Pageant for Sir Martyn Calthrop

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Peele, George (1588)


Historical Records

Stationers' Register

28 October 1588

xxviijo. die Octobris [1588]
[...]
Richard Iones/     Entred for his Copie vppon Condicion
that it maye be lycenced, ye device
of the Pageant borne before the     vjd
Righte honorable Martyn Calthrop
Lorde maior of the Cytie of London.
the 29th daie of October 1588
geo. Peele the Author


(Register B, fol. 235v; cf. S. R. I, 2:504)


Theatrical Provenance

A London civic pageant held to mark the inauguration of the Lord Mayor of London, Martyn Calthrop, on 29th October 1588.


Probable Genre(s)

Civic Pageant (Harbage); Entertainment (Chambers)


Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

(Information needed).


References to the Play

None known

Critical Commentary

In Merrie conceited iests of George Peele Gentleman (first published in 1607) Peele is identified as a recognised City pageant-maker: 'for George was well knowne [in London] ... [and] at that time had all the ouersight of the Pageants' (B4r).

See also Chambers (ES, III.463).

See also Wiggins, Catalogue, serial number 816.


For What It's Worth

Biographical information on Martyn Calthrop:

Sir Martyn Calthrop, Draper. Alderman 22 nd

Eliz., 1580. Sheriff 1579, and Lord Mayor 1588.

On becoming Lord Mayor, according to his prerogative he migrated to the Ward or Cheap. He was the son of Martin Calthrop, Draper, of London, and a kinsman of the Queen. On the 24th November, 1588, he received Queen Elizabeth at Temple Bar, on her way to St Paul's to hear a sermon from the Bishop of Salisbury (when the Spanish Armada had been scattered, and the fear of invasion no longer alarmed the lieges), and carried the sceptre before her.

Sir Martin Calthrop died during his year of office (3rd May 1589), and was buried 16th May at St Peter-le-Poer, Broad Street. Sir Richard Martin served the rest of the year, and this same Knight served again for Sir Cuthbert Buckle, who also died during his year of office (1593). (Withie 15) (Internet Archive)

During his mayoralty Calthrop organized an entertainment for a separate occasion, the visit of Queen Elizabeth to London:

...Yet of his worth my Muse a while shall sing,
And cheeflie touch one honorable thing
Calthrop performd not long before his death,
His entertainment of Queene Elizabeth.
When royall Prince of her most gracious loue,
To famous London did pretend to come,
Then Calthrop graue her Cittizens to proue
Did notice giue, and warned all and some
Each man should ready be in his appointed roome,
To giue her grace the welcome that was méete,
For louing Subiects to a Queene so sweete.
Which by his doome most brauely was performde,
In royall order sparing for no cost,
By Calthrops counsell, whose honor yet consernde
In such braue sort as Cittizens may boast,
Their paines and charges nere a whit was lost.
For graciously each thing she did esteeme,
And gaue them thankes most like a royall Queene.
But Calthrop chéefe with grace she did reward,
Through whose foresight her welcome was the more,
To Aldermen she had a like regard,
And curteously as she had doone of yore,
Vnto Lord Mayor her princelie Mace that bore,
With hartie thanks their zeale she did requite,
Which with such pompe had pleasde her princely sight.

- H. R., Fames trumpet soundinge. Or commemorations of the famous liues and deaths, of the two right honourable Knights of England: the right honourable Sir Walter Mildmay, and Sir Martin Calthrop, Lord Mayor of this honorable Citty of London, who deceased this yeere 1589 (London: Thomas Hacket, 1589), B2v-B3r.

This event took place in early November, and is distinct from the pageant recorded in the Stationers' Register entry.

Works Cited

R., H. Fames trumpet soundinge. Or commemorations of the famous liues and deaths, of the two right honourable Knights of England: the right honourable Sir Walter Mildmay, and Sir Martin Calthrop, Lord Mayor of this honorable Citty of London, who deceased this yeere 1589. London: Thomas Hacket, 1589.

Withie, John. Facsimile of a heraldic ms. entitled : "The names and armes of them that hath beene alldermen of the warde of Alldersgate since the tyme of King Henry 6, beginning at the 30 yeeare of his reigne vntil this present yeeare of our Lord 1616". ed. Francis Compton Price. London, 1878. Print. Internet Archive

[George Peele], Merrie conceited iests of George Peele Gentleman sometimes a student in Oxford. Wherein is shevved the course of his life, how he liued: a man very well knowne in the citie of London, and elsewhere. London: printed by G[eorge] P[urslowe] for F. Faulkner, 1627.

Site created by David McInnis; updated by Matthew Steggle, 23 Feb 2011; revised by Tracey Hill, 6 July 2018.