Today in 1561 Mary Sidney Herbert was born. She is remembered for being a literary patron, writer, and translator in her own right, and as the sister of Sir Philip Sidney, who was one of the most famous poets of the Elizabethan age.
She was close to Elizabeth I as a younger woman, being a member of the privvy chamber.
In 1577 Mary's uncle Robert Dudley, helped her father to arrange her marriage to their close ally, Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke(d.1600). As Countess of Pembroke, Mary was responsible for a number of estates including Wilton House and Baynard's Castle in the City of London.
She turned Wilton House into a "paradise for poets", known as the "Wilton Circle" which included Spenser, Daniel, Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson and Sir John Davies, an early salon-type literary group. John Aubrey wrote that "Wilton House was like a college, there were so many and ingenious persons. She was the greatest patroness of wit and learning of any lady in her time".
That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com. And you can listen to an episode on her here: http://www.englandcast.com/2017/08/episode-083-mary-sidney/