24
November
17.00
Cost: Free

The Northern Powerhouse: The 1593/4 Inventory of the 4th Earl of Derby's Chattels at Lathom, Knowsley and New Park

Ordinary Meeting of Fellows (Fellows and Guests Only)

The Northern Powerhouse: The 1593/4 Inventory of the 4th Earl of Derby's Chattels at Lathom, Knowsley and New Park

Lecture by Dr Stephen Lloyd, FSA

Dr Stephen Lloyd is a Fellow of the Society and the Curator of the Derby Collection at Knowsley Hall, Merseyside. The lecture introduces and discusses the contents an important recently discovered late Elizabethan inventory that details the contents of the three most important residences  of the Stanley family (Earls of Derby) in their Lancashire powerbase. Lathom, also known as 'the Northern Court', was a heavily fortified residence two miles east of Ormskirk. The 1593/4 valuation inventory, compiled on the death of Henry, 4th Earl of Derby (1531-94), reveals that this great house was filled with more than 80 tapestries or 'arras hangings'. Nearby New Park, located between Lathom and Ormskirk, was a much smaller more private residence. Ten miles to the south of Lathom and New Park is Knowsley near Prescot. This house was at the centre of a deer-hunting park, and is the current residence of the 19th Earl of Derby. Smaller than Lathom,  it contained a Gallery of 26 paintings, mostly 16th-century portraits of members of the Stanley family and European  royal families. Also displayed there were four  maps including one of Stonehenge. This document not only reveals the contents of the major rooms across the three Stanley family properties but also all the working spaces for the extensive household including the kitchens, armoury and stables. The inventory describes the appearance of the three Stanley houses, where leading companies of actors performed between 1586 and 1590, at the time when it widely believed that Shakespeare was a member of the company of actors under the patronage of  Ferdinando, Lord Strange, later the 5th Earl of Derby.

The lecture will reveal much about the material culture of the household of one of the leading Elizabethan families in the north-west of England.