This miniature portrait of Anne Boleyn is one of three, depicting figures from Tudor history, displayed in a black ebonised frame. All three miniatures measure 1 ¾ inches in diameter and are executed with the use of watercolour and gouache on card. The sitter’s are depicted in front of a plain blue background with a gold boarder. Anne Boleyn is depicted to just below the chest, she is turned slightly to the viewers left.
Her face is oval, with a high forehead. Her hair is brown in colour, appears straight, and is worn parted in the centre of the crown and pulled back over her ears and under her coif. Her eyes are large and brown in colour and her eyebrows are thin and arched. The nose is rather large with a high bridge and her lips are full.
Her costume includes her trademark French Hood, ending just below the jawline, which is constructed of black fabric and pearls. At her neck, she wears two strings of pearls with the large letter B pendant of goldsmith work seen in other images based on the B pattern. The gown itself is constructed of a black fabric, cut square at the neck and a chemise, embroidered with blackwork protrudes along the entire bodice margin.
Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate a high-resolution image of this portrait, so, I am unable to comment in any great detail as to its condition. From the low-resolution image provided by the auction house, all three miniature portraits appear to be in rather good condition, with a clear surface and bright colours. The ebonized frame, in which all three miniatures are stored, does appear to show some signs of general age.
The Moseley Miniature, named in this study after its first documented owner, is certainly one of the lesser-known depictions of Anne Boleyn, based on the B Pattern. As with a lot of the information regarding the iconography of Anne Boleyn, the documentation concerning the Mosely Miniature is fragmented, and its exact date of creation was for a short period of time thought to have been the sixteenth century.
The first actual piece of evidence which can be associated with this particular portrait appears in 1857. This small miniature, along with the two others displayed within the same frame was exhibited in the ‘Art Treasures Exhibition,’ Manchester. The Catalogue entry for this exhibition lists the owner as a William Moseley, esq and describes the sitters as
Three Miniatures: Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Charles V (when 19)
Unfortunately, no artist had been associated with the creation of the three portraits in the exhibition catalogue and no information concerning the portraits provenance was also provided. No inscriptions detailing the sitter’s names or ages can be viewed on the portrait’s surfaces. So, we must then presume that either the portrait set contained a label on the back, or that the information about the sitter’s and their so-called ages was provided by Moseley himself.
William Moseley’s principal seat was Leaton Hall, near Enville, Southbridge. He had inherited the hall from his father Walter Henry Moseley, on his death in 1827. No documentation has, yet, been located to inform us exactly when the Moseley family acquired and sold the portrait set. Walter Moseley began extensive remodelling of Leaton Hall in 1817, and it may be possible that the set was purchased around this time. On the death of William Moseley, the estate then passed to his son William Henry Moseley, and remained in the family until it was eventually sold off in 1916.
By the early 1920’s, the portrait set appears to have travelled overseas and was in the collection of socialite and antique collector Edith Mary Kingdon Gould.  On her death in 1921, the family began selling off large amounts from the collection she had acquired. Between the years of 1925 – 1938, many auctions took place containing items once belonging to Edith Gould and on 12th January 1929, the portrait set was once again up for sale. The auction catalogue for this sale does give us our first piece of photographic evidence. The portrait set was noted to be a featured lot in the sale and placed next to its lot description was an early black and white photograph showing the collection of three miniatures in all their glory.
Unfortunately, again, this catalogue description gives us no details as to the provenance of the set, and by this point all three portraits had been wrongly associated with the hand of sixteenth century artist Hans Holbein. During this period, many sixteenth century portraits, and in some cases more modern creations, held in private collections or sold at auction were simply associated with the hand of Hans Holbein. Due to lack of access to documented information and provenance details, portraits were simply associated with artists due to some slight similarities in style, the fame attached to a name, or as a way of adding value to a painting. Several other supposed sixteenth century miniature portraits described in the same catalogue, today, certainly have some questionable identifications when it comes to both sitter and artist associated to them. As with the Moseley Miniature, little, or no evidence to support the associations was provided by the auction house at the point of sale.
The stylistic approach used by the artist who created the Moseley miniatures is most certainly not consistent with any other sixteenth century miniature portrait. It is also most definitely missing that fine quality of brushwork seen in other miniatures that can truly relate to the hand of Hans Holbein. The approach is more consistent with that used by the nineteenth century British Miniaturist, George Perfect Harding (1781-1853).
During the nineteenth century, artists would often revisit the works of some of the more prominent sixteenth century artist’s and produce copies of their portraits to satisfy the high demand in the public’s fascination with English History.
In some cases, many of these newly created copies would often be so realistic that at times it would be extremely difficult to establish the genuine artifact from the newly created version. Some of the more modern copies would, at times be sold off as a genuine sixteenth century portrait due to the quality of the copy. George Perfect Harding was a prolific copyist of historical portraiture and would often go to extreme lengths to locate works which had not, as yet been reproduced by other peers of his day. Harding was certainly an exceptionally talented artist, who would never attempt to pass his own works off as the genuine artifact. Examples of his work are stored today within private and public collection’s all show his stylistic approach of a sixteenth century portraits, rather than a direct copy created to mislead viewer.
By 1971, the portrait set was once again back in England and was sold by Sotheby’s auction house on 18th of October. During this sale the set was rightfully described as ‘after Hans Holbein, probably by George Perfect Harding’ and sold for the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds. It finally appeared, once again in America, when it was sold from the collection of Dr Virginia Armentrout, in 2006, by Freeman’s auction house, Philadelphia. The set was purchased for the sum of one thousand six hundred dollars, and I am now informed that it is currently in a private collection in Pennsylvania.
Though undoubtably a beautiful portrait of Anne Boleyn, it appears that the portrait is most certainly a nineteenth century copy, rather than that produced by the hand of Hans Holbein. It can therefore be eliminated from any possible list of sixteenth century portraits associated with the name Anne Boleyn. If anything, this article has attempted to document and put some order to the provenance relating to this item.
 Catalogue of Art Treasures of The United Kingdom, Manchester, 1857, item 23, P.208
 Burke, Bernard, (1879) A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Harrison. Pall Mall, Vol 2 P: 1134
 Shropshire Archives, SC/1/50, Sales Catalogue for the Leaton and Whittimere estate, July 1916
 This was not to be the only portrait of Anne Boleyn owned by the Gould family, and a second portrait was purchased by Anna Gould in June of 1940 and can still be seen at the Family seat of Lyndhurst Manor toady. For more information on the Lyndhurst portrait see: The Lyndhurst Portrait – Lady Jane Grey Revisited
 For more information on the historic portrait copyists and their production see: Reynolds. Graham, (1999) The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Miniatures in The Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Royal Collection Enterprises Limited
 Sotheby’s Sales catalogue, 18th October 1971, lot 79
 Electronic communication with Raphael Chatroux of Freeman’s Auctions, 20th August 2020
Between 1794 and 1877, a total of twenty-six paintings depicting scenes from the life of Lady Jane Grey were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. When looking at the various titles of each painting exhibited, there appears to be a pattern of four significant events in Jane’s life which were prominent themes chosen by artists who opted to promote her story. Some of these events are, in fact, based on contemporary descriptions from her time, whilst others are steeped in the air of myth which began to surround Jane from the moment of her death.
The first common scene often depicted is a promotion of Jane’s virtues as an exemplary pupil and her passion for learning. Many of the artists of the paintings based on this scene used the account published by Roger Ascham in 1570 as a source of inspiration. In this account, Ascham recalls the day on which he encountered Jane alone at Bradgate Park, engrossed in Plato whilst the rest of her family were out hunting. The Victorian myth that both Jane and King Edward VI were educated together and were in fact childhood sweethearts is also depicted within this group of paintings.
The second common theme is Jane’s initial refusal of the crown. Again, this is based on true events that took place at Syon House and were described by Jane herself in a letter to Queen Mary written during her imprisonment, after she lost her crown in 1553. The final two common events are a promotion of Jane’s role as a martyr and innocent victim, either when imprisoned in the Tower of London or her final moments on the scaffold.
Of the twenty- six paintings exhibited, a total of nine depicted scenes were from Lady Jane Grey’s imprisonment in The Tower of London between 19th July 1553 and 12th February 1554.
In this article I intend to look at one of the more famous of these paintings, exhibited at the Royal Academy by William Frederick Yeames in 1868. Until recently, the original painting was thought to have been lost to the sands of time, however as discussed later in this article, an interesting email from a viewer of this website brought some fascinating news to my attention.
When first exhibited, the painting entitled ‘Lady Jane Grey in the Tower’ received excellent reviews from observer’s who had visited the exhibition, with some reporting that
‘Mr. Yeames “Lady Jane Grey in the Tower,” is perhaps the best picture this young and hard-working artist has yet elaborated.’
‘In 1868 was exhibited the picture which I should rank as the painter’s masterpiece thus far, ‘Lady Jane Grey in the Tower,’ wearily but gently listening to the exhortations of Feckenham, Abbot of Westminster. Of all the Lady Jane English painting’s, I know of none at once so touching and so true to historical character at this of Mr Yeames.’
‘The little Jane is thoroughly well conceived and better executed by Mr Yeames than by Queen Mary’s executioner’
William Frederick Yeames was born in Russia on 18th December 1835, fourth son of William Yeames, a British consul in Taganrog and his wife Eliza Mary Henley. On his father’s death in 1842, he attended a school in Dresden, and he began to study painting. By 1848, Yeames had moved to England where he studied anatomy and composition under George Scharf. He also visited Florence and Rome to continue his development in life studies, landscapes, and the old masters, eventually returning to England in 1858 and setting up his studio in Park Place, London. In 1859, Yeames exhibited his first painting into the annual exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts and he was eventually made an associate of the Royal Academy in 1866. Yeames continued to exhibit paintings within the annual exhibition and themed most of his subjects around historical events from British history. He along with other artists formed an artistic circle known today as the ‘St John’s Wood Clique.’ All enjoyed visiting historic houses, including Hever Castle in Kent and would often spend time sketching and painting interiors which would eventually appear as backdrops for their historically themed paintings. Yeames died on 3rd May 1918, leaving behind a large portfolio of work inspired by some of the most prominent characters in English History. 
Setting The scene
The original painting displayed in the 1868 exhibition has not been seen or studied by any art or history academic. Today, it is only known through the original exhibition catalogue entry and the small preparatory painting produced by Yeames which is now in the collection of Weston Park Museum, Sheffield. Images of his preparatory painting have appeared in numerous publications over the years and this smaller version was initially in the collection of businessman and collector John Newton Mappin (1800-1883). On his death, Mappin bequeathed a total of one hundred and fifty-four paintings representing many of the leading artists of the day to the Weston Park Museum. He also left the huge sum of fifteen thousand pounds for a Gallery to be built so that his collection of paintings could be viewed by the public. The Mappin Gallery eventually opened to the public on 27th July 1887 and Yeames preparatory painting for ‘Lady Jane Grey in the Tower’ as well as the rest of his collection could be viewed and admired for generations. 
