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A mirror of monarchy: Music and musicians in the household chapel of the Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2008

Fiona Kisby
Affiliation:
Royal HollowayUniversity of London

Extract

Ever since the publication of Frank Harrison's book Music in Medieval Britain in 1958, the study of the cultivation of liturgical music in late-medieval England has been based on the institutional structure of the Church: on the cathedrals, colleges and parish churches, and on the household chapels of the monarchy and higher nobility both spiritual and lay. In that and most subsequent studies, however, male figures have been seen to dominate the establishments under investigation. If art history (perhaps musicology's closest sister discipline) can be shown to have characterised the patronage of Renaissance art as a system dominated by ‘Big Men’, so too has musicology placed the development of English liturgical music in a culture shaped largely by noble male patrons – kings, princes, dukes, earls, archbishops, bishops and the like.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1997

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References

1 Harrison, F. Ll., Music in Medieval Britain (London, 1958), 4th edn (Buren, 1980)Google Scholar.

2 See for example, Bowers, R., ‘Choral Institutions Within the English Church: Their Constitution and Development, 1340–1500’, Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of East Anglia, 1975Google Scholar; idem, ‘The Cultivation and Promotion of Music in the Household and Orbit of Thomas Wolsey’, Cardinal Wolsey: Church, State and Art, ed. S. Gunn and P. G. Lindley (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 178–218; Wathey, A., Music in the Royal and Noble Households in Late Medieval England: Studies of Sources and Patronage (London, 1989)Google Scholar.

3 Anderson, J., ‘Rewriting the History of Art Patronage’, Renaissance Studies, 10 (1996), p. 131CrossRefGoogle Scholar; for seminal studies on women's roles in medieval music-making see Bowers, J. and Tick, J., eds., Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition 1150–1950 (London, 1995)Google Scholar; Women in Music: An Anthology of Source Readings from the Middle Ages to the Present, ed. Neuls-Bates, C. (London, 1996)Google Scholar.

4 Anderson, J., ‘Rewriting the History of Art Patronage’, Renaissance Studies, 10 (1996), p. 131;CrossRefGoogle Scholar for seminal studies on women's roles in medieval music-making see Bowers, J. and Tick, J., eds., Women Making Music: the Western Art Tradition 1150–1950 (London, 1995);Google ScholarWomen in Music: An Anthology of Source Readings from the Middle Ages to the Present, ed. Neuls-Bates, C. (London, 1996).Google Scholar

5 These are listed in the Appendix, below.

6 Jones, M. K. and Underwood, M., The King's Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby (Cambridge, 1992), pp. 1724Google Scholar. See Figure 1. Select pedigrees of the houses of Lancaster and York can be found in Chrimes, S. B., Henry VII (London, 1987), pp. 338–9Google Scholar (although note that Margaret's first marriage to John, son of William de la Pole, is omitted here). Fuller genealogical tables of Beaufort ancestry appear in Jones and Underwood, The King's Mother.

7 Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, pp. 36–7, 94–5Google Scholar.

8 Ibid., p. 40.

9 Ibid., pp. 41–2; Griffiths, R. A., The Making of the Tudor Dynasty (Gloucester, 1985), pp. 5861, 124Google Scholar.

10 Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 49Google Scholar.

11 Ibid., p. 58.

12 Jones, M. K., ‘Edward IV and the Beaufort Family: Conciliation in Early Yorkist Polities’, The Rkardian, 6 (1983), pp. 258–65Google Scholar; ‘Richard III and Lady Margaret Beaufort: A Re-Assessment’, Richard III: Loyalty, Lordship and the Law, ed. Hammond, P. W. (London, 1986), pp. 2537.Google Scholar

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17 The complex political events of 1484–5 which led to Henry's triumph at the Battle of Bosworth are described in detail in Griffiths, , Tudor Dynasty, pp. 117–65Google Scholar.

