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TudorCast #13
June 2007


Hello, and welcome to Tudor Cast for June 2007. I’m your host, Lara Eakins owner of tudorhistory.org and the TudorTalk email list at YahooGroups.

Let’s get started with a recap of some of the Tudor news since the last podcast.

There have been some more Tudor-related items up for sale that make me wish I was independently wealthy! First up is an Elizabethan tapestry that was missing for about 100 years and is now going up for sale at auction, where it is expected to fetch about £1,000,000 (about $2,000,000 US). The wool and silk work was made by William Sheldon, one of England’s finest tapestry makers.

Next up is a previously unknown Nicholas Hilliard miniature of Elizabeth I that sold for £276,000 (about $550,000 US). The miniature was originally expected to only sell for between £60,000-80,000. Another item that will be going on sale in July is a silver falconry tag belonging to Richard Rich. The tag is expected to sell for over £1,000.

In archaeology news, the remains of a Tudor-era Warders’ guardhouse have been unearthed at the Tower of London. Workers were relaying the 19th century cobblestone path across the Tower Green when they found the remains of walls. The gatehouse was known to exist from Elizabethan drawings of the Tower and from an excavation in 1975. The site will be refilled with earth and the cobblestones re-laid to protect the remains, but future excavations are possible.

In further archaeology news, a planned excavation at the site of the former Greyfriars Church in the city of Leicester hopes to find evidence of the remains of King Richard III. Two stories have arisen about the fate of Richard’s bones, one says that they were dug up and thrown into the River Soar while another maintains that they were left buried in the church. Stay tuned! I’ve set up a news alert to keep track of any future stories that might come from the investigation.

In entertainment news, Peter O’Toole has signed on to play Pope Paul III in the second season of “The Tudors” on Showtime. Paul III began his papacy in 1534 and was the Pope that Henry VIII battled in the years after the Act of Supremacy put the King and not the Pope at the head of the Church of England.

And finally, congratulations to Dr. David Starkey, who was recognized on this years Queen’s birthday honors and was appointed Commander of the British Empire.

For links to source articles and other past Tudor news, please see the archives of the news blog at tudorhistory.org/blog

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And now for This Month in Tudor History, where I feature some well known and maybe not as well known people and events that took place during this month.

For two and a half weeks in June 1520, a meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I of France occurred near Calais that was to become known to history as the Field of Cloth of Gold. Although the political purpose of the meeting didn’t amount to much in the over-all scheme of things in early 16th century Europe, the glamour and extravagance of the meeting give us a picture of two Renaissance princes and their times.

In 1518, through the work of Cardinal Wolsey, the Treaty of London was signed as a non-aggression pact between the major European powers of the time. But less than a year later, the pact was already in danger of falling apart. To preserve the peace, Wolsey arranged a meeting between Henry VIII and Charles V, the new Holy Roman Emperor, and a meeting of Henry VIII and Francis I of France. This second meeting was to be in France, near the English-held town of Calais.

Francis I and Henry VIII were close in age, with Henry being just three years older than his French counterpart. Henry had been king of England for 11 years at the time of the meeting while Francis had been on the French throne for five-and-a-half years. Both Kings had been hailed as great Renaissance princes, which no doubt raised curiosity for each man about the other. This meeting was also a chance for each to display the grandeur and wealth of their courts.

Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and their large retinue left from Dover on about the first of June and stayed in Calais for six days before riding out to meet the French King. One of the more spectacular parts of the meeting was a temporary palace of timber and canvas brought by the English court to go with the pavilions and tents.

I’m going to use some excerpts from “Chronicles of the Tudor Kings” to describe some of the sights of the meeting. These are probably from Hall’s Chronicle, but I’m not 100% sure.

“Thursday 8 June being Corpus Christi day, Henry and the French king Francis I, met in a valley called the Golden Dale which lay midway between Guisnes and Arde where the French king had been staying. In this valley Henry pitched his marquee made of cloth of gold near where a banquet had been prepared. His Grace was accompanied by 500 horsemen and 3,000 foot soldiers, and the French King had a similar number of each.