The preparatory painting (above) produced by Yeames does provide some clues as to the exact scene depicted in the completed painting exhibited in 1868. This version is signed and dated by the artist to 1867 and shows Yeames workings of the composition. The exact event which he opted to depict is when Lady Jane Grey was visited by John Feckenham, Queen Mary’s personal chaplain, on 8th February 1554. By this point in her story, Jane had faced trial and had been convicted and sentenced to death as a traitor for accepting the crown and signing herself as queen. Mary was prevented from issuing Jane with a pardon because the Spanish demanded that Jane die as a condition of the marriage between Mary and Philip of Spain.
Mary was unable to save Jane’s life, however she did attempt to save her immortal soul, and she sent Feckenham to see Jane with that specific task, to try and convert her to Catholicism prior to her death. Jane’s execution was postponed for three days, and a debate was held between Feckenham and Jane which resulted in Jane staying strong to the Protestant faith rather than relinquishing it. This famous debate was apparently recorded and signed by Jane’s own hand, however unfortunately the original document no-longer survives today. The original documentation does appear to have been smuggled out of the Tower of London as within months of Jane’s death, it began to appear in printed format and was used to promote Jane’s strong belief in the Protestant faith.
The popular tradition of Queen Mary offering Jane a pardon if she was willing to convert to Roman Catholicism began to emerge shortly after Jane’s death. In 1615, a pamphlet entitled ‘The Life, Death and Actions of The Most Chaste, Learned and Religious Lady, The Lady Jane Grey’ was published in London. This pamphlet again contained a copy of the earlier printed debate, and it was noted in the introduction that:
Even those which were of the best fame and reputation, were sent unto her to dissuade her from that true profession of the gospel, which from her cradle she had held. Each striving by art, by flattery, by threatening’s, by the promise of life, or what else might move most in the bosom of a weak woman.
There is no surviving contemporary evidence to prove that Jane was ever offered an actual pardon if she would convert, but as discussed above there was indeed an effort made to encourage her to convert to what Mary thought was the true religion and save her soul.
The preparatory painting also informs us that Yeames appears to have made every effort to try and keep his composition as accurate as possible. In this version of the painting, his image of Jane is heavily based on the Wrest Park portrait which was once thought to be a contemporary portrait and was widely reproduced to illustrate Jane during the nineteenth century. Yeames does appear to have altered the facial composition slightly from the original portrait in an attempt to make the sitter in his version look closer to Jane’s actual age at the time of her death.
The preparatory painting depicts Jane placed within a furnished room with a fire along with her books and writing paper which were objects often associated with her iconography. The myth that Jane was imprisoned in an empty prison cell was often portrayed by other artists of the nineteenth century. Although we have very little in terms of historical documentation to inform us what Jane’s life was like during her imprisonment. The author of the sixteenth century manuscript ‘Chronicles of Queen Jane’ does provide us some signs as to her circumstances when in the Tower of London. The writer informs us that Jane was imprisoned on the top floor of the house of Nathaniel Partridge, she was allowed at least three of her gentlewomen and a man servant. As a cousin of the Queen and a prisoner of high status, Jane would certainly have had some level of comfort during her imprisonment and Yeames has certainly captured this well in his image.
Yeames does appear to have followed the myth that Feckenham was an aged man at the time he met Jane. John Howman or John Feckenham as he is better known was born in Feckenham, Worcestershire. Though his exact date of birth is unrecorded it is traditionally thought to have been around 1515. Initially educated by the parish priests he eventually received an education as a Benediction student at Gloucester Hall, Oxford. Feckenham spent a lifetime in and out of imprisonment for his religious beliefs, however, he was described by a peer of the day as a ‘gentle person’. He was eventually freed from the Tower of London by Queen Mary in 1553, and he became personal chaplain and confessor to the Queen, and eventually Abbot of Westminster. Feckenham died, once again in captivity in 1584.
If Feckenham had been born around 1515 as traditionally thought, then he would have been in his early forties at the time of meeting Jane rather than the man of a mature age who is portrayed in the preparatory painting and is so often depicted by other artists in visual depictions of Jane’s story.
In early 2020, I began to publish images alongside basic information on this website concerning the many paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy inspired by the life of Lady Jane Grey. One of the main reasons for doing this was firstly, to have a platform to record all the information currently known regarding each painting. And to secondly, create awareness of these paintings, in the hope of some of the lost paintings finally resurfacing so they can be studied and seen.
In 2021, I received an email from a follower of this site, asking several questions regarding the preparatory painting produced by Yeames and the dimensions of the painting listed under his name on my website. I immediately responded, informing them that, unfortunately, the dimensions listed are for the preparatory painting as Yeames completed work had not been seen since the 1868 exhibition. The response I received greatly interested me and on opening the attachment I was surprised to see the long-lost completed painting of ‘Lady Jane Grey in The Tower’ by William Frederick Yeames staring right back at me. During several further emails, the current owner reported that he was unfortunately unable to give much information regarding the provenance of the painting, however, he did report that he had inherited the painting from his parents, who had purchased it from a gallery in Blakedown, Worcestershire in the 1970’s. He also recalled a story in which his parents took the painting along to the BBC Antiques Roadshow in the 1980’s, however, the subject of the painting was deemed too depressing to be seen on television.
Unfortunately, for the moment we do appear to be missing that smoking gun to be able to determine if indeed the above painting was the final painting exhibited by Yeames in 1868 or another preparatory work. No dimensions of the final version were listed in the exhibition catalogue, and unfortunately the only reference to its actual size is a comment from 1903, noting that the completed image was ‘bigger than the preparatory painting’. The artists signature and date of 1868 can clearly be seen in the bottom right-hand corner of the above image provided and this second version is considerably larger than the preparatory painting, which certainly suggests that this was indeed the final version exhibited at the Royal Academy.
There does appear to be some major adjustments made to the background and figure of Jane, when compared to the preparatory painting. However, Yeames certainly spent a lot of time and effort in working out the composition of his final image and this is to be expected when comparing preliminary drawings to final compositions.
During a search of the auction records, I was able to track one previous owner of either this version or the preparatory painting. On 9th July 1875, an auction took place at Christie, Manson and Woods, London. The sale lasted two days and consisted of 280 lots belonging to the recently deceased W.E.J Roffey, Esq of Bloomsbury Square, London. Roffey was an avid picture collector, acquiring a large collection of paintings produced by modern artists of the day, particularly those who had exhibited within the Royal Academy exhibition. Listed among the 280 lots are four works by William Frederick Yeames, including
‘Item 237 W. F. Yeames, ARA, 1867 – Lady Jane Grey in the Tower – Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1868’
Item 237, sold for twenty-seven pounds, however, once again the important factor of measurements is missing from the catalogue. The catalogue does state that this was the version exhibited in the 1868 exhibition, however the date of 1867 printed next to the artists name does raise the question as to whether this could possibly be the preparatory painting which we do know was indeed dated to 1867.
Further research does need to take place to locate more information regarding the provenance of this newly surfaced version of Lady Jane Grey in The Tower. And, to try and establish if indeed the painting sold in 1875 was the final version or the preparatory painting, possibly purchased by John Newton Mappin for his collection. I would like to convey my thanks to the current owner of this painting for giving me the opportunity to see his version and publish it in this article on the missing Yeames painting so it can be seen by others with an interest in Jane. This second version is truly beautiful, and I for one, can now see why Yeames received so much praise for this work when it was exhibited.
I do hope to be able to fill some of these missing gaps and unanswered questions during future trips to the archives so please keep an eye out for further updates on this work.
 Burk. Emily, The Annual Register: A Review of Public Events at Home & Abroad for The Year 1868, page 317
 Hamerton. Philip, The Portfolio an Artistic Periodical, 1871, page 83
 Thomas. Alfred & Lewis. Leopold, The Mask, Volume I, 1868, page 133
 Meynell. Wilfred, The Modern School of Art, W.R Howell & Company, 1886, vol I, page 206- 215
City of Sheffield, Mappin Art Gallery Catalogue of the Permanent Collection and Other Works of Art, 1903, Page vi-viii
 Fuller. Thomas, The History of the Worthies of England, 1840, vol 3, page 375-376
 Email communication between author and owner, 2021-2022
 City of Sheffield, Mappin Art Gallery Catalogue of the Permanent Collection and Other Works of Art, 1903, Page 15
Christie, Manson & Woods, Modern Pictures, 9th July 1875, page 24
This painting is executed in oil on a wooden panel and measures in whole 22 ¾ x 17 ¼ inches. The portrait depicts an adult female’s head and upper torso who appears sitting before a plain brown background. She is turned slightly to the viewers left, and in her right hand, she holds a red rose.
Her face is long and oval in shape, with a high forehead. Her hair is brown in colour, appears straight, and is worn parted in the centre of the crown and pulled back over her ears and under her coif. Her eyes are brown in colour, and her eyebrows are thin and arched. The nose is slightly arched with a high bridge, and her lips are small and thin. The use of a pink tone has been added to the sitter’s cheekbones and bridge of her nose.
The sitter’s costume includes a French hood, ending just below the jawline. This is constructed of black fabric that includes the use of an upper and lower billiment of pearls; thirty-four pearls can be seen in the lower billiment, and forty-three pearls have been depicted on the upper billiment. A black veil is also seen hanging down at the back of the hood, and under this, the sitter wears a gold coif. At her neck, she wears two strings of pearls with a large letter ‘B’ pendant of goldsmith work with three hanging pearls suspended from the upper necklace. A gold chain constructed of circular loops is also seen at the neck, which falls and disappears into the front of the sitter’s bodice. The gown itself is constructed of black fabric, cut square at the neck, and a chemise embroidered with blackwork protrudes along the entire bodice margin. The hint of a kirtle made of brown fabric and embellished with forty-four pearls and twenty-three buttons of goldsmith work is also seen around the neckline of the bodice.
An inscription applied across the top of the panel in a bright yellow pigment identifies the sitter as ANNA BOLINA. ANG. REGINA
Labels and other inscriptions:
Access to the back of the panel is unfortunately restricted due to the presence of a supporting cradle. No assessment could be made of any other possible labels or inscriptions attached to the back of the panel surface at the time of writing.
In 2000, restoration work was carried out on the painting by the conservator, Claudio Moscatelli. The most significant part of this conservation work was removing overpaint added at some point in the painting’s history. A series of three images held in Hever Castle’s archive, taken immediately before, during and after the restoration process gives us a lucid understanding of the works completed.
With the overpaint carefully removed, it became clear that the overpaint had been likely applied because of past damage to the panels. Subsequently, significant alterations to the facial features had been made. Most of the revealed damage appeared to have occurred on the left of the three panels, with substantial losses evident along the joint between the left-hand and central panel. Indeed, it is likely that the left-hand panel had completely detached from the central one at some point in its history. As this damage ran through the sitter’s face, it is perhaps not surprising that the overpaint was most heavily applied upon the chin, mouth, and nose. What became evident with the removal of this later overpaint was that it had also acted to ‘smooth’ out these features into perhaps more flattering ones than were originally intended. Indeed, it is evident that overpaint had also been added to areas without paint losses which contributed to this ‘beautification’. Claudio Moscatelli’s efforts to replace losses were subsequently much closer to the original pattern revealed when the overpaint had been removed.
