14. Edmund Dudley’s inventory
One of the first manuscripts I ever studied was the indenture of the goods and possessions found within the home of notorious early-Tudor minister Edmund Dudley, who was executed on apparently invented treason charges in 1510. The inventory describes a grand house of 21 rooms on Candlewick Street in London, including a ‘long galerre’ and several large halls. It provides insight into the lifestyle of ‘new men’ in the king’s service like Dudley, who owned a great array of expensive clothing, items of ‘beyounde see making’, and drinkware engraved with the Tudor ‘rose Floweres… & pourt colys’. This grandeur, along with cupboards full of cash collected from those in debt to the crown, may have instigated his downfall at the hands of powerful councillors. Intriguingly, though, we also discover a stockpile of cross bows, arrows and 41 harnesses. Perhaps Dudley really was preparing to fight for his position in Henry VIII’s new regime.
Archival references: The National Archives: E 154/2/17 — Indenture as to the goods of Edmund Dudley in ‘Candelwykstrete’, St Swithin [?London].
Image: L-R: Richard Empson (d. 1510); Henry VII of England (1457-1509); Edmund Dudley (1462-1510). Unknown artist. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EmpsonHenryDudley.jpg.