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Dudley Carleton

(1574—1632) diplomat and letter writer


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(b Brightwell, Oxon, 10 March 1573; d London, 15 Feb 1632). English diplomat, politician, collector and patron. At Westminster School, London, Carleton was taught by William Camden, author of Britannia (1586), a topographical survey of England that had given its author an international reputation. Carleton went on to Christ Church, Oxford, and later married the daughter of Sir Henry Savile, a great benefactor of Oxford University. He then became secretary to Francis Norris, Earl of Berkshire, ambassador to Madrid, where Carleton saw the Habsburg Titians—an experience that prepared him for his years in Venice. Carleton arrived in Venice in 1610 as ambassador and immediately began to assist those English visitors interested in art. His chief concern was to please Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, the current favourite of James I, by buying antiquities for his collection. But Carleton was obliged to retain them, since Somerset fell from favour in 1615, just as Carleton was shipping them to England.

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

Subjects: 15th - 16th century art.