Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton

Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton

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Henry Wriothesley 3rd Earl of Southampton (6 October 1573 - 10 November 1624), was the second son of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton was an English noble.Henry was the only surviving son of the 1st Earl and his wife Jane Cheney. His godparents were Henry VIII, Princess Mary, Charles Brandon, and Henry FitzAlan.After his father's death, he lived with his mother, Jane...

, and his wife Mary Browne, Countess of Southampton, daughter of the 1st Viscount Montagu
Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu
Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu KG PC was an English peer during the Tudor period.He was the eldest son of Sir Anthony Browne...

. Shakespeare's
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 first two narrative poems, Venus and Adonis
Venus and Adonis (Shakespeare poem)
Venus and Adonis is a poem by William Shakespeare, written in 1592–1593, with a plot based on passages from Ovid's Metamorphoses. It is a complex, kaleidoscopic work, using constantly shifting tone and perspective to present contrasting views of the nature of love.-Publication:Venus and Adonis was...

and The Rape of Lucrece
The Rape of Lucrece
The Rape of Lucrece is a narrative poem by William Shakespeare about the legendary Lucretia. In his previous narrative poem, Venus and Adonis , Shakespeare had included a dedicatory letter to his patron, the Earl of Southampton, in which he promised to write a "graver work"...

, were dedicated to Southampton, who is one of the major candidates to be the "Fair Youth" in Shakespeare's Sonnets
Shakespeare's sonnets
Shakespeare's sonnets are 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare, dealing with themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality. All but two of the poems were first published in a 1609 quarto entitled SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS.: Never before imprinted. Sonnets 138 and 144...


Early life

He was born in Cowdray House
Cowdray House
Cowdray House consists of the ruins of one of England's great Tudor houses, architecturally comparable to many of the great palaces and country houses of that time. It is situated just east of Midhurst, West Sussex standing on the north bank of the River Rother...

, Sussex
Sussex , from the Old English Sūþsēaxe , is an historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, east by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West...

, England.

When his father died, he moved to the nearby town of Midhurst
Midhurst is a market town and civil parish in the Chichester district of West Sussex, England, with a population of 4,889 in 2001. The town is situated on the River Rother and is home to the ruin of the Tudor Cowdray House and the stately Victorian Cowdray Park...

, England, and inherited the Earldom in 1581, when he became a royal ward, under the immediate care of Lord Burghley
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley , KG was an English statesman, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State and Lord High Treasurer from 1572...

. He entered St John's College, Cambridge
St John's College, Cambridge
St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college's alumni include nine Nobel Prize winners, six Prime Ministers, three archbishops, at least two princes, and three Saints....

, in 1585, graduating M.A. in 1589: and his name was entered at Gray's Inn
Gray's Inn
The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns...

 before he left the university. At the age of seventeen he was presented at court, where he was soon counted among the friends of the Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, KG was an English nobleman and a favourite of Elizabeth I. Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years' War in 1599...

, and was distinguished by extraordinary marks of the Queen's favour. He became a munificent patron of poets: Nashe
Thomas Nashe
Thomas Nashe was an English Elizabethan pamphleteer, playwright, poet and satirist. He was the son of the minister William Nashe and his wife Margaret .-Early life:...

 dedicated his romance of Jack Willon to him and Gervase Markham
Gervase Markham
Gervase Markham was an English poet and writer, best known for his work The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and Outward Virtues Which Ought to Be in a Complete Woman first published in London in 1615.-Life:Markham was the third son of Sir Robert Markham of Cotham, Nottinghamshire, and was...

 his poem on Sir Richard Grenville
Richard Grenville
Sir Richard Grenville was an English sailor, sea captain and explorer. He took part in the early English attempts to settle the New World, and also participated in the fight against the Spanish Armada...

's last fight. His name is also associated with Barnabe Barnes
Barnabe Barnes
Barnabe Barnes , was an English poet. He is known for his Petrarchan love sonnets and for his combative personality, involving feuds with other writers and culminating in an alleged attempted murder.-Early life:...

