almanac
an annual publication containing information such as weather forecasts, astronomical events, the rising and setting of the Sun and Moon, festivals, farmers' planting dates, etc
ambassador
the representative of a foreign government
apothecary
a person who sold medicine to patients and doctors, and also gave general medical advice. Similar to a modern pharmacist
astrology
methods for determining events on earth from the position of the planets and stars
barque
a sailing ship with three or more masts
bodice
a piece of women's clothing that covers the body down to the waist
breeches
trousers that went to the knee
cartography
the study and practice of making maps
chandler
a maker and seller of candles
Christendom
countries in which Christianity is the dominant religion
cipher
a system for encrypting a message, the key to that system, or an encrypted message
clandestine
secret
clerk
an administrative assistant
coiffed
arranged hair
coining
counterfeiting coins
cosmology
study of the universe
courier
a person who delivers messages and packages
court
the household of the monarch, including courtiers, noble attendants, and menial servants. A centre for fashion, culture and entertainment, where new trends were set. A vital place for nobles wishing to climb the social ladder
courtier
a man who attends at court
cunning-man
a practitioner of folk magic
divination
a magical ritual to gain information or to see the future
Dominican
a Catholic Order of friars
doublet
a men's tight fitting jacket
embassy
The diplomatic base for a group of people from one country, residing in another. This is usually the office of the foreign country's diplomatic representatives
epoch
a span of time, or a moment that symbolises the beginning of a particular era
excommunicated
expelled from the Catholic Church and denied the sacraments, as a punishment for breaking from the faith in a severe way. Not a permanent punishment - if the person repents they will be accepted back.
farthingales
the structure under a woman's dress that gives it a desired shape
fencing
a duel between two people with swords, usually with very thin blades
galliard
a popular Renaissance dance
Great Conjunction
an astronomical event in which the planets Jupiter and Saturn appear to align in the night sky
habit
a robe worn by members of a religious order
heresy
beliefs that contradict the established dogma of a religion. It is distinct from blasphemy, which means a lack of proper respect for religion
horoscope
a chart that marks the positions of the Sun, Moon, stars and planets at a specific moment, such as a person's birth. Used in astrology
Inquisition
an institution formed by the Catholic Church to combat heresy
jerkin
a sleeveless jacket worn over a doublet
jester
a fool, employed by a monarch to tell jokes and provide entertainment
Lady of the Bedchamber
the head maid of honour, and personal attendant of the queen regnant
livery
a uniform or badge placed on a person or object to show who owns or employs them
maids of honour
young women from noble families who attend on the queen, and act as companions for her
metallurgy
the study of metallic elements and their alloys
missionary
a religious person who attempts to educate and convert others
necromancy
the summoning of a spirit, or raising a dead body, in order to find out what the future holds (divination)
Papist
a person whose loyalties are to the Pope. This is usually used as a disparaging term
pedant
a person who is too concerned with showing off their learning and knowledge
pikestaff
a weapon - a long thrusting spear, particularly effective against cavalry
pious
virtuous (usually in a religious context)
pittance
a small gift of food or money/a charitable donation
Pope
The spiritual leader and head of the Catholic Church, believed to be chosen by God
Privy Council
the advisors of the monarch or head of state
pyre
a funeral fire on which bodies are burnt
quadrant
an instrument used to measure angles, can be used in astronomy
quill
a pen made from a bird's feather
regent
a person who rules in place of a monarch, either because they are too young, unfit to rule, or absent
rhetoric
the art of persuasive speech
rosary
Catholic prayer beads
scryer
a person who sees visions in substances such as glass, crystal, water, mirrors and fire. Scrying is often used as a means of divination (seeing the future)
seance
a ritual to communicate with spirits
seminaries
a theological or religious school, usually to prepare students for the clergy
skullcap
a small hat shaped to the head
sovereign
the supreme ruler of an area
speculum
a table showing the positions of the planets, used in astrology
trigon
one of the four groups of the zodiac, in which signs are divided according to their element: earth, air, water and fire
underhose
leggings that were worn under the breeches
wherry
a boat used as a taxi on the Thames
Yeomen of the Guard
bodyguard of the monarch
zodiac
the ring of constellations that appears to mark the path of the Sun over the course of a year. These constellations are divided into twelve signs, called the Zodiac. In astrology it is these signs that mark a person's personality and fate