Banners of Craft Lodges in Hertfordshire (Continued)
King Henry VIII Lodge No: 1757
The Lodge was consecrated 11th November 1878 and derives its name from the fact that the town of Hemel Hempstead received a charter of incorporation from King Henry VIII, once referred to by a schoolboy as ‘The Patron saint of Hemel Hempstead'.
The lodge history from 1878-1928 states that the first banner was presented to the lodge by W.Bro WH Rowe in 1885. It is now framed and hung on the wall at Ashwell House, St Albans. Another banner is a framed Masters banner also hung at St Albans, listing Masters to 1928.
It is known that there was a second banner which was purchased from Spencers in 1932 for £45.16s.6d. It was also said that "it is hoped that it will shortly give way to a new, locally made banner". This timescale appears to have been somewhat longer than was hoped for as it was not realised until 1979, but unfortunately the whereabouts of this second banner is unknown.
The current banner was designed and created by Mrs Amy Foster. The work was started on 1st June 1977 and completed in October 1978. It is thought that a total of 1,750 hours was spent on the work. The banner was dedicated at the centenary meeting on 13th January 1979. It depicts an embroidered King Henry VIII in incredible detail with hand-stitched decoration.
The cartoon was drawn by Michael Foster, the son of the maker, It was based
on a design that follows Holbein's famous portrait of the King with an interlacing border of Tudor Roses. The banner is on a background of turquoise velvet worked in padded gold kid, and the roses with red velvet topaz and gold thread. The central figure is padded throughout.
The gown is in red velvet embellished with gold crocheted roses, leaves and a border studded with sequins topaz and gold beads and is trimmed with gold fur. The doublet jerkin and base are worked in roses, with one strand of pure silk hand dyed with blackberries on a maroon silk couched with gold studded with drop pearls, the stones being purpose made in St Ives, Cornwall. The lace at the cuff and the collar of the doublet are tatting (the process of making knotted lace with a small shuttle) worked by W Bro Jackson's mother. The ties to the doublet were woven in gold thread on a tablet loom by Mrs Foster's daughter.
The stones on the rings on the fingers were prepared by local craftsmen. The cap of black velvet jewelled with pearls and red beads which belonged to W.Bro Williams aunt. The Osprey plume was taken from a hat worn by Mrs Foster to her son's wedding. The jewelled collar, gold chain and medallion and the dagger are of pure laid gold studded with pearls, topaz and red stones. The face legs and hands are of georgette over satin. The features being embroidered in pure silk. The shoes are worked in velvet trimmed to match the gown.