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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Elizabeth Danviers

b. 1545/50, England; d. 1630, Wiltshire, England

The correct spelling of this name is ELIZABETH DANVERS.

Elizabeth Danvers, daughter of John Neville, fourth Baron Latimer, married Sir John Danvers of Dauntsey, Wiltshire. Lady Danvers apparently had a reputation for great learning. In his Brief Lives (1693), the antiquarian and biographer John Aubrey states that she had “Chaucer at her fingers’ ends” and was fluent in Italian. She had three sons, all of whom distinguished themselves in unorthodox ways. Charles and Henry were military men but fled into exile for their role in a local feud that led to murder. Their mother, now widowed, lobbied tirelessly to secure a pardon, even marrying a cousin of Queen Elizabeth in 1598 to strengthen support for her case; that year the boys were pardoned. In 1601, Charles Danvers was beheaded for his part in a revolt against the queen orchestrated by Robert Devereux, earl of Essex. Lady Danvers’ other son, John, was among the parliamentary commissioners who signed Charles I’s death warrant.