Ricardian Bulletin Contents 2 4 10 12 16 21 26 32 34 37 41 42 43 48 50 52 55 58 61 67 68 70 72 74 81 81 82 84
From the Chairman Society News and Notices Media Retrospective News and Reviews Celebrating 50 Years: Reception and Prize-Giving at Barnard’s Inn by Howard Choppin Ricardian Heroes: Patrick Bacon by John Saunders The Age of Richard III: Memories from the NPG Exhibition 1973 by John Saunders Memories from Scotland by David Fiddimore and Philippa Langley The Society’s Earliest Members Are we there yet? Or a Medieval Pilgrimage by Lynda Pidgeon Notes from Fotheringhay by Phil Stone Scurrilous Songs for Ruthless Ricardians by Helen Astle The Man Himself by Gwen Waters The Debate: Who murdered the Princes? Was Norfolk a Traitor? by David Johnson Logge Notes and Queries by Lesley Boatwright Only if it May Stand with the Law of the Church by Marie Barnfield Lord Olivier – a ‘closet Ricardian’? by Geoffrey Wheeler Correspondence The Barton Library Letter from the Continent Future Society Events Branch and Group Contacts Branches and Groups New Members Recently Deceased Members Obituaries Calendar Contributions
Contributions are welcomed from all members. All contributions should be sent to the Technical Editor, Lynda Pidgeon.
Bulletin Press Dates 15 January for Spring issue; 15 April for Summer issue; 15 July for Autumn issue; 15 October for Winter issue. Articles should be sent well in advance.
Bulletin & Ricardian Back Numbers Back issues of the The Ricardian and The Bulletin are available from Judith Ridley. If you are interested in obtaining any back numbers, please contact Mrs Ridley to establish whether she holds the issue(s) in which you are interested. For contact details see back inside cover of the Bulletin The Ricardian Bulletin is produced by the Bulletin Editorial Committee, General Editor Elizabeth Nokes, and printed by St Edmundsbury Press. © Richard III Society, 2006
From the Chairman
n my piece in the last Bulletin, I expressed the hope that those of us north of the equator would have a good summer, and depending upon your point of view, this has certainly been the case so far and I’m happy to report that the heat and humidity haven’t stopped the Bulletin team and other contributors putting together another great anniversary edition. Continuing our celebratory theme, there are articles on our first chairman, Patrick Bacon; the never-to-be forgotten 1973 NPG exhibition, which had such a positive impact on the Society; more memories from long-standing members and the Scottish Branch; as well as a fascinating article on Lord Olivier by Geoffrey Wheeler. Historical features include the thought-provoking suggestion that John Howard may not have been as loyal as we all thought; and the final part of Marie Barnfield’s important article on the marriage of King Richard and Queen Anne. Many of you will have read Michael Hicks’ controversial article on the dispensation required for that marriage which appeared in the June issue of the BBC History magazine. We were quick to react - see page 12 for details of our response. This has also had the advantage of enabling us to start a dialogue with that magazine, and in the longer term this may provide opportunities for publishing more positive views of Richard III. The Bulletin Team is aware that having a number of different people to whom to send contributions can be confusing and so it has been decided to have just one, the technical editor, Lynda Pidgeon. Please see the notice on page 8 which gives more information about this change. Few Ricardians would disagree with the statement that ‘history matters’ and the Society has signed up to help the National Trust and English Heritage, together with other bodies, promote the ‘History Matters’ campaign. See page 13 for details. It is always sad when a member dies, in the last issue we introduced a ‘recently deceased members list’. This is in addition to the full obituaries that have long been a feature. This time around, I am particularly saddened to record the deaths of two well known and very popular Ricardians: Pat Ruffle and Don Fleming. They will both be very much missed by us all. The next Australasian Convention takes place in Wellington, New Zealand, in April, 2007. The branches down-under do a marvellous job in organising their events and when one considers the distances involved, they really do deserve our admiration. If any Ricardians are going to be in New Zealand next April, show the Australasians your support and sign up for the convention. Whether you can make Wellington or not, I do urge as many as possible to come to the AGM and weekend of anniversary events in York at the end of September. We want this to be an occasion that is both enjoyable and interesting for members, as well as being one that provides lots of opportunities for members to get together, and also for myself and others of the Executive Committee to meet, listen to and exchange views with you all. The message is simple: be there! After all, you don’t want to be saying afterwards, ‘I wish I’d been in York in 2006.’ Thank you and see you there. Where? In York, of course. Phil Stone
York … the Place to be 29 September – 1 October 2006 and be a part of the Richard III Society’s history for the next fifty years
Society News and Notices The Richard III Society’s Members’ Weekend Friday 29 Saturday – Sunday 1 October 2006 in The City of York
This year, as members will probably be in no doubt, is a special year and our usual members’ day has been extended to an entire weekend in order to celebrate the fifty years of the refounding of the Society. A full programme has been put together and the Committee look forward to welcoming members to Richard’s favourite city.
Friday 29 September 2006 Lecture at the Hospitium Professor Tony Pollard’s lecture on his ‘journey’ with Richard III will take place in the fourteenth century Hospitium in Museum Gardens in York. Ricardian Get-Together at Barley Hall Refreshments will be available prior to the lecture and afterwards members are invited to visit Barley Hall for a candlelit get-together in the Great Hall, home to fifteenth-century York Mayor, William Snawsell. There will be a pay bar for wine, bottled ales and soft drinks.
Saturday 30 September 2006 Notice is hereby given that the 2006 Annual General Meeting of the Richard III Society will be held on Saturday 30 September 2006, in the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, York The meeting will begin at 12.00 noon. The formal business of the meeting will include reports from the officers, the presentation of the Annual Accounts of the Society to 31 March 2006, and the election of the Committee for the next 12 months. Nominations for the Committee should reach the Secretary, Miss E.M. Nokes, at 4, Oakley Street, Chelsea, London, SW3 5NN not later than 14 September. All nominations must be proposed, seconded and accepted in writing by the member proposed. Resolutions for the Agenda, proposed and seconded, should also reach the Secretary by 14 September.
The Annual General Meeting The AGM will be held in a new venue, the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall in the centre of the city of York. In addition to the formal proceedings, the day will include the usual attractions of a ‘members’ day’. Because much of the material formerly reported by officers at the AGM has been included in the Society’s Annual Report (included in this issue of the Bulletin – please do read it, and bring it with you on 30 September) officers’ reports will need only to bring matters up to date, and the focus of the meeting can be on the future and on members’ issues. A great deal has been written about the past but the Society now needs to look forward to the next fifty years and the annual general meeting on Saturday 30 September is an opportunity for members to make their feelings known. There will be an open forum to answer your questions, and respond to your issues. These can be raised verbally, or can be written down prior to the meeting and there will be a supply of post-it notes and a board so queries can be anonymous, but if they cannot be answered on the day, you may be asked to supply name/address, so that an officer/member of the executive committee or another committee can respond to you. Programme for the Day 11.00 Opening of Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, refreshments, opportunity to visits stalls. 12.00 – 13.00 AGM 13.00 – 14.00 Lunch 14.00 – 17.00 Workshops on palaeography, Latin, costume, and music will each be held twice during the afternoon. Opportunity to visit stalls and network with members. 15.30 & 16.00 Optional tour of the Minster 17.00 Conclusion of Members’ Day 19.00 for 19.30 Gala Dinner at Merchant Adventurers’ Hall Tickets for the AGM Please do not forget to order your ticket(s) for the AGM. The venue has a limited capacity as explained in the Summer Bulletin (p. 11). A booking form is available in the centre fold section. Refreshments and Lunch at the AGM Refreshments on arrival and a light buffet lunch to follow the AGM have been arranged and a combined booking form is available in the centre fold section. Attractions at the AGM The venue will be open from 11.00 a.m. for: The Major Craft Sale – The twenty-seventh Major Craft Sale will be held around the AGM/Members’ Day. The sale will start at 11.00 a.m., will run until the start of the AGM at noon and will then continue in the lunch interval and afternoon. We shall have on sale: Ricardian embroidery, cakes and sweets (for home consumption only), paperweights, RCRF Christmas cards, knitted items and baby clothes, soft toys, collage ... and Ricardian and other bric-a-brac. Sales Office Ricardian Sales Stall / Second-hand book sale – There will be the full range of Society/Trust publications, and society artifacts. Unfortunately the second-hand bookseller who had been invited to the AGM has withdrawn and we have been unable to find a replacement. There will, however, be a sale of duplicate books from the Barton Library, see page 67. 5
The Research Officer and Webmaster – in other words Wendy Moorhen and Neil Trump, will be delighted to talk to members about Ricardian research activities and the Society’s website. Branches and Groups Table – at which branches and groups will showcase their publications and activities. Visits Team table – will be hosted by members of the Visits Team, and will display information on past visits, and details of future visits: suggestions for the latter will be welcomed. Membership Manager and Treasurer’s Table – Brian Moorhen and Paul Foss will be able to receive payment of subscriptions at Members’ Day, and will have a table for this purpose from 11.00 a.m. to noon and from 13.00 to 14.30 p.m. Apropos of the Craft Sale we would warmly welcome offers of items for sale. We do appeal to members to try to provide some item(s) for the sale. If you cannot do any form of craft work, please try to look out some item(s) of jumble or bric-a-brac. We would of course also warmly welcome all items of any sort of craft. If you wish to bring items along on the day, it would be most helpful if you could mark them with an indication of the price(s) at which you think they should be sold. If you wish to give or send items to me in advance – do please contact the Secretary to check that the items are suitable. Please contact: Miss E.M. Nokes, 4, Oakley Street, Chelsea, London SW3 5NN. Tel. 01689-823569 [voicemail] Please note that the proceeds of the Craft Sale will be devoted to the Ricardian Churches Restoration Fund, as also will the proceeds of the raffle. Annual Grand Raffle at Members’ Day As usual we shall be having a raffle at this year's Members’ Day, in aid of the RCRF. The tickets will be 25p. each, or 5 for £1.00, and will be on sale at the meeting. The prizes include: Certificated piece of Fotheringhay glass Clock Florentine Box Plaque of Society boar and motto Loyaulté me Lie College of Arms quincentenary commemorative medal [bronze] Compact mirror Coasters Pottery pots with illustration of Richard on lid Collage NPG portrait of Richard III by Enid Hughes Plant-watering set V&A paperweight of Victoria and Albert after Winterhalter Prizes are not ranked in any order: first ticket drawn will have first choice, and so on. We thank the contributors and suppliers of prizes. Call to Branches and Groups If your branch/group wishes to make a report at the AGM, please let the General Secretary, know, by 14 September, so that you may be included on the AGM Agenda. Reports can be made in person by a branch/group representative, or, for overseas branches/groups, if no local representative is to be in York at the time of the AGM, in printed form, to be read at the AGM. Reports should not exceed 3 minutes, and should consist of new material not previously reported verbally or in print. Minster Tour Due to the popularity of this tour we have now arranged for three guides. The first tour will take place at 3.30 pm and two at 4 pm. Members will be advised of which tour they have been allocated to in the joining instructions. 6
Gala Dinner There are still a few places remaining for what promises to be an enchanting evening. Dress is black tie/lounge suits for the gentlemen, cocktail/evening dress for the ladies and medieval forthose who wish to take advantage of this truly beautiful setting. Booking form in the Winter Bulletin or write to Jacquie Emerson, Research Events Administrator (contact details on inside back cover). NB If you need somewhere to change before the dinner it will be possible for you to store your evening clothes/medieval dress at the Merchant Adventurers’ during the day and a place will be made available for changing prior to the event. All items, however, are left at the owner’s risk
Sunday 1 October 2006 York Minster The 11.30 am Service at the York Minster will include prayers for the Richard III Society. Ricardian Fair at Barley Hall The weekend will conclude with the Ricardian Fair at Barley Hall where Michael Bennett will be performing his one-man play of King Richard, the Company of Palm Sunday 1461 re-enactment group will be demonstrating their skills in the Great Hall (see page 11) and the management of Barley Hall are organising a number of medieval craft stalls. Entry by advance ticket (concession) or £5 on the door. The Friends of Barley Hall will be holding their own AGM that morning, see page 15 for details. Full details of the all the Members’ Weekend activities were published in the Winter Bulletin together with the booking forms, and updates have been published in the Spring and Summer editions. Joining instructions and tickets will be sent out during week commencing 4 September together with a commemorative leaflet. If you have any queries about any matters relating to the AGM or Members’ Day, please contact the Secretary (AGM) or Wendy Moorhen (Members’ Weekend activities) – addresses inside back cover of the Bulletin.
Subscription Renewal 2006 - 2007 Annual subscriptions become due for renewal on 2 October, and it would save the cost of reminders if members who do not pay by Standing Order would send their subscriptions promptly. The rates this year are: Full Member Families (all members of same family, living at same address) Senior Citizens (Ladies and Gentlemen over 60) Senior Citizen Family (same family, same address, where all are SCs) Junior (under 18 years of age) Student (Over 18 attending full-time educational course.) Europe/Overseas Members’ postage supplement (see below) 7
£18.00 £24.00 £13.00 £18.00 £13.00 £13.00 £6.50
Subscriptions should be sent to the Richard III Society, Membership Department, 2 Field Hurst, Langley Broom, Langley, Berkshire SL3 8PQ Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to the RICHARD III SOCIETY. A special insert in this Bulletin is provided for those not paying by Standing Order, and to save the Membership Department’s time, will members please indicate their membership category. This is particularly important if you are changing category. If you have now reached the age of 60 and wish to pay the senior citizen membership rate please advise us as your membership category is not automatically updated. NB to qualify for senior citizen family membership all members must be over the age of 60.
Payments by Credit Card The Executive Committee has recently reviewed the use of credit cards as a means of payment for Society goods and services, i.e. payment of subscriptions, visits, events, books and merchandise. These transactions incur a charge from our bankers and it is with regret that we have to pass this charge on to members. With immediate effect all payments by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) will include a 5% surcharge. One of the Committee’s major concerns is keeping the Society viable financially, whilst acting in a manner that is fair to all members, and naturally, it is sorry to take this course of action since credit cards are such a convenient method of payment, particularly for overseas members who would otherwise need to obtain an expensive sterling cheque or bank draft. However, the Society manages the cost of its goods and services very tightly, particularly in the areas of visits and events, where the price is based on actual cost and there is no margin to absorb the bank’s charges. Similarly, with subscriptions being kept as low as possible and including concessions offered to juniors, students and senior citizens, there is no cover for the charges. The Committee sincerely hopes that all members who pay by credit card will understand the position.
Overseas Postage Supplement The recent changes to the postal services as operated by Royal Mail have led the Executive Committee to review the costs of sending out the journals and, in particular, the postage to overseas members. It is with great reluctance that we have to announce that, with effect from 2 October, 2006, for members not belonging to the Canadian, New Zealand, NSW and Victoria branches of the Society, there will have to be an increase in the overseas postage supplement from £5 to £6.50. (Journals for the Canadian, New Zealand, NSW and Victoria branches are sent en masse to the branch for internal distribution, for which a separate postal supplement is charged.) Executive Committee
Bulletin Procedure – Important – Please read Members will appreciate what a complex process it is to produce each copy of the Bulletin so that it is as professional in appearance as possible. We have been thinking about this process and believe that it is rather more complex than it needs to be so we are trying to make things easier by having only one address to which all contributions should be sent. At the moment there are several and this can cause confusion as to where to send something and this can cause unnecessary delays. Therefore we are asking all members if they would please send all material for the Bulletin whatever it is, letters, articles, branch news or anything else to Lynda Pidgeon, who is the technical editor and she will send it to the appropriate person on the Bulletin committee. Her address is on the inside back cover of the Bulletin. 8
As we say the above applies to everything for the Bulletin whoever it has been sent to previously and we would greatly appreciate it if it could be sent electronically or on disk, or at least typed. If you send it on disk please send it securely packed and if you want it returned send a stamped addressed label with it. We do appreciate that some items cannot be sent either electronically or typed and that not everyone has access to computers or typewriters in any case and we will of course still welcome the contributions of every member however it is sent. The press dates, 15th October, January, April and July, remain the same but we do ask members to understand that these are absolutely final dates for material and we would much prefer to receive items before this. Articles should be sent well ahead of the press date. We look forward to receiving items for the December Bulletin. The Editor
The Chairman is on the move Please note that Phil Stone has now moved and his new address is: 181 Rock Avenue, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 5PY
Chivalry, the Order of the Garter and St George’s Chapel Seminar at Vicars Hall, Windsor Castle Please note that this event is now full but we are maintaining a waiting list. Please write to Jacqui Emerson, Research Events Administrator, address inside back cover.
Lincolnshire Medieval Banquet The Lincolnshire Branch of the Richard III Society is holding a Medieval Banquet on Saturday 28 October 2006 at the Angel and Royal Hotel, Grantham, at 7.30 for 8.00 p.m., to celebrate its thirty years as a Branch. Members are invited to wear costume but this is not obligatory. The meal will consist of several courses and there will be music and a surprise entertainment. Special concessionary rates have been negotiated with the hotel for overnight accommodation. The prices are banquet: £25, bed and breakfast £70 per couple; £50 single. Please send cheques for the banquet, made payable to: Richard III Society, Lincolnshire Branch, Lindum House, Dry Doddington Road, Stubton, Newark, Notts NH23 5BX. If you require B&B, please contact the Angel and Royal Hotel direct on 01476 565816. When booking accommodation, please advise the hotel that you are attending the banquet in order to qualify for the special rates and payments should be made direct with the hotel. Marion Moulton
Media Retrospective brother as Queen Margaret, and he subverted all the women’s long keening scenes by playing her in the style of Hattie Jacques. ... One evening ... there was an electrifying grace note. The actor playing Richard was gifted, prodigiously so ... we were rehearsing his soliloquy on the night before the battle ... In a play full of stately ... Senecan complaint (dull) or mad action plotting (nonsense), this is a sudden explosion of Shakespeare’s most distinctive voice. The actor hit the rhythm ... and was momentarily possessed by it. ... We attempted to do a dry run ... to friends and relatives ... Our first performance in Yorkshire was to a school audience ... things got worse ... Our next performance was on the fringe ... we had to make a radical adjustment from four hundred school kids to three old ladies ... Yet then ... a corner was turned ... our first performance on the festival ... was in an enormous cattle-auction barn ... birds swooped and soared between their nests in the roof ... the audience, all local ... moved during the show between their seats and the bar. The fact that it was so large dictated to us that we had to give it welly. We did, and something in the language and the story responded to our energy and quadrupled it. The fact the space was so open and clean and full of air demanded honesty from us. We gave it, and the lines came out clean and muscular and hard. The warmth and the delight of the audience – realizing we were daft southern buggers but not minding – helped us share our gathering momentum in the story. Something in Shakespeare arrives when the conditions are right.’
From Marilyn Garabet Daily Mail, May 2006: ‘Da Vinci Code chapel’s new musical secret’ – by George Mair. ‘... ancient Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh is about to give up the secret of another code contained in 213 mystical cubes in the stone pillars. ... It was discovered last year by Scots composer Stuart Mitchell [who] ... revealed the haunting melody after he discovered the stones at the bottom of each of twelve pillars ... represented a cadence ... each cube contained different patterns to form ... a six and a half minute piece of music for thirteen medieval players. Mr Mitchell was able to fill in the gaps created by two missing cubes in the sequence. A special orchestra is being created to play the piece of music for the first time since it was encrypted in stone five hundred years ago. ... Of the thirteen medieval instruments depicted on pillars by the chapel’s architect William Sinclair, two no longer existed. But a team of experts is now building all thirteen instruments.’
From Geoffrey Wheeler Will and Me: How Shakespeare took over my life, Dominic Drumgoole, Allen Lane. Chapter ‘Richard III, schism and three old ladies in hats’ recounts the presentation of Richard III in Middleham for the Quincentenary Festival in 1983. Drumgoole’s history is not his strong point: ‘ Middleham ... topped by a Gothic ruin of a medieval castle, whose one great claim to fame is as the place where Richard III was born. ... They decided to present a festival to celebrate ... Richard’s coronation in 1483. They were determined to record how their boy had done good, even if their boy had murdered a morgue full of relations, and disappeared two young nephews for good measure. ...’ They were asked to present Richard III while a fringe presentation offered the revisionist view in Shakespeare was a Hunchback. Drumgoole outlines the style of presentation, with a cast of seven: ‘Rehearsals foundered on various rocks. ... I had cast my
From John Knights Funeral for Siegfried by Audrey Williamson: The detective is Richard York and his mother, Aileen a famous actress: ‘Aileen: “What is, Dickon?’ It was her usual name for him, taken from the diminutive by which King Richard III had been known to close friends and family. In fact, he had been named after that king, in one of Aileen’s 10
bursts of enthusiasm for the Yorkist cause and the last of their royal line, so maligned, she considered, by Shakespeare and the usurping Tudors. She had, shortly before his birth,
been playing Elizabeth Woodville in Richard III, one of her few acting excursions into Shakespeare’s histories”.’
