The Library

This is an incomplete bibliography of key works that I consulted in the course of preparing for this project. It is my honest intention to give credit where it is due to the scholars on whose shoulders I lean just as it is my intention to bring attention to the craftspeople keeping these arts and crafts alive in the modern age. I will add as I acquire and revisit as new books bring new understanding and new details to light.

This is and always will be incomplete because that is the nature of these things. Much of the knowledge I have in my head came from teachers and textbooks long forgotten and beyond accurate citation. That pains me, but the nature of all knowledge and culture is to become the foundation for future learning. This is mostly a listing of the books on my shelf or the shelves of my local library that have specifically aided me in this endeavor, mostly as background material.

Any sources that I use directly in terms of quote or paraphrase will, of course, be cited and credit given at that time.

Do you see something I missed? New recommendations are always welcome.

There are hundreds of curated resources, including paintings, original artifacts, and reproductions (I’ve done my best to make sure they’re called out for what category they fall into) here:


Books of culture or spanning multiple trades

Before the Mast: Life & Death Aboard the Mary Rose edited by Julie Gardner with Michael J. Allen (Oxbow Books,
A glorious and all-encompassing two-volume summary of the artifacts and archeological findings of the warship Mary Rose, sunk 1545. Acquiring this book forced me to rethink and re-visit almost every thing it touched upon. Only recently brought back into print as a two-volume hardback. I wish I’d thought to acquire it before we began, but it was much more expensive/out of print at the time.

Guilds & Livery Companies

The Livery Companies of the City of London: Their Origin, Character, Development, and Social and Political Importance by W Carew Hazlitt — ( Swann , Sonnenschein, & Co, 1892

The Guilds & Companies of London by George Unwin — ( Methuen & Co, 1908
Pride Without Prejudice: The Story of London’s Guilds & Livery Companies by Jennifer Lang — Perpetua Press, 1975

A General bibliography of the Guilds and related texts compiled by Tom Hoffman

Dressing the Part: Fashion and Textiles of the 16th Century

Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’d by Janet Arnold — Oxbow Books, 1988

Patterns of Fashion 3: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women C. 1560-1620 by Janet Arnold — Drama Publishers 1985

Patterns of Fashion 4: The cut and construction of linen shirts, smocks, neckwear, headwear and accessories for men and women c. 1540 – 1660 by Janet Arnold, Jenny Tiramani, & Santina Levey — Macmillan, 2008

The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing 16th Century Dress by Ninya Mikhaila & Jane Malcolm-Davies

The Tudor Child: Clothing & Culture 1485-1625 by Jane Hugget & Ninya Mikhaila

Food & Kitchen Culture: Modern Texts

Cooking and Dining in Tudor & Early Stuart England by Peter BrearsProspect Books, 2015

Food & Feast In Tudor England
by Alison Sim — Sutton Publishing 1997

Delizia! The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food by John Dickie — Free Press 2008

Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People by Linda Civitello — Wiley 2004

Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Renaissance Recipies for the Contemporary Cook by Francine Segan — Random House 2003

Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony by Madeleine Pelner Cosman — George Brazillier 1976

The Bors Hede Boke of Cookry: Food and Cooking in 14th &15th Century England by Roger Shell & Sally Charles, Camlann Enterprises 1998

Build Your Own Earth Oven: A low-cost, wood-fired mud oven: Simple sourdough bread: Perfect loaves by Kiko Denzer — Handprint Press 2002

British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand years of History by Colin Spencer

To the King’s Taste: Richard II’s Book of Feasts and Recipes Adapted for Modern Cooking Translated by Lorna Sass — Metropolitan Museum of Art 1975

Food & Kitchen Culture: Period or near-Period Texts

The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (scanned facsimile, beautifully illustrated, original printing 1570), by Bartolomeo Scappi

The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi, English Translation by Terence Scully, 2011 — University of Toronto Press

Take a Thousand Eggs or More: A Collection of 15th CenturyRecipes by Cindy Renfrow (Two Volumes) — Self published 1990

The Forme of Cury: A Roll of Ancient English Cookery (e-book) Recipes from the kitchens of Richard II in their original language.

