The Fitzwilliam Portrait

The Fitzwilliam Portrait

The Fitzwilliam Portrait


         Francis Barchard (d.1856), Horstead Place, Uckfield, Sussex, by whom purchased 1854;

         By descent to Mrs Maude Barchard, by whom sold;

         P. and D. Colnaghi & Co. Ltd, London, 1949;

         Sir Bruce Ingram (d.1963);

         Bequeathed to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.»[1]

For J. Stephan Edwards's assessment of the The Fitzwilliam Portrait, see p. 70-73 of A Queen of a New Invention. For his earlier assessment, see A New Face for the Lady.

I have for a time now entertained the thought that this 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. She signed her letter to Admiral Thomas Seymour as Frances Dorset.

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 the symbols thereof, 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.

I again owe a heartfelt thanks to Lee Porritt and the website Lady Jane Grey Revisited – Iconography of Lady Jane Grey.

The latest blog post on that site – The Beaufort Miniature Portrait, featured one miniature called Lady Jane Grey, and second miniature sold during the same auction which was suggested to depict Lady Jane Grey’s mother, Lady Frances Brandon.

This second miniature is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and no longer associated with Frances Brandon. However, the similarity between the sitter in the miniature and the sitter in the Fitzwilliam Portrait which led me to believe that they were the same lady, my own mounting suspicion that the lady might be Lady Frances Brandon at the same time as I saw that this miniature had at one point been associated with her led me to examine this possibility more closely.

I have now dismissed this possibility, but with a second reference point, that the lady was painted by the court painter Levina Teerlinc, let us see if we cannot suss out who she is.

Unknown Lady Once Called Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk © Victoria and Albert Museum

Unknown Lady Once Called Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk © Victoria and Albert Museum

The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

KATHERINE BRYDGES (c.1524 – April 1566)

Katherine Brydges was the daughter of John Brydges, 1st baron Chandos (9 March 1491/2 – 13 April 1557) and Elizabeth Grey (d. 29 December 1559). She was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber to Queen Mary. In early 1556, she married Edward Sutton, baron Dudley (d. 9 July 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 – 28 November 1605). Lady Dudley was buried on the 25th of April 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 early 1556, which is consistent with the style of the ruff, and at the age of 32, which could fit with the age of the lady in the Fitzwilliam Portrait. The painting could be a 'marriage portrait.' She was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber to Queen Mary, and thus at court and accessible to both court painters Hans Eworth and Levina Teerlinc.

Portrait of a young man, identified as John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos (1492–1557), Circa 1570

Portrait of a young man, identified as John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos (1492–1557), Circa 1570

Portrait of Grey Brydges, 5th Baron Chandos (before 1581-1621) of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire (c.1615) by William Larkin

Portrait of Grey Brydges, 5th Baron Chandos (before 1581-1621) of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire (c.1615) by William Larkin

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley, his daughter? – The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley, his daughter? – The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

Grey Brydges, 5th Baron Chandos (c. 1580 – 1621), was the great-nephew of Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley.

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley's mother was Elizabeth Grey, daughter of Edmund, 9th baron Grey de Wilton. 

ELIZABETH GREY (d. 29 December 1559)

Elizabeth Grey was the daughter of Edmund, 9th baron Grey de Wilton (c.1468 – 5 May 1511) and Florence Hastings (c.1473–1511+). She was one of two young women named Elizabeth Grey to accompany Princess Mary Tudor to France in 1514 for Mary’s marriage to King Louis, although Alison Weir in Mary Boleyn suggests that it was her mother, “the young dowager Lady Grey de Wilton,” who went with Mary and remained in France after most of the English attendants were sent home. After her return to England, Elizabeth married Sir John Brydges (9 March 1491/2 – 13 April 1557), who was created baron Chandos of Sudeley in 1554. Their children were Edmund (d. 11 March 1573), Charles, Henry, Mary (c.1519 – 15 November 1606), Katherine (d.1566), and Frances (c.1536 – 20 August 1559). See MARY BRYDGES for Elizabeth’s involvement in her daughter’s difficulties in 1559. Elizabeth was buried in Jesus Chapel, afterward St. Faith’s, in St. Paul’s Cathedral. At the time of her death, she was a senior attendant at court. Elizabeth Grey – A Who's Who of Tudor Women

