Portrait of a Man in a Red Suit

Colour map of Exeter from 1580s

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of one of the greatest Elizabethan artists, Nicholas Hilliard (c.1547-1619). The Hilliards were a prominent family in Exeter, renowned for their craftsmanship. Although the name of Hilliard is now more associated with miniature portraits, the family were originally goldsmiths. Several objects linked to the Hilliards are now held in RAMM’s collection. Here we trace the family’s history, beginning with Nicholas’ father Richard.