About the Site

Origins of the Site

Tudor Hackney has been developed with funding from the New Opportunities Fund as one of the projects within Sense of Place, London and forms part of the National Archives' Education site. It was developed as a partnership between Hackney Archives Department, Immediate Theatre, a Hackney-based community theatre group, and the National Archives' Education Team.

The web site will go live at the end of April 2003, although there will be some introductory pages up by the end of March 2003.

Virtual Reality Tour

Tudor Hackney enables you to explore the world of 1601 through a virtual reality reconstruction of the Rectory House, which once stood on the west side of Hackney's Mare Street (then called Church Street). The house had been owned by John and Jane Daniell, but John Daniell fell foul of the law, and his house and goods were seized by the Crown. The appointed Crown Commissioners made an inventory of all the goods they found in the house. Jane Daniell and her children were evicted when John was arrested and subsequently Jane made her own list of her clothes and household possessions, claiming that she had been cheated when they were sold.

These inventories give some indication of the rooms that the possessions were in. Both Jane and John Daniell recorded their accounts of what happened to them and this body of documents have enabled us to reconstruct the house and tell the story of the Daniells and their links to the late Elizabethan court. The original documents form part of the records at the National Archives. Copies were made of some of them in the 1850s and lodged in the Tyssen Library at Hackney, which now forms part of Hackney Archives Department

The virtual reality tour starts at the point at which the Hackney Brook crosses Church Street ( where the North London rail line crosses Mare Street today). You can walk up the Tudor Church Street and turn under the rectory gatehouse. The gatehouse, with chests left by Jane is open, or you can go straight on to the house and barns.

Each room has links which show you digitised images of items in the inventories - either the commissioners' inventory or the one drawn up by Jane Daniell. In most cases we have provided an illustration of what the item described in the inventory looked like.

The Story of the Daniells

John and Jane's story is told in the form of video drama with a version in text and still pictures.

Local History

Another part of the site tells you what Hackney was like in the Tudor Period. Hackney then comprised three parishes - Hackney itself, the small parish of Stoke Newington and Shoreditch, on the edge of the City of London, home to two theatres and an up and coming playwright, William Shakespeare.

Inventory Details

Illustrations have been made of the items listed in the inventories of the Daniells house and these, together with transcriptions of the inventory documents, plus images of the documents themseleves can be browsed. As comparison, another inventory, this time taken from the house of a wealthy Hackney noble, Sir Roger Townsend.

Picture Gallery

The images used throughout the site have been brought together in the Picture Gallerys section.

Enjoy your excursion into Tudor Hackney. We hope that it will provide an insight into Tudor life in general, and how court and country could come to be linked in the web of intrigue and politics of the latter days of Elizabeth I.

To learn even more about the period why not pay a visit to Hackney Archives or the National Archives. Directions and contact details are below.

Contact Us

You can contact us either through the National Archives or through Hackney Archives Department

National Archives

National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.
Telephone Number: 020 8876 3444, fax: 020 8392 5286

Details of how to get to the the National Archives are available for the National Archives at Kew

If you have a question or want advice about the Tudor Period, or about the National Archives in general, please use our Enquiry Service. We cannot do research for you, but we can offer advice on all aspects of using the National Archives.

If you have some praise, a comment, a suggestion or a problem relating to this web site or its pages, please fill in our feedback form or mail us at webmaster@pro.gov.uk We value all the feedback we get, so please let us know what you think so that we can continue to improve this site.

See our Record Copying section for details of purchasing copies of documents for use in your own research.

Hackney Archives Department

43 De Beauvoir Road London N1 5SQ
Tel 020 7241 2886 Fax 020 7241 6688 e-mail: archives@hackney.gov.uk

The Hackney Archives Department looks after the archives of Hackney - the administrative records of the borough council and its predecessors back to 1700, and of organisations and individuals within the borough. These are the raw materials of history. Our opening hours are

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 1st and 3rd of the month - 9.30am - 1.00pm, 2.00pm - 8.00pm
2nd and 4th of the month - 9.30am - 1.00pm, 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Wednesday and Thursday: 9.30am - 1.00pm, 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Friday: 9.30am - 1.00pm

It is essential that you make an appointment before visiting us, please call during office hours or leave a message and we will return your call. This will allow us to confirm that we have records relevant to your search, book table space and a microfilm reader where necessary and advise you on the best means of reaching us. The archives are closed the last two weeks of February for our annual stocktaking.