The Company of Palm Sunday 1461 The Company of Palm Sunday 1461 (COPS) is the affiliated re-enactment group of Towton Battlefield Society. Nominally of the household of Sir William de Salley of Saxton, as the name suggests, COPS is identified more specifically with Towton by virtue of its close connection with the Battlefield Society (the Company was formed in 2001 by four TBS members). We represent a typical band of Yorkist archers in the employment of King Edward IV, and are perhaps best known for our involvement with the Society’s annual Battle of Towton commemorations and guided battlefield walks which take place every Palm Sunday. In common with other medieval re-enactment groups, members of COPS are ‘lifestyle hobbyists’ with shared interests (some might say an obsession!) in fifteenthcentury history and longbow archery. We are based mainly around Yorkshire and the North-East, and come from a wide range of backgrounds including archaeology, archives, horticulture, IT, retail management and local authorities. As well as our close ties with TBS, many of us are also members of related organisations including the British Longbow Society, the European Historic Combat Guild and the Richard III Society. COPS has a core of about fifteen active members who own full sets of replica costume, weaponry and equipment, and we can call upon extra support from partners, associates and other local re-enactment ‘households’ when necessary. Underpinned by TBS’ strong educational ethos, from its inception COPS was committed to high standards of accuracy and authenticity in all the activities we carry out to support the Society’s aims. These consist mainly of fifteenth-century interpretations and educational events ranging from simple lectures, ‘show n’ tell’ equipment demonstrations and guided walks, to full days or weekends of living history. The latter involve us setting up an encampment of authentic tents with a fire range for cooking medieval-style food, where we carry out activities including archery, sword and pole-arm training, costume and equipment making and mending, finger-weaving and lucetting, candle-making, and fifteenth-century pastimes like dice games, buckler-ball and recorder music. COPS is deeply honoured by the invitation to appear at the Richard III Society’s 50th anniversary weekend and to meeting members at Barley Hall on 1 October. For further information on COPS and our current events calendar, check out our website, www.palmsunday1461.co.uk or e-mail the Secretary at nfo@palmsunday 1461.co.uk Helen Cox
News and Reviews BBC History Magazine: The Incestuous King? by Michael Hicks Following the now established tradition of authors having their recent publications showcased in BBC History Magazine, Michael Hicks’ new book on Anne Neville was featured in the June issue with a banner on the front page advertising ‘Richard III’s incest’. Prof. Hicks homed in on the hot topic of Richard’s marriage dispensations, or rather the perceived lack of them, and proceeded to look at the legality of his proposed second union (with Elizabeth of York), touching on Edward IV’s marital career along the way. The closing paragraph of the article began with the statement, ‘By the standards of his day … Richard’s first marriage was incestuous. He had married his sister.’ The foundation for Prof. Hicks’ incest theory is that the marriage of Richard’s brother George of Clarence to Anne’s sister Isabel had rendered Richard and Anne canonically brother and sister, related by affinity in the first degrees. I am sure members have been following the series of articles in the Bulletin by Peter Hammond and Marie Barnfield following Peter Clarke’s recent discovery of a dispensation in the Vatican’s archives which dealt with one aspect of Richard’s relationship with Anne. In her article in the Summer Bulletin Marie has ably demonstrated that when a marriage occurs, the bride and groom each become joined to the other’s family, but their two sets of relatives do not become contracted with each other, and that double brother-sister marriages were not uncommon. Clarence’s marriage to Isabel put no obstacles in the way of Richard’s marriage to Anne. Prof. Hicks continues his argument about the necessity of legal marriages by referring to Richard’s claim to the throne due to the illegitimacy of his nephews and the fact that Edward had ‘supposedly pledged himself to another (the precontract) and that his marriage to Queen Elizabeth was held to be void in 1483’. Prof. Hicks only makes reference to the precontract (with Lady Eleanor Butler, née Talbot) but makes no mention of the clandestine nature of his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville. As Edward and Elizabeth lived openly together for many years this might have been in favour of the legitimacy of their offspring despite the precontract but only if their marriage had obeyed the laws of the church, which it did not because it was clandestine. Such marriages were censured as the parties could have a relationship or impediment that would have been made public by the calling of banns. It is the combined circumstances of the pre-contract and Edward’s clandestine second marriage that led Richard to claim the invalidity of the union and to declare his nephews and nieces bastards. Prof. Hicks now warms to his theme of the incestuous king and claims that Richard favoured his niece, Elizabeth of York, as his next wife. It seems incredible that Richard seriously considered marrying Elizabeth and compromising his own position, both in terms of the blood affinity and her bastardisation. With the removal of the charge of incest with Anne Neville there is no precedent for the idea that Richard had a penchant for incestuous relationships which is promulgated in the article. Of course we know that he found it necessary to deny publicly the rumours and it is evident that forces were at work, but it is highly unlikely they were instigated by Richard in view of the fact that just six days after the death of Anne Neville, Richard sent an envoy to Portugal to negotiate a marriage between himself and the sister of King John II, the Infanta Joanna. The proposal, however, was not limited to one marriage but two, the second between the Duke of Beja, a cousin of King John who eventually acceded to the throne of Portugal as Manuel I, and Elizabeth of York. This was a provocative article which demanded a response from the Society. BBC History Magazine were offered an article pointing out the deficiencies in Prof. Hicks’ arguments. In the 12
event they declined it, but they have now published a letter from Marie Barnfield addressing the major error of an affinity between Richard and Anne in the first degree, and clarifying the overall situation with regard to the necessary dispensations required by Richard and Anne to contract a legal marriage. Wendy Moorhen
History Matters As a statement, ‘History Matters’ hardly comes as news to our members as the Society has been very much involved with our past heritage and history. However, a group of Britain’s leading heritage organisations have now come together to launch a campaign to raise awareness of our historical past. The campaign’s slogan is History Matters – pass it on and it is about ‘raising awareness, building support and encouraging involvement in history and heritage in England and Wales’. The organisations involved are: National Trust English Heritage Heritage Link Civic Trust Council for British Archaeology Heritage Lottery Fund Historic Houses Association The Society has made an official approach to the campaign organisers with the objective of joining them in our role as a leading medieval society and of course both our aims and those of the campaign run along the same lines. We will keep you informed of developments. A nice quote that sums up why history matters come from Machiavelli, the political philosopher who said ‘Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past, for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same result’. Richard Van Allen
Agincourt 1415 by Michael K Jones (Pen and Sword Books) This new book is the latest one on military matters by Michael Jones. Although it doesn’t bear directly on our period of interest we thought we should draw it to the attention of members because it contains an excellent discussion of the psychology of the battle and the motivation of his troops by Henry V. This discussion is relevant to the study of any battle. It is very readable as Dr Jones’ books always are and the discussion of the battle reinterprets its course in a new and fascinating way.
The Richard III Foundation: Richard III – Lord of the North 29 September and 30 July 2006 Friday, 29 September, 2006 5:00 pm - Mass in honour of the 550th birthday of Queen Anne Neville at the church of St Mary and St Alkelda, Middleham 6:30 pm – Dinner at Friar’s Head at Akebar 13
Saturday, 30 September, 2006 The conference will be held at the York CVS, 15 Priory Street, York, England, YO1 6ET. The conference will begin with registration at 9:30 and will conclude at 5:00 pm. The speakers for the day will include: Mr Colin Holt - The Ridings of Yorkshire, their continued existence and relevance to Yorkshire’s Identity. Prof Anne Curry - Richard III of England and I of France Mr Andrew Morrison – The Middleham Jewel and Other Objects from Middleham Prof Craig Taylor - Chivalry in the 14th and 15th century? Mr Russell Butcher - The Diplomatic Triangle: England, France and Burgundy. Dr Peter Clarke – New Evidence Concerning Noble and Gentry Piety in Fifteenth Century England. Tickets for the event are £21 for patrons and £25 for non-patrons. To order your tickets, please write to Mrs. Mary Kelly, 77 Deacons Green, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8BN and enclose your cheque payable to ‘The Richard III Foundation, Inc.’
My Kingdom For A Horse? Review of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Group’s Celebratory Event Richard Derrington's My Kingdom For A Horse? went ahead in Nottinghamshire on June 23 (despite those darned little gremlins printing the wrong letter in the Summer Bulletin). It was our celebration of twenty years as a Group and the fifty years of the Society. And what a wonderful tour de force it was! Richard, a professional actor and director, wrote and performed his own one-man play about Dickon Broom, the possible third natural child of Richard III, who lived and died in obscurity in Eastwell, Kent. It was everything we could have hoped for. We marvelled at the way with just a shade of the face or a stiffening of posture he became someone else. I had wondered if it might be a succession of different hats – but it was so much more subtle and professional than that. We loved his Shakespeare, with a flat almost Brummie accent. His Dickon was a marvellous creation, unexpected, not quite the full shilling, humour and pathos combined, a wonderful vehicle to tell the story. King Richard was surprisingly northern and a little stern, but king-like, slightly remote, as he may well have been in later months after Edward and Anne’s deaths. Someone thought he detected a definite East Riding note in one character – he said he had a friend with precisely that voice. Francis Lovell was calm, noble, quite friendly; the Duke of Buckingham – so shiny and pleased with himself, I could see him. An amazing picture. And Morton – what a slimeball! The whole thing was sheer enjoyment, wonderfully balanced with the pathos of young Ned’s death and our hero’s appalling mistake at the Tower, the enormity of which he fortunately never seemed to quite grasp – I had tears in my eyes at those points. It must be very rewarding for an actor to perform his own work, knowing exactly how it was meant when it was written – no wondering if the writer intended this or that, should we interpret it one way or another... Richard Derrington brought all those characters to vivid life – I could practically see the clothes they wore. We owe our grateful thanks to Mr Derrington, who stuck with us through many difficulties in the planning stages; to Nottinghamshire County Council who enabled the production with a £500 Communities Initiatives Grant, thus helping us to break even instead of sinking into bankruptcy. Ravenshead Village Hall Committee was very helpful in the hiring of its hexagonal timberroofed hall with its wonderful acoustics. There were between fifty and sixty in the audience, which was a respectable number, thankfully not lost in the nicely intimate size of the hall, but I would have preferred about eighty. However the point was the celebration, not profit, and it was good to see our friends in the Lincolnshire Branch joining us. 14
Thanks also to all the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire members who just got ‘stuck-in’ on the night pouring wine, selling raffle tickets, tidying chairs away – if they saw a job needed doing they just did it unasked. Finally I must thank our own treasurer, Carol Ploughman, for the unstinting support she has given, expertly handling the many confused income lists and cheques I gave her with efficiency and in her own usual unflappable way. How different from the secretary of the Group! Anne Ayres (Secretary: Notts & Derby Group)
My Famous Family [shown on UKTV History] As soon as I read about this programme it was essential viewing. The episode I concentrated on was about Rachael Corfield, a nurse from East Sussex, descended from Margaret, Countess of Salisbury. Bill Oddie was the presenter and the main subject was Rachael’s family service in India and Africa, whilst being a distant cousin of the Queen-Empress in whose name these many countries were ruled. The principal descent was through the Pole, Hastings, Clinton (of Lincoln), d’Ewes and Havers families. Although the programme was very good, there were certain aspects of it that grated. Despite having a proper genealogical consultant (Guy de la Bédoyère), Bill Oddie kept referring to Queen Victoria as his subject’s ‘ancestor’ when he meant cousin. The on-screen pedigree showed their common ancestor as John of Gaunt, not Richard of York and the legend of the countess trying to run away from her executioner was repeated. Did the common ancestry point amount to subconscious Lancastrian bias? I also saw a second show in the series, about a London architect, James Lloyd-Mostyn, who is descended from the Duke of Wellington, but his line went back further to Welsh royalty, via another ancestor who fought at Bosworth. This programme repeated another myth: of Henry Tudor’s army marching from Milford Haven to the East Midlands via North Wales although they had insufficient time for this. Could it be that Jasper Tudor’s troops actually landed in the North and converged with his nephew? My Famous Family achieved a few things despite its errors. It reminded the viewing public that descendents of the House of York are still around and are relatively easily traced. If this results in reference libraries being plagued by more enthusiastic and curious people, it will be a good thing, even if a de Ruvigny volume takes even longer to borrow. Stephen Lark
Friends of Barley Hall We thank everyone who replied to our appeal in the last Bulletin asking for suggestions for the date of the Friends AGM. The most popular date for it to be held was Sunday 1 October, the day after the Society AGM, and we have therefore chosen that day for it. The Friends AGM will therefore be held at Barley Hall, in the School Room, on Sunday 1 October at 11 am. We will look forward to seeing you there. Lynda Pidgeon, Secretary to the Friends
Right Royal Bastards Burke’s Peerage & Gentry’s latest publication is advertised on page 66. Please note that articles on the illegitimate children of Edward IV and Richard III, known and conjectured, are included in the Tudor and Royal Loose Ends sections. Howard Choppin News and Reviews continued on page 20 15
Celebrating 50 Years: Reception and PrizeGiving at Barnard’s Inn HOWARD CHOPPIN
n 19 May, members of the Society gathered in Barnard’s Inn Hall at Gresham College , to see HRH The Duke of Gloucester present prizes to the winners of the essay and poster competitions that we have run in schools over the last year. The families and teachers of the winners were also present. Gresham College was founded by Sir Thomas Gresham – the Tudor financier, who originated Gresham’s Law of bad money driving out good. Portraits of Sir Thomas and Elizabeth I gazed down on us in the panelled hall where we sat. This function offered a chance to showcase to members and others some of the Society’s achievements and projects over the last half-century – the royal patronage; our aim to raise the profile of the fifteenth century and Richard III within the National Curriculum for UK schools; and the project to establish a DNA profile for Richard III and his close relatives. The evening began with John Saunders giving a talk on the Richard III Society from a historical perspective. He began right at the beginning with the famous and brave words that the York city fathers recorded on hearing of the death of the king who had done so much for them - That King Richard, late mercifully reigning upon us, was piteously slain and murdered to the great heaviness of this city. He then took us through the story of Richard III’s reputation over the centuries that followed. In 1924, Dr Saxon Barton and a small group of friends had formed the Fellowship of the White Boar, seeking to promote a positive view of Richard III. The Fellowship remained a small group and it faded away around the period of the war. In the 1950s the Society’s current Vice-President, Isolde Wigram tracked down Saxon Barton and together they refounded the Fellowship, which quickly became the Richard III Society. John described how the Society has in recent decades made its own contribution to research into the period, commemorated events and places associated with Richard and his times, as well as offering pleasure and friendships to its members. John Ashdown-Hill then spoke on ‘Finding the DNA of Richard III’. John began by explaining the difference between nuclear DNA (the jumbled mixture DNA that we receive from both our parents) and The posters displayed in the Hall mitochondrial DNA 16
Above left: Winner of the junior essay competition Sadie Jarrett with the Patron Above right: Katie McCrudden, The Patron, Phil Stone. Katie won the second prize in the junior essay competition Right: Winner of the poster competition, Samara Sakayam with the Patron and Phil Stone
The Teachers with Patron and Chairman: Elaine Paul, Wells Cathedral School, Linda Lumb, Linslade Middle School, Jill Farrell, Glan Afan Comprehensive School, John Reid, Sir Thomas Rich School, Claire Strickland, The Dragon School
Samuel Davis, third prize winner of the senior essay competition with the Patron and Chairman Ryan Byrne, second prize winner of the poster competition with the Patron and Chairman
Above left from left to right, John Saunders, John Ashdown-Hill, The Patron, Phil Stone and Peter Hammond. Above right: Constance Meath Barker, third prize winner of the junior essay competition and the Patron.
Above left: Catherine Davis (parent) and member Ros Conaty. Above right:Francesca Onasti, third prize winner of the poster competition with her mother and member Betty Beaney
(mtDNA), which passes only through the female line. As mtDNA is generally passed on with its base sequences unchanged, it can be used to trace relationships through long passages of time. John reminded Society members that this project had so far led to the identification of a mtDNA sequence for Richard III, through a line of female descent from Richard’s eldest sister, Anne, Duchess of Exeter, to Joy Ibsen, who lives in Canada. John explained the complications involved in trying to trace a descent through the The Patron, Chairman and Sadie Jarrett female line and also forwards in time over centuries – sons and nuns had led to some frustrating mitochondrial dead ends. One of these false leads was Barbara Spooner, the wife of the slave-trade abolitionist, William Wilberforce, whose daughters did not establish a line of female descendants. John pointed out that the mtDNA sequence that had now been discovered could be used to help indicate the identity of any human remains that might be found one day near Richard’s burial site in Leicester. John then moved on to describe two further DNA projects relating to the family of Richard III. He had secured permission to take samples from a surviving strand of hair belonging to Mary Tudor, Queen of France – younger daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. A strand of cut hair can contain a sequence of mtDNA. If such a sequence can be extracted from this hair then the mtDNA sequence of Mary’s maternal uncles, the Princes in the Tower, will have been revealed. John’s other project was to find the Y-chromosome for Richard and the Princes – the Ychromosome is the genetic material transmitted from father to son in an unbroken line. John hoped to obtain a DNA sample from members of the Somerset family – Somerset is the family name of the Dukes of Beaufort, who as descendants of an illegitimate son of a Beaufort Duke of Somerset should have the Plantagenet Y-chromosome, the same Y-chromosome that Richard and the Princes should also have had. John hoped to find some way of making contact with the Somerset family and taking this part of the project forward. John then handed over to Phil Stone to introduce His Royal Highness. The Duke made a short speech in which he compared Richard III to Louis XVI, who spent his last night before execution reading Horace Walpole’s favourable biography of Richard, maybe hoping for future rehabilitation of his own. The Duke also praised the imagination and initiative that lay behind the competition. He then presented the winners’ certificates, as Phil announced the first, second and third prizes in each category. As the youngsters went up to pick up their awards their parents and teachers darted around the room with their cameras to get the best vantage point. After the prize giving, we broke up for a few minutes before our buffet supper and went into the courtyard and watched the photo call as the Duke was photographed with the prize winners and speakers. People then lingered for a long time, not just because the food was so delicious and plentiful, but also to savour a very enjoyable evening. Talking to the winners and their parents and teachers it was clear how much this occasion, and the recognition that had been given, meant to them. Some who came from further away were taking the opportunity to have a weekend in London, and it was clear that this would form a special part of this special trip. Many thanks are due to Wendy Moorhen and Jane Trump for running the event so efficiently, to John Ashdown-Hill for coming up with the original idea of the competition and to all those who judged the competition and assisted this event in any other way. 19
Phil Stone writes: I was delighted to receive the following letter from Kensington Palace: From: Major Charles MacEwan CVO Temporary Equerry to HRH The Duke of Gloucester 22nd May 2006 Dear Dr Stone His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester has asked me today to write and thank you for organising a most enjoyable evening. His Royal Highness much admired Mr. Ashdown-Hill’s effort and determination to track down Richard III’s DNA and was enlightened at Mr. Saunders’ historical perspective. From a personal perspective, I have had a taster for a part of history that I missed in my childhood and for me the evening was fascinating. The Duke of Gloucester was most grateful to you for introducing him to so many of the guests and has asked me to ask you to thank everyone who made this evening such a success. With many thanks to you and the team. o0o
Troops and Tactics Review in Summer Bulletin In the report on the above event held in March, our reviewer Bill Featherstone, reported on Professor Tony Goodman’s talk ‘The recruitment, array, and training of the troops during the Wars of the Roses’ and under the section of training wrote ‘Professor Goodman identified one of the problems being in the decline of the richer peasant class, the yeoman, who earlier in the century had provided the sinew in and between the array and the retinue’ (p. 23). Professor Goodman has commented that his argument was that the composition of the armies in the Wars reflected the rise, not the decline of the yeoman.
