Battle of the Berlengas (1591)
The Battle of Berlengas Islands was a naval battle which took place off the Portuguese coast on 15 July 1591, during the war between Elizabeth I of England and Philip II of Spain. It was fought between an English privateer squadron under George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, who had set out his fortunes by large-scale privateering, a squadron of 5 Spanish galleys commanded by Francisco Coloma tasked of patrolling the Portuguese coast against privateers. While anchored off the Berlengas, the English ships were surprised by the Spanish galleys, which succeeded in taking one English ship and rescuing two prizes. Having undertaken naval expeditions to the coasts of Spain in 1587, 1588 and 1589, in the spring of 1591, the Earl of Cumberland sailed to Cape St. Vincent in a new privateering campaign with one royal ship, the 600-ton galleon Garland, four of his own, the 260-ton Sampson, the Golden Noble and the small pinnace Discovery. Sir William Monson of Stuart Admiral of the Royal Navy, was his second in command.
Off the Spanish coast they took a pair of Dutch ships sailing from Lisbon with spices. Though the Dutch Republic was allied with England against the Spanish Crown, the ships taken by the English squadron had the goods of Portuguese merchants on board; the English squadron took further prizes: one ship loaded with wine and two with sugar, which were sent back to England. One of these ships was forced to cast off, its boarding crew was saved on the shore. The two other vessels met contrary winds and, lacking of provisions, were obliged to enter the port of A Coruña, where they were taken; the English squadron, sailed to the Berlengas islands, a group of small islands off the Portuguese coast near the city of Peniche. There, the Earl of Cumberland ordered Monson to escort the Dutch prizes to England with Captain Peter Baily's Golden Noble. During the night, Cumberland's Garland and the other warships fell separated from Monson and the prizes; the Golden Noble was discovered by a squadron five Spanish galleys under Francisco Coloma, General of the Armada de Guarda Costa.
Archduke Albert, Spanish Viceroy of Portugal, noticed the presence on those waters of English privateers and had sent Coloma's squadron to sail the coast of Algarve till Cape St. Vincent and join forces with Alonso de Bazán's galleons. Taking advantage of the calm, the Spanish galleys rowed up, engaged and took the English ships after a bloody fight. Captain Peter Baily and the principal men were killed in the fight. Coloma captured the 14-gun, 150-man man-of-war Golden Noble and recovered the Dutch prizes, a caravel and a zabre, at the slight cost of two men killed. Cumberland heard the artillery of Monson's ship in distance, but he was unable to come in relief because of contrary winds. After the action, Cumberland wrote to Archduke Albert requesting him that the English prisoners should be humanely treated or he would retaliate the injuries which they might suffer with "double severity" upon the Spaniards. Monson, among the prisoners, was carried to Portugal and imprisoned two years at Cascais and Lisbon, together with 6 other officers, being the sailors and soldiers provided of new clothing and freed.
Monson spent several months as a galley slave in the Leiva galley together with 100 other English captives. Two weeks after the encounter, a much larger English fleet under Lord Thomas Howard, dispatched to the Azores to capture the annual Spanish treasure convoy sailing from the Americas, was put to the flight at the Battle of Flores; the English galleon Revenge was captured by the Spanish and Portuguese ships, but foundered in a storm. Barrow, John. Memoirs of the naval worthies of Queen Elizabeth's reign. London, UK: J. Murray. Bourne, Henry Richard Fox. English seamen under the Tudors. 1. London, UK: R. Bentley. Campbell, John. Biographia Nautica. 3. London, UK: J. Williams. Fernández Duro, Cesáreo. Armada Española desde la unión de los reinos de Castilla y Aragón. III. Madrid, Spain: Est. tipográfico "Sucesores de Rivadeneyra". Goldsmith, William; the naval history of Great Britain: from the earliest period, with biographical notices of the admirals, other distinguished officers. London, UK: J. Jaques.