When the two great princes met proclamations were made by the heralds and officers-of-arms of both parties, to the effect that everyone should stand absolutely still – the king of England and his company on one side of the valley and the king of France with his retinue on the other. They were commanded to stand thus, completely still, on pain of death whilst the two kings rode down the valley. At the bottom of the valley they embraced each other in great friendship and then, dismounting, embraced each other again, taking off their hats. Henry’s sword was held, unsheathed, by the marquess of Dorset whilst the duc de Bourbon bore the French king’s sword similarly all the while.

On Friday 9 June the two kings met up at the camp where a tiltyard had been set up with a pretty green tree with damask leaves nearby. On Saturday two shields bearing the arms of the two kings were hung upon this tree and a proclamation made to the effect that anyone who intended to attend the royal jousts and compete in feats of arms – such as the running at the tilt, fighting tourneys on horseback and fighting on foot at the barriers with swords should bring their shields of arms and have their names entered into the records kept by Clarencieux and Lancaster, officers-at-arms.

On Sunday 11 June the French king came to Guisnes to dine with the Queen of England and was graciously received by the Lord Cardinal, the Duke of Buckingham, the Duke of Suffolk, the Earl of Northumberland and various other noblemen, together with a large number of ladies and gentlemen all richly dressed in cloth of gold, velvet and silks. That day too the French king was himself magnificently dressed in tissue-cloth set with precious stones and pearls.

When dinner was over, some time was spent dancing in the banqueting hall. Before he started to dance, the French king went from one end of the room to the other, carrying his hat in his hand and kissing all the ladies on both sides – except for four or five who were too old and ugly. He then returned to the Queen and spoke with her for a while before spending the rest of the day dancing.

At the same moment King Henry was dining with the French Queen at Arde where he spent the time in a similar manner until seven o’clock in the evening when he returned to Guisnes and the French king likewise returned to Arde.

On Monday 12 June both kings and their men-at-arms met at the aforementioned camp. Also present were the Queen of England and the Queen of France, wife of Francis I with her ladies-in-waiting – all riding in litters and sedan chairs covered in sumptuous embroidery. Some other ladies also arrived mounted on richly decorated palfreys.

Then the two kings with their teams of challengers and their sides entered the field, every one fully armed and magnificently dressed. The French king started the jousts and did extremely well, even though the first lance was broken by King Henry, who managed to break one on each charge. The French king broke a good number of lances but not as many as Henry.

Thursday 15 June saw Henry in the field again, fully armoured and challenging all comers. Opponents that day included two French noblemen with their men-at-arms, all well-mounted and finely dressed, who acquitted themselves well. On Friday 16 June there was no contest at the camp because of a tremendous gale. On Saturday both kings entered the field and king Henry’s armour-skirt and horse-trapper were decorated with 2,000 ounces of gold and 1,100 huge pearls, the price of which was incalculable, the Earl of Devonshire also appeared that day wearing cloth of gold, tissue-cloth and cloth of silver, all elaborately embroidered, with his retinue wearing the same uniform.

When the French king and the Earl of Devonshire charged at each other, so fierce was their encounter that both their lances broke. In all they ran off eight times, during which the French king broke three lances while the earl broke two lances and the French king’s nose.

On Saturday 23 June a large and well-appointed chapel was set up on the grounds, decorated with ornate hangings and filled with statues of saints and holy relics. Later the lord cardinal said mass in the chapel – which had been built and fitted out entirely at king Henry’s expense. During the service the chaplains of both kings took it in turns to sing the refrains, which was heavenly to listen to. The mass completed, the kings and queens, together with their noble retinues, proceeded to the gallery beside the chapel to dine in great style.”

The celebrations concluded the next day, on the 24th. The meeting really did not do much in the way of improving the relations between the two countries and in just a couple of years, England and France were once again, as they had been many times in the previous centuries, at war.

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And now for a page from the Tudor History glossary.

This time I’m going to attempt to describe an architectural object, so we’ll see how well this comes across. Of course, I’ll add some pictures or diagrams in the notes for the podcast.

This month we’re up to F, for Flying Buttress, the architectural invention that allowed for the creation of the great soaring, light-filled, Gothic cathedrals of medieval Europe.