News and Reviews continued Lecture at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle The annual Maurice and Shelagh Bond Memorial lecture will be held on Wednesday, 11 October 2006 at 7.00 pm. The lecture is entitled ‘The Several Lives of King Henry VI’ and will be given by Professor Ralph Griffiths. Applications for tickets, which are free, should be sent to The Chapter Office, Windsor Castle, Berkshire SL4 1NJ together with an SAE by Wednesday 4 October. Please bring photo ID with you on the evening. News and Reviews continued on page 49 20
Ricardian Heroes: Patrick Bacon JOHN SAUNDERS
n a balmy summer evening in 1924, this centenary year of his birth. Saxon Barton and Philip Nelson were Patrick was born in Lancashire on 17 sitting out on the terrace of the Bacon family March 1906, his elder brother, Roger, having home in Northwood talking to their hosts been born a few years earlier. Roger had a Sewell Bacon and his wife. Barton and Neldistinguished legal career and went on to beson were down from Liverpool visiting the come the Chief Justice of Gibraltar. AustraliBacons, who had moved south from that city an readers will be interested to note that Rogsome years before. Also at home that evening er married the daughter of Sir James Connolwas the Bacons’ younger son Patrick, then 18 ly, a prominent West Australian politician of years old. He had joined his parents and the the pre-war years. guests out on the Patrick, terrace and realong with his called in later brother, was eduyears that the cated at the faconversation mous Rugby became someSchool. Roger what passionate was a student of as the topic School Field moved on to House when the Richard III. Barpoet Rupert ton and Nelson Brooke was house were enthusiastic master during supporters of the 1912. Patrick himrevisionist view self remembered of the king, and having tea at the as the discussion house of the poet’s Dedication of the Altar Frontal at Middleham Church, progressed pasmother, Mrs Ruth 8 June 1963. Front row from left to right: Crystal Cook, sions rose furBrooke, whom he Mrs Wigram, Isolde Wigram, Heather Bennett, ther. Barton sudrecalled was a Joyce Melhuish and Patrick. Back row: unnamed member and Rev. D M Collins. denly exclaimed formidable but ‘Let’s form a kindly lady. Society’. He appointed Nelson treasurer and Patrick married his wife Gwen in 1928; himself secretary, then he set his eyes on the the two families had in fact known each other young Patrick, ‘And you will be the memberwell before the First World War when both ship’. Slightly over-dramatised perhaps, but lived in Cheshire. They had lost touch, but by this is basically how it all began. And some a great coincidence found themselves living thirty-five years later Patrick Bacon became in the same village some years later. Their the Richard III Society’s first chairman and son, Colin, was born in 1930. later its first elected President. So he was During the 1930s Patrick worked as a there at the very beginning and was also one school lecturer and was also a member of the of the pioneers of the early years of the reTerritorial Army. With the onset of war in founding: a true Ricardian hero, especially in 1939 he joined the regular army and remained 21
ard, was put on first as an amateur production at the Tower Theatre, Canonbury in London, with our friend Leslie French playing Richard. Although the Tower Theatre was at that time leased by the foremost amateur dramatic company The Questors, of which Patrick was an enthusiastic member, Leslie had assembled his own cast, and though Patrick had therefore no part in the production, due to his interest in the subject he came along to the first performance. I was introduced to him after the show, and mentioned the Fellowship of the White Boar. Patrick naturally recalled that he had, many years before, belonged to a Society of that name, and with the name of Saxon Barton there was no doubt it was the same one. We had found the first original member of the Fellowship, and it was a natural progression for Patrick then to become the Chairman of the revived Fellowship, on which Saxon Barton, a busy surgeon in Liverpool, was unable to do more than keep a keenly interested eye.’ Despite being signed up in 1924 Patrick could not recall having much direct involvement with the Fellowship before 1956, although he kept in close contact with the Bartons and the Nelsons. He did however visit the site of the battle of Bosworth during the 1930s and remained committed to the revisionist cause. Patrick’s experience of handling advertis-
Patrick with Society Chaplin ‘Teddy’ Boston at a wreath laying ceremony at Bosworth in the 1960s
on active service until 1945. He spent three years as a Military Press Censor in India, meeting famous people like Noel Coward and Lord Mountbatten. Much of his professional life thereafter was spent in the world of advertising. In later years he was a consulting director of a London advertising agency. Patrick and Gwen had one great common interest – dramatic art. They had extensive involvement with amateur theatre companies, both as actors and administrators. Significant amongst these was the Tavistock Repertory Company (now the Tower Theatre) and the famous Ealing Questors. Gwen in fact was a well known professional actress, who had acted in films and revues with famous names such as John Mills, Robert Morley and Fay Compton. And of course it was the theatrical connection that brought Patrick back into the orbit of the Society. Isolde Wigram recalls what happened: ‘In 1955 my mother’s Patrick as Lord Stanley (second from right) in a scene from The Questors play “The Sun of York”, the Theatre production of Lydia Ragosin’s play ‘A Crown for the Strong’ first staged defence of Richwith Henry VII, Elizabeth of York and Perkin Warbeck (in chains) 22
ing and public relations was very helpful to the Society during its formative years. This was particularly so in his role as chairman with a growing Society and new branches developing both in the United Kingdom and overseas. In 1963 when Shakespeare’s Richard III was due to be performed at Stratford he was able to use his contacts to ensure that the play’s programme included the historical facts about the king as well as Shakespeare’s. They Patrick with the Vellum, a document that recorded Richard’s visits and also came to the fore in the his association with the city of York, which the Society presented to York mid-1960s when he underMinster in 1966. Parick is flanked by the illuminator, Miss Sloan, and the took two extensive overseas Dean of York. It is hoped that the Vellum will be on display in the Mintrips during which he met ster for the tours during the Members’ Weekend members throughout the world. Over the winter of 1965/66 he visited AL Rowse. We wasted little time in prelimiAustralia and North America, spending Boxnaries, Dr Rowse knows about our Society ing Day 1966 with members of the Australian and even referred to it in print … he was a bit Branch in Melbourne. Then it was on to Caliput out to have “come into the lion’s den” as fornia to meet American Branch members on he put it – or to have “come into the boar’s the West coast and the following year he vislair” as I put it. I found him courteous but ited Canada and New York. The American adamant in his views. We skated round and Branch organised a reception and cocktail round, and very near the hole in the ice withparty in his honour. One guest in particular out falling into the chilly waters of badwas noteworthy. Patrick takes up the story: tempered argument.’ ‘But who is that tall, distinguished gentleman I once asked Patrick about his personal in the corner? …. I am led over to meet Dr views on the many controversies surrounding King Richard and he referred me to his article in the December 1987 issue of the Bulletin entitled ‘The Key to Historical Truth – Interpretation’ in which he outlined his approach to history. He quoted George Bernard Shaw: ‘History does not tell lies; false interpretations do so.’ And in his own words went on to write ‘My final advice, then, is to fight tradition where it obstructs progress; never worship it as sanctity. Make it open to change, like everything else in the world. Then we can reveal historical truth by applying honest interpretations of the people and events of the period.’ Sound advice then and equally so today. Patrick served as Chairman of the Society Dedication of Sutton Cheney Memorial by from its re-founding in 1956 to the AGM of the Right Rev. the Bishop of Leicester, Dr. Ronald 1971, when he was succeeded by Jeremy PotWilliams DD, MA in 1967 23
ter. It was a long time to be at the helm. ReWigram that in recognition of his great serflecting on the years of Patrick’s chairmanvice to the Society Mr Patrick Bacon should ship Isolde Wigram wrote ‘So we progressed be elected as President of the Society. This through the formative years … there were ups was passed with acclaim.’ and downs, and my abiding memory is of Patrick and his wife Gwen retired to Caninterminable Committee meetings in our flat, ford Cliffs near Poole in Dorset and helped to with Patrick and George Awdry leaving befound the Dorset Branch. In her later years hind a heavy aroma of pipe smoke; but Gwen suffered badly from osteo-arthritis and through it all Patrick’s passionate commitPatrick cared devotedly for her during her ment to the cause of Richard’s rehabilitation final years. She had always loyally supported provided a constant impetus.’ The Society Patrick’s involvement with the Society and recorded its apprewas a very popular ciation in the Deand friendly figure cember 1971 issue at the many events of The Ricardian: she attended. She ‘Fifteen years in died in 1988 and the Chair is in shortly thereafter itself a matter of Patrick moved to praiseworthy note Norwich to be clos– but fifteen years er to his son’s famof superb control ily. Inevitably Patand leadership rick involved himfrom the Chair is self with the Noran achievement of folk Branch of which no praise which he became a can be too high. much loved memPatrick Bacon, at ber. Indeed the the helm of the branch hosted his Society for a decninetieth birthday ade and a half, has celebrations in given us a place in March 1996 when the sphere of hisa party was held at torical societies the Maid’s Head which we cannot Hotel in Norwich, now lose. By his complete with a handling of public large cake decoratrelations – his ed with the SociePatrick and his wife Gwen at the Guildhall Coronation diplomacy – his ty’s badge. The Banquet 1983. Left is the Ricardian novelist, fervent fanatical party was attended Rosemary Hawley Jarman faith in our cause, by many Society he has given us a “backbone” that has enabled members, including Isolde Wigram, and Patus to “walk tall.” Committees that have rick’s own family. Our then Chairman, the worked under him will appreciate the great late Robert Hamblin, spoke on behalf of the loss that has been occasioned by his retireCommittee and the Society to congratulate ment but he has earned it – none more justly.’ the President on his milestone and his The Society rewarded Patrick with the achievements. He also read a message of Presidency of the Society, a post that had congratulation from the Society’s Patron been vacant since Saxon Barton’s death in HRH The Duke of Gloucester: 1957. The minutes of the 1971 AGM record: ‘Congratulations Patrick Bacon on your 90th ‘It was proposed by Mr Awdry on behalf of birthday and also on the foresight you showed the Committee and seconded by Miss by helping found the Richard III Society for 24
those determined like yourself to place this complex character in a more accurate position in the public perception. I hope you have a very splendid celebration’. However Patrick did not long survive these celebrations for he died on the 30th November that year. His funeral was held in one of the side chapels of Norwich Cathedral, and was attended by Robert Hamblin, Elizabeth Nokes and Isolde Wigram on behalf of the Society. The last words belong to Isolde:
‘Patrick’s utter loyalty to and concern for the Society during his forty years in office carried him up to three months before his death, when those who were present at the Bosworth Commemoration Service at Sutton Cheney in August 1996 will remember his reading of the lesson for the last time, attendance at these services and at the AGM being occasions he never missed. His absence from the 1996 AGM was a sign of the end.’
Patrick on his 90th birthday, March 1996
Thanks to Geoffrey Wheeler for supplying the photographs. The main focus for Ricardian Heroes in the December Bulletin will be Jeremy Potter, and I will also be writing shorter pieces on others including Phyllis Hester, Reginald Bunnett and Pat Bailey.
The Age of Richard III JOHN SAUNDERS Richard III and to sharpen the historical focus on the Yorkist period in general. And few would doubt that both these were admirably achieved. It brought together many exhibits known to have been directly connected with Richard III or those close to him, together with other contemporary items from the Yorkist period. There were sections illustrating the Yorkist court, religion and the battle of Bosworth and numerous contemporary documents giving accounts of Richard. All known portraits of the king were gathered there and catalogued in full for the first time. After it closed Roy Strong wrote to Patrick Bacon: ‘I write to thank your Society for contributing so generously towards it. Without the kind and ready support of many sources, both public and private and at home and abroad, we would not have been able to assemble such a vast amount of material to illustrate the complexity which surrounded Richard III and his reign. This has been our most ambitious project, and the most successful. It has attracted over 41,000 visitors. It has certainly brought out a number of unknown facts and has, I think, added significantly to the study and understanding of Richard III and of late fifteenth-century England.’ Now let’s hear from some of those visitors. Shirley Stapley, of the Devon and Cornwall Branch, recalls her visit and the impact it made: ‘I knew little of medieval history when I visited the Richard III Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in the summer of 1973. I had, however, always been very interested in English history of the later period and especially in the Stuarts. As it happened, just before the exhibition I had started reading a few books on the Wars of the Roses so realised that here was a chance to widen my knowledge. As I entered the building I can remember my bag being searched as it was at
Memories of the National Portrait Gallery’s Summer Exhibition 1973
n the last issue of the Bulletin we asked members to send us their memories of the 1973 National Portrait Gallery Summer Exhibition. A number of you did and your recollections follow this brief introduction to the event. Dr, now Sir, Roy Strong considered the National Portrait Gallery’s summer exhibition of 1973 to be a ‘minor classic’. Throughout its four-month run it attracted over forty thousand people and was described in The Ricardian as being a must for anyone interested in the life and times of Richard III. It was indeed a seminal event in the Society’s history, giving the cause much free publicity with a consequential leap in membership, which kept the then secretary Phyllis Hester very busy indeed. By the end of the year Society membership stood at 2567, which represented an increase of a third over the equivalent figure for 1972. The exhibition’s principal organiser and cataloguer was Dr Pamela Tudor-Craig, the eminent art historian, who was already well known to the Society. This was helpful since the NPG were keen for the Society to contribute and naturally the Society was equally keen to co-operate. Patrick Bacon became the key person to liaise with the gallery, with significant support from Joyce Melhuish and Geoffrey Wheeler. A glance at the exhibition’s catalogue reveals just how much they contributed. Geoff in particular deserves much praise for tracking down Richard III’s own copy of Wycliffe’s New Testament, which was one of the books on display once owned by King Richard and Queen Anne. The exhibition opened on 27 June with two stated aims: to seek a fresh assessment of 26
‘The Oratory’. Exhibits include the Wycliffe New Testament (New York Public Library), a statue of St Catherine of Alexandria, a Virgin and Child and Pyx (all from the Burrell Collection)
Battle of Bosworth section of the Exhibition. Top picture includes masonry from Baynards Castle and John Brompton’s ‘Chronicle’
The artefacts displayed above include the fragment of an alabaster from Tamworth, brasses from the collection at the Society of Antiquaries, the Precepts of Cato mss, and ‘William Worcester’ Collections on Normandy
The centrepiece is Caxton’s ‘The Miracle of the World’
the time of the IRA bombings. Once inside it was fascinating to look at all the exhibits on view and to see such things as the various portraits of Richard III, Edward IV, Elizabeth of York and many more. There were so many things to catch the eye including original documents, charts, letters, books of hours, tapestries, rings, coins and even a panel believed to have come from Richard’s bed. I had never heard of the Society before this but the exhibition had aroused my interest in Richard and I had also derived so much pleasure from seeing the exhibits. Before leaving I saw some literature that gave details of how to join and on returning home I wrote to Phyllis Hester, who was the secretary at the time, and I became a member of the Society.’ Judith Sealey, the Worcestershire Branch’s chairman, has some vivid memories: ‘As a relatively young teacher, but one who had read Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time, I was eager to visit the exhibition and I wasn’t disappointed. I remember some incredible artefacts on display including books of hours and ivory statues of Our Lady, but what mainly appealed to me was the opportunity it gave to produce your own poster of Richard. One was given a large sheet of card with Richard’s portrait in the centre and there was a competition for the best poster to include scenes of fifteenth-century life. How I worked on that poster! Hours of fun delving into history books! I duly sent off my winning poster only to receive ... nothing. I always wondered what happened to all those rejected posters. Never mind, what the exhibition did do was to give me information about the Society, and I found to my delight that there was then a Kent Branch with the estimable Vera Legg at the helm. How I enjoyed the outings and the company.’ Mary Talbot, a member of the South Essex Group, remembers how the exhibition led her to the Society: ‘Having read The Daughter of Time, I was eager to find out more about Richard III, so I was delighted when the NPG put on an exhibition about him. I purchased a season ticket which gave me entrance at all times. My office was nearby so I spent each lunch hour there. I soon got to know the attendants and one of them gave me
Phyllis Hester’s address. I contacted her straightaway and signed up for membership. It was a privilege to know Phyl, she was such a friendly person and her knowledge of all things Ricardian, was formidable. I joined the Kent Branch, they made me most welcome and I spent many happy times with them. Belonging to the Society has given me such an interest in my life, but more than that I made such wonderful friends. I was also in at the beginning of the South Essex Group and again it is a joy knowing them all.’ Bill White, well-known to members for his expertise on osteology, has some extensive memories of the exhibition and Ricardians he encountered there: ‘A visit to the Richard III exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday 30 June 1973 was actually my first introduction to a London Branch function. My long-delayed membership of the Richard III Society had commenced the previous year, following a visit to the Bosworth battlefield, then still on private farmland, where I had noted Phyllis Hester’s address from the inscription at the well. On that Saturday morning I was looking forward to meeting members of the Branch and officers of the Society at the exhibition. The first was Geoffrey Wheeler, who caused consternation when he said that it would not be a guided tour for members. For £2.25 I bought a season ticket to the exhibition, knowing in advance that I should want to visit it many times. I noted that season ticket No 1 had been taken up by one Patrick Bacon. Once inside the exhibition it was an especial thrill to hear music of Richard III’s time. This was appropriate because Richard had a huge interest in music and employed his own minstrels. Some of the music was familiar from an Argo LP that I possessed (now longlost, I’m afraid) but most of it was ‘new’ to me and was most appropriate for the late medieval setting afforded by the magnificent exhibition. Amid the assembled medieval and early modern period portraits of Richard III, I first met Carolyn Hicks (as she then was), from whom I had borrowed books and papers from the Barton Library. As we moved on to the near-contemporary portraits of Edward IV she commented that Edward’s appearance had 30
often been described as ‘bland’ – those within earshot retorted that if these were accurate portraits it was difficult to understand his legendary success with the ladies. I had had many but remote dealings with Peter Hammond, the then Research Officer for the Society and had started literature searches on his behalf in History, Records of Buckinghamshire and other journals. Here I met Peter for the first time, among the 15thcentury weapons, where he was illustrating the most effective use of a poleaxe. The exhibition was so comprehensive in breadth and depth of themes that it is difficult at this remove to single out individual exhibits. Items that made a particular impression on me on this and subsequent visits to the exhibition were (in no particular order): the Wycliffe New Testament that Geoffrey Wheeler had re-discovered following its century-long disappearance, amid books known to have been owned by Richard III, and the enigmatic ‘warrant to try persons unknown’ [exhibit 126 in the Catalogue], was also a recent discovery. Although I had seen specimens of Richard’s handwriting at the PRO Museum some years earlier, it was particularly moving to see the other examples gathered in one place, perhaps with a greater dynamism. Thus, one moved from the familiar scrap from Stony Stratford, bearing the inscriptions ‘R Edward Quintus’, ‘Richard Gloucestre: Loyaulte me lie’ and ‘Harre Bokyngham: Souvente me souvene’ , to see in contrast the letter only 6 months later, from Richard to John Russell, Chancellor and Bishop of Lincoln  which bore the spine-tingling phrase: ‘the Duc of Bokyngam, the most untrewe creature lyving’. The scent of treason in the air was almost palpable. Other items also effectively brought one closer to the people of the time. The Tudor cap, with an angel of Richard III hidden previously in its brim , the fragments of cloth
of gold taken from the lead coffin of Edward IV in St George’s chapel in 1789 and on loan from the Guildhall Museum. Little did I know that I should encounter these again, 33 years later, in the Treasury of the Museum of London, accompanied by a coffin nail and three small floral strips likewise taken from Edward’s lead coffin. From the London Museum there was also a cast of the inscription identifying Lady Anne Mowbray (died 1481) from her lead coffin found in the Minories, London, in December 1964. In the exhibition catalogue Pamela Tudor-Craig revealed that the Museum was co-ordinating the results of the interdisciplinary study on the burial and reburial(s) of Anne Mowbray, so I awaited the publication of the results impatiently. We are still waiting! About a year later, Geoffrey Wheeler gave the London Branch an illustrated talk, entitled ‘Pictures of an Exhibition’, at Caxton Hall. He gave a comprehensive slide presentation about the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, including views of most of the exhibits. When Geoff reached exhibit no 60 in the exhibition catalogue, (a well preserved ceramic ‘thumb-hole pot’ of the fifteenth century) he mused about its possible use. George Awdry immediately opined that it was for the Bishop of Ely to water his strawberries with.’ My thanks to all the contributors for these shared memories. They tell us not only how enjoyable and informative the exhibition was, but also how it raised the profile of both King Richard and the Society. One final thought, I am sure that we would all love to see the NPG repeat the exhibition for today’s audience; however it is not the policy of the gallery to ever repeat exhibitions, however successful, so we are even more fortune to have such vivid memories from those who visited the original back in 1973.
