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Ellen or Elen More fl.
The name "More" recorded in the Scottish s seems to be from the word "moor", meaning an African person. James d Scottish privateers like Andrew Barton to attack Portuguese shipping.
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Archival references to the "Moorish lasses" were re-discovered by William MacGregor Stirling and the privateer connection was suggested by Patrick Fraser Tytler. He wrote about them in racist terms to John Holt.
James IV was in the north at Elgin. There was a suspected outbreak of plague at Dunfermline. The queen and her household decided to leave Dunfermline.
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They went on to Edinburgh. The s record that a woman "tursit" the "More lasses" from Dunfermline, a word that usually means the packing and transport of household goods with cord but can also mean the transport of people.
James IV arrived in Edinburgh, and came to Holyrood Palace by 18 November, where on 22 November he rewarded a man who had brought animals with 20 gold crownsthese animals had been with the African women, the "More lasses", at Inverkeithing. They included a Portuguese horse with a red tail, and a civet or "must cat". On 26 November he gave the woman who brought the "More lasses" from Fife 4 shillings.
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On 27 November James IV ordered that two suspected plague victims, who had been excluded from Dunfermline town, should have 14 shillings. At first the four Africans, recorded as "Ethiopians", were lodged in the house of James Hommylla wealthy Edinburgh merchant who bought tapestries for the king. Hommyll also hosted the Portuguese man who was escorting the African people, who had brought them to Scotland. One "More las" was christened on 11 Decemberand probably given a new name. It remains unclear if the mariner Wod had brought the Africans and the Portuguese man to Scotland from a ship he captured under " letters of Marque " or whether the King had requested him to obtain the African people to be his servants.
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These records may refer to the arrival of Ellen and her sister Margaret. Ellen and Margaret seem to be the two "More lassis" at Edinburgh Castle who attended Lady Margaret and were bought shoes. In they, and another girl in the castle, Marjory Lindsay, were given red skirts with green ribbons. In later years they ed the court of Margaret Tudor and were bought clothes, and given New Year's day gifts, comparable to those given to the queen's English lady in waiting, Mistress Agnes Musgrave.
Ellen is known to have worked for the queen at Linlithgow Palace.
Ellen More had been given her livery clothes, an allowance of clothing given to many royal servants in the days before Christmas, on 15 December This included a gown made of "Rissillis broun" russet cloth from Rijsel or Lille trimmed with velvet, with yellow taffeta sleeves, a velvet hood, and skirt of English brown or russet woollen cloth with a crimson hem.
The "two black ladies" were given 10 gold crowns on 1 January Ellen More was given 40 shillings in Julyrecorded as a payment to "Helenor, the blak moir".
William Dunbar wrote a poem for the court of James IV with the title Of Ane Blak-Moir which describes the appearance of a black woman involved in a tournament in unflattering and racist terms. It is not clear if William Dunbar's poem was connected to these events, or that Ellen More played the part of the Black Lady in the tournaments, although the identity of Ellen, or Elen More, is discussed in scholarship as the subject of Dunbar's poem, the woman named in the s, and the actor in the tournaments. The expenditure on these lavish eventsimitating the " round table of King Arthur of England", was recorded in the treasurer's sand the tournaments were described in Scottish chronicles.
The Black Lady's gown was made from Flanders damask figured with gold flowers, bordered with yellow and green taffeta, with outer sleeves of black gauze, inner sleeves, a drape of the same black gauze about her shoulders and arms, and she wore long gloves of black chamois or "semys" leather. In the costume was renewed with a green woollen skirt, and new black leather sleeves and gloves.
Ellen More is featured in a short animation titled The Tournament of the African Lady  which also depicts John Blankea trumpeter at the English court, written and directed by Jason Young.
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The drummer devised a masque or dance for the tournament held on Shrove-Tidecalled "Fasterins Eve". Twelve dancers wore costumes in black and white fabrics. At the court of Edward VI of England actors in masques were dressed as "Mores" with long black velvet gloves reaching above the elbow, with bells attached to costumes made from goat's skins. Tytler, Lives of Scottish Worthiesvol.
Craigie, Maitland Folio Manuscriptvol. Dawson, Scotland Re-formed Edinburgh,pp.
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