Elizabeth Carey, Lady Berkeley
She was the dedicatee of Thomas Nashe's 1593 Christ's Teares Over Jerusalem; Nashe also dedicated his Terrors of the Night to her in the following year (1594). She translated two of Petrarch's sonnets into English in 1594. Her wedding to Sir Thomas Berkeley on 19 February 1596, probably in Blackfriars, London, when she was nineteen years old, was one of the occasions that has been suggested that Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream was performed for the first time in public. It has also been suggested that Elizabeth served as the model for "Lady Rimellaine" in Peter Erondell's book of manners The French Garden, written in 1605. On 5 January 1606, at the wedding festivities of the Earl of Essex and Lady Frances Howard, Elizabeth was one of the female dancers representing the "Powers of Juno" in Ben Jonson's masque Hymenaei; there is an extant portrait of Elizabeth dressed in her masque costume.
She bore her husband a son and a daughter:
- George Berkeley, 8th Baron Berkeley (7 October 1601 – 10 August 1658), who married Elizabeth Stanhope, the daughter of Sir Michael Stanhope, by whom he had issue.
- Theophila Berkeley (born 1596), who married Sir Robert Coke.
When her husband died in 1611, she paid off all his debts. In 1618 she bought the estate of Cranford, Middlesex for the sum of £7,000 from the co-heirs of Sir Richard Aston. In February 1622, she remarried Sir Thomas Chamberland (or Chamberlain), a Justice of the King's Bench. When he died on 17 September 1625, her second husband bequeathed a generous £10,000 to her son from her first marriage.
- Kathy Lynn Emerson, A Who's Who of Tudor Women, retrieved 12 October 2010
- Katherine Duncan-Jones, "Bess Carey's Petrarch: newly discovered Elizabethan sonnets", Review of English Studies, n.s. vol. 50 (1999), pp. 304-19.
- http://www.thePeerage.com, retrieved 12-10-10
- Victoria History of the County of Middlesex, vol. 3, p. 185.