Folger Shakespeare Library

Ever since I learned that the watercoloured engraving credited to Sylvester Harding was reportedly copied by Harding from an anonymous engraving previously published in 1714, and that said earlier version had been included in a brief historical pamphlet entitled The Life and Character of Jane Shore, I have been on the lookout for it.

When I saw the book of cover of Re-presenting 'Jane' Shore: Harlot and Heroine by Maria M. Scott I thought I had found it. This engraving was both similar and different enough to be a different version of the Sylvester Harding engraving.

Re-presenting 'Jane' Shore: Harlot and Heroine by Maria M. Scott

Re-presenting 'Jane' Shore: Harlot and Heroine by Maria M. Scott

Blank space

However, a little research revealed that this engraving actually postdates Sylvester Harding's watercolour by more than 40 years.

Jane Shore. Illustration for The Graphic and Historical Illustrator edited by EW Brayley (J Gilbert, 1832).

Jane Shore. Illustration for The Graphic and Historical Illustrator edited by EW Brayley (J Gilbert, 1832).

I am instead beginning to wonder if the engraving that accompanied The life and character of Jane Shore was not an engraving of this kind:

The National Portrait Gallery dates this engraving to 'perhaps early 19th century', however, another, more elaborate engraving, also in the National Gallery, is dated 1802. The more elaborate engravings of a subject usually followed the simpler engravings, therefore being younger than the simpler engraving.

The British Library dates another engraving in their possession of the same object to c.1760–1780:

That this image originated in 1714 fits very well with the portraits as well.

Fair Rosamund – Palace of Holyroodhouse

Fair Rosamund – Palace of Holyroodhouse

Two similar versions are at Chirk Castle and Ferens Art Gallery. Two similar versions of a slightly different variant are at Powys Castle and Penrhyn Castle and one was at Priory Fine Art.

The Royal Collection dates this portrait to c.1715–1725. The Royal Collection writes that it was 'painted in c. 1720' and that it was 'recorded in the Queen's Dressing Room at Kensington in 1734'.

It has even been identified as depicting Lady Jane Grey.

Jane Shore – Powys Castle

Jane Shore – Powys Castle

Chirk Castle, Penrhyn Castle and Priory Fine Art also date their versions to the early 18th century.

Lady Jane Grey – The Norris Portrait

Lady Jane Grey – The Norris Portrait

«As with the Court Magazine engraving, this print presents an idealised image of Lady Jane Gray. The brocaded gold dress and pearl-trimmed purple overskirt are a Victorian approximation of Tudor dress.»

«Place made: United Kingdom: England, London (37 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London)»

Miller, S., 37, Tavistock-street, Covent-garden, W.C. is mentioned in the 1881 London Exhibition.

Two other fashion plates by S. Miller of 37 Tavistock St. Covent Garden can be found at the Vicoria and Albert Museum: Toilette de Mariée and Fashion Plate.

With a little research it became clear that S. Miller was the Samuel Miller (b.1844) who married Jane Miller, possibly one and the same woman as his business partner Marie Schild.

«But fancy dress was only part of her business. In partnership with a publisher, Samuell Miller, Mme Schild ran a business in London's Covent Garden, supplying fashion magazines, fashion plates, paper patterns – cut to the client's own measurements if required – and a whole host of other fashion-related goods and services. [...] Marie Schild also edited magazines. Lots of them. In 1870 she was editress of both The Brighton Courier of Fahion and The Drapers' and Milliners Gazette of Fashion. [...] The Dressmakers' and Milliners' Gazette of Fashion was a magazine aimed at the trade rather than private individuals. It contained fashion plates, descriptions of fashions and a free tissue paper pattern for one of the dresses shown. The magazine also offered a course of dressmaking 'lessons' and lots of advertisements for goods and services. It was, effectively, the first trade journal for dressmakers, and was printed monthly, by Samuel Miller at 37, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden.» In Between – Culture of Dress between the East and the West, Edited by Мирјана М. Менковић

When we look at the timeline it becomes tempting to speculate if Samuel Miller was not the unnamed friend who bought the Norris Portrait at an unnamed picture shop in 1870, and would later give the portrait as a present to Herbert Norris.

The two were in the same line of business, and the chances of them having known each other are good.

Male Character Costumes for Fancy Dress Balls and Private Theatricals. London: Samuel Miller, 1884.

Norris, Herbert. Nineteenth-Century Costume and Fashion. Vol. VI. Mineola: Dover Publications, 1933.

Schild, Mme. Marie. Characters Suitable for Fancy Costume Balls. London: Samuel Miller, 1881.

In fact, I was convinced that we had cracked at least one mystery until I saw that Lee Porritt had found two other engravings clearly connected with the Norris pattern, both shown below.

Françoise de Foix, Comtesse de Châteaubriant (c. 1495 – 16 October 1537) was a chief mistress of Francis I of France.

(Another version in which the lady has dark hair can be found on Wikipedia.)

