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Faversham Society Papers - Looking for the Painter - FREE DOWNLOAD

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This fascinating paper explores who was the mysterious and unnamed character called the 'Painter', or supplier of poison, a key player in the murder of Thomas Arden in snow-covered Faversham in February 1551.

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Description

The Painter was believed to have been an artist with a knowledge of mixing poisons, a likely connection given the need to mix paints from various source ingredients, natural and chemical. The Painter has not been named in the play 'Arden of Faversham' or any of its source texts, and the identity and character of this person or their role has not been fully explored in previous research documents.

As well as the Painter, the paper considers in particular the character of Alice Arden, her position in the town and relationship with local people in what led her to conceive the plot to kill her husband, and how she wove into this scheme the other conspirators she identified and recruited to commit the crime. A picture is drawn of social Faversham, local politics and Arden's political allies in the first half of the 16th century; fresh ideas are presented into the circumstances and intrigues leading up to Arden's death. The Painter is likely to have been resident in the town; the Apothecary at no. 6 Market Place is seen as a likely place where a connection between art and science may have existed. The paper includes a rationale why the Painter's identity remained undisclosed despite the subsequent interrogation of the murderers and Alice Arden.

The author traces his own family tree in North Kent back to the 1300s and speculates that a distant relative may have been the mysterious and unknown Painter.

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