Mary Tudor (1516–1558), as Princess

Image credit: The Trustees of the British Museum

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Despite the inscription ‘Maria princeps.Ano.Dom.1531’ it has been suggested that the identification of the sitter as Mary I (1516–1558) (Mary Tudor) when a princess may be doubtful, not least on grounds of costume, as this type of ruff was in use much later than that date. It is also unlike contemporary portraits of the Princess. Mary retained the title of ‘Princess’ until she succeeded her brother Edward VI in 1553 at the age of 37. The painting was, however, listed by the Museum in the nineteenth century as ‘Princess Mary, afterwards Queen’. It was presented by ‘Sir Thomas Mantell of Dover’ in 1828 and at that time recorded as being by ‘J. Brown’ (it bears the initials ‘I.B.’). The donor is probably Sir Thomas Mantell (1751–1831), FSA, who trained as a medical doctor, became head of the packet department at Dover and was six times elected Mayor of Dover.

British Museum



Mary Tudor (1516–1558), as Princess




oil on canvas


H 77 x W 64 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Sir Thomas Mantell, 1828

Work type



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