Thanks to Geoffrey Wheeler for supplying the photographs, which not only feature the artefacts but also demonstrates the imagination of the NPG in their display of them. The fully illustrated catalogue of the exhibition is available on loan from the Barton Library.
Memories from Scotland DAVID FIDDIMORE AND PHILIPPA LANGLEY
he first tentative meeting of the Edinburgh Group took place in the spring of 1999 in the Chambertain Bar of the George Hotel. Invitations had been sent out blind, via the society, to all members living in Edinburgh by Philippa Langley (then a very new and raw recruit) so it was with some trepidation that she set off to see if anyone would turn up. A meeting in Scotland on behalf of a dead king of England was always going to be a risky venture but as it turned out she need not have worried. Not one, not two, three, four, five, or six turned up, but seven! A triumph! We were all thrilled to meet the delightful Professor Tony Goodman (at the next meet many books were brought for signing), a Scot with a fabulous wit and fierce loyalty for our king, Betty Dinning (see below), a charming and stylish Ursula Harper (now in Nottinghamshire), a vivacious and bubbly Gillian Scott (now in Canada), a thoughtful and fascinating Sheena Gordon-Rogers and our champion, David Fiddimore, then working for the Customs and Excise, over 6’, and we all agreed a man we would all want on our side in any battle. A lovely evening was had by all and it was agreed that the ‘Edinburgh Group’ should be formed. We all agreed that it may not last long, that it may not have many members, but for its time it would act as the most northern outpost for our king. News of the group spread quickly and it wasn’t long before some of its most stalwart members arrived: the enchanting and effervescent, Juliet Middleton (now an MA well done Juliet!), our ‘fountain of knowledge’ and most northerly member who hardly ever misses a meet, the lovely Marilyn Garabet, the indefatigable Ricardian traveller from Kent, the most amiable Doug Weeks, and last but by no means least, a member who earlier sent us a letter wishing the group well but who would be unable to join us due to other
commitments. He then happened to be in town on a day of a meet and dropped in to say hello. This turned out to be our much-loved autodidact, Stuart Akers, who went on to become not only the group’s secretary, but then its treasurer, and editor of the ‘Court Journal’. How many times have we wished we’d kept that original letter and had it framed! The Scottish Group – with its tongue firmly lodged in its cheek – originally called itself The Edinburgh Court of King Richard III. A robust and sometimes combative collective sense of humour is manifest whenever we meet but since those very early days not only have we managed to survive but have grown over the seven intervening years into ‘The Scottish Branch’ with 21 members from as far afield as Lochbroom, Argyll, Perthshire, Stirlingshire, Peebles, and of course Glasgow. Would our king ever have thought that one day he would have had such a stronghold in the land of the Scots? Long may it continue …. At an early stage we identified the entry of Richard of Gloucester and a comparatively small army into Edinburgh to free the Scottish king imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle as a ‘tipping point’ in British history. Richard restored the Stewart dynasty to power. Without the Stewarts there would have been no Stuarts. Without the Stuarts, perhaps no eventual union of the crowns, and no United Kingdom. The possibility of Richard as the father of the 1707 union of the crowns appeals to our sense of the absurd. The Scottish Group has therefore the long term aim of producing a gazetteer of places and relics associated with the 1482 march into Scotland – for the use of Ricardian visitors from abroad (and that other large country down South). We intend to identify all of the extant properties from 1482 on Richard’s direct line of march from Berwick to Edinburgh. 32
Betty, indicating her loyalty and work for the rehabilitation of the reputation of the last of the Plantagenets. Betty’s last visit with the group was to Dirleton Castle, which she knew and loved. Historic Scotland were quick to co-operate, and now a long seat, dedicated to Betty with the inscription: ‘A loyal subject of Richard Plantagenet’ sits on the slope directly above the castle garden, looking out onto a white rose bush planted specifically in her memory. Both will outlast the lot if us: sleep well, Betty.
A Rose for Betty Dinning Betty Dinning lost a short battle with cancer in 2001 at the tragically young age of 57. She was a dynamo of northern Ricardianism, and an inspiration to all who met her. For once it is not an exaggeration to say of someone ‘her knowledge of Richard and his age was encyclopaedic’. She left her books and Ricardian materials to the group – they were auctioned internally for funds. This year her husband approached the Scottish Branch and asked it to arrange a permanent memorial to
From left to right: Doug Weeks, David Fiddimore, Wendy Johnson, David Johnson, Joanna Hamminga, Dr Mike Jones, Philippa Langley and Stuart Akers
The Society’s Earliest Members
e have three contributions for this issue. The first is from Heather Coleman of Brighton who joined the Society in September 1964 when the subscription was the ‘enormous’ sum of 10/- (50p). Heather writes that ‘prior to joining the Society I had been looking for it for some time and eventually my efforts were rewarded by finding the Secretary’s address on the railings round the Fotheringhay blocks which were all that were left of the castle. The first AGM I attended was held at Crosby Hall in the same year where a large contingent of Yorkshire Branch members rather took over the meeting and I began to wonder if I lived in the wrong area to be an active member. The London Branch was not yet in existence but I soon met some ‘Southern’ activists. About three years later I was one of the founder members of the original Sussex Branch which continued for another 18 years.’ Wilma Garnett, who now lives in Neutral Bay, New South Wales, joined the Society circa 1961/2 but lapsed soon after due to a long period of travelling and moving house but rejoined in 1985 in time to attend the Quincentenary celebrations at Bosworth. Wilma writes ‘I was struck by the friendliness and welcoming spirit of the other members at tea following the church service and the battlefield visit. It was like a very large family reunion.’ Wilma goes on to recall Pat Bailey who visited Australia with her husband, the actor Robin Bailey, who was appearing in My Fair Lady. ‘She must have recruited dozens of members for the Society. She entertained us in her own home. I recall especially a medieval-style dinner featuring a splendid summer pudding. To my great joy she contacted me in the early 1990s when she was passing through Sydney and we spent a quiet afternoon at the beach. Her health was in decline and she enjoyed the warm water. She was a beautiful
woman and while I hesitate to use the overworked word ‘vibrant’, I find that this is the one that describes her best. She did so much good work for the Society in this part of the world. It is splendid to see the Society going from strength to strength. I think all the people who have worked so hard for it over the years deserve praise and appreciation. You certainly have mine’. Margaret Manning from the New Zealand branch has responded on behalf of her branch, to the tributes that have been flowing to Isolde Wigram for her work in re-founding the Richard III Society. As Margaret’s letter includes her early memories it seems appropriate to include it in this section of the Bulletin. Margaret writes ‘I wish to add to the tributes to Isolde the grateful thanks of the New Zealand Branch of the Society. It was she who put the few people in New Zealand who were members in 1985 in touch with each other and encouraged us to form a group by way of a regular newsletter since we were all scattered the length and breadth of the country. For my part, I joined the Society in 1975, along with a friend, having had no difficulty whatsoever in finding out from a reference book in the Auckland Library that Phyllis Hester was the Secretary, and also her address. My friend’s family commitments eventually overcame her association with the Society but never her enthusiasm for Richard and the cause. My membership lapsed in 1976 when I got married and moved to another town, but I rejoined in 1977 and was a member isolated in my hobby for a number of years although my husband and I did attend the wonderful 500th coronation anniversary banquet in the Guildhall. When Isolde’s letter arrived out of the blue some time in 1985 to say she was visiting New Zealand and would like to meet up with me, I was thrilled to bits. We had a very enjoyable couple of days together, meeting up 34
also with Mark Patrick, another NZ member. Isolde made a point of visiting members in other towns and from those contacts we formed the New Zealand Group of the Richard III Society, producing our first newsletter in January 1986. Twenty years on we are now the New Zealand Branch of the Richard III Society, our newsletter has a name, Ricardian Times, and we have a committed membership of 38, a few of whom are associate members only. We welcomed Isolde again to New Zealand in 1990 and on that occasion she was able to give a paper on Perkin Warbeck at one of our meetings and to enjoy the company of an appreciative group of Ricardians. Over the years, our numbers have fluctuated, as with most societies, but the core membership has gradually increased until now in 2006, many have been members for well over fifteen years. During the last twenty years, I have kept in regular contact with Isolde, always sending
her the Ricardian Times and making good use of her constructive responses to various articles appearing therein. I have enjoyed, by mail, her observations of the modern world, her reminiscences of past Ricardian activities and adventures, and her wise judgement. Three years ago, whilst she was still resident at Danny in Sussex, I stayed there as her guest, and experienced wonderful hospitality in beautiful surroundings. Isolde, thank you for all your kindness to me over the years, and for your interest in the farthest-flung members of the Richard III Society. Without your encouragement we might still be segregated from each other.’ John Saunders’ tribute to Isolde appeared in the Spring 2006 Bulletin and John will be profiling Pat Bailey, along with other heroes and heroines of the Society in the next issue. Wendy Moorhen
RICHARD III SOCIETY NEW ZEALAND BRANCH
Invitation The 2007 Australasian Convention will be held on 13 – 15 April 2007 at the Frederic Wallis House, Military Road, Lower Hutt, New Zealand The event will be hosted by the New Zealand Branch of the Richard III Society Obtain your Registration Pack from the Convention Registrar: Rob Smith, “Wattle Downs”, Udy Street, Greytown New Zealand Email: email@example.com or visit website www.richard3nz.org 35
Are We There Yet?’ or A Medieval Pilgrimage
his was very much a journey through time; a medieval pilgrimage from Nostell Priory to York Minster following the route of the old roads as much as possible. However, for Anne Painter and myself we had an added bonus, as our driver to Nostell was Dr Peter Addyman, retired director of York Archaeological Trust and Chairman of the Barley Hall Trust. His knowledge of the archaeology of the area is therefore vast. As we travelled towards Nostell he pointed out interesting sites and we literally travelled through time, from a Bronze Age defence work, to the Roman road, barely visible as crop marks in places, to the Middle Ages and Nostell Church and the site of the Priory. It was a small but select group that o gathered at Nostell, ten walkers and the vital support crew of Helen, and her mum, Lynne. Helen is the new manager of Barley Hall and it was her job to keep us watered, fed, and safe. Without them we would have been much more tired, hot and hungry than we were in the overwhelming heat, despite the regular stops at local hostelries. The walk itself was led by Gill Page, Helen’s predecessor as manager,
Ready for the off! Anne and John preparing for the day ahead
who kept us under control and safe, which was important when we had to use modern roads full of very un-medieval motor cars! Thursday morning was spent meeting visitors to the Priory, explaining what we were doing and visiting the historic site before setting off on the first leg of the pilgrimage. The Pilgrims were seen off in grand style by the Leeds Waits, who had come to Nostell especially to see us off, before going on to York to take part in the Second International Festival of Town Pipers. The first festival had taken place in s-Hertogen Bosch, in Holland. The Waits had a great deal of admiration for the Dutch town council who not only provided the ‘Stadpijpers’ with their uniforms but helped towards the cost of their instruments, provided music lessons and a 37
‘Mind if I take a picture of your chest?’
splendid meeting room at a peppercorn rent. This was in stark contrast to the local councils, many of whom have not even heard of their own town Waits let alone subsidise them. The Waits have a lovely blue uniform which is sixteenth century with a wonderful insignia. Pictured on the previous page is a pilgrim badge of the patron saint of s-Hertogen Bosch and suspended is the guild insignia of the Leeds Waits. Heading off down the drive, Anne Painter is in front with the ‘King of Poland’ travelling incognito as ‘John of Bridgwater (aka John Saunders). A similar picture appeared in the local paper; however ten had magically become one hundred walkers. The reporter obviously had a problem with figures. The weather forecast for the day talked of thunderstorms and rain, and we had not gone very far when thunder could be heard in the distance. As we reached a picturesque medieval scene of open fields and poplar trees the thunder crashed overhead. However there was no rain, it just got hotter. The cracks in the ground started to resemble something out of Earthquake. Obviously rain was something that was very badly needed, and had not been seen for some time. The walk through this ‘typical medieval landscape’ (Dr Addyman) was one of the highlights of the day. Up ahead lay Purston Jaglin, a pretty name, we thought, especially when Gill told us that ‘Jaglin’ was a diminutive of Jacqueline. We wondered who Jacqueline was as Gill continued that we would be avoiding Purston as much as possible. The name was deceptive, it was not pretty at all. Lunch was held in Purston Park, with its once attractive pond now cluttered with rubbish and once handsome building all boarded up. The car park seemed rather suitable and was obviously a local picnic spot as a number of motorists were spotted munching their sandwiches in the safety of their cars. From Purston we made our way to Pontefract, where the local heritage society was waiting to greet us. The walk into town took us past ‘The Counting House’, a fifteenth-century timber-framed building, now a popular pub, which had been saved for the town and restored to all its medieval glory thanks to Dr Addyman. The walk through town attracted quite a bit of notice, though not it seems from the people in the photo on the next page who were intent on getting their money. Along the way we acquired a curious local who joined us on the walk up to the castle, who then settled in with the local heritage group, so let’s hope they have Foot check in the churchyard at Sherburn-in-Elmet acquired a new member. He was certainly 38
very interested in what we were up to. I was most disappointed not to find any of the local speciality, Pontefract Cakes, on sale in the small castle shop, especially as liquorice was considered to have medicinal benefits, including for fevers and coughs, which both Anne and myself were suffering from by the end of the pilgrimage. Little survives of this once magnificent castle. It was here that Richard II met his sad end as well as Antony Wydevile, Lord Rivers and his nephew Richard. Enquiries of the local group as to where executions were likely to A more modern ‘counting house’, with a bit have taken place gave answers that ranged from of medieval banking going on. the nearby council estate to the bailey. It seems there were no local stories about Antony and his hair shirt. However one local story has it that a tunnel ran from the castle to the town, and when the garrison knocked off at the end of the day they would disappear down the tunnel and end up in the pub. I wondered if any castles and old manor houses didn’t have a ‘tunnel’ story. Just like the garrison, we ended our first day in a pub in the village of Burton Salmon. We had walked about nine miles, so the pub was a welcome rest. Friday was another hot day as we set off from Burton Salmon facing the longest stretch of the pilgrimage. Braving an attack from horses and electric fences we headed up the hill. Half an hour later we stopped in a lay-by for a our first water break. It appeared that Helen had brought everything including the kitchen sink and a fancy light fitting, but no, this was an example of local fly-tipping. It is amazing how even in the remotest places litter appears, including an antique Tango tin can. Leading the ‘pilgrims’ in the photo is Helen, a story teller from Derbyshire who had joined us for the day, and like one of Chaucer’s pilgrims kept us entertained with appropriate stories. Lunch in Sherburn-in-Elmet gave us a chance to visit the church of All Saints and picnic in the graveyard. It was also a chance to check over sore feet. While we rested Helen told us a medieval ghost story and then we were ready to set off again, down the hill past the site of King Athelstan’s palace, which he gave to the archbishop of York in thanks for a victory over the Scots in 937. For a while we had to walk along the road before reaching a footpath which took us to the Crooked Billet and another short (pub) break before visiting St Mary’s chapel at Lead and walking along the edge of Towton battlefield. The visit to this tiny chapel was made more atmospheric by another story from Helen about the ‘Loathsome Lady’, an Arthurian tale of chivalry, honour and doing the right thing. The walk around the edge of Towton was in complete contrast to that experienced by the two armies in March 1461. Instead of heavy snow we had exhausting heat. From the battlefield it was downhill and on to Tadcaster, where we would be finishing our second day after thirteen miles of walking, and a visit to the ‘Angel and White Horse’ pub, where unfortunately we could not buy a coffee, as they only sold beverages made by John Smith’s. Sadly Helen left us here to return to Derbyshire; we would miss her stories. 39
Saturday was less hot and eventually we got off the road, which is much harder on the feet, and took to footpaths and the original Roman road towards York. During our walk we had encountered curious people along the way who wanted to know what we were doing. Mostly it was good humoured and generally unbelieving that we could be so mad to be walking all the way to York. We were not too quick to say it was over four days. However at Tadcaster we were greeted by a shower of ‘Smarties’ thrown from a car which, as Gill exclaimed when they struck her, really ‘Smart!’ From the end of the Roman road we ‘Are we there yet?’ Gill leads the way. had a short walk along roads to Copmanthorpe Village. Here we had lunch at ‘Chez Helen’s Mum’s.’ After a short rest it was only four more miles to the outskirts of York and the final pub of the journey the ‘Fox and Roman’. Sunday was a complete contrast; the weather was colder and drizzly. We also had more people joining the walk; we now numbered fifty, including our President Peter Hammond and his wife Carolyn. We were now of course much nearer to the paper’s stated one hundred. Some re-enactors even travelled up from Launceston that morning to join us. The Leeds Waits joined us and piped us from Holy Trinity up along Micklegate to the river. From here the Doncaster Waits took over and piped us to St Helen’s Square where we were to be met by the Mayor. We were welcomed into York and Barley Hall received a good plug, as the Mayor is a fan, but then who isn’t? The walk ended at the Minster where the Mystery Plays were due to begin after a performance by De Stadpijpers van s’Hertogenbosch. The pilgrimage had been carried out in conjunction with the mystery plays and the walkers were awarded a special pilgrimage badge based upon a medieval picture of players leading the carts in procession. This is now a treasured possession and we look forward to the next pilgrimage in four years time. The success of the pilgrimage is all down to the hard work of Gill Page who researched the walk and tried it out before hand. She has written a guide to the walk so that others can follow the route and this is on sale in Barley Hall. Enormous thanks are also due to Helen Williams who organised things with local councils and the police and drove the route beforehand to ensure she knew where to meet us and provide us with water; this was especially brave of her as she had only recently passed her driving test. Mostly I would like to thank all of you who so generously offered to sponsor me. Will you please send cheques to me at the address on the back page of the Bulletin? Cheques should be made payable to ‘Barley Hall Trust’. I hope to be able to give you the figure of the money raised in the next issue. Lynda Pidgeon
Notes from Fotheringhay
erhaps the most important news from Fotheringhay this time is that our friend in the village, Juliet Wilson, became a Member of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. We extend the Society’s congratulations to her. Awarded for services to Fotheringhay, this is an honour richly deserved. As part of the Society’s celebrations for 2006, and thanks to John Ashdown-Hill, we have given the church a large framed photograph of the Annunciation taken from Richard III’s Book of Hours – the church is dedicated to St Mary and All Saints. The picture now hangs in the Chapel of All Souls. Like last year, the Pentecostal Mass at the beginning of June was another fine affair, reminding us how services might have been in the days of the College of Fotheringhay. There was less incense this time, but it was a joy to listen to the choir and the music performed on the replica Juliet Wilson, MBE hand-blown medieval organs. These superb organs, which have been resident at Fotheringhay for about three months, will shortly be moving on, probably to Durham Cathedral. The church saw several events during the Oundle International Festival, with a recital on the Woodstock organ, and a lecture about the medieval pipe organs, followed by a concert using them with a wonderful chamber choral ensemble. The church was also the venue for the Festival Eucharist, but possibly the best attended of the events was the concert given by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. The music was superb, with works by Monteverdi, Gabrielli, Bach, Mendelssohn, Frank Martin and Fauré, while the setting was utterly fantastic, the church and the village being bathed in the evening sunlight of one of the hottest days of the year. Unfortunately, the sixth annual organ recital clashes with the Society’s AGM on Saturday, 30 September, but it will be given by Catherine Ennis, Director of Music at St Lawrence Jewry in Central London. The AGM of the Friends of Fotheringhay Church will take place in the village hall on Saturday, 4 November. The lecture by Dr Peter Hill will be on ‘Rockingham Forest in the Middle Ages’. Please see page 72 for details of this year’s Christmas event, which will be on Saturday, 16 December. Phil Stone o0o
If you have enjoyed reading Lynda Pidgeon’s account of the Medieval Pilgrimage why not make a donation to Barley Hall? Just send your cheque to Lynda, address on the back inside cover, made payable to the Barley Hall Trust.
