Elizabeth Hardwick (‘Bess of Hardwick’), Countess of Shrewsbury (1520-1608)

follower of Hans Eworth (Antwerp c.1525 – ?London after 1578)
National Trust Inventory Number 1129165

Category Art / Oil paintings
Date circa 1560 - 1569
Materials Oil on panel
Measurements 876 x 667 mm (34 ½ x 26 ¼ in)
Place of origin
Collection Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (Accredited Museum)
On show at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, Midlands, National Trust

Summary description

Oil painting on panel, Elizabeth Hardwick (‘Bess of Hardwick’), Countess of Shrewsbury (1520-1608), follower of Hans Eworth (Antwerp c.1525 – ?London after 1578). Inscribed above shoulder, centre left (a later false addition): MARIA REGINA. A three-quarter-length portrait of Bess, previously called Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox and even identified as Mary I, turned slightl to the right, wearing black dress lined with white fur split with aglets, and with white fur collar, embroidered red and white sleeves and red hat decorated with pearls, her hands clasped in front with gloves; ginger hair.


In inventory of the contents of Hardwick Hall made in 1601 and attached to the will of Elizabeth Hardwick,Countess of Shrewsbury (c.1520-1608); in Edward Swift, 1811, Picture Gallery as '3/4 of Queen Mary; and thence by descent until, following the death of Edward William Spencer Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire (1895 - 1950), Hardwick Hall and its contents were accepted by HM Treasury in part payment of death duties and transferred to the National Trust, in 1959

Credit line

Hardwick Hall, The Devonshire Collection (acquired through the National Land Fund and transferred to The National Trust in 1959)

Marks and inscriptions

above shoulder at left MARIA REGINA

Makers and roles

follower of Hans Eworth (Antwerp c.1525 – ?London after 1578), artist


Strong 1969 Roy Strong, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London 1969 [2 vols], pp. 287-8
Ashleford 1996 Jane Ashleford, The Art of Dress: Clothes and Society 1500-1914, London, 1996, pp. 24-5
Durant 1999 David Norton Durant, Bess of Hardwick. London, Peter Owen, 1999
Levey and Thornton, 2001: Santina Levey and Peter Thornton (eds.), Of Household Stuff: The 1601 Inventories of Bess of Hardwick, London 2001, pp. 52-3
Elizabeth I and Her People, National Portrait Gallery, London, 10 October 2013 - 5th January 2014 , 28

Related items

Place of origin
Materials Oil paint (8601)
Pine (5014)
Wood (128433)
Category Art / Oil paintings (12632)
Collection Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (Accredited Museum) (6110)
Periods 16th century (6315)
Maker Hans Eworth (Antwerp c.1525 – ?London after 1578) (31)
Subjects Elizabeth Hardwick (‘Bess of Hardwick’), Countess of Shrewsbury (c.1520-1608) (5)
Object Type Oil painting (14421)

Record Status


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