MacCaffrey, Wallace T.. Elizabeth I: War and Politics, 1588–1603. Princeton, USA: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-03651-9. Monson, William. Sir William Monson's naval tracts. London, UK: A. and J. Churchill. Southey, Robert; the British admirals: With an introductory view of the naval history of England. 3. London, UK: Longman, Orme, Green & Longman
Skipton Castle is a medieval castle in Skipton, North Yorkshire, England. It was built in 1090 by Robert de Romille, a Norman baron, has been preserved for over 900 years; the castle was a motte and bailey castle built in 1090 by Robert de Romille, lord of the multiple estates of Bolton Abbey. Shortly after 1102 Henry I extended Romille's lands to include all of upper Wharfedale and upper Airedale; the earth and wood castle was rebuilt in stone to withstand attacks by the Scots. The cliffs behind the castle, dropping down to Eller Beck, made the castle a perfect defensive structure; the Romille line died out, in 1310 Edward II granted the castle to Robert Clifford, appointed Lord Clifford of Skipton and Guardian of Craven. Robert Clifford ordered many improvements to the fortifications, but died in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 when the improvements were complete. During the English Civil War the castle was the only Royalist stronghold in the north of England until December 1645. After a three-year siege, a surrender was negotiated in 1645 between Oliver Cromwell and the Royalists.
Cromwell ordered the removal of the castle roofs. Legend has it that during the siege, sheep fleeces were hung over the walls to deaden the impact from the rounds of cannon fire. Sheep fleeces feature in the town's coat of arms. Skipton remained the Cliffords' principal seat until 1676. Lady Anne Clifford was the last Clifford to own it. After the siege, she ordered repairs and she planted a yew tree in the central courtyard to commemorate its repair after the war. Today Skipton Castle is a well-preserved medieval castle and is a tourist attraction and private residence; the castle has six drum towers, with a domestic range connecting two towers on the northern side, protected by a precipice overlooking the Eller Beck. The first floor comprises the original kitchen, great hall, withdrawing rooms and the lord's bedchamber. New kitchens and work cellars make up the ground floor; the remaining towers are military in purpose. In the 16th and 17th centuries were added a new entrance staircase, a further domestic wing, larger windows in the original structure.
The roof is intact. In the centre is a Tudor courtyard, the Conduit Court, which contains a yew tree, reputedly planted by Lady Anne in 1659; the outer curtain wall encloses the inner wards and subsidiary buildings, including the ruins of a 12th-century chapel. The wall is extant, is pierced by a twin-towered Norman gatehouse; the east tower of the gatehouse contains a 17th-century shell grotto, one of two remaining grottos from this period. An ancient well was uncovered, which explains how the castle garrison survived the siege of 1643-5. Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland in the family vault. George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland in the family vault. History of Skipton Skipton Castle, Jarrod Publishing, 1999 Official site Gatehouse Gazetteer record for Skipton Castle, containing a comprehensive bibliography Skipton Web entry on Skipton Castle
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two horsemen wielding lances with blunted tips as part of a tournament. The primary aim was to replicate a clash of heavy cavalry, with each participant trying hard to strike the opponent while riding towards him at high speed, breaking the lance on the opponent's shield or jousting armour if possible, or unhorsing him; the joust became an iconic characteristic of the knight in Romantic medievalism. The participants experience close to three and a quarter times their body weight in G-forces when the lances collide with their armour; the term is derived from Old French joster from Latin iuxtare "to approach, to meet". The word was loaned into Middle English around 1300, when jousting was a popular sport among the Anglo-Norman knighthood; the synonym tilt dates c. 1510. Jousting is based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry, it transformed into a specialised sport during the Late Middle Ages, remained popular with the nobility in England and Wales and other parts of Europe throughout the whole of the 16th century.