Katherine's sister Mary Brydges who is referred to in the article above was:

MARY BRYDGES (c.1519 – 15 November 1606)

Mary Brydges was the daughter of John Brydges, 1st baron Chandos (9 March 1491/2 – 13 April 1557) and Elizabeth Grey (d. 29 December 1559). She married George Throckmorton (c.1533 – 1 September 1612), brother of Sir Nicholas, by 1558. In 1559, her husband accused her of trying to poison him. Sir Nicholas wrote to Sir William Cecil from France in August of that year to beg him not to be “too pitiful or remiss” in looking into the matter. He reminded Cecil that civil law punished the offense with death and that canon law dissolved the marriage. He wrote of “many devilish devices,” but he admitted that he had not seen his brother in person, possibly because George had been in exile during the reign of Mary Tudor. In a second letter, Sir Nicholas worried that the attempted poisoning might have been included in the general pardon issued by Queen Elizabeth at the beginning of her reign. On 20 August 1559, Cecil received a letter of explanation from Mary’s mother. It had all been a misunderstanding, Lady Chandos wrote. Mary was “given overmuch” to palmistry, but had nothing to do with poisons. She had tried to give George a love potion, not a poison, seeking his “entire and perfect” love because he had been unfaithful to her. Apparently the letter convinced Cecil, as no action was taken against Mary. This story comes from letters quoted by Dr. A. L. Rowse in his Sir Walter Raleigh: His Family and Private Life. George Throckmorton may have been married first to Mary’s younger sister, Frances Brydges. However, Frances’s life dates are given as c.1536 – 20 August 1559, which makes no sense unless Frances was the wife of the letters and conveniently died before Cecil had to act. George Throckmorton had nine children. One birth date given for the eldest, Nicholas, is c.1551. The others are Elizabeth, Sarah, Henry, John, Jane, Michael, George, and Susan or Susanna. The identity of their mother is unclear. Mary is also given two husbands prior to Throckmorton, first Francis Lovell and second Sir George Cornwall. From this second marriage, which took place on 6 May 1543, she had two children, Bridget and Humphrey (c.1550–1633). To add to the confusion, life dates for George Cornwall are usually given as 1509–1562. If that is correct, Mary Brydges could not have married George Throckmorton in 1558. The account of the story in Charlotte Merton’s The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth calls the alleged poisoner Frances and says she conferred with wizards early in 1559 and that both Frances and George continued at court as members of the privy chamber after the marriage finally collapsed in the 1560's. Mary Brydges – A Who's Who of Tudor Women

According to A Who's Who of Tudor Women, Katherine Brydges also had an aunt by the same name who was one of Mary Tudor’s nurses in 1516 and who was still with the Princess in July 1525 when Mary’s household was moved to the Marches of Wales. She received a diamond ring as a gift from Henry VIII. In 1553, when Mary became queen, Katherine's aunt returned to her household as Katherine Brooke. Her husband was knighted. In 1554, he was granted the manors of Horton, Gloucestershire and Canonbury, Middlesex. 

It is entirely possible that Katherine's marriage to Edward Sutton, 4th Baron Dudley, was encouraged by Queen Mary I Tudor, who seemed to have been fond of the Brydges women. 

Edward Sutton, 4th Baron Dudley's mother was Cecily Grey, the daughter of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, and sister Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset. She is the only one of his many, many siblings mentioned by the 2nd Marquess in his will. Except his late brother Edward, whose remarried widow was inconveniently hogging some of the 2nd Marquess's children's inheritance.

Mary I Tudor was very fond of her Grey relatives too, until they betrayed her.

The Henry Dudley mentioned above was the brother of Katherine Brydges's husband, Edward Sutton, 4th Baron Dudley (1525 – 12 July 1586). They were both the sons of John Sutton, 3rd Baron Dudley (1494–1553), commonly known as Lord Quondam ("Lord Has-been" or "Lord Formerly").

Katherine Brydges also had a niece and a great-niece by the same name. The niece and other nieces and other great-nieces was at court under Elizabeth I. 

