Portraits – Page Two

Charles V. Portrait Miniature by Lucas Horenbout, about 1525-30, watercolour on vellum, remounted onto modern card. Museum no. P.22-1942, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London (http://web.archive.org/web/20160108000245/http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/h/a-history-of-the-portrait-miniature/) - Katherine of Aragon - Anne Boleyn - Katherine Parr

It is my belief that these four miniatures represent the work of Lucas Horenbout (or Hornebolte) or that of someone in his workshop. Candidates are his sister Susannah Hornebolte, or his wife Margaret, who we know was paid sixty shillings three years after his death by Queen Katherine Parr for 'some paintings'. The artist of these miniatures can singled out.

Called Elizabeth I Tudor – Katherine Grey Seymour – Mary Dudley Sidney and Mary Neville Fiennes, Lady Dacre

Lady Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford, with her son Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp of Hache

The Beaufort Miniature

The Yale Miniature

Unknown Lady Called Lady Frances Grey Watercolour on vellum ©Victoria and Albert Museum

The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

Edward VI by Levina Teerlinc

Edward VI by Levina Teerlinc

I have for a time now entertained the thought that the Fitzwilliam Portrait might be Frances Brandon. I do think I detect some likeness with the sketch purportedly of her sister, Eleanor Brandon, (though others did not perceive this similarity), the sketch of her mother, Mary Tudor, Queen of France, and she has the Tudor red hair. It would of course also explain the similarity with her cousin Queen Mary I, with whom the portrait has long been associated with and the sitter identified as.

The possible 'D' on her girdle prayer book would then of course stand for 'Dorset'. Frances was known as the Marchioness of Dorset until late 1551 when her husband was created Duke of Suffolk and she became Duchess of Suffolk.

Frances would certainly have been in possession of enough finery to be the lady in the Fitzwilliam Portrait.

I have ultimately decided against this theory, though. Her collar dates to a later time than 1551, and she should thus have been portrayed with an 'S' for Suffolk, if anything. Of course, it could have been an old girdle prayer book (they were costly things) in a new portrait, but considering how obsessed people in this period were with status and their symbols, I hold this to be unlikely.

Also, I do not know how much of her finery Frances was in possession of after the events of 1554.

I have, however, found one candidate whose known facts about her life line up perfectly with what little we know of the lady in the Fitzwilliam Portrait.

KATHERINE BRYDGES (c.1524-April 1566)

Katherine Brydges was the daughter of John Brydges, 1st baron Chandos (March 9, 1491/2-April 13, 1557) and Elizabeth Grey (d. December 29, 1559). She was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber to Queen Mary. In early 1556, she married Edward Sutton, baron Dudley (d. July 9, 1586) and soon after found herself being questioned about her brother-in-law, Sir Henry Dudley, the conspirator. Her husband was imprisoned for debt in June 1558, by which time Katherine had given birth to their only child, Anne (c.1554-November 28, 1605). Lady Dudley was buried on April 25, 1566 in St. Edmund’s Chapel, Dudley.

Katherine Brydges – A Who's Who of Tudor Women

The possible 'D' would then stand for Dudley, as Katherine Brydges would have been properly styled 'Lady Dudley' after her marriage. She was married in 1556, at the age of 32, which could fit with the age of the lady in the Fitzwilliam Portrait and the painting being a 'marriage portrait.' She was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber to Queen Mary, and thus at court and accessible to Levina Teerlinc.

I remain(ed) not wholly convinced though.

I explore this theory further on my The Fitzwilliam Portrait page. 

I believe the lady in the Beaufort Miniature is the same lady as the one in the Yale Miniature. If one compares each feature, there is the same pronounced snub nose and the same small mouth. See The Yale Miniature page.