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Nicholas Hilliard
Birth: c. 1547
Death: Jan. 7, 1619


Artist. Said to have been the son of Richard Hilliard of Exeter, high sheriff of the city and county. He was apprenticed as a goldsmith and jeweler, and began painting miniatures as a child, he is credited with painting the first known self-portrait at the age of 13. In 1570 he was appointed limner, or miniaturist, and goldsmith to Elizabeth I. In that capacity he was responsible for engraving the Great Seal of England. He visited France, apparently in order to further his art, and is the artist alluded to in the papers of the duc d'Alençon under the name of "Nicholas Belliart, peintre anglois" who received a stipend of 200 livres. A 1577 miniature of Mademoiselle de Sourdis, a maid of honor at the French Court, is certainly the work of Hilliard; other examples of his work from the period are believed to represent Gabrielle d'Estres, niece of Madame de Sourclis, the princesse de Condé and Madame de Montgomery. He remained in favor during the reign of James I, and from the king received a special patent of appointment, dated May 5, 1617, which granted him a sole license for royal work for twelve years. He is believed to have been the author of an important treatise on miniature painting, now preserved in the Bodleian Library, but it seems more probable that the author of that treatise was John de Crita, Serjeant Painter to James I. It is likely, however, that the treatise was based on Hilliard's instructions. The esteem of his contemporaries for Hilliard is testified to by Dr Donne, who in a poem called 'The Storm' (1597) praised his work. He died about age 71, and was buried in St Martins-in-the-Fields, Westminster, leaving by his will twenty shillings to the poor of the parish, thirty to be divided between his two sisters, some goods to his maidservant, and the remainder of his estate to his son, Lawrence Hilliard.
 (bio by: Mark McManus) 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  Anthony Hilliard (1585 - 1657)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
St Martin-in-the-Fields Churchyard
Westminster
City of Westminster
Greater London, England
Plot: unmarked
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Mark McManus
Record added: Oct 18, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12092484
Nicholas Hilliard
Added by: Iola
 
Nicholas Hilliard
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jerry Ferren
 
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- Emily Marsh
 Added: Jun. 13, 2015
In memory of my 14th great-grandfather.
- Kalen Weigel
 Added: Sep. 4, 2014
Thinking of you Nicholas, my 12th great grandfather. I don't have a lick of artistic talent, but at least I can say that I'm directly related to the first world-renowned English artist! Rest in peace.
- Kristen Lee
 Added: Mar. 1, 2014
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