‘Scurrilous songs for Ruthless Ricardians’ HELEN ASTLE Helen Astle of Hitchin and formerly of Southwold, Suffolk, died in December 1993. Helen was the Society’s embroiderer, the creator of the banners that the RCRF still uses on its stall at the Major Craft Sale, and used at every craft sale it attended in the 1980s and 1990s. Helen was also the author of a large number of Ricardian songs, some of which were included in the programme for the Jubilee Medieval Banquet and Grande Masque in April 1975 to commemorate (a little late) the Society’s founding in 1924. Some were printed in the Clerihew Collection, and some were to have been read at the London and Home Counties Branch party in March 2006 – but the planned entertainment never took place, as members were entertaining themselves too well in eating and drinking. So, to introduce Helen’s songs to a wider audience, we plan to include them as an occasional series in the Bulletin.
Post Mortem (to the tune My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean but with no chorus) Young Simnel is safe in his kitchen, And Perkin’s as dead as can be, And so is the young Earl of Warwick, So go and fetch Tyrell for me. James Tyrell lies over the channel, James Tyrell lies over the sea, He’s safe and sound somewhere near Calais, So go and fetch Tyrell for me. Now Tyrell lies dead in the Tower, His headless corpse neatly displayed, So Morton, come write the confession That Tyrell’s supposed to have made – That he smothered the boys with a pillow When they were asleep in their bed, And add – it was on Richard’s orders The two little princes lie dead Now Tyrell lies dead in the Tower, The princes lie fairly close by, And Richard lies buried at Leicester – But Henry and Morton just lie. 42
The Man Himself GLOUCESTER’S CHARTER OF INCORPORATION This article was first published in The Ricardian in June 1975 and re-published in Crown & People in 1979 together with the appendix on the Gloucester Civic Swords. References and notes to the article are given in Crown and People.
lthough Gloucester is one of England’s most ancient towns which, in Norman times, was ‘the great royal city ... where the King of England wore his crown at Christmas’ and one of the oldest demesne boroughs, it did not come of age municipally and attain full civic independence until 1483, by charter of Richard III. The whole question of incorporation is very complex, and the line of demarcation is often vague between free boroughs formally incorporated and those operating as such by ancient practice and acknowledgement but without official letters patent to that effect. (The governing body of London, for instance, had been acting in a corporate capacity for very many years before being ‘recognised’ in this respect.) In Gloucester’s case, however, it is generally accepted that the borough did not become fully established as a self-governing municipality until it received the charter of Richard III. This granting of the rights of complete self-government was the culmination of a long process of gradual emancipation from the shackles of shire and state. The newly-incorporated borough had the right to control its own internal affairs, free from interference by the county authorities and answerable only to the Crown; it could hold its own courts, and it could act in law as a corporate body with a specific name (‘the mayor and burgesses of the town of Gloucester' in this case). It also possessed a common seal and had the right to issue bye-laws and elect its own civic officers. It is surprising that Gloucester had not been rewarded with full incorporation by Edward IV for the support given him before the Battle of Tewkesbury but, apparently, he merely inspected and confirmed the existing charters. It seems it was left to King Richard to put right this omission, which he did with great expediency, coming directly from his coronation to show himself in the Duchy and making amends for previous tardiness by a charter of amazing generosity. One clause in the charter seems to hint at this, for it reads: ‘Furthermore, because of the special affection which we bear towards the said town of Gloucester and its bailiffs and burgesses, and considering the good and faithful actions of the said bailiffs and burgesses in causes of particular importance to us, and wishing to provide for their immunity, protection and peace, we, of our special favour and from certain knowledge and free impulse, have remitted and released for us ...’ [here follows the remission of £45 of the annual fee farm rent of £65]. It was perhaps because of this ‘special affection’ (a term which here could indicate genuine regard rather than mere conventional ‘charter jargon’) that the king personally directed that the borough should receive its charter without having to pay ‘any Fyne or Fee’ for the privilege. During the Middle Ages payments and bribes to have charters granted, extended, or merely confirmed were very much the norm. (In 1199 the burgesses of Gloucester had paid 200 marks into the Exchequer in 43
order to obtain the same rights and concessions as those held by Winchester. In 1483, hopeful of a reduction in their fee farm rent, the burgess of York presented the King with 100 marks in a cup of gold and the Queen with £100 in a dish. In all, £437 was subscribed.) King Richard was at Gloucester at the beginning of August and within a month the charter was drawn up and sealed, the document being dated 2 September 1483. Not even his worst enemies could ever accuse Richard of dilatoriness and it would seem he lost no time in honouring a promise once made. The charter is now in the Gloucester City Museum in Brunswick Road. It is a large, impressive example of a fifteenth-century charter, in a good state of preservation. Attached to it is a rather poor specimen of Richard’s Great Seal and the illumination includes his coat of arms. The latter is quite attractive). The supporters are a white boar and a rather poodle-like white lion (of March). The arms are superimposed on the rays of the sun, and may be compared in style with those illuminating the charter of the Wax Chandlers’ Company. After the usual extensive preliminaries (that is, the setting out of the King’s titles: ‘Richard, by the grace of God king of England and France and lord of Ireland’, followed by a long list of the town’s previous royal charters which he had duly inspected and confirmed), the document continues with a statement of the fee farm remission. The town now had only £20 to pay and the King decreed by letters patent that this remaining sum should be awarded to the abbot and convent of St Peter’s, Gloucester. This annual rental, by which the inhabitants of a borough obtained tenure of the town in which they lived, had been fixed for Gloucester at £65 by Edward III, and in Edward IV’s reign had been allocated to various beneficiaries including Richard Beauchamp (appointed governor of Gloucester Castle after Barnet). The remission of the fee farm by Richard III meant that such beneficiaries had to be recompensed by other means and this was effected in Beauchamp’s case by the grant of an annuity of £66 13s.4d. In 1462 Richard himself had held the fee farm together with the castle of Gloucester. There is some doubt, however, as to whether Gloucester ever actually reaped the benefit of Richard’s remission. Certainly York had a very long struggle indeed to gain its remission, as a recent detailed investigation has proved, and we find the burgesses of Gloucester petitioning Henry VII for a rebate almost immediately after his accession. The draft petition which they drew up survives in the Gloucester archives. It is a real cri de coeur begging the king to remit part of the ‘grevis fee firme of lxv li.’ because of the great ruin and decay of the town. This was a state of affairs common to many towns at the end of the fifteenth century, for the urban communities were entering upon a period of economic depression which reached its peak in the next century. But despite the fact that the king had been supplied with a draft reply to the draft petition, with blank spaces in which it was hoped the figures of the discharge allowed would be inserted, Henry only agreed to a rebate of £5, one ninth of that granted by Richard. The next clause of the 1483 charter concerned the election of Gloucester’s first mayor who was to be chosen from amongst the burgesses on the Monday next after the feast of St Michael. The town had had no official mayor until this time although, sometimes, apparently, a senior bailiff had been loosely awarded the title. Richard the Burgess had been described as tunc Majore de Glouc in the thirteenth century. After this first occasion subsequent mayors were to be annually elected on the same day by the twelve aldermen and twelve of the ‘more law-abiding and prudent burgesses of the town’. This seems to have been a simple, straightforward and satisfactory method compared with the procedure followed in some towns where there was often much dissension. The first mayor of Gloucester was John Trye and it may have been he who was one of the town’s two Parliamentary representatives during the reign of Edward IV. His name is also associated in local records with William Nottingham who was Chief Baron of the Exchequer until 1483 and owned property in Gloucester. It would seem, therefore, that John Trye was a man of some standing and possibly known in Court circles. On all ceremonial occasions the mayor was to have 44
a sword carried before him and from then on, for many years, the arms of Gloucester and the civic seal bore a sword as emblem. Sir Robert Atkyns, writing over two hundred years later, proudly asserted: ‘This city hath the highest marks of honour generally granted to magistracy, scarlet gowns, the sword and cap of maintenance and four sergeants at mace’. All are attributable to the charter of Richard III. Most of the foregoing, however, with the possible exception of the two extra sergeants-atmace, are concessions which one might expect would be granted to a borough when it became incorporated, but the next clause of the charter suggests that Gloucester was being favoured over and above what was customary .The hundreds of Dudston and King’s Barton, an area of over forty-five square miles of profitable land, were to be separated from the county and awarded to the town, which was from thereafter to be known as the ‘County of the town of Gloucester’. This meant that the borough’s area of jurisdiction jumped from 451 acres to 29,097 acres, a most impressive increase. The full impact of this can be best realised by standing on one of the hills overlooking the Vale of Gloucester; almost all the lands thus within view, except for the Cotswold ridge and the region west of Severn, formed what was from then on known as the ‘In-shire’. This territory was lost by Gloucester by the charter of Charles II, it is said as a punishment for the city’s support of the Parliamentary cause in the Civil War. Comparatively few towns in the medieval period were counties in their own right: Bristol was so honoured by Edward III, York by Richard II, Lincoln and Norwich by Henry IV, Coventry by Henry VI, Canterbury by Edward IV and Chester by Henry VII. Since April 1974, Gloucester has had to relinquish this county status, awarded by Richard III ‘of our abundant grace’, but it has preserved its right to its own mayor before whom the sword of the city is borne by the city swordbearer . As a county of itself, Gloucester was then entitled to its own sheriffs and the two bailiffs were elevated to this rank with a sergeant-at-mace to serve each of them. (The other two sergeants attended upon the mayor. ) The town sheriffs were now entitled to hold their own shire courts and the courts of the hundreds, the fines and dues of the latter being a useful additional source of revenue. The assize judges and the High Sheriff of the shire were, however, still to hold their courts within the town as they had in the past. Apart from his rights in this respect, the High Sheriff was not to ‘intermeddle’ in the town’s affairs in any way. ‘Furthermore,’ the charter continues, ‘to show our fuller favour to the said mayor and burgesses of the town of Gloucester ... they may choose from among themselves ... a coroner, who is to be elected and removed from office at the will and pleasure of the said mayor and aldermen.’ The coroner was overseer, on the king’s behalf, of all legal procedures within his area of jurisdiction; it was, therefore, an advantage to the townspeople to have a man, locally chosen, occupying this office for then he would be likely to have their interests at heart and be readily available to hear their points of view. As well as holding the position of Justice of the Peace, the mayor was now empowered to exercise the role of clerk of the market and to perform the rights and duties of the king’s steward and marshal within the town boundaries. These latter concessions were of considerable financial advantage. To be able to collect freely the market tolls and rents and use these for replenishment of the town coffers was an obvious benefit, but the town was now freed as well from the expensive obligation of providing hospitality for the royal officials who travelled the country with the standard weights and measures for checking purposes. The king’s steward and marshal was a member of the royal entourage and when the monarch was lodging in or near a town had jurisdiction over a twelve mile area from where the king was staying. This authority was now vested in the mayor, and the marshal no longer had the right to commandeer provisions, etc. as he thought fit. Finally, the mayor was appointed Crown escheator for the county of the town of Gloucester, which entailed his taking responsibility for the reversion of lands and property where there was no heir to inherit. The charter concludes with a special reservation regarding the freedom of the burgesses of 45
Tewkesbury from paying tolls and other dues within the liberty of Gloucester . Why did Richard do so much for Gloucester? The older Gloucester historians, being wedded to the Tudor tradition, were hard put to it to make usurping murderer equal civic benefactor; for them the king’s visit to Gloucester and his liberality there had to have some connection with the death of the Princes. Both Samuel Rudder (1779) and Thomas Fosbrooke (1807) believed he came to be out of the way while his nefarious plans were carried out; but Fosbrooke dismissed More’s assertion that the King devised his nephews’ murder while visiting Gloucester with the phrase ‘says the historian absurdly enough’. The view has often been taken that when Richard was being magnanimous he was making a desperate bid for popularity. He does appear to have been given to impulsive – some would say calculated – acts of generosity, but there is no evidence that he scattered charters throughout the length and breadth of the Kingdom. He certainly made concessions to many towns, but so did his immediate predecessors and successors for there was a real need for relief during this period of recession. His most recent biographer, Professor Charles Ross, says: ‘Modern professional historians, while praising Richard’s abilities and good intentions as king, have tended to skirt the problem of the motives which underlay his actions, but have, on the whole, inclined to imply that his “good deeds” sprang primarily from a concern for political advantage.’ As an able military strategist Richard may have been aware that a grateful Gloucester would be a valuable bastion against the Tudor menace from Wales but there were other towns equally important in this respect. When he invaded, Henry crossed the Severn at Shrewsbury and received support from the mayor of Chester, both ‘frontier’ towns to which Richard had made concessions for economic relief but on a scale which was not at all comparable with his grants to Gloucester. It is in the matter of the annexed hundreds and county status that Gloucester seems to own a specially privileged position, a privilege which Professor Ross considers ‘remarkable ... for a town of its size and commercial importance’. As we believe Richard III was a man who formed strong personal attachments it seems very probable that in Gloucester’s case he was not motivated so much by possible ‘political advantage’ as by a wish to acknowledge his town. A note on Bowen’s map of Gloucestershire (1777 or earlier) says: ‘Richard the 3rd who had been Duke of Gloucester, had such respect for it that he made it a County incorporate under a Mayor and Alderman’ [sic], and this does seem to be the most reasonable explanation. Gwen Waters Appendix: The Gloucester Civic Swords There is a persistent story in histories of Gloucester that Richard III gave to the borough its first civic sword – in fact Thomas Niblett, writing in 1877, goes so far as to say that the king gave his own sword to the town. This cannot be proved but there is circumstantial evidence to show that it could well have been at least the gift of the king. Richard had a long association with Gloucester, of course, bearing its name for some twenty-two years, and sentiment alone might have dictated the move. There were also local precedents for such royal generosity. King John, when earl of Gloucester, is said to have presented a sword to Newnham (twelve miles from Gloucester) and it is very possible that Edward III gave to Bristol the sword bearing his arms when he made that city a county in 1373. Whatever its origin, Gloucester certainly had a sword as early as 1486, when it was ordered that the swordbearer be paid twenty shillings annually. Towards the end of the next century the city had an ‘owlde swerde’ and a ‘beste sworde’. The former was also called the Mourning Sword, and the latter was probably that described later as inscribed with a figure of Queen Elizabeth I, the city arms, and ‘E.R. 1574’. It has since disappeared. By 1636, when an inventory was taken of goods belonging to the burgesses, the city owned three swords, as it did until at least 1819. It now has two, one of which is identifiable as the Stuart sword, and one now known as the Mourning Sword (from being used on occasions of civic mourning such as a memorial service 46
for a town dignitary). It is now encased in a black velvet scabbard, too large for the present sword, and used to be painted black. The Mourning Sword is a most interesting survival, and in view of the above facts it might be thought to be a fifteenth-century sword, even one presented by Richard III. This, unfortunately, is not so, or not entirely. The blade, which is German, of Solingen or Passau make, is of the late sixteenth century, and inscribed FRANCISCO ME FECIT. The design of the quillons is consistent with this date. So far then the facts show that the Mourning Sword was probably made in the second half of the sixteenth century. Were it not for the fact that it is not inscribed ‘E.R. 1574’ it might be identified as the missing Tudor sword. However, the intriguing fact about this sword is that the elaborately engraved pommel is of a more archaic type, typical of the fifteenth century in fact. This would not necessarily be significant since civic processional swords were often made archaic in form, but the Mourning Sword is not a typical purpose-made civic sword. It has a most unusual style, quite unlike the usual ceremonial type. It seems possible therefore, that the present Mourning Sword of Gloucester is a hybrid, made up in the sixteenth century from other weapons, including the original sword of the city, and that here we have a remnant of the sword originally provided in accordance with the terms of the charter, perhaps a sword given by Richard of Gloucester. Peter Hammond The authors wish to acknowledge gratefully the help given by Mr Claude Blair, Keeper of the Department of Metalwork at the Victoria and Albert Museum, who kindly examined the sword and gave his opinion on it; and by Mr N.I. Cooper, of the Guildhall, Gloucester, who arranged for both ourselves and Mr Blair to see the sword and for us to see the charter. o0o
The Coat of Arms Journal of the Heraldry Society Founded in 1952 and now in its third series; published twice yearly in March and September This September’s number includes:
Michael Burtscher on the martyrdom of Edmund Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, and the heraldic and saintly references in the illuminations of the Bohun Psalter (BL Ms Egerton 3277) Paul A. Fox on Thomas Jenyn’s Book, the largest and most significant medie val ordinary of arms Peter O’Donoghue on heralds at the Delhi Imperial Assemblage of 1876-7 and the Durbars of 1903 and 1911 Notes, review articles and book reviews on all subjects relating to heraldry, in the middle ages and later.
The Coat of Arms is issued free to members of the Heraldry Society paying the annual subscription; visit www.theheraldrysociety.com for details. Individual issues can also be obtained at selected outlets and through the Society at the cover price of £12. 47
The Debate: WHO MURDERED THE PRINCES? We have only had two responses to this debate. Perhaps few people felt they had anything useful to contribute? Richard van Allen wrote a wide-ranging reply, concerned with real power and the real world, considering not the who but the how and the why of the deed; and Jennie PowysLybbe e-mailed her thoughts about conversations between Edward V and his doctor, John Argentine.
From Richard van Allen: Dear Editor, What I think I can contribute to the debate does not concern the ‘who’, but possibly the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of the Princes’ murder. How did it come about that the boys were murdered (if indeed they were)? One point that historians are generally agreed on is that nothing has changed over thousands of years with regard to the exercise of power. An interesting manifestation of this is the fact that a number of historians are making a mark today writing management books based on comparisons with history. In fact, I believe that David Starkey is really doing quite well on the US management speaking circuit, basing his talks on the exercise of power by English monarchs vis-à-vis the actions of current chief executives. I have spent some thirty years of my career working close to centres of power – as a minor cog in the machines, I hasten to add – for the chairmen and chief executives of major companies, which also gave me an insight into the workings of No. 10. Prior to that I worked for Australian state government ministers. One of the things that I have observed happening close to the centres of absolute power is that situations are discussed many times, but no decisions are made and no actual commands are given. This can then lead to direct action being taken by over-loyal or overambitious subordinates, who believe that they are carrying out their leaders’ wishes, even if those wishes have not been expressed directly. This is basically one of the points Lesley Boatwright made in her contribution to the debate. As she said, possibly the best-known historical example of this over-eagerness to please by subordinates is the infamous murder of Thomas Becket. It would be interesting to know if the four knights were actually in Henry’s presence when he expressed his wish to be rid of the Archbishop, or was it passed on as a command by one of his close advisors? Much closer to our present time we have had situations with US presidents expressing desires in meetings which have then been translated into actions by over-zealous or over-protective advisors. Nixon and the Watergate débâcle, and Reagan and the Contra arms deal, are two prime examples. When the ‘money for hostages’ situation surfaced during Reagan’s term of office, I think that many Americans who were aghast that this could happen nevertheless felt a certain amount of grudging admiration for Colonel Oliver North when he put his hand up and said that the President knew nothing of the deal, and then went to jail to protect his leader. So therefore I am supporting Lesley’s notion that the murder of the princes could indeed have taken place, not as the result of a direct command but as the result of someone interpreting the situation and then taking action. The imprisonment of the princes must have been discussed 48
many times with advisors and, despite the declaration of their illegitimacy by Parliament, there must have been some nervousness that factions opposed to Richard might try to rescue them, rally support for Edward V and overturn Parliament’s previous ruling. I think we all appreciate that the medieval world was a hard and brutal one, and that people in power or close to power would not hesitate to undertake such actions. This really bring us to the ‘why’ of their deaths. I have started to re-read Paul Murray Kendall’s Richard III and note that in the opening chapters he says that Richard, as a young and studious boy, witnessed at first hand the savage struggle for power at the centre of which was his father, Richard of York. He must have been told of the behind-the-scenes treachery, the death of his father and the taking of the crown by his elder brother, Edward. As a young man he will also have been aware of the struggle to hold on to the crown, with Henry making a comeback before being finally deposed and disposed of. All this cannot have been lost on Richard. The major lesson learned, not only from this incident but also from history, is that you do not merely depose a leader. You must also dispose of him, or that leader will want to make a comeback and start causing problems; alternatively, enemies wanting to get back into power can use a deposed leader as a rallying-point. It may have saved a good deal of trouble and strife had Henry been disposed of when he was deposed the first time, although there is that part of the equation which suggests that blatantly to murder a reigning king in order to take his crown might be too much for the populace to take. Which bring us on to the Princes. Even if they appeared to be ‘safe’ in the Tower, this would still not have stopped Richard’s enemies, be they Yorkist or Lancastrian, from plotting to release Edward and to use him as a rallying-point to raise an army and wrest the crown from Richard. Therefore to keep the Princes out of public view and have them ‘fade away’ makes a lot of sense.