From the book Galerie française de femmes célèbres par leurs talens, leur rang ou leur beauté (Paris, 1827), [pl.29]

«French gallery of women famous for their talents, their rank or their beauty / full-length portraits, drawn by M. Lanté, most of them from unpublished originals; engraved by M. Gatine and colored; with biographical notes and remarks on clothing. - Paris: 1827»

The inscription on this engraving reads: Dáprés un Desin de Janet et une Miniature á l'huiloe du Cabinet de Editeur – From a Design by Janet [François Clouet] and a Oil Miniature from the Publisher's Cabinet

And now suddenly there is talk of a miniature.

The likeness between the two engravings is too great for it to be a mere coincidence.

Of course, it is entirely possible that if Samuel Miller (b.1844) was the unnamed friend who bought the Norris Portrait from an equally unnamed picture shop in 1870 that he recognised the distinct features of the iconic 1827 engraving, as they are instantly recognisable to us, the necklace, the collar, the brooch, the little book, and decided to upgrade the famous engraving with the correct identity as identfied by the inscription on the portrait.

Marie of Cleves, Princess of Condé (1553–1574)

Marie of Cleves, Princess of Condé (1553–1574)

Marie of Cleves, Princess of Condé (1553–1574)

Marie of Cleves, Princess of Condé (1553–1574)

How an oil miniature of the Norris pattern found its way to France and was identified as Françoise de Foix, is, of course, a complete mystery.

A similar necklace can be seen on a sketch of another royal love-interest of the French kings, not Françoise de Foix, but Marie of Cleves, Princess of Condé (1553–1574).

The full portrait, however, shows that this necklace was made out of some dark material, silver, perhaps, not pearls.

Lady Jane Grey (1537 – 1554) – The Duckett Portrait

Lady Jane Grey (1537 – 1554) – The Duckett Portrait

Françoise de Foix, Comtesse de Châteaubriant (c. 1495 – 16 October 1537)

Françoise de Foix, Comtesse de Châteaubriant (c. 1495 – 16 October 1537)

If we put the Duckett Portrait of Lady Jane Grey and a sketch of Françoise de Foix side by side, the resemblance is startling. It is not known, however, how much the features of the lady in the Duckett Portrait were reflected in the miniature after the Norris pattern, as the miniature is currently lost.

In any case, the Duckett Portrait cannot possibly be of Françoise de Foix, as I do not think that the fashion of the square brim French hood ever made it to France from England.

In either case, the square brim French hood first starts to appear in the second half of the 1540's, more than a decade after the death of Françoise de Foix.

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, &c.

From an Original Painting in the possession of JF Smyth

Ferdinand Smyth Stuart Esq

STUART, JOHN FERDINAND SMYTH (1745–1814), American loyalist, born in 1745, claimed descent through both parents from the Duke of Monmouth. According to his own doubtful statement, his father, Wentworth Smyth, was son of the Duke of Monmouth by Lady Henrietta Maria, granddaughter of Thomas Wentworth, earl of Cleveland, and daughter of Thomas, lord Wentworth. She died eight months after Monmouth's execution, and her son was said to have been adopted by Colonel Smyth, an aide-de-camp of Monmouth, who made him his heir. Wentworth Smyth joined in the risings of 1715 and 1745, and was killed in the highlands at some later date. At the age of sixty-six he is reputed to have married Maria Julia Dalziel, a girl of fifteen. She was represented to be granddaughter of General James Crofts, natural son of the Duke of Monmouth, by Eleanor, daughter of Sir Robert Needham of Lambeth. It is vaguely stated that she predeceased her husband, dying three years after her marriage.

The reputed son, John Ferdinand Smyth, who in 1793 adopted the name of Stuart, studied medicine at Edinburgh University. He then emigrated to America, and, settling near Williamsburg in Virginia, practised as a doctor in the district. When the rebellion broke out Smyth found himself the only loyalist in the neighbourhood, and on 15 Oct. 1775 he was compelled to abandon his home. He served in several regiments with the rank of captain, distinguishing himself, according to his own account, by his zeal and activity. He showed equal capacity in the most different situations. At one time he raised a special company of picked men for frontier work, and at another commanded an armed sloop in the bay of Chesapeake. He was several times made prisoner, and on one occasion was kept in irons for eighteen months. On proceeding to England at the close of the war a pension of 300l. a year was settled on him, a very partial compensation for his losses. Yet in 1784, on some insinuations secretly made against him to the commissioners for American claims, even this was suspended and never restored. In consequence he was reduced to extreme poverty, and was glad to accept the position of barrack-master. He made strenuous representations to government, and in 1795 demanded justice from Pitt peremptorily. In the same year he was persuaded to accompany Admiral Sir Hugh Cloberry Christian [q. v.] to the West Indies, where he was thrice shipwrecked and was present at the capture of St. Lucia. On his return to England he was informed that his claims were of too ancient a date to be entertained. He was knocked down and killed by a carriage at the corner of Southampton Street, London, on 20 Dec. 1814, leaving a widow destitute, two sons, and a daughter (Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. viii. 495, ix. 232, 334).