18 See, for example, the various terms of endearment used in letters exchanged between Margaret and the king: Cooper, C. H., The Lady Margaret: A Memoir of Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby, ed. Mayor, J. E. B. (Cambridge, 1874), pp. 66, 91;Google ScholarUnderwood, M., ‘The Lady Margaret Beaufort and Her Cambridge Connections’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 13 (1982), p. 70;CrossRefGoogle ScholarThe Funeral Sermon of Margaret Countess of Richmond and Derby, ed. Hymers, J. (Cambridge, 1840), p. 160.Google Scholar

19 Colvin, H. M. and Ransome, D. R., The History of the King's Works, 6 vols. (London, 19631982), iii, p. 266; iv, p. 351.Google Scholar For descriptions of some of the occasions when Margaret was resident at court see Leland, J., De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea, ed. Hearne, T., 6 vols. (London, 1774), iv, pp. 218, 225, 227, 238–41, 243, 245–6.Google Scholar

20 The Antiquarian Repertory, ed. Grose, F. and Astle, T., 4 vols. (London, 18071809), i, pp. 298, 300.Google Scholar

21 Copies of this are in several sources, e.g. British Library (henceforth BL), Harley MS 1776, fols. 7v–9v; BL, Harley MS 6072, fols. 180r-v; BL, Add. MS 45133, fol. 141v.

22 The Antiquarian Repertory, i, p. 300Google Scholar.

23 She signed as ‘Margaret R’ in a dispensation of 6 January 1506, and John Fisher, her chaplain, was described as ‘Confessor Regine Angliae’; Reynolds, E. E., ‘St John Fisher and the Lady Margaret Beaufort’, Moreana, 23 (1969), pp. 32–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

24 Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, pp. 100, 103, 106, 115, 159Google Scholar.

25 Ibid., p. 98.

26 Cooper, C. H., ‘The Vow of Widowhood of Margaret Countess of Richmond and Derby’, Antiquarian Communications: being Papers Presented at the Meetings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1 (1859), pp. 71–9;Google Scholar‘Widows' Vows’, Lincoln Diocese Documents, ed. Clark, A., Early English Text Society Old Series 149 (London, 1914), pp. 1920;Google Scholar for the vow see BL, Add. MS 5825, fol. 225v; ‘Mornynge Remembraunce had at the Moneth Mynde of the Noble Prynces Margarete Countesse of Rychmonde …’, The English Works of John Fisher, part I, ed. Mayor, J. E. B., Early English Text Society Extra Series 27 (London, 1876), p. 294.Google Scholar

27 Warnicke, R. M., ‘The Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond: A Noblewoman of Independent Wealth and Status’, Fifteenth Century Studies, 9 (1984), pp. 220–1Google Scholar. Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, pp. 154, 158–9Google Scholar.

28 Ibid., pp. 138, 156, 194; Underwood, M.G., ‘Politics and Piety in the Household of Lady Margaret Beaufort’, Journal of the Ecclesiastical History Society, 38 (1987), pp. 40–1Google Scholar.

29 Jones, M. K., ‘Collyweston – An Early Tudor Palace’, England in the Fifteenth Century, ed. Williams, D. (London, 1987), p. 129.Google Scholar

30 Warnicke, R. M., ‘The Lady Margaret Countess of Richmond as Seen by Bishop Fisher and by Lord Morley’, Moreana, 19 (1982), pp. 4750CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 165Google Scholar.

31 BL, Add. MS 12060, fols. 21–21v.

32 Ibid., fol. 21v.

33 Jones, ‘Collyweston’, p. 138.

34 The Anglia Historia of Polydore Vergil 1485–1537, trans. Hay, D., Camden Society 74 (London, 1950), pp. 7, 151.Google Scholar

35 Public and private religious spaces at the court and the distinction between the chaplains of the privy closet and the chapel personnel are discussed at length in Kisby, F., ‘The Royal Household Chapel in Early-Tudor London, 1485–1547’, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1996, chap. 3Google Scholar.

