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- 1 2015-12-16T07:31:56+00:00 Kristen Schuster f2cd36b9a1f8aed4bb6d772610faecf3cd4acebf Map view of objects depicted in volume one Kristen Schuster 33 Map view for volume one google_maps 2019-04-12T08:50:01+00:00 Kristen Schuster f2cd36b9a1f8aed4bb6d772610faecf3cd4acebf
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- 1 2015-07-23T09:03:19+00:00 Kristen Schuster f2cd36b9a1f8aed4bb6d772610faecf3cd4acebf Plate XXXIX: Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire & Plate XL: Melbourne Castle in the County of Derby 24 Scholarly commentary gallery 2018-09-15T18:19:29+00:00 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Brian E. Rodriguez 76cde6900b582a38772d05930ea7775f75d58262
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Quick view of plates in Volume One
- Title page and Table of contents [page 3 and page 4] (scholarly commentary)
- Plate i: A bronze lamp excavated from St. Leonard's Hill near Windsor (scholarly commentary)
- Plate ii: Horn of Ulf (scholarly commentary)
- Plate iii: Baptismal Font, in St. James' Church, Westminster (scholarly commentary)
- Plate iv: Ancient image of Richard II, King of England (scholarly commentary)
- Plate v: Three ancient figures (scholarly commentary)
- Plate vi: Ruins of Walsingham Abbey in the county of Norfolk (scholarly commentary)
- Plate vii: Waltham Cross, in the county of Middlesex (scholarly commentary)
- Plate viii: The ruins of the walls and city of Verulamium [St. Alban's] in the county of Hertford (scholarly commentary)
- Plates ix, x, xi and xii: Fountains Abbey in the county of York (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xiii and xiv:Three views of the Gate of St. Bennet’s Abbey in Norfolk, in two plates (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xv: The Tomb of Robart Colles and Cecili, his wif (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xvi: The Tomb of St. Edward the Confessor, King of England (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xvii: The North Front of the Gate at Whitehall (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xviii: The North Front of King's Street Gate (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xix: Plans of the two proceeding Gates, in one Plate (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xx: Coins of Henry VIII, Elizabeth and James I, Kings of England: Likewise, and image of Elizabeth Expressed in encaustic work (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxi: Excerpt from Edward Hall's Chronicle of Henry VIII (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxii, xxiii, xxiv, xxv and xxvi: The Tournament of Henry VIII, February 12, 1510: Ingraved from an ancient roll in the Heralds Office, London in six plates. A-S (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxvii: The present day appearance of Furness Abbey in the county of Lancashire (scholarly commentary)
- Plates xxviii, xxix, xxx, xxxi, xxxii and xxxiii: Letters from the English Barons to Boniface VIII (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxxiv: Head gilded from bronze, of ancient work, excavated at Aquae Sulis (Bath) (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxxv: Distant view of Colchester Castle, Essex
- Plate xxxvi: Ground plan, south and east prospects of Colchester Castle
- Plate xxxvii: A table of English silver coins
- Plate xxxviii: A table of English gold coins
- Plate xxxix: Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xl: Melbourne Castle, Derbyshire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xli: Lancaster Castle, Lancashire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xlii: Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xliii: Coins struck in France and Flanders relating to the History of England
- Plate xliv: Knaresborough Castle, Yorkshire
- Plate xlv: Image of the greatly revered Thomas Tanner, Bishop of St. Asaph's and not long ago a most worthy associate of this society
- Plate xlvi: Tickhill an old castle
- Plate xlvii: A plan of the Roman roads in Yorkshire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xlviii: Coins struck in France and Flanders relating to the History of England (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xlix: Ancient chapel adjoining to the Bishops palace at Hereford
- Plates L, LI and LII : Roman mosaic peacock (scholarly commentary)
- Plate liii: Antient seals
- Plate liv: Antient seals
- Plate lv: Fronts and backs of medals and gold coins
- Plate lvi: Gold and silver coins annotated with weights and values
- Plate LVII: Hypocaustum Romanun Lincolniae (scholarly commentary)
- Plate lviii: Antient seals
- Plate lix: Antient seals
- Plate lx: Antient seals
- Plate lxi: Winchester Cross
- Plate lxii: Decree imposed against the papal jurisdiction in England in the year 1534
- Plate lxiii: True and exact draft of the Tower Liberties
- Plate lxiv: Chichester cross
- Plate lxv: Astianax vicit Kalendio
- Plate lxvi: Portrait of Robert Cotton
- Plate lxvii: "Bibliothecae Cognominiis conditoris, Effigies, Ad archetypum opera depictum accurate expressa "
- Plate lxviii: Codice Geneseos Cottoniano Dissertatio Historica (excerpt)
- Plate lxix: Codice Geneseos Cottoniano Dissertatio Historica (excerpt)
- Plate lxx: Fragmentorum codicis Cottoniani libri Geneseos Tabula I
- Plate lxx: Fragmentorum codicis Cottoniani libri Geneseos Tabula II
- Standard of weights and measures in the Exchequer
- "View of the Court of Wards and Liveries with the Officers, Servants and other Persons there Assembled"
- Brief account of the Court of Wards and Liveries [page 1]
- Brief account of the Court of Wards and Liveries [page 2]
- Brief account of the Court of Wards and Liveries [page 3]
Plate XXXIX: Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire & Plate XL: Melbourne Castle in the County of Derby
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0
TUTBURY CASTLE in the County of STAFFORD.Was very large, commanding the lower Country by its high Situation, it was built on an Alabaster Hill with the little Monastery in it by Henry de Ferrars a Noble Norman to whom William the first gave large Possessions in the County, which were all lost by Robert de Ferrars Earl of Derby upon his second revolt from K: Henry III.d Leland is of Opinion that it was the Palace of OFFA or KENULF Kings of Mercia. Pat.18.Ed.1.m.10. a Grant to Edmund the King’s Brother to found a Chantry in the Castle of Tutbury. The present Owner of it is his Grace the Duke of Devon, but in the Reign of Q: Elizabeth the Earl of Shrewsbury was Constable thereof when this Draught was taken, and now remains in the Office of the Dutchy of Lancaster. Sumptibus. Soc: Ant: Lond: 1733.
