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Sir Henry Lee (1533-1611), Master of the Ordnance
Sitter in 5 portraits
A favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, Lee was the originator of the annual Accession Day Tilts on 17 November; chivalric events in honour of the Queen, and the most important Elizabethan court festival from at least 1581. He was the first person to hold the office of Queen's Champion, which he resigned in 1590. Lee later patronised the artist Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger to paint the 'Ditchley portrait' of Elizabeth I. His epitaph records him as a man who served 'five succeeding princes, and kept himself right and steady in the many dangerous shocks and utter turns of state'.