In England, jousting was the highlight of the Accession Day tilts of Elizabeth I and of James VI and I, was part of the festivities at the marriage of Charles I. From 10 July to 9 August 1434, the Leonese Knight Suero de Quiñones and ten of his companions encamped in a field beside a bridge and challenged each knight who wished to cross it to a joust; this road was used by pilgrims all over Europe on the way to shrine at Santiago de Compostela, at this time of the summer, many thousands would cross the bridge. Suero and his men swore to "break 300 lances" before moving on; the men fought for over a month, after 166 battles Suero and his men were so injured they could not continue and declared the mission complete. Jousting was discontinued in favour of other equestrian sports in the 17th century, although non-contact forms of "equestrian skill-at-arms" disciplines survived. There has been a limited revival of theatrical jousting re-enactment since the 1970s; the medieval joust has its origins in the military tactics of heavy cavalry during the High Middle Ages.
By the 14th century, many members of the nobility, including kings had taken up jousting to showcase their own courage and talents, the sport proved just as dangerous for a king as a knight, from the 15th century on, jousting became a sport without direct relevance to warfare. From the 11th to 14th centuries when medieval jousting was still practised in connection to the use of the lance in warfare, armour evolved from mail to plate armour. By 1400, knights wore full suits of plate armour, called a "harness". In this early period, a joust was still a "meeting", i.e. a duel in general and not limited to the lance. Combatants would begin riding on one another with the lance, but might continue with shorter range weapons after the distance was closed or after one or both parties had been unhorsed. Tournaments in the High Medieval period were much rougher and less "gentlemanly" affairs than in the late medieval era of chivalry; the rival parties would fight in groups, with the aim of incapacitating their adversaries for the sake of gaining their horses and ransoms.
With the development of the courtly ideals of chivalry in the late medieval period, the joust became more regulated. This tendency is reflected in the pas d'armes in general, it was now considered dishonourable to exploit an opponent's disadvantage, knights would pay close attention to avoid being in a position of advantage, seeking to gain honour by fighting against the odds. This romanticised "chivalric revival" was based on the chivalric romances of the high medieval period, which noblemen tried to "reenact" in real life, sometimes blurring the lines of reality and fiction; the development of the term knight dates to this period. Before the 12th century, cniht was a term for a servant. In the 12th century, it became used of a military follower in particular. In the 12th century, a special class of noblemen serving in cavalry developed, known as milites nobiles. By the end of the 13th century, chivalry was used not just in the technical sense of "cavalry" but for martial virtue in general, it was only after 1300.
By the 14th century, the term became romanticised for the ideal of the young nobleman seeking to prove himself in honourable exploits, the knight-errant, which among other things encompassed the pas d'armes, including the joust. By the 15th century, "knightly" virtues were sought by the noble classes of ranks much senior than "knight"; the iconic association of the "knight" stock-character with the joust is thus historical, but develops only at the end of the Middle Ages. The lists, or list field, was the arena. More it was the roped-off enclosure where tournament fighting took place. In the late medieval period and palaces were augmented by purpose-built tiltyards as a venue for "jousting tournaments". Training for such activities included the use of special equipment, of which the best-known was the quintain; the Chronicles of Froissart, written during the 1390s, covering the period of 1327 to 1400, contain many details concerning jousting in this era. The combat was now expected to be non-lethal, it was not necessary to incapacitate the opponent, expected to honourably yield to the dominant fighter.
The combat was divided into rounds of three encounters with various weapons, of which the joust p
Nicholas Hilliard was an English goldsmith and limner best known for his portrait miniatures of members of the courts of Elizabeth I and James I of England. He painted small oval miniatures, but some larger cabinet miniatures, up to about ten inches tall, at least two famous half-length panel portraits of Elizabeth, he enjoyed continuing success as an artist, continuing financial troubles, for forty-five years. His paintings still exemplify the visual image of Elizabethan England different from that of most of Europe in the late sixteenth century. Technically he was conservative by European standards, but his paintings are superbly executed and have a freshness and charm that has ensured his continuing reputation as "the central artistic figure of the Elizabethan age, the only English painter whose work reflects, in its delicate microcosm, the world of Shakespeare's earlier plays." Hilliard was born in Exeter in 1547. He was the son of Richard Hilliard of Exeter, Devon spelt Hellyer, a goldsmith who became a staunch Protestant and was Sheriff of Exeter in 1568, by his marriage to Laurence, daughter of John Wall, a City of London goldsmith.