's Parthenophil and Parthenope, and with the Worlde of Wordes of John Florio
Giovanni Florio
John Florio , known in Italian as Giovanni Florio, was a linguist and lexicographer, a royal language tutor at the Court of James I, and a possible friend and influence on William Shakespeare. He was also the translator of Montaigne into English.-Michelangelo Florio:Born in London, John Florio was...

, who was for some years in his personal service as teacher of Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...


Drama and association with Shakespeare

It is as a patron of the drama and especially of Shakespeare that he is best known. "My Lord Southampton and Lord Rutland," writes Rowland White to Sir Robert Sydney
Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester , second son of Sir Henry Sidney, was a statesman of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. He was also a patron of the arts and an interesting poet...

 in 1599, "come not to the court ... They pass away the time in London merely in going to plays every day" (Sydney Papers, ed. Collins, ii. 132). Venus and Adonis
Venus and Adonis (Shakespeare poem)
Venus and Adonis is a poem by William Shakespeare, written in 1592–1593, with a plot based on passages from Ovid's Metamorphoses. It is a complex, kaleidoscopic work, using constantly shifting tone and perspective to present contrasting views of the nature of love.-Publication:Venus and Adonis was...

(1593) was dedicated to Southampton in terms expressing respect, but no special intimacy; but in the dedication of The Rape of Lucrece
The Rape of Lucrece
The Rape of Lucrece is a narrative poem by William Shakespeare about the legendary Lucretia. In his previous narrative poem, Venus and Adonis , Shakespeare had included a dedicatory letter to his patron, the Earl of Southampton, in which he promised to write a "graver work"...

(1594) the tone is very different. "The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end ... What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours." Nicholas Rowe
Nicholas Rowe (dramatist)
Nicholas Rowe , English dramatist, poet and miscellaneous writer, was appointed Poet Laureate in 1715.-Life:...

, on the authority of the actor Thomas Betterton
Thomas Betterton
Thomas Patrick Betterton , English actor, son of an under-cook to King Charles I, was born in London.-Apprentice and actor:...

, stated in his Life of Shakespeare that Southampton on one occasion had given Shakespeare a present of £1000 to complete a purchase. No documentary record of this exists, however.

Nathan Drake in his Shakespeare and his Times (1819; vol. ii. pp. 62 seq.) first suggested that Lord Southampton was the person to whom the sonnets of Shakespeare were addressed. He re-interpreted Thomas Thorpe
Thomas Thorpe
Thomas Thorpe was an English publisher, most famous for publishing Shakespeare's sonnets and several works by Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson. His publication of the sonnets has long been controversial...

's dedication to the "onlie begetter of these ensuing sonnets, Mr W.H.," by adopting the very unusual significance given by George Chalmers
George Chalmers
George Chalmers was a Scottish antiquarian and political writer.-Biography:Chalmers was born at Fochabers, Moray, in 1742. His father, James Chalmers, was a grandson of George Chalmers of Pittensear, a small estate in the parish of Lhanbryde, now St Andrews-Lhanbryde, in Moray, owned by the family...

 to the word "begetter", which he takes as equivalent to procurer. Mr W. H. was thus supposedly the bookseller who obtained the manuscript. Other adherents of the Southampton theory suggest that the initials H. W. (Henry Wriothesley) were simply reversed for the sake of concealment by the publisher.

The chief arguments in favor of the Southampton theory are the agreement of the sonnets with the tone of the dedication of Lucrece, the friendly relations known to have existed between Southampton and the poet, and the correspondence, at best slight, between the energetic character of the earl and that of the young man of the sonnets. Mr Arthur Acheson (Shakespeare and the Rival Poet, 1903) brings much evidence in favor of the theory, first propounded by William Minto
William Minto
William Minto , Scottish man of letters, was born at Auchintoul, Aberdeenshire.He was educated at the University of Aberdeen, and spent a year at Merton College, Oxford...

, that George Chapman
George Chapman
George Chapman was an English dramatist, translator, and poet. He was a classical scholar, and his work shows the influence of Stoicism. Chapman has been identified as the Rival Poet of Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Minto, and as an anticipator of the Metaphysical Poets...