MELBOURNE CASTLE in the County of DERBY.Formerly a Royal Mansion, now in Ruins; where JOHN Duke of BOURBON taken Prisoner by K: Henry V.th in the Battle of AGINCOURT (An.o 1414) was kept Nineteen Years in Custody of Nicholas Montgomery the Younger; he was released by K: Henry VI.th.
This draught is made from a Survey now in the Dutchy Office of Lancaster taken in the Reign of Q: Elizabeth. Sumptibus. Soc: Ant: Lond: 1733.
Plates:Views of Tutbury Castle and Melbourne Castle engraved by George Vertue after two drawings from the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The original drawings belonged to a cache of nine Elizabethan drawings of castles held by the office of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Objects:Two medieval castles as they (supposedly) appeared in the middle of the sixteenth century. Tutbury Castle and its gatehouse are surrounded by a curtain wall. The castle’s round keep, surrounded by a mantlet, is clearly visible, as are a turret tower, the North Tower, South Tower and several other towers, the Great Hall and living quarters. The river valley, which Tutbury overlooks, and the River Dove are pictured on the right. The village of Hatton with its parish church can be glimpsed over the hilltop on the right margin of the plate.
The two-storeyed wall that encompasses Melbourne Castle includes a forward-projecting entrance with a doorway. The tall castle is dominated by a great number of round, square and polyangular towers, turrets, chimneys and projecting balconies. The roofline of the buildings inside the castle walls is also visible, as is the cupola that marks the position of the great hall. The town of Melbourne with its church is shown in the background to the right of the castle.
Location and Provenance:The ruins of Tutbury Castle are located on a hill with a steep ridge on the north west corner of the village of Tutbury in eastern Staffordshire. The medieval castle was erected on the site of an earlier Norman motte and bailey castle, which was most probably made from timber and earthwork (Hislop et al 88). This earlier motte and bailey castle, built c. 1068-69, belonged to the de Ferrers family until it passed to the Earls of Lancaster in 1266. The castle was frequently under military attack and the original structure was gradually replaced by stone buildings. The architectural character of the castle, as shown in the Elizabethan drawing on which Vertue’s engraving was based, was the result of extensive remodeling in the fifteenth century. Large-scale repairs and rebuilding began after Tutbury, being part of the Duchy of Lancaster, had become a royal property in 1399. Among the parts of the medieval castle that survive today are the motte and parts of the baileys, parts of a twelfth-century chapel, and the North Tower and South Tower, which were built in the fifteenth century.
The only above-ground remains of Melbourne Castle are a piece of wall and the foundations of a turret, located on a site called ‘Castle Farm’ which lies at the east end of the town of Melbourne on the south-eastern border of Derbyshire. The castle was preceded by a series of manor houses which date back to the first half of the eleventh century. Building work on Melbourne Castle began in 1311 when Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, whose estate also included Tutbury and various other castles, granted his supporter, Sir Robert de Holland, a license to crenellate the older manor house. As part of the duchy of Lancaster, the castle was transformed into a palatial residence over the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It became the property of the Earl of Huntingdon in 1604 and was demolished for building materials in the 1630s.