He was the author of: 1. ‘A Tour in the United States of America,’ London, 1784, 8vo. This book gives an account of his sojourn and travels in North America and of the share he took in the war. His delineation of rural society in the States is vigorous but not flattering. The republican opinions of the colonists were obnoxious to a loyalist, while their barbarous manners were repellent to a gentleman. 2. ‘A Letter to Lord Henry Petty on Coercive Vaccination,’ London, 1807, 8vo, a violent diatribe against vaccination (Chambers, Book of Days, i. 628). 3. ‘Destiny and Fortitude: an heroic poem on the Misfortunes of the House of Stuart,’ London, 1808, fol.

[Stuart's Works; The Case of Ferdinand Smyth Stuart, London, 1807, fol.]

Whatever he was actually in possession of, we see that it was in John Ferdinand Smyth Stuart's interest for it to be a painting of Mary, Queen of Scots, as he had not one, but two dubious claims of descent from her to uphold.

Since he adopted the name of Stuart in 1793 and died in 1814, it seems natural to assume that the engraving is from between those two points in time.

It would here be tempting to speculate that it was the Magdalene Portrait John Ferdinand Smyth Stuart was in possession of, the dates lining up so perfectly, 1793–1814 versus Peter Peckard's death in 1797 and his widow Martha's in 1805, and Magdalene Portrait disappearance from historical record after having been engraved as Jane Shore in 1790. However, there appears to be a direct link between Martha, the widow Peter Peckard, D.D., Master of Magdalene College and the Dauntseys of Agecroft Hall, without any possible descendants of Mary, Queen of Scots in between.

Of course, the Dauntsey Portrait could be a copy of the Magdalene Portrait ...

I did also consider the possibility that it might have been the Norris Portrait which John Ferdinand Smyth Stuart was in possession of. The Norris Portrait's recorded history starts of course roughly 60 years later in 1870 in an unnamed picture shop.

I dismissed the idea (though not entirely) based on the very clear inscription identifying the Norris Portrait as Lady Jane Grey.

(The reason I did not entirely dismiss the idea is that I am very well aware of the enthusiasm of both genealogists and engravers, which can lead both groups to occasionally overlook inconvenient things, such as facts.)

EDITED TO ADD 09.02.2021

I am now inclined to believe that what John Ferdinand Smyth Stuart was in possession of was this miniature by George Perfect Harding (1781–1853), now in the collection of @GreyRevisited. That means that the miniature would have to have been painted (and sold) prior to 1814, when John Ferdinand Smyth Stuart died. Since George Perfect Harding exhibited at the Royal Academy at intervals between 1802 and 1840, this should have been possible.

The miniature bears a striking resemblance both to the engraving and to Mary, Queen of Scots.

Lady Jane Grey by George Perfect Harding

Lady Jane Grey by George Perfect Harding

«A further half-dozen portraits said to depict Jane Grey were recorded in 1804 by the engraver George Perfect Harding in his three-volume manuscript List of Portraits, Pictures, In Various Mansions, of the United Kingdom. Harding surveyed a vast number of houses, both large and small, throughout the United Kingdom, but we can only wonder at why he listed so few portraits of Jane and failed to mention many that were in houses he did visit and that were already well-known. Because he was an engraver seeking subject matter, perhaps he deliberately overlooked images that had already been popularized by others of his craft. Only one of those mentioned by Harding had previously been engraved: the Wrest Park Portrait. Two other, the Jersey and the Bodleian Portraits, had not yet been published as engravings. A fourth was owned in 1804 by Christopher Roberts Wren, fourth-generation descendant of the seventeenth-century architect Sir Christopher Wren, of Wroxhall Abbey, Warwickshire. Wroxhall was sold in 1861 and soon demolished, to be replaced by a new mansion in 1866. The estate was eventually liquidated in 1995 and the last contents of the house were removed, their disposition unknown today. Harding also noted a portrait at Dalkeith Palace in 1804 in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch that was said to depict Jane. The sitter in that portrait had “long hair, black and very thick; [and was] not handsome.” It was not included in an inventory of Dalkeith taken in 1911, however. Finally, Harding listed a portrait of Jane Grey at Warwick Castle, home to at that time to George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick and a great collector of portraits in particular. According to mid-nineteenth-century inventories, the portrait hung in the Blue Boudoir, where the Warwick collection of paintings attributed to Holbein were gathered. Yet the portrait was not mentioned in a mid-nineteenth-century detailed guidebook to the house, though that guidebooklisted and described many dozens of portraits in virtually every part of the house. Significant sales of portraits from Warwick Castle were held in 1903, 1936 and 1968. The portrait is reportedly not at Warwick Castle today.» (J. Stephan Edwards, A Queen of a New Invention, p. 188-189)

Lady Jane Grey – The Norris Portrait inscribed ‘LADYE JANE GRAY, DIED 1553 AET 17’

Lady Jane Grey – The Norris Portrait inscribed ‘LADYE JANE GRAY, DIED 1553 AET 17’

Lady Jane Grey – The Norris Portrait inscribed ‘LADYE JANE GRAY, DIED 1553 AET 17'

One thing that seems to have escaped everybody's notice, including mine until recently, is that whoever painted the Norris Portrait knew how old Lady Jane Grey was.