Our services include a record search service for family historians who, for example, can order a search of the 1871 census or 1955 electoral registers, at a rate of £8.00 for half an hour. We also sell copies of photographs, maps, prints from records held on microfilm and fiche and a number of publications. If you would like information leaflets on these services or a search form, please write with a stamped addressed envelope or see Ask the Archivist, left, for an e-mail link.

Some of our catalogues can be consulted as part of the 'London Archives on the Wider World' theme on the A2A (Access to Archives) website, see right related items.

Public transport to the Archives:

Central London: Underground to Liverpool Street station then buses as below
Liverpool Street and Shoreditch: Buses 242, 149. Bus Stop 4.
London Bridge: Bus 149. Bus Stop 4
Moorgate and Old Street: Buses 76, 141. Bus Stop 1
Clerkenwell: Bus 38, Bus stop 2 Holborn: Bus 242. Bus Stop 4
Hackney and Clapton: Bus 242. Bus stop 3. Buses 38, 56. Bus Stop 2.
Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington: Buses 67, 149, or 243. Bus Stop 3
Stations on the North London Line: Dalston Kingsland, then 15 mins walk or Buses 67, 149 or 243 to Bus Stop 3.

By car:

Kingsland road is on the A10. The main entrance to Hackney Archives Department is on Downham Road.


Wheelchair access is by the main entrance (down a ramp). The Archives Department has a wheelchair accessible toilet and all internal doors are suitable for wheelchairs.

Map showing location of Hackney Archives

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Content research and compilation

Historical research and compilation of text and images for local history section, including wills and commissary court cases by David Mander, Head of Archives, Hackney Archives Department.

Historical research on the Daniells and the Rectory House, and detailed articles about each, by Martin Taylor, formerly Senior Assistant Archivist of Hackney Archives Department.

Research of the National Archives records regarding the Daniells and general aspects of Tudor Life by Emma Nixon, National Archives.

Production of the Talking Head scripts by Emma Nixon, National Archives.

Illustrations of items in the Inventories by Graham Reid


Wills and Commissary Court Case documents at Guildhall Library by David Mander, Hackney Archives Department

Digitisation of Inventory Records at National Archives by the National Archives' Digitisation Department

Digitisation of pictures and drawings at Hackney Archives by Colin Brooking (volunteer) and Edward Rogers (Hackney Archives Department)

Digitisation of pictures and drawings and resizing and reformatting of images for the Web by Kenneth Laing of Information Sciences

Video Production

Video Production for Daniells Story and Tudor House, including Talking Heads, by Quarktv Digital Video 5 Broadway Market Mews London E8 4TS Tel: +44 (0)20 7254 5049 Fax: +44 (0)20 7241 1451


Jane Daniell - Felicity Wren
John Daniell - Martin Bendell
Lady Essex - Juliette Grassby
Lord Essex - Joe Young
Secretary - Tom Hodgkins
Margaret Harp - Julia Rayner
Judge Coke - Irving Rappaort
Court Scribe - Tim Newton
Builder - David Mander
Bailiff - Nick Sutton
Bailiff'S Assistant - Ralph Dartford
Arresting Officer - Mike Bluett
Children - Noah Russ Lily Duttine and baby Annie Sutton

Production: Head of Wardrobe - Becca Chester
Costume Hire - Royal National Theatre
Props Hire - Keeley Film Hire - Royal National Theatre
Make-up --Valme Garcia
Art Direction - Nick Sutton
Boom Op - Paul Maynard Runner - Dominic Noble
Music - Jason Read
Production Assistant - Mike Bluett
Director of Photography - Mark Birbeck
Written by Jo Carter, Tim Newton and Nick Sutton
Directed and Edited by Tim Newton

Digital Production Facilities - QuarkTV
Produced by QuarkTV and Immediate Theatre for Hackney Archives filmed entirely on location at the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, Chingford; Sutton House, Hackney; Small Hythe Place, Kent

Many thanks to Emma Nixon-Calligraphy, David Mander-Hackney Archive, Rachel Brodie-Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, Kathleen Pattison-Sutton House, Margaret Weare-Small Hythe Place, Helen Chope Jo Russ Mike Dalton Thrifty Car Hire

Virtual Reality World

Production of the Virtual Reality Model of the Tudor House by Simon Jones and Associates.
Integration of virtual reality into website by Roderick Davies of www.roderickdavies.co.uk

Web Site Design

Web Site Design by Ken Laing of Information Sciences and redesign by Nicole Albrecht

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About the Site | Contact | Credits

This site, developed with funding from the New Opportunities Fund as one of the projects within Sense of Place, London, forms part of the National Archive's Education site. It was developed as a partnership between Hackney Archives Department, Immediate Theatre and the National Archive's Education Team