Diary of Henry Machyn, a Resident of London
This diary runs from 1550 to 1563 and was written by Henry Machyn, a London undertaker, and probably associated with the record keeping for his business as a furnisher of funeral trappings; and it is at first just a record of the principal Funerals for which he was employed to provide. Commencing in August 1550, he describes two funerals in that and one in the following month, one in October, and several in November, the last of which belongs to Christopher Machyn, his own brother.
Henry Machyn was a Guild member, and employed painters to produce the elaborate funeral trappings used during that period of time. So, he was aware, and a part, of the close links between guild members, their masters, the mayors of London, and the nobility whose funerals he conducted. Later in his diary, he records not just funerals but the major events of the day, not just in London but nationally as well. So, we see a personal record, by a witness, of events at court, trials, convictions, hangings and beheadings, linked to the turbulent transfers of religious adherence in the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. He also notes the changes in religious practice, and preaching, at the main churches in London.
I have transcribed the Diary as it was published by the Camden Society in 1847, but rearranged the editor's Notes in order to keep them in the order of pages in the Diary, and to provide a cross link from each page of the Diary to any Notes that might have been provided originally.Return to top of page