I assure You, there is No Lady in this Land that I better Love and Like.
said Queen Elizabeth I about Bess of Hardwick. The formidable and fashionable Elizabeth Countess of Shrewsbury. Bess of Hardwick, as she is known, was one of the best-connected — and richest woman — in Britain after the queen.
Married four times, she survived all her husbands and then returned to her family estate where she built two large houses… one for herself and a second for servants and visiting guests.