Commentary [KB]Between 1732 and 1736, Vertue engraved eight sixteenth-century drawings of castles that were under the jurisdiction of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Duchy of Lancaster, whose origins date back to a grant of land which King Henry III made to his son Edmund in 1265, is a royal duchy comprising land, property and assets that are held in trust and provide income for the sovereign. The Elizabethan drawings of Tutbury and Melbourne were commissioned by Ambrose Cave, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1558 until his death in 1568. Cave included these drawings in a survey of the duchy and its properties that he compiled in the early 1560s (Hislop et al 2011: 106). In Spring 1732, Smart Lethieullier, who had been elected to the Society of Antiquaries in June 1724 (SAL Minutes I: 124) and who remained a highly active member of the Society throughout the 1720s and 1730s, visited the office of the Duchy of Lancaster and came across a cache of nine sixteenth-century drawings of duchy castles. Lethieullier brought the drawings to the attention of the Society of Antiquaries. As the minutes of the Society’s meetings record, on 20 April 1732:
Mr Lethieullier Reported to the Society that there were in the Office belonging to the Duchy ofDuring the meeting of 4 May 1732, ‘[i]t was by Ballot ordered that the several Castles in the office of the Dutchy of Lancaster be engraved by Mr. Vertue’ (SAL Minutes I: 292; White Castle was the only castle that was not engraved). The antiquaries had commissioned series of prints in the past when they were needed to reproduce a single long document. For instance, they ordered six engravings (plates 21-26) that represent different sections of two early sixteenth-century manuscript rolls relating to the Westminster Tournament. However, this was the first instance in which the material for a larger number of prints that were later included in Vetusta Monumenta was drawn from the same archival source. The Duke of Rutland appears to have been an energetic supporter of this project and entertained a cordial relationship with the Society. When in April 1735 Lethieullier presented him with prints from Vertue’s plates of the castles of Pomfret, Lancaster and Knaresborough, the Duke in return gifted the Society ‘three views of Belvoir Castle and one of Avesham Park Seats belonging to his Grace & lately engraved by his order’ (SAL Minutes II: 173).
Lancaster Drawings of the following Castles taken about the Reign of Queen Elizabeth and that
his Grace the Duke of Rutland Chancellor of the said Duchy Seem’d willing to permit the
Society to Copy and Engrave them. The Castles are as follow.
Tutbury in Staffordshire. Lancaster. Knaresborough. Pomfret. Sandal. Tickhill the last four
in Yorkshire. Clitheroe in Lancashire. Melbourne in Derbyshire & White Castle in
Orders that thanks be Return’d to his Grace and he be Desir’d to give an order for
Mr. Vertue to have Access to the Original Draughts, and to take Copies of them.
(SAL Minutes I: 288)
The engravings of the castles of Tutbury and Melbourne were the first of the set which Vertue completed. They were later included, along with engravings of the drawings showing Lancaster Castle, Pontefract Castle, Knaresborough Castle, and Tickhill Castle Volume I of Vetusta Monumenta. Two more plates of the castles of Sandal and Clitheroe were included in Volume II, while a series of five prints of medieval seals also kept in the office of the duchy also appeared in Volume I. As will become clear, the interest which Tutbury held for the antiquaries is easier to account for than their decision to include the print of Melbourne Castle.
When the members of the Society of Antiquaries commissioned the print of Tutbury in 1732, one of their main sources about the history of the castle – apart from the information which Lethieullier gathered in the office of the Duchy of Lancaster – was Robert Plot’s Natural History of Staffordshire (1686). Plot’s study, which was discussed at a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries in January 1725 (SAL Minutes I: 137), gives particular attention to Tutbury’s medieval history and to the annual Minstrels’ Court which John of Gaunt, the first duke of Lancaster, established in Tutbury in 1380. The Minstrels’ Court was an attempt to regulate and license itinerant musicians and minstrels. A “king” of the minstrels was annually appointed in a two-stage election process (24 jurors were elected first; these jurors then elected 4 stewards, one of whom acted as king). Plot, pointing to the ‘universal notoriety of the thing’ (Plot 1686: 436), includes a translation of the original charter (written in old French), which includes the following regulations:
Know ye we have ordained constituted and assigned to our well beloved King of the Minstrells
in our Honor of Tutbury, who is, or for the time shall be, to apprehend and arrest all the
Minstrells in our said Honor and Franchise, that refuse to doe the Services and Minstrelsy as
appertain to them to doe from ancient times at Tutbury aforesaid, yearly on the day of the
Assumption of our Lady: giving and granting to said King of the Minstrells for the time being,
full power and commandment to make them reasonably to justify, and to constrain them to
doe their Service, and Minstrelsies, in manner as belongeth to them, and as it hath been there,
and of ancient times accustomed. (Plot 1686: 436)
The Minstrels’ Court and the regulations cited by Plot were later discussed by Thomas Percy in his influential ‘Essay on the Ancient English Minstrels’ which formed part of Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765). Samuel Bentley’s poem ‘The River Dove: A Lyrical Pastoral’ (1774), clearly influenced by the Gothic revival and the growing interest in the origins of chivalry, tournaments and knight-errantry that Percy’s Reliques stoked, included extensive antiquarian footnotes on the Minstrels’ Court and celebrated Tutbury as ancient seat of chivalry:
’Twas here John of Gaunt kept his court,During the same meeting in which the members of the Society of Antiquaries discussed Plot’s survey of Staffordshire, they also examined a manuscript brought by Peter Le Neve which was ‘said to be of great use to the tenants of Tutbury Staffordshr, where the famous bull feast is kept’ (SAL Minutes I: 137). This bull feast had emerged a few years prior to the foundation of the Minstrels’ Court but was integrated into the festivities of the Court. As Plot explains, the priory of Tutbury (later the earls and dukes of Devonshire) gifted a bull that was released in the town of Tutbury. If the minstrels managed to catch the bull before it crossed the River Dove, the bull became their possession; otherwise the priory reclaimed the animal. Like the Minstrels’ Court, the bull running was a medieval tradition that was still celebrated annually in Tutbury when the Society of Antiquaries ordered the print of Tutbury Castle. The bull-running was brought to an end in 1778 while the Minstrels’ Court remained active until the nineteenth century (Hislop et al 2011: 102, 115).
