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Queen Elizabeth I

Henry Lord Darnley

The portrait below of Henry, Lord Darnley with his brother Charles was painted by Rhoda Sullivan in 1894. It is a copy of an original Tudor painting by Hans Eworth from the late 1500s. 


Henry Lord Darnley and his Brother Charles.  Both are dressed in very dark clothes with high necks.
Henry Lord Darnley and his Brother Charles

Some Tudor portraits in Temple Newsam are Victorian copies of older paintings. These were made because showing your Tudor heritage was very fashionable during the 19th Century.


What Clues Does this Portrait Contain?

  • Lord Darnley is wearing dark clothing, to dye clothes in darker colours took a lot more time, effort and money than lighter fabrics. Servants and poorer people are often seen wearing white or very pale colours because they needed little or no dyeing. 

Detail of a painting of Henry Lord with his brother Charles by Rhoda Sullivan, 1894
Henry Lord Darnley with his Brother Charles (detail)

  • Henry is wearing breeches and a doublet jacket, which was then a fashionable for men.
  • Henry holds gloves, a common accessory worn by richer Tudors to protect their hands. 
  • A sword hangs from Henry's side in the painting. Why do you think this might have been included?

Detail from a painting of Henry Lord Darnley showing the sword Henry is wearing
Detail from a Painting of Henry Lord Darnley

  • Henry's hand is placed protectively over his brother, Charles, to show that he is the eldest. At the time this was very important, as the eldest son in a family would inherit all his parents' property and wealth.
  • Henry and Charles wear very plain clothing, but with little decoration. Look at the  engraving below from the National Portrait Gallery, showing Henry after his marriage to Mary Queen of Scots. How has Henry's clothing changed? How might this change the way we see him? 


Black and white engraved portrait of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley and Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley and Mary, Queen of Scots

Who was Lord Darnley?

Henry Lord Darnley was the great-grandchild of Henry VII. Darnley married Mary Queen of Scots in 1565. The couple were unhappy together, and soon after Henry was linked to the murder of his wife's friend David Rizzio, who was found dead at Kirk o' Field in Edinburgh. To this day historians are unsure who murdered him, making the story a real-life murder mystery!



Accessory - an extra item of clothing worn because it is useful or fashionable

Breeches - trousers which end at the knee 

Contain - to have or hold something

Doublet - a man's fitted jacket, popular in the 15th-17th Centuries

Inherit - to have something passed on from someone who died or left 

Original - new or the first of something