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Elizabeth Percy, Countess of Essex was the fifth daughter of Algernon Percy, 10th Duke of Northumberland and his wife, Lady Anne Cecil, eldest daughter of William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Salisbury. She was a member of the Howard family on her mother’s side, as the great-granddaughter of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, and would have socialised with both Suffolk and Berkshire branches of the Howard family, explaining the presence of her portrait in The Suffolk Collection. Elizabeth married Arthur Capel, 1st Earl of Essex in 1653. This portrait, painted around the same time, is derived from the double-portrait with her husband by Sir Peter Lely (NPG 5461). The pose and costume are drawn directly from the double portrait; however, a landscape background has replaced the drapery and classical bust seen in the larger work.

English Heritage, Kenwood



Elizabeth Percy, Countess of Essex (1636–1718)




oil on canvas


H 126.9 x W 101.6 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired as part of the Suffolk Collection

Work type



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