About this image
Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (1561-1621) and sister to Sir Philip Sidney. His Arcadia was written for her, and after his death she prepared it and his other works for publication. Patron of a number of poets, including Daniel, Spenser, and Jonson, she formed with them a literary coterie - the Pembroke circle - dedicated to continuing the literary ideals of Sidney.
Mary was married to Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. Their son William Herbert was 3rd Earl of Pembroke (see image DCHQ200219). Her other surviving child, Philip, became the 4th Earl of Pembroke on his brother's death in 1630. Mary Sidney's sons are the "Incomparable Pair", to whom William Shakespeare's First Folio is dedicated. At different times, both were patrons of the King's Men, Shakespeare's acting troupe.
The text below the image reads:
"Mary Countess of Pembroke. From a rare print. In the collection of Alexander Hendras Sutherland Esquire".
This image is one of a collection by the famous local antiquarian, Thomas Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgreave. (1821-1861). Bateman organized his collection by inserting them into a 4 volume copy of Lysons Magna Britannia, Derbyshire, creating a fascinating and unique illustrated record of the county. The purchase of the collection for Derbyshire Libraries was made possible by the generous bequest of Miss Frances Webb of Whaley Bridge, well known local historian, who died in December 2006.