As Tutbury’s legends unfold,
And chivalry honour’d the fort,
In festive high tournaments bold. (Bentley 1774: 119)
Two decades after Vertue produced the engravings of the Duchy of Lancaster castles, another facet of Tutbury’s medieval history caught Lethieullier’s interest. Lethieullier attempted – together with Charles Lyttelton, another prominent fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (elected in 1740; president 1765-73) – to develop a more systematic, taxonomical approach to Saxon and Gothic architectural forms of the Middle Ages (Sweet 2004: 249-50). In 1751 Lethieullier used Tutbury as a case study to illustrate the method he was in the process of devising with Lyttelton: ‘Allow Tutbury to the Age of the Conqueror, – A Part of Waltham Abby to Edwd the Confessor, & a Part of Christ Church to Ethelred’s, & we shall arrive at a sort of series, which by the Rules of Comparison, may lead to Decypher Others’ (qtd. Sweet 2004: 250). Lethieullier and Lyttelton’s comparative study of medieval architecture helped to usher in typological approaches to artefacts. Like Thomas Warton’s more well-known work on the history of Gothic architecture in the second volume of his Observations on the Fairy Queene of Spenser (Warton 1762, vol. 2: 185-98), Lethieullier and Lyttelton’s research was premised on the idea that artefacts – even when they seemed to lacked aesthetic merit – held considerable value because the typological method made it possible to arrange these objects in a sequence that illustrated historical progress.
Another historical resonance which Tutbury held for members of the Society of Antiquaries was its association with Mary, Queen of Scots. During Elizabeth’s reign, large-scale repairs were made at Tutbury, mainly on the curtain wall, the keep and the lodgings. Elizabeth ordered Mary to be moved from Bolton Castle to Tutbury in January 1569 where she stayed until April of the same year; she returned three times (for roughly two months in the autumn of 1569; for four months in the spring of 1570, and almost the entire year of 1585). When the members of the Society of Antiquaries commissioned the engraving of Tutbury, they were probably familiar with accounts, such as Richard Baker’s Chronicle of the Kings of England (1670), that stressed the fact that Mary’s move to Tutbury marked the beginning of her imprisonment and a shift in her status from royal guest to prisoner. Materials relating to Mary were sometimes discussed at meetings of the Society. At a meeting in March 1725, Vertue presented an engraving of Mary that was based on ‘the picture at Ld Carltons’ (SAL Minutes I: 153). Henry Boyle, Lord Carlton, was secretary to Queen Anne. The portrait, which later became known as the ‘Carlton Type’ is a full-length, life-size portrait of Mary (Exhibition of the Royal House of Stuart 1889: 19). Peter le Neve brought a manuscript relating to Mary’s trial and execution to a meeting in June 1725 (SAL Minutes I: 164) and another manuscript relating to Mary’s imprisonment (likely at Tutbury Castle) to a meeting in July of the same year (SAL Minutes I: 168). While early eighteenth-century travelogues make little of Tutbury’s association with Mary, later eighteenth-century accounts often cast Mary as Elizabeth’s unfortunate victim and describe Tutbury as a gloomy prison-like space. For instance, Bentley describes Mary’s confinement at Tutbury in his aforementioned poem ‘The River Dove’:
Here Mary, unfortunate Queen!
The loss of sweet liberty knew:
Immur’d thy strong turrets between,
With liberty full in her view:
She view’d it beneath in the mead,
The herds there cou’d liberty boast;
There bounding at freedom the steed,
Reminded her what she had lost. (Bentley 1774: 121)
A late eighteenth-century history of Tutbury, John Jackson’s Description of the Castle and Priory of Tutbury Historical (1796) similarly notes that ‘the scenes of festive revelry in those old times were now [under Elizabeth] changed to gloomy melancholy, and its solitary walls became the prison of unfortunate royalty’ (Jackson 1796: 26-27).
The history of Melbourne Castle, situated just twelve miles east of Tutbury, has always been closely linked to that of Tutbury – a fact that probably contributed to the Society’s decision to include Vertue’s print of Melbourne alongside the one of Tutbury in the first volume of Vetusta Monumenta. The attractiveness of the print may also have played a role in this decision: with its multitude of turrets, chimneys, polyangular towers and the majestic cupola, Melbourne appears to have been an exceptionally imposing palatial residence during its brief heyday. Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, licensed the crenellation of a manor house on the site of the later Melbourne Castle in 1311; he turned the manor house into a castle in 1313-14 in order to guard the eastern approach to Tutbury as well as the eastern part of his land holdings (Hislop et al 2011: 96). In the fifteenth century, Melbourne served for many years as prison for the Duke of Bourbon, who had been captured by Henry V at the battle of Agincourt. The history of Melbourne Castle is not often discussed in seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century chronicles and chorographies. In the rare cases in which the castle is mentioned, for instance in Edmund Gibson’s second edition of Camden’s Britannia (1722) or in Robert Morden’s The New Description and State of England (1701), it serves as little more than a backdrop to accounts of the Duke’s confinement.