From Jennie Powys-Lybbe (by e-mail): With regard to Argentine’s remark about Edward V’s daily confession and penance ‘because he believed that death was facing him’, do we all (including Mancini) interpret this with hindsight? After all, if someone’s medical practitioner says that a patient believes death is facing him, we would normally assume that this refers to his state of health. And was not young Edward suffering from something? (His jaw?) I just wondered if this had ever been considered, particularly as he refers only to Edward, and not to the younger Richard, who was obviously as much a candidate for murder as Edward – no point in killing one without the other, and the boys would have been quite capable of working this out.
News and Reviews continued The Leicester Mercury carried a rather disturbing story on 31 July and reported on graffiti being scrawled on the walls of Ashby Castle, the former home of William Hastings. The vandalism had taken place over a number of weeks, the latest incident taking place on 16 July. Apart from damage to an ancient building, which is always regrettable, some of the graffiti made references to King Richard and named dates associated with him, such as 1452-1485. The chairman of Ashby Civic Society believes the vandals think there has been a historical injustice and the castle site supervisor commented on Hastings’ execution on the order of Richard, which she believes could have some relevance to the matter. However, whether the grudge is by those believing Hastings was innocent of any plotting against Richard or by ‘Ricardians’ who believe the contrary, is not explored. The police have been called in to investigate. Thanks to Geoff Wheeler for bring the matter to the editorial team’s attention. Wendy Moorhen 49
Was Norfolk a Traitor? DAVID JOHNSON
t is often remarked that of major British battles, Bosworth is perhaps the most poorly documented. When one considers the subsequent importance in English history of the Tudor dynasty, this comparative dearth of source material becomes all the more remarkable. One of the few statements we seem able to make with any degree of certainty is that Richard was betrayed. The traitors, some more culpable than others, are usually agreed to be Thomas Lord Stanley, his brother Sir William Stanley, and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. The consensus is that these prominent members of the aristocracy should have been fighting for Richard, just like John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who gave his very life in the cause of his King. While many of those around Richard proved to be false, Howard remained loyal, sharing Richard’s tragic fate on the field of battle. Yet despite all of this there may well be a completely different story to tell. For amongst the relatively few scraps of primary evidence that inform our rather patchy understanding of Bosworth, there exists an unequivocal accusation that Howard betrayed Richard: an accusation that today lies buried and half forgotten beneath the weight of Howard’s reputation as a loyal and committed supporter of the king. Indeed, the latest biographical treatment of Howard concludes, ‘His loyalty to the house of York was total and if he supported Richard’s usurpation out of self-interest, he defended it to the end.’1 The source for this alternative reading is contained within the council records of the Mayor and aldermen of York for 23 August 1485, the day after the battle. Richard’s defeat at Bosworth is unambiguously attributed to the ‘great treason of the Duke of Norfolk and many others that turned against him’2 [italics mine]. This sensational claim
is usually disregarded on the grounds that the York dignitaries were in fact protecting the identity of the real traitor: Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. As Percy had survived Bosworth, and Howard had not, the duke became a convenient scapegoat for the guilt of the earl. It is argued that this deception was necessary because, in the devastating aftermath of Richard’s death, Northumberland had become the most likely advocate for the ‘Yorkist’ city in a new and potentially disastrous ‘Lancastrian’ world. But why should we believe this? The York council records categorically state that the news of Richard’s death, and Howard’s treachery, ‘was shown by divers persons, and especially by John Sponer, sent unto the field of Redemore to bring tidings from the same to the city.’ John Sponer brought his report from the very field of battle, the Redemore. If, in these shocking circumstances, it were genuinely necessary to protect Henry Percy, then surely the council would simply omit his name, apportioning blame to the ‘many others that turned against’ Richard. It seems pretty clear that the accusation levelled against Howard was based on a sincere belief in his guilt. However, given the power of the York council entry, one may wonder why Howard’s alleged treason is not recorded elsewhere. Surely such an event, if indeed it did take place, would have merited – at the very least – a mention in one or two other accounts of the battle. Is it not therefore the case that the glaring absence of any corroborative evidence renders the York claim extremely improbable? Well, not necessarily. There is in fact an echo of Howard’s supposed treason in a number of later sources; sufficient, I would argue, to warrant a reassessment of Howard’s conduct at Bosworth. The first reference occurs in an account composed in early 1486 by the Spanish 50
courtier Diego de Valera.3 Here it is claimed that Richard’s left wing defected to Tudor just before the fighting began, passing directly in front of the royal army in order to join forces with the earl of Oxford. Though Howard is not mentioned, de Valera’s account has to be read alongside a later source, which provides a different slant on the same event. Robert Lindsay of Pittscottie,4 writing almost a century later in the 1570s, claimed that the royal vanguard turned to face King Richard and fought along side the rebel army. What is interesting is that the men raised by John Howard are believed to have formed Richard’s van or right wing. Despite the fact that Howard is not identified by name, there remains a clear implication that it was Norfolk’s soldiers who comitted this act of betrayal. Thus we have two accounts, each describing the defection of royal soldiers as the rival armies closed for combat. In addition, the second source implicates troops under the command of John Howard. While it is clear that neither of these prove Howard a traitor, they nonetheless suggest a devastating act of betrayal at the critical moment of contact. It is often wondered how the numerically superior royal army came to be defeated at Bosworth: could this act of treason provide the answer? Moreover, the entry in the York council records, describing the many others that turned against Richard, might possibly refer to these turncoat soldiers. A rather more direct and potentially sensational identification of Howard occurs in an account composed by Jean Molinet around 1490.5 Molinet claimed that ‘In this conflict was taken the duke of Norfolk with his son. The former was taken to the earl of Richmond, who sent him on to the earl of Oxford who had him dispatched.’ This ver-
sion of events is clearly at variance with the traditional account in which Howard perished sword in hand. Here Molinet attributes Howard’s death to a command of the earl of Oxford, in effect a battlefield execution. But why should Howard be separated from his son after capture and dealt with in this summary fashion? If, as the traditional account has it, Howard were engaged against the forces of Oxford, then surely, upon capture, he would have appeared directly before the earl himself. As we understand Bosworth, the course of combat separated Henry Tudor and Oxford by a considerable distance, thus giving rise to Richard’s desperate cavalry charge. Molinet’s claim that Howard was taken first to Henry Tudor raises an interesting possibility. Howard may have demanded, or perhaps requested, to be brought before Henry to plead a new-found loyalty to Tudor, based on the defection of forces under his command at the beginning of the battle. Henry, perhaps unfamiliar with Howard, delegated the decision to Oxford who, not surprisingly, had the duke killed. Now, admittedly, this scenario requires a leap of faith, but before dismissing it completely consider this. Who, in July 1483, could have believed that within three short months Richard’s chief supporter, Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, would lead an armed rebellion against the king? Self-interest and self-preservation are powerful natural instincts. For reasons that are not all together clear, Buckingham famously became ‘the mo st untrue creature living.’ At Bo swo rth the Stanleys and Northumb erland conspicuously failed to support Richard; given the evidence outlined here, can we be certain that John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, did not also abandon his king?
References Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004). 2 M. Bennett, The Battle of Bosworth (Stroud 1985), p.155. 3 Bennett, Bosworth, p.159-160. 4 Ibid., p.162. 5 Ibid., p.161. 1
Logge Notes and Queries LESLEY BOATWRIGHT Roos is referred to in a grant as ‘king’s knight’. His elder brother Robert was active as an ambassador, but there is no sign of public activity on Richard’s part, and his biographer, Ethel Seaton, reckoned that after the glittering life of the Duke of Gloucester’s Pleasaunce Richard found Henry VI’s court rather pious and boring, and got his head well down and translated French poetry instead. He was in the grand train of English notables who went to France with the Marquis and Marchioness of Suffolk to bring back Margaret of Anjou to be married to Henry VI. A time of official parties and splendid ceremonial, with probably much romantic banter in the air, if not in real life. Then in 1447 came the arrest and death of the Duke of Gloucester. Henry gave the Greenwich Pleasaunce to Margaret of Anjou, who did building works there. Richard got married in the early 1450s, when he was in his forties, to Margaret, daughter of Sir Richard Vernon. She was a lady-in-waiting to Margaret of Anjou. In 1453-4 they each received identical gifts from the Queen, silver-gilt salt-cellars and silver-gilt goblets with a scallop pattern. The strife of the 1450s and 1460s bore heavily on the Roos family. In 1455 their most influential connection by marriage, the Duke of Somerset, was killed in the first battle of St Albans. The 1461 Act of Attainder destroyed the family’s wealth and prosperity. In 1464 Richard’s nephew Thomas, Lord Roos, was executed after the battle of Hexham. It must have helped that his niece Eleanor made two Yorkist marriages, notably one to Richard Haute in 1474. Richard’s will shows that at the end of his life he did have some sort of place in the court of Edward IV. He leaves his servant Howell Vaughan ‘the cloth of my syde blak gowne furred with blak lambe being in the Kinges court. Also I be-
La Belle Dame Sans Merci, fifteenth century style Will no. 38 in the Logge Register is that of ‘the Lancastrian poet’ Sir Richard Roos. It was made on 8 March and proved on 1 April 1482. He left some very pretty artefacts, including ‘my tablett of the coronation of our ladie made of moder of perle garnysshed and sett in silvere and gilte with a fote therto of silver and gilte’, ‘my little Roos’ [a rose?] ‘of golde sett and garnysshed with a ruby and viij perles’, ‘my litle booke of praiers closed in plates of silvere and circled with an image of the crucifyxe on the oon side and an image of our ladie on the others side’, ‘my bedde of silke made with white hartes’ (his mother Margaret Arundel had been a lady in waiting to Anne of Bohemia, the wife of Richard II). A borage flower on a flat gold chain went to his niece who was living with the Duchess of Suffolk, the formidable Alice Chaucer. Richard Roos was born about 1410, the fifth and youngest son of William, the sixth Lord Roos. His father died when he was four years old. His mother did not re-marry, and Richard probably stayed with her at Helmsley, which belonged to his family, learning discipline and grammar from a chantry chaplain, as provided by his father’s will. His two eldest brothers fought at Agincourt, and were later killed in 1421 with the Duke of Clarence. The third brother, Thomas, was drowned in the River Marne in 1430: it was an unlucky family. As a young man Richard Roos was very much in the circle of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, spending time at the Duke’s beautiful manor at Greenwich which was known in their circles as the Pleasaunce, and writing poetry for the elegant and cultured people who foregathered there. By 1442 Richard 52
queth to John Richardeson that kepith my stuff in the said court my shorte gowne lyned that I was wont to ride inne and the stuff of the bedde that the same John was wonte to lie inne himsilf that is in the court.’ This sounds as if he kept clothes at court, and a servant to look after them, who slept there. Earlier in the will he leaves his nephew, Sir Henry Roos, ‘my collar of gold of the Kinges liverey and my ring of golde sette with a camahewe that I was wont to were, and my sparver of silke that served me in the kinges court’. Because of the past tenses, I think an argument could be made that the livery collar was a Lancastrian one, from Henry VI, and the sparver, or bed, of silk was what he slept in at court in Henry VI’s day – but equally well the collar could be from Edward IV and the silk bed that in which he slept while his servant John Richardson slept elsewhere. He died some time in March 1482. Margaret survived him, but he does not mention any children in his will. He had a house in the parish of St Peter the Little, Thames Street, London, and a messuage and garden in East Greenwich. That is the man. What of his poetry? There really is only firm evidence for one poem, and that is not an original composition, but a translation from the French of a poem written about 1424 by Alain Chartier, who was Chief Secretary to the King of France. It is called La Belle Dame Sans Merci, ‘the beautiful woman without mercy’. Keats used this title for his famous poem in 1819, though his poem is totally different from Roos’s work. The Paston family owned two books which included the poem, and John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, took a copy of it with him on an embassy to Scotland in 1481. I like to think of Jocky of Norfolk reading courtly love poetry in the stilly reaches of the Scottish night. The poem was very popular in the fifteenth century, though it is somewhat hard today to see why. Debate poetry is not to today’s taste. It is 857 lines long, and grows very tedious in the middle. If you want to read it, it is most accessible on the Internet - I got it by asking Google for Sir Richard Roos. The large central part is a debate between a
Lady and her would-be Lover: he is going on and on at her to make her give in, and she is saying No Way, there’s nothing in it for me. Of course, she gets the blame for being hardhearted. The original poem by Chartier caused a sensation at the French court, where it was said the women so disliked the depiction of the merciless Lady that Chartier was expelled from the royal Court of Love. That seems a male fantasy to me. More recent assessments call the lady frigid, sophistic, deceitful, cynical and hard. In other words, these recent assessments have understood the lady in much the same way as the Lover in the poem does, and do not give her credit for having good reason for her arguments: ‘Free am I nowe, and fre will I endure / To be rewled by manis governaunce / For erthely good, nay – that I you ensure!’ The Lover goes on about how he is dying for love of her, and she points out that not many people actually do die of love: ‘This siknes is right ease to endure – But fewe people it causith for to dye’. It opens with the Translator waking from his golden sleep, remembering his promise to translate the poem, and wandering about till he came to a ‘lusty green valley, full of flowers, to see a great Pleasaunce’. The word Pleasaunce turns up time and again in the poem, reminding us of the time Roos spent at the Greenwich Pleasaunce of Humphrey of Gloucester. At this point the Narrator takes over. He is riding through the country looking for lodging, heart-broken because his own lady is dead, and he feels his heart is buried with her. He hears minstrels playing in a garden, and doesn’t really want to join in, but two of his friends bring him to the feast. One of the young men serving there was pale and lean, dressed in black, with trembling speech, who could not keep his eyes off one of the women there. The Narrator couldn’t bear to stay to watch the festivities, so hid in the bushes. Up came the Lover and the Lady; the Lover made a passionate speech about his own feelings ‘with dredful voix, weping, half in a rage’. She answered ‘ful soft and demurely’ that he was talking nonsense – ‘youre thought is gret foly’. Then the debate begins and they speak alternate eight-line stanzas. 53
After 65 stanzas of argument, she has the last word: ‘Ye noye me sore in wasting al this winde’. The Lover goes away weeping, and she goes back to the dancing. Margaret of Anjou was not the only iron lady in fifteenth-century England.
[A very shortened version of the talk given to the Study week-end in April. A full version may be found on the Society’s website. Ethel Seaton’s biography, Sir Richard Roos, Lancastrian Poet, was published by Ruper Hart-Davis in 1961.]
From Our Sister Publications An occasional series featuring extracts from branch/group publications which the Editorial Team feel should be shared with all members. Thanks to John Ashdown-Hill for the idea and to the branches and groups for their publications. From RICARDUS REX, the publication of the Victoria Branch, Australia
Coldharbour House (also called Cold Harborough or Cold Inn) was by the river. It stood just east of Cannon Street Railway Station. It was probably built in 1334 by a merchant, Sir John Poultney, sometime Lord Mayor of London. By the late 1300s John Holland, Duke of Exeter owned it. Exeter was the half-brother of Richard II. Richard III gave it to the heralds for their College. Henry Tudor, however, turned them out and gave the property to his mother, Margaret. The Heralds had no home until 1555 when they were given Derby House, which site they still occupy. At least while Margaret occupied it, the building was apparently ‘right royal and pleasantly beseen and addressed.’ Prince Arthur was married to Catherine of Aragon in November 1501 and Margaret held a dinner-party at Coldharbour in honour of the Spanish princess. Gold and silver plate abounded. An English guest sat beside each Spaniard to make them feel at home. After Henry VIII gave Coldharbour house to the earl of Shrewsbury it was sometimes called Shrewsbury House. The building was destroyed in the Great Fire, but the replacement building was used as the Hall of the Watermen’s Company until 1778. David Bliss 54
‘Only if it May Stand with the Law of the Church’ MARIE BARNFIELD It is reasonable to suppose that, in giving Warwick the keeping of Gloucester and Lord Lovell in 1465, Edward was making both their marriages available to the earl – Richard for Isabel and Francis for Anne – in compensation for the loss of other suitable heirs. Indeed, had Edward been at this time against Richard’s union with one of the Neville sisters, placing him with Warwick would have been extremely foolhardy. Until relations between Edward and Warwick had completely broken down, it is probable that it was only his male heir, Clarence, whose marriage Edward withheld from the earl. Yet almost as soon as Warwick had received Lovell’s marriage he ungratefully bestowed him upon his FitzHugh niece. Is this because he had as yet taken no thought to the marriage of his coheir, Anne? Surely not. There are, in fact, two contemporary sources stating that it was Warwick’s intention to marry both of his daughters to both of Edward’s brothers. The first is the chronicler Waurin, who describes how, during the sojourn of the first Burgundian embassy to visit Edward, Warwick remained conspicuously absent from court. In order to avenge the perceived insult, Waurin goes on, he then applied himself to winning over Edward’s brothers, eventually enticing them away from court to Cambridge. Edward, hearing of this, had his brothers brought before him, asking them bluntly if either of them had promised themselves to their cousins, the earl of Warwick’s daughters (‘se nulz navoit fyancie ne eu nulles convenances a ses cousines les filles du conte de Warewic.’).2 Since the Burgundian embassy described by Waurin visited England during December 1466, the chronicler would appear
Richard’s ‘Incestuous’ Marriage: Part 2
hen, in February 1472, Edward IV entreated ‘my Lord of Clarence for my Lord of Gloucester’, Richard and his intended shared three separate relationships for which dispensations were required: consanguinity in the second and third degrees, consanguinity in the third and fourth degrees, and affinity in the third and fourth degrees (arising from Anne’s Lancastrian marriage). Two months later, the Pope issued the couple with a dispensation, but it was for the last of these impediments only. The logical reason for this is before our eyes: all that is required is to take a step back. Michael Hicks is surely correct in interpreting Richard’s sojourn in Warwick’s household as beginning after the Woodville marriage and continuing up until Edward’s rift with his cousin. Various surviving documents indicate Gloucester’s presence in the royal household, and receipt of purely southern grants and appointments, until at least February 1464. His name is not linked with Warwick’s until September of 1465, when in rapid succession the earl was granted the custody and marriage of Francis Lovell as compensation for the cost of Richard’s expenses, and Gloucester offered with his new guardian at St Mary’s in Warwick and attended Archbishop Neville’s enthronization feast in Yorkshire. After this, evidence of Richard’s presence at court is lacking. In February 1467 he was appointed, with Warwick and John Neville, to a commission of oyer and terminer for York, and he probably stayed in Warwick’s household for the rest of that year and most of the next.1 55
to be placing this Cambridge meeting some time during 1467. (Hicks’ ascription of this incident to 1464 is perhaps based on the editor’s page headings.) This story is almost certainly not true in all its details. For instance, Richard was apparently still living in Warwick’s household in 1466/7 and so could not have been drawn away by him from court. And yet, since he was in Warwick’s keeping, he could quite legitimately have been with the earl during a rendezvous with Clarence. Certainly, the rift between Warwick and Edward widened alarmingly during 1467. Foreign sources can be ill informed, but they also have the virtue of not being subject to the same political censorship as domestic accounts. Our second informant is again an uncensored foreigner, but this time reporting directly from England. This was the Milanese ambassador Luchino Dallaghiexia, writing to the duke of Milan during the period of Edward’s captivity by Warwick. Dallaghiexa was actually under the impression that the earl had now secured both marriages, viz: ‘he has married his two daughters to the king’s two brothers.’ 3 What emerges from these rumours is that, when Warwick sent his agent to Rome in 1467, he may very well have requested dispensations for the marriages of both Clarence and Isabel, and Richard and Anne. Were we relying on the papal archives for a dispensation for either marriage we would be disappointed, as the Vatican record of Clarence’s (granted on 14 March 1468) eludes us every bit as much as Richard’s. We know of Clarence’s dispensation only by two chances. Firstly, his own copy survived into the 17th century, when it was noted down together with other Warwickshire documents by Sir William Dugdale.4 Secondly, during the early months of 1471, when Warwick had finally prevailed, Pope Paul II, eager to claim his share of the credit, wrote briefs to the interested parties reminding them of the help he had given in granting the dispensations for the marriages of Clarence5 and Edward of Lancaster6. It goes without saying that the Pope would not at this juncture have referred to a dispensation granted for a mar-
riage between the now Lancastrian Princess of Wales and the Yorkist traitor Gloucester. There is, of course, not a jot of written evidence that Richard and Anne received a marriage dispensation in the 1460s other than the above references, and one other single document, i.e. Richard and Anne’s dispensation of 1472. For the only relationship this addresses is the one the couple had contracted during the Readeption. However, not all the riddles have yet been solved. Late in 1473 Clarence took armed action against Gloucester, apparently to recover the entire Beauchamp inheritance on the grounds that his brother’s marriage was invalid. Thus a clause was written into the subsequent parliamentary settlement that protected Richard’s claim to the estates in the event of an annulment. So, if Clarence’s grounds were not a deficiency in the dispensation(s), what were they? Again, the solution may have been in front of us all along, for in February 1474 the Milanese ambassador in France reported the tenor of Clarence’s objection to his brother’s marriage as being that he ‘by force had taken to wife the daughter of the late earl of Warwick.’7 The charge of force was certainly sufficiently serious to annul a marriage. St Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274) wrote that ‘since the marriage contract is made by voluntary consent, and this is incompatible with ... violence, there will be two impediments to marriage, namely “force”, i.e. compulsion [etc.].’ Aquinas classed force amongst the impediments that ‘are said not only to hinder the contracting of marriage, but to dissolve it if contracted.’8 The prohibition of compulsion was to be codified by the Council of Trent (1545-63) as the impediment of abduction, described by the maxim ‘raptave sit mulier’ (‘or [if] the woman was abducted/raped’). Clearly, however, this impediment was already well recognised in the fifteenth century, to the extent that dispensations commonly carried a statement to the effect that the woman had not been ‘rapta’ (abducted/ raped). What exactly Clarence meant when he claimed Richard had taken Anne by force is, of course, a moot point. Did he claim that Richard had taken her against her own will? 56
Even Hicks admits that the evidence suggests the contrary. Did he claim, then, to have witheld his own consent as her legal guardian? We have few sources for the courtship of Richard and Anne, but those we do indicate that after Tewkesbury she was indeed given into Clarence’s keeping; that Clarence regarded the question of her remarriage as his own affair and – up to a point at any rate – the king and Gloucester agreed with this view (‘The Kynge entretyth my Lorde off Clarance For my Lorde of Glowcester.‘)9. George initially refused his consent and concealed Anne from Richard; however, in February 1472, he finally succumbed to royal pressure (force?) and consented to the union.9 Hicks’ analysis of Anne’s position is that she was legally independent, as fourteen was the age of majority for females. However, it would seem there was no fixed age of majority at this time for either sex.10 Many testators of the period, indeed, stipulate twenty-one as the age at which their daughters should inherit. Even Hicks falters in his belief in Anne’s legal autonomy, viz: ‘... she allowed him to whisk her away to sanctuary. In medieval parlance, this abduction was a rape – as so often committed, in medieval terms, with the full consent of the lady.’11 Hicks’ identification of Richard’s removal of Anne to sanctuary as abduction or statutory rape is clearly of the utmost significance. However, the Catholic Encyclopaedia describes the impediment of abduction only as ‘the incapacity of the abductor of contracting
a valid marriage with the woman whom he has abducted, until she has first been allowed to go free.’12 It was probably with this in mind that Richard chose to take Anne to sanctuary rather than keeping her safe from Clarence in one of his own households. However, with no means of her own, Anne possibly remained dependent on Richard to pay her attendants, and even provide her wedding escort. Clarence’s charge(s) of force can only have been highly technical, arguing the letter of the law whilst ignoring its spirit, and would probably not have withstood the denials of the willing bride. Whatever the eventual outcome of the canonical debate, however, the ensuing Act of Parliament deprived Clarence of any further incentive to annul the union since Richard would now keep the estates whether he remained Anne’s husband or not. Technical abduction or force was, however, an impediment which Richard, as king, could have chosen to resurrect had he wished to put Anne aside. It would certainly explain Crowland’s allusion to possibly sufficient grounds for divorce unaccompanied by any condemnation of the marriage. This, rather than foolhardy shamelessness, better explains the confidence Richard displayed in condemning Edward IV’s bigamous marriage, and in consenting to Thomas Lynom’s union with Mistress Shore only ‘if it may stand with the law of the Church.’