Similar to NPG 668, The Hever Rose Portrait is arguably one of the more famous paintings of Anne Boleyn based on the B Pattern. Today, the painting is one of four significant portraits believed to depict Anne Boleyn hanging on the walls of Hever Castle in Kent. The portrait has become a treasured artefact that holds a special place in both the hearts of the staff and the public who view it; however, despite its widespread popularity, we appear to know very little about it. This is not uncommon when researching historical portraiture with a history of over four hundred years behind it. In many cases, almost nothing has survived in terms of historical documentation for most of our surviving Tudor portraits. In the past, the Hever Rose portrait has been mistaken for that once owned by Mrs K. Radclyffe. A close study of the Radclyffe portrait against the Hever Rose portrait shows several clear differences, perhaps most noticeably in the size of the links that make up the chain around her neck (see below). Moreover, in his study of the portraiture of Anne Boleyn, celebrated art historian Sir Roy Strong noted that the Radclyffe Portrait had no inscription upon it, unlike the Hever Rose version. When the Hever Rose Portrait was exhibited at Philip Mould’s Lost Faces exhibition in 2007, it was described as “… the finest and most probably the earliest” of the ‘corridor portraits’ of Anne Boleyn.
No record of the Hever Rose Portrait has been located within any of the files relating to the iconography of Anne Boleyn in the Witt Library, Paul Mellon Centre, British Museum, or the Heinz Archive. No scientific investigation has yet, taken place on this portrait to establish an accurate date of its creation. The exact date the portrait entered Hever castle’s collection has always remained a mystery. A date of c.1550 has been added to the portrait at some point in its history at Hever Castle, however, it is uncertain when this date was attached to it and by whom. We know via dendrochronological analysis that the NPG 668 portrait of Anne Boleyn was created in c.1584, during the reign of Anne Boleyn’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I; a period when Anne’s image underwent a period of rehabilitation. It is considerably less likely that a portrait of Anne Boleyn would have been painted in 1550 during the reign of Elizabeth’s brother, Edward VI, whose mother, Queen Jane Seymour, superseded Anne. It may be, therefore, that in lieu of any scientific analysis that date of c.1550 was added. This would have allowed for a period of approximately fifteen years on either side of that central ‘circa’ date; straddling the possibility, therefore, of it having been painted during Anne’s own lifetime, or during the reign of her daughter, Elizabeth.
To truly understand the Hever Rose Portrait as an object, we first need to look at the castle’s history on which walls the portrait hangs today. Located in the small village of Hever in Kent, Hever Castle has a long, rich history dating back to the twelfth century. Arguably more famous today for being the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the castle is a cherished time capsule that takes us, the public, closer to its most famous inhabitant than any other historic building associated with her.
The Boleyn family purchased the castle in 1462, and by 1505, Thomas Boleyn, father of Anne Boleyn, inherited Hever and various other lands and properties on his father’s death. Today, with the assistance of architectural historians, we are beginning to understand better how the castle was developed and added to across its history. Unfortunately, we have almost nothing in terms of documentary evidence to inform us what was used to furnish the building when the Boleyn family were in residence. No sixteenth-century reference to a portrait of Anne Boleyn at Hever castle has also been located.
The castle subsequently passed through various owners, including the Waldegrave family from 1557 to 1715, the Humphreys family to 1749 and the Meade-Waldo Family from 1749 to 1903. A rather run-down Hever Castle was purchased by an American billionaire, William Waldorf Astor, in 1903. Astor had already been captivated by the story of Anne Boleyn and had already started to acquire a collection of objects related to her story; the fact that he now had her childhood home was the icing on the cake. William Astor immediately started the restoration work to take the castle back to its former glory and use the building as his principal residence. Much of what is seen today within the walls of the building is thanks to this restoration work which took place between 1903 and 1908. Astor himself immediately set about acquiring period pieces and furnishing the rooms with artefacts connected to the castle’s rich history. This period of development was also continued by his son, John Jacob, when he inherited the castle on his father’s death in 1919. His great- grandson, Gavin Astor, inherited the castle in 1961 and eventually opened the castle up partially to the public in 1963.
Hever Castle does, in fact, have a long history associated with the documentation of a portrait of Anne Boleyn. During the nineteenth century, it became popular for various tourists to publish detailed notes taken during their tours of the historic houses across England. In a small number of these publications, a portrait of Anne Boleyn is described as hanging on the walls at Hever Castle. However, it appears that several visitors were less than impressed by the image seen of this infamous Queen. This sense of dislike, and other clues, suggests that it was not the current portrait seen by the visitors but another painting altogether.
Our first positive archival reference to a portrait of Anne at Hever dates to 1801 when the Meade-Waldo family owned the castle. In his study of The Beauties of England and Wales, Reverend Hodgson observed a portrait of Anne Boleyn at Rufford Abbey:
“In the attic story… a portrait of Anne Bullen on wood, but by no means as handsome as Holbein has painted her in which is preserved at Loseley in Surrey; yet as this one bears a great resemblance to a portrait of her at Hever Castle in Kent, the seat of her family, one is almost led to suspect that Henry’s taste for beauty would not have been much followed at the present day.”
Similarly, a visitor in 1823 viewed the portrait that had been pointed out to him as an image of Anne; however, he was noted to be unimpressed with the picture seen. He later recorded that:
‘At Hever Castle is still preserved a small picture in oil, which is an heirloom, and is said to be the Queen; it is a very stiff performance, and if a likeness of Ann Bolen, we look in vain for those captivating charms which are generally supposed to have enslaved the affections of the despotic monarch, and even urged him to overthrow the religion of his country, in order to compass the fulfilment of his ungovernable desires.’
Writer James Thorne also appears to have viewed the same portrait supposed to depict Anne in 1847, and he was again less than impressed by the image he viewed:
‘One is pointed out as the family portrait if Anne Boleyn, and it’s added that it was painted shortly before her execution. To us, it seems to bear little resemblance to the authentic portrait of her. We do not believe it is even a copy of her portrait, we need barely add, it’s not an original.
While no detailed description of this portrait of Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle exists, Reverend Hodgson’s observation that the painting he observed at Rufford Abbey was unlike that held at Loseley Hall – but like that at Hever Castle – is an intriguing one. A portrait of Anne Boleyn, which derives from the ‘B’ necklace pattern, still hangs at Loseley, and if it is the same portrait that Reverend Hodgson observed at Loseley in the early 1800s, the portrait of Anne at Hever Castle at that time most likely differed from the ‘B’ pattern model. More intriguing still is the existence of a painting that is still in the collection of the Meade-Waldo family, and which was removed from Hever Castle when they opted to sell the castle to the Astor family in 1903. This particular portrait is painted with the use of oil on the panel and includes the inscription identifying the sitter as ‘Anna. Regina. AD. 1534.’
One of the main reasons for the uncertainty surrounding the purchase of the Hever Rose Portrait is due to the castle being flooded on 15th September 1968. It does appear that the Astor family did keep detailed records of items purchased for display purposes, however, due to damage caused by the flooding, which overwhelmed the castle’s cellars and library, a considerable amount of the family’s archival information was unfortunately lost or destroyed.
Until recently, the first surviving document relating to the portrait’s actual existence at Hever castle was when it was listed among other paintings and furniture in a valuation catalogue compiled by Christie, Manson, and Woods in 1965. No description of the portrait appeared in an earlier inventory made of the collection in 1919, at the time of William Astor’s death and it had always been presumed that the portrait was purchased between 1919 and 1965, however, no surviving documentation had surfaced to prove this theory. 
During a search of the current archive for this article, a pamphlet produced for an open day for employees of the Times Newspaper in 1939 was discovered. In this, an early image of the portrait was located and was listed as being among the collection at Hever Castle. The discovery of this pamphlet pushes back the timeline in which the portrait was possibly purchased, and it appears that the painting was in the castle’s collection prior to 1939.
A very interesting description of a portrait, published in a book from 1908, may possibly give us a clue as to the previous provenance of the Hever Rose Portrait. In 1904, Edmund Ferrer documented that he visited Assington Hall in Suffolk and came across a portrait of Anne Boleyn in that collection. Assington Hall was the family estate of the Gurdon family, who had lived within the manor house at Assington since it was purchased by Robert Gurdon from Sir Miles Corbert in the early sixteenth century.
Ferrer later published a detailed description of the portrait seen, and the details given in his description appear to be a perfect match to the Hever Rose Portrait.
‘Queen Anne Boleyn. H(ead) and S(soulders). Body and face both turned slightly to the dexter, hair dressed in the pedimental style. Dress: Black, with pearls round the neck, supporting a jewelled B; there is also a gold chain; the hands are forward holding a rose. Above it “Ang. Regina”’
During my research into the many portraits of Anne Boleyn associated with the B Pattern, I have only come across three surviving copies of the distinctive Rose pattern. Both the Rawlinson and the Radclyffe copy do not include the distinctive inscription identifying the sitter as seen in the Hever copy and, unless another unknown copy does exist, then the only plausible option is that the portrait seen by Ferrer in 1904 is now in the collection of Hever Castle.
One final piece of evidence to back this theory up is the auction catalogue for the sale of the contents of Assington Hall in 1937. Unfortunately, no specific portrait identified as being that of Anne Boleyn is listed among the paintings sold on the 6th of October. The descriptions give
n of the fifty-one paintings to appear in the catalogue are noted to be very vague and only a small number of portraits are identified by the sitter’s name are listed. Item 171, ‘portrait of a lady of the Elizabethan period with a black headdress and pearl necklace’ could possibly be the portrait of Anne and it is also noted that it was painted on panel and measures 22 x 17 inches. If indeed the portrait was measured by the auction house in its frame, then this would be a perfect fit for the Hever Rose Portrait and would suggest that the portrait was presumably purchased by John Jacob Astor for display at Hever Castle
Further research does need to take place to try and establish once and for all if the portrait of Anne seen at Assington Hall in 1904, is indeed the portrait we all see when visiting Hever Castle today. Moreover, the absence of any scientific analysis on this portrait leaves many unanswered questions. It is often stated that the are no extant painted portraits of Anne Boleyn that date to her lifetime. Yet few of the panel portraits which bear Anne’s likeness have been subjected to either paint or dendrochronological analysis which would help to determine a likely date of their creation. Considering that the Hever Rose Portrait was appraised and exhibited by art historians Philip Mould and Bendor Grosvenor as “… the finest and most probably the earliest” of the ‘corridor portraits’ of Anne Boleyn, the desire to satiate the unanswered questions surrounding this portraits age has never been more acute. What is clear from this article is that the Hever Rose Portrait is now, finally, starting to shed some of its secrets and we are now starting to find out a little more about such a treasured and renowned artefact.