In the second half of the sixteenth century, Cave’s survey of the duchy castles reached the conclusion that Melbourne was in a poor state and should not be retained. The castle was briefly considered as a potential place of confinement for Mary, but Mary was never moved there. In the late sixteenth century, the administration of the Melbourne estates was largely managed through Tutbury (Hislop et al 2011: 107). By 1597, Melbourne was used as a cattle pound (Stroud 2002: 9) and Gibson’s edition of Camden’s Britannia notes that by 1607 the castle was ‘decaying apace’ (Camden 1722, vol. 1: 587). What remained of the ruin of the castle was demolished and taken away as building material in the 1630s (Emery 2000: 422).
By the early eighteenth century virtually nothing remained of Melbourne Castle. While Tutbury Castle was also in ruins at this time, travelers could still see large parts of the castle as it had been remodeled in the fifteenth century, as well as some newer structures dating from the 1630s when repairs and building work had been carried out under Charles I (Hislop et al 2011: 112-13). Tutbury’s picturesque position above the valley of the river Dove and its eventful history attracted travelers and antiquaries alike. Richard Pococke, who visited Tutbury in 1751, explored Tutbury’s ‘Gothic arches’ and its outer wall and gatehouse, describing it as ‘the finest stonework and masonry I ever saw’ (Pococke 1888: 219). The keep had fallen down and been sold off for building materials, but Pococke could make out the mound as well as remains of the ‘a Gothick building of the Middle Ages’ – presumably parts of the living quarters that were rebuilt in the fifteenth century. He also witnessed the destruction of a large building that had been erected in the 1630s to house royal guests, noting that ‘this building is now taking down, and there are great heaps of the white plaister floors of the rooms’ (Pococke 1888: 219). In the late eighteenth century, Lord Vernon, who leased the castle from the crown, had a folly ruined tower erected on the original motte to improve Tutbury’s picturesque silhouette (Shaw 1798: 49). The castle remained a popular stop for travelers and tourists for the rest of the eighteenth and into the nineteenth century – so popular, in fact, that a ticketed entry system was introduced in 1847 (Hislop et al 2011: 116).
Baker, Richard. 1670. A Chronicle of the Kings of England, From the Time of the Romans Government Unto the Death of King James. London.
Bentley, Samuel. 1774. Poems on Various Occasions. London.
Camden, William. 1722. Britannia, or A Chorographical Description of Great Britain and Ireland … Revised, digested, and published, with large additions, by Edmund Gibson. London. Vol. 1.
Emery, Anthony. 2000. Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales, 1300-1500: Volume 2: East Anglia, Central England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Exhibition of the Royal House of Stuart. 1889. London: The New Gallery.
Hislop, Malcolm, Mark Kincey and Gareth Williams. Tutbury: ‘A Castle Firmly Built’: Archaeological and Historical Investigations at Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire (= Birmingham Archaeological Monograph Series 11). Oxford: Archaeopress, 2011.
Jackson, John. 1796. Historical Description of the Castle and Priory of Tutbury, with An Account of the Borough and Abbey of Burton upon Trend, in the Country of Stafford. London.
Percy, Thomas. 1765. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. London.
Plot, Robert. 1686. The Natural History of Staffordshire. Oxford.
Pococke, Richard. 1888. The Travels Through England of Dr. Richard Pococke, ed. James Joel Cartwright. London: Camden Society. Vol 1.
Shaw, Stebbing. 1798. The History and Antiquities of Staffordshire. London. Vol. 1.
Society of Antiquaries of London. 1718- Minutes of the Society’s Proceedings.
Stroud, Gill. 2002. ‘Derbyshire Extensive Urban Survey Archaeological Assessment Report: Melbourne’, Archaeology Data Service.
Sweet, Rosemary. 2004. Antiquaries: The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century Britain. London: Hambledon and London.
Usher, Howard. 1991. ‘Melbourne Castle’, Derbyshire Miscellany 12: 126-132.
Warton, Thomas. 1762. Observations on the Fairy Queen of Spenser, 2nd edn. London. Vol. 2
Plate XLVI: Tickhill Castle in Yorkshire
A bronze lamp excavated from St. Leonard's Hill near Windsor
Transcription:TICKHILL an Old CASTLE near Doncaster in YORK-SHIRE. Surrounded with a single Wall only, and in the Middle a large Mount, on the Top of it a round Tower. William ye Conqueror gave it to Roger de Buisly with 49 Mannors in this Shire; it was of such Dignity (in old Times) that all the Mannors round belonging to it were stiled the HONOUR of TICKHILL. K. Henry 1st seized upon this Honour of Tickhill, and other succeeding Kings did the like, this having been several times in the Crown, was by K. Edward ye 3rd (Pat.46.E.3.m.35.) given to John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, from whom it pass’d to the Crown by the Succession of his Son King Henry 4th and has remain’d in the Dutchy ever since.
