Elizabeth Talbot (c. 1521/2 – 1608) is probably best known as ‘Bess of Hardwick’.

Through a succession of  four well made marriages, Bess of Hardwick became exceedingly wealthy, second only to Queen Elizabeth I.

She set the bar for collecting in the family – collecting, notably, fine textiles, alongside properties, titles and wealth.

While married to Sir William Cavendish, Bess had eight children. She was the mother of all Cavendish families, including the Cavendish family who still live at Chatsworth, and the Cavendish-Bentinck’s who are at Welbeck.

Hardwick Hall, just 30 minutes drive away, is home to Bess’s extraordinary textiles collection.

Image: Elizabeth Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury in old age, Rowland Lockey (?), c. 1592.