In May 2021, I came across an image of a rather intriguing sixteenth century miniature portrait hidden away in an auction catalogue dated to 1979. On seeing the image, the painting immediately sparked my interest, firstly, because I had not seen the image before and secondly, because my immediate thought was that the draughtsmanship showed some similarities to the work thought to have been produced by court miniaturist Levina Teerlinc.
Thanks to the use of social media, I was very quickly able to track down the current owner of a similar portrait. With the information I had already gathered, it was quickly established that this was indeed the same miniature photographed and sold in 1979. I was then provided with some high-resolution colour images of the miniature and further information about its modern-day provenance.
This article intends to document and examine the information already known about this miniature portrait. I will also attempt to establish if there is any possible connection between this miniature and the famous sixteenth century artist Levina Teerlinc. I will also attempt to establish if there is any possible connection between the sitter depicted and other iconography related to Queen Elizabeth I.
The portrait is painted with the use of oil on card and is 6.5 centimetres in diameter. Its format is circular, and the sitter is depicted in three-quarter length facing the viewers left. Placed before a plain grey background, she has light auburn hair that is parted in the middle, brown eyes, and a small mouth. On her head she wears what appears to be a white coif cap. Her costume is made up of a black loose gown trimmed with white fur and a fur collar. Fur is also seen at the top of the sleeve heads and down the front of the gown. Both hands are seen in the image and the sitter has her right hand tucked into the front opening of her gown. A small ruffle, embellished with blackwork stitching is visible at the sitter’s neck and wrists and a gold ring with a large emerald suspended from a black ribbon around her neck. A gold boarder has also been added to the outer edge of the portrait.
A Memento Mori or skull is depicted on right-hand side of the miniature with the wording: AHI MORTE TU TOGLI & NUNQUA RENDI TU PRESTI & MAINON PAGHI placed vertically along the side of the sitter.
‘Remember you have to die’, is the rough translation for the Latin word Memento Mori. The symbolic use of the skull, rotten fruit or sometimes a butterfly have been used throughout history to remind viewers that death is inevitable. These symbols became popular in the first half of the sixteenth century and were used in portraiture, jewellery, and illustrations. Today, the image of a skull reminds the modern viewer of danger or a rather morbid obsession with death. However, in the sixteenth century the image of a skull was used as a polite reminder to live life to the full and that death unites everyone as it is the one thing human beings are guaranteed in life.
The inscription seen on the miniature is complex, and in all honesty my languages are not excellent. It appears to be Italian, and roughly translated to ‘Alas death you take away & you never lend & you never pay’, which is again another reminder to the viewer that death will come someday.
The portrait first appears in the auction catalogue as part of the sale of the Edward Grosvenor Paine collection of portrait miniature. Paine was born in Louisiana in 1911 and worked within the fashion industry across the globe. With keen interest in antiques, he eventually became a dealer in the 1950’s, specialising in porcelain and portrait miniatures. Settling at his family estate of Primrose Plantation, Oxford, Mississippi, Paine travelled the globe and acquired a large collection of portrait miniatures. Prior to his death in 1994, he began to sell some of his large personal collection and several auctions facilitated by Christie’s Auction House, London were held with the remainder of the collection being sold after his death.
The auction of the Paine miniature took place on October 23rd, 1979 and for the purpose of this sale, the portrait is described in the catalogue as ‘An early Miniature of a Lady, English School, circa 1570.’ Unfortunately, no information regarding the portrait’s provenance prior to 1979 is listed among the details in the catalogue. As stated above, Paine was known to travel the globe in search of acquiring portraits for his own personal collection and unless documentation surfaces to establish more information about the early provenance then this may never be fully known. No artist association is listed however, the auction house does refer to its possible place of origin as English School.
The miniature portrait was purchased by an unknown collector from the 1979 sale, and it remained in a private collection in the USA. It appeared at auction again in 1999, when it was sold by Sotheby’s, New York on December 15th. Once again, the portrait was simply described as ‘A Miniature of a Lady, English School, circa 1555’ with its provenance listed as the ‘Paine collection’. The portrait was purchased by its current owner and it again remains in a private collection.
I do understand that it is a little bit unethical to jump to conclusions when undergoing portrait research, however I do believe that sharing ideas and taking time to listen to the views of others is very important. One of the main reasons why I opted to write this article is that one thing stands out to me. When first having sight of the Paine miniature I noted some similarities in draughtsmanship with the small amount of work attributed to the famous sixteenth century artist Levina Teerlinc.
Born around 1510, Teerlinc was the daughter of the famous Flemish illustrator Simon Benninck. Probably taught to paint by her father, by 1546, she was married to George Teerlinc, and living and working in England. Teerlinc was granted a salary of forty pounds a year by Henry VIII, and it is documented that she worked for the English Crown until her death in 1576.
When it comes to identifying her work, Teerlinc is a bit of a puzzle. Although she is one of the more well documented artists of the sixteenth century in terms of payment, lists of work and entries in household accounts, no miniature portrait containing her signature has survived today.
In July 1983, a small number of miniature portraits were grouped together for the first time and associated with Teerlinc. These paintings were exhibited as part of the Portrait Miniature Rediscovered Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. All portraits were painted between 1546-1576, or during the period between the deaths of previous court miniaturists Hans Holbein and Lucas Hornebolte in the 1540’s and the rise of Nicholas Hillard in the 1570’s. In 1983, all the images were thought to have been produced by the same artists and as stated above it was suggested at that time that this artist could only have been Levina Teerlinc.
All the miniatures do show some similarities in draughtsmanship; The sitters are commonly depicted with having rather large heads and stick-like arms, and some similarities in the brushwork was also noted, including the use of loose wash work to create the features.
Some of the similarities in draughtsmanship noted in the work associated with Teerlinc are also visible in the Paine miniature, particularly within the figure depicted. Again, the figure can be seen with the characteristic large head and stick-like arms and some similarities are also noted within the brushwork used on the face and hands. One major sticking point is that the background and materials used to create the Paine miniature appears to be totally inconsistent with the other works thought to be by Teerlinc. All work currently associated with her are painted with the use of watercolour or gouache on vellum and all have the characteristic plain blue background. As discussed in the description section of this article, the Paine miniature’s background appears to have been made up of a grey pigment and according to auction descriptions the entire miniature is created with the use of oil on card.
George Teerlinc is recorded as receiving the sum of ten pounds from the Privy Council in the October of 1551 for ‘being sent with his wife to the Lady Elizabeth’s Grace to draw out her picture.’ It is generally thought Levina completed the portrait however the payment was made to George as he was her husband. Much debate has taken place as to the identity of this supposed 1551 miniature however, no confirmed miniature portrait depicting the Princess Elizabeth and associated with Teerlinc has, yet, been located. 
This may just be pure coincidence, but I do see some similarities between the sitter depicted in the Paine miniature and the depiction of Princess Elizabeth in the family portrait at Boughton House.
In brief, The Boughton House portrait resurfaced in 2008, when it was rediscovered by historians Tracy Borman and Alison Weir, hanging in the private collection of the Duke of Buccleuch.
The painting itself was exhibited in the Tudor Exhibition of 1890, and appeared in Freeman O’Donoghue’s ‘Descriptive and Classified Catalogue of Portraits of Queen Elizabeth’ published in 1894. Francesco Bartolozzi, an eighteenth-century engraver was also known to have produced an engraved version, either based on the Boughton House portrait or a similar copy. O’Donoghue listed the Boughton House portrait as ‘not Contemporary’ and this was also reinforced during the rediscovery when an estimated date of creation was given as circa 1650-1680.
In 2008, comparisons were immediately made between the image of Princess Elizabeth in the Boughton House portrait and NPG 764, the Syon and Berry-Hill portraits, previously associated with Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth. A conclusion was made that since the other sitters depicted in the Boughton Portrait were based on known portrait types then the image of Elizabeth must have been based on one of these portraits, thus confirming the sitter once and for all in NPG 764, the Syon and Berry-Hill Portrait as Elizabeth when Princess.
When compared side-by side to the Boughton House Portrait and the Subsequent Bartolozzi engraving, the Pain Miniature again shows similarities in costume and composition. The sitter appears to be wearing an almost identical gown with the white fur collar and ruffle, also, similar white fitted sleeves with the distinctive pleating are seen within all three images. The sitter is also depicted with the right hand placed into the front opening of the gown in all three images.
The hood worn by the sitter in the Paine miniature is depicted differently in both the Boughton Portrait and Bartolozzi engraving, and the ring suspended from the black ribbon is also missing in the later images. One possible explanation for this is that the depiction of Elizabeth in the Boughton House portrait was in fact based on a modified copy of an original image. A recently discovered image of a rather interesting sixteenth century drawing located by myself in the Witt Library, London may give us one final clue.
This image above, was stored among a large number of sold images previously associated with the French artist Francios Clouet. The drawing shows a female sitter, facing the viewers left and again wearing a similar loose gown and ruffle to that seen in the Paine miniature. In this image the sitter is also depicted as wearing a ring containing a stone suspended from a ribbon around her neck, once again these features are mimicking what is seen in the Paine miniature.
Interestingly, the drawing does contain an inscription in French noting the sitter as La Royne D’Angleterre suggesting that the lady depicted was royal and English. The drawing was sold in 1983 and was described as ‘said to be a portrait of Queen Mary Tudor’. Since no other image matching this drawing and described as Mary has surfaced it could be possible that the auction house may have recorded this as the wrong sister and that this drawing is in fact a drawing of a portrait of Elizabeth. It may just be possible that this drawing was taken from a pre-existing portrait that was used by artists when creating subsequent copies and as other copies were made some of the finer details were lost.
In conclusion, the Paine miniature has raised some very interesting questions. Unfortunately, these questions cannot be easily answered without using some scientific investigations on the miniature itself. As discussed above, their does appear to be some similarities between the Paine miniature and other works associated with Teerlinc, however these are not totally conclusive. Also, the fact that Teerlinc’s 1551 miniature of Elizabeth when princess is now lost, and that the Paine miniature has similarities to other works associated with Elizabeth just adds that extra bit of excitement leaving, us, the viewer, more curious for further information.
 Christie’s Auction, October 23rd, 1979, The Edward Grosvenor Paine Collection of Portrait Miniatures, Page:19
 Strong. Roy, The English Renaissance Miniature, Thames and Hudson, 1983, page 54
 Strong. Roy, Artists of the Tudor Court, The Portrait Miniature Rediscovered 1520-1620, Thames and Hudson, 1983, page 52
 Strong. Roy, Gloriana The Portrait of Queen Elizabeth, Pimlico 2003, page 52
 BBC History Magazine, A New Face for The Virgin Queen, June 2008, Page 46-49
Another portrait which has in the past been associated with Lady Jane Grey is currently in the collection of the Frick Art Museum, Pennsylvania. Today, the museum rightfully lists the sitter as Gabrielle de Rochechouart, Lady Lansac as there appears to be more evidence to support this identification than the sitters previous identification.
