The Plague and the Hope

By now we are all familiar with the experience of walking into a crowded place and worrying whether it is safe to be there, whether the number of people breathing in that space correlates to the higher possibility of infection and disease. Finally, we decide that the pleasures of social interaction or entertainment are not … Continue reading The Plague and the Hope

The Drama of Recusancy in Yorkshire’s North Riding

Recusancy – the refusal to attend regular services of the newly-founded Church of England (usually in favour of attendance at the celebration of a Catholic mass) – was prohibited by the 1559 Act of Uniformity, with harsh penalties for non-compliance. The fines could be crippling: an initial fine of twelve shillings for non-attendance was soon … Continue reading The Drama of Recusancy in Yorkshire’s North Riding

Real-life drama in Yorkshire’s North Riding: Sir Thomas Hoby and the Protestant North

It is a commonplace that Tudor and Stuart societies were among the most litigious in history, and that the courts were regularly used to settle scores, advance personal wealth, and control relationships. Sir Thomas Posthumous Hoby (1566–1640) is a particularly egregious example of this mindset; his name appears frequently in the court records of the … Continue reading Real-life drama in Yorkshire’s North Riding: Sir Thomas Hoby and the Protestant North

Playing Companies in Yorkshire’s North Riding

The North Riding collection of documents provides evidence of playing companies on a number of levels, ranging from local companies based in the Riding to touring companies from London.  London companies would have travelled under the patronage of a member of the aristocracy or gentry, avoiding the severe penalties under Elizabeth’s Poor Laws of 1572 … Continue reading Playing Companies in Yorkshire’s North Riding


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