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Portrait of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton. NPG
Signature of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton  (1573-1624)

HENRY WRIOTHESLEY, third Earl of Southampton (1573-1624), Shakespeare's patron, was second son of Henry Wriothesley, second earl of Southampton, by his wife, Mary Browne, daughter of the first viscount Montague. He was born at his maternal grandfather's residence, Cowdray House, near Midhurst, on 6 Oct. 1573. His father died two days before his eighth birthday. The elder brother was already dead. Thus on 4 Oct. 1581 he became third earl of Southampton. His mother remained a widow during nearly the whole of his minority; on 2 May 1594 she married Sir Thomas Heneage, vice-chamberlain of Elizabeth's household; but he died within a year, and in 1598 she took a third husband, Sir William Hervey, who distinguished himself in military service in Ireland, and was created Lord Hervey by James I.

As was customary, the young earl became on his father's death a royal ward, and Lord Burghley, the prime minister, acted as his guardian in his capacity of master of the court of wards. At the age of twelve, in the autumn of 1586, h& was admitted to St. John's College, Cambridge. Next summer he sent his guardian Burghley an essay in Ciceronian Latin on the somewhat cynical text that 'All men are moved to the pursuit of virtue by the hope of reward.' The paper, an admirable specimen of calligraphy, is preserved at Hatfield. He remained at the university for four years, graduating B.?. at sixteen in 1589. Before leaving college he entered his name as a student at Gray's Inn, and soon afterwards took into his 'pay and patronage' John Florio, the well-known author and Italian tutor. According to Florio the earl quickly acquired a thorough knowledge of Italian.

About 1590, when he was hardly more than seventeen, he was presented to Queen Elizabeth, who showed him kindly notice, and her favourite, the Earl of Essex, thenceforth displayed in his welfare a brotherly interest which proved in course of time a doubtful blessing. In the autumn of 1592 he was in the throng of noblemen that accompanied Elizabeth to Oxford, and was recognised as the most handsome and accomplished of all the young lords who frequented the royal presence. In 1593 Southampton was mentioned for nomination as a knight of the garter, and although he was not chosen the compliment of nomination was, at his age, unprecedented outside the circle of the sovereign's kinsmen. On 17 Nov. 1595 he distinguished himself in the lists set up in the queen's presence in honour of the thirty-seventh anniversary of her accession, and was likened by George Peel, in his account of the scene in his 'Anglorum Feriæ,' to Bevis of Southampton, the ancient type of chivalry.

Literature was from early manhood a chief interest of Southampton's life, and before he was of age he achieved wide reputation as a patron of the poets. From the hour that, as a handsome and accomplished lad, he joined the court and made London his chief home, authors acknowledged his appreciation of literary effort of almost every quality and form. His great wealth was freely dispensed among his literary eulogists. In 1593 Barnabe Barnes appended a sonnet in his honour to his collection of sonnets called 'Parthenophil and Parthenophe;' in 1591 Thomas Nash described him, when dedicating to him his romance of 'Jack Wilton,' ['The Unfortunate Traveller'] as 'a dear lover and cherisher as well of the lovers of poets as of the poets themselves.' For him Nash seems to have penned at the same time a lascivious poem entitled 'The Choosing of Valentines,' which opens and closes with a sonnet to 'Lord S[outhampton].' In 1595 Gervase Markham inscribed to him in a sonnet his patriotic poem on Sir Richard Grenville's fight on the Azores. In 1598 Florio associated with his name his great Italian-English dictionary, 'A Worlde of Wordes.'

But the chief of Southampton's poetic clients was Shakespeare. In April 1593 Shakespeare dedicated to Southampton his poem 'Venus and Adonis;' there Shakespeare's language merely suggests the ordinary relations subsisting between a Mæcenas and a poetic aspirant to his favourable notice. In May 1594 Shakespeare again greeted Southampton as his patron, dedicating to him his second narrative poem 'Lucrece.' In his second dedicatory epistle to the earl Shakespeare used the language of devoted friendship; although such language was common at the time in communication between patrons and poets, Shakespeare's employment of it is emphatic enough to suggest that his intimacy with Southampton had become very close since he dedicated 'Venus and Adonis' to him in more formal language a year before.

