Celebrating Shakespeare’s legacy and and exploring the connections between Beaulieu and the Bard.
Montagu ancestor Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, was Shakespeare’s only acknowledged patron – and a close friend of the playwright.
Shakespeare’s narrative poems Venus & Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594) were both dedicated to the Earl, who many scholars believe was the ‘Fair Youth’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
The current Lord Montagu is a direct descendant of the Earl.
“The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end … What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours”
– The Rape of Lucrece dedication
DID YOU KNOW?
- One of the feuding families in Romeo & Juliet is the Montagues. Anthony, Viscount Montagu (the Earl’s grandfather) may have inspired Shakespeare’s choice of name.
- Shakespeare is thought to have written plays for private performances for the young Earl’s social circle, including Love’s Labour’s Lost.
- The Earl was a major shareholder in the Virginia Company and it is thought that the loss of the company’s flagship off Bermuda may have inspired The Tempest.
- It has been said that A Midsummer Night’s Dream was written to celebrate the marriage of the Earl’s mother to Sir Thomas Heneage in 1594.
You might be interested in…
- Palace House – The Earl’s hunting lodge later became known as Palace House.
- Beaulieu Abbey – it’s possible that some of Shakespeare’s plays may have been performed for the first time at the Beaulieu Abbey Domus.
- Mayflower 400 – Discover the role the 3rd Earl of Southampton played in the Mayflower’s pioneering voyage.