The Stonyhurst Vestments: Catholic Vestments of Tudor England

The Gold and Glory exhibition in London only recently just ended but one of its features will surely be of some interest to our readers: the Stonyhurst vestments. By way of a little background, the exhibition itself took place in Hampton Court Palace within the rooms used by none other than Thomas Cardinal Wolsey and the exhibition commemorates artifacts taken from the spectacle known as the "Field of the Cloth of Gold" wherein the English King, Henry VIII, met his French rival, Francois I. 

Cardinal Wolsey

For this historical summit temporary palaces were setup and for the liturgical services the vestments we now know as the Stonyhurst vestments were chosen by Henry VIII and used, in part, by Cardinal Wolsey.  In point of fact the vestments pre-date Henry VIII; the English Jesuits provide a little historical background:

...perhaps the star exhibit is the unique Henry VII cope, which belongs to the British Jesuit Province. This garment is the sole survivor from a set of 29 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 royal summit. By 1608, only eleven were still in the Abbey, and these were burned in 1643.

We can feel fortunate that, despite the vestments lost to Reformation history, we at very least still have these few examples to marvel at.  Here are some photos which were taken by the proprietor at FilAurum in Oxford.

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