A Miniature of Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire, née Cecil, by John Hoskins (1590-1665).

Oval, on vellum, in a rectangular dark-stained fruitwood veneer frame, 7.1cm. Signed and dated IH/1644.

Elizabeth Cecil (1619-1689) was born into the Salisbury branch of the Cecil family; a daughter of the 2nd Earl and Countess of Salisbury. In 1639 she married William, 3rd Earl of Devonshire (1617-1684).

She became a noted collector, an interest she shared with her husband. On her death, she willed the entire contents of her private suite of rooms at Chatsworth to her daughter Anne (1649-1703), wife of John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700).

It was an exceptional bequest, which added greatly to the collections at Burghley; the inventory listing it known as the 1690 Devonshire Schedule or Deed of Gift.


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