SUBALBUM:  Bess of Hardwick

Bess married four times. She was married to Sir William Cavendish between 1547 and 1557. Her Wikipedia article, here, begins, "Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (c. 1521 – 13 February 1608), known as Bess of Hardwick, a notable figure of 16th century Elizabethan English society. By a series of well-made marriages, she rose to the highest levels of English nobility and became enormously wealthy. She was married four times, firstly to Robert Barlow, who died in his teens; secondly to the courtier Sir William Cavendish; thirdly to Sir William St Loe; and lastly to George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, sometime keeper to the captive Mary, Queen of Scots. An accomplished needlewoman, Bess joined her captive charge, Queen Mary Stuart, at Chatsworth House for extended periods in 1569, 1570, and 1571, during which time they worked together on the Oxburgh Hangings." She had eight children by her second marriage to William Cavendish. According to her article in thepeerage, at least six reached adulthood.

Bess held out for some time waiting for her dream boat to come in as described in her Wikipedia article, "Despite being courted by several suitors, Bess remained single for a relatively long time, until 1568, when she married for the fourth time to become Countess of Shrewsbury. Her new husband, George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, was one of the premier aristocrats of the realm, and the father of seven children by his first marriage. Indeed, two of his children were married to two of hers in a double ceremony in February 1568: Bess's daughter Mary Cavendish, aged 12, was given in marriage to Shrewsbury's eldest son Gilbert, aged 16; while Bess's son, Sir Henry Cavendish, aged 18, married Shrewsbury's daughter Lady Grace Talbot, aged 8."

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