Parties at the Stuart Court



















Welcome to Parties at the Stuart Court!

Masques were performed in the early seventeenth century in England. Most were written during the reigns of James I (who reigned 1603-1625 in England) and Charles I (who reigned 1625-1649).

Stuart masques were the highlight of the court’s calendar. Staged for special occasions such as weddings, or as part of the twelfth night revels at Christmas, they were spectacular events with dancing, singing, poetry and acrobatics. The actors and masquers wore sumptuous costumes and the stage they performed on was decorated with beautiful sets. They also had a political purpose, emphasising the power of the Royal family to all those watching.

Let’s find out how the masque came together and how it was important for the politics at court!

If you have time, I would very much appreciate it if you could fill in the survey on the contact me page for my MA project!

Music and Dance

Music and dance were essential elements of the masque. Discover the music from the time, what instruments were used or learn how to dance like a Renaissance courtier.

Costume and Staging

The characters, dress and staging of the entertainment were extravagant and beautiful elements of the Masques. Discover where performances took place and learn how a courtier might dress for the show!


Masques at the Stuart court were often held for political purposes, and the narratives had political undertones. Unearth the role of key courtiers and discover the links between masques and politics.

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Parties at the Stuart Court

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Fumbling the Dance

Discover the Courtiers who didn’t quite get it right on the night!

Queens of the Masque

Find out the role of the Queens Anne & Henrietta Maria in creating masques!

Court, Theatre and Oliver Cromwell

Weddings, theatre and entertainment at the Court of Cromwell!

Playing the Music

Discover the early instruments found at the Palais Lascaris in Nice!