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The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
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Shews and Triumphs. 252

Shews and Triumphs.

Silks, and in the Night with Lamps, Cressets, and other Lights, without Number; besides many Pageants, and strange Devices there presented. The Citizens also rode to meet the King and Queen, clothed in long Garments embroidered about with Gold, and Silks of divers Colours, their Horses gallantly trapped, to the Number of 360; every Man bearing a Cup of Gold or Silver in his Hand, and the King's Trumpeters before them. These Citizens did minister Wine, as Bottelers, which is their Service at the Coronation.

The Citizens rode.

Imbroidered Garments.

The Citizens Bottelers at Coronations.

More in the Year 1298, for Victory obtained by Edward the first against the Scots, every Citizen, according to their several Trade, made their several Shew, but especially the Fishmongers, which in a solemn Procession passed thorough the City; having amongst other Pageants and Shows Four Sturgeons gilt, carried on Four Horses; then Four Salmons of Silver on Four Horses; and after them Six and Forty Armed Knights riding on Horses, made like Sluices of the Sea, and then one representing St. Magnus, because it was upon St. Magnus Day, with a Thousand Horsemen, &c.

Fishmongers Procession for triumph of Victory, more than 1000 Horsemen.

Of one other Shew, you may read in the Year 1377, made by the Citizens for disport of the young Prince Richard, Son to the Black Prince, in the Feast of Christmas: and in this manner.

On the Sunday before Candlemas, in the Night, One Hundred and Thirty Citizens, disguised and well Horsed, in a Mummery, with Sound of Trumpets, Sackbuts, Cornets, Shalms, and other Minstrels, and innumberable Torch Lights of Wax, rode from Newgate thorough Cheap, over the Bridge, through Southwark, and so to Kennington besides Lambeth; where the young Prince remained with his Mother, and the Duke of Lancaster his Uncle, the Earls of Cambridge, Hertford, Warwick and Suffolk, with divers other Lords.

A Show by Torch Light, being a Mummery of more than 100 Men on Horseback.

In the first Rank did ride 48 in the Likeness and Habit of Esquires, two and two together, cloathed in red Coats, and Gowns of Say or Sandall, with comely Vizors on their Faces.

After them came riding 48 Knights in the same Livery of Colour and Stuff.

Then followed one richly Arrayed like an Emperor; and after him at some distance, one stately tyred like a Pope; whom followed 24 Cardinals, and after them Eight or Ten with black Vizors, not amiable, as if they had been Legates from some foreign Princes.

These Maskers, after they had entred the Manor of Kennington, alighted from their Horses, and entred the Hall on Foot; which done, the Prince, his Mother, and the Lords, came out of the Chamber into the Hall, whom the said Mummers did salute; shewing by a Pair of Dice on the Table, their desire to play with the Prince; which they so handled that the Prince did always win when he cast them.

Then the Mummers set to the Prince Three Jewels one after another; which were a Bowl of Gold, a Cup of Gold, and a Ring of Gold; which the Prince won at Three Casts.

The Prince did win three Jewels of the Maskers.

Then they set to the Prince's Mother, the Duke, the Earls, and other Lords, to every one a Ring of Gold; which they did also win. After which they were feasted, and the Musick sounded; the Prince and Lords danced on the one part with the Mummers, who did also dance. Which Jollity being ended, they were again made to drink, and then departed in Order as they came.

The like was to Henry IV. in the Second of his Reign, he then keeping his Christmas at Eltham, twelve Aldermen of London and their Sons rode in a Mumming, and had great Thanks.

Thus much for sportful Shows in Triumphs may suffice.

Of other Shows for Sports and Pastimes yearly used.

First, In the Feast of Christmas there was in the King's House, wheresoever he was lodged, a Lord of Misrule, or Master of merry Disports; and the like had ye in the House of every Nobleman of Honour, or good Worship, were he Spiritual or Temporal. Among the which, the Maior of London, and either of the Sheriffs, had their several Lords of Misrule, ever contending, without Quarrel or Offence, who should make the rarest Pastimes to delight the Beholders. These Lords beginning their Rule at Alhallond Eve, continued the same till the Morrow after the Feast of the Purification, commonly called Candlemas Day: In all which Space, there were fine and subtle Disguisings, Masks, and Mummeries, with playing at Cards for Counters, Nails, and Points; more for Pastimes than for Gain.

Lord of Misrule at Christmas.

[Against the Feast of Christmas, every Man's House, as also their Parish Churches, were decked with Holm, Ivie, Bays, and whatsoever the Season of the Year afforded to be Green. The Conduits and Standards in the Streets were likewise garnished. Among the which, I read, that in the Year 1444, by Tempest of Thunder and Lightning, on the First of February at Night, Paul's Steeple was fired, but with great Labour quenched; and towards the Morning of Candlemas Day, at the Leaden Hall in Cornhill, a Standard of Tree being set up in the midst of the Pavement, fast in the Ground, nailed full of Holme and Ivie, for Disport of Christmas to the People, was torn up, and cast down by the malignant Spirit (as was thought) and the Stones of the Pavement all about, were cast in the Streets, and into divers Houses, so that the People were sore agast at the great Tempests.

Tempests of Lightning and Thunder fire Paul's Steeple, overthrew the Standard at Leadenhall, and threw Stones of the Pavement into Mens Houses.

In the Week before Easter, had ye great Shows made, for the fetching in of a twisted Tree, or With, as they termed it, out of the Woods, into the Kings House; and the like into every Man's House of Honour or Worship.

Twisted Trees fetched from the Woods.

In the Month of May, namely on May Day, in the Morning, every Man, except Impediment, would walk into the sweet Meadows and green Woods, there to rejoice their Spirits with the Beauty and Savour of sweet Flowers, and with the Noise of Birds, praising God in their Kind. And for more notable Example hereof, Edward Hall hath noted, that King Henry the Eighth, as in the Third of his Reign, and divers other Years, so namely in the Seventh of his Reign, on May Day in the Morning, with Queen Katharine his Wife, accompanied with many Lords and Ladies, rode a Maying from Greenwich to the high Ground of Shooters Hill; where as they passed by the Way they espied a Company of tall Yeomen, clothed all in Green, with green Hoods, and with Bows and Arrows to the Number of 200. One, being their Chieftain, was called Robin Hood, who required the King and all his Company to stay and see his Men shoot, whereunto the King granting, Robin Hood whistled, and all the 200 Arches shot off, losing all at once; and when he whistled again they likewise shot again; their Arrows whistled by Craft of the Head, so that the Noise was strange and loud, which greatly delighted the King, Queen, and their Company.


Edward Hall.

Robin Hood and his Men shoot before the King.

Moreover, this Robin Hood desired the King and Queen, with their Retinue to enter the green Wood, where, in Arbors made with Boughs, and decked with Flowers, they were set and served plentifully with Venison and Wine, by Robin Hood and his Men, to their great Contentment, and had other Pageants and Pastimes, as ye may read in my said Author.

I find also, that in the Month of May, the Citizens of London (of all Estates) lightly in every Parish, or sometime two or three Parishes joining together, had their several Mayings, and did


© hriOnline, 2007
The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY