Collections Vestments on Display at Hampton Court Palace | Collections

We are delighted to see some of our vestments on display at Hampton Court Palace as part of the “Gold and Glory: Henry VIII and the French King” exhibition which opened last week.

  • The Cope, belonging to the English Jesuit Province and held a Stonyhurst, is the sole survivor from a set of twenty-nine extremely prestigious cloth-of-gold and red silk damask velvet copes commissioned by Henry VII for Westminster Abbey in the late 15th century. The complete set was borrowed by Henry VIII in 1520 to take to the Field of Cloth of Gold.
  • The Field of Cloth of Gold, was an 18-day meeting between Henry VIII and the French King François I and was unparalleled in its lavish demonstration of wealth and power. Inside huge temporary palaces, the two competitive kings and their courtiers jousted and wrestled, hosted great banquets and exchanged expensive gifts.

This exhibition celebrates the 500th Anniversary of these festivities which were the brainchild of Cardinal Wolsey. Wolsey deemed the celebration necessary in cultivating good relations between the two nations, with the prevention of war as the ultimate goal. The exhibition is taking place in the significant location of the rooms of Hampton Court Palace that were used by Cardinal Wolsey. It also features the Cardinal’s Book of Hours, a beautifully illuminated manuscript which was gifted to him by his brother Cardinal, Lorenzo Campeggio and now belongs to Stonyhurst College.

Learn more