Signed and dated portrait of Elizabeth Brydges, aged 14, daughter of the 3rd Baron Chandos and maid of honour to Elizabeth I, 1589

Signed and dated portrait of Elizabeth Brydges, aged 14, daughter of the 3rd Baron Chandos and maid of honour to Elizabeth I, 1589

Elizabeth Brydges, 1589 (detail)

Elizabeth Brydges, 1589 (detail)

The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

Could it be a bridge?


Bridges – Brydges

Elizabeth_Brydges_1589 (detail)

Elizabeth_Brydges_1589 (detail)

The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

Quartered arms of Sir Edmund Brydges, 2nd Baron Chandos, Knight of the Garter

Quartered arms of Sir Edmund Brydges, 2nd Baron Chandos, Knight of the Garter

Barons Chandos of Sudeley

Barons Chandos of Sudeley

The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

The Fitzwilliam Portrait (detail)

Edmund Brydges, 2nd Baron Chandos (before 1522 – 11 March 1573) was the brother of Katherine Brydges and the grandfather of Elizabeth Brydges.

The cross in the brooches does not appear to be a cross hummetty like the one in the Brydges coat of arms, however, but rather a cross crosslet, cross bottony (trefly), or a cross fleury (flory), according to Wikipedia's Crosses in heraldry page.

I am wondering if it could be another play on words, as Elizabeth Brydges is also wearing a pattern of fleur-de-lis embroidered on her dress.

Whatever the joke is, both ladies seem to be in on it, however, 40 years apart, because the greek crosses of their jewellery look similar.

The festooned necklace might even be a nod to the triangles in the Brydges arms, an inheritance from their famous ancestor Sir John Chandos (c. 1320 – 31 December 1369).

Frances Clinton, Lady Chandos by Hieronymus Custodis

Frances Clinton, Lady Chandos by Hieronymus Custodis

Lady Frances' head appears to float on her large ruff. Her sleeves, bodice, and under-skirt are adorned with insect and column motifs.»

The insects on Frances Clinton Brydges gown could very well be flies – A play on cross trefly?

Her daughter Elizabeth Brydges also wears what looks to be a brooch in the shape of an insect, but this looks like a bee, as it is presumably made out of gold. A competing opinion thought it looked like a bird, an owl, more specifically, thinking what I had taken for wings to be eyes. There was general consensus that these wings/eyes were in the shape of flowers, leaving the possibility that the pendant itself is something completely different.

The column imagery on Frances Clinton's dress could stand for links – for Lincoln.

Elizabeth Brydges, 1589 (detail)

Elizabeth Brydges, 1589 (detail)

Frances Clinton was the daughter of Edward Fiennes de Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln.

FRANCES CLINTON (1553 – 12 September 1623)

Frances Clinton was the daughter of Edward, 9th baron Clinton and earl of Lincoln (1512 – 16 January 1585) and his second wife, Ursula Stourton (1518 – 4 September 1551). She married Giles Brydges, 3rd baron Chandos (1547 – 21 February 1594). They were the parents of two daughers, Elizabeth (1574 – October 1617) and Katherine (1576–1654), and two sons, John and Charles, who died young. According to Joan Barbara Greenbaum Goldsmith’s unpublished PhD dissertation, All the Queen’s Women: the changing place and perception of aristocratic women in Elizabethan England, 1558-1620, Frances and her husband separated during the 1590's. She died at Woburn Abbey, home of her daughter Katherine. Portraits: 1577 by John Bettes the Younger, formerly thought to be Dorothy Bray, in the Paul Mellon Collection;1589 by Hieronimo Custodis. When her son-in-law, the 4th earl of Bedford, died in 1639, he left instructions to erect a tomb for Frances at Chenies, Buckinghamshire, within three years, and allocated £40 for the project. It shows her reclining on one elbow and reading a book. Frances Clinton – A Who's Who of Tudor Women

The strange brooch on her sleeve may be the same strange symbol that her daughter and the lady in the Fitzwilliam Portrait is wearing, one as a brooch and one as an embroidery, and which I have interpreted as bridges.

Giles Brydges, 1589, 3rd Baron Chandos by Hieronimo Custodis

Giles Brydges, 1589, 3rd Baron Chandos by Hieronimo Custodis

Portrait by John Bettes the Younger, alleged to be that of Dorothy Bray, Baroness Chandos, c.1578

Portrait by John Bettes the Younger, alleged to be that of Dorothy Bray, Baroness Chandos, c.1578

This may even be the same strange symbol that Giles Brydges, 3rd Baron Chandos, is wearing as a brooch or pendant on his hat.

