Category Archives: paintings

Amy Robsart in 19th Century Paintings

Amy Robsart, Robert Dudley’s first wife, was found dead on 8 September 1560 at her lodgings in Cumnor, Berkshire, at the foot of some stairs. Almost 261 years later, in January 1821, Sir Walter Scott published his 13th historical novel: … Continue reading

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Is this Amy Robsart?

I was delighted when almost eight years ago I read the suggestion that this young lady might be Amy Robsart. Eric Ives had just published his marvellous book on Lady Jane Grey and mentioned this idea in a footnote. The … Continue reading

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Books, Dudley-Related (2)

Among the very best books ever published on Robert Dudley has to be Elizabeth Goldring’s 2014 Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the World of Elizabethan Art: Painting and Patronage at the Court of Elizabeth I. Gorgeously illustrated, it demonstrates … Continue reading

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“My Lord of Leicester, Kneeling by Her Highness”

In 1569, like almost every year, Queen Elizabeth went on summer progress. Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, reluctantly accompanied her. The reason was that he was planning his marriage to Mary Queen of Scots (who was in Elizabeth’s custody), … Continue reading

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Melancholy Knights, by Hilliard and Oliver

In 1569 the unmarried courtier, Sir Henry Lee, had the idea that Elizabeth I’s accession day on 17 November (1558) should be specially celebrated at the court with great jousting or tilting. By the 1580s these Accession Day tilts had … Continue reading

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Essex, by Hilliard and Oliver

On his death, the Earl of Leicester’s mantle fell on the shoulders of his stepson, the Earl of Essex. He did not inherit a penny, but he nevertheless was his political heir and was expected to take over his court … Continue reading

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The Art of Diplomacy: Elisabeth de Valois and Edward VI

In July 1551 the French Maréchal St. André visited the English court, ostensibly to bestow the prestigious Order of St. Michael on Edward VI, but also for negotiations about a marriage between the young English king and the even younger … Continue reading

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The Peace Portrait: The Significance of the Little Dog

One of the most beautiful portraits of Elizabeth I is the so-called Peace Portrait, and it has long been associated with the Earl of Leicester. The queen, symbolizing the goddess of peace, Pax, holds an olive branch and stands on … Continue reading

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Leicester as Stepfather

Robert Dudley was fond of children.1 As a young uncle he had taken a fancy to his five-year-old nephew Philip Sidney, an affection which lasted for a lifetime; when he visited William of Orange in 1582 the prince’s wife was … Continue reading

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A Collection of Princes

All principal residences of the Earl of Leicester boasted so-called long or great galleries, and all contained collections of paintings – early examples of the picture galleries which became so fashionable in the early 1600s. Whether at Leicester House on … Continue reading

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