Evidence of Southampton's love for the Elizabethan drama is abundant, and there is a very substantial corroboration of Southampton's regard for Shakespeare, which the dedications of the two narrative poems attest, in the statement made by Nicholas Rowe, Shakespeare's first adequate biographer, on the competent authority of Sir William D'Avenant. This statement runs thus: 'There is one instance so singular in its magnificence of this patron of Shakespeare's [i.e. the Earl of Southampton], that if I had not been assured that the story was handed down by Sir William D'Avenant, who was probably very well acquainted with his affairs, I should not venture to have inserted; that my lord Southampton at one time gave him a thousand pounds to enable him to go through with a purchase which he heard he had a mind to. A bounty very great and very rare at any time.'

Southampton is the only patron of Shakespeare who is positively known to biographers of the dramatist. There is therefore strong external presumption in favour of Southampton's identification with the anonymous friend and patron whom the poet describes in his sonnets as the sole object of his poetic adulation. The theory that the majority of Shakespeare's sonnets were addressed to Southampton is powerfully supported by internal evidence. Several of the sonnets which are avowedly addressed to the patron of the writer's poetry embody language almost identical with that employed by Shakespeare in the dedicatory epistle of 'Lucrece.' Elsewhere Shakespeare complains that his own predominant place in his patron's esteem is threatened by the favour bestowed by the patron on rival poets. In 1594, when most of Shakespeare's sonnets were probably written, Southampton was the centre of attraction among poetic aspirants. No other patron's favour was at the moment more persistently sought by newcomers in the literary field. There is a possibility that Shakespeare saw his chief rival in Barnabe Barnes, a youthful protégé of the earl; Barnes, in one of his sonnets, had eulogised Southampton's virtues and inspiring eyes in language which phrases in Shakespeare's sonnets seem to reflect. In other sonnets in which Shakespeare avows love in the Elizabethan sense of friendship for a handsome youth of wealth and rank, there are many hints of Southampton's known character and career. The opening sequence of seventeen sonnets, in which a youth of rank and wealth is admonished to marry and beget a son so that 'his fair house' may not fall into decay, can only have been addressed to a young peer like Southampton, who was as yet unmarried, had vast possessions, and was the sole male representative of his family.

Portrait of Henry Wriothesley, aged around 20. Southampton doubtless inspired Shakespeare with genuine personal affection, but it was in perfect accord with the forms of address that were customary in the intercourse of poets with patrons for Shakespeare to describe his relations with his Mæcenas in the language of an overmastering passion. Some exaggeration was imperative among Elizabethan sonnetteers in depicting the personal attractions of a patron. But the extant portraits of Southampton confirm the 'fair' aspect with which the sonnet's hero is credited. Shakespeare's frequent references in his sonnets to his youthful patron's 'painted counterfeit' (sonnets 16, 24, 47, 67) were doubtless suggested by the frequency with which Southampton sat for his portrait. Sonnet 68 has an allusion to the youth's 'golden tresses,' and Southampton is known to have attracted special attention at court by his vanity in wearing his auburn hair so long as to fall below his shoulders. The lascivious temper with which Shakespeare credits his hero, and the patron's intrigue with the poet's mistress which the sonnets indicate, are in full agreement with what is known of Southampton's youthful amours.

The extreme youth with which the hero of the sonnets is at times credited presents no difficulty. Southampton, who was twenty-one in 1594, was generally judged to be young for his years, while serious-minded Shakespeare at the age of thirty — on the threshold of middle age — naturally tended to exaggerate the difference between his boyish patron's age and his own (Elizabethan sonnetteers, moreover, habitually respected Petrarch's convention of speaking of themselves as far advanced in years). Sonnet 107, which seems to refer to the death of Queen Elizabeth and the accession of James I, may be regarded as a congratulatory greeting from Shakespeare on Southampton's release from prison, and is doubtless the last of the series.