REFERENCES 1 See M.A. Hicks, False, Fleeting, Perjured Clarence, Sutton, 1980; M.A. Hicks, Richard III, Tempus, 1991 & 2000; and P.M. Kendall, Richard III, Allen & Unwin, 1955, p.63 2 See Waurin, Recueil des Croniques d’Engleterre, vol 5, pp.456-459. 3 Calendar of Milanese State Papers, p.131. 4 Bodl. MS Dugdale 15, f.75. 5 See J. Calmette & G. Périnelle, Louis XI et l’Angleterre [1461-1483], p.133 n.4. 6 See Calmette & Périnelle, op. cit, p.133 n.5. 7 J. L. Laynesmith, The Last Medieval Queens, OUP, 2004, p.70 8 T. Aquinas, Summa Theologica, www.newadvent.org 9 J. Gairdner ed., Paston Letters , vol 5 pp.135-6. 10 See N. Orme, Medieval Children, Yale University Press, 2001, Chapter 9 ‘Growing Up’. 11 M.A. Hicks, op. cit, p.108. 12 ‘Impediments to Marriage in General’, The Catholic Encyclopaedia, www.newadvent.org. 57
Lord Olivier – a ‘closet Ricardian’? Part 1 GEOFFREY WHEELER
he answer to Philippa Langley’s query in the Spring issue of the Bulletin concerning why Laurence Olivier chose to call his second son Richard is to be found on p. 201 in his autobiography: ‘on 22 July 1962’ (some nine years after starting the film) ‘our son was christened Richard Kerr in the Bishop’s Chapel at Chichester Cathedral; the first of these two names was given at my request because it was what my beloved brother was always known by, though his name was not Richard but Gerald Dacres, and it was from the second of these that the diminutive ‘Dickie’ was arrived at’1 With regard to Olivier’s awareness of the historical Richard, there are a couple of allusions in his other published book On Acting. For the Old Vic co-production he confesses, ‘I didn’t read any of the books that were around, protecting Richard from the false rumours written by this tinker with melodrama, whose name is William Shakespeare, who got it from someone else, who got it from someone else, who got it from someone else. I just stayed with the man himself’.2 Whilst later, in the chapter Shakespeare on film, he notes: ‘I doubt very much if Richard was as evil as Shakespeare makes out, but the legend Shakespeare created is so lively, it’s worth preserving’.3 More about his opinions at the time may be discovered by looking at the Society’s Library catalogue, where a number of insightful articles may be found amongst the Papers Collection. In particular, the Audio Visual Library contains a rare recorded NBC interview, dating from the film’s USA première in 1956.4 During part of a discussion with Alexander Clark, President of the recently founded Friends of Richard III Inc., Olivier makes it
clear that he was aware of Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time, saying ‘when I first played Richard in 1944 … [the author] sent me this play whitewashing Richard … called Dickon … and she wanted me to do it right after playing the Shakespeare. But actually [though] it was a very good play … my time didn’t allow me to’. From this is appears that Tey (who used the name Gordon Daviot when writing plays) was hoping to repeat the success she had previously enjoyed in 1933, when John Gielgud had produced Richard of Bordeaux following his interpretation of Shakespeare’s Richard II. Curiously, though, at the time of Dickon’s world premiere at the Salisbury Playhouse (in tandem with Shakespeare’s Richard III) in May 1955, according to press reports she had ‘refused to allow the play to be staged during her lifetime, and after her death in 1952, it was found in typescript amongst her papers’.5 Further points delivered by Olivier include: ‘there’s no reason to suppose that he killed the babies in the Tower. To begin with, their mother … remained a firm friend of Richard, up to the time of his death, and lived perfectly free. A significant fact is that almost as soon as Henry VII came to the throne she was, not locked up, but confined to a nunnery’. The American ‘Friends’ were mostly recruited from the acting, literary and media community, whose members at one time included, the Lunts, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Leo Carroll, Helen Hayes, Tallulah Bankhead, Robert Montgomery, James Thurber, Charles MacArthur, and Salvador Dali (notable for his portrait of Olivier as Richard).6 After informing him that Sir John Gielgud has also recently joined what the interviewer calls ‘The Good Richard Club’, Olivier refuses to be 58
drawn into whether he will accept memberadmit ‘how much more exciting to a writer is ship, but concludes: ‘I suppose the most sigRichard, the deformed, black-hearted murdernificant thing in favour of Richard III, is that er, of a thousand plots and subterfuges, than Henry VII .. in his bill of attainder, his imRichard, the upright administrator! Why expeachment of Richard, never, although chargamine dull truth about a character who could ing him with all kinds of heinous deeds, menbe shown, devilishly charming, as the suctions the murder of the children, which would cessful wooer of a victim’s widow?’ This text have been his ‘king-pin’, wouldn’t it?’, also was reprinted in the programme for the premhe concurs that ‘there’s no real reason to supière, in aid of the Actors’ Fund of America, pose that he had a hump on his shoulder, a illustrated by one of the 16th-century copies withered arm or anything [like that]. One of of the standard ‘workshop’ portraits of Richhis shoulders is supposed to [have been] a ard, then in the possession of Alexander little lower than the othClark, who apparently er, and there’s a gallant liked to claim descent story that when he was a from George, Duke of little boy he would Clarence. In advance of wield lances that were the première and nationtoo heavy for him!’ wide TV screening most Whilst this does seem to of the leading newspaprove that he was well pers and magazines of aware of the outlines of the day included apthe ‘pro-Richard’ argupraisals of the film, ment, as it then stood Newsweek7 printing a (though his statements revealing footnote: ‘As may now need revising, a young man Sir Lauin the light of modern rence declared in an scholarship), one cannot intemperate moment help wondering if he that he would have a had been carefully son and his name would ‘primed’ with the inforbe Tarquin (for the vilmation, in advance, and lain in Shakespeare’s perhaps be aware that, Rape of Lucrece), and like most actors, he was also in a section headuncomfortable on such lined: Brief reign … Not occasions, when he had Simon-Pure, but no to ‘be himself’, and so Monster, it prints an adopted this role of a unfamiliar quote from ‘courteous gentleman’. GK Chesterton, ‘a As his third wife, Joan staunch, if testy, partiCartoon by Geoffrey Wheeler Plowright, admitted in san of the monarch’: later broadcasts: ‘Larry ‘He did not pluck peris always acting!’ petually at his sword and dagger because his However, the publicity generated by the only pleasure was in cutting throats: he probafilm, particularly in America, devoted a genbly did it because he was nervous’. For This erous amount of space to discussion of the Week8 Otis L. Guernsey Jnr. interviewed Al‘historical’ Richard III. Its USA ‘Souvenir’ exander Clark of ‘The Friends’ (at an address, brochure, with a full-colour reproduction of of all places, in Tudor City) asking Did the Dali portrait, opens with two pages on The Shakespeare libel Richard III?. Clark excontroversy about Richard III – Saint or Devclaimed, ‘Shakespeare, the poor devil – he il? as well as referring to ‘The Friends’ in its didn’t know any better, he had no evil intent production notes, though in the end has to whatsoever’, whilst an exchange with Olivier 59
revealed that he was ‘impressed by the proRichard evidence’, but ‘they’re rather naughty. They never mention a letter Richard wrote on the eve of Bosworth. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it mentions a serious crime for which the king has done penance. Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean that the crime was the murder of the princes’. This sounds rather like a half remembered reference to Richard’s speech (not letter) before the battle, as recounted by Edward Hall in his Chronicle (c.1540) which does mention a ‘facynerous and detestable act’ which ‘with strict penance and salt tears’ he has ‘expiated and clearly purged the same offence’9 Commenting on the preface which opens the film, Olivier adds, ‘I didn’t write it for the Richard people, but I’m happy if it fits in with their beliefs’. However the article continues ‘Olivier was linked only once with the real Richard Plantagenet in planning his movie. For the coronation scene costumes he invited
the College of Arms, founded by Richard in 1483, to straighten out and supervise the heraldry’. It was a close-up of the crowned king, from this scene, captioned Richard III: Fiend most Foul or History’s Scapegoat? that featured on the cover of Cue magazine, New York’s entertainment weekly10 with an article by John Keating, again covering the familiar ground, but in a concise couple of pages managing to work in references to The Daughter of Time, Buck, Walpole, Halsted, Lindsay and John Harvey’s book The Plantagenets, ending with an early coup for ‘The Friends’; a more favourable entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and a projected play from Maxwell Anderson. Here, at least, mention is made of the ‘similar English group known as the Knights of the White Boar (Richard’s emblem)’, a misquote of the Society’s original name ‘The Fellowship of the White Boar’.
Notes and References 1. Laurence Olivier, Confessions of an Actor, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1982 2. Laurence Olivier with Gavin Grainger, On Acting, Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1986, p.79 3. Ibid. p.208 4. Tex and Jinx, National Broadcasting Corporation of America, 3 December, 1956 5. The Times, 9 May 1955. Dickon was first published in 1953 by Peter Davies Ltd. A new edition, with introduction, historical commentary and notes by Elizabeth Haddon, followed in 1966 (Heinemann Educational Books) 6. Among the stills reproduced on the USA DVD second disc of ‘extras’ is one of Dali proudly displaying his certificate of membership of ‘The Friends’ 7. 19 March, 1956, pp. 33-36 8. 11 March, 1956, pp. 22-23 9. See Michael Bennett, The Battle of Bosworth Field, (1985), Appendix (d), p.167 10. 4 February, 1956, pp. 13 & 34 Part 2 of this article will discuss the publicity in the UK for Olivier’s Richard III and possible evidence for his favourable attitude to the real Richard.
Correspondence Will contributors please note the letters may be edited or reduced to conform to the standards of the Bulletin.
Dear Editor, In the north-east corner of Wales where I live, a rather strange story is circulating. Where it originated form I have no idea, but I have seen it in print on three separate occasions. Each time it states this: that in 1483 King Richard II (sic) ordained that yew trees were to be planted in churchyards to provide wood for longbows. A simple search through the statutes passed during the reigns of Edward IV and Richard III (and of Richard II) indicates that no such law was made during any of their reigns. In fact, the notion that these trees should be so planted, and which has been used to explain the presence of so many venerable old specimens in churchyards, has been attributed to Sir Walter Scott, in his novel Ivanhoe. There, he wrote that Edward I decreed that yews should be planted in all English churchyards to provide a plentiful supply of wood for bows. What Edward I did in fact ordain, in 1307, was that there should be no cutting down of yew trees in churchyards: they were there solely ‘to act as windbreaks and to protect the church fabric’ though it could be argued that this would also conserve the supply of suitable wood for bows. Nevertheless, there is a connection between Edward IV, Richard III and the supply of wood for longbows. Mindful of the requirement to provide weapons for their troops, and also, more importantly, of the fact that wood from yews from more southerly climes was technically better suited to longbow manufacture, a law was passed during Edward’s reign requiring Lombard merchants to deliver four yew staves with every cask of wine delivered into London, and in 1483, Richard III increased this requirement to ten staves per cask. As far as Wales and archery are con-
cerned, it should be borne in mind that the longbow was actually developed in the Principality during the twelfth century, and that the best archers originally hailed from here. Whether the last statement was still the case during the sixteenth century is perhaps doubtful: what is very clear, however, was that the north east corner of Wales went through a period of markedly increased prosperity during the first half of the century or so of the Tudor period. This is particularly noticeable in respect of the substantial rebuilding of parish churches. Many of these were ‘new build’, and there is much evidence that Margaret Beaufort and her husband Lord Stanley were financially involved in some of these efforts. Typical examples are to found in Wrexham, Mold, Gresford and the chapel and precinct of St Winefride’s well at Holywell. Other churches were extended by the addition of a large side aisle in the Welsh tradition, to make what is now known as the ‘double nave’, and windows were filled with new magnificent, and very expensive, stained glass. That these works were carried out with the whole-hearted support of the people can be in no doubt – just a little more than a hundred years later another lord, the earl of Leicester, tried to build a new abbey church in Denbigh, but saw his efforts thwarted by the townspeople owing to his deep unpopularity there and their unwillingness to support this venture. I have no wish to appear to be an apologist for the (Welsh) usurper Henry Tudor, but I would like to know whether the rest of the kingdom fared as well under his reign. I was always under the impression that he was a grasping, miserly monarch, and that the prosperity that is associated with the dynasty came much later. Mark Dobson 61
Dear Editor, In response to the recent correspondence concerning Sir Laurence Olivier in his role of Richard III, may I refer those interested to a booklet entitled King Richard III on stage and off by William Hogarth published in New York c. 1980. On page 3 discussing Olivier’s film, Richard III, we read that ‘Before the film opened its theater run in New York, Olivier confided that he was terribly worried that the defenders of Richard III in the States would, in the old European student tradition, tear out the seats and set fire to the screen. To prevent losses to the theater owners, he made two concessions to the revisionists: the prologue mentions the ‘legend’ of Richard III, and in the final battle scene where the king’s corpse is thrown over the back of a horse, the camera closes in on the garter on Richard’s calf with its motto Honi soit qui mal y pense … ‘There!’ said Sir Larry ‘That’s for you!’ I must admit that, if this is the case, the business with the garter misled me (and others) completely. I thought that Sir Larry was trying to say something along the lines of: ‘This awful man who murdered half his relatives was not worthy of this high honour.’ Shakespeare himself makes the same point in Richard III, Act IV, Scene IV: King Richard: ‘Now by my George, my garter, and my crown – ’ Queen Elizabeth: ‘Profaned, dishonoured, and the third usurped!’ Perhaps we shall never know the true reason why the garter business was put into this famous film. William Hogarth’s booklet also contains the sobering thought that, when Olivier’s film made its debut on American television in 1956, the audience was estimated at 50 million: ‘More people saw Richard III that Sunday afternoon than had witnessed all the productions in all the playhouses of the world in 363 years’. Referring to David Johnson’s letter in the last Bulletin, I have come across no evidence that John Fisher and Thomas More were acquainted at the time More was penning his History of King Richard III, (around 151415). However the real reason why More did not go on to complete and publish his History may be that put forward by AF Pollard in The
Making of Sir Thomas More’s Richard III, and Richard Marius in his excellent biography Thomas More, namely that, if More had proceeded with his book, too many allpowerful toes would have been stamped upon. Marius and Pollard point out that More had obtained much of his information from the Howard family, and that nothing More could have written about ‘their equivocal role during Richard’s reign would have been flattering’. Also in 1514 and 1515, at the time when More was writing, Edward Stafford, the third duke of Buckingham was, as Marius says, ‘still powerful, a violent and impetuous man, much like his father and immensely popular in London ...’ In 1515 he would most certainly have objected to the publication of a book that resurrected the treachery and folly of his father. The widow of the second duke of Buckingham was Katherine Woodville, queen Elizabeth Woodville’s sister, who took as her next husband Jasper Tudor, Henry VII’s uncle. After Jasper Tudor’s death in 1495 she married Sir Richard Wingfield, dying herself in 1513. Her widower was, however, very much alive – a diplomat at the height of his influence and power – when More was writing his History. As Marius says: ‘The Buckingham connection represented a powerful constituency in England, not one to be affronted by a man with a career to make and in need of influential friends’. Yet another powerful man who might have been offended had More published his book, was Arthur Plantagenet, later Viscount Lisle. Marius tells us that ‘More makes fun of Elizabeth Lucy, gullible enough to admit Edward IV to her bed in the hope that he might marry her. The child born of that illicit union was Arthur Plantagenet ... a man strongly fixed in the world with the aid of his powerful connections, not one to insult and anger with a public recollection of his mother’s passion and absurdity’. In conclusion, Marius states that: ‘Any publication of More’s History of King Richard III would have damaged beyond repair his prospects for royal service, and he knew it. He did not finish the work and he had no 62
thought of printing it, although it did circulate in manuscript. Edward Hall incorporated much of it into his Chronicle long after most of the principals in the story were safely dead. Then Rastell printed More’s original version in 1557. The Latin text appeared much later ...’ Marilyn Garabet
nately, Edward of York, but both their sons York and Cambridge died in 1415, one at Agincourt and one by execution.). Gaunt’s hopes of the Castilian kingdom having been thwarted, he managed to resume his liaison with his future third duchess, Constance having borne him a dead son and a living daughter. This daughter, Catherine, married Henry III of Portugal. Their son was John II, who made two marriages. His first was to an Aragonese princess who gave him two sons, but the hopeful one, Alfonso, died in 1468. The other, Henry IV, was widely suspected of being impotent, and childless by two marriages. The second was to Joanna. She bore a daughter who was almost certainly not his but that of her lover, Don Beltran de la Cueva; the girl, who claimed the crown, was known derisively as La Beltraneja. She had supporters, but they lost out in the end to her husband’s determined young half-sister, the famous Isabella of Castile. Isabella’s father had been John II of Castile, and her mother Isabella of Portugal, his second queen. She was the daughter of Edward’s brother John, and seems to have been a manic-depressive. This tendency was dormant in her daughter, who as we know bore a grudge against the House of York as she considered herself to have been jilted by Edward IV. Her marital arrangements for her daughters are like Hampton Court maze; her determination to secure Portugal as an ally made her marry her eldest daughter to two brothers, thereby dying at last in childbirth of a son who did not live long. Isabella’s own only son died soon after his marriage, and his only child by his bride was born dead. Isabella then married a subsequent daughter, Maria, to the Portuguese widower of the first, and unusually there were six children including a cardinal, a bastard prior grandson, and the empress of Charles V. Their son Philip II married, firstly, the daughter of Charles V’s sister Catherine, with the result of the mad Don Carlos. Philip’s own sister Joanna married Catherine’s son, with a son of her own who lived one year, Incredibly, the triple widower of both Isabella’s daughters married thirdly the much younger Eleanor, sister to Charles V. There were no children of that
