National Trust

Ashdown House

William, 1st Earl of Craven, was a great admirer of Elizabeth Stuart, the widow of Frederick V, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and the sister of Charles I. He was possibly even in love with her. The affection was mutual – Elizabeth referred to him in her letters as ‘my little mad mylord’.

Craven built Ashdown House especially for Elizabeth as a hunting lodge. But she succumbed to the plague in London before she could ever visit. She left him a series of portraits of herself and her children, including the portrait by Van Honthorst. Craven installed the portraits in the staircase at Ashdown, where they are once again displayed today.

A direct descendant of the 1st Earl of Craven donated Ashdown House to the National Trust in 1956.From this house you will see the following work in the Mauritshuis:

  • Gerrit van Honthorst - Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia (1650)
National Trust Ashdown House