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Sir John Norreys, Keeper of the Great Wardrobe
The man with two faces or just two hats?

John Norreys in his Lancastrian S collar & Yorkist sun & rose collar -  Nash Ford Publishing
  • Hello. The year is 1465. My name is Sir John Norreys (pronounced Norriss).
  • I was an important man at the court of good King Henry VI.
  • I was the Keeper of his Wardrobe. This was a very important job.
  • It means I was in charge of all his personal spending money, including for his clothes. Do you like my own outfit?
  • The minstrels used to sing songs about me. They called me the Royal 'conduit'. This means that if you wanted to see the King, you had to ask me first.
  • My wife was a Lady of the Garter.
  • Sadly, England has been torn apart by civil war over the last ten years. Some people call it the War of the Roses. I was on the losing Lancastrian side.
  • King Henry's cousin, the Duke of York, has made himself King Edward IV. Poor King Henry has had to flee to France
  • Luckily I changed sides and the new king has been good to me. I am still an esquire at court, but I've had to change my collar to a Yorkist one (hover over my picture).
  • I've nearly finished building myself a fine new hall house at Bray in Berkshire. It's called Ockholt (some people call it Ockwells).
  • It's got all the mod cons, including window glass.
  • I splashed out on stained glass in the great hall There are lovely pictures of the coats of arms of all my friends.
  • Unfortunately, they were all on King Henry's side in the War. Many of the them were great soldiers who are now dead. How was I to know we would lose? I hope King Edward doesn't come to visit!
  • He could always come to my castle at Yattendon instead.


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