Monday 5 November 2012

A Masque at Knowsley Hall 1641

On Twelfth Night 1640/1 a masque written by Sir Thomas Salusbury was peformed before James, Lord Strange—later the seventh Earl of Derby—at Knowsley Hall.

The part of January was played by "Mr Tilsbey":

Januarie. Mr Tilsbey.
I twofac'd January first apear
that am the lock, and key to either yeare
in w:home the sage Astronimer surveyes
ye face of Heauen, of fate, and following dayes
In homage thus to both, yor honors bow
which all as well as I for tymes past know
But of theire length of date, and light of glory
you shall obtaine, requires an endles story
This onelie they shall last, let me ensure
whilst revolutions of new yeares endure.

David George [FN1] tentatively suggests this may be Edward Tyldesley, the younger brother of Sir Thomas Tyldesley 1612-1651. However, Edward Tyldesley died in 1621 and was buried at Cartmel Priory. There is no evidence that there was a further son who was given the same name. 

It is more likely is that this is Thomas Tyldesley 1612-1651—later Sir Thomas Tyldesley.

The masque therefore provides evidence of the close connection between the Strange and Tyldesley families, and the long friendship between the two men: James Strange, the seventh Earl of Derby 1607-1651 and Sir Thomas Tyldesley 1612-1651.

1. Records of Early English Drama, Lancashire, David George, 1991.