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William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (1520 or 1521-1598), Lord High Treasurer

Sitter associated with 46 portraits
William Cecil served both Edward VI and Mary I but exercised most power when chief minister to their sister Elizabeth I. When she ascended to the throne, Elizabeth's first appointment was to make Cecil her principal secretary of state, making him the youngest member of her council. Throughout his life he was the queen's most influential minister, tempering her actions with cautious but decisive advice. As a result, the Queen nicknamed Cecil her 'Spirit'. He was created Baron Burghley in 1571, and was Lord High Treasurer and Chief Minister from 1572. The only serious threat to his influence came from Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, whose great dislike he returned.

List Thumbnail

D25118

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

after Unknown artist
stipple engraving, possibly early 19th century
NPG D25118

D17108

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

by Henry Bone, after John De Critz the Elder, or after Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger
pencil drawing squared in ink for transfer, December 1811
NPG D17108

D17134

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

by Henry Bone, after Unknown artist
pencil drawing squared in ink for transfer, February 1816
NPG D17134

D32416

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

by John Samuel Agar, after William Hilton, after Unknown artist
stipple engraving, published 1818
NPG D32416

D42896

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton
line engraving, published 1738
NPG D42896

D19920

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1738
NPG D19920

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