, whose style is parodied by Shakespeare in the 21st sonnet and in Love's Labour's Lost
Love's Labour's Lost
Love's Labour's Lost is one of William Shakespeare's early comedies, believed to have been written in the mid-1590s, and first published in 1598.-Title:...

, was the rival poet of the 78th and following sonnets. Mr Acheson goes on to suppose that Chapman's erotic poems were written with a view to gaining Southampton's patronage.

Association with the 2nd Earl of Essex

In 1596 and 1597 Southampton was employed in Essex's expeditions to Cádiz
Cadiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the homonymous province, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia....

 and to the Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

, in the latter of which he distinguished himself by his daring tactics. In 1598 he had a brawl at court with Ambrose Willoughby, and later in the same year he attended the queen's principal secretary, Sir Robert Cecil
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG, PC was an English administrator and politician.-Life:He was the son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke...

, on an embassy to Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...


In 1599, during the Nine Years War (1595-1603), he went to Ireland with Essex
Essex in Ireland
Essex in Ireland refers to the military campaign pursued in Ireland in 1599 by Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, during the Nine Years War and the Anglo-Spanish War....

, who made him general of his horse, but the queen insisted that the appointment be cancelled. Southampton remained on in personal attendance upon the earl, rather than as an officer. During his time in the Irish wars, it was reported to Cecil that he saw most of his active service in bed with a captain Piers Edmunds - he would "cole and hug" his captain in his arms, and "play wantonly" with him. However, Southampton was active during the campaign, and prevented a defeat at the hands of the Irish rebels, when his cavalry drove off an attack at Arklow
Arklow , also known as Inbhear Dé from the Avonmore river's older name Abhainn Dé, is a historic town located in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. Founded by the Vikings in the ninth century, Arklow was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the 1798 rebellion...

 in County Wicklow
County Wicklow
County Wicklow is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Wicklow, which derives from the Old Norse name Víkingalág or Wykynlo. Wicklow County Council is the local authority for the county...

. He was deeply involved in Essex's conspiracy against the queen, and in February 1601 was sentenced to death. Cecil obtained the commutation of the penalty to imprisonment for life.

Life under King James I (and VI)

On the accession of James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 Southampton resumed his place at court and received numerous honors from the new king. On the eve of the abortive rebellion of Essex he had induced the players at the Globe Theatre
Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613...

 to revive Richard II
Richard II (play)
King Richard the Second is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to be written in approximately 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's...

, and on his release from prison in 1603 he resumed his connection with the stage. In 1603 he entertained Queen Anne
Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark was queen consort of Scotland, England, and Ireland as the wife of King James VI and I.The second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark, Anne married James in 1589 at the age of fourteen and bore him three children who survived infancy, including the future Charles I...

 with a performance of Love's Labour's Lost by Burbage
Richard Burbage
Richard Burbage was an English actor and theatre owner. He was the younger brother of Cuthbert Burbage. They were both actors in drama....

 and his company, to which Shakespeare belonged, at Southampton House.

He seems to have been a born fighter, and engaged in more than one serious quarrel at court, being imprisoned for a short time in 1603 following a heated argument with Lord Grey of Wilton in front of Queen Anne. Grey, an implacable opponent of the Essex faction, was later implicated in the Main Plot
Main Plot
The Main Plot was an alleged conspiracy of July 1603 by English courtiers, to remove King James I from the English throne, replacing him with his cousin Arabella Stuart. The plot was supposedly led by Henry Brooke, Lord Cobham, and funded by Spain...

 and Bye Plot
Bye Plot
The Bye Plot was a conspiracy by a Roman Catholic priest, William Watson, to kidnap James I of England and to force him to repeal anti-Catholic legislation.-Background:...

. Southampton was in more serious disgrace in 1621 for his determined opposition to Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham KG was the favourite, claimed by some to be the lover, of King James I of England. Despite a very patchy political and military record, he remained at the height of royal favour for the first two years of the reign of Charles I, until he was assassinated...

. He was a volunteer on the Protestant side in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in 1614, and in 1617 he proposed to fit out an expedition against the Barbary pirates.

