About this artwork

Arabella was the only daughter of Lord Darnley's younger brother, Charles, and a first cousin of King James VI. She was at first treated kindly by the king, but in 1610 she secretly married William Seymour, who also had a claim to the throne of England. Believing that she had a sinister purpose for the marriage, James imprisoned her in the Tower of London. Arabella was never released and died in the Tower in 1615. The watch she holds in this portrait is a reminder of time's passing and death's inevitability.

Updated before 2020

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