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John Lumley

(c. 1533—1609) collector and conspirator


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1st Baron (b Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham, c. 1535; d Cheam, Surrey, 11 April 1609). English collector. He was the head of a family that had a long, proud Catholic tradition, and as such he was deeply involved in the unsuccessful Ridolfi Plot of 1571, which attempted to replace Queen Elizabeth I with the Roman Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots. Lumley married Jane (d 1576), daughter of henry Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel. Lumley's career at court was sponsored by Arundel, who treated him as his son and heir, leaving him the Nonsuch palace and its contents, including a library, the core of which Arundel had acquired from Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556). Lumley expanded the library further: the catalogue of 1609 lists more than 3000 volumes, making it the largest in England of this period. On Lumley's death it passed to Henry, Prince of Wales, and forms the core of the royal collection in the British Library, London.

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From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.


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