Furnishing the tower house: nobles, lairds, merchants & craftsmen

This post is about the furnishings of tower houses, and the documentary record. The first thing to note is that Scottish furnishings from the sixteenth- and seventeenth centuries are very rare. This may be contrasted with the apparent survival of quantities of English chunky Jacobethan furniture, and it occurs to me that a rather smaller…

Anna of Denmark: Costume, Colours, and Identities in Scotland

This is a transcript of a talk I gave at Riddles Court in Edinburgh and Jesus College, Oxford, in 2019 about Anna of Denmark in Scotland, 1589 to 1603 Introduction In Scotland Anna of Denmark had her own household separate from the kings’. These people lived with her and worked with her. An ambassador called…

Three gold lockets in Edinburgh, 1600

  A reference from 1600 to gold lockets or ‘tablets’ can be found in Edinburgh’s ‘Register of Decreets’.[1] This is the record of a court convened by baillies and burgesses that dealt with debts. Anyone in the town, or anyone owed money by anyone from Edinburgh, could come to this baillies’ court, and obtain a…

Young aristocrats in Paris

Scottish aristocrats went to France to learn French conversation and the accomplishments of dancing, fencing and riding horses in manège in the Parisian riding academies. Meeting and making friends with French aristocrats was a bonus and tutors hoped their pupils would get an audience with the king and kiss his hand. Antoine de Pluvinel’s L’Instruction…