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.
Source: LEVEY, Santina (1998). An Elizabethan Inheritance: The Hardwick Hall Textiles, London: The National Trust.
Digital source of illustration (retrieved 30 May 2016)