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Queen Henrietta and Jeffrey Hudson



Painted by Van Dyck in 1633, this portrait includes not just the dwarf, Jeffrey Hudson, but another member of Her Majesty’s collection of rarities: the monkey Pug. Jeffrey Hudson (1619-1682?), also known as ‘Lord Minimus’, came to her as a present from the Duke of Buckingham. Reputedly he stood only eighteen to nineteen inches tall as a young man. He accompanied her when she fled to France in 1644, but was later expelled from her Court at the Louvre for killing a man in a duel. Shortly afterwards, he was captured by Barbary pirates, and spent the next twenty-five years in North Africa. At length he returned to England, and towards the end of his life ventured back to London. He chose a bad time: Roman Catholics such as himself were under suspicion of treason, and he found himself in gaol. Freed in 1680, he died probably two years later of unknown causes and was buried in an unknown grave.


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