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Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

William Parr, later Marquess of Northampton (1513-1571)


Creator: Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543) (artist)
Creation Date: 
Materials and techniques: 
Black and coloured chalks, white bodycolour, pen and ink, and brush and ink on pale pink prepared paper
31.7 x 21.2 cm
RL 12231
P(H) 57
Acquirer: Edward VI, King of England (1537-53)
Edward VI, 1547; Henry FitzAlan, 12th Earl of Arundel; by whom bequeathed to John, Lord Lumley, 1580; by whom probably bequeathed to Henry, Prince of Wales, 1609, and thus inherited by Prince Charles (later Charles I), 1612; by whom exchanged with Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, 1627/8; by whom given to Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel; acquired by Charles II by 1675

A portrait drawing of William Parr (1513-1571), brother of Queen Katherine Parr, created Marquess of Northampton in 1546/7 (after Holbein's death). Bust length, facing three-quarters left. Parr wears a hat adorned with badges and a feather, a fur-edged gown and a medallion. The figure is surrounded by studies of details of the jewellery.

Inscribed by the artist: wis felbet (white velvet), burpor felbet (purple velvet), wis satin (white satin), w (for weiss, white) five times, Gl (gold) twice, gros (size) and MORS (death). Inscribed in an eighteenth-century hand at centre right: William Pa...Marquis o(f) Northam(p):ton.

Aged eleven, William Parr entered the household of the King's illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. He was appointed a Knight of the Garter in April 1543 and his sister Katherine became Henry's sixth wife a few months later. Parr's renowned good looks and elegance were skilfully captured by Holbein, who made copious notes about his dress and jewels on this drawing.

Further details

Additional Acquirers: Prince Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1st son of James I, King of Great Britain (1594-1612)
Charles II, King of Great Britain (1630-85)
Unframed Drawings / Watercolours