The bird imagery in the portrait of Elizabeth Brydges is probably an inheritance from her grandmother, Dorothy Bray, Baroness Chandos. Dorothy Bray would later go on to marry Sir William Knollys as his first wife.

Portrait «The Duchess of Chandos» at Yale Center for British Art.

DOROTHY BRAY (c.1524 – 31 October 1605)

Dorothy Bray was either the youngest daughter or the fifth of six daughters of Edmund, 1st baron Bray (1484 – 18 October 1539) and Jane Hallighwell (c.1480 – 24 October 1558). She was at court as a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves in 1540 and then served Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr. She embarked upon a brief, passionate love affair with William Parr, brother of the future queen c.1541, but it was well over by 1543, when his interest had shifted to Dorothy’s niece, her sister Anne’s daughter Elizabeth Brooke. Dorothy married Edmund Brydges, 2nd baron Chandos (d. 11 March 1573) and their children were Eleanor (b.c.1546), Giles (1547–1594), Mary, Katherine (1554–1596), and William (c.1550 – 18 November 1602). Dorothy was at court as Lady Brydges during Mary Tudor’s reign. In 1574 and again in 1575, Elizabeth Tudor visited Lady Chandos at Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire. In 1588 she was living in Essex House in London and had 220 books in her bedchamber there. Dorothy’s second husband was a younger man, Sir William Knollys (1545–1632). Alison Weir’s genealogy in Mary Boleyn says they had issue. She gives Dorothy’s date of birth as 1530, which is too late, given her presence at court in 1541. Dorothy was known among courtiers as “old lady Chandos” and at the time her husband fell in love with one of the queen’s maids of honor, Mary Fitton, Dorothy was living with him in a house adjoining the royal tilt yard (according to Violet Wilson’s Queen Elizabeth’s Maids of Honor and Ladies of the Privy Chamber). Dorothy’s daughters, Eleanor and Katherine, and her granddaughters, Frances and Elizabeth Brydges, were also maids of honor. The queen visited Lady Chandos in St. James Park in May 1602. Portraits: The “Duchess of Chandos” attributed to John Bettes the Younger, 1577, in the Paul Mellon Collection is now thought to be Frances Clinton; effigy with her second husband in the church at Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire. Dorothy Bray – A Who's Who of Tudor Women

I have no idea why the portrait would have been reidentified, however. The birds were the Bray coat of arms, not the coat of arms of the Fiennes de Clinton family, Barons and later Earls of Lincoln.

Dorothy Bray, Baroness Chandos (detail) – The Bray Coat of Arms

Dorothy Bray, Baroness Chandos (detail) – The Bray Coat of Arms

Dorothy Bray, Baroness Chandos (detail)

Dorothy Bray, Baroness Chandos (detail)

Arms of de Clinton, Barons Clinton: Argent, six crosses crosslet fitchée sable three two and one on a chief azure two mullets or pierced gules

Arms of de Clinton, Barons Clinton: Argent, six crosses crosslet fitchée sable three two and one on a chief azure two mullets or pierced gules

This detail from the portrait shows clearly the Bray coat of arms.

Plus, the lady is wearing a piece of jewellery with a berry, which seems a possible wordplay for Bray.

Berry – Bray

I can think of no bad puns for raspberry and either Fiennes de Clinton or Lincoln.

I assume she was discounted as the sitter because of her age, as Dorothy Bray would have been around 55 in 1578. But we have to remember that this is around the time she would marry for the second time (her first husband died in 1573) to a man 20 years her junior. It stands to reason that she would still have been pretty fly.

Also, Katherine Knyvett, Countess of Suffolk, was described as a great beauty well into her 50's when smallpox ruined her looks.

Elizabeth Brydges, daughter of the 3rd Baron Chandos, is also wearing a star-shaped brooch on one of her sleeves, probably to indicate her Clinton inheritance.


Alright, so according to the rules of heraldry, which I had previously been unfamiliar with, impalement is the proper way to combine the coats of arms for husband and wife: «In heraldry, impalement is a form of heraldic combination or marshalling of two coats of arms side by side in one divided heraldic shield or escutcheon to denote a union, most often that of a husband and wife, but also for unions of ecclesiastical, academic/civic and mystical natures. An impaled shield is bisected "in pale", that is by a vertical line.»