Even today, historians do not know precisely how old she was.

If anything, popular opinion, historical thought and tradition have veered towards Jane being 16 at the time of her death. But whoever inscribed the Norris Portrait knew how old Lady Jane Grey was, either at the time the original portrait was painted, or when she died. Moreover, the most recent research, who have sources at their disposal that would not have been readily available to anyone until now, agrees.

Births and age were simply not recorded the same way back then as they are today. That is why there is so much discussion about how old Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were as well.

There is still some indication that age and birthday were important to the individual. Margaret Beaufort required Westminster Abbey to celebrate her birthday, the 31st of May. A procession of 29 mourners, one for every year of Queen Jane's life, was present at the funeral of Jane Seymour.

So someone who would have known Lady Jane Grey, like her tutors, as mentioned in the articles by J. Stephan Edwards linked to above, would likely have had knowledge of it.

Such as her cousin, Jane FitzAlan, Baroness Lumley. Whom we know possessed a portrait of Lady Jane Grey.

Or rather, a painting of her first cousin Lady Jane Grey was registered in the collection of her husband, a collection that marked the potraits in it with cartellini said to contain information about the sitter's age.

I think the Norris Portrait is a direct copy of the painting once in the Lumley Collection.

It contains precisely the same information as the portrait in the Lumley Collection. Compare:


Of the Lady Jane Graye, Exexuted.

In addition the Lumley cartellini are said to have contained information about the sitter's age.

As have been pointed out before, the inscription on the Norris painting pre-dates 1752, the year in which the beginning of the calendar year was moved from 25 March to 1 January, at the same time as it must of course be from after her death, since it mentions it.

Both of these facts are perfectly in keeping with the Lumley cartellini, which regardless of the original portrait's actual age would have been drawn up after 1553/4 and with a good margin of some 150 years before 1752.

Moreover, someone has added the detail of her beloved girdle book, which is not present in the Duckett Painting, which it seems is an original.

Almost as if someone could remember her carrying it around.

But who could this someone have been?

One natural candidate is of course Jane FitzAlan, Baroness Lumley. She and Lady Jane Grey were first cousins and namesakes, named for the same queen, both highly educated, and the same age.

There is some historical evidence to suggest that Jane Lumley felt Lady Jane Grey's tragedy strongly.

Something else would perhaps have been strange, but life and families can be strange.

«Lady Jane Lumley was an English noble whose abridged translation from Greek of Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis ca.1555-58 [but not published until 1909] made her the 1st woman to translate Euripides into English & one of the earliest extant English translations of a Greek tragedy» Michel Lara on Twitter

«Interestingly, Lady Jane Lumley’s translation of Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis around 1555 whose theme was the unjust sacrifice of a Greek princess was likely done a year after the execution of Lumley’s cousin & ‘Nine Days Queen’, Jane Grey in February 12, 1554» Michel Lara on Twitter

The tragedy must have been amplified for the FitzAlan children by the fact that their father played a very direct part in it.

Henry FitzAlan's defection from the side of Queen Jane to the side of Queen Mary was one of the causes that the attempt to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne failed.

I cannot entirely find it in my heart to blame him, however, no matter how awful and sad I find what followed. The plan was sheer lunacy from the start, and only the unmitigated success of the career of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland and the practically charmed lives led by Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk and his wife Frances Brandon could have blinded them to that fact.

Henry FitzAlan had his own children, his own life and his own privileged wealth to think of.

Like her cousin and namesake Lady Jane Grey, Jane FitzAlan Lumley was in many ways a tragic figure. She lost her mother at five years old, her first cousin and namesake Lady Jane at seventeen, her only brother two years later and her only sister a year after that. All of her three children died in infancy. She was estranged from her teen years from the Grey family, her mother's family, which had been very close.

They never forgave Henry FitzAlan for his role in the downfall of their family, as can be evidenced by the fact that there are no portraits of George Medley (Margaret Wotton's son from her first marriage and her Grey children's half-brother) and his family, Lord John Grey of Pirgo and his family, Elizabeth Grey, Lady Audley, Margaret Audley and her children (even though she married Jane's sister Mary FitzAlan's widower and her children were also his) recorded in the Lumley Collection. Nor of Margaret Grey or Lenton (the illegitimate daughter of Lord Thomas Grey also executed 1554), her husband John Astley, Master of the Jewel House and Treasurer of Her Majesty's jewels and plate, or their son Sir John Astley, Master of the Revels, or of their other children. The Chawton Portrait which is probably of Lady Katherine Grey was found in the family of the wife of one of her direct descendents. Nor are there any recorded of the children of Anne Grey, Lady Willoughby or of Lady Mary Grey, Lady Jane Grey's youngest sister. Many of these people were notables or «celebrities» in their own right. We know that many of them did have their portraits painted, as said portraits are still in existence and showed on this site. Nor is Jane Lumley mentioned in the will of Lady Mary Grey, which otherwise mentions a long list of her female acquaintances and relatives.

