May 19, 2019

Missing persons: Who Were the Typical Tudors? Friday 3 to Sunday 5 April 2020

A Typical Tudor

Join an exciting courtroom drama to witness the evidence for these elusive missing persons go on public trial and be part of the official launch of The Typical Tudor, which focuses on the dress of ordinary men and women.

Sources for people’s appearance 500 years ago offer meagre clues compared to the wealth of material recording the elite. The Tudor Tailor’s investigations uncover what is available to help paint a picture of their clothes. Key questions in this hunt for clues are: How representative is what remains? Is any of it is typical of the lower and middling sort who lived in the Early Modern era? And how does it help reconstruct their looks and lives?

Experts in pictorial, archaeological and documentary material will plead their cases and undergo cross-examination to test their reliability as witnesses to the past appearance of people for whom only remnants and rags remain. The contradictions and confusions presented by these three main sources must be approached with caution. How can this patchy evidence provide a picture of what was usual in the Tudor era? What was the range of options for everyday and best dress?

All averages are based on a broad sweep of data which includes outliers as well as those firmly in the mainstream. Some extant evidence is extraordinary and therefore atypical but still relevant. The vast majority of what once existed in the wardrobes of ordinary people is long gone and only indirect indications remain. Can all these fragments fit together?

Even the most robust interrogation of the best evidence provides only a shadowy glimpse of who these people were and what they wore.

Join Jane and Ninya as they undertake a forensic analysis of the bodies of evidence for the typical Tudors in the historic courtroom of the National Museum of Justice in Nottingham. Follow their progress as they search for the missing persons lost to history for so long.

Other plans for this two-day conference include a tour of the historic buildings with connections to the many textile traditions of Nottingham, a trip to the City of Caves to see the site of a medieval tannery, an exclusive visit the last lace design studio in Nottingham and an opportunity to meet its owner, third-generation lace expert Ashley Watson. The Society of Artists’ Gallery will host an exhibition of the clothes featured in The Typical Tudor and the conference dinner will be held at the magnificent Council House in Nottingham. Delegates will receive their copies of The Typical Tudor, which is included in the conference price, at the end of the gala evening. Take a look at what Nottingham has to offer here.

Further information about the conference programme is available and bookings may be made here

The Typical Tudor will not be available before the conference in April 2020, although preorders will be taken. The first copies will be available at the gala evening on Saturday 4 April. Please note that conference places are limited. The Typical Tudor will be available to preorder in June 2019 for delivery in May 2020 and, if copies remain, will be on sale from The Tudor Tailor’s Etsy shop from mid-June 2020.

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