Frances, Countess of Somerset

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

A famous beauty, Frances Howard was divorced from Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex in 1613 and married Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, a favourite of James I. In 1615 she and her second husband, along with several accomplices, were convicted of poisoning Sir Thomas Overbury, who had opposed their marriage. Although the couple were imprisoned until 1621, they were later pardoned of their crime. It was said of Somerset, 'If he had not met with such a woman he might have been a good man.'

National Portrait Gallery, London



Frances, Countess of Somerset




oil on panel


H 57.5 x W 43.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased, 1922

Work type



See a tag that’s incorrect or offensive? Challenge it and notify Art UK.

Help improve Art UK. Tag artworks and verify existing tags by joining the Tagger community.

Normally on display at

National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue