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Burghley 500 Symposium

This event has now been postponed from 2020 to Monday 19 April 2021. And as Lord Burghley's year of birth is often disputed - 1520 or possibly 1521 – a Burghley 500 symposium in 2021 is still just as apt! The Burghley 500 Symposium will go ahead as an online-only event, taking place over Zoom.

A symposium on the role that William Cecil, first Baron Burghley, played as one of the most important patrons of art, architecture and horticulture in the Elizabethan Period will be held as part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Lord Burghley.

This Symposium has been organised by Burghley 500 and will be hosted on Zoom by the Garden Museum. The Garden Museum itself is built on the site of the burial of John Tradescant, gardener to the Cecil family.

Contributing experts include Dr Jill Husselby (on Burghley House), Dr Emily Cole (on Theobalds) , Mark Griffiths (on John Gerard), Dr Paula Henderson (on Burghley’s gardens), Karen Hearn (on portraits of Burghley’s wife, Mildred) and Dr Nigel Llewellyn (on Burghley’s monument in St Martin’s Church, Stamford).  The day will begin with an introduction by the Marquess of Salisbury, followed by a welcome from Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum.


10: 30: welcome from Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum

10:40: introduction by The Marquess of Salisbury

10:50:  Convener, Dr Claire Gapper

10:55 – 1140: Dr Jill Husselby, ‘ “My Principal House”: Dynasty and Politics; Aspects of architecture at  Burghley House’

11:40 – 12:25: Dr Emily Cole, ‘A House fit for the Queen: The plan and interiors of Theobalds, Hertfordshire’

12:25 – 1:10: Mark Griffiths, ‘That excellent Art of Simpling: Lord Burghley, John Gerard and the triumph of flora’

1:10 – 2:15: Lunch break

2:15-3:00: Dr Paula Henderson, ‘ “His greatest greatness and only happiness”: Lord Burghley and his gardens’

3:00-3:45: Karen Hearn, ‘ “Dearest above all”: The portraits of Mildred Cooke Cecil (1526-89)’

3:45 – 4:30: Dr Nigel Llewellyn, ‘Lord Burghley’s monument in Stamford’

Discussion and closing remarks, including information on future Burghley500 events

In association with the Lord Burghley 500 Foundation: www.lordburghley500.org

Image: Lord Burghley on his little white mule, unknown artist, c.1585. Courtesy of the Marquess of Salisbury/Hatfield House