He was one of four boys: two others became goldsmiths, one a clergyman. Hilliard may have been a close relative of Grace Hiller, first wife of Theophilus Eaton, the co-founder of New Haven Colony in America, he appears to have been attached at a young age to the household of the leading Exeter Protestant John Bodley, the father of Thomas Bodley who founded the Bodleian Library in Oxford. John Bodley went into exile on the accession of the Catholic Queen Mary I of England, on 8 May 1557 Hilliard ten years old, was recorded in Geneva as one of an eleven-strong Bodley family group at a Calvinist service presided over by John Knox. Calvinism does not seem to have struck with Hilliard, but the fluent French he acquired abroad was useful. Thomas Bodley, two years older, continued an intensive classical education under leading scholars in Geneva, but it is not clear to what extent Hilliard was given similar studies. Hilliard painted a portrait of himself at the age of 13 in 1560 and is said to have executed one of Mary, Queen of Scots, when he was eighteen years old.
Hilliard apprenticed himself to the Queen's jeweller Robert Brandon, a goldsmith and city chamberlain of London, Sir Roy Strong suggests that Hilliard may have been trained in the art of limning by Levina Teerlinc during this period. She was the daughter of Simon Bening, the last great master of the Flemish manuscript illumination tradition, became court painter to Henry VIII after Holbein's death. After his seven years' apprenticeship, Hilliard was made a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in 1569, he set up a workshop with his younger brother John. He married Brandon's daughter Alice in 1576 and they had seven children. Hilliard emerged from his apprenticeship at a time when a new royal portrait painter was "desperately needed". Two panel portraits long attributed to him, the "Phoenix" and "Pelican" portraits, are dated c. 1572–76. Hilliard was appointed limner and goldsmith to Elizabeth I at an unknown date. In 1571 he had made "a booke of portraitures" for the Earl of Leicester, the Queen's favourite, to be how he became known to the Court.
Despite this patronage, in 1576 the married Hilliard left for France "with no other intent than to increase his knowledge by this voyage, upon hope to get a piece of money of the lords and ladies here for his better maintenance in England at his return" reported the English Ambassador in Paris, Sir Amyas Paulet, with whom Hilliard stayed for much of the time. Francis Bacon was attached to the embassy, Hilliard did a miniature of him in Paris, he remained until 1578–79, mixing in the artistic circles round the court, staying with Germain Pilon and George of Ghent the Queen's sculptor and painter, meeting Ronsard, who paid him the rather double-edged compliment quoted by Hilliard: "the islands indeed bring forth any cunning man, but when they do it is in high perfection". He appears in the papers of the duc d'Alençon, a suitor of Queen Elizabeth, under the name of "Nicholas Belliart, peintre anglois", in 1577, receiving a stipend of 200 livres; the miniature of Madame de Sourdis the work of Hilliard, is dated 1577, in which year she was a maid of honour at the French court.