The Norman, or Romanesque, style of architecture in England which ran from roughly the time of the Conquest to 1200 was heavy and large, marked by large columns, deep-set windows, and semi-circular arches. There were some vaulted ceilings, but their weight had to be carried by thick pillars, arches and walls, which didn’t allow for large windows. Around 1200, cathedrals began to grow upwards and the windows and arches began to taper to pointed tops, as opposed to the rounded styles before. As the ceilings began to rise to greater heights and more windows were desired, new ways had to be developed to bear the weight of upper parts. Some of the innovation occurred inside the building with new styles of vaulting; but on the outside, the flying buttress was introduced to hold higher and thinner walls. The first time it was used for a grand cathedral was in Notre-Dame in Paris in the late 12th century.

In “Art Through the Ages”, 12th edition, the textbook from an Art History class I took a couple of years ago, they describe the flying buttress as “like slender extended fingers holding up the walls, [and] are also important elements contributing to the distinctive ‘look’ of Gothic cathedrals.”

Architecturally, the flying buttress is a masonry arch extending off the outside of a building, often along the length of the nave of a cathedral, which transfers the thrust of the roof outwards and down to a pier. If that doesn’t make much sense, then I’ll refer you to the diagram in the show notes. I’m going to also include a couple of photos of flying buttresses, including a good shot I got of them from the National Cathedral in Washington DC.

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Now it’s time for a segment where I feature a text from the Tudor period. Since I read a large excerpt from Hall’s Chronicle in the “This Month” segment, I thought I would put in a song in the primary source text section again. The song is “Martin Said To His Man” which I’ve found various dates for, but they all seem to place it late in Elizabeth’s reign. It was later published in a collection in the reign of James I. I’ve put the lyrics in the show notes too.

This recording is from La Primavera, whose music I’ve used quite a bit in the podcast over the past year.

Martin said to his man, fie, man, fie
Martin said to his man, who's the fool, now
Martin said to his man, Fill thou the cup and I the can
Thou hast well drunken man, who's the fool now

I saw the mouse chase the cat, fie, man, fie
I saw the mouse chase the cat, who's the fool now
I saw the mouse chase the cat, Saw the cheese eat the rat
Thou hast well drunken, man, who's the fool now

I saw the goose ring the hog, fie, man, fie
I saw the goose ring the hog, who's the fool, now
I saw the goose ring the hog, saw the snail bite the dog
Thou hast well drunken, man, who's the fool, now

I saw a maid milk a bull, fie, man, fie
I saw a maid milk a bull, who's the fool now
I saw a maid milk a bull, at every pull a bucket full
Thou hast well drunken, man, who's the fool now

Martin said to his man, fie, man, fie
Martin said to his man, who's the fool, now
Martin said to his man, Fill thou the cup and I the can
Thou hast well drunken man, who's the fool now

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And now for some closing comments…

This month’s recommended website is www.thousandeggs.com, (and thousand is spelled out, not the numeral) the website of Cindy Renfrow, author of books on ancient and medieval cooking and brewing. Besides a place to order Ms. Renfrow’s books, the site has a great glossary of medieval and renaissance culinary terms, a great page of links to historical cooking and brewing documents that are available online. And as a nice little bonus, the author has posted some of her favorite cookie recipes. I’ll have to try the shortbread one someday.

Well, if you’ve listened to the previous two podcasts, you might have been expecting a Frequently Asked Questions segment this month. Well, as you might have guessed, it is proving a lot harder to research some of these questions than I had originally thought. I really should have known better! I have been trying to track down as much as possible on these questions but it is proving very time-consuming. So, starting next month, I’m going to start an “extras” section, where I will slip in some featured person, place or topic, and sometimes a Frequently Asked Question.

One other little bit of news, folks at Showtime have sent me some goodies for The Tudors series to give away. I’m still trying to figure out how exactly I’m going to do it, so watch the news blog at tudorhistory.org/blog and stay tuned to the podcast. I’m probably going to do a short poll or questionnaire and give people the option of leaving an email address to be entered in a drawing. I’ll have at least one poster, a t-shirt and some keychains to send out, so there will be multiple chances to win something.

And last but not least, I want to apologize for getting this out a little late. Things just got away from me this month!

If you want to comment on this podcast, you can do so at tudorhistory.org/podcast or send me an email at lara@tudorhistory.org A transcript of this and previous podcasts are also available at the website as well as links to mp3s of all the episodes.

Logon to magnatune.com to listen to and purchase music from the artists that you heard featured in this podcast. I’ll have a complete rundown of which albums I used in the podcast notes.

Until next month, fare the well!