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Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox, Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel, William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, and Philip Herbert, 1st Earl of Montgomery 'The Tilting Challenge (1 June 1606)'

British Library, Additional MS 22601, ff. 7r-7v


O yes, o yes, o yes.

To all ho[nest] men at armes and knightes aduenturers of hereditarie note & exemplarie noblenes that for moste maintenable actions, do either wielde sworde or Launce in the Gist of glorie, righte braue & Chivalrouse wheresoeu[er] through [th]e worlde We .4. knightes errant denominated of [th]e fortunat Island servantes of [th]e destinies, awakinge the sleepinge courages w[i]th martiall greetinges.

Knowe yow that o[u]r Sou[er]aigne La[dy] & M[aste]res mother of the falls & empresse of great atchieuem[en]tes: revoluinge of late the adamantine leaves of hir eternall volumes, and finding in them that the tryumphall times are nowe at hande wherein [th]e marveilous aduenture of [th]e Lucent piller should be revealed to the wond[e]r of times & men as Merlin secretorie to hir moste inwarde disseignes did longe sithens presage. Hath therefore most deepelie weighing w[i]th hir self howe necessarie it is that sounde opinions should p[re]pare [th]e waie to worthie Celebrac[i]on of so vnhard of misteries byn pleased to com[m]aunde vs hir voluntarie yet ever humble votaries to publishe & mainteine by all the allowed waies of knightlie arguing theis .4. vndisputable proposic[i]ons.

  1. That in the seruice of Ladies knightes haue no free will.
  2. That it is Bewty that maintaines the worlde in valo[u]r./
  3. That no faire Lady was euer false.
  4. 7v
  5. That none can be p[er]fectly wise but louers:

Against w[hi]ch or anie of them, if anie of yow shall dare to aunsw[e]r at point of Launce or Swordes in hono[ur] listes before rarest bewties & best iudgm[en]tes Then knowe ye that we the .4. assured Cham/pions shall by the high sufferance of heaven, & vertue of o[u]r Knightlie valo[u]rs be readie in the vale of My refleure, constantlie to aunsw[e]r & make p[er]fecte o[u]r imposed vndertakinge, against all suche of yow as shall w[i]thin .40. daies aft[e]r the first intimac[i]on of this o[u]r vniuersall challenge arryve, to attend [th]e glorious issue of the famous aduentures of the Lucent piller. In the w[hi]ch the prises are reserued & ordeyned by the fate of o[u]r Countrye to Crowne the .3. seu[er]all succeedinge daies of Triumphe. The firste at Tylte, the second at Turney, the thirde at Barryers./

  • Linnis
  • Arrundel
  • Pembrooke
  • Mongomery


There is a lot more data we could probably pull from the Wiggins/Richardson entry above, and which may help write a blurb.


British Library, Additional MS 22601, ff. 7r-7v,

Languages: English

Creation date: 1 June 1606


Other Witnesses

Seventeenth Century Print Exemplars

No bibliography

Modern Print Exemplars

  • British Drama, 1533-1642: 1603-1608 (Oxford), vol. 5, pp. 301–303

Selected Criticism

No bibliography

Keywords (Text Type)

  • proclamtion
  • challenges

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • chivalry
  • knights
  • court
  • Merlin
  • prophecy
  • tilting
  • tournaments

Transcribed by:

Richard Bell (Research Associate)