Money was a persistent problem for Hilliard. The typical price for a miniature seems to have been £3 — which compares well with prices charged by Cornelis Ketel in the 1570s of £1 for a head-and-shoulders portrait and £5 for a full-length. A portrait of the Earl of Northumberland cost £3 in 1586. In 1599 Hilliard secured an annual allowance from the Queen of £40, in 1617 managed to obtain a monopoly on producing miniatures and engravings of James I, something Elizabeth had refused in 1584. Nonetheless, he was imprisoned in Ludgate Prison that year, after standing surety for the debt of another, being unable to produce the amount, his father-in-law evidently had little trust in his financial acumen. The same year the Queen gave him £400
Greenwich armour is the plate armour in a distinctively English style produced by the Royal Almain Armoury founded by Henry VIII in 1511 in Greenwich near London, which continued until the English Civil War. The armoury was formed by imported master armourers hired by Henry VIII including some from Italy and Flanders, as well as the Germans who dominated during most of the 16th century; the most notable head armourer of the Greenwich workshop was Jacob Halder, master workman of the armoury from 1576 to 1607. This was the peak period of the armoury's production and it coincided with the elaborately gilded and sometimes coloured decorated styles of late Tudor England; as the use of full plate in actual combat had declined by the late 16th century, the Greenwich armours were created not for battle but for the tournament. Jousting was a favourite pastime of Henry VIII, his daughter Elizabeth I made her Accession Day tilts a highlight of the court's calendar, focused on hyperbolic declarations of loyalty and devotion in the style of contemporary verse epics.
Late in her reign, courtiers gained favour by participating and dressing the part. The workshop produced bespoke armour for the nobility; the book of Greenwich armour designs for 24 different gentlemen, known as the "Jacob Album" after its creator, includes many of the most important figures of the Elizabethan court. In this period a distinctive Greenwich style developed, marked by imitating aspects of fashionable clothing styles, extensive use of gilded and coloured areas, using complex decoration in Northern Mannerist styles. By the time of the mid-17th century, plate armour had adopted a stark and utilitarian form favoring thickness and protection over aesthetics and was only used by heavy cavalry. Therefore, the Greenwich workshop represented the last flourishing of decorative armour-making in England, comprises a unique genre of late-Renaissance art in its own right. Although there were English armourers at work before 1511, indeed they had their own guild in London, it seems that they were both unable to cope with large volume orders, not able to produce work of the finest quality, in the latest styles, found in Europe.
A payment to Milanese armourers at Greenwich, of £6 2/3 and two hogsheads of wine was made in July 1511. Greenwich Palace was still an important royal residence, the birthplace of both Henry and his two daughters. By 1515 there were six German master armourers, with two Flemish masters, two polishers and an apprentice, all working under the English King's Armourer, John Blewbury, a "Clerk of the Stable". All were given damask livery clothes. In 1516 the workshop moved closer to London to a mill in Southwark, while construction of a new mill at Greenwich began. On completion of this in 1520 they returned to Greenwich; the first Greenwich harnesses, created under Henry VIII, were of uniform colouration, either gilded or silvered all over and etched with intricate motifs designed by Hans Holbein. The lines of these armours were not much different from Northern German designs of the same time period. A good example of this early sort of Greenwich style is the harness, thought to have belonged to Galiot de Genouillac, Constable of France, but was created for King Henry.
The armour on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has a specially designed corset built into the cuirass to support the weight of the burly king's large stomach. This harness has wide sabatons in the Maximilian style. Similar in design, but ungilded, is another tournament harness made for Henry VIII which now resides at the Tower of London and, famous for its large codpiece. After the reign of Henry VIII, the Greenwich armour began to evolve into a different and unique style. There were several defining characteristics of this second wave of armour. One was the mimicking of popular fashions of the time in the styles of the armour to reflect the individual wearer's taste in civilian clothing. From 1560 cuirasses were designed to imitate the curving "peascod" style of doublet, immensely popular among gentlemen during the reign of Elizabeth; this type of cuirass curved outwards in front at a steep angle which culminated at the groin, where it tapered into a small horn-like protrusion.