Food and Feasting in Art, The Guide to Imagery Series, J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006

Brewing & Viniculture

Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Richard W. Unger. — U. Penn Press 2007
Beer: The Story of the Pint: The History of Britain’s Most Popular Drink by Martyn Cornell

Extent museum examples of coopered beer mugs of the English renaissance including Mary Rose (Also important for the coopering chapter.)

English Culture In the 16th Century

A Compendium of Common Knowledge 1558-1603: ElizabethanCommonplaces for Writers, Actors & Re-enactors  by Maggie Secara — Popinjay Press 2008
Medieval Catalogue of the London Museum, DB Harden, Director — her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1967

The Amateur Historian’s Guide to Medieval & Tudor London by Sarah Valente kettler and Carole Trimble — Capitol Books 2001

Lost Country Life: How English country folk lived, worked,threshed, thatched, rolled fleece, milled corn, brewed mead… by Dorothy Hartley — Pantheon Books 1979

The World of Christopher Marlowe by David Riggs — Henry Holt & Co 2004

A History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique by Bernard C. Middleton

The Tower Menagerie: The Amazing 600-Year history of the Royal Collection of Wild and Ferocious beasts kept at the Tower of London by Daniel Hahn

Woodworking Tools: 1600 – 1900 by Peter C. Welsh (Free eBook c/o Project Gutenberg)

London in the Later Middle Ages: Government and People 1200-1500 by Caroline M. Barron — Oxford University Press, 2005

Science & Nature

Medicine & Society In Later Medieval England by Carole Rawcliffe — Sandpiper Books 1999

Passions & Tempers: A History of the Humours by Noga Arikha — Harper Collins 2007

Engineering In History by Richard Shelton Kirby, Siney Withington, Arthur Burr Darling, and Frederick Gridley Kilgour — Dover 1990
Museo Galilei (website) a vitrual museum of the arts and sciences in the early-to-mid 17th century. Excellent images of early scientific instruments.

Religion and Theology

The New Testament 1526 Translated by William Tyndale (original spelling Edition) — The British Library 2000

The Geneva Bible: 1599 edition

In the Beginning: The story of the King James Bible and howIt Changed a Nation, a Language, and a culture by Alister McGrath — Anchor Books 2001

The Book of Common Prayer 1559: The Elizabethan Prayer Book Edited by John E. Booty — Folger Edition, University of Virginia Press 1976


Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris: Or A Garden of All Sorts of Pleasant Flowers which our English Ayre will Permitt to be Noursed (e-Book) by John Parkinson, c.1629

Shakespeare’s Flowers by Jessica Kerr –Thomas T. Crowell Co. 1969

Medieval Gardens by Anne jennings — English Heritage, in association with the Museum of Garden History 2004

The Medieval Garden by Sylvia Landsberg — Thames and Hudson 1996

Medieval Flowers: The history of medieval flowers and how togrow them today by Miranda Innes & Clay Perry — Kyle Kathie Ltd. 2002

The Crafts & Guilds (More or less in order of appearance)

Worshipful Co. of Haberdashers

Needlemaking (Shire Library Series), by John G. Rollins — Shire Publications Ltd, 2008

Pinning down production: Pin manufacture, technology and the market c.1500-1610 by Rachel Jardine (unpublished academic paper provided by the author)

Findings: The Material Culture of Needlework and Sewing, by Mary C Baudry — Yale University Press, 2007
“…mines archaeological findings of sewing and needlework to discover what these small traces of female experience reveal about the societies and cultures in which they were used.” (Amazon)

History and Gallery of Historic thimbles (website)

Artifacts:A pinner’s bone cataloged at the UK Finds Database: pinner’s bone at the Museum of London, probably turned up by a Thames mudlark and recorded at the Portable Antiquities Scheme: article about bone objects – including pinner’s bones – posted by the York Archeological Trust.