The painting depicts a lady facing the viewer’s left and painted to just above the waist. She wears a bodice of black fabric cut square at the neck with small puff sleeves, decorated with pearls. A partlet of white fabric with a small ruffle is seen at her neck, and over her shoulders the sitter wears the fur of an animal. The sitter wears a large chain of goldsmith work around her neck and pearls and suspended from this is a large jewel containing one gemstone. Pinned to the front of her bodice is a large jewel containing three gemstones and one large hanging pearl. On her head she wears a French hood constructed with the same fabric used for her fitted sleeves. Upper and lower billiaments consisting of goldsmith work and pearls are attached to the hood, and a black veil is seen hanging down the sitters back.
Nothing is known regarding the early provenance for this portrait or how the image became identified as a portrait of Lady Jane Grey. The first record I have been able to locate regarding this portrait and its one-time association with Lady Jane Grey is an auction catalouge for a sale at Christie’s Auction House, London on 28th February 1930. The portrait was listed among the vast collection of antiques and paintings from the collection of a Barnet Lewis Esq. Lewis died in 1929 and his collection was subsequently sold off at auction. The Frick painting is described in this catalouge as
Lot 94. Lucas De Heere, Portrait of Lady Jane Grey.
In a black dress, with yellow sleeves and jewel ornaments. Oil on panel – 6 ½ in. by 5 ¼ in.
The description given in the catalouge differs from with what is seen in the portrait today. As listed above, the description states that the sitter wears yellow sleeves, however, when purchased by the current owner, it was apparent that the portrait had been heavily over painted during its history. Recent restoration work has taken place on the painting to remove the discoloured varnish and overpaint, resulting in the colour of the sitter’s sleeves being taken back to the original intended colour of pink.
The artist associated with the creation of the portrait, in the 1930 catalouge, is also inconsistent with the dates surrounding Jane Grey’s life. The Flemish painter Lucas de Heere (1534-1584) fled the Netherlands for England to escape religious persecution. He is first recorded in England in 1566, much later than Jane’s death in February 1554, so he is highly unlikely to have painted an authentic portrait of Lady Jane Grey.
The portrait entered the Frick collection when it was purchased from the Wildenstein Galleries, New York by Helen Frick on 16th April 1931. On entering the collection, the painting was installed in the Librarian’s Office of the Frick Art Reference Library. The identification of the sitter as Lady Jane Grey was immediately challenged, and the Frick portrait was compared to another identical copy once in the collection of the Duke of Sutherland at Stafford House.
This copy had been donated in 1897 to The Musee Conde by Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale and along with other paintings from the Duke of Sutherlands collection had been associated with the Dutch artist Corneille de Lyon.
Corneille de Lyon was actively working in France from the 1530’s until his death in 1575. He was nationalised as French in 1547 and was employed as the painter to the king under Henry II and Charles IX. Frustratingly, de Lyon did not sign or date his work, so although this artist is widely documented within sixteenth century records, very few works can be reliably associated with his hand today. 
The panel surface of the portrait in The Musee Conde’s collection has been extended, at a later date to include the early inscription detailing the sitters name as GABRIELE. DE. ROCHECHOART. DAME. DE. LANSAC. It was therefore decided by the curators of the Frick collection that their identical copy must also depict the same individual and not Lady Jane Grey.
 Christie, Manson & Woods, London. Catalogue of the Important Collection of Ancient and Modern Pictures and Water Colour Drawings: The Property of the Late Barnet Lewis, Esq, page 19
 Strong. Roy, Gloriana The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, Pimlico, 2003, page 71
 Fazio. Carl Vincent, Helen Clay Flick: Architectural Patron & Art Collector, University of Pittsburgh, 1998, page 36
 For the most up to date record of work associated with Corneille de Loyn see Dubois de Groer. Anne, Corneille de Lyon, Arthena, Paris, 2003
 Dubois de Groer. Anne, Corneille de Lyon, Arthena, Paris, 2003, Page 215
Research into sixteenth century portraiture is a complex but fascinating subject. In many cases, the search starts with the surviving painting itself and then continues with the search for any written documentation concerning its provenance and any clues to the possible identification of the sitter.
When discussing portraits that have a history of approximately four hundred and fifty years behind them, it must be remembered that it is hard today to discover a portrait that has not been altered in some shape or form. Over the years the original painted surface of a portrait may have been repainted due to bad restoration or over cleaning. Inscriptions and coats of arms may also have been added at a later period in time, and in some cases the composition, original inscriptions and signatures may have been cut down to enable the portrait to fit in a new frame.
In the case of the Skeffington portrait, much of the above has happened. This portrait has also been identified as at least four separate individuals during its modern recorded history. Three out of the four sitters suggested have all faced execution, and today the portrait is now identified as an unknown lady.
Our first documented record regarding this portrait’s survival is a book in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries, London. This book contains copies of minutes of meetings held by the society during the nineteenth century and records that a portrait thought to depict Lady Jane Grey was presented to the Society by Sir William Skeffington on 6th February 1806.
The portrait presented depicts a lady, seen to just below the waist and facing the viewer’s left. Both hands are clasped in front of the sitter, and four gold rings can be seen on her fingers. The sitter has grey eyes and auburn hair that is parted in the middle. On her head, she wears a French hood constructed of crimson and white fabric with both upper and lower billaments of goldsmith work. A black veil is also seen hanging down from the back of the hood, and under this she wears a gold coif. A black loose gown with a fur collar and mutton leg sleeves is worn by the sitter and is fastened to the waist. Under this the hint of a crimson kirtle is seen, and at her neck and wrists the sitter wears a figure-of-eight ruff which is embroidered with red thread. The lady also wears a pendant of goldsmith work containing three square cut gemstones and three pearls suspended at her neck. She is depicted in front of a plain background, and the image is painted on wooden panel.
Sir William Farrell-Skeffington adopted the Skeffington name in 1786 and inherited the fifteenth century manor house Skeffington Hall in East Leicester. Prior to his death he began to sell objects off from the estate and eventually sold the house, land and contents in July 1814.
Skeffington presented the painting for sale to the Reverend John Brand, Secretary of the society of Antiquaries. He informed the Society that the portrait represented Lady Jane Grey and was painted by Lucas de Heere. No information is provided in the minutes of this meeting to inform us why Skeffington thought the portrait was a depiction of Lady Jane, and no information concerning the paintings provenance was recorded. It appears that Mr Brand immediately challenged Skeffington’s identification as a painting of Jane Grey, noting that a fragment of an inscription can be seen on the top left-hand side of the panel surface which identified the date that the portrait was painted as 1560. Brand rightfully recalled that the date painted on the surface did not coincide with the death of Lady Jane Grey and suggested that the portrait must in fact represent Jane’s mother Lady Frances Brandon, with Brand noting that she died in 1563.
One possible reason for the misidentification as a portrait of Lady Jane Grey is the inscription seen on the right-hand side of the panel surface. This inscription reads ‘Rather deathe / than false of Faythe,’ which suggest that the sitter depicted would rather die or may possibly have died as a result of religious conflict. The inscription itself appears to have been painted in a slightly different shade of yellow than the other one detailing the year and artists initials on the left side. This suggests that one of the inscriptions was possibly added at a later date, though scientific testing would be required to establish if this theory is correct.
There is a popular tradition that Queen Mary offered Jane a pardon if she was willing to convert to Roman Catholicism. The tradition appears to have emerged shortly after Jane’s death as a way for Protestants to promote Jane’s dedication to the Protestant cause even when faced with death. There is no surviving evidence to document that Jane was ever offered an actual pardon if she would convert, but there was indeed an effort made to get her to convert
Jane was visited by John Feckenham, Queen Mary’s personal chaplain, on 8th Feburary 1554. By this point in her story, Jane had faced trial and had been convicted and sentenced to death as a traitor for accepting the crown and signing herself as queen. Mary was prevented from issuing a pardon because the Spanish demanded that Jane die as a condition of the marriage between Mary and Philip of Spain. Her execution had originally been set for the following day. Mary was able to try to save Jane’s immortal soul, however, and she sent Feckenham to see Jane with that specific task, to try and convert Jane to Catholicism prior to her death.
Jane’s execution was postponed for three days, and a debate was had between Feckenham and Jane which resulted in Jane staying strong to the Protestant faith rather than relinquishing it. This debate was recorded and apparently signed in Jane’s own hand. Within months of her death it appeared in printed format, along with a letter written by Jane to her former tutor Thomas Harding in which she condemned him for his change to Catholicism, thus promoting Jane’s strong belief in the Protestant faith. In 1615, a pamphlet entitled ‘The Life, Death and Actions of The Most Chaste, Learned and Religious Lady, The Lady Jane Grey’ was published in London. This pamphlet contained a copy of the earlier printed debate and it was noted in the introduction that:
Even those which were of the best fame and reputation, were sent unto her to dissuade her from that true profession of the gospel, which from her cradle she had held. Each striving by art, by flattery, by threatening’s, by the promise of life, or what else might move most in the bosom of a weak woman.
It is quite possible that the inscription seen on the right-hand side of the portrait and the myth that Jane had been offered the promise of a pardon if she was willing to change her faith led Skeffington or a previous owner to believe that the painting must in fact depict Jane Grey.
The Skeffington portrait was purchased by the Society of Antiquaries and remained in their collection where it was last recorded in 1847. How the portrait left the Society remains a bit of a mystery, but it was officially recorded as a ‘missing painting’ in one of the more recent publications on its collection.
As discussed above, the portrait disappeared sometime after 1847, but it reappeared again in 1866 when it was exhibited as a painting of Anne Askew in the National Portraits Exhibition from the collection of a Reginald Cholmondeley. Reginald Cholmondeley’s principal estate was the sixteenth century Condover Hall in Shrewsbury. On his death the contents of the Hall were sold at auction on March 6th 1897. The identification of the sitter appears to have changed once again, and by 1897 the portrait was then referred to as:
Item 43. Lucas de Heere, Queen Mary (of Scots), in black with pink-edged ruff and cuffs, cap with gold chain and jewelled badge. Inscribed “Rather Deathe than false of Faythe,” dated 1560.
The portrait was purchased at this auction on behalf of Wilbraham Egerton, Earl Egerton, brother-in law of Reginald Cholmondeley, and was then displayed at Tatton Park. In 1958 Tatton Park and its contents were bequeathed to The National Trust by Maurice Egerton, 4th Baron Egerton of Tatton, and the portrait remains on exhibition there today.
