Antiques & The Arts
Ham House Improvisation

Ham House Improvisation

SUBTITLES BY APM http://www.aaronpaulmarcus.com/ We stepped away from the grandeur of the Long Gallery to a little room just off the gallery called The Green closet, richly decorated; green brocade and lots of curtains and with a lot of pictures here and I want to find out more, and I’m delighted to be joined by the house and collections manager here at Ham House Victoria Bradley, hello there, and also by art historian and our resident expert ‘Antiques Roadshow”s Lars Tharp Um, Victoria, the walls are absolutely covered in portraits; some of them miniature, some of them larger and I’m sure that they tell a story of the house – who are they? Well, there’s a combination of family members and then also historical figures and they were collected by William Murray who created this room to put his collection of miniatures into I mean, Lars, this is just the most wonderful example, isn’t it, of a house of that era – of the 17th century – which still has the most extraordinary original collection within It’s one of my favourite houses – it’s one of my favourite periods as well. I think there’s a wonderful informality I mean, the 17th century, let’s not be too sort of rosy-tinted about it, was a very, very difficult period for anyone who was living in Britain – especially if they were in power er, but you walk into this room and there’s no mistaking where their loyalties lie right over the Oh, great! The soundtrack’s cut off into a stuttering silence Sorry about that, folks *sigh* (Aaron shakes his head and slaps his forehead) Well, what can we do now? I suppose you can press the mute button and take solace in the fact that ‘Antiques Roadshow’ is the TV equivalent of a sleeping pill anyway so, how about a little reading practice? As I’ve been around Ham House since I was knee-high to a grasshopper I know it fairly well so here’s a little history to pass the time or you could load another video: your call Anyway, as to the location, it’s right beside the River Thames in Ham, south of Richmond in London. Actually, it’s at the end of my street so I wander past it quite a bit It is said to be “unique in Europe as the most complete survival of 17th century fashion and power.” The house itself is designated by Historic England as a Grade I listed building. Its park and gardens are listed at Grade II by Historic England The house was built in 1610 by Sir Thomas Vavasour, Knight Marshal to James I. The Thames-side location was ideal for Vavasour, allowing him to move between the courts at Richmond, London and Windsor. In 1626 Ham House was leased to William Murray, whipping boy and close childhood friend of Charles I. So, what’s a whipping boy? Well, basically he was a schoolmate of a Royal who agreed to be beaten instead of the Royal who misbehaved in class This wasn’t a sadomasochistic thing – the idea was that the Royal would then reward his ex whipping boy as an adult So, Murray took corporal punishments in return for Ham House Not a bad trade, eh? Anyway, the house went through a succession of dukes – the Lauderdales and the Dysarts Now it’s owned by the National Trust in common with many stately homes which are very expensive to maintain Finally, a point that is interesting for Brazilians as Catherine of Braganza was Charles II’s wife and had a special room built here which you can see So, hope you liked the trivia and apologies again for the video!

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