All-over gilding or silvering was replaced by strips of blued or gilded steel running horizontally across the pauldrons at the edge of each lame, vertically down the cuirass and tassets, which emulated the strips of colourful embroidered cloth that were popular in civilian fashion. Some armours were provided with an extra pair of tassets for use at the barriers which were wide, not unlike the form of a pair of trunkhose; the extant armours of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester and that of Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke display these tassets. The armour of William Somerset, 3rd Earl of Worcester is similarly styled. Another defining characteristic of Elizabethan-era Greenwich armour is the extravagant use of colour in general to decorate the steel. Older styles of armour-making, such as Maximilian and Gothic, emphasized the shaping of the metal itself, such as fluting and roping, to create artistic desi
Accession Day tilt
The Accession Day tilts were a series of elaborate festivities held annually at the court of Elizabeth I of England to celebrate her Accession Day, 17 November known as Queen's Day. The tilts combined theatrical elements with jousting, in which Elizabeth's courtiers competed to outdo each other in allegorical armour and costume and pageantry to exalt the queen and her realm of England; the last Elizabethan Accession Day tilt was held in November 1602. Tilts continued as part of festivities marking the Accession Day of James I, 24 March, until 1624, the year before his death. Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, Queen's Champion, devised the Accession Day tilts, which became the most important Elizabethan court festival from the 1580s; the celebrations are to have begun somewhat informally in the early 1570s. By 1581, the Queen's Day tilts "had been deliberately developed into a gigantic public spectacle eclipsing every other form of court festival", with thousands in attendance. Lee himself oversaw the annual festivities until he retired as Queen's Champion at the tilt of 1590, handing over the role to George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland.
Following Lee's retirement, orchestration of the tilts fell to the Earl of Worcester in his capacity of Master of Horse and to the queen's favourite, the Earl of Essex, although Lee remained as a sort of Master of Ceremonies at the request of the queen. The pageants were held at the tiltyard at the Palace of Whitehall, where the royal party viewed the festivities from the Tiltyard Gallery; the Office of Works constructed a platform with staircases below the gallery to facilitate presentations to the queen. Tilt lists for the Accession Day pageants have survived. Entrants included such powerful members of the court as the Earl of Bedford, the Earl of Oxford, the Earl of Southampton, Lord Howard of Effingham, the Earl of Essex. Many of those participating had seen active service in Ireland or on the Continent, but the atmosphere of romance and entertainment seems to have predominated over the serious military exercises that were medieval tournaments. Sir James Scudamore, a knight who tilted in the 1595 tournament, was immortalized as "Sir Scudamour" in Book Four of The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser.
Knights participating in the spectacle entered in pageant cars or on horseback, disguised as some heroic, romantic, or metaphorical figure, with their servants in fancy dress according to the theme of the entry. A squire presented a pasteboard pageant shield decorated with the character's device or impresa to the Queen and explained the significance of his disguise in prose or poetry. Entrants went to considerable expense to devise themes, order armour and costumes for their followers, in some cases to hire poets or dramatists and professional actors to carry out their programmes. Classical and Arthurian settings were combined with story lines flattering to the queen, but serious subtexts were common among those who used these occasions to express public contrition or desolation for having aroused the queen's displeasure, or to plead for royal favour. In the painting on the left, Essex wears black armour, which he wore as part of his 1590 entrance to the tilts. At this particular tilt, Essex entered as the head of a funeral procession, carried on a bier by his attendants.
This was meant to atone for his failure to subdue Ireland, but Elizabeth was not impressed and did not forgive him readily. Poets associated with court circles who wrote allegorical verses to accompany the knights' presentations include John Davies, Edward de Vere, Philip Sidney and the young Francis Bacon, who composed speeches and helped stage presentations for his patron, the Earl of Essex. Sidney, in particular, as both poet and knight, embodied the chivalric themes of the tilts. Sidney's friend and protégé Sir James Scudamore, who would go on to be one of the primary competitors in the Accession Day tilt in 1595, carried the pennant of Sidney's arms at the age of eighteen. Edmund Spenser wrote of The Faerie Queene, which turns upon the Accession Day festivities as its fundamental structural device: "I devise that the Faery Queen kept her Annuall feast xii. days, upon which xii. severall days, the occasions of the xii. severall adventures hapned, which being undertaken by xii. severall knights, are in these xii. books severally handled and discoursed".
