Elizabeth Drury (c. 1596-1610)

Elizabeth was the daughter of Sir Robert Drury of Hawstead (d.1615) and Anne Bacon (d. 1624).


Engraving from "Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica no. XXIII, Containing the History and Antiquities of HAWSTEAD, in the County of Suffolk", 1784 by the Rev. Sir John Cullum. Accompanying text:

"Sir Robert had two daughters: the elder, Dorothy, died at the age of 4 years; the younger, Elizabeth, to increase the grief of her parents, reached almost 15. Tradition reports, that she died of a box on the ear, which her father gave her. This conceit rose probably from her being represented both on her monument (in Hawstead Church) and in her picture, as reclining her head on one hand; just as the story of Lord Russell's daughter dying of a prick on the finger took its origin from her statue in Westminster Abbey, which represents her as holding down her finger, and pointing to a death's head at her feet. Another tradition relating to her (Elizabeth) is, that she was destined for the wife of prince Henry, eldest son of James I. She was certainly a great heiress; and their ages were not unsuitable; but whether there be more truth in this, then in the other, I pretend not to say; though this came from respectable authority. What is certain is, that she is immortalized by the Muse of Dr. Donne, who had determined to celebrate her anniversary in an elegy as long as he lived.... (the lines) are inscribed on her portrait in my possession... and are now inserted at the bottom of the engraving. ('Her pure and elequent Blood Spoke in her Cheeks, and so distinctly wrought, That one might almost say, her Body Thought.')

This portrait is as large as life, well painted; and the only one of the family left at Hawstead Place. The great expectations of the person it represents, the praises bestowed upon her by one of the great wits of the age, and the singularity of the attitude, seem to make it worthy of being preserved by the graver. The original is much more highly finished than could be represented upon the scale of the present page."