Unknown woman engraved as Catherine Howard

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Unknown woman engraved as Catherine Howard

by Cornelis Martinus Vermeulen, after Adriaen van der Werff
line engraving, late 17th century
12 5/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. (322 mm x 188 mm) plate size; 15 3/8 in. x 8 1/2 in. (391 mm x 217 mm) paper size
Given by the daughter of compiler William Fleming MD, Mary Elizabeth Stopford (née Fleming), 1931
Reference Collection
NPG D24185

Sitterback to top

  • Catherine Howard (circa 1518-1542), Fifth Queen Consort of Henry VIII. Sitter associated with 12 portraits.

Artistsback to top

  • Adriaen van der Werff (1659-1722), Painter, draughtsman, mezzotint engraver and architect. Artist or producer associated with 89 portraits.
  • Cornelis Martinus Vermeulen (circa 1644-circa 1708), Engraver. Artist or producer associated with 18 portraits.

Events of 1670back to top

Current affairs

Charles II mistress, Barbara Villiers, is created Duchess of Cleveland and granted Nonsuch Palace including its sizeable grounds.
Actress and royal mistress, Nell Gwyn, gives birth to Charles II's son, Charles, who would later become, Duke of St. Albans.

Art and science

Tragicomedy, The Forc'd Marriage, by Aphra Behn, staged by the Duke's Company, starts Behn's career as a professional writer. The writer may have been a royalist spy towards the end of the interregnum.
Poet laureate, John Dryden, is made historiographer royal, a post he would hold for nearly 20 years.


Terms of a secret treaty between Charles II and Louis XIV are brought by Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans during a visit to Dover; upon England supplying the majority of military power for a war against Holland and Charles's official conversion to Catholicism, France would assist financially.

Comments back to top

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Jane Haylay

30 October 2021, 14:39

It is not an unknown woman. If you look closely at the gable hood, it is clear this is a copy of the now-lost portrait of Mary I made in the 1530s. (Of which Holbein's sketch still exists. And other more recognizable copies.)
In this copy, the necklace has been altered(changed for another) and cloak added, and the face is not a good likeness but the hood and dress are a perfect fit, down to pattern of embroidery of frontlets.