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A Home in Hackney

Description of film

Jane describes how the Daniell family used its new wealth to buy a fine property in Hackney, near London. There is a detailed description of the new house along with furniture and ornaments. However, events intervened. Lord Essex rebelled against Queen Elizabeth but failed and was executed. Soon afterwards, Lady Essex plotted against John and got him convicted of blackmail and forgery. He was forced to pay £2000 to Lady Essex and £1000 to the crown. The Daniells were ruined. John could not pay and was imprisoned.


This is one of six clips that make up a play based on the story of the Daniell family in Tudor times. John Daniell was an ambitious gentleman from Cheshire. He had been a supporter of the powerful Earl of Essex, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. John hoped to gain power and wealth by serving a powerful patron like Essex. He moved to Hackney with his wife and children in 1600. However Essex fell from favour with Elizabeth in 1602. The Daniells suffered as a result. They had been asked to keep some letters for the Earl of Essex's wife and when Essex fell this put them in a difficult position. This play tells their story.

Interesting or important points about the film

This clip gives us an insight into how Tudor society worked. Families from the gentry often tried to ally themselves to more powerful families in the hope of getting important jobs or other rewards. The clip shows how the plan backfired for one family. As well as telling us more of the story, it is interesting in the way it uses evidence. The details of the new house can all be checked against documents from the time. Jane's commentary is not an original source, but it has been reconstructed accurately from original sources. The play is based on genuine documents in the Hackney Archives collection.

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Further information
CategoryPre 20th Century
Sub categoryTudors
FilmA Home in Hackney
ProducerThe National Archives and Hackney Archives
DateNot known