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Burghley 500 Symposium (postponed)

This event has now been postponed to Monday 19 April 2021. All tickets purchased are valid for this new date, and ticket holders have been contacted. 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!

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 take place at the Garden Museum, 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.


10am – 10.30am: registration (coffee available in the Museum Café, not included)

10.30am – 10.50am: Welcome and introduction by Lord Salisbury

Lectures: Convener, Dr Claire Gapper

10.50am – 11.30am: Dr Jill Husselby, ‘My Principal House: Dynasty and Politics, Burghley House and Gardens’

11.30am – 12.10pm: Dr Emily Cole,  ‘A House fit for the Queen: The plan and interiors of Theobalds, Hertfordshire’

12.10pm – 12.50pm: Mark Griffiths, ‘That excellent Art of Simpling: Lord Burghley, John Gerard and the triumph of flora’

12.50pm – 1pm: Discussion

1pm – 2pm: Lunch (included)

2pm – 2.40pm: Dr Paula Henderson, ‘ “His greatest greatness and only happiness”: Lord Burghley’s gardens’

2.40pm – 3.20pm: Karen Hearn, ‘ “Dearest above all”: The portraits of Mildred Cooke Cecil (1526-89)’

3.20pm – 3.35pm: Tea

3.35pm – 4.15pm: Dr Nigel Llewellyn, ‘Lord Burghley’s Monument in Stamford’

4.15pm – 4.30pm: Discussion and closing remarks (Claire Gapper)

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