It is my opinion that until scientific investigation has taken place on this portrait to establish if the inscriptions are original or added later then the true identity of its sitter may continue to be unknown. The portrait is currently listed today on The National Trust collections website as an Unknown Lady, called Anne Askew. As discussed in detail in other articles on this website, the size of the ruff worn by the sitter and the date inscribed on the left- hand side are both inconsistent with the date of both the deaths of Jane Grey and Anne Askew. The Skeffington portrait can now be removed from the list of any potential likenesses thought to depict Lady Jane Grey
 Proceedings of the society of antiquaries of London, volume 1, page 47
 A large fifteen-day sale of the contents of Skeffington Hall commenced on 11th July 1814. William Ferrell-Skeffington moved to London that same year however died less than a year later on 26th January 1815
 Proceedings of The Society of Antiquaries of London, vol 1, page 47. John Band appears to have inaccurately listed the date of Frances Grey’s death. Frances died on 20th November 1559 and not 1563 as listed in these minutes. One interesting point is that John Brand also owned a portrait thought to depict Lady Jane Grey. The portrait sold on his death at Stewards Auctions, Piccadilly on June 23rd 1807. It was purchased by the book collector Richard Heber Esq for the sum of eight pounds. No portrait described as Lady Jane Grey appears in the sales catalogues of Heber’s collection.
 The Life, Death and Actions of The Most Chaste, Learned and Religious Lady, The Lady Jane Grey, Printed by G. Eld for John Wright, 1615, page 22
 Electronic communication, Lucy Ellis, Museums Collections Manager, Society of Antiquaries, September 2018
 Franklin. J. A, Catalouge of Paintings in the Collection of The Society of Antiquaries of London, 2015, page 411-412
 Catalogue for the 1866 National Portrait Exhibition page 21. Anne Askew was burnt as the stake as a heretic in 1546 for refusing to acknowledge that the sacrament was the ‘flesh, blood and bone of Christ’.
During a recent visit to the Heinz Archive in London, I came
across a collection of letters written in 1917 concerning a portrait of Lady
Jane Grey. All three letters were
addressed to James Milner, the then director of the National Portrait Gallery
and were written by a R. Brocklebank of Houghton Hall in Cheshire.
Upon locating these I instantly thought, “great, I have
another new portrait search to get my teeth into.” Sadly, it turns out that the actual painting
was sitting right under my nose all the time, and all I had discovered was some
new provenance information regarding a portrait already known to us.
R. Brocklebank, or Ralph Brocklebank as he is better known,
was a wealthy shipowner and art collector who purchased Houghton Hall in the
nineteenth century and had it rebuilt between 1891 and 1894 to house his
valuable collection of art. In his first
letter written on 27th July 1917, Brocklebank reports ownership of a
portrait thought to depict Lady Jane Grey and suggests that he would like to
leave it on his death to the gallery. He
reports that he purchased the painting from a picture shop on Bond Street in
1892 and requests a meeting during his next visit to London so the gallery
could view the portrait themselves.
Brocklebank also informs the gallery that his portrait is oil on panel,
measuring 10 x 7 ¾ inches, and is thought to be by the school of Clouet. A photograph of the actual painting is also
supplied with the letter, but this was no longer stored with the documents in
Fortunately, Ralph Brocklebank had a book published in 1904
documenting his collection of over 150 paintings and engravings held at
Houghton Hall. Within this book is a
portrait referred to as representing Lady Jane Grey by the school of Clouet. Item number 39 is discussed and a detailed
description of the painting is also given.
Portrait of Lady Jane Grey
School of Clouet
Portrait (bust) of Lady Jane Grey, with face turned to
the right. She is handsomely attired in
the fashionable costume of the period. A high, close-fitting ruff reaches to
her ears, entirely concealing her neck.
Her hair is pulled back from her forehead, and covered by a jewelled
net. The collar of her elaborately
braided doublet reaches as high as the ruff, and spreads out on either side,
showing a gold collar, heavily gemmed, from which a large jewelled pendant hangs
on her breast. A portrait in The
National Portrait Gallery, by Lucas de Heere (No. 764) confirms the truth of
It appears that the portrait remained in Broclebank’s
collection until his death in 1921. No
documentation has been located within The National Portrait Galleries archives
to identify that his portrait was left to the gallery upon his death, as
suggested in his first letter, and it may be possible that upon viewing the
actual portrait it was decided that it was not something the gallery wanted in
their collection. The portrait again
appears in 1922 in the Christie’s auction catalouge for the sale of Ralph
Brocklebank’s collection, but rather than
being described as a portrait of Lady Jane Grey as seen in the earlier
book, it is referred to as a portrait of a lady said to represent Lady Jane
Grey. This suggests that the gallery may
have informed Brocklebank that the painting may not represent Lady Jane Grey in
the first place.
Portrait of a Lady
(Said to represent Lady Jane Grey)
In white dress, with high collar and
linen ruff, richly jewelled necklace and head-dress
On completion of the sale, the portrait
was purchased by a E. Brock for the sum of £28.8 shillings and thus, I thought
the trail ran dry.
When discussing the various portraits
associated with Jane Grey, one of my main goals is to locate an image of the
portrait so that the painting can actually be seen by the person reading this
article. Unfortunately, in some cases a
photographic image may not have been taken or, as with the Brocklebank portrait,
the image may have been lost during the passage of time. Many thousands of photographs of portraits
are held within the various boxes at the Heinz archive, and it would literally
be like attempting to find a needle in a haystack when looking for the missing
Brocklebank photograph. In all honesty I
had come to terms with just adding this particular portrait to the Auction/collections
page on this website. I did, however,
manage to find the photograph, and as discussed above it had been sitting under
my nose all the time.
After reading Carter’s 1904 description
and attempting a frantic internet search in the hope of a portrait matching
this, it suddenly came to mind that I had seen this painting before. It is discussed in Stephan Edward’s book A
Queen of a New Invention Portraits of Lady Jane Grey as the Taylor
portrait. Edwards concludes that this
image is unfortunately not a portrait of Lady Jane Grey, but a portrait
probably of Elizabeth of Austria and that the provenance discussed in the 1998
sales catalouge for this painting contributed nothing useful. As Edwards reports, this portrait was sold by
Christie’s, London on 12th November 1998 and was described in the
catalouge as a portrait of a Lady, previously identified as Lady Jane Grey. The catalouge also records that the portrait
was once in the collection of A.M and B Taylor, but nothing more is mentioned
regarding the provenance for this image during the sale.
Upon accessing my own file on the Taylor
Portrait, I came across a photocopy of an old image of the portrait located in the
artist box for Francios Clouet at Heinz Archive. Over the years, the gallery have used the
back of this image to scribble various notes regarding the portrait in pencil
and seen in the centre of this is writing made in ink identifying the sitter as
supposed to be Lady Jane Grey, written in the same handwriting as the letter
from Ralph Brocklebank.
It appears that this is the lost photograph which
accompanied the Brocklebank letters sent to James Milner in 1917 and though
most definitely not a portrait of Lady Jane Grey these letters do provide more
provenance for this painting and its one time association with her.
Heinz Archive, NPG 104/8/2, Correspondence Received 1917, accessed July 2019
Carter. R. Radcliffe, Pictures & Engravings at Houghton Hall Tarporley in
The Possession of Ralph Brocklebank, 1904, Item 39. My sincere thanks to the staff at the library
of the University of Dundee for assisting me with gaining access to this book.
Christies Auction Catalouge, 7th July 1922, lot 80. My sincere thanks to Simona
Dolari of Christie’s auction house for providing me with the information
regarding this sale.
Edwards. John Stephan, A Queen of a New Invention Portraits of Lady Jane Grey,
Old John Publishing, 2015, page 99
Christie’s Auction Catalouge, 12th November 1998, lot 4
One of the lesser known and in some cases forgotten characters
in the story of Lady Jane Grey is her husband Lord Guildford Dudley. Various articles have been written on the iconography
of Lady Jane Grey and the numerous portraits thought to depict her. Almost nothing has been written relating to
the iconography of her husband, which is why I have decided to write and include
this article on this website.
As discussed in previous articles, a small number of
portraits held in private collections have been associated with Lord Guildford
Dudley over the passage of time. During the research for this article, I have
so far been unable to locate any sixteenth century references to a portrait of
Lord Guildford Dudley being held in collections.
The first documented reference located so far to a portrait
of him appears in 1820, a portrait sold by a Mr Bullock of London. This was formerly in the collection of a Mr
David Holt Esq of Manchester, and the catalogue for the sale describes the
painting as being by a Sir A. Mor. The entry for the lot is as follows:
“A portrait of lady
jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley in one frame, the latter portrait is the
only one known to exist of Lord Guildford”.
This portrait was again sold in 1833 and has now disappeared
from the historical record.
As with Lady Jane Grey, so little is known about her husband. His story has been embellished and exaggerated to enable writers to make the character of Jane Grey appear vulnerable to the manipulation and bullying by others that surrounded her. His story, like that of his wife, has been surrounded by myths with little known today of the actual person.
Similar to his wife, there is no date recorded to inform us of
the exact date on which Guildford Dudley was born. Traditionally, his year of birth has been
recorded as either 1534 or 1536, but recent research produced by Susan Higginbotham
suggests that he may have possibly been born between 1537 and 1538, thus making
him the same age as Jane Grey or possibly younger.
We also have no detailed description as to what Guildford
Dudley looked like. As discussed in
previous articles, the description given by Richard Davey detailing Guildford’s
features as he entered the Tower of London with Jane as queen in 1553 has today
been proved to be an invention by the author. We are simply left with vague references to
him being “handsome” by his contemporaries which give us nothing in terms of
his physical features.
The aim of this article is to look at the portraits that
have been associated with Lord Guildford Dudley in the past in the hope of
establishing if there is any possibility of any of these being a genuine image
painted from life. Where possible I have
included what is known about the provenance of the image in the hope of
establishing some documented order.
Our first portrait appears publicly in a book published in
the early twentieth century entitled “The Tower of London” by Ronald Sutherland
Gower. Traditionally identified as Lord
Guildford Dudley, this painting has for many years been displayed alongside
another thought to represent his wife Lady Jane at Madresfield Court in Malvern,
Worcestershire. Both portraits have been
in the collection of the Earls of Beauchamp since the early nineteenth century.
Neither portrait is an authentic likeness. The portrait thought
to represent Lady Jane Grey is discussed in detail by John Stephan Edwards, and
it is concluded within his article that the artist who painted the portrait
intended it to be a representation of Mary Magdalene and not Jane Grey.
The portrait thought to represent Lord Guildford Dudley
shows a male figure standing to the viewers left with his righthand on hip and
his left hand resting on his sword. He wears a light-coloured doublet with high
standing collar and a large figure-of-eight ruff. The sitter has dark hair and wears a black
bonnet that includes goldsmith work and two feathers within its
decoration. He is depicted in front of a
dark background and in the top left-hand corner is an inscription which reads
1566 Æ SVÆ, 20.
