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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Elizabeth Hoby

b. 1528, Essex, England; d. 1609, Berkshire, England

Lady Hoby, born Elizabeth Cooke, was the daughter of Anthony Cooke, tutor to Edward VI. Each of Cooke’s daughters—among them, Anne Cooke Bacon—received an excellent humanist education and became notable scholars. Elizabeth married twice: in 1558, to Thomas Hoby, translator of Castiglione’s Courtier; and in 1574, to Lord Russell. Fluent in Latin and Greek, she was known for her refined poetry as well as her musical talent and patronage, most famously of composer John Dowland. Throughout her life, Elizabeth enjoyed a high place at the English court—Elizabeth I was reputedly godmother to two of her children—and used familial connections to gain privileged positions for those in her favor.