COMING HOME: Anne, Countess of Pembroke (Lady Anne Clifford)
Past national programme archive
22 March - 22 June 2019
Abbot Hall, Kendal
Anne, Countess of Pembroke (Lady Anne Clifford)
by William Larkin
Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676), Countess of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery, was the only surviving child of George Clifford, third earl of Cumberland (1558–1605). She became famous for her long legal battle over what she believed to be her rightful inheritance: extensive properties in Westmorland and Yorkshire, which her father had left to his brother. She spent nearly five decades campaigning to have it returned to her. Lady Anne finally came into her inheritance in her fifties, and spent the final decades of her life restoring and rebuilding the castles and churches on her properties and entertaining her friends and family.
Lady Anne commissioned a substantial number of works of her family, including portraits of herself. In 1619 she wrote in her diary: ‘I sent my Coz. Hall of Gletford a Letter and my Picture with it which Larkin drew this summer at Knole’. It probably refers to this painting by William Larkin (c.1680 – 1619), widely considered as one of the most accomplished portrait artists of the period.