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The Field of cloth of Gold; 6000 englishmen in France for 18 days - How did they do it?

11th March 2025

Presented by Joanna Mabbutt

Profile

Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and Freeman of the City of London. Originally a trained singer, pianist and orchestra administrator, Jo is now a decorative artist who gilds antique lace and crochet, often combining with hand printing and painting.  She works to commission, sells through galleries and exhibitions and collaborates with other designers.

 

Jo trained in wood graining, marbling, gilding, specialist paint finishes and interior design and was awarded the City & Guilds Silver Medal for Excellence in 2000. She taught in further education for 8 years on Art & Design National Diploma and Foundation courses then up-skilled at Central St Martin's College of Art & Design developing her own practice. She now divides her time as a designer/maker, lecturer and tutor running workshops for specialist groups.

Synopsis

In June 1520 Henry VIII and Francis I meet to ratify an Anglo-French alliance and celebrate the betrothal of Henry’s daughter Mary to the Dauphin. The two handsome ‘Renaissance Princes’ have imperial ambitions and are eager to display themselves as magnificent nobleman and warrior kings. Each brings an entourage of 6,000 to a field south of Calais for 18 days of various events and entertainments staged to display the skill and splendour of each King and country. 

The logistics of transporting, accommodating, feeding and watering, protecting and entertaining the English contingent for this spectacular event is staggering, and the adornment of the entire Field and everyone present is equally fascinating.  How was it all achieved?

A member of The Arts Society
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