36 ‘Mornynge Remembraunce’, p. 300; Cooper, , The Lady Margaret, p. 61Google Scholar. For Fisher see Underwood, ‘Politics and Piety’, pp. 39–40; Underwood, ‘The Lady Margaret Beaufort and Her Cambridge Connections’, pp. 66–87.

37 ‘Mornynge Remembraunce’, p. 300.

38 BL, Add. MS 12060, fols. 20–3.

39 Ibid., fols. 21, 23.

40 ‘Mornynge Remembraunce’, pp. 294–5. For a comparison of the accounts of Parker and Fisher see Warnicke, ‘The Lady Margaret’.

41 Duffy, E., The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c. 1400–1580 (London, 1992), p. 60Google Scholar; ‘Mornynge Remembraunce’, p. 295.

42 ‘Mornynge Remembraunce’, pp. 294–5.

43 Scofield, C. L., The Life and Reign of Edward IV, 2 vols. (London, 1923), i, p. 170;Google ScholarArmstrong, C. A. J., ‘The Piety of Cicely, Duchess of York’, For Hilaire Belloc. Essays in Honour of his 72nd Birthday, ed. Woodruff, J. D. (London, 1942), pp. 90–1Google Scholar. For other similarities between the two women see Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, pp. 15, 67, 70, 74, 175, 255.Google Scholar

44 Society of Antiquaries, A Collection of Ordinances and Regulations for the Government of the Royal Household (London, 1790), pp. 37–9Google Scholar.

45 Leland, , De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea, iv, pp. 235–37Google Scholar.

46 Cambridge, St John's College (henceforward CSJC), MS D91.17, p. 29; Westminster Abbey, Muniment 32364.

47 For the internal organisation of the chapel of the royal household, see Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, chap. 2.

48 CSJC, MS D4.7, p. 33; BL, Add. 12060, fol. 22. For the size of Henry VII's chapel, see Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, p. 71.

49 CSJC, MS D91.21, p. 124; Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 162Google Scholar.

50 CSJC, MS D102.9, p. 3. An inventory of the effects of Margaret taken in 1508–9 mentions nineteen surplices for choristers, some of which were probably spares; CSJC, MS D91.15, fol. 22v.

51 CSJC, MS D4.7, p. 33.

52 Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 276Google Scholar.

53 Report on the Manuscripts of Lord De L'Isle and Dudley Preserved at Penshurst Place, Historical Manuscripts Commission 77, pt 1 (London, 1925), pp. 180, 184Google Scholar.

54 CSJC, MS D102.10; Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, pp. 169, 235Google Scholar.

55 A copy of Margaret's will, where these arrangements are specified, is printed in Collegium Divi Johannis Evangelistae, 1511–1911, St John's College Quatercentenary Publication (Cambridge, 1911), pp. 103–26Google Scholar; Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, pp. 230–1, 235Google Scholar; Underwood, ‘The Lady Margaret and Her Cambridge Connections’, pp. 72–3.

56 See Appendix, and Venn, J., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part 1: From the Earliest Times to 1751, 4 vols. (Cambridge, 19221927), i, p. 391Google Scholar; Pulver, J., A Biographical Dictionary of Old English Music (London, 1927), p. 123Google Scholar.

57 The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Sadie, S., 20 vols. (London, 1980), s.v. ‘Cowper, Robert’.Google Scholar

58 Calendar of Patent Rolls 1494–1509, 2 vols. (London, 19141916), i, pp. 154–5Google Scholar.

59 Flood, W. H. Grattan, Early Tudor Composers (Oxford, 1925), p. 64Google Scholar.

60 See Appendix.

61 CSJC, MS D91.21, p. 91.

62 London, Guildhall Library, MS 4889.

63 Christie, J., Some Account of Parish Clerks (London, 1893), p. 35Google Scholar.

64 ‘Mornynge Remembraunce’, pp. 292–3; Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, pp. 37–8Google Scholar.

65 For the education of the royal choristers see Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, pp. 104, 107–9. The Beaufort choristers had a school room at Collyweston, which contained ‘descs and pressis’; CSJC, MS D102.9, p. 17.