Worshipful Co. of Bottlers & Horners

Hardened Leather by Marc Carlson (PDF)
Some experiments with the leather-hardening treatments collectively known as “Cuir Boulli”, what it is and what it isn’t, and why the number of artifacts referred to as such probably weren’t.

Leather Jacks (Leatherworkers forum discussion)
I didn’t use any of their ideas, but it’s a handy discussion to read through even if only to learn from those warning the OP what not to do.

Costrels, Black Jacks, and other Leather Vessels by The Leatherworking Reverend’s Big Blog of Leather (blog… obviously)
Wayne Robinson is an Australian leather craftsman of the first order, and his deep dives into reproductions of period leatherworking techniques and general scholarship have been an enormous help to this project. So has he, come to think of it, answering questions and generally being approachable and generous with his knowledge and time.

Worshipful Co. of Coopers

The Modern Livery Company site:

Coopers & Coopering (Shire Library Series) by Ken Kilby –Shire Publications Ltd, 2010

Ramona Vogel, journeyman cooper at Colonial Williamsburg, (Video) filmed April 2010 by Kari Hultman

“Dirty Jobs” (TV show) Building Barrels in the US:

Worshipful Co. of Cordwainers (Shoemakers)

Modern Livery Company site:

The Raised Heel Blog (website) by Francis Classe, historical cordwainer

Footwear of the Middle Ages (website) by I. Marc Carlson

Handmade Shoes for Men by Laszlo Vass & Magda Molnar

Shoes and Pattens (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London)

Stepping Through Time: Archaeological Footwear from Prehistoric Times until 1800 by Olaf Goubitz —  Oxbow Books, UK  If you only buy one book about the archaeology of early modern footwear, Goubitz is the one to get.

Worshipful Co. of Blacksmiths

The Modern Livery Company:

The Blacksmith: Ironworker & Farrier by Aldren A. Watson — WW Norton & Co, First Edition 1968

The Forgotten Arts & Crafts: Skills from Bygone Days by John  Seymour — Dorling Kindersley 2001

The Backyard Blacksmith: Traditional Techniques for the Modern Smith by Lorelei Sims — Quarry Books 2006 (Reference only)

Make a Joint Stool from a Tree: An Introduction to 17th-century Joinery by Peter Follansbee

The American Pewterer: His Techniques & His Products by Henry J. Kauffman

Worshipful Co. of Joyners

Make a Joint Stool from a Tree: An Introduction to 17th-century Joinery by Jenny Alexander and Peter Follansbee — Lost Art Press, 2012

Peter Follansbee, Joiner’s Notes (Blog) by Peter Follansbee, Former Master Joiner at Plimoth Plantation

Carpenter’s Chest from the warship Mary Rose: The Village Carpenter (Blog) by Kari Hultman
The Old Woodwright’s Shop (TV Show) Roy Underhill’s iconic PBS show by the original Master Housewright at Colonial Williamsburg, airing since 1979 is a treasure trove of old-school woodworking knowledge.

Additional Online Videos, Resources, & Links*

Contact Information for the Livery Companies of London: The modern iterations of the historical trade guilds, compiled by the City of London corporation.

Tales from the Green Valley: Modern historians living a year as early 17th century farmers.

Historic Royal Palaces Tudor Cook-Along Videos: Videos for modern cooks wanting to cook historic dishes, featuring the cooking staff of Hampton Court Palace.

Cooking with Jas Townsend & Sons: These are 18th century recipes, but hard to pass up. The form and basic methodology of cookery changed little between the renaissance and the industrial revolution. Well worth the time to watch.

* No, you aren’t imagining things, that is an Oxford Ampersand. I really am just that big of a nerd.