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The records of Queen Elizabeth's New Year's gift exchanges convey a wealth of information about the late Tudor court. Records of twenty-four exchanges survive from the forty-five years of Elizabeth's reign, naming more than 1,200 participants. The vellum rolls record what was given to the Queen and what she gave in return. The gift rolls convey important information on a broad range of topics, including Elizabethan biography, language, and social and economic conditions, as well as the age's costume, jewelry, and plate, yet they remain largely unstudied by scholars in the many disciplines that would benefit from such evidence. A. Jeffries Collins, the first scholar to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the rolls, lamented more than a half-century ago how little use had been made of them by professional historians. Elizabethan studies rarely cite the substantial and varied information found in these documents, and even that use has been almost wholly restricted to the seven New Year's rolls edited in whole or part to date. This edition opens up their use to scholars by providing complete transcriptions of the extant rolls. They are complemented by five appendices which include biographical sketches of participants with cross references to their titles, a table of court offices with details of participants' offices and occupations, a listing of gift terms and descriptors, and a glossary of unusual or obsolete words found on the rolls.
Jane A Lawson is Coordinator of the Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University
Table of Contents
Extant New Year's Gift Rolls
1559 1 Elizabeth : John Rylands Library, Manchester, MS Eng 117
1562 4 Elizabeth : British Library, Harley Roll V.18
1563 5 Elizabeth : PRO, C 47/3/38
1564 6 Elizabeth : Folger Shakespeare Library, MS Z.d.12
1565 7 Elizabeth : Folger Shakespeare Library, MS Z.d.13
1567 9 Elizabeth : British Library, MS Additional 9772
1568 10 Elizabeth : Society of Antiquaries, London, MS 538
1571 13 Elizabeth : Collection of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, K.T., Boughton House
1575 17 Elizabeth : Folger Shakespeare Library, MS Z.d.14
1576 18 Elizabeth : British Library, MS Additional 4827
1577 19 Elizabeth : PRO, C 47/3/39
1578 20 Elizabeth : Society of Antiquaries, London, MS 537
1579 21 Elizabeth : Folger Shakespeare Library, MS Z.d.15
1581 23 Elizabeth : Eton College, MS 192
1582 24 Elizabeth : Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton RO DD\MI/19/1; British Library, MS Harley 1644
1584 26 Elizabeth : British Library, MS Egerton 3052
1585 27 Elizabeth : Folger Shakespeare Library, MS Z.d.16
1588 30 Elizabeth : British Library, MS Additional 8159
1589 31 Elizabeth : British Library, Lansdowne Roll 17
1597 39 Elizabeth : Morgan Library & Museum, New York, MS MA 3199; British Library Facs 672
1598 40 Elizabeth : PRO, C 47/3/40
1599 41 Elizabeth : Folger Shakespeare Library, MS Z.d.17
1600 42 Elizabeth : Fondation Martin Bodmer, Geneva; British Library RP 294 vol.1
1603 45 Elizabeth : PRO, C 37/3/41
Appendix I : Gift Descriptions and Motifs
Appendix II : Glossary
Appendix III : Offices and Occupations
Appendix IV : Custodians of Gifts
Appendix V : Biographical Sketches