Henry Wriothesley and His Cat Trixie

Not all of the cat’s adventures during the Early Modern Period are marked by cruelty.  Interspersed between tales of horrible abuses, stories and poems of gratitude to the cat have survived.  Quite similar to several earlier stories of men imprisoned in the Tower of London, who were saved from starvation by beneficent cats, it was a cat, too, that saved Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of South Hampton, by climbing down the chimney with morsels of food for the starving prisoner.  Held there by Queen Elizabeth for supporting the rebellion against her by the Earl of Essex, Wriothesley’s constant companion was his cat, Trixie, who kept him company until he was released by James I in 1603.  A portrait of the Earl, with his loyal cat sitting beside him, still proudly hangs in Boughton House, Northamptonshire.

 

Henry Wriothesley and Trixie 1603 Broughton House, Northamptonshire

Henry Wriothesley and Trixie
1603
Broughton House, Northamptonshire

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