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Writing and Reading Royal EntertainmentsFrom George Gascoigne to Ben Jonson$
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Gabriel Heaton

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199213115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213115.001.0001

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Negotiating Gifts: The 1607 Entertainment at Merchant Taylors' Hall

Negotiating Gifts: The 1607 Entertainment at Merchant Taylors' Hall

(p.125) 4 Negotiating Gifts: The 1607 Entertainment at Merchant Taylors' Hall
Writing and Reading Royal Entertainments

Gabriel Heaton

Oxford University Press

This chapter is focused on a civic entertainment, one written by Ben Jonson and performed before King James I at Merchant Taylors' Hall in May 1607. The Merchant Taylors' Company, a leading livery company dominated by members of London's mercantile elite, had a very different relationship to the crown from the aristocrats who were the hosts in entertainments discussed in other chapters, and this difference is reflected in the enterainment itself. This chapter explains the sequence of events leading up to the king's visit, including his visit to the Clothworkers' Company a few weeks earlier, and also provides a detailed reading of Ben Jonson's songs written for the occasion, which have only recently been identified.

Keywords:   civic entertainment, livery company, Merchant Taylors' Company, London, Clothworkers' Company

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