Hatfield Pageant

Other names

  • Tudor Revels

Pageant type

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Place: Hatfield Park (Hatfield) (Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England)

Year: 1927

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 2


30 July 1927 at 2 and 7pm

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Mistress of Revels [Pageant Master]: Cicely Alice Gascoyne-Cecil (Gore), the Marchioness of Salisbury
  • Ground Master: J.C. McCowan
  • Mistress of the Wardrobe: Mrs Speaight
  • Chairman: Viscount Cranborne
  • Vice-Chairman: Reverend J.J. Antrobus
  • Hon. Treasurer: Col. Lindsay Lloyd
  • Hon. Secretary: B.H. Oliver
  • Assistant Hon. Secretary: J.C. Simpson
  • Hon. Director: F.W. Speaight

Names of executive committee or equivalent

Finance Committee

  • Chairman: Col. Lindsay Lloyd

Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Speaight, F.W.
  • Shakespeare, William


Excepts from A Winter's Tale were used.

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Financial information


Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion

Part of the Annual Exhibition of the Hatfield Horticultural, Fur and Feather Society

Audience information

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


[It is likely there was a cheaper admission, although this has not been noted.]

Associated events


Pageant outline

Hatfield Tudor Revels

The pageant depicted a visit by Henry VIII and Catherine Parr, along with Prince Edward and Princess Mary and Elizabeth with their tutor Roger Ascham, to Hatfield House. After a stately procession, the Royal Party witnesses scenes from Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, before retiring to the house to dine.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Henry VIII (1491–1547) king of England and Ireland Click here to see image
  • Katherine [Kateryn, Catherine; née Katherine Parr] (1512–1548) queen of England and Ireland, sixth consort of Henry VIII
  • Edward VI (1537–1553) king of England and Ireland
  • Mary I (1516–1558) queen of England and Ireland
  • Elizabeth I (1533–1603) queen of England and Ireland
  • Ascham, Roger (1514/15–1568) author and royal tutor

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail

Book of words

None noted.

Other primary published materials


References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Bodleian Library, Oxford, John Johnson Collection: Copy of Programme.

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • Shakespeare, William. A Winter’s Tale.


The Hatfield Pageant was one of many in the interwar period which focused heavily on the Tudors, managing as it did to feature four out of five of the monarchs in a single scene. Henry VIII acquired the house from the Bishop of Ely in 1538 and used it as a nursery for his three children who lived there for a number of years, Elizabeth becoming effectively a prisoner there after the accession of Queen Mary in 1553.1 Seat of the Marquesses of Salisbury, the house came into the possession of the aristocratic Cecil family in 1607 who continue to own it to the present. Victor Cecil, brother to the then Marquess, and Lady Cranbourne played the King and Queen and their nephew the literary critic David Cecil played Elizabeth’s tutor, Roger Ascham.2 Despite the heavy rain, the Yorkshire Post pronounced the pageant to be ‘a great success, financial and otherwise, in spite of the weather’, noting that when ‘The rain held off for a few minutes, and the procession was a really lovely sight in a perfect setting’.3


1. ^ ‘The Old Palace’, Hatfield House, accessed 21 March 2017, http://www.hatfield-house.co.uk/house-park-garden/the-house/the-old-palace/
2. ^ Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 8 August 1927, 6.
3. ^ Ibid.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Hatfield Pageant’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1518/