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Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

(1561-1621), Writer and literary patron

Sitter associated with 11 portraits
A writer, Mary Herbert was the sister of Sir Philip Sidney and his literary collaborator. Following his early death she became a noted supporter of the writers to whom he had acted as patron. Mary would eventually complete Sidney's paraphrasing of the Psalms and oversee the publication of his poems, including The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia (1593 and 1598)which her brother had dedicated to her.

More on Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke: Tudor & Jacobean Portraits book in our Shops | Shakespeare and his contemporaries book in our Shops | Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver catalogue in our Shops

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Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, by Nicholas Hilliard - NPG 5994

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

by Nicholas Hilliard
watercolour on vellum, circa 1590
NPG 5994

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, by Simon de Passe, sold by  William Peake - NPG D27991

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

by Simon de Passe, sold by William Peake
line engraving, 1618
NPG D27991

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, by Simon de Passe, sold by  John Sudbury, sold by  George Humble - NPG D19186

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

by Simon de Passe, sold by John Sudbury, sold by George Humble
line engraving, circa 1618
NPG D19186

Unknown woman engraved as Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, after Unknown artist - NPG D27992

Unknown woman engraved as Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid to late 17th century
NPG D27992

Unknown woman, formerly known as Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, by William Thomas Fry, after  Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger - NPG D27990

Unknown woman, formerly known as Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

by William Thomas Fry, after Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger
stipple engraving, early 19th century
NPG D27990

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, by Burnet Reading, after  Simon de Passe - NPG D27993

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

by Burnet Reading, after Simon de Passe
line engraving, early 19th century
NPG D27993

Unknown woman, formerly known as Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, by James Tuck, after  Harding - NPG D28102

Unknown woman, formerly known as Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

by James Tuck, after Harding
line engraving, early 19th century
NPG D28102

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, by E. Bocquet, published by  John Scott - NPG D27989

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

by E. Bocquet, published by John Scott
stipple engraving, published 20 May 1806
NPG D27989

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, by E. Bocquet, published by  John Scott - NPG D3857

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

by E. Bocquet, published by John Scott
stipple engraving, published 20 May 1806
NPG D3857

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Steve May

04 March 2019, 03:26

Friends, Mary Sidney Herbert (d. 1621) is certainly pictured in that famous miniature, the lead portrait here. She was mother (not wife) of William, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, and Philip, who succeeded as fourth Earl. But William was married to a Mary, Mary Talbot, daughter of Gilbert, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury. William married her in 1604.
I'm suspicious that some of the portraits labeled 'Mary Sidney Herbert' are actually for 'Mary Talbot Herbert', but you're better able to decide that than I. If she's among the pictures, Mary Talbot was his wife, but Mary Sidney Herbert was his mother.

Dilly Ward Bundy MA / Art History

15 August 2017, 12:41

This page confuses Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (1561 – 1621) with Mary Talbot Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (c 1580 –1649). The images need sorting out and two pages created.

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