That left plenty of time to look backwards.

I have from the first had two leading theories regarding the portrait of Lady Jane Grey which was in the Lumley Collection.

If I am right in that it was the miniature now in the Victoria and Albert Museum of Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford that was in the Lumley Collection, the portrait of Lady Jane Grey in the collection could similarly have been a miniature.

It too could have been a gift from a cousin to Jane Lumley, as if I am right about the miniature being the portrait of Katherine Grey recorded in the Lumley Collection, it was almost certainly a direct gift from Lady Katherine Grey to her cousin Jane Lumley.

Either before or after the events of 1554. I have described how the rest of the Grey family appears to have given the FitzAlans the «cut direct», but there is often one exception in such family matters. It was not as if Katherine Grey had many left to rely on either. When horrorstruck by the pregnancy that resulted from her clandestine marriage she turned first to old family friend Bess of Hardwick, then to Robert Dudley due to their earlier status as in-laws. Both turned her away, terrified of being embroiled in the affair.

Lady Jane Grey could have easily done the same thing, gifted a miniature of herself to her cousin Jane Lumley in their girlhood. For the importance of miniature gift-giving in female friendships see The Feminine Dynamic in English Art, 1485-1603: Women as Consumers, Patrons and Painters by Susan E. James.

The second theory is that the portrait in the Lumley Collection is somehow linked to the Ieanne Gray-engraving.

Of Sr Nichls Carewe Mr of the horse to K: H: 8.

Sr Nicholas Carewe Master of the horse to Kinge Henry y 8.


The Statuary of Thomas first Lo: Darcy of Chiche created by King Edw: 6. Lo: Chamberleyne to the said K: Edw: drawn by Garlicke.

The Ieanne Gray-Engraving.

The Ieanne Gray-Engraving.

Roland Hui has an interesting theory regarding the engraving: Becoming Jane: The Streatham Portrait of Lady Jane Grey and its Association to a Woodcut Intended for Theodore Beza's 'Icones' (1580). He points out that the engraving is «comparable to a series of portraits found in the book Icones, id est Verae imagines virorum doctrina simul e pietate illustratrium. Written by the theologian Theodore Beza (1519-1605), it consisted of a collection of biographies, composed in Latin, of Protestant notables. Some of them were depicted by woodcuts. Published in Geneva in 1580, the book proved so popular that in the following year, it was rereleased. The new edition was translated into French by Beza's co-religionist Simon Goulard (1548-1628), who also added some new images.»

His theory is that the engraving was originally produced to be included in one or both of the two editions of the book, but for whatever reason was eventually left out.

If this theory is correct, it naturally greatly increases the likelihood of the engraving being based on an actual portrait Lady Jane Grey, that is to say, that the Duckett Portrait actually is Lady Jane Grey.

Heeding J. Stephan Edwards general warning that an engraving bearing the name of someone does not necessarily ensure that the engraving is in fact of this person – the 'Lady Jane Grey'-engraving in the Heroωlogia Anglica (1620) which to many of us was our mental image of Lady Jane Grey, but which turned out to be Katherine Parr being the prime example of this – I should still think that the difference between 1620 and 1580 a significant one.

Those 40 years may seem a neglible difference to us 400 years afterwards, but 1580 was a mere 25 years after Jane's death. In contrast to 1620, plenty more of the people who knew her would still have been alive. To wit: Queen Elizabeth I herself (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603), Jane's cousin, her tutor and then Bishop of London John Aylmer (1521 – 3 June 1594), Margaret Grey or Lenton Astley (d.1601), her first cousin as the illegitimate daughter of Lord Thomas Grey (d.1554), third son of the 2nd Marquis of Dorset, and Sir Francis Willoughby (1546/7–1596), another first cousin, to name a few.

Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford (22 May 1539 – 6 April 1621), Jane's childhood acquaintance and possible fiancé and posthumous brother-in-law was also alive in 1620, and, significantly as J. Stephan Edwards points out, rejected the Heroωlogia Anglica-engraving, the Seymours instead opting to create their own image of Lady Jane Grey in the Syon Portrait. (A Queen of a New Invention by J. Stephan Edwards, p. 173)

If the Ieanne Gray-engraving was created a mere 25 years after Jane's death, that did not leave a lot of time for her portrait to get misidentified.

In his original discussion of the Northwick Portrait, J. Stephan Edwards believed that the portrait of Lady Jane Grey came to the FitzAlan Lumleys through the acquisition of Nonsuch Palace: «The core of the Lumley collection was acquired en masse by Lord Lumley in 1580 through inheritance from his wife’s father, Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel. Fitzalan was the same Earl of Arundel who figured prominently in the events of July 1553. His change of allegiance from Queen Jane to Queen Mary was critical to Mary’s eventual success. It is therefore unlikely that Arundel, as both a Marian supporter and a Roman Catholic, would have deliberately sought to acquire a portrait of the Protestant ‘usurper’ Jane Grey. It is far more likely that the portrait, whomever it depicts, came to Arundel, and thence to Lumley, when the former purchased Nonsuch Palace from the Crown in 1556. Lumley later inherited Nonsuch from Arundel, together with its collection of paintings.»