Plate:Engraving by George Vertue after a drawing of Tickhill Castle from the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The original drawing belonged to a cache of nine Elizabethan drawings of castles held by the office of the Duchy of Lancaster. They were produced to illustrate a survey of the properties of the Duchy of Lancaster, undertaken by the Chancellor of the Duchy, Ambrose Cave, in 1561. Smart Lethieullier’s discovery of these drawings during a visit to the duchy office ultimately led the Society of Antiquaries of London to commission George Vertue to engrave eight of these drawings on 20 April 1732 (SAL Minutes I.288); see Plate 1.39 above for a more detailed discussion of this sequence of events. Vertue exhibited a preparatory drawing of Tickhill Castle, based on the original Elizabethan drawing, at the meeting on 25 January 1733 (II.9). He brought a proof print to another meeting on 28 April 1737 at which 450 prints were ordered (III.7-8). 400 prints were delivered on 5 May 1737 (III.10). At this meeting, the members also instructed Vertue to deliver three prints to the Duke of Rutland, who had lent the SAL the original drawings and who had already been gifted a set of plates showing the duchy castles of Lancaster, Knaresborough and Pontefract (II.150).
Object:The plate shows the medieval castle of Tickhill Castle in South Yorkshire, based on a drawing completed in 1561 when Ambrose Cave, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, ordered it to be surveyed along with the other properties of the duchy. Besides the castle, dominated by the imposing motte topped by the keep, and a number of buildings inside the castle’s bailey, the plate also shows houses and churches most likely belonging to the parishes of Tickhill and Laughton-en-le-Morthen, two watermills and mill dams, one windmill, two forests, a pair of resting cows and three rustic figures, a rider leading two spare horses, a man walking towards the watermill to the right of the plate, and two touring antiquaries with a horse in the foreground.
The oldest remains of the castle date to the twelfth century. At this time, an older timber castle – erected as a Norman stronghold in the eleventh century – was rebuilt in stone. The gatehouse and part of the curtain wall were constructed under Henry I in the early twelfth century. Towards the end of the twelfth century, Henry II invested considerable sums in the improvement of Tickhill Castle’s fortifications: he had the eleven-sided keep, a new stone bridge and a new curtain wall erected. The castle was periodically repaired over the next centuries, but it was only in the early seventeenth century, that substantial building activities took place once more when Sir Ralph Hansby leased the castle from James I. The castle served as royalist garrison during the Civil War but surrendered in 1646 and was demolished on the order of parliament soon afterwards (Hey 2003: 70-71). Today, parts of the castle grounds and Tickhill Castle House (a large hall built within the courtyard of the castle after the Civil War) are leased to a private tenant. The remains of the medieval castle – the motte, the foundations of the keep, parts of the curtain wall and of the gatehouse – are open to the public once per year.
Commentary by Katharina BoehmThis print completes the series of six plates, based on Elizabethan drawings and featuring castles belonging to the Duchy of Lancaster, which were included in the first volume of Vetusta Monumenta (two additional plates showing castles of the duchy were included in volume 2). Like the other duchy castles, Tickhill Castle belonged to the crown for large parts of its existence. However, unlike castles such as Pontefract, Knaresborough and Lancaster, Tickhill Castle had rarely served as setting for cataclysmic historical events and had, therefore, received little attention from antiquaries. In the early 1730s, when the members of the Society of Antiquaries of London (SAL) tasked George Vertue with the production of this print, information about the castle’s history could be found in the duchy’s records but little of this information had found its way into printed sources. Prior to Vertue’s engraving, there appear to have been no prints of Tickhill Castle in circulation. Not even the prolific Samuel Buck, who stopped near Tickhill to draw the ruin of Roche Abbey in 1725 (Buck 1725), made time for what remained of the medieval castle at this point: the dramatic motte and the foundations of the keep, parts of the gatehouse, and the curtain wall.
A source which evidently informed the Society’s discussion of Tickhill Castle was William Camden’s Britannia, because Camden’s short description of the castle and account of its history are echoed in the text printed on the plate. Camden’s description of Tickhill begins: ‘an old castle, which is large, but only surrounded with a single wall, and by a huge mount with a round tower on the top of it. It was of such dignity heretofore, that all the manours hereabouts appertaining to it, were stil’d, the Honour of Tickhill’ (Camden 1722, II.850). The Honour of Tickhill (now usually referred to by historians as the Honour of Blyth-Tickill), which is also mentioned in the text on the plate, was newly formed after the Norman Conquest and comprised a belt of land extending across the northern part of Nottinghamshire and into Yorkshire, framed by the Humberhead marshes to the east and the Pennines to the west. Roger de Busli, the Norman Baron who fought alongside William the Conqueror and became the first owner of the newly generated Honour, built the first timber castle of Tickhill and turned it into the military and administrative centre of the Honour (Creighton 2002, 107).
In the few instances in which mention is made of Tickhill Castle in eighteenth-century domestic tours and travelogues – for instance in the expanded 1742 edition of Defoe’s Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain – the reader is usually given a lightly paraphrased version of Camden’s account (Defoe 1742, III.99). Perhaps the very scarcity of available print sources on Tickhill’s history made it seem all the more worthwhile to the SAL to fund a modern reproduction of the sixteenth-century drawing, which measures 40,5 x 58,5 cm and is now held by the National Archives (TNA MPC 1/96). They might also have been struck by the fact that the original drawing is one of only two drawings from the original cache to provide a visual record of the mills and milldams which Ambrose Cave examined as part of his survey of the duchy castles and properties in 1561 (Hoyle 1992, 42-43). Of the six prints of the series included in volume 1 of Vetusta Monumenta, this plate stands out for its attention to the agricultural resources of Tickhill and its environs. Tickhill was known for the quality of its soil. John Leland, who passed through Tickhill just a few decades before the sixteenth-century drawing was made, described the “grounde […] fruteful of corne” (Leland 1907, I.35).
