English School, (19th century). Medium: engraving. Date: 1865. Catherine Howard (nee Carey), Countess of Nottingham (1547-1603), cousin, lady-in-waiting and confidante of Elizabeth I; allegedly confessed a deathbed secret to the queen: that the disgraced Earl of Essex had sent a ring to Catherine's sister, Lady Scrope as the Earl hoped that she would intercede with the angry queen on his behalf and give her the ring. When the messenger mistook the Countess of Nottingham for her sister, Catherine kept the ring as she disliked Essex. Essex was executed; and when Catherine was dying she confessed to the Queen who cried "May God forgive you; I never can!" Provenance: Private Collection.