(Shakespeare's sonnets were not published till 1609, although they had been circulated earlier in manuscript. The printed volume was the surreptitious venture of a disreputable and half-educated publisher, Thomas Thorpe, who knew nothing of the sonnets' true history, and dedicated the book to a friend in the trade, who was a partner in the transaction of the publication. Thorpe, in the Pistol-like language that he invariably affected in such dedicatory greetings as are extant from his eccentric pen, adapted to his humor some purposes the common dedicatory formula (which 'wisheth' a patron 'all happiness'and 'eternity '), and puzzled future students by bombastically dubbing the friend 'Mr. W. H.,' who procured for him the unauthorised 'copy' of the sonnets, 'the only begetter of these ensuing sonnets;' Thorpe employed 'begetter' in the sense of 'procurer,' in accordance with a not unfamiliar Elizabethan usage. The laws of Elizabethan bibliography render it irrational to seek in Thorpe's dedicatory bombast for a clue to the persons commemorated by Shakespeare in the text of his sonnets.

At the time that Shakespeare was penning his eulogies in 1594 Southampton, although just of age, was still unmarried. When he was seventeen Burghley had suggested a union between him and his granddaughter Lady Elizabeth Vere, daughter of the Earl of Oxford. The Countess of Southampton approved the match, but Southampton declined to entertain it. By some observers at court he was regarded as too fantastic and volatile to marry at all. In 1596 he involved himself in an intrigue with one of the queen's waiting women, Elizabeth, daughter of John Vernon of Hodnet in Shropshire, and a first cousin of the Earl of Essex. The amour was deemed injurious to his reputation.

In 1596 he withdrew from court and played apart as a volunteer with his friend Essex in the military and naval expedition to Cadiz. Next year he again accompanied Essex on the expedition to the Azores. These experiences developed in him a martial ardour which improved his position, but on his return to court in January 1598 he gave new proof of his impetuous temper. One evening in that month Ralegh with Southampton and a courtier named Parker were playing at primero in the presence chamber, but when Ambrose Willoughby, an esquire of the body, requested them to desist on the queen's withdrawal to her bedchamber, Southampton struck Willoughby, and during the scuffle that ensued 'the esquire pulled off some of the earl's locks.' Next morning the queen thanked Willoughby for what he did.1 Later, in 1598, Southampton accepted a subordinate place in the suite of the queen's secretary, Sir Robert Cecil, who was going on an embassy to Paris. Before leaving London he entertained his new chief with a dramatic entertainment. While in Paris he learned that his mistress, Elizabeth Vernon, was about to become a mother, and, hurrying home, he secretly made her his wife during the few days he remained in England. When the news reached the queen she was full of anger and issued orders for the arrest of both the bride and bridegroom. 'The new-coined countess' was at first dismissed with much contumely from her place at court and then committed to 'the best-appointed lodging in the Fleet.'2 A few weeks later Southampton, on his return from France, was carried to the same prison. Although he was soon released from gaol, all avenues of the queen's favour were thenceforth closed to him.

Early in 1599 he sought employment in the wars in Ireland, and accompanied thither his friend Essex, who had been appointed lord-deputy. Essex nominated Southampton general of his horse, but Elizabeth refused to confirm the appointment, and Essex, after much resistance, was obliged to cancel it in July. In the autumn of 1599 Southampton was idling in London with his friend, Lord Rutland. His love of the drama was his only resource. He avoided the court, and 'passed away the time merely in going to plays every day .'3 As soon as Essex was committed to custody on his return to England from Ireland in October 1599, Southampton was in frequent communication with him, and was gradually drawn into the conspiracy whereby Essex and his friends designed to regain by violence their influence at court. In July 1600 Southampton revisited Ireland, in order to persuade the new deputy, Lord Mountjoy, to return to Wales with an army that might be used to serve Essex's interests, but Mountjoy proved unconciliatory.

Portrait of Henry Wriothesley in the Tower of London, around 1601. As soon as Essex regained his liberty in August, he and his associates often met at Southampton's house to devise a scheme of rebellion. On Thursday, 5 Feb. 1600-1, Southampton sent a message and forty shillings to the players at the Globe Theatre, bidding them revive for the following Saturday Shakespeare's play of 'Richard II' so as to excite the London public by presenting on the stage the deposition of a king. The performance duly took place. Next morning, Sunday, 8 Feb., there followed the outbreak which Essex and Southampton had organised to remove their enemies from the court. The rising failed completely. Southampton was arrested and sent to the Tower, and on 19 Feb. was brought with Essex to trial on a capital charge of treason before a special commission of twenty-five peers and nine judges sitting in Westminster Hall. Southampton declared in the course of the trial that the queen's secretary, Sir Robert Cecil, had told him that the Spanish infanta was Elizabeth's rightful successor. Cecil hotly denied the damaging allegation. Both defendants were convicted and condemned to death. Cecil interested himself in securing a commutation of Southampton's sentence. He pleaded that 'the poor young earl, merely for the love of Essex, had been drawn into this action,' and his punishment was commuted to imprisonment for life. Further mitigation was not to be looked for while the queen lived. Essex sent Southampton a pathetic letter of farewell before his execution on 25 Feb.