After having researched Nonsuch and the number of paintings later located there, he revised his opinion, however: «As a former royal palace, Nonsuch probably did contain numerous royal portraits, but the Lumley Inventories of 1590 include in their entirety almost three hundred paintings. In contrast, Nonsuch held just thirty three paintings by 1649. This massive quantitative difference over a span of just sixty years, especially for a royal palace still very much in use, indicates that the Nonsuch collection was itself always a small one and thus never represented more than a mere fraction of Lumley's holdings. The Northwick Portrait was, in all statistical likelihood, acquired separately from the Nonsuch inheritance.» (A Queen of a New Invention by J. Stephan Edwards, p. 41)

«The details of Lumley's acquisition of the portrait of Jane Grey are not known, so that today we can only speculate on its origins. Lumley did inherit Nonsuch Palace in 1580 from his father-in- law, Henry Fitzalan, and the collection there is usually said to have constituted the core of Lumley's own larger collection. But the picture of Jane Grey is unlikely to have originated at Nonsuch. Henry VIII began construction of the palace in 1538, though it was not entirely finished when the King died in 1547 (and when Jane Grey was not more than 11 years old). His successor Edward VI let out the palace on a long-term lease and thus did not use the residence himself. Queen Mary initially continued the lease following her own accession in 1553, but ultimately sold Nonsuch to Fitzalan in 1556. He completed construction of the palace in 1559 and soon after entertained Queen Elizabeth there. Given Fitzalan's history of initially supporting the efforts to elevate Jane Grey to the Crown at the expense of Mary and Elizabeth, however, together with Elizabeth's own famous distaste for all three Grey sisters, it would have been exceedingly impolitic for him to have displayed within the palace any portrait of his niece-by-marriage. And while it is true that Fitzalan briefly supported Katherine Grey as Elizabeth's successor when the latter suffered a near-fatal illness in 1562, he very soon shifted his support to Mary Stuart, in largest part because Mary shared Fitzalan's own Roman Catholic faith and Katherine did not. Since it is therefore unlikely that Fitzalan already held a portrait of Jane Grey at Nonsuch when John Lumley inherited the palace from him, Lumley must have acquired the painting through deliberate purchase and as a likeness that he, his wife, or both recognized as their executed cousin. And because both Lumleys were undoubtedly aware of Jane Grey's true appearance, it is improbable that the portrait was misidentified when the distinctive Lumley cartellinos were applied toward the end of the sixteenth century.» (A Queen of a New Invention by J. Stephan Edwards, p. 186)

In addition to it being highly impolitic of Henry FitzAlan, there is also the fact that he played a direct part in the events that led to what happened to Lady Jane Grey. Whether Jane's fate weighed heavily on his conscience, is between him and higher authorities than are readily available to us. But there is some proof that the events of 1554 weighed heavily on him, as evidenced by his relationship with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, for instance. For the strange relationship between Henry FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, see Arundel and Leicester. For that reason too it is possible to question whether Henry FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel would have wanted to have a portrait of a young girl whose death he had contributed to (no matter his feelings for Jane personally), who was family no less and who he had known from literally the cradle to the grave he helped put her in, staring at him from his wall.

It would take a very special kind of man to enjoy something like that, and regardless of whatever else he may have been, I do not think Henry FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel was that kind of man.

My first thought was that the engraving was based on the portrait which was in the Lumley Collection. After all, if you wanted an engraving of Lady Jane Grey for your collection of Protestant icons, where better to turn for a portrait of her than to her close kin who were also in possession of the largest collection of portraits in England?

I thought the portrait in the Lumley Collection might have been some variation of the Duckett Portrait, a copy of some sort perhaps. I even toyed with the idea of it having been the Duckett Portrait itself.

Once I realised that the inscription and the information on the Norris Portrait corresponded so perfectly with the entry in the Lumley Inventories and with the information one might expect to find on the cartellino of the portrait of Lady Jane Grey in the Lumley Collection, I became more and more convinced that the Norris Portrait was a copy of the painting in the Lumley Collection.


Of the Lady Jane Graye, Exexuted.

The reference portrait for both the engraving and the Norris Portrait is clearly the Duckett Portrait.

However, there must independently exist some link between the engraving and the Norris Portrait (and the Streatham and Houghton portraits) on account of the pendant suspended from the necklace and the bodice brooch, which cannot be found in the Duckett Portrait but is a shared element of the engraving and these three paintings.

And soon I ran into a conundrum – my idea was that the Lumley Portrait was a personalised version of the Duckett Portrait, in which the Lumleys had added something they remembered of Jane, the little prayer book which she was so fond of. This was then reflected in the Norris Portrait, as a copy of that portrait.

However, the engraving does not show any book.

Of course, it is not without the realm of possibility that the engravers could have left out the lower part of the Lumley-adjusted portrait, doing away with any potential book, as indeed the engraving omits part of the lady's arms and the hint of her cuffs that can be seen at the bottom of the Duckett Portrait.

