[From Manx Soc vol XXI]


AD. 1643. The Right Hoble. James Earle of Derbie and his Right Honbie. Countesse invited all the Officeres, temporall and sperituall, the Olergie, the 24 Keyes of the Isle, the Crowners with all theire wives, and likewise the best sort of the rest of the Inhabitance of the Isle, to a great maske, where the Right Hoble. Charles Lo. Strange, with his traine, the right hoble. Ladies, with their attendance, were most gloriously decked with silver and gould, broidered workes, and most costly ornaments, bracellets on there hands, chaines on there necks, jewels on there foreheads, earings in there eares, and crownes on there heads, and after the maske to a feast which was most royall and plentifull, wth. shuttings of ornans, etc. And this was on the twelfth day (or last day), in Christmas, in the yeare 1644. All the men just with the Earle, and the wives with the Countesse, likewise, there was such another feast that day was twelve moneth at night beinge 1643.
Per me Tho. Parre, Vicr. of Malew.

The Honble. Charles was at this time about 16 years old, having been born the 19th Jany. 1627.
This Thomas Parr was styled " Surrogate," and was vicar of Malew in 1641 to 1691, and died in 1695.

A list of some of the principal characters present at these festivities would be curious. We presume this worthy vicar of the parish must have been present in his capacity of Register, taking note thereof.—P. B.

Taken from P. B’s. MS. Extracts from the Episcopal Register, etc., p. in MS., 33.

THESE masques were very popular about this time, and were acted both at Court and at the mansions of the nobility. Mr. Parr, unfortunately, has not recorded the name of the masque acted at Castle Rushen in these years ; probably it was Chlorindia, one of the many written by Ben Jonson, and performed at Court, by the Queen’s Majesty, and her ladies, at Shrovetide, 1630, in which Charlotte de la Tremouille, Lady Strange, was one of the fourteen nymphs who sat round the Queen in the bower of Chloris. Their dresses are thus described in Jonson’s Works, vol. viii. London, 181 6, p. 109:
—" Their apparel white, embroidered in silver, trimmed at the shoulders with great leaves of green, embroidered with gold, falling one under the other. And of the same work were their bases, their head-tires of flowers, mixed with silver and gold, with some sprigs of ægrets among, and from the top of their dressing a thin veil hanging down." The Derby family were constant encouragers of these masques in England, hence the introduction of them in their territory of Man, to beguile the tedium of winter.

To any one curious to know the names of the masquers who personated the nymphs in the masque above named, they are thus given by the poet :—

1. Countess of Carlisle

8. Lady Howard.

2. Countess of Carnarvon.

9. Lady Anne Cavendish.

3. Countess of Berkshire.

10. M. Eliz. Savage.

4. M. Porter.

11. Lady Penelope Egerton.

5. Countess of Newport.

12. M. Anne Weston.

6. M. Dor. Savage.

13. Lady Strange.

7. Countess of Oxford.

14. M. Sophia Cary.

15. The Queen.


Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001