Essex had been James's sworn ally, and the king's first act on his accession to the crown of England was to set Southampton free (10 April 1603). After a confinement of more than two years, Southampton thus resumed, under happier auspices, his place at court. Popular sympathy ran high in his favour. Samuel Daniel and John Davies of Hereford offered him congratulations on his release in verse, Bacon addressed him a prose epistle of welcome, and Shakespeare's Sonnet 107 may well be associated with the general joy.

As soon as Southampton was at liberty, he was given high honours. On 2 July 1603 he was created K.G. Five days later he was appointed captain of the Isle of Wight and Carisbrooke Castle, as well as steward, surveyor, receiver, and bailiff of the royal manors in the island. He was recreated Earl of Southampton (21 July 1603), and on 18 April 1604 was fully restored in blood by act of parliament. On 10 Dec. 1603 he became keeper of the king's game in the divisions of Andover, Sawley, and Kingsclere, Hampshire. He was made lord lieutenant of Hampshire, jointly with the Earl of Devonshire, on 10 April 1604, and commissioner for the union with England on 10 May. The new queen [Anne of Denmark] showed him special favour. In 1603 he entertained her at Southampton House, and engaged Burbage and his company of actors, of whom Shakespeare was one, to act 'Love's Labour's Lost' in her presence. On 10 Oct. he was made her master of the game. He joined her council on 9 Aug. 1604, and when acting as steward at the magnificent entertainment given at Whitehall on 19 Aug. 1604 in honour of the signing of a treaty of peace with Spain, he twice danced a coranto with the queen.

But Southampton's impetuosity had not diminished. In July 1603, when the queen expressed astonishment, in the course of conversation with him in the presence chamber, 'that so many great men did so little for themselves' on the fatal day of Essex's rebellion, Southampton replied that they were paralysed by the course skilfully taken by their opponents to make their attempt appear to be a treasonable attack on Queen Elizabeth's person. But for that false colour given to our action, none of those, said he, with whom our quarrel really was, 'durst have opposed us.' Lord Grey, an enemy of Essex, with whom Southampton had quarrelled in Ireland, was standing by, and, imagining himself aimed at, fiercely retorted at the word 'durst' that the daring of the adversaries of Essex was not inferior to that of his friends. Southampton gave his interlocutor the lie direct, and was soon afterwards ordered to the Tower for his infringement of the peace of the palace.

Although he did not forfeit the good opinion of the king and queen, James I's chief minister, Lord Salisbury, who knew him of old, distrusted him, and his efforts to obtain something beyond ornamental offices were unsuccessful. He therefore devoted his ample leisure and wealth to organising colonial enterprise. He helped to equip Weymouth's expedition to Virginia in 1606, and became a member of the Virginia Company's council in 1609. He was admitted a member of the East India Company in the same year. In April 1610 he helped to despatch Henry Hudson to seek the Northwest Passage, and was an incorporator both of the North-west Passage Company in 1612, and of the Somers Island Company in 1616. He was chosen treasurer of the Virginia Company on 28 June 1620, and retained office till the company's charter was declared void on 16 June 1624. The papers of the company, which are now in the Congress Library at Washington, were entrusted to his keeping, and they are said to have been purchased by a Virginian settler, William Byrd, of Southampton's son. The map of New England commemorates Southampton's labours as a colonial pioneer. In his honour were named Southampton Hundred (17 Nov. 1620), Hampton River, and Hampton Road in Virginia, while Southampton 'tribe' in the Somers' Island was also called after him.