This possible explanation did not satisfy me in the least, however.

It seemed at once too fantastical, too neat ... too pat.

Too convenient, somehow.

It took me a long time to think of something we have already experienced once in our forays into the portraiture of Lady Jane Grey.

What if it were the other way around?

What if, instead of the engraving being based on the Lumley Portrait, the Lumley Portrait was based on the engraving?

Ieanne Gray – Engraving

Ieanne Gray – Engraving

Lady Jane Grey –The Norris Portrait

Lady Jane Grey –The Norris Portrait

If we compare the engraving and the Norris Portrait (which I believe is copy of the portrait in the Lumley Collection) certain details align almost staggeringly well.

The hairline, the forehead, the eyebrows, the dark circles under the eyes, the mouth, the nostrils which are more flared in both the engraving and the Norris Portrait than in the Duckett Portrait. Even the red of the cheeks in the Norris Portrait aligns perfectly with the shadowed effect of the engraving on the cheeks of the lady in the engraving.

What for a long time kept me from forming this as a serious theory, was that the lady in the engraving is turned to the right, while the lady in the Norris Portrait is turned to the left, just like the Duckett Portrait.

That the lady in the engraving is mirrored in reverse from the Duckett Portrait is only natural, that was often the way for engravings that were based on paintings.

However, if the Norris Portrait was painted after a portrait that was based on the engraving, the lady in the Norris Portrait should be facing the same way as the lady in the engraving, and she isn't, she is mirrored reversed from it.

For a long time this seemed to my mind to put a stop to any idea that the Norris Portrait could have come from a portrait type derived from the engraving, no matter the similarities.

Unless ... We, looking back, have a nasty habit of thinking the people of the past less sophisticated than we are.

If we are aware of that engravings were often in reverse, it stands to reason that the Lumleys, as owners of England's largest collection of portraits and art in their time, were also aware of this.

Could it be possible that they intentionally had the image reversed from the engraving, in order to bring their portrait closer to the original portrait?

Which they did not have access to?

If Lady Jane Grey did not give a miniature of herself to her cousin Jane Lumley (Perhaps she had no more to give? Or any of the myriad other reasons why something that could have happened did not happen), the Lumleys could very well have found themselves without access to a portrait of Lady Jane Grey after the events of 1554.

There is no evidence that the rest of the Greys ever thawed towards the FitzAlan Lumleys.

There has been some suggestion that part of the reason that Henry FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel defected from the side of Queen Jane was revenge towards Jane's immediate family because he still felt the slight of Henry Grey, then Marquis of Dorset jilting his sister in favour of Frances Brandon.

To my mind, it makes some difference whether Henry FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel's decision was based on ill-will towards Jane (or her family) or if he simply thought that this was a doomed cause and was terrified for himself and his own family. He may have even assumed that Jane would have been pardoned, as would indeed have probably happened if the foolhardiness of her father had not sealed her fate.

Such fine distinctions may have been lost in the heat of the moment, however, and there is no sign that what remained of the Grey family ever warmed up to him or his family.

So any portrait of Lady Jane Grey that was left with the Greys would have been inaccessible and lost to the Lumleys.

But the Duckett Portrait was owned by Lionel Duckett, Mayor of London. That seems blessfully neutral.

Well. Lionel Duckett was actually married to Jane Pakington, the cousin of the wife of one of Lady Jane Grey and Jane Lumley's cousins of the Grey connection, Francis Willoughby.

Francis Willoughby had been orphaned at an early age, and raised by George Medley, Margaret Wotton's son from her first marriage and the older half-brother of her Grey children. The events of 1554 directly impacted Francis Willoughby's life in that the Medleys could no longer afford to keep him and his siblings. The siblings were separated, and Francis's education sponsored by Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, the widow of Henry and mother of the late Jane.

No evidence exists that Francis Willoughby breached the family blockade against the FitzAlan Lumleys or would have had the slightest inclination to do so.

Neither Jane nor John Lumley seem to have been drama-prone people. It is entirely possible that they shrank from such a mortifying ordeal as explaining that they did not have a portrait of Lady Jane Grey and wished for it, opening themselves up for a refusal, a polite rejection, even more polite missives detailing delays which eventually would have resulted in the portrait never materialising, or causing a possible quarrel in the Duckett-Pakington-Willoughby-Grey family if Sir Lionel Duckett did acquiesce to their request.

Because both of the surviving children of Anne Grey, Lady Willoughby – Francis and Margaret – were drama-prone people.

Sir Lionel Duckett (and the Lumleys) may even have feared to put a further strain on the already volatile marriage of Francis Willoughby and his wife Elizabeth.

Should any copy of the engraving have fallen into their hands, however, they would have been free to do with it as they pleased, free of any embarrassment.

I do not know what kind of preparatory work went into producing a book of this kind back then and how long it would have taken. Finding the portraits of everybody they wanted to portray and having them engraved. As well as the kind of work that goes into producing any kind of book, then and now.

The book was published in 1580.

I do therefore not know if it is possible for an early preparatory engraving to have fallen into the hands of the Lumleys before the too-early death of Jane Lumley on the 27th of July 1578.