Following the design of the original drawing, Vertue’s print shows several buildings inside the castle’s bailey, including the twelfth-century chapel dedicated to St Nicholas founded by Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry II’s queen. As he also did on the plate of Lancaster Castle (Plate 1.41), Vertue eradicated the densely packed rows of very small and uniform houses which cover two hills in the foreground of the original drawing and which seem to have been intended to signify the proximity of the town of Tickhill rather than to represent specific historical buildings. The print reproduces two churches, surrounded by neighbouring buildings, which are also part of the original drawing. The church with the high steeple visible on a hill in the background resembles Laughton-en-le-Morthen’s famous All Saints’ church, which could be seen from the motte of the castle though not from the location from which the perspective view was taken (Grainge 1855, 8). The other church to the right of the castle probably depicts St Mary’s, the parish church of Tickhill. The location is incorrect, but the sixteenth-century draughtsman took similar liberties when he produced the other drawings, and there was no other church or abbey in the direct vicinity of the castle in the sixteenth century. The history of St Mary’s is closely linked to the castle’s history: it was rebuilt in stone in the twelfth century at roughly the same period when the first timber castle of Tickhill was fortified and rebuilt in stone (Standish 1905, 19-20).
Vertue’s approach to his source material is fairly consistent across the set of plates depicting duchy castles: in this print, as in the others, he included all major buildings shown in the original but increased the symmetry of the composition by adding a partly cloudy sky. Using fine gradations of shading allowed Vertue to add considerable depth and dimension to the castles, which are primarily presented in outline in the sixteenth-century drawings with only occasional use of light shading. The range of grey tonalities which Vertue achieved in the gives rich texture to the various parts of the castles and to the surrounding landscape. However, Vertue rarely made attempts to correct the perspectival oddities and scale issues of the original drawings. The plate of Tickhill castle – like the other plates that were part of the duchy castle series – replicates the faulty perspective of the original, as can be seen, for instance, in the implausible angle at which the stone bridge spanning the moat juts out. Another case in point is the oversized watermill to the left of the castle: although positioned further in the distance, this windmill is considerably bigger than the watermill closer to the foreground to the right of the castle; it also dwarfs the group of houses half hidden behind the motte inside the castle’s walls. The sixteenth-century artist’s brief was to provide a visual inventory of duchy properties. “Defects” in perspective and scale were probably at times occasioned by haste and lack of skill, but they also speak to the artist’s priorities: illustrating the state of repair of the famous stone bridge, built under Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, clearly trumped aesthetic concerns; and the size of the watermill might well have reflected the relative importance and yield of this particular mill.
The minute books of the SAL do not offer any clues to Vertue’s and the other society members’ understanding of the original drawings. However, it seems likely that two factors contributed to Vertue’s decision to adopt the perspective found in the originals in his engravings. First, while the perspective in which the duchy castles are drawn is obviously faulty, introducing changes and corrections would have required information about the architectural design and layout of the castles that was no longer available in the early eighteen century, because most of the duchy castles had been demolished after the Civil War. (Tellingly, Vertue did introduce an error when he attempted to correct and enhance the sixteenth-century artist’s rendition of Lancaster castle’s Norman keep, discussed in the commentary to Plate 1.41.) Even if Vertue had been able to travel north and survey the ruins – which he did not do – he would have found it impossible to figure out many architectural details from the ruins that remained. The scarcity of other visual sources on the former appearance of many of these castles thus may well have contributed to the Society’s desire to preserve the entirety of the archaeological information provided by the surviving drawings, even if this information was often presented in a manner that violated the rules of perspective. Second, Vertue’s handling of perspective and scale also intriguingly suggests that the members of the SAL might have understood these fairly unsophisticated Elizabethan drawings, produced by an unknown artist, not just as neutral medium providing information about the duchy castles but as artefacts in their own right. Vertue was skilled at engraving paintings; in fact, one of the earliest plates he produced for the SAL was a print based on a drawing of a late fourteenth-century portrait of Richard II (Plate IV). For Vertue, awareness of shifting aesthetic conventions and gradual changes in the manner in which artists paid attention to perspective was not merely a matter of abstract knowledge but part of his practice as engraver and antiquary. His approach to the duchy castle series indicates that the members of the SAL might have found it worthwhile to preserve the perspectival strangeness characteristic of visual representations from the Elizabethan period, even as they seem to have welcomed Vertue’s addition of picturesque details and staffage which increase the plates’ perceived resemblance to early eighteenth-century prints of ruins and picturesque scenery.
