ELIZABETH TALBOT, VISCOUNTESS LISLE, LADY ELEANOR BUTLER’S NIECE

Reblogged from A Medieval Potpourri sparkypus.com

 

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Possible portrait of Elizabeth Talbot, Viscountess Lisle c1468 Petrus Christus of Bruge Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.  Note the gleam of the pearls, the pattern of the brocade gown and the little gold pin used for pinning the fine lawn partlet onto the bodice.  How delicious!

Could this charming portrait  be of Elizabeth Talbot, Viscountess Lisle –  Lady Eleanor Butler/Boteler nee Talbot’s niece –  as  suggested by the late historian John Ashdown-Hill?  Elizabeth was born about 1451 and would have been around 16 when she sat for this portrait if this is indeed her.  John,  a historian who delved deep,  based his suggestion upon the  fact that there was once an inscription on the now lost original frame identifying the sitter as a member of the Talbot family.  This is also been confirmed by a letter dated 1824 written by Gustav Waagen,  Director of the Berlin Museums who gave his interpretation of a lost Latin inscription identifying  the sitter as “a niece of the famous Talbots” (eine Nichte des berühmten Talbots).   It is known that Elizabeth Mowbray, nee Talbot, Duchess of Norfolk,  took some of the Talbot family children with her when she travelled to Flanders for the marriage of Margaret of York to Charles the Bold in 1468. 

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Close up of the effigy.  Photo Kate Keens

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There are clearly similarities between the portrait and effigy.   Effigy photo from John Ashdown-Hill’s book Eleanor the Secret Queen.

It’s interesting to compare the portrait with Elizabeth’s monument in St Mary’s Church, Astley,  where she was buried with her husband Edward Grey who was created Viscount Lisle by Richard III in 1483.  This is where it gets interesting because Edward Grey was the brother of Sir John Grey,  first husband of Elizabeth Wydeville,  bigamous wife to Edward IV.   As our Elizabeth was the niece of Lady Eleanor Butler (Elizabeth Wydeville’s very own personal nemesis) who was true wife of Edward IV, things get very intertwiney. 

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