Sir Henry Lee
Portrait: Master of the Armouries and Queen’s Champion Dates from late 16th century | Anglo-Flemish | Object number: I.379
Helmet: Dates about 1585 | English, Greenwich | Object number: IV.43
Sir Henry Lee was Elizabeth I’s Champion in the 1580s and he arranged her famous Accession Day jousts. Lee was also Master of the Armouries at the Tower of London.
In 1592 Lee entertained Elizabeth I at a great tournament at Ditchley near Oxford. The event was commemorated by a great portrait of Elizabeth, now in the National Portrait Gallery, which depicts the Queen standing on a map of England with her feet on Oxfordshire.
Lee was Queen’s Champion and Master of the Armouries at the Tower of London. This helmet was made in the royal workshop at Greenwich under the master armourer, Jacob Halder. The design for the full armour can be seen in the ‘Almain Armourer’s Album’