Sunday, December 13, 2009

Question from Haven - Jane Boleyn and the Field of of Cloth of Gold

I've been reading to my mother the book about Jane Boleyn by Julia Fox. MY mother wants to know what picture there are of the Field of Cloth of Gold and if there's any surviving fabric from the tents. What I want to know if this book is a reliable source. Thank you.

[Related threads linked below. - Lara]


Blogger Lara said...

I don't think I currently have a copy of the Field of Cloth of Gold painting on my site, but if you go to and type in 'field of cloth of gold' you can find some. As far as I know there aren't any surviving pieces of the tents, but boy would that be a great find if there were!

December 13, 2009 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Haven, I would love to see anything from the Field of Cloth of Gold! From what I have read though, almost all cloth of gold from the Tudor era was used and reused so often that virtually nothing remains. The only sample of cloth of gold I've ever been able to find that does exist is the book cover of a translation Elizabeth I did for her stepmother Katherine Parr. I'm sorry I can't locate a picture of it at the moment. Lara might have one.

December 13, 2009 8:08 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

I don't have a picture of that handy, but it will work its way on the site eventually.

December 13, 2009 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn R said...

Hi Haven

The recent Henry VIII exhibition at the British Library had the original plans for the tents, and beautiful they were too! The red tent can be found at

But there were also dark blue and green and white striped ones with rooms connected by corridors and all splendidly decorated inside and out - like canvas royal palaces.

There is more about cloth of gold at

December 14, 2009 11:05 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

Here are the links from Marilyn's comment again, since I think they got truncated:

December 14, 2009 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn R said...

You & your mum can see all the coloured plans with short descriptions at

December 14, 2009 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Diane said...

Lara and Kathy, is the translation you're talking about "The Mirror or Glass of the Sinful Soul?"

December 15, 2009 5:03 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

I'm trying to remember which is which... she did a couple of translations that she gave as gifts and did embroidered covers for. One is the red one with goldwork (not cloth of gold though) of KP on it, but there is at least one other that I have a mental picture of. I want to say it was a translation of KP's work that Elizabeth gave to her father?

December 15, 2009 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Dianne, it's been a while since I've seen the picture and I really can't remember what exactly what the translation was of. Lara, I don't think the one I saw had embroidery on the cover -- at least the part I saw -- and it was identified as being cloth of gold. I remember that specifically because I was thinking that was the only piece I had ever seen. Of course, the description could have been inaccurate.

December 15, 2009 10:13 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

I think I know the one you're talking about Kathy, but I can't for the life of me remember where I saw it. There is a chance it is in some of my needlework and textile books though. I'll try to remember to look for it.

December 15, 2009 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Lara, I found the one you were talking about. There's a picture and description of it in the catalog to the 2003 Greenwich exhibit. It's identified as a "trilingual translation of Queen Katherine's Prayers or Meditations" and was a New Year's present from Elizabeth to her father in 1546. It doesn't look to be in very good shape but you can make out the crimson stitching on the cover and some very elaborate decoration. There seems to be some doubt if Elizabeth actually did the embroidery. At least David Starkey thinks she might not have.

The catalog mentions that the same year she gave Katherine a translation of Chapter 1 of Jean Calvin's Institution de la Religion Chrestienne and the previous year had given Katherine a translation of a devotional work by Margaret d'Angouleme. It doesn't give any more information on those, so it is possible one of those was the one I saw.

December 15, 2009 3:32 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

(I think I accidentally hit the wrong button on Diane's last comment, so here it is just in case it doesn't show up. - Lara)

There's a picture of Elizabeth's book, "The Mirror or Glass of the Sinful Soul" at Showtime's Tudors site:

or just google ARTIFACTS OF THE TUDORS and look for the wiki site.

December 15, 2009 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Well, this is driving me crazy now. I want to find that picture I saw before.

I found the one Diane mentioned at The Tudors wiki. (Here's a link to the artifacts wiki incidentally: Tudors Artifact Wiki).

That doesn't look like the one I saw before. From what I remember, the one I saw was very plain and looked thick and slightly ribbed, though not as much as corduroy. I know I was thinking I never would have identified it as cloth of gold if I had seen it without a description.

December 15, 2009 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Nasim said...

I grew up near Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire and subsequently visited the place on a number of occasions. During one of my first trips there a guide stated that the material covering the walls of the Grand Staircase were tent coverings from the Field of Cloth of Gold. Unfortunately this fantastic claim was made alongside a number of dubious assertions and the castle’s website simply states that the staircase features ‘Tudor embroidery on locally made woollen cloth covering the walls'.

December 15, 2009 5:44 PM  

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