Henry VIII On Tour

Palaces, progresses and panache

Palaces, progresses and panache

In delayed celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Field of Cloth of Gold, Historic Royal Palaces is pleased to present a day-long academic conference on 22 June 2021. Owing to COVID restrictions the event will be held on-line and free tickets are available from Eventbrite.

This conference will interrogate progresses, diplomatic meetings, and ceremonial entries in the early-modern period, their logistics and role in fashioning the royal image and explore the political, religious and social context of these large-scale events.

This event will mark the final event of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Network "Henry VIII on Tour: Tudor Palaces and Royal Progresses". 

Keynote speakers

  • Simon Thurley
  • Glenn Richardson, St Mary’s University
  • Tracy Borman, Historic Royal Palaces (Introduction)
  • Programme Day

    9.00-9.15 Welcome by Joint-Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces Tracy Borman

    9.15-9.30 Introduction to the AHRC funded research network ‘Henry VIII on Tour: Tudor Palaces and Royal Progresses’, Anthony Musson (Historic Royal Palaces) and John Cooper (University of York)

    9.30-10.15 Keynote: Simon Thurley

    (Chair: Tracy Borman)

    ‘The Court on the Move: Perspectives and Problems’

    10.30-12.15 Panel I Sessions (Chair: John Cooper)

    • Panel I: Logistics of the Royal Progress 

    This panel will address the logistics of the royal progress utilising inventories and financial accounts. It will offer an opportunity to compare the royal progress in England and France at times of peace and the logistics of a military campaign.

    Sebastian Edwards (Historic Royal Palaces) ‘Preparing to Progress’

    Maurice Howard (University of Sussex) ‘Monastic Lodgings: Housing the King Before and After the Dissolution’

    Etienne Faisant (Sorbonne Université), ‘The French Kings on the Road: the Court’s Journeys in Renaissance France’

    Simon Lambe (King’s College London), ‘“A captain expert in war:” English military logistics during the Boulogne campaign of 1544-6’

    12.20-13.15 Panel II Sessions (Chair Suzannah Lipscomb)

    • Panel II: Marriage Progresses and Proposals on Tour

    This panel will address the natural combination of the royal marriage and the royal progress through an analysis of the (often long) journeys made by future spouses to their reach their bride or groom.

    Valerie Schutte, ‘Anne of Cleves: Bound for England’

    Patrik Pastrnak (University of Oxford), ‘Travelling grooms: A Royal Progress or a Wedding Journey?’

    13.15-14.00 LUNCH

    14.00-15.15 Panel III Sessions (Chair: Alden Gregory)

    • Panel III: Gift Giving and the Art of Diplomacy at the Field of Cloth of Gold 

    This panel will look at how the behaviour of participants at the Field of Cloth of Gold was part of a wider diplomatic performance full of symbolism, which included the exchange of gifts, and socialising between the two royal courts.

    Lesley Mickel (University of the Highlands and Islands), ‘Theatricalisation at the Field of Cloth of Gold’

    James Taffe (University of Durham), ‘Pleasaunt pastime’, or drunken diplomacy? Ladies and gentlewomen at the Field of Cloth of Gold’

    Timothy Schroder, ‘Cloth of Gold and Plate of Gold’

    15.20-17.10 Panel IV Sessions (Chair: Tom Betteridge)

    • Panel IV: Progresses and Performative Royal Power

    This panel will explore the performance of kingship and queenship by itinerant monarchs on tour, investigating how, by a variety of means, they engaged with their subjects, and both the practical and symbolic functions of these activities.

    Brett Dolman (Historic Royal Palaces), ‘Palaces, Progresses, Panache and Pictures’

    Laura Flannigan (University of Oxford), ‘Justice on Progress in Early Tudor England’

    Lucy Wooding (University of Oxford), ‘The Performance of Sanctity: Religious Symbolism in Royal Processions’

    Emily Cole (Historic England), ‘The Itinerary of James I: the Last Great Royal Progresses in England’

    17.15-18.00 Keynote: Glenn Richardson

    (Chair: Anthony Musson)

    "These Princes were mortal and mutable": Context and Consequences of the Field

    18.00 Conference Close

Further information

Conference date and time 

Monday 22 June 2021, 09.00 - 18.00



Henry VIII on Tour: Tudor Palaces and Royal Progresses

A one-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) research network assessing the characteristics, iconography and material culture associated with Tudor royal progresses and in particular those of Henry VIII. 

More information
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