Southampton was a leader among the Jacobean aristocrats who turned to modern investment practices — "in industry, in modernizing their estates and in overseas trade and colonization." He financed the first tinplate mill in the country, and founded an ironworks at Titchfield
Titchfield is a village in southern Hampshire, by the River Meon. The village has a history stretching back to the 6th century. During the medieval period, the village operated a small port and market...

. He developed his properties in London, in Bloomsbury
-Places:* Bloomsbury is an area in central London.* Bloomsbury , related local government unit* Bloomsbury, New Jersey, New Jersey, USA* Bloomsbury , listed on the NRHP in Maryland...

 and Holborn
Holborn is an area of Central London. Holborn is also the name of the area's principal east-west street, running as High Holborn from St Giles's High Street to Gray's Inn Road and then on to Holborn Viaduct...

; he revamped his country estates, participated in the efforts of the East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 and the New England Company, and backed Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northeast Passage to Cathay via a route above the Arctic Circle...

's search for the Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways amidst the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans...


A significant artistic patron in the Jacobean as well as the Elizabethan era, Southampton promoted the work of George Chapman
George Chapman
George Chapman was an English dramatist, translator, and poet. He was a classical scholar, and his work shows the influence of Stoicism. Chapman has been identified as the Rival Poet of Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Minto, and as an anticipator of the Metaphysical Poets...

, Samuel Daniel
Samuel Daniel
Samuel Daniel was an English poet and historian.-Early life:Daniel was born near Taunton in Somerset, the son of a music-master. He was the brother of lutenist and composer John Danyel. Their sister Rosa was Edmund Spenser's model for Rosalind in his The Shepherd's Calendar; she eventually married...

, Thomas Heywood
Thomas Heywood
Thomas Heywood was a prominent English playwright, actor, and author whose peak period of activity falls between late Elizabethan and early Jacobean theatre.-Early years:...

, and the composer Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger
Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger
Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger was an English composer and viol player of Italian descent. He straddles the line between the Renaissance and Baroque eras.-Biography:...

. Heywood's popular, expansionist dramas were compatible with Southampton's maritime and colonial interests.

Virginia Company, colonization

Henry Wriothesley, whose name is included in the 1605 panel of the New World Tapestry
New World Tapestry
The New World Tapestry is the largest stitched embroidery in the world, larger than the Bayeux Tapestry. It depicts English colonisation attempts in Newfoundland, North America, the Guyanas and Bermuda between the years 1583 and 1642, when the English Civil War began.Work began on the tapestry in...

, took a considerable share in promoting the colonial enterprises of the time, and was an active member of the Virginia Company's governing council. Although profits proved elusive, his other visions for the Colony based at Jamestown were eventually accomplished. He was part of a faction within the company with Sir Edwin Sandys
Edwin Sandys
Edwin Sandys may refer to:*Edwin Sandys , Bishop of London, Worcester, Archbishop of York*Edwin Sandys , a founder of the colony of Virginia, son of the above...

, who eventually became the Treasurer, and worked tirelessly to support the struggling venture. In addition to profits, Southampton's faction sought a permanent colony which would enlarge British territory, relieve the nation's overpopulation, and expand the market for English goods. Although profits largely eluded the Virginia Company, and it was dissolved in 1624, the other goals were accomplished.

His name is thought by many to be the origin of the naming of the harbor of Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...

, and the Hampton River
Hampton River
The Hampton River is a tidal estuary which empties into Hampton Roads near its mouth. Hampton Roads in turn empties into the southern end of Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia in the United States...

. Although named at later dates, similar attribution may involve the town (and later city) of Hampton
Hampton, Virginia
Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts...

, Virginia, as well as Southampton County
Southampton County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,570 people, 6,279 households, and 4,502 families residing in the county. The population density was 29 people per square mile . There were 7,058 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

, Virginia and Northampton County
Northampton County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,389 people, 5,321 households, and 3,543 families residing in the county. The population density was 63 people per square mile . There were 6,547 housing units at an average density of 32 per square mile...

