Festival celebrating life of previous Warwick Castle owner taking place this weekend

Festival co-organiser Adam Busiakiewicz. Photo supplied.
Festival co-organiser Adam Busiakiewicz. Photo supplied.

A festival is taking place this weekend to celebrate the life of Sir Fulke Greville, who owned Warwick Castle.

The Fulke Greville Festival, which runs from September 28 to September 30, will celebrate the life and achievements of Sir Fulke Greville.

Sir Fulke, who died 390 years ago this year, was Lord of the Manor of Alcester during the late 16th and early 17th centuries and owner of Warwick Castle.

Sir Fulke was granted ownership of Warwick Castle in 1604 and was raised to the peerage by James I with the title of Lord Brooke. He went on to transform the castle from a ruin into the building people are familiar with today.

He was also a poet, dramatist and statesman, whose various roles at court of Elizabeth I and James I included Treasurer of the Navy and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

A contemporary of William Shakespeare, Greville is also regarded as a generous patron of many of the leading writers of the day including Christopher Marlowe and Ben Johnson.

To mark the occasion, an historic festival will be taking place in Alcester featuring talks, lectures and tours as well as presentations by leading researchers on Sir Greville’s poetry and plays, many of which have been compared in quality to Shakespeare’s own celebrated sonnets.

The programme of events will include visits to the site of his former residence Beauchamp Court in Alcester, Warwick Castle and his tomb in the Chapter House of St Mary’s Church, in Warwick.

Amongst his good deeds for the townsfolk of Alcester was the giving of three hundred pounds of his own money to build a market hall. Alcester Town Hall, as it is now known, celebrates its 400th anniversary year in 2018 and will be the main festival venue

His life came to an end at the age of seventy four, after being murdered by a manservant in his home in London.

The patron of the festival is the Rt Hon. Lord Brooke, ancestor of Sir Fulke and eldest son and heir to the present Earl of Warwick.

Adam Busiakiewicz, an art historian and festival co-organiser, said: “Not many people in Alcester know that such a fascinating figure in British history was born on their doorstep. Fulke Greville was a true Renaissance man, and was a poet, soldier, jouster, courtier and politician.

“His exciting life makes our current Chancellor’s look feeble and insignificant in comparison. We look forward to celebrating the life of this extraordinary individual and welcoming all who wish to learn more about this fascinating man and the intriguing times he lived in.”

For more information about the festival go to: www.fulkefest.org.uk