Vertue’s removal of the townscape that fills the bottom margin of the Elizabethan drawing adds to the idyllic rural character of this view of Tickhill Castle and its three mills. In analogous fashion to his insertion of bucolic features into Plate XLIV showing Knaresborough Castle, Vertue also added features that heighten the picturesque character of the environs of Tickhill Castle. He replaced the tightly packed rows of houses that cover the two hills in the foreground in the original drawing with pastures and a gently winding footpath. Two cows rest on the grass, lazily guarded by a trio of cowherds, while a rider is leading two horses past the castle. Vertue positioned two traveling, modern-day antiquaries in the bottom right corner of the plate. These men serve as proxy figures for the viewer: they turn their backs to us in order to gaze at the castle and the fertile working landscape that surrounds it. Just like the antiquaries in the engraving, a number of members of the SAL toured parts of the country on horseback during the summer months to survey antiquities: Vertue’s immediate audience must therefore have had little difficulty in inserting themselves into this picture. Indeed, the text given on the plate does nothing to dispel the fantasy that modern-day antiquaries might still be able to explore firsthand Tickhill Castle: no information is given regarding the ruined state of the castle, and neither does the text alert the viewer to the fact that the engraving is based on a sixteenth-century drawing. The plates of the duchy castle series are inconsistent in the manner in which they refer to their sources: the texts given on the first two plates finished by Vertue, showing Melbourne Castle (Plate XL) and Tutbury Castle (Plate XXXIX), state that the engravings are based on drawings from the reign of Elizabeth I; the plate of Knaresborough Castle merely states that the print is based on an “old draught” (Plate XLIV); and the plates of Pontefract Castle (Plate XLII) and Tickhill Castle include no information about the sources used by Vertue. Viewers who encountered these plates as a sequence in the context of Vetusta Monumenta could easily deduce that Vertue’s view of Tickhill Castle, too, was based on a sixteenth-century drawing. However, the plates were first distributed individually, and someone who came across a single print of Tickhill Castle in the 1730s with no background knowledge about the genesis of the plate series might have experienced an odd sense of temporal incongruity: after all, the plate merges an Elizabethan approach to perspective and scale with a modern-day penchant for the picturesque and inserts two contemporary antiquaries who admire a castle that no longer exists.
Vertue’s entire duchy castles series restored to the present important medieval castles, many of which had long been demolished and had largely vanished from the landscape they had once dominated. Much like their seventeenth-century colleagues, mid-eighteenth-century antiquaries understood the restoration of British antiquities as a project that required the action of pen, paper, and print, rather than the physical conservation or rebuilding of antiquities. Long before late-eighteenth-century antiquaries and architects began to clash over the respective virtues of physically restoring or “improving” historical buildings, this generation of antiquaries was mostly content with translating crumbling medieval ruins and disintegrating Roman pavements into detailed drawings, maps, and dissertations. The duchy castle series as a whole – and Vertue’s print of Tickhill Castle in particular – thus offer a lively demonstration of one of the key aims that the SAL pursued with Vetusta Monumenta: these plates pay testament to the resurrective powers of visual representation and print technologies. Some of the buildings and objects represented in Vetusta Monumenta were damaged further, or lost entirely, in the decades and centuries following its publication. In the case of the duchy castles, however, this moment of physical destruction was long past: instead of anticipating the demolition of these imposing medieval castles, the members of the SAL could insert themselves into the antiquarian dreamscape of Vertue’s multitemporal engravings and see these castles rise again in paper form.
Works CitedBuck, Samuel. 1774  “The West View of Roche-Abbey, near Tickhill in Yorkshire” in Buck’s Antiquities. Vol. 1. London: Sayer.
Camden, William. 1722. Britannia, or A Chorographical Description of Great Britain and Ireland … Revised, digested, and published, with large additions, by Edmund Gibson. 2 vols. London.
Creighton, O.H. 2002. Castles and Landscape: Power, Community and Fortification in Medieval England. London: Equinox.
Defoe, Daniel. 1742. A Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain. 3drd edn. 4 vols. London: printed for J. Osborn et al.
Grainge, William. 1855. The Castles and Abbeys of Yorkshire. York: Sampson.
Hey, David. 2003. Medieval South Yorkshire. Ashbourne: Landmark.
Hoyle, R.W. 1992. “Introduction: Aspects of the Crown’s Estate, c. 1558-1640,” in The Estates of the English Crown, 1558-1640. Ed. R.W. Hoyle. 1-57. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Leland, John. 1907. The Itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-43. Ed. Lucy Toulmin Smith. 5 vols. London: George Bell.
Society of Antiquaries of London. 1718- Minutes of the Society’s Proceedings.
Standish, John. 1906. “Rev. J. Standish’s Paper” [The History of St. Mary’s, Tickhill], in Transactions of the Thoroton Society, Vol. IX. Ed. John Standish and George Fellows. 19-27. Nottingham: Thoroton Press.
“Tykehill”: Perspective View of Tickhill Castle. 1561. The National Archives, Kew. MPC 1/96.
Suggestions for Further Reading:
Creighton, O.H. 2002. Castles and Landscape: Power, Community and Fortification in Medieval England. London: Equinox.
Grainge, William. 1855. The Castles and Abbeys of Yorkshire. York: Sampson.
Hey, David. 2003. Medieval South Yorkshire. Ashbourne: Landmark.