Dear Editor, King Richard’s averted fate? Had he not been killed at Bosworth, Richard III had tentatively considered, after denying any intention of marrying his niece Elizabeth, taking as his second queen Joanna of Portugal. This might well have been a disaster. Like Richard himself (also Henry Tudor) Joanna was a descendant of John of Gaunt, third surviving son of Edward III and Philippa. Gaunt’s three marriages make him variously the founding father of Europe and the ancestor of the present royal line. By his first, to his cousin Blanche of Lancaster, he had a daughter Philippa, who was married to the illegitimate John I of Portugal (1380-1433). They had five childlren, including Prince Henry the Navigator and the marvellouslyportrayed Isabelle, Duchess of the not-sogood Philip of Burgundy and showing, in her Van der Weyden portrait, an exact and humorous likeness to Edward III. She bore Philip Charles the Bold, whose daughter married Maximilian of Hapsburg, thereby catching up again with Gaunt. Philippa of Lancaster’s son Edward, one of the five (1433-38) fathered Joanna and Eleanor, who married the emperor Frederick III – it was said to be a love-match, although the sluggish Frederick seems unlikely material, and they were the parents of Maximilian, whose famous yellow hair and eccentric ways are familiar to history. He married Charles the Bold’s daughter Mary, and their son became the self-styled Philip I of Castile through his own marriage with a daughter of Isabella. They were the parents of Charles V. Joanna of Portugal, meantime, before the English proposal could have been thought of, had married the unsatisfactory Henry IV of Castile, descendant of Gaunt’s second marriage to Constance, daughter of Peter the Cruel. (Her sister Isabella married, more fortu63
marriage or of her next to Francis I Valois. Francis decidedly had syphilis. John of Gaunt is accused of it, but it had not yet reached the Old World in his time. However there was something wrong with him, which shows in his descendants and possibly, although Joanna of Portugal might well have failed to take a lover if she was married to Richard III, the line is unfortunate. Perhaps this is an additional misfortune which was spared him by the events of 1485. The Beauforts are, of course, the outcome of Gaunt's third marriage and concern themselves with England and while it lasted, France. Pamela Hill
Following on from Philippa Langley’s letter in the previous edition regarding the Northern Broadside’s (logo of a rather sad boar’s head) production of Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses plays, having seen the cycle at Guildford and bought the programme, as I am sure the majority of us do, for the reason mainly to read the historical notes on the characters, imagine the joy of discovering in the ‘Who’s Who’ that the negative things heaped on Richard are dismissed with: ‘It goes without saying that he was none of these things. In real life he was a great soldier who spent most of his life as Lord Protector of the North of England, i.e. bashing the Scots. A devout man, he often went to holy mass in York Minster. There was a little unpleasantness with two of his nephews and he didn’t like his sister-in-law’s family much, but apart from that he was a popular king if short-lived’. Even if not a hundred per cent factually correct, at least one has to applaud the sentiment. There are also a good deal of other interestingly enlightened comments on other people in the plays. The authorship of this positive piece is credited to one Mike Poulton, who we learn has been involved in several theatrical productions. Now to me it appears obvious that this gentleman should be formally approached and thanked by the Society. He should of course be an honorary member, if not one already. With this in mind I contacted the Chairman, advising him (plus the local group secretary) that the production still had to play in Newcastle and although Dr Stone replied that he was sending Society leaflets to the theatre, nothing else was forthcoming. Going back a further edition, Wendy Johnson suggested enterprisingly that for the future Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard III, they be approached to include a printed disclaimer. This is all very basic stuff and what we have been asking for over decades, only it should be extended to every other production (as in Philippa Langley’s letter), plus, please, please, to include Henry VI Part 3, which is also taking a swipe at Richard and is usually forgotten. It is most gratifying to read in the Editor’s note to Wendy’s letter that ‘varying degrees
Dear Editor, May I please correct a misprint in my recent letter about hair colour? You put ‘the fair Alice of France’. What I put was ‘the frail Alice of France’. I was not referring to her physique but to her morals. Her mother was Castilian and so her hair is anyone’s guess. At any rate, Henry II noticed it. Pamela Hill Dear Editor, Jennie Powys-Lybbe has pointed out to me that in my progress report on the Logge wills in the last Bulletin I said that Hastings’ IPMs gave ‘the proper date of his death, 13 July’. This should, of course, have been 13 June. I did in fact spot my slip, but not in time to change the copy that had already gone to the printers. Lesley Boatwright Dear Editor, I received an e-mail recently from an engaged couple who are getting married in November at the Edgehill Vineyard of Joch Bosworth who produces the Shiraz wine labelled ‘Battle of Bosworth’. They wanted to buy an appropriate thank-you gift for Joch in appreciation of his hospitality and asked for ideas on Bosworth-related merchandise. Wendy Moorhen Dear Editor, 64
of success’ have been obtained. Perhaps we can hear of this in due course? Philippa additionally rightly again, as in the past, champions the achievement of branches and groups in this crusade. This relies on having all areas of at least England covered by an active RIIIS unit. Regrettably this is not the case. This despite being one of the main points I raised with the Chairman at a meeting when he first took office. Encouragement and activists in this may be necessary, but with a will, organisation, plus all of us working together (and that includes Mr Poulton) this is achievable. We proved this when we membered the exhibition at the Gloucester charter celebrations in 1983 – why not do it on a larger scale again? From apprising the Chairman of details of the new Shakespeare Company’s production he advises that ‘I’ll get things in motion with the relevant members in due course’, so we look forward with ‘great expectations’ to that. Doug Weeks
Like, I gather, a number of people, I came to the Richard III Society via Josephine Tey. In her novel The Daughter of Time, she has fun getting her characters to identify the one factual element in More’s (or Morton’s) passage where he states that Richard openly protested at the death of Clarence, but ‘men say’ not as vigorously as if he really wished him well, and those that think thus suppose that he had for a long time planned to make himself king. Is it naïve to suppose that More himself intended his readers to make a similar distinction? In Tudor times it would be a quick route to a painful death to appear to support Plantagenets, and I wonder if More stated his real opinion in positive assertions while concealing these opinions in ‘men say’ type statements giving the opposite impression. Has anyone, which I have not, examined the More manuscript picking out only those statements that are made as from More himself ? It would be interesting to see what impression remains. Peter Fellgett
Cartoon by Ralph Taylor. First published in Blanc Sanglier and reproduced with kind permission of the Yorkshire Branch
Right Royal Bastards The Fruits of Passion PETER BEAUCLERK-DEWAR Editor of Burke’s Landed Genry: The Kingdom in Scotland 19th Edition
ROGER POWELL Deputy Editor of Burke’s Peerage & Gentry 107th Edition Foreward by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, KG, GCVO Since 1066 when William the Conqueror (alias William the Bastard) took the throne, English and Scottish kings have sired at least 150 children out of wedlock. Many were acknowledged at court and founded dynasties of their own – several of today’s dukedoms are descended from them. Others were only acknowledged grudgingly or not at all. In the 20th century this trend for Royals to father illegitimate children continued, but the parentage, while highly probably, has not been officially recognised. The book – split into four sections: Tudor, Stuart, Hanoverian and Royal Loose Ends – is a genuinely fresh approach to British kings and queens, examining their lives and times through the unfamiliar perspective of their illegitimate children. Interviewees include many of their descendants. It also sheds light on the perennially fascinating topic of sexual habits; the links between politics, power and patronage; the class system, scandal and celebrity; and the different expectations we have of men and women. 7 colour and 80 b/w illus. ISBN 0 97119 668 0 248pp 235 X 153 mm Price £19.99 Paperback.
Burke’s Peerage & Gentry, Marriots, 13 Castle Street, Buckingham, United Kingdom, MK18 1BP Tel. 01280 816161
The Barton Library Library on the Move Further to my notice in the Summer Bulletin, I cannot give any more information at present regarding the precise date that the Library will move north to Preston except to say that I anticipate the move being towards the end of September. However, as soon as Keith and I have made arrangements, I will put a notice up on the web site, and a formal announcement will appear in the Winter Bulletin. Individual book requests that I receive after the library move will of course be forwarded to Keith so that service should continue as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, due to the Library move, there will be no book auction this year. However, I will be holding a sale of duplicate books at the AGM in York. There are some interesting titles for sale so bring your money and cheque books along! A quick reminder - the catalogues are now all on-line and can be found under the Barton Library section on the web site. Jane Trump
Latest Additions to the Fiction Books Library IRWIN, FRANCES Summer’s End This is the story of Francis Lovell who is looking back over his life after the Battle of Stoke while awaiting rescue from his hiding place under Minster Lovell Hall. Should you wish to borrow this or any other fiction book, please contact the Fiction Librarian. Anne Painter
Audio Visual Library Update Grateful thanks are due to Elaine Robinson (London and Home Counties Branch) who, at rather short notice, was able to record and kindly donate the tape of what is probably the most notable addition to the video collection, two parts of the. UKTV History series: My Famous Family, featuring the descendents of Margaret Countess of Salisbury and Richard ap Howel of Mostyn (see Stephen Lark’s review, page 15). The career of the latter and the legend associated with Mostyn Hall and its place in the Bosworth story, was more fully explored in the Radio 4 series Lords of the Land (1982) on The Mostyns of Mostyn, added to the collection at the time. Other TV items acquired included James Miller’s visit to Berkeley Castle and Arundel in the Channel 5 Hidden Treasure Houses series. BBC Radio 4’s ten part serialisation of The Paston Letters vividly brought to life the written words of what Radio Times described as ‘the lives and loves of three women spanning three generations of a medieval family’, with Rosemary Leach as Agnes and Geraldine James playing the redoubtable Margaret. Interesting comparisons can be made with earlier dramatic reincarnations: Gemma Jones in BBC TV’s Churchill’s People: A Wilderness of Roses episode (1975) and more recently Harriet Walter who contributed excerpts to BBC TV’s Timewatch: Witness (1987). The family and its letters also featured in Simon Schama’s History of Britain (BBC TV 2000) and were discussed by Bethany Hughes in her Channel 4 TV series Seven Ages of Britain (2004), all available from the Library. Finally enthusiasts of sci-fi ‘time travel’ and Richard III are well catered for by the latest audio offering by the BBC’s four part Dr Who: The Kingmaker with Peter Davidson (see page 6 of last issue). Geoffrey Wheeler 67
Letter from the Continent RITA DIEFENHARDT-SCHMITT problem. By this time a Dutch Ricardian named Jim Verrijzer wrote me a letter, telling me that he was also willing to join us. He and another person, Sylvia Eisma were the only Dutch Ricardians that time, but willingly to join others trying to start a little group which finally ended in our first and constitutional meeting on Saturday 22 March 1986 in the ‘Caritas House’ in Glashütten-Schlossborn, a little village in the Taunusmountains in Hessia at which a few of the first Ricardians met with Isolde as special supporter and guest. Those who met that time apart from Isolde, Jim and me were: Hanne Hilke, working for a great publisher in Frankfort, Gabi Unverferth, a historian from Dortmund, Kirsten Radbruch, student of history in Freiburg/Black Forrest and Silvia Streich, a Ricardian from Hanover. The only other Dutch Ricardian Sylvia Eisma and the other German Ricardians could not come because of business and private reasons. Before we started talking about our future we had a little service in the nearby chapel conducted by a local vicar. The meeting ended with a dinner and on Sunday morning we went for a day-trip to see historical sites in Frankfort/Main. During the meeting Jim Verrijzer was elected as Chairman, Kirsten Radbruch as Librarian and myself as Secretary and Treasurer. It was decided that we call ourselves from now on: ‘The German-Dutch Group of the Richard III Society’. At the group’s 10th birthday in 1996 that name was changed into the ‘Continental Group’, as Ricardians of other European countries joined us. We met every year and the amount of new members slightly increased but we ever remained a small group with mostly no more than between 10-15 Ricardians, living far spread all over Germany and Holland, later in other countries of mostly Central Europe like
A little chronicle of the Continental Group of the Richard III Society
efore our existence, in the 70s and early 80s, Ricardian Peter Brüdgam, a senior assistant master from Westfalia tried to look for people with the same interest throughout Germany. He contacted them with newsletters and general correspondence. I was one of these persons. As far as I remember, we did not meet, but were in contact through correspondence and also Peter created some very good newsletters with interesting articles about Richard III. Later on he stopped his activities because of business reasons and gave me the addresses of the German Ricardians he found. Peter was surely the first person motivating me to become a Ricardian, but my decision to enter the Society came through the Richard biography written by the German historian Dr Andreas Kalkhoff in whose preface the Richard III Society is mentioned. I contacted Dr Kalkhoff for further details and he gave me the address of Isolde Wigram. I wrote to her and she kindly gave me all the things I had to know about the Society and of course more information about Richard. I quickly learned her deep passion and love for Richard III, combined with a great excitement for all she did as leading Society member. That ‘spark’ jumped very quick over to me and so only a short time passed by before I entered the Society in spring 1982, her everlasting support always behind me. Later in 1982, supported by Isolde and fellow Committee members of the Society I continued the contacts to German Ricardians Peter Brüdgam had already found here. To found a group that time was out of question with only a handful of people. But in the mid 80s a good portion of luck helped in solving this 68
Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, England, with a few activities like doing newsletters, history researches, running a little library, organising meetings and tours to places of historical interest. From 1988 onwards we
in Mechelen/Belgium and made weekend trips to Aachen and other places of historical interest. In 2006, the group’s 20th birthday, times had changed and many of the older and long-
Boerstel Abbey, Lower Saxonia 1989 From left to right: Angel and Paul Stevens, Dr Annemaria Liethen, Sylvia Streich, unnamed member, Jim Verrijzer, Martina Küster, Gaby Unverferth and mother
also met for the AGMs in different places: the Trappist Monastery of Tegeln/Limburg, Holland, the former Cistercian Nunnery of Börstel, near Osnabrück, in the Benedictine convent of Tholay/Saarland. Since 1996 we meet again only within the Taunusmountains where the group once started to exist. Highlights of the group’s activities were the trips they organised. Two times we went to see the ‘Landshut/Bavaria’ festival where the wedding between George the Rich, Duke of Bavaria-Landshut and Jadwiga of Poland in 1475 is re-enacted every four years. We also visited the Pageant of the Golden Tree Procession in Bruges/Belgium, joined the unveiling of the plaque for Margaret of York
standing members retired as active members, me included. Two members unfortunately died: Dieter Sack and Silvia Streich. Their great support will never be forgotten within the group. The group continues to exist, but as a non-official one as we all here not like to lose our contact and the love for Richard and his Society. It was and will be a pleasure for us all here, to continue, even is it is so much different from the past. For me personally it was a pleasure and honour to help running such a group and I am proud of all what we did honouring King Richard III in our way and being member of his Society. The Continental Group gets a bit out of sight, but will go on and on...! 69
Future Society Events Note from the Visits Committee We would like to record our thanks to Rosamund Cummings, in respect of her work for the Requiem Mass of 2006, and our apologies for this omission from the report of the event in the June Bulletin. Rosamund has not only been a member of the group which organises the Requiem Mass since it was set up, she also played a particularly key role in the organising of the 2006 Requiem, since she did all the negotiating with Father Gabb-Jones, incumbent of Minster Lovell. We would also like to thank Sue Broughton, who is leaving the Mass Team, for all her work in this area for many years. Could we please remind all members that when booking for a visit or event, it is good practice to enclose a stamped addressed envelope with the application. This is usually requested, on the coupon for the visit/event, and it does save the Visits Committee time, as well as saving the Society money. Visits Committee
Reminder It is not too late to book the Norfolk Branch Study Day – ‘The House of Lancaster’ which will be held on 11 November. Booking form in Summer Bulletin or ring Annmarie Hayek on 01603 664021.
Bookable Events Christmas at Fotheringhay - Saturday, 16 December, 2006 Time to make your booking for Christmas at Fotheringhay. Once again, we are holding this event on a Saturday. Most people seemed to feel that it worked well last year, but before organising for 2007, I will ask members to let me know which they prefer, though we should remember that Saturday is much more convenient for the choir and the church. Whichever day we visit, I am quite sure that we will all greatly enjoy this lovely festive occasion, meeting up with old friends and making new ones, too. A highlight of the Ricardian social calendar, for many, this is the start to the Christmas season. Lunch will be in the Village Hall, with a hot starter, while for the main course there will be jacket potatoes with a cold turkey buffet. A vegetarian option will be available for those who let me know (and I have asked that it be a little more exciting than last year’s, by the way). The choice of desserts will include Christmas pudding, while included in the price is a glass of wine or a soft drink, as desired. The Carol Service, in Fotheringhay Church, begins at 3.00 p.m. Similar in style to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, it is shared with members of the parish, some of whom take part. The music will be led by our friends, the wonderful St Peter's Singers. There will be a coach from London, leaving Charing Cross Embankment at 9.30 a.m., getting back between 7.00 and 7.30 p.m. Pickups in Bromley and Wanstead will be available for those who let me know beforehand. If you wish to join the party, either on the coach or using your own transport, please let me know as soon as possible whether you will require:a) lunch and a place on the coach - total 45 available b) lunch after making your own way to Fotheringhay - total 35 places c) just a place in the church (so that we can estimate the seating required) 70
The costs will be as follows:a) £27.25 to cover hire of coach, the driver's tip, lunch, choir, admin., etc. b) £15.50 for lunch, choir and admin., etc. Please complete the coupon and return it to me as soon as possible, and please note the change of address. Phil Stone, Fotheringhay Co-ordinator
Forthcoming Events Annual Requiem Mass and Anne Neville Commemoration, 2007 The Society's annual requiem mass will be held at 12.00 noon on Saturday 17 March 2007 at St Etheldreda's Church, Ely Place, Holborn. In the afternoon there will be an opportunity to attend evensong at the Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, (Westminster Abbey), followed by a short wreath-laying ceremony at the plaque marking Queen Anne Neville’s tomb. John Ashdown-Hill
his is the first of an occasional series on medieval recipes. We do not aim to provide recipes that can be used (there are several books in the Society Library which will do this) but to just give samples of the many and very varied recipes found in medieval cookery books. The first one is called Mawmenny (or variations of this name) and we have chosen it to be the first because it is a very good example of a typical medieval recipe, using a great variety of ingredients in ways we would not do and apparently trying to turn a bland original, e.g. chicken, into something exotic. Mawmenny is something that appears in very early manuscripts dating from Anglo-Norman times up to the sixteenth century, changing and getting more and more complicated as it went on. We have here a version from a manuscript of about 1440. The recipe begins by putