The trial of the Earl of Strafford
By HOLLAR, W[enceslaus] , 1640

Abbildung Session des Parlaments zu Londen uber den Sententz des Grafen von Stafford.

British Isles London
  • Author: HOLLAR, W[enceslaus]
  • Publication place: [Frankfurt
  • Publication date: 1643].
  • Physical description: Etched print.
  • Dimensions: 270 by 300mm. (10.75 by 11.75 inches). Plate size: 254 by 275mm.
  • Inventory reference: 18625


The case agains Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, is the focus of several prints by Wenceslaus Hollar. The present examples depicts Strafford’s trial in the House of Lords, which came about after his long-term opponent John Pym brought the case for impeachment to the House on November 11, 1640. Although Strafford went in person to confront his accusers, he was immediately withdrawn and taken into custody; he was held in the Tower of London for the subsequent months. Eventually the impeachment charge failed and so Parliament passed a bill of attainder allowing Strafford to be charged and executed on May 12, 1641.

Hollar’s print shows the packed House of Lords during Stafford’s trial, with a 25-point alphabetical key identifying various figures and features shown, such as the king’s “Seate of State”, “P. the Earls, Q. the Viscounts, R. the Barons, S. the Knights”, and naturally “V. the Earle of Strafford”, standing in a raised box and facing away towards the top of the House. Interestingly, the clerks seems to be making their notes on the floor.

The present example is the second state, which was included in the ‘Theatrum Europaeum’ of J.P. Abelin published in Frankfurt in 1643. Abelin added a German title above the print, in which the defendant is named Earl “Stafford” rather than Strafford.


  1. New Hollstein German 330 I
  2. Pennington 551ii.