The first questionable aspect of this painting is the
inscription. This is inconsistent with the known facts of Guildford Dudley’s
life and is dated to some twelve years after his execution in 1554. It is not truly known how this image became associated
with Guildford, though it appears that whoever suggested the identity did not
know the year in which he died. The
date is also inconsistent with the costume worn by the sitter, particularly the
large circular ruff seen at his neck and the hat worn by the sitter. This style of ruff dates to the later period
of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and is seen in many portraits painted during the
1580’s. During the 1560’s the smaller
figure-of-eight ruff which generally surrounded the face was in common use. This again suggest that the inscription
itself was probably added later and that this painting was not meant by the
artist who created it to be a representation of Lord Guildford Dudley.
It is highly likely that Guildford’s name was associated with this portrait with little reason behind it. Nothing is seen within the painted image to establish that this portrait was ever painted from life or was ever meant to be a depiction of Lord Guildford Dudley.
Named in this article after its current location, this portrait is now in the collection of The National Trust at Tyntesfield House, though it is not currently on display.
This image depicts a young gentleman with blonde hair, painted three-quarter length and facing the viewer’s right. He is wearing a black hat with a yellow feather, a black doublet embellished with gold, and a dark fur overcoat with yellow sleeves. The sitter’s right hand is resting on a sword that is attached to his hips.
This portrait was purchased as a painting of Guildford
Dudley by George Adraham Gibbs, 1st Baron Wraxhall (1873-1931). On his death it passed to his son Richard
Lawley Gibbs, 2nd Baron Wraxhall (1922-2001) and was subsequently
purchased by the National Trust in 2002.
The National Trust collections website describes this
painting as being both British made and created using oil on paper applied to
panel. It is also noted to report that
the portrait is probably nineteenth century in origin. Though no scientific
investigation has taken place on this image to establish a date of creation,
the style of the painting is more consistent with nineteenth century techniques
than that of sixteenth century techniques.
Until a firm date of creation can be established, It is more than likely that this portrait is an imaginary image of Guildford Dudley rather than a sixteenth century painting painted from life or based on a pre-existing image.
The third and final portrait is the more interesting of the
three, due to it being exhibited publicly on at least two occasions as an image
of Guildford Dudley. This portrait was also used by the artist Richard Burchett
in 1854 as a basis for his depiction of Lord Guildford Dudley when producing
the images of the royal Tudor figures for the Prince’s Chamber’s in the Palace
The original painting once again shows an image of a young
gentleman, painted three-quarter length and holding a pair of gloves in his
right hand, with his left hand on his hip.
The sitter wears a black doublet with large white sleeves, embroidered
with gold thread. Placed over his right
shoulder, is a cape of dark fabric with fur and at his neck is a large circular
The earliest documentation regarding this image is the exhibition catalogue for the Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857 held in Manchester. The portrait is described in the catalogue as
item 383. Lord Guildford Dudley from the collection of Col
The painting again appears in the National Portrait
Exhibition held at the South Kensington Museum in April 1866 where a
description was given
Item 191. Lord Guildford Dudley. Colonel and Baroness
North – Half-length, small life size, ruff, doublet and surecoat black with
dark fur, white gold-embroidered sleeves, gloves in r hand. Panel 14 x 11
The Colonel North MP listed as the owner of the painting is John North, also known as John Doyle, of Wroxton Abbey. Wroxton Abbey is a seventeenth-century manor house and was the home of the Pope and North family from 1677 until 1932, when it was leased to Trinity College. A sale was held of the contents of Wroxton Hall in May 1933 that included the portrait of Guildford Dudley matching the description of the portrait which appeared in the National Portraits Exhibition catalogue, displayed in the Garden Parlour.
Item 690. Small portrait on panel of Guildford Dudley,
holding gloves in right hand. Believed
to be the only known contemporary portrait.
What is seen from the image of the portrait is that once
again the sitter is wearing a costume that dates to the 1580’s rather than what
would have been worn by Guildford Dudley during his lifetime. Richard Burchett also appears to notice this
when creating his image of Guildford for the Palace of Westminster and has
adapted his image to fit with a more consistent costume that Guildford would
On completion of the Wroxton Abbey sale, the portrait then
passed into a private collection though was subsequently sold again at auction
on 29th September 1993.
As far as I am aware the three portraits discussed above are
the only known portraits associated with Lord Guildford Dudley. As this article shows none contain any clues
in favours of the sitter being positively identified as him and so Guildford
Dudley remains faceless.
Catalogue of pictures of David Holt Esquire of Manchester, 14th July
On 25th April 1912, Prince Frederick Duleep Singh
visited Ketteringham Hall in Norfolk.
Singh visited a large number of properties across Norfolk where he
documented the art collections seen and published a book in 1927 detailing his
findings. In the book, entitled
Portraits in Norfolk Houses, Singh recorded a portrait thought in 1912 to
represent Lady Jane Grey.
Ketteringham Hall was built in the fifteenth century and was
home to Henry Grey of Ketteringham. By
1492 the property had passed to the Heveningham
family. It was purchased in the nineteenth century by John Peter
Boileau, archaeologist, Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries, London,
and collector of antiquaries. The hall
was dramatically remodelled during the
nineteenth century when it was purchased by Boileau to house his vast
collection of antiques and collectables.
In the past and today, Ketteringham Hall has laid claim that it was once the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey, and it is only fitting that it should have housed a portrait of her. As discussed above, the house was no longer in ownership of the Grey family during the sixteenth century, and there is no documented evidence to state that Jane Grey ever visited the property.
At the time Prince Frederick Duleep Singh visited the
property, it had passed by descent to Sir Maurice Colborne Boileau, grandson of
John Peter Boileau. The Hall would eventually be used as an active US Air Force
base, and by 1948 the family opted to sell Ketteringham off, when it was then
purchased by the Duke of Westminster.
Singh provides a detailed description in his book of the
portrait thought to depict Lady Jane Grey seen in 1912. The entry reads as follows.
Lady Jane Dudley, H(ead) and S(houlders). Body, face and
blue eyes all turned towards the sinister (viewers left), fair hair parted and
flat, roll over each ear, and small row of rolls over the head, black cap on
the head falling at one side and behind. Dress: black with white fur round the
neck and down the front, also on each side of the arms. Blue background, min(iature)
square. Age 18.
No other information concerning this portrait has surfaced, and
it appears never to have been exhibited as a portrait of Lady Jane Grey. The painting was initially thought to be lost due
to the contents of Ketteringham Hall being sold off over the years at auction.
During his own research into the many portraits thought to depict Lady Jane Grey, John Stephan Edwards was the first to acknowledge and create awareness of the Ketteringham Hall portrait in modern times. He briefly discussed it in the appendix of his book concerning lost portraits once thought to be Jane Grey. Edwards compared Singh’s description of the painting to a portrait also thought to depict Lady Jane Grey at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. He expressed uncertainty as to whether the portrait was still at Ketteringham Hall today.
Further research into the Ketteringham Hall portrait completed
by myself suggests that it was actually sold in 1947. By this point the
portrait had lost its identity and no connection was made at that time that the
portrait was ever thought to depict lady Jane Grey.
In 1947, a large four-day auction took place of the contents
of Ketteringham Hall. It is highly likely that the portrait once seen by Singh
and given a detailed description in his book as a portrait of Lady Jane Grey was
sold on the first day of sale as part of one lot containing three items.
Lot 357. Miniature, Lady with a white lace collar, ditto fur
collar and silhouette.
It appears that this lot was purchased, along with several
other lots from the 1947, sale by Rev William Hall and his son Bryan Hall. Both father and son were avid collectors of
antiques and frequent visitors to sales of county house collections. Bryan Hall would eventually acquire a large
collection of more than 2,200 antiques during his lifetime and all where held
within his home of Banningham old Rectory, which on occasions he would open for
The miniature portrait remained in Hall’s collection until 2004. By this point, the elderly Bryan Hall put his entire collection up for auction, facilitated by Bonham’s Auctioneers. This consisted of a three-day sale of the contents of Banningham Old Rectory. The Ketteringham Hall portrait, along with another miniature close in comparison to the 1947 catalogue description of ‘a woman in a lace collar, and a large quantity of silhouettes were sold during this sale. The provenance for these items could be traced back to Ketteringham Hall. Lot 89 of the Bonham’s sale is of particular interest when looking at the lost Ketteringham Hall portrait of Lady Jane Grey. It is referred to in the catalogue as
Lot 89. Bernard Lens III (1750/6-1808), A portrait of a lady dressed as Mary Queen of Scots, in
black dress slashed to reveal white fur, pearl necklace and black cap Water
colour on ivory rectangular 45mm, in a gilded wood frame.
Though the provenance for lot 89 was not fully documented in the auction catalogue, Singh’s description was included in the literature accompanying the lot. The auction house commented that this portrait does not conform to other known portraits of Lady Jane Grey and lists the sitter’s identity as Mary Queen of Scots.
When comparing Singh’s description to the photograph of lot 89, there does appear to be a match. If this picture is the lost Ketteringham Hall portrait, then this brings about the question as to why an eighteenth-century portrait of Mary Queen of Scots became known as Lady Jane Grey by 1912.
One possible reason for this is the purchase of NPG764 by
the National Portrait Gallery, London.
By 1912, this was being exhibited as a portrait of Lady Jane Grey, and
this does share some similarities in style and composition to the Ketteringham
Hall portrait. It may just be possible
that the Boileau family or Singh himself concluded that, due to the
similarities, the portrait at Ketteringham Hall must also depict Lady Jane
Grey. During the early 20th century, several books were written and
published concerning the iconography of Mary Queen of Scots, including one
written by Lionel Cust, who briefly discussed the similarities in costume
between both images.
The portrait on which the Ketteringham Hall image is based
was widely copied during the eighteenth century as an image of Mary and would
generally be referred to as the Okney type by art historians. It appears that the copy produced by Bernard
Lens in vast quantities was based on a sixteenth century miniature portrait
once in the collection of the Duke of Hamilton prior to 1710.
George Vertue discussed this in his notebooks, having seen
the original miniature in person.
“This duke of Hamilton
that lived at the manor house at East Acton had great collections of Indian
work and china and many curious limning portraits some of them excellent and
rare in number about fifty or sixty… so many as was exposed to sale in
1745. No. 28 Mary Qu. Scots, this is the
original limning which the Duke of Hamilton had recovered and valued most
extremely – showed it at court and everywhere for a true genuine picture of the
queen everywhere from thence it was copied in water colours enamel many and
many times for all persons pining after it thousands of illuminated copies – spread everywhere – this picture
itself – tho amended by or repaired by L. Crosse who was ordered to make it as
beautiful as he could – by the duke.
Still is a roundish face not agreeable to those most certain pictures of
her – but his attestation of its being genuine, later part of Qu. Anns time it
took and prest upon the public in such an extraordinary manner”
The fact that Vertue himself expressed doubt in the eighteenth century as to whether the original miniature portrait was a representation of Mary Queen of Scots is interesting and today doubt as to the true identity of the sitter continues.
The above image was sold through Phillips Auctions of London, on 10th November 1998 and was associated with the court painter Levina Teerlinc. Painted on vellum and applied to card, a faint description on the back was recorded in the auction catalogue identifying the sitter as “Queen Mary”. The painting was officially sold as a portrait believed to be that of Mary Neville, Lady Dacre, with the auction house noting similarities to other known portraits of this sitter.
