In 1648, eight years after Rubens died, his house in Antwerp served as a refuge for William and Margaret Cavendish, the later Duke and Duchess of Newcastle. The couple lived in the former artist's residence for twelve years.
William Cavendish (1593-1676) was a keen art lover. He was a poet and playwright, a patron of music, the visual arts and architecture and was fascinated by science. He was also an excellent horseman. He opened a riding school in Rubens's former house, which attracted visitors from all over the world, including the crème de la crème of nobility.
Cavendish’s second wife, Margaret (1623-1673) was an author. She was one of the first women in the history of literature whose work was published during her lifetime and under her own name. Quite a feat in those days.