According to Rules for impaling or quartering arms - An Heraldic Alphabet, 1973 quartering was for the children, under specific circumstances, if the mother was an heiress, that is to say, if she had no surviving brothers.

According to the rules of heraldry, married people weren't supposed to quarter their arms with each other, but it happened.

According to A Complete Guide to Heraldry Chapter 33: «Instances of quartered shields are to be met with possibly before impalements or dimidiation. The earliest attempt at anything like a regularised method of procedure to signify marriage was that usually males quartered the arms of their wives or ancestresses from whom they acquired their lands; whilst impaled coats were to all intents and purposes the armorial bearings of married women, or more frequently of widows who took an immediate interest in their husbands' property. This ancient usage brings home very forcibly the former territorial connection of arms and land. The practice of the husband impaling the wife's arms, whether heiress or not, probably arose near the close of the fifteenth century. Even now it is laid down that the arms of a wife should not in general be borne upon the husband's banner, surcoat, or official seal.»

As we can see by the google search results, this practise had not entirely died out by the time these portraits were painted.

The collar worn by this lady is practically identical to the one worn by the man in Portrait of a young man, identified as John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos (1492–1557), Circa 1570, making me wonder if the portrait above called John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos (1492–1557) is instead his eldest son Edmund Brydges, 2nd Baron Chandos (bef. 1522–1573).

And instead of dating to c.1570, the portrait dates to the mid-1550's, when Edmund Brydges would indeed have been a young man. That fits with both his age at the time and the fashion of the time.

This does not fit with the information in the identifying inscription, however:

«Markings: with identifying inscription in an 18th century [?] hand ‘Sir john Bruges of Coberly. / afterwards Lord Chandos / baron of Sudely. / AETAETIS SUAE 21.’ (upper right), with coat-of-arms (upper left), and with inscription ‘[Jo]hn Brydges 1st baron / Chandos died 1557. / For the Duchess of Buckingham … / … Sheffield…’ (on an old label attached to the reverse) Provenance: Catherine, Duchess of Buckingham and Normanby (1680-1743) and probably to her step-son, Sir Charles Herbert Sheffield, 1st Baronet Sheffield (1704–1774) (according to the label on the reverse)»

Edmund Brydges, 2nd Baron Chandos (bef. 1522–1573) would have been around 33 in 1555, not 21. On the other hand, it would have been a natural time for a portrait, his father have having been ennobled the year before – Barons Chandos, second creation (1554).

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley, had one child, a daughter, Anne.

ANNE SUTTON (c.1554 – 29 November 1605)

Anne Sutton (sometimes called Agnes) was only child of Edward Sutton, 4th baron Dudley (d. 9 July 1586) by his first wife, Katherine Brydges (c.1524 – April 1566). Her marriage contract is dated 3 June 1571 but the actual date of her marriage to Francis Throckmorton of Feckenham, Worcestershire and Throckmorton House at Paul’s Wharf, London (1554-x.July 10, 1584) is unknown. They had one son, John (d.1604+). Francis Throckmorton was involved with treasonous plots and was arrested at his London house on 5 November 1583. Anne is credited by some sources with taking a casket covered in green velvet from under his bed and spiriting it out of the house before it could be confiscated. Later testimony indicated that her maid, Elizabeth Cooke, gave it to another servant, John Throckmorton, with instructions to take it to a safe place. He took it to a tailor named Russems, who lodged in Cheapside. The following day it was passed on to another tailor, Haddocke, in St. Paul’s Churchyard, and from there went to one of the Spanish ambassador’s servants. John Bossy’s account credits a housemaid and a priest named John Meredith with the rescue of the casket. The casket contained letters recently received from Paris for Mary Queen of Scots. During Throckmorton’s imprisonment in the Tower of London, he managed to smuggle out at least one letter to his wife. She received it on Friday, 13 December 1583. It opened with the words “my good sweetheart.” On 18 December Anne and her sister were questioned about this letter, which they claimed was only a request for linen and bedding. Anne was allowed to visit her husband in the Tower. Bossy says she and his mother persuaded him to confess in June 1584. Her second husband was Thomas Wilmer (d.1628), a barrister, by whom she had Thomas, John, Mary, and Ursula. Anne Sutton – A Who's Who of Tudor Women

Anne Sutton was left her bracelets of gold «in remembrance of my poor goodwill towards» her in the will of her sister-in-law Mary Throckmorton.