The provenance for this miniature is recorded as being in
the collection of the Duke of Buckingham at Stowe house. It appears in the 1849 sales catalogue were
it was again described as a portrait of “Mary Tudor, Queen of England”. The portrait was then purchased by John Webb
who was a prominent collector of antiques in the mid nineteenthcentury
and on his death in 1880, it then passed to his daughter Edith Webb and was eventually
sold at Christie’s Auction, London, on the 24th June 1925.
When looking at this miniature it does appear to be too much
of a coincidence to suggest that the similarities to the Okney Type is purely
chance. The similarities between this portrait
and early copies made by Bernard Lens are exceedingly close, though Lens’s
later copy has been altered to portray a younger and thinner sitter and some
slight differences are seen with the gold coif worn under the hood. Due to the similarities seen it is my opinion
that this may just be the original miniature owned by the Duke of Hamilton and
reported by George Vertue to have sold in 1745.
The fact that the Teerlinc miniature also includes an early
inscription identifying the sitter as “Queen Mary” does give this opinion some
back up. It may just be possible that
the identification as to which Mary it was meant to represent may have just got
lost during its history. What is for
certain is that the Teerlinc miniature neither represents Mary Tudor or Mary
Queen of Scots and the similarities to portraits of Mary Neville as discussed
in the auction catalogue is striking.
The ketteringham Hall portrait most certainly was created during the eighteenth century and therefore cannot be a portrait of Lady Jane Grey painted from life. The portrait was originally painted as an image of Mary Queen of Scots that was mislabelled by 1912 when seen by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh. This can now be removed from any list of potential likenesses of Lady Jane Grey.
Singh. Prince Frederick Duleep, Portraits in Norfolk Houses, Jarrold and Sons,
Ltd, Vol I, Page 361
John Stephan, A Queen of a New Invention Portraits of Lady Jane Grey, Old John
Publishing, 2015, page 189. Electronic communication, David Adams, Property
Manager suggest that no portrait matching Singh’s description is currently in
the collection at Ketteringham Hall today.
K.H Fielding Auctioneer. Ketteringham Hall, Norwich. Catalogue of Antique
Furniture Old Silver, Glass, oil Paintings and other Effects, 22nd
July 1947, Page 9. My sincere thanks to
Mary Parker for the assistance with the location of a copy of this catalogue
and information regarding the Ketteringham sale.
a portrait of Mary Tudor when Princess on behalf of Queen Victoria during the
Christies sale on 24th May 1881, RCIN20944 has caused much debate
among art historians over the years. The
sitter has been identified as at least three different members of the royal
family from the Tudor period, and for around twenty-six years the sitter was
thought to be Lady Jane Grey. Two
artists have been associated with its creation, though no proof has surfaced to
establish a known creator. Due the
sitter once being identified as Lady Jane Grey, I have decided to discuss this
painting on this website.
RCIN420944 depicts a young lady facing full frontal, with grey eyes and light red hair. She wears a bodice of gold damask fabric cut square at the neck and a partlet of contrasting fabric with small figure-of-eight ruff that surrounds her face. A black loose gown with small puff sleeves and false hanging sleeves is also seen worn by the sitter and is fastened at the front with the use of gold aglets. The sitter wears two chains around her neck of goldsmith work and pearls, and suspended from one is a large jewel containing five square cut diamonds and a large hanging pearl. On her head she wears a hair net which again consists of goldsmith work, and a pink and white flower is also arranged within the sitter’s hair. She is depicted on a blue background within a gold boarder. The beginning of an inscription stating “AÑO” is also seen on the left-hand side.
known regarding the early provenance for this painting or how the image became
identified as a portrait of Mary Tudor when Princess. The first documented record concerning the
provenance of this portrait located to date is the sales catalogue for the
collector and poet Samuel Rogers.
Following his death in 1855, his vast collection of art and antiques were
sold as part of an eighteen-day sale commencing on 28th April 1856
at Messrs. Christie and Manson, St James Square. RCIN420944 was sold on the eighth day of sale
and is officially recorded in the catalogue as “lot 960. Princess Mary,
daughter of Henry VIII, after Holbein.”
was purchased by collector Charles Sackville Bale, who appears not to have
questioned the identity of the sitter or artist associated with it. An early photographic image of the portrait
appears in a book published in 1864 by Amelia B Edwards, and the portrait was
also submitted to The Miniature Portrait Exhibition of 1865 at the South Kensington
Museum. Both the book and exhibition
catalogue again refer to the portrait as “Queen Mary I of England, by Holbein,”
with the exhibition catalogue also noting that the portrait was purchased from
the collection of Samuel Rogers.
death of Charles Sackville Bale in 1880, the miniature sold from his collection
and entered the Royal Collection. The
auction took place on 24th May 1881 and again the miniature was
noted as “lot 1420 Mary Tudor, Queen of England, by H. Holbein”
within the catalogue for the sale.
of entering the Royal collection, the sitter’s identity and the artist
associated with its creation was challenged. Lady Jane
Grey was put forward as a possible candidate and the miniature would continue
to be described as a portrait of Jane for the next two decades.
written by Richard Holmes, librarian to Queen Victoria, and published in 1884
in the English Illustrated Magazine does give us some clues as to the reason
for the change of identification. This
article appears to be the first time the portrait was publicly published as an
image of Lady Jane Grey, and the article also included an engraving of the
painting noting Jane as the sitter in its title. Holmes reports the reasons for the change in
identity as follows
“of the painters who must have worked in England between the
time of Holbein and Hillard, a capital specimen has within the last few years
been added to the number of royal portraits.
It is that of Lady Jane Grey, of which we give an engraving. It had passed for many years as a portrait of
princess, afterwards Queen Mary, but it is unlike her in every feature. That it represents a Tudor Princess is
undoubted, as in her hair are the red and white roses. It corresponds with all
that is known of the characteristics of the unfortunate Lady Jane, and fills an
important gap in the series of portraits of the Tudor Line”
What is interesting about the above statement is that Holmes
reports that the sitter depicted in the miniature was thought at that time to
correspond with all that was known of the characteristics of Lady Jane Grey. This then brings about the question as to
what was actually known about Jane’s characteristics at that time. This article
was written prior to the publication of Richard Davey’s biography on Jane in
1909, which contained the only detailed description of a small, freckled and
red haired, Jane Grey entering the Tower of London as Queen on 10th
July 1553, known to date. Today, this
description has been discovered to be a mere forgery. No other description documenting the details
of Jane’s features has surfaced, which suggest that almost nothing was known
regarding what Jane looked like, other than vague references referring to her
as pretty which were made at a later date.
The miniature portrait was
publicly exhibited in 1890 at the Royal House of Tudor Exhibition held
at the New Gallery, London. Within the
exhibition catalogue, the portrait is recorded as coming from the collection of
Her Majesty the Queen and referring to as “1068. Lady Jane Grey. By N.
Hilliard, formerly in the collection of Charles Sackville Bale.” It was probably around this point in time that a red leather label was attached to
the back of the frame noting that the sitter depicted was “Lady Jane Grey/Born
The portrait continued to be displayed as an image of Lady Jane
Grey and was Exhibited in the New Gallery exhibition of 1901 as a portrait of her. In 1906, Richard Holmes again discussed the
miniature in an article written for the Burlington Art Magazine on Nicholas
Lionel Cust, director of the National Portrait gallery,
London, appears to be the first to question the identification of Lady Jane
Grey as the sitter in RCIN420944. In
1910, he produced a privately printed catalogue for the Royal Collection
regarding the miniature portraits held within the Royal Palaces at that
time. In this, Cust dismisses the
identification of Jane Grey and suggests Elizabeth I as an alternative sitter,
noting that the miniature may have been produced by Levina Teerlinc and not
Nicholas Hilliard. Nothing is documented
in the book to inform us as to why Cust came to this conclusion, though it
would be tempting to speculate that he noted the costume worn by the sitter was
a little too late in period to be an authentic portrait of Lady Jane Grey.
The Identification of the sitter as Elizabeth was further strengthened
in 1962 when the Royal Collection purchased another miniature portrait similar
in composition and style to RCIN420944 at Christie’s auction. This miniature is recorded in the catalogue
for sale, taking place on April 10th at Christie’s auction house,
London, as “A Lady, probably Princess Elizabeth, Later Queen Elizabeth I.” A
description also noted that the miniature was painted on a playing card, and seen
on the reverse of is blind stamp consisting of the letter C and a Crown. 
This was immediately associated with a
description made in 1637 of a miniature portrait seen by Abraham Van der Doort,
Surveyor of the Kings Pictures and described in an inventory made of the
collection of King Charles I.
“Item don upon the right lighte in a white ivory box/ wthout
a Christall a Certaine Ladies Picture in her haire/ in a gold bone lace little ruff,
and black habbitt/ lined wth furr with goulden tissue sleeves/ with one hand
over another supposed to have bin/ Queen Elizabeth before shee came to the Crowne.
By an unknown hand”
Upon the purchase of the second miniature by the Royal
Collection, both were thought to depict the same individual. Due to the early Van der Doort description it
was therefore thought that both miniatures represented the young Queen
Elizabeth in the early years of her reign. Both images continue to be
catalogued as Elizabeth I today.
Author Roy Strong was noted not to include either miniature
in his 1963 book entitled Portrait of Queen Elizabeth. He was observed to briefly discuss them in the
1987 revised version Gloriana The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I. When discussing both miniatures, he
interestingly notes that “of the two miniatures, one is more certainly of her
than the other.” It could be argued that both images depict
separate individuals rather than a portrait of the same person. There does appear to be significant
differences in the composition and costume worn by both individuals to identify
that one is not a direct copy of the other.
Whoever RCIN420944 depicts will continue to be debated among
art historians, but Lionel Cust was right back in 1910 to question the identity
of the sitter being Lady Jane Grey. There appears to be nothing within the
image to suggest that the portrait was painted of her, and no detailed
description survives today that tells us anything about what she looked
like. This image can now be removed from
any list of potential likenesses thought to depict her.
Messrs. Christies and Manson, Sales Catalogue, April 28th, 1856,
Page 90, lot 960
Christie’s, Sales Catalogue, 24th May 1881, Page 109, lot 1420
Holmes. Richard, The Royal Collection of Miniatures at Windsor Castle, English
Illustrated Magazine, July 1184
For more details on the new finding regarding Davey’s description of Jane see:
Edwards John, Queen of a New Invention, Old John Publishing, 2015, page 177 and
DeLisle. Leanda, Sisters Who Would Be Queen, Harper Press, 2008
Christie’s Sale Catalogue, 10th April 1962, Page 20
O’Donoghue,F.M, A Descriptive and Classified Catalogue of Portraits of Queen
Elizabeth , 1894, page 27, no 7
Strong. Roy, Gloriana The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, 1987, Page 55