On June 29th, 1905, Mr. C.T.D.Crews, the Master of the Company, invited the Members and their friends to the theatre of the Guildhall School of Music to witness a performance of the Masque of "The Golden Tree". This work was written by Thomas Campion and produced at Whitehall in 1613 on the occasion of the marriage of Earl of Somerset and Lady Frances Howard. Thomas Campion was a poet, dramatist, composer and physician, who flourished at the end of the 16th century and died in 1619. He lived at a time when the Maske or Masque, a combination of speech, dance, song and chorus, was in its prime. These grand spectacular displays, furnished with beautiful scenery, mechanical effects and splendid costumes, were the delight of royalty and the nobility for a considerable period.
The performance at the Guildhall School of Music, kindly lent for the occasion by the Music Committee of the Corporation and for which all possible assistance was given by the late Dr. W.H.Cummings, then principal of the School and a Freeman of the Musicians' Company, would indeed have delighted our forefathers. It was a magnificent presentation of a typical ancient Maske, scenery, rich dresses, graceful dances and delightful old music all combining to furnish an evening's entertainment rarely paralleled.
An example of the Commemorative Medal is actually on display in the Museum of London. Click on the image left to see the Museum's webpage refering to this item. The Medal was presented to the Museum (then known as The Guildhall Museum) in 1917 by Pastmaster Sir Homewood Crawford. It is not known how many actual medals were produced, or how and to whom they were distributed.
A photograph showing the performers of this revival on stage in the Guildhall School's Theatre was included in the 2nd Edition of the first Company Handbook (1905) - shown right.
The performance was discussed at a meeting of the Court on 11th July 1905. The image below is taken from the Minute Book and a transcription is provided alongside.
"On Thursday the 29th June 1905 the Master (Mr CTD Crews) gave, in the Theatre of the Guildhall School of Music (by kind permission of the Music Committee of the Corporation of the City of London) a performance of The Maske of the “Golden Tree” written by Thomas Campion (1613) and which was originally presented on the 26th December 1613 on the occasion of the marriage of the Right Hon The Earl of Somerset and the Right Noble The Lady Frances Howard.
The performance was honoured by the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Their Highnesses The Princesses Victoria and Louise Augusta of Schleswig-Holstein, His Royal Highness The Landgraf of Hesse, the Lord Chief Justice of England and many other distinguished Guests and was much appreciated.
His Royal Highness Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, The Duke & Duchess of Somerset and The Duke of Norfolk who had expressed their intention of being present were unavoidably prevented from attending at the last moment."
Here are images of a Medal struck in 1905 to commemorate a revival performance of a piece composed in 1613 by Thomas Campion called The Masque of The Golden Tree. It was organised and funded by Pastmaster C.T.D.Crews and it is likely he funded the Medal as well (although there is no documentary support for this). The explanatory paragraph below is taken directly from the 1915 3rd edition of the Company Handbook first published in 1902. No mention is made of the Medal.
The images shown right are two published reviews of this 1905 performance: the first (spread over two pages) is from The Musical News of July 8th, the second, far right is from The Daily Graphic of June 30th - click the images for a larger view. These press cuttings are taken from the Company's Scrapbook of such items which can be seen in its entirety by Clicking Here.
At a Court meeting on 11th July 1905, it was agreed that the Company's Silver Medal should be given to Dr William Hayman Cummings (shown right), the Principal of the Guildhall School of Music, and Mr Carl Hentschel, the Chairman of the Music Committee of the Corporation of the City of London, in recognition of their services in connection with this performance. The presentations were made at the banquet following the Court Meeting held at Stationers' Hall on 31 October.
Carl Hentschel's Silver Medal, still in its original case together with its miniature, was acquired at auction by a member of the Musicians' Company in 2016 and is shown below.
Carl Hentschel (1864-1930), pictured left, was not a member of the Musicians’ Company, but was a leading figure in illustrative print technology at the turn of the 20th century. Born in Lodz, Poland, Hentschel immigrated to England with his parents at an early age and studied the print trade under the tutelage of his father. He eventually went on to invent the Hentschel-Colourtype process and to found Carl Hentschel Limited, a reproduction firm that produced engravings for numerous forms of printed media.
Hentschel's interests were varied, and he was an active member in a number of clubs, including the New Vagabond Club and the Bartholomew Club. He served as President of the City of London Tradesmen's Club (1902) and as Chairman of the Guildhall School of Music (1905) and was a member of the Corporation of the City of London. Jerome K Jerome, a close friend, used Hentschel as the inspiration for the character of Harris in his Three Men in a Boat (1889). At his death in 1930 Hentschel left a widow and three children.
Shown below are pictures of the Programme produced for the 1905 performance of The Mask of the Golden Tree given on June 29th, together with an invitation and ticket stubs. The Programme and associated ephemera has been bound into a protective cover. Click on the images below for a larger view, click on 'Go to link' to expand further.
Shown left is the box and medal which was presented to Dr W.H.Cummings in October 1905. It is currently owned by Mrs Templeman (a distant relative, living in Australia) and we extend thanks to her for permission to use these images - click on them to expand.
On 17th January 1905 the Honorary Freedom of the Musicians' Company had already been conferred upon Cummings during a Court Meeting held at Girdlers' Hall.