Tracey Hill
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‘Our devices for that solemne and Iouiall daye’
The writers, the artificers and the livery companies

This chapter explores how the Lord Mayor's Show was financed and put together, and highlights the often-overlooked roles of the artificer and those other craftsmen who contributed so valuably to the day's entertainment. The more common form of competition between potential writers and artificers was not inevitable but was probably encouraged by the Companies to ensure they got the best deal. Being the creator of a Lord Mayor's Show was often a contested position, where writers and artificers competed with each other for commissions. Careful scrutiny of the livery company records shows that the responsibility for the Show was often more complex than might appear from the text alone. The City Corporation dealt with pageantry, entertainments and hospitality relating to visits from members of the royal family and other non-civic dignitaries although on those infrequent occasions, the set-up was very similar to the approach taken over mayoral Shows.

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Pageantry and power

A cultural history of the early modern Lord Mayor’s Show, 1585-1639


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