Meanwhile some of Southampton's superfluous energy continued to find an outlet in court brawls. In April 1610 he had a quarrel with the Earl of Montgomery; 'they fell out at tennis, where the rackets flew about their ears; but the matter was compounded by the king without further bloodshed.'4 At Prince Henry's creation as Prince of Wales on 4 June 1610 he acted as the prince's carver.5 Still faithful to Essex's memory, he came to London in 1612 especially to support the candidature of Sir Henry Neville, Essex's old friend, for the secretaryship to the king. In May next year, at the opening of the dispute between the young Earl of Essex and his wife, Southampton represented the young earl, together with Lord Knollys, at a meeting with the countess's representatives at Whitehall, but no settlement was possible.

Although Southampton had been brought up by his parents as a catholic, his sympathies gradually inclined to protestantism. His colleague in the work of colonial organisation, Sir Edwin Sandys, claimed to have finally converted him. In the continental troubles which centred round the elector palatine and the electress (James I's daughter) Southampton gave unhesitating support to the champions of protestantism, and became a powerful advocate of active intervention on the part of the English government to protect the German protestants from the threatened attack of the catholic emperor. In 1614 he went out as a volunteer to engage in the war in Cleves; Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, accompanied him.6 In May 1617 he proposed to fit out an expedition of twelve thousand men to capture the Barbary pirates who plundered the ships of English merchants in the Mediterranean. The merchants desired Southampton to take command of the expedition. Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, strongly opposed the scheme; he ridiculed it as designed to further Southampton's ambition of becoming lord high admiral of England. As far as Southampton was concerned the scheme fell through. Later in the year (1617) he accompanied James I on a long visit to Scotland. After his return the king acknowledged his attentions on the journey by nominating him a privy councillor. He was sworn on 19 April 1619.

Portrait of Henry Wriothesley, around 1618? After Daniel Mytens. NPG. Thereupon Southampton played a more prominent part in home politics. He joined the party in the council that was opposed to the favourite, Buckingham, and characteristic quarrels between him and Buckingham were frequent. In March 1621 Southampton checked Buckingham on a point of order when he attempted to address a committee of the two houses without having been appointed a member of it.7 A fight nearly followed in the House of Lords. In opposition to Buckingham, Southampton relentlessly pressed the charges against Bacon. On 20 March 1621 he moved that a very curt answer be sent to Bacon's appeal for delay. On 3 May he strongly supported Lord Say's proposal to degrade Bacon from the peerage, and asserted that he ought to be banished. A few days later he strongly opposed the government in their resolution to condemn Sir Henry Yelverton unheard. In the same month Southampton invited members of both houses to meet at his house in Holborn and concert measures against the favourite. He was at any rate resolved to open direct negotiations with the elector palatine and Princess Elizabeth, whose misfortunes the king and Buckingham seemed resolved to ignore. On 16 June Southampton was arrested as he left the council board, and was confined in the house of John Williams, the lord-keeper and dean of Westminster, on the charge of mischievous intrigues with members of the Commons. He was released a month later, twelve days after the adjournment of parliament, and was ordered to repair to his own seat of Titchfield in the custody of Sir William Parkhurst. Thence he addressed to Williams, with whom his relations were cordial, a letter proudly submitting himself to the king's will.8 He was relieved of restraint on 1 Sept.9

Southampton was in no mood to curry favour with Buckingham, and the quarrel was never healed. When in July 1623 the privy councillors took an oath to support the Spanish marriage treaty, Southampton was one of six who absented themselves. He and Edward lord Zouche were the only absentees who offered no excuse for their absence. During the session of parliament (February-May 1624) he was especially active, sitting on committees to consider the defence of Ireland, for stopping the exportation of money, and for rendering firearms more serviceable. He also devoted much energy to championing the imperilled interests of the Virginia Company, to which the Spanish ambassador was resolutely hostile, but was unable to prevent the withdrawal of the company's charter in June 1624. He was present at the prorogation of parliament on 29 May. Six weeks later Southampton left England not to return alive.

In the summer a defensive treaty of alliance against the emperor was signed with the United States of the Netherlands, by one article of which the States were permitted to raise in England a body of six thousand men. This was promptly done, and Southampton with his elder son, James, lord Wriothesley, took command of a troop of English volunteers. Father and son, on landing in the Low Countries, were both attacked by fever. The younger man succumbed at once at Rosendael. The earl regained sufficient strength to accompany his son's body to Bergen-op-Zoom, but there, on 10 Nov. 1624, he himself died 'of a lethargy.' Father and son were buried in the chancel of the church of Titchfield, Hampshire, on 28 Dec.