. However, the name Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

 was not uncommon in England, including an important port city and an entire region along the southern coast, which was originally part of Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

. There are also variations applied in other areas of the English colonies which were not part of the Virginia Company of London's efforts, making the origin of the word and derivations of it as applied in Virginia even more debatable.

Later life and death

In 1624 he and his elder son enrolled themselves as volunteers for the United Provinces of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 against Spain. Immediately on landing they were attacked with fever which killed them both, the father surviving until 10 November 1624.


In 1598 Henry Wriothesley married Elizabeth Vernon
Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Southampton
Elizabeth Wriothesley , Countess of Southampton was one of the chief ladies-in-waiting to Elizabeth I of England in the later years of her reign.- Family :...

, the daughter of John Vernon of Hodnet by his wife Elizabeth Devereux. Elizabeth Devereux's grandfathers were the Viscount Hereford and the Earl of Huntingdon; on her father John's side, Elizabeth's family were more obscure.

Henry and Elizabeth married while "...she was already highly pregnant".

Henry and Elizabeth had several children including:
  1. Penelope Wriothesley who married William Spencer, 2nd Baron Spencer
    William Spencer, 2nd Baron Spencer
    William Spencer, 2nd Baron Spencer of Wormleighton was an English peer.Spencer was the son of Robert Spencer, 1st Baron Spencer of Wormleighton and his wife, Margaret Willoughby, and was baptised on 4 January 1591 at Brington, Northamptonshire...

     of Wormleighton
  2. James Wriothesley, Lord Wriothesley
    James Wriothesley, Lord Wriothesley
    James Wriothesley, Lord Wriothesley was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to 1622....

     b 1605 who died shortly before his father in the Netherlands
  3. Thomas Wriothesley
    Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton
    Sir Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton, KG , styled Lord Wriothesley before 1624, was a 17th century English statesman, a staunch supporter of Charles II who would rise to the position of Lord High Treasurer after the English Restoration...

     b 1607 who became the 4th Earl Southampton
  4. Anne Wriothesley who married Robert Wallop
    Robert Wallop
    Robert Wallop was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times from 1621 to 1660. He supported the Parliamentary cause in the English Civil War and was one of the regicides of King Charles I of England....

     of Farley Wallop


There exist numerous portraits of Southampton, in which he is depicted with dark auburn hair and blue eyes, compatible with Shakespeare's description of "a man right fair." Sir John Beaumont wrote a well-known elegy in his praise, and Gervase Markham wrote of him in a tract entitled Honor in his Perfection, or a Treatise in Commendation of ... Henry, Earl of Oxenford, Henry, Earle of Southampton, Robert, Earl of Essex (1624).

In 2002 a portrait in the Cobbe collection was identified as a portrait of the youthful Earl (see below), now known as the Cobbe portrait of Southampton.

In April 2008, a rare portrait, believed to be of Southampton has been discovered using X-ray technology. Art historians from Bristol University have found what they believe is a picture of Henry Wriothesley which was painted over in the sixteenth century. To the naked eye, it is a portrait of his wife Elizabeth Vernon, dressed in black and wearing ruby ear-rings. The hidden picture was uncovered when the work was X-rayed in preparation for an exhibition in Somerset.

In popular culture

The Earl has been played on screen by Peter Egan
Peter Egan
Peter Egan is a British actor known for playing smooth neighbour Paul Ryman in 1980s sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles. He is married to retired actress Myra Frances.-Early life:...

 (1971), Nicholas Clay
Nicholas Clay
Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay was an English actor.-Early life:Born in Streatham London, to Bill and Rose Clay, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began his acting career in the early 1970s with small parts in film and television.-Career:Clay also appeared in several West End...

 (1978), Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne
Edward John David "Eddie" Redmayne is an English actor and model. Redmayne won the 2010 Tony Award as best featured actor in a play for his performance in Red.-Early life:...

 (2005), Shaun Evans (2006) and Xavier Samuel
Xavier Samuel
Xavier Samuel is an Australian actor. He has appeared in leading roles in the feature films September, Further We Search, and Newcastle, and played Riley Biers in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third movie in Stephenie Meyer's The Twilight Saga film series.-Early life and education:Samuel was...