She seems to have been in reasonably good health until then. Several sources mention that she nursed her father «as his nursse and dearebeloved childe» until her own death. The Gentleman's Magazine

Henry Fitzalan, 19th Earl of Arundel did not die himself until the 24th of February 1580.

The other possibility is that John Lumley constructed the portrait alone.

He had married Jane FitzAlan before the 4th of March 1552, which meant that he had been Lady Jane Grey's cousin-in-law for two years by the time of her death.

And people were fond of Jane. Her ladies, mistress Ellen and Elizabeth Tilney, wept when they were with her at the scaffold. Heinrich Bullinger kept her letters. Bess of Hardwick kept a portrait of her in her bedchamber. Roger Ascham, her cousin Elizabeth's tutor who had known her from their shared time together in Katherine Parr's household, not only visited her and exchanged letters with her, but wrote of her many years after her death.

So my theory is that either Jane or John Lumley or the both of them saw an early copy or a preparatory version of the engraving, and recognised it as a genuine likeness of Lady Jane Grey. Perhaps they recognised the little pearl necklace, in the same way one might open a cupboard or a drawer and reach out one's hand and say, 'Remember ...' and close one's hand softly around the object.

From there on I suggest that they did the same thing that J. Stephan Edwards suggests that the Seymours did with the Syon Portrait – They took an existing image and adjusted it according to their memories of Lady Jane Grey.

In the Seymours case, this would have been the Berry-Hill Portrait of Jane's sister Lady Katherine Grey. The Lumleys did have a genuine image of Jane before them, but if the Norris Portrait really is based on the portrait that was once upon a time in the Lumley Collection, and that portrait really was based on the engraving, there are some interesting differences between the engraving (and the Duckett Portrait) and the Norris Portrait.

I have a already mentioned the presence of the little book, which is not in the Duckett Portrait nor in the engraving, but which does correspond to a treasured girdle prayer book actually owned by Lady Jane Grey, given to her in her girlhood and carried with her to the scaffold.

Now, of course, the presence of a book in the portraiture of Lady Jane Grey is neither particularly new nor revolutionary.

In fact, the presence of a book in portraits of ladies that have nothing whatsoever to do with Lady Jane Grey have often been used as a reason to re-christen those portraits as Lady Jane Grey.

There is just something about the way the lady in the Norris Portrait is holding the book that is different than all the others. She is clutching it, while in the others, even the Streatham and Houghton portraits which is based on the same pattern, it is more of a prop. The lady in the Norris Portrait is also pressing the book against her stomach, as if for comfort. I can think of plenty of reasons why Lady Jane Grey might have needed comfort in her short life, and I didn't even know her.

The girdle prayer book is still existant and is today in the British Museum. It can be seen in a brief clip here: England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey.

Unfortunately, at some point in its past, the girdle prayer book lost its original binding, so even if a colour photograph of the Norris Portrait (or even better yet the Norris Portrait itself) should turn up, the girdle prayer book and the book in the Norris Portrait cannot be compared.

Of course, even provided that the Lumleys had remembered the book and wanted to include it, it is by no means certain that they would have remembered its exact appearance.

Still, should the Norris Portrait suddenly turn up, I for one would not have minded taking a closer look also at the book in the lady's hands.

Lady Jane Grey – The Norris Portrait. Sketch by Herbert Norris

Lady Jane Grey – The Norris Portrait. Sketch by Herbert Norris

However, here is another sketch Herbert Norris drew of the Norris Portrait. It is not the watercolour we are all well familiar with by now, but a different sketch.

You will notice that in her hand, the lady in the sketch is holding a book with a startling resemblance to the book in the Fitzwilliam Portrait.

The festooned necklace is also remarkably similar.

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley – The Fitzwilliam Portrait

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley – The Fitzwilliam Portrait

The Lady Jane Grey's Prayer Book

Girdle Prayer Book – Perhaps Lady's Jane Grey's girdle prayer book was originally bound in a custom-made binding of gold similar to this one?

Girdle Prayer Book – Perhaps Lady's Jane Grey's girdle prayer book was originally bound in a custom-made binding of gold similar to this one?

This girdle prayer book was owned by the daughter of Jane's friend Bess of Hardwick and her husband, Gilbert and Mary Talbot, the 7th Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury. Cryptic Sixteenth-Century Prayer Book Bespeaks Luxury and Scandal

The book in the Streatham Portrait is, oddly enough, not dissimilar to the book in the Fitzwilliam Portrait.

One of the oddest differences between the Streatham Portrait and the Houghton Portrait, which are otherwise very alike in composition, is the colour of the book in the lady's hand.

Both books have some sort of symbol in the middle, which is impossible to make out, perhaps because it does not mean anything. If the Lumleys were recreating the book from memory, it is possible that they remembered that there was some sort of decoration there, but not what it was.



10.10.2022 13:05

The above portrait of Alice Spencer is very similar to another one of Lady Harington: Faces look identical

Site Owner

10.10.2022 13:23

I completely agree. The likeness is startling.

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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