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Catherine Cecil, Countess of Salisbury

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Audley End House

Catherine Cecil, Countess of Salisbury (c.1590 – January 1673), formerly Lady Catherine Howard, granddaughter of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, member of the House of Howard and was the wife of William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Salisbury of Hatfield House.

She was a daughter of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk of Audley End House, and his second wife, the former Catherine Knyvett.

She married the future Earl of Salisbury on 1 December 1608, and became countess when he inherited the earldom on his father's death in 1612. Their children, several of whom died in infancy, were:[1]

In 1615, the countess was present at Trinity College, Cambridge, for the performance of Aemilia by students, in the presence of King James I of England.[2] In 1617, the countess acted as godmother to James Murray, 2nd Earl of Tullibardine, the eldest son of Patrick Murray, 1st Earl of Tullibardine.[3]

After Salisbury's retirement from public life, they made their home at Hatfield House.[4] The countess's portrait was painted by Sir Peter Lely (some time after his arrival in England in 1641), and is held at Burghley House.[5]


  1. ^ Mosley, Charles, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003. Page 3504.
  2. ^ Martin Wiggins; Catherine Richardson (2015). British Drama, 1533-1642: 1609-1616. Oxford University Press. pp. 435–. ISBN 978-0-19-873911-1.
  3. ^ G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume XII/2, page 67.
  4. ^ Owen, G.D. (2004), "Cecil, William, second earl of Salisbury (1591–1668)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.), Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37272 (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ "Portrait of Catherine Howard, Countess of Salisbury, Sir Peter Lely". Burghley House. Retrieved 3 March 2018.