Mid Anglia Group, Richard III Society

Portrait of a (Plantagenet?) Lady (2008)


The House

Earlier this year, with a little time to kill in Sudbury town centre, I resolved to visit “Gainsborough’s House”, a museum in which the legendary artist (1727-88) was brought up. The work of several artists is displayed across two floors and my attention was caught by Sir Joshua Reynolds’ 1758 portrait of “Mrs. Barrington”.

The Barrington (originally de Barentone) family was well known in South Suffolk and Essex because, from 1250 to 1832, they occupied Barrington Hall, Hatfield Broad Oak near Harlow. The manor and forest of Hatfield passed to them in 1521 on the attainder of the last Stafford Duke of Buckingham and, in 1559, Sir Thomas Barrington married Winifred Pole, the younger daughter of Henry Lord Montagu and thus great-granddaughter of George of Clarence. Given that the sitter’s husband probably paid Reynolds, does this mean that he was a Clarence descendant?

Winifred’s son, Francis was created…

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