Through her second marriage to Thomas Wilmer Anne Sutton had many descendants. Her eldest son with Thomas Wilmer, also called Thomas Wilmer, married his cousin Martha, the seventh illegitimate daughter of Edward Sutton, 5th Baron Dudley (1567–1643), Anne Sutton's half-brother.

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley still has living descendants today. As they seem to be interested in genealogy, let us hope that they find this site and find not only one, but two possible portraits of their ancestress.

On their page about Anne Sutton, they provide some interesting facts.

Firstly, they date the marriage of Katherine Brydges and Sir Edward Dudley (so he was called in his own time) to December 1555. This is slightly different than other sources, which date the marriage to early 1556. Both J. Stephan Edwards and Lee Porritt[2] dates the Fitzwilliam Portrait to the middle of the 1550s, due to the flat crown of the French hood and the standing collar of the outer partlet (the black velvet piece across her shoulders, tied under the arms), which strongly indicate the mid-1550s, and the frill seen at the neck which by the mid-1550s had grown in size and had begun to surround the face.

So either date fits perfectly with the fashion of the lady in the portrait and Fitzwilliam Portrait being her wedding portrait. 

«On the marriage in Dec 1555 of Sir Edward Sutton to Katherine, one of her favourite Maids of Honour, Queen Mary made a further royal grant by Letters Patent of the Manors of Sedgley, Himley and Swinford to the couple and the heirs of “their two bodies”.

Anne was the couple’s only child. Katherine Sutton, her mother, is recorded as being buried in St Edmunds on 28 Apr 1566. However, the 4th baron did produce a male heir by his second wife Jane Stanley, before she also died and was buried on 3 Dec 1569 in St Edmunds. Because of the wording of the Letters Patent we can presume that Anne was a valuable heiress in her own right, although her half brother was the main heir of the Dudley title.

In prenuptial articles of agreement dated 24 Apr 1567 (Dudley Archives DE/2/8) Sir Edward came to an agreement with Sir John Throckmorton to marry his only daughter to Sir John’s oldest son Francis Throckmorton within five years of her attaining the age of 12. Under this agreement Anne Sutton was sent off to Ripford Worcestershire to be brought up further by her intended mother in law Dame Margery, wife of Sir John Throckmorton. The manors of Sedgley. Himley and Swinford are listed as part of the dowry. Sir John Throckmorton’s brother was George Throckmorton married to Mary Bridges, Anne’s aunt. Sir John had been a witness to Queen Mary’s will and had been her principal legal counsel.» Anne Sutton | Morgan Web Site

The most logical thing would of course for any portrait(s) of Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley to have passed to her only child, Anne Sutton.

There is another possibility, however.

Anne Sutton's first husband was executed for treason. «It is not clear whether she forfeited her lands as a result of this execution and this is significant for her subsequent marriage to Thomas Wilmer by 1590. The pre-nuptial agreement of 1567 would appear to say that she ‘will inherit’ the Manors of Sedgley, Himley and Swinford in which case the issue may not have been resolved until 1586 (death of 4th Baron) or 1589 (marriage settlement with Thomas Wilmer)

In his will of 1586 the 4th Baron, Sir Edward Sutton, left the relatively modest sum of £200 to his daughter named as Anne Throckmorton. The will shows that the finances of the Dudley family were clearly in a parlous state. Anne remained the only child of the first marriage and only heir of “their two bodies” of the lands granted by Royal letters Patent by Queen Mary.» Anne Sutton | Morgan Web Site

These manors appear to have been part of the jointure of Cecily Grey, Lady Dudley.[3]

Irregardless of Queen Mary I Tudor's wishes, the manors do not appear to have ended up with Anne Sutton or her heirs, however.

A book from 1817 mentions «Lord Viscount Dudley and Ward, who is lord of the manors of Sedgley, Himley [and] Swinford».[4]

This must have been William Ward, 3rd Viscount Dudley and Ward (21 January 1750 – 25 April 1823).

