London house. In her library were copies of the Bible, John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Latimer’s Sermons, books by Whitgift, Luther, Cartwright, and Knox, D. Cradocke’s The Ship of Assured Safety, The Book of Common Prayer, a Psalter, and a book of Psalms. She was buried on May 14 in Westminster Abbey on the queen’s orders and shared her mother’s tomb. She has no marker or monument of her own. Biographies: Leanda De Lisle’s The Sisters Who Would Be Queen; Oxford DNB entry under “Keys [née Grey], Mary.” Portraits: Only one seems to exist, dated 1571.

'...according to the Queen's commandment, on Friday at night last, Master Hawtry brought my Lady Mary to the Minories to me, even as I was appointed to have gone to Greenwich... All the stuff that I had left me when I came from the other side of the sea, and all that I have since scraped for and gotten together, will not sufficiently furnish our houses in Lincolnshire... Wherefor I was fain to declare the same lack of stuff to Master Hawtry, praying him that my lady's stuff might come before [her] for the dressing up of her chamber. But would God you had seen what stuff it is... She hath nothing but an old livery feather bed, all to-torn and full of patches, without either bolster or counterpaine, but two old pillows, the one longer than the other, an old quilt of silk, so torn as the cotton of it comes out ...

Wherefor I pray you heartily, consider of this, and if you shall think it meet [proper], be a means for her to the Queen's majesty, that she might have the furniture of one chamber for herself and her maid; and she and I will play the good housewives, and make shift with her old bed for her man. Also I would, if I durst, beg further some old silver pots to fetch her drink in, and two little cups to drink in, one for beer, another for wine... I cannot yet, since she came, get her to eat, in all [in so much as] that she hath eaten now these two days not so much as a chicken's leg. She makes me even afraid of her [life]... And so I end my long begging letter...' Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk – Tudor Place

Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk (c.1484-1545)


Master of the Brandon Portrait


Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, was Frances Brandon's father, and Lady Jane Grey's grandfather.


Mary, Lady Monteagle (1510-before 1544)


Hans Holbein the Younger


Mary Brandon, Baroness Monteagle, was Frances Brandon's older half-sister. They were raised together.


Called Mary Zouch (?)


Hans Holbein the Younger


'A portrait drawing of a woman, possibly Mary Zouch, who served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Jane Seymour. A bust length portrait facing to the front. She wears a necklace and medallion, and holds a flower. Annotated by the artist on the bodice: black felbet (black velvet). Inscribed in an eighteenth-century hand at upper left: M Souch. Annotated by the artist on the bodice: black felbet (black velvet). The inscription possibly identifies the sitter as Mary Zouch, who became lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour. It has also been suggested that it shows Anne Gainsford, lady-in-waiting to the King’s second wife Anne Boleyn, whose married name was Zouche. Holbein paid careful attention to the sitter’s dress, noting that her bodice was of black velvet (‘felbet’) and recording the ornament on her headdress.'


Neither of these identifications have ever made sense to me. The fashion is all wrong for the time either Mary Zouch or Anne Gainsford would have been favoured ladies-in-waiting. The fashion is more Katherine Howard than Jane Seymour or Anne Boleyn.


Jane Boleyn forbade the French fashions made so popular by Anne Boleyn. It seems strange that her favoured lady-in-waiting would have chosen to flout this restriction.


This style of French hood is simply too early to be the kind worn in Anne Boleyn's day. The ever-changing fashion had the French hood moving further back on the head.


I would instead like make another suggestion. Elizabeth Stanley, Mary Monteagle's daughter, who married Richard Zouche.


Mary married Thomas Stanley, 2nd Baron Monteagle, sometime before 1527. It looks as if Elizabeth was their eldest daughter. This means that she could very well have been in her mid-teens in the early 1540's when this sketch was drawn.


Furthermore, we know that her grandfather, Charles Brandon, had portraits of his wife and two sons painted in 1541. Why not one of his granddaughter too? Especially if she was on the verge of marrying, as her age and the flower in her hand seemed to indicate. A pink or gillyflower or carnation is often seen held in the hand of a newly engaged bride or groom in Tudor portraiture.


With all due respect to other ladies-in-waiting who might also have been finely dressed, her dress at least does nothing to discourage the notion that she could be a granddaughter of the Duke of Suffolk. She wears both a necklace and a medallion, her dress is made out of black velvet, and there are pearl and gold billiments on her French hood.


That would make the inscription 'M[istress] Souch.'

sometimes said to be of Eleanor Brandon, Countess of Cumberland


Hans Holbein the Younger

Eleanor was the younger sister of Frances Brandon and Mary Monteagle above.

 C. 1530

Johannes Corvus

Mary Tudor (18th of March 1496 – 25th of June 1533), the daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, and sister to Henry VIII, was known in her own time always by her title as Dowager Queen of France. She was the mother of Frances and Eleanor Brandon.

A sketch of Mary taken from life during her brief stint as Queen Consort of France.



Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk (c. 1484 – 22 August 1545), was the son of Sir William Brandon and Elizabeth Bruyn. Through his third wife Mary Tudor he was brother-in-law to Henry VIII. His father was the standard-bearer of King Henry VII and was slain by Richard III in person on Bosworth Field. As a recognition of his father's services, the fatherless Charles was placed in the household of Elizabeth of York. There he was raised alongside her own children Henry and Mary. The three of them grew up together.

