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Sir William Petre

1 portrait of Sir William Petre

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir William Petre

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, 1567
36 3/8 in. x 28 in. (924 mm x 711 mm)
Purchased, 1952
Primary Collection
NPG 3816

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Petre acquired the lease of the monastic lands at Montacute after the dissolution of the priory there in 1539. He sub-let to the Phelips family who built the present house at the end of the sixteenth century. The piece of paper which is depicted in this portrait of Petre as if attached to the wall is known as a 'cartellino'. It states that Petre was Secretary of State to Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. This form of cartellino was added to paintings in the collection of John, Lord Lumley and is not original to the portrait.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 11
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 490
  • Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 246

Events of 1567back to top

Current affairs

Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley is murdered at Kirk O'Field, Edinburgh with the Earl of Bothwell implicated. Bothwell abducts and imprisons Mary Queen of Scots at Dunbar Castle and marry less than a month later. Protestant lords rise up. Bothwell flees the country and Mary is captured and imprisoned for conspiring in Darnley's murder.
Mary abdicates and her one-year old son is proclaimed King James VI of Scotland, with James Stuart, Earl of Moray as regent.

Art and science

The scholar William Salesbury and Richard Davies, Bishop of St David's translate the New Testament and the Book of Common Prayer into Welsh.


Fernando, Duke of Alva arrives in the Netherlands with 10,000 troops. Ruling as military governor under Philip II of Spain, Alva initiates a reign of terror in an attempt to eradicate Protestantism.
The Conspiracy of Meaux opens the Second War of Religion in France. Huguenot (French Protestant) forces attempt to capture Charles IX of France. The King flees to Paris and the Huguenot leader, Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé lays siege to the city.

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