chapter  9
20 Pages

Sounds of Piety and Devotion: Music in the Queen’s Chapel

ByJonathan P. Wainwright

Queen Henrietta Maria’s marriage settlement of 1624 included the clause that she should be able to continue the unmolested exercise of her Roman Catholic religion. The queen was to be provided with a properly ornamented chapel in her residences where the sacrament could be administered and mass and other divine offices celebrated freely.1 In her early years in England, Henrietta Maria used the chapel at St James’ Palace (now Marlborough House chapel), which had been designed by Inigo Jones in the Palladian style (1623-25) and was staffed by 28 priests headed by a bishop.2 However, within a year of the queen’s arrival in England, the considerable animosity between the English court and the queen’s French household had led to the expulsion of the queen’s French staff and priests. Henrietta Maria’s relationship with her husband improved beyond measure in the period following the assassination of the Duke of Buckingham (August 1628), and throughout the 1630s her power and influence increased immensely (see below).3