A love match. The widowed Tudor princess and her knight in shining armour

Mary was deeply unhappy at the French court in her state marriage in a foreign land, and begged Charles Brandon to marry her before they went home when he was sent to retrieve her by her brother.

 The aging Charles Brandon


Hans Holbein the Younger

Katherine Willougby, Duchess of Suffolk, was the fourth wife of Charles Brandon, and thus Frances Brandon's step-mother. Prior to the marriage the 14-year-old Katherine had been his ward and his son's intended, and was raised alongside Frances and her sisters and brother by her mother, Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VII and Dowager Queen of France, the third wife of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

The aging Charles Brandon

Wearing his collar of the Order of the Garter 

And carrying a bouquet of flowers

Its three colours of white, yellow and purple gave it the name of herb trinity. The colours show purity(white), joy(yellow) and mourning(purple) which relate it to the Virgin’s life. Flower symbolism relates it to merriment. Pansy derives from the French for thoughts, because of its resemblance to a human face.

Katherine Willougby, Duchess of Suffok


Hans Holbein the Younger


Probably painted in 1541 at the same time as the miniatures of her two sons with Charles Brandon, eight years into her marriage. 


Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk (1535-1551)


Hans Holbein the Younger


'This miniature of Henry Brandon, second Duke of Suffolk (1535–51) and its companion piece of Charles Brandon, third Duke of Suffolk (1537/8–51) (422295) are the only surviving identifiable representations of children within Holbein’s portraiture, with the exception of portraits of Edward VI and of the artist’s own children. Their inclusion within the group of approximately twenty high-ranking or well-connected persons who sat for portrait miniatures by Holbein can be explained by the quasi-royal status enjoyed by the boys’ father, Charles Brandon, first Duke of Suffolk. His marriage in 1515 to Princess Mary, younger sister of Henry VIII, gave him an elevated position at court which endured even after Princess Mary’s death in 1533. Henry and Charles Brandon, Suffolk’s two sons by his fourth wife, Katherine Willoughby, were jointly educated at an early age with the young Edward VI. They were renowned scholars and studied at St. John’s College, Cambridge, but died of the sweating sickness within half an hour of each other in 1551, Henry aged 16 and Charles aged 14 or 15.'


Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk (1537/8-1551) Signed and dated 1541


Hans Holbein the Younger


'Charles Brandon, third Duke of Suffolk, was the younger son of Charles Brandon, first Duke of Suffolk, and his fourth wife, Katherine Willoughby. He succeeded his elder brother Henry Brandon (422294; Royal Collection) as Duke of Suffolk in 1551, but survived him for less than an hour, dying, like his brother, of the sweating sickness. On his death, the Dukedom became extinct.

Charles Brandon is shown holding a paper which is inscribed with the sitter’s age when painted and the date on which the miniature was executed, 10 March 1541.'


The younger half-brother of Frances Brandon, from her father's fourth marriage to his former ward Katherine Willoughby.


In 1551 both the Duchess's sons, already students at Cambridge, died within an hour of each other of the sweating sickness. In recovering from this misfortune and its severe test to her faith, Katherine built a new life. She married her second husband, Richard Bertie (25 December 1516 – 9 April 1582), a member of her household, out of love and shared religious beliefs.


A posthumous, 18th century portrait of Richard Bertie, alongside his wife, Katherine Willoughby

It was common in those days, if one did not have a portrait one an ancestor, to simply have one painted.

Strangely enough, I have always thought that this posthumous picture of Katherine Willoughby - which bears little to the actual portraits of her, as can readily be seen - bears a great resemblance to the effigy of her step-daughter Frances, who had also married a member of her household out of love, Adrian Stokes, her master of the horse and the man who devotedly erected her tomb. 

Effigy of Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk 

Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, the son of Richard Bertie and Katherine Willoughby.

Susan Bertie, the daughter of Richard Bertie and Katherine Willoughby.


Luke Aaron

13.02.2022 14:02

The Portrait of a Woman, Sometimes Identified as the Duchess of Suffolk, c.1560 is the same woman as ‘Unknown woman, wearing a cross’ in cloth of silver, nearly half way down your homepage. Thanks.

Latest comments

07.12 | 21:47

It looks like The Tau cross derives from the Egyptian Ankh and basically they are wearing it around their necks, life rebirth, salvation mirror. sun.Stonehenge looks like it is made up of Ts to form c

07.12 | 21:30

are wearing the symbol on effigies at Ingham church Norfolk and Henry StanleyD1528 at Hillingdon Middlesex.Countess Jacquline of Hainaut and husband Frank Borsele are also wearing the insignia others

07.12 | 21:23

These Queens could of been members of the order and i think the Tau cross is a symbol of the Holy Trinity also.These pendants could of been reliquaries.Lady margaret de Bois and Roger de bois

07.12 | 21:17

I think the Tau cross that they are wearing could be linked to the(knights) order of St Anthony, Mary 1st collar looks like it may represent the knotted girdle/waist cord of st Anthony .

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