By A. L. Rowse (auth.)
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Additional resources for William Shakespeare: A Biography
His celebrated Book of Falconry or Hawking he dedicated to the Earl of Warwick. One sees what a cultivated circle there was around the Dudleys -Leicester and his nephew, Philip Sidney, were the greatest literary patrons of the age - in addition to Leicester's consistent, and politic, patronage of the Puritans. Sometimes Majesty herself passed by on the horizon on her summer visits to the Dudleys at Warwick and Kenilworth. In 1572 she was there, with the French ambassador, La Mothe Fenelon, in her train.
Sd. for a ring to remember him by. And so down the lane to the heart of the town for us, the nexus of buildings dominated by the grey-stone tower of the Gild-Chapel built by Hugh Clopton, and within the precincts the Gild-hall, where the 'halls' or meetings of the council took place, the almshouses, grammar school, and little houses for both schoolmaster and the vicar. Externally there is not so much changed here, though the whole area was then more heavily overhung by trees. When Leland was here, 'about the body of this chapel was curiously painted the Dance of Death' ,9 The interior was sadly ravaged by the Reformation, the rood loft and screen pulled down, the images defaced and broken up, paintings white-washed.
Then in rapid succession in the 1570's followed the smiths, next the weavers, whose early ordinances still survive, then the masons, joiners, carpenters and the trades involved in building formed one company. In 1578 the shoemakers and saddlers came together, in 1581 the drapers; in 1604 there was a merger to form the biggest company, mercers, grocers, drapers and hatters. In 1606 there followed the glovers and whittawers, that is those who worked the softer, white skins, in contrast to tanners.