"Lady Clinton, born Elizabeth Fitzgerald, was one of the beauties of the age"
Elizabeth Fitzgerald. c.1575. Artist unknown
Public DomainElizabeth Fitzgerald. c.1575. Artist unknown - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Countess of Lincoln, the 'Fair Geraldine' of a sonnet by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was the third wife of  Lord Clinton, Lord Admiral and a supporter of Elizabeth. 

Henry Howard, (1517-1547), a founder of English Renaissance poetry and an aristocrat who could claim descent from royalty on both sides of his family, is credited, along with his friend Sir Thomas Wyatt, with being the first to use the sonnet form, later to be popularised by William Shakespeare.  He and Wyatt are referred to as 'The Fathers of the English Sonnet'. 

Together with his father, Thomas Howard, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, he was imprisoned by Henry VIII, tried and pronounced guilty for treason, and beheaded on 13 January 1547.

The Pass Room at Bridewell from Ackerman's 'Microcosm of London' (1808-11) Drawing by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin
Public DomainThe Pass Room at Bridewell from Ackerman's 'Microcosm of London' (1808-11) Drawing by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In 1558 the Bridewell referred to what would have been  Bridewell Palace, next to the old Fleet River and near to a well dedicated to St. Bride.  It was then an instituion housing a prison, workrooms and hospital.  Originally built for Henry VIII who lived there between 1515-1523, it was given to the City of London By Edward VI in 1553 as it was no longer used as a royal residence.  It was used to house homeless children and to punish so-called 'disorderly' women.   The term 'Bridewell' came to be used for other such institutions and is still used for detention facilities, usually situated near to courtrooms.