The Lost Prince: New Scholarship on Henry, Prince of Wales (1594 – 1612)

2 November 2012, 10:00-18:00

Tickets: £30/£25 Book online or call 020 7306 0055

Henry, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of James VI of Scotland and I of England, is today a largely forgotten figure. His death at the age of eighteen made way for his younger brother Prince Charles eventually to become King Charles I.

In his short lifetime the would-be King Henry IX was not only the focus of great political hope for the future, but also the hub of much of the cultural activity at the Jacobean court. At a time when the combined kingdoms of England and Scotland were looking increasingly towards the courts of continental Europe for models of artistic patronage, the court culture that developed around Henry promised to rival those of his great European contemporaries. A precocious patron and collector himself, Prince Henry was also the inspiration for and subject of significant works in a variety of media, both in life and in death.

In the context of the first ever exhibition about Prince Henry, this conference will consider aspects of his patronage, its relationship with the wider cultural context in England and abroad, and the way in which Henry’s own image was shaped and used during his lifetime and posthumously.

Speakers include:

  • John Peacock, University of Southampton, on designs for Henry's imperial masques
  • Karen Hearn, curator, on the art patronage of the Harington family
  • Rab MacGibbon, Associate Curator National Portrait Gallery, on the printmaker William Hole
  • Dr Luke Morgan, Monash University, on garden designs for Prince Henry
  • Professor Tim Wilks, Southampton Solent University, on English cabinet collections
  • Dr Michael Ullyot, University of Calgary, on Henry's cautionary example in elegies and sermons
  • Dr Catriona Murray, University of Edinburgh, on the development of Henry’s posthumous persona

The day will finish with a drinks reception and performance of mourning songs for Prince Henry written by Giovanni Coprario, and performed by tenor Matthew Long and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny.

Conference ticket includes entry to the exhibition and drinks reception.

    The Hearse of Henry, Prince of Wales by William Hole, 1612  The British Museum Photo: © The Trustees of the British Museum

The Hearse of Henry, Prince of Wales
by William Hole, 1612
The British Museum Photo: © The Trustees of the British Museum

The Lost Prince: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart Exhibition Conference
Supported by


Conference Programme

10.00-10.30 Registration at the Ondaatje Wing Theatre and refreshments

10.30-10.45 Welcome and introduction
Catharine MacLeod, 17th Century Curator, National Portrait Gallery

Session 1
Chair: Dr Michael Ullyot, Assistant Professor of English, University of Calgary


10.45–11.15 'Worthiest Prince': designs for Henry's imperial masques (and their Carolineafterlives John Peacock, Visiting Fellow, University of Southampton

11.15–11.45 ‘Being the right eye of the Prince of Wales …’: the art patronage and collecting of John Harington (1592-1614) and his family 
Karen Hearn, Honorary Professor, University College London

11.45–12.15 William Hole: an engraver and the court of Prince Henry
Rab MacGibbon, Associate Curator, National Portrait Gallery

12.15–12.30 Additional questions

12.30–14.00 Lunch (not included) and opportunity to visit the exhibition

Session 2
Chair: Professor Malcolm Smuts, Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Boston


14.00–14.30 Richmond revisited: de' Servi, de Caus and Renaissance garden design
Dr Luke Morgan, Senior Lecturer in Theory of Art, Monash University

14.30–15.00 'Elegant and curious antiquities': the cabinet of Henry, Prince of Wales
Professor Tim Wilks, Professor of Cultural History, Southampton Solent University

15.00–15.30 Refreshments in Bookshop Gallery, Level -3

15.30–16.00 Mirror of princes: Henry's cautionary example in elegies and sermons
Dr Michael Ullyot, Assistant Professor of English, University of Calgary

16.00–16.30 Re-presenting the prince: the development of Henry’s posthumous persona in word and image
Catriona Murray, Undergraduate Tutor, University of Edinburgh

16.30–16.45 Additional questions

16.45–17.15 Round table
Chair: Professor Tim Wilks
All participants: Avenues for future scholarship

17.15–18.15 A performance of mourning songs for Prince Henry by Giovanni Coprario, performed by Matthew Long (tenor) and Elizabeth Kenny (lute)
Room 5, Level 2

18.15–20.50 The Gallery is open late tonight so you have the opportunity to re-visit the exhibition or have a drink at the pop-up bar in the Main Hall.

Download Conference Programme
Download Speakers Biographies and Abstracts

a performance of mourning songs for Prince Henry by Giovanni Coprario, performed by Matthew Long