66 CSJC, MS D91.19, p. 48; Kirby, T.F., A List of the Wardens, Fellows and Scholars of Saint Mary College of Winchester (London, 1888), pp. vixGoogle Scholar.

67 Report on the Manuscripts of Lord de L'Isle and Dudley, p. 182.

68 Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 278Google Scholar; see Appendix.

69 CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 175.

70 Ibid., p. 103.

71 Ibid., p. 29.

72 The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Surrey, ed. Malden, H. E., 4 vols. (19021967), ii, p. 196.Google Scholar

73 See Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, p. 194.

74 Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 158Google Scholar.

75 BL, Add. MS 7099, fol. 6.

76 CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 100.

77 For these see Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, pp. 218–33 and Appendix Four.

78 CSJC, D91.19, p. 112.

79 CSJC, MS D91.21, pp. 145–6; CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 126b.

80 CSJC, MS D91.20, pp. 61, 126b, 190; CSJC, MS D91.21, pp. 93, 145; CSJC, MS D91.19, pp. 5, 121.

81 CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 61.

82 See Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, Appendix One.

83 Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic of the Reign of Henry VIII (henceforth LP), vol. I, 2nd edn, revised and enlarged, ed. Brodie, R. H. (London, 1920), vols. ii-xxi, ed. J. S. Brewer, J. Gairdner and R. H. Brodie (London, 1862–1910), vol. i, pt 1, 833 (25);Google Scholar see also Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, Appendix One. For other servants see LP vol. i, pt 1, 158 (23); LP vol. i, pt 1, 132 (118).

84 See Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, Appendix One.

85 Notes from College Records’, The Eagle, 16 (1891), pp. 346–7Google Scholar; Underwood, ‘Politics and Piety’, p. 42.

86 Griffiths, , Tudor Dynasty, p. 93Google Scholar; Chrimes, , Henry VII, p. 109Google Scholar.

87 Cooper, The Lady Margaret Beaufort, p. 32; Bacon, F., History of the Reign of Henry VII, ed. Lockyear, R. (London, 1971), p. 76.Google Scholar

88 CSJC, MS D91.15, fol. 22.

89 CSJC, MS D102.13, p. 49.

90 Scott, R. F., ‘On a List (Preserved in the Treasury of St John's College) of the Plate, Books and Vestments Bequeathed by the Lady Margaret to Christ's College’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 9 (18961897), pp. 361–5Google Scholar.

91 Pfaff, R. W., New Liturgical Feasts in Later Medieval England (Oxford, 1970), pp. 48, 82–3Google Scholar; Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, pp. 176, 276Google Scholar; Cooper, , The Lady Margaret, p. 119Google Scholar.

92 CSJC, MS D91.19, p. 37.

93 Harrison, , Music in Medieval Britain, p. 182Google Scholar.

94 See Appendix.

95 CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 160.

96 See Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, p. 195.

97 Harrison, , Music in Medieval Britain, pp. 88, 95Google Scholar.

98 See Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, p. 145.

99 See Appendix.

100 See Appendix.

101 In June 1503 ‘George’ was paid vis viiid for the ‘makyn of an antem of gaude flore … at my laide deptyng toward Richmond’; CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 97.

102 CSJC, MS D91.20, p.42; The New Grove Dictionary, s.v. ‘Lambe, Walter’.

103 See p. 227 below.

104 CSJC, MS D91.19, p. 108.

105 Ibid., p. 37; Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 225Google Scholar.

106 CSJC, MS D91.21, p. 24.

107 R. F. Scott, ‘On a List Preserved’, p. 354.

108 For an account of Philip's arrival and subsequent meetings with the king see Gairdner, J., Memorials of King Henry VII (London, 1858), pp. 282303Google Scholar.

109 Chrimes, , Henry VII, p. 289Google Scholar.

110 CSJC, MS D91.21, p. 110.

111 Ibid.

112 CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 183.

113 CSJC, MS D91.19, p. 31. At present this mass cannot be identified; in view of Margaret's devotion to the Name of Jesus, could it have been a Jesus mass?