Williams, a few days before, wrote to Buckingham begging 'his grace and goodness towards the most distressed widow and children of my Lord Southampton.'10 Besides James, who died in Holland. Southampton left a second son, Thomas Wriothesley, who succeeded to his estates, and three daughters: Penelope, who married William, second baron Spencer, of Wormleighton; Anne, who married Robert Wallop, of Farleigh in Hampshire; and Elizabeth, who married Sir Thomas Estcourt, a master in chancery.

Southampton never ceased to cherish the passion for books which was implanted in him in boyhood, and had brought him the personal intimacy of Shakespeare. Towards the end of his life he presented a collection of books and illuminated manuscripts to the value of £300 to furnish a new library which was being built at St. John's College, Cambridge.11 Until his death he continued to be the subject of much literary eulogy. Henry Locke (or Lok), George Chapman, Joshua Sylvester, Richard Brathwaite, George Wither, and others wrote poems in his honour during his middle age. Minsheu was in 1617 among the scholars who were recipients of his bounty. The combination in him of a love of literature and military ambition was especially emphasised in his lifetime in Camden's 'Britannia' and in 'The Mirrour of Majestie,' by H. G., 1618. Sir John Beaumont, on his death, wrote an elegy which panegyrises him in the varied capacities of warrior, councillor, father, and husband, but chiefly as a literary patron. 'To the same effect are some twenty poems which were published in 1624, just after Southampton's death, in a volume edited by his chaplain, William Jones, entitled 'Teares of the Isle of Wight, Shed on the Tombe of their most noble, valorous, and loving Captaine and Governor the right honorable Henrie, Earl of Southampton;' this was reprinted by Malone in the 'Variorum Shakespeare," 1821, xx. 450 seq.

1. Sydney Papers, Arthur Collins ed., 1746, ii. 83.
2. Chamberlain to Carleton.
3. Sidney Papers, ii. 132.
4. Sir Ralph Winwood, Memorials of Affairs of State, iii. 164.
5. ib. iii. 180.
6. cf. Herbert's Autobiography, ed. Sidney Lee, 1892, p. 146.
7. cf. Parliamentary Hist. v. 371.
8. Harleian MS. 7000, p. 46.
9. Cabala, 1663, pp. 283, 285, 359.
10. Cabala, p. 299.
. 11. Mayor, History of St. John's College, Cambridge.


Lee, Sidney. "Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton."
The Dictionary of National Biography. Vol XXI. Sidney Lee, Ed.
New York: The Macmillan Co., 1909. 1055-1061.

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King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
James IV, King of Scotland
The Battle of Flodden Field, 1513
James V, King of Scotland
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland

Mary Tudor, Queen of France
Louis XII, King of France
Francis I, King of France
The Battle of the Spurs, 1513
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Eustace Chapuys, Imperial Ambassador
The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex
Thomas, Lord Audley
Thomas Wriothesley, E. Southampton
Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
John Russell, Earl of Bedford
Thomas Grey, 2. Marquis of Dorset
Henry Grey, D. of Suffolk
Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
Henry Neville, 5. E. Westmorland
William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
Sir Nicholas Carew
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford
Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Henry Pole, Lord Montague
Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Bourchier, 2. Earl of Essex
Robert Radcliffe, 1. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 2. Earl of Sussex
George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
George Neville, Baron Bergavenny
Sir Edward Neville
William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
Nicholas Wotton
John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
John Aylmer, Bishop of London
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Archbishop William Warham
Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham
Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
Pope Leo X
Pope Clement VII
Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
Children's Companies
The Admiral's Men
The Lord Chamberlain's Men
Citizen Comedy
The Isle of Dogs, 1597

Common Law
Court of Common Pleas
Court of King's Bench
Court of Star Chamber
Council of the North
Fleet Prison
First Fruits & Tenths
Livery and Maintenance
Oyer and terminer

The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster


Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
London in late 16th century
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's View of London, 1616
Larger Visscher's View in Sections
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London

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