He was the descendant of Anne Sutton's half-brother.

A quick perusal of the Wikipedia article for Anne Sutton's half-brother Edward Sutton, 5th Baron Dudley sees that it describes him as «Lord Dudley, like his immediate ancestors, owned substantial estates around Dudley Castle including the manors of Dudley, Sedgley and Kingswinford.» The Wikipedia article also mentions Himley.

It is possible the portrait went the same way.

The Ward-Dudleys do not appear to have been lacking in money, so there was no reason for them in 1854 to dispose of a portrait for financial reasons (though they could of course have done so for other reasons).

There is, however, another intriguing possibility.

John Ward, 2nd Viscount Dudley and Ward (22 February 1725 – 10 October 1788) had no sons, so he was succeeded in the viscountcy by his half-brother William.

He did, however, have a natural daughter, Anna Maria Ward (1778–1837), by his Viscountess (when she was still Mrs. Mary Baker, whom he later married). Lord Dudley in his will made an ample provision for the girl. Anna Maria married Sir Horace St Paul, 1st Baronet, MP, on the 14th of May 1803.

This would have been a natural point for the portrait to have been separated from the estates, if that is indeed where it had been until then.

Two of Anna Maria Ward's daughters, Elizabeth Katherine and Frances Agnes St. Paul, appear to have been mentally disabled or have had some sort of psychological problems of a kind that left them open to exploitation. The two sisters were defrauded by their aunt and uncle. Of International Importance: The St. Paul & Butler Families of Ewart Park – Part Two | Northumberland Archives

The timeframe of this defraudment appears to fit with the sale of the Fitzwilliam Portrait in 1854.

If it were some kind of shady dealing, that would have explained why Francis Barchard (d.1856) who purchased the portrait in 1854 did not record where he got the portrait from or who he bought it from.

Not that these people appear to have needed an excuse for poor record keeping when it came to their portraits.

The Miniature

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley (c.1524 – April 1566)

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley (c.1524 – April 1566)

Katherine Brydges, Lady Dudley


         «The Duke of Beaufort; Christie's 13 December 1983, Lot 91; Brian Pilkington»[5]

As for how the little miniature ended up with the Duke of Beaufort in December 1983, that has puzzled me.

I could not find that he was a descendant of Anne Sutton (whose descendants seem to have become gentry and middle-class rather than the upper echeleons of nobility inhabited by the Dukes of Beaufort), nor could I find that he descended from either the Sutton-Dudleys or the Ward-Dudleys.

Nor could I find that any of the Dukes of Beaufort had been collectors of art, though that or a simple purchase is of course always a possibility.

Until suddenly I found a connection:

If the little miniature too had followed the Sutton-Dudleys rather than Katherine Brydges actual descendants Anne Sutton and her children and grand-children, Edward Sutton, 5th Baron Dudley married Theodosia Harington (d. 1649). Their children included Mary (Dudley) Sutton, Countess of Home.

Their marriage was unhappy. Theodosia was an English aristocrat who was abandoned by her husband, but maintained connections at court through her extensive family networks. She had seven older sisters. One of them was Elizabeth Harrington, who married Sir Edward Montague. Their daughter, Theodosia Montagu, married Sir Henry Capell, of Rayne Hall, Essex. Their granddaughter was Mary Capell, Duchess of Beaumont.

She was the direct ancestress of Henry Somerset, 10th Duke of Beaufort (4 April 1900 – 5 February 1984).

As women's wearable jewellery, if the miniature followed the Sutton-Dudley line, in all likelihood it would have ended up with Theodosia Harington.

Even if she knew the identity of the sitter, it is unlikely that she would have given it to Anne Sutton or her family, as Anne's son married the daughter of Theodosia's husband and his mistress.

If she thought it was an ancestress of her husband's, she may have given it to her sister or her sister's daughter, who was named for her and may have been her goddaughter.

From there there is a direct line to the Duke of Beaufort who sold the miniature through Christie's in 1983.


[1] J. Stephan Edwards, A Queen of a New Invention, p. 71

[5] «Provenance: The Duke of Beaufort; Christie's 13 December 1983, Lot 91; Brian Pilkington.» Portrait of an unknown woman by Levina Teerlinc, The Victoria and Museum

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