Bess of Hardwick (1521-1608)

Bess of Hardwick (c. 1580), 1521-1608. Bess of Hardwick (c. 1580), 1521-1608.

Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, is more generally known as Bess of Hardwick. She is famous for her textiles and needlework, some of which she made herself. Her textiles include embroidered bed hangings, bedcovers, chair upholsteries, pillow covers, table covers and wall hangings.

In 1601, Bess of Hardwick ordered an inventory of her household furnishings, including the textiles, in her three properties at Chatsworth, Chelsea and Hardwick. The inventory still survives. In her will she bequeathed all of the inventory items to her heirs to be preserved in perpetuity.

The still extant, 400-year old collection is the largest assembly of sixteenth and seventeenth century embroidery, laces, tapestry and more, to have been preserved by a single, private family in England. The textiles are housed at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (England). The collection is known as the Hardwick Hall textiles.

See also: portrait of Bess of Hardwick; Tobit table carpet

Source: LEVEY, Santina (1998). An Elizabethan Inheritance: The Hardwick Hall Textiles, London: The National Trust.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 30 May 2016)


Last modified on Friday, 01 July 2016 16:55

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