Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton

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Henry Wriothesley

Birthdate: (51)
Birthplace: Cowdry,,Sussex,England
Death: November 10, 1624 (51)
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton and Mary Browne, countess of Southampton
Husband of Elizabeth Wriothesly, Countess of Southampton
Father of Lady Penelope Spencer; Anne Wallop; James Wriothesley and Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton
Brother of Mary Arundell (Wriothesley)

Occupation: 3rd Earl of Southampton, Literary aesthete
Managed by: Stanley Welsh Duke, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton


Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (6 October 1573 – 10 November 1624), was the second son of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton, and his wife Mary Browne, Countess of Southampton, daughter of the 1st Viscount Montagu. Shakespeare's first two narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, were dedicated to Southampton, who is one of the major candidates to be the "Fair Youth" in Shakespeare's Sonnets.

He was a patron of William Shakespeare

Henry Wriothesley was born in Cowdray House, Sussex, England.

When his father died he moved to the nearby town of Midhurst, England, and inherited the Earldom in 1581 when he became a royal ward under the immediate care of Lord Burghley. He entered St John's College, Cambridge, in 1585, graduating M.A. in 1589, and his name was entered at Gray's Inn before he left the university. At the age of 17 he was presented at court where he was soon counted among the friends of the Earl of Essex, and was distinguished by extraordinary marks of the Queen's favour. He became a munificent patron of poets: Nashe dedicated his romance of Jack Willon to him and Gervase Markham his poem on Sir Richard Grenville's last fight. His name is also associated with Barnabe Barnes's Parthenophil and Parthenope, and with the Worlde of Wordes of John Florio, who was for some years in his personal service as teacher of Italian.

In 1624 Southampton was one of four Englishmen appointed to command English troops fighting in the Low Countries against the Spanish. Shortly after their arrival, James, the earl's eldest son, succumbed to a fever at Rosendael; five days later on 10 November 1624, Southampton died of the same cause at Bergen-op-Zoom. Both were buried in the parish church of Titchfield, Hampshire.


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Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton's Timeline

October 6, 1573
November 8, 1598
Age 25
Tichfield, Hampshire, England
Age 26
March 1, 1605
Age 31
March 10, 1607
Age 33
Titchfield, Hampshire, England
November 10, 1624
Age 51