About twelve o’clock the queen and her ladies placed themselves at the windows in a long room at Weithol palace, near Westminster, opposite the barrier where the tournament was to be held. From this room a broad staircase led downwards, round the barrier stands were arranged by boards above the ground, so that everybody by paying 12d. would get a stand and see the play... Many thousand spectators, men and girls, got places, not to speak of those who were within the barrier and paid nothing. During the whole time of the tournament all those who wished to fight entered the list by pairs, the trumpets being blown at the time and other musical instruments; the combatants had their servants clad in different colours, however, did not enter the barrier, but arranged themselves on both sides. Some of the servants were disguised like savages, or like Irishmen, with the hair hanging down to the girdle like women, others had horses equipped like elephants, som
A courtier is a person, in attendance at the court of a monarch or other royal personage. The earliest historical examples of courtiers were part of the retinues of rulers; the court was the centre of government as well as the residence of the monarch, the social and political life were completely mixed together. Monarchs often expected the more important nobles to spend much of the year in attendance on them at court. Not all courtiers were noble, as they included clergy, clerks, secretaries and middlemen with business at court. All those who held a court appointment could be called courtiers but not all courtiers held positions at court; those personal favourites without business around the monarch, sometimes called the camarilla, were considered courtiers. As social divisions became more rigid, a divide present in Antiquity or the Middle Ages, opened between menial servants and other classes at court, although Alexandre Bontemps, the head valet de chambre of Louis XIV, was a late example of a "menial" who managed to establish his family in the nobility.
The key commodities for a courtier were access and information, a large court operated at many levels: many successful careers at court involved no direct contact with the monarch. The largest and most famous European court was that of the Palace of Versailles at its peak, although the Forbidden City of Beijing was larger and more isolated from national life. Similar features marked the courts of all large monarchies, including in India, Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Ancient Rome, Byzantium or the Caliphs of Baghdad or Cairo. Early medieval European courts travelled from place to place following the monarch as he travelled; this was the case in the early French court. But, the European nobility had independent power and was less controlled by the monarch until around the 18th century, which gave European court life greater complexity; the earliest courtiers coincide with the development of definable courts beyond the rudimentary entourages or retinues of rulers. There were courtiers in the courts of the Akkadian Empire where there is evidence of court appointments such as that of Cup-bearer, one of the earliest court appointments and remained a position at courts for thousands of years.
Two of the earliest titles referring to the general concept of a courtier were the ša rēsi and mazzāz pāni of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.. In Ancient Egypt we find a title translated as high great overseer of the house; the courts influenced by the court of the Neo-Assyrian Empire such as those of the Median Empire and the Achaemenid Empire had numerous courtiers After invading the Achaemenid Empire Alexander the Great returned with the concept of the complex court featuring a variety of courtiers to the Kingdom of Macedonia and Hellenistic Greece. The imperial court of the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople would contain at least a thousand courtiers; the court's systems became prevalent in other courts such as those in the Balkan states, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. Byzantinism is a term, coined for this spread of the Byzantine system in the 19th century. In modern English, the term is used metaphorically for contemporary political favourites or hangers-on. In modern literature, courtiers are depicted as insincere, skilled at flattery and intrigue and lacking regard for the national interest.
More positive representations include the role played by members of the court in the development of politeness and the arts. Examples of courtiers in fiction: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Sir Lancelot from Arthurian legend, Gríma Wormtongue from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Count Hasimir Fenring and Gaius Helen Mohiam from Frank Herbert's Dune. Petyr Baelish and Varys from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire. Ivan Vorpatril from Lois McMaster Bujold's series Vorkosigan Saga. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington from J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. Brokerage at the Court of Louis XIV, by Sharon Kettering. 1, pp. 69-87.