114 CSJC, MS D91.19, p. 101.

115 CSJC, MS D91.20, pp. 48, 61.

116 CSJC, MS D91.21, p. 8; CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 22.

117 CSJC, MS D91.21, p. 140; London, Public Record Office (henceforth PRO) E36/214, p. 59.

118 CSJC, MS D91.20, pp. 109–10.

119 CSJC, MS D91.14, pp. 109, 111, 112.

120 CSJC, MS D91.20, pp. 104–6. Pykring was probably John Pykering, who had been a clerk at Tattershall from 1495 to 1504; Report on the Manuscripts of Lord De L'Isle and Dudley, pp. 195–7.

121 CSJC, MS D91.21, p. 39.

122 CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 186. An Alexander Belle had been a choirmaster at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1486–1487, and this may have been the same man who was later employed at Fotheringhay; Emden, A. B., A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to 1500, 3 vols. (Oxford, 19571959), i, p. 160Google Scholar.

123 CSJC, MS D91.21, p. 59; Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 269Google Scholar.

124 CSJC, MS D91.20, p. 119.

125 BL, Add. MS 19103, fol. 89.

126 Ibid., fol. 90.

127 Hope, W. St John, ‘Inventories of the College of Stoke-by Clare’, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Natural History, 17 (1921), pp. 54–5Google Scholar.

128 John Ednam, Dean from 1497 to 1517, was the king's privy chaplain by 1497, almoner and confessor to the Prince Arthur, and Henry VII's almoner from 1507 to 1509. He was succeeded as dean at Stoke-by-Clare in 1517 by Robert Beckinsall, Katherine of Aragon's almoner, who had earlier held the latter office in Margaret's household; Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 269Google Scholar.

129 Strype, J., The Life and Acts of Matthew Parker, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1821), i, pp. 1518Google Scholar.

130 The Story of the Parish Church of St Mary, Harrow on the Hill (Gloucester, 1950), p. 25Google Scholar; Howson, E. W. and Townsend, G., Harrow School (London, 1898), pp. 910Google Scholar; Ecclesiastical Organization of Harrow in Pre-Reformation Times’, Harrow Octocentenary Tracts, 9 (1897), pp. 18Google Scholar.

131 For Smith's professional concerns and private interests in Westminster see Kisby, ‘The Royal Household Chapel’, chap. 6 and Appendix One; idem, ‘Music and Musicians of Early Tudor Westminster’, Early Music, 23 (1995), pp. 223–41.

132 CSJC MS D91.20, p. 43. Most of the names of the adult singers in the Lady Chapel choir in the early sixteenth century cannot be recovered: for a preliminary listing see Kisby, ‘Music and Musicians of Early Tudor Westminster’, p. 237. Smith and Watson were not the only urban musicians borrowed by Margaret; she also used singers from London in 1508; CSJC, MS D91.19, p. 96.

133 Jones, and Underwood, , The King's Mother, p. 237Google Scholar; Colvin, H. M. and Ransome, D. R., The History of the King's Works, 6 vols. (London, 19631982), iii, pp. 210–14Google Scholar; Scott, R. F., ‘On the Contracts for the Tomb of Lady Margaret Beaufort’, Archaeologia, 66 (19141915), pp. 365–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

134 CSJC, MS D91.20, pp. 119, 122.

135 Churton, R., The Lives of William Smith Bishop of Lincoln and Sir Richard Sutton, Knight (Oxford, 1800), pp. 34, 94Google Scholar; KM, pp. 194, 196. The bishop was closely connected with royal circles throughout his career. In 1485 he was appointed as Clerk of the Hanaper and prebendary of St Stephen's College, Westminster; two years later he had become a member of the Council and a royal privy chaplain. He also played a major role at the funeral of the Prince Arthur in 1502; Emden, , Biographical Register of the University of Oxford, iii, p. 1721Google Scholar.

136 PRO C1/603/3.

137 PRO C1/603/1.

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