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‘A supplicacion for the Havon’: Sandwich, Civic Pageantry, and Queen Elizabeth I’s Visit of 1573

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image of Explorations in Renaissance Culture

Though typically seen as occasions of royal performance, Elizabethan progresses were also opportunities for the cities visited by the English queen to fashion and project images of themselves to the reigning monarch. Unlike those created by Bristol (1574) and Norwich (1578), Sandwich’s 1573 entertainments feature few formal pageant devices and therefore appear to be much less elaborate. Nonetheless, the citizens of Sandwich did indeed “speak” to their queen over the course of her three-day visit, though they relied primarily on spatial and topographical performance. Everywhere Elizabeth went and everything she saw—the gate through which she entered, her route through the town, the location of her lodgings, the buildings and landmarks that she was shown—were part of a calculated attempt to assert Sandwich’s historical importance and continuing vitality. These messages sought both to refashion reality (Sandwich was in economic decline) and to shrewdly lay the groundwork for the town’s formal request for royal aid. This paper looks closely at sixteenth-century Sandwich’s layout, topography, buildings, and town records to provide a “close reading” of Elizabeth’s visit.

Affiliations: 1: University of Virginia’s College at Wise, jma6x@uvawise.edu

10.1163/23526963-04301002
/content/journals/10.1163/23526963-04301002
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2017-05-30
2018-10-19

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