Your cheeky guide to the dynasty

Look What They Found in Ye Olde Tudor Family Attic (Part 2)

I spent yesterday morning at our local mall, strolling beneath the tinsel and red baubles to the sounds of Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album. It’s only the first week of November! But I adore Christmas so I can’t complain, and I got a tiny bit of shopping done as well.

Who knows how long I’d have been there if my list were as long as Henry VIII’s from New Year’s Day 1539! (click for a larger view)

On display as part of the Vivat Rex! exhibition, the scroll is 8 1/2 foot long scroll and lists recipients from most to least important. In the top pic it is easy to see three “to” sections: The first is to “the Lorde Prince [Eddie],” the next is to “the Lady Mariee,” and finally “to the Lady Elizabeth.”

Because of the wrinkle, it is difficult to see “to the Lady Margret Doughtles” after that, followed by the list of bishops. I’m able to make out “Canterbury,” “York,” “Lincoln,” and “London.” Maybe you can figure out more? The second pic (below) is the lower half of the scroll, and lists the goods for dukes and lords, earls, and duchess and countesses.  

Near this scroll is a bittersweet spot in history, the account of another New Year’s Day, that of 1511. In Holinshed’s Chronicles, we see the whole shebang celebrating the birth of  Henry and Cat of Aragon’s son, Prince Henry (who died nearly two months later).

The noted festivities included a pageant “glistening by night as though it had beene all of gold and set with stones” and jousts with “certeine lords apparelled, they and their horsses in cloth of gold and russet tinsell…Then came the king under a pauilion of cloth of gold and purple veluet embrodered, and powered with H. and K. of fine gold.”

The next post will wrap up the peek at this fine exhibit, including some chat about Catherine of Aragon’s letter to her nephew, and a Reformist vs. a Traditionist face-off in the pages of a Tudor-era prayer book.

1 Comment

  Anne Barnhill wrote @

Whew! And I thought my Christmas list was bad–just think, he received stuff from all those folks, too. And where in the world would he keep all that stuff?? I guess in one of his many castles! Amazing to think of such wealth being concentrated in one person. I bet they re-gifted a lot of those gold and silver cups! They probably just kept circling around–king to lord, lord to king, ad infintum! Thanks for these.

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