Southampton, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd earl of

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Southampton, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd earl of (1573–1624). Wriothesley's father, a catholic, was imprisoned in the Tower 1571–3 under suspicion of encouraging Norfolk's proposed marriage to Mary, queen of Scots. Wriothesley succeeded to the earldom at the age of 7 and grew up as a follower and companion of Essex, whose cousin he married. He took a prominent part in Essex's rising in 1601, was sent to the Tower, and was considered very fortunate not to lose his head. At the accession of James I, who had worked closely with Essex, he shot into favour, being given the Garter at once and having the earldom restored. He did not however play a leading role in the reign and is of interest mainly as the patron of Shakespeare, who dedicated to him Venus and Adonis (1593) and Lucrece (1594). Southampton died of fever in 1624 while fighting as a volunteer in the Dutch service.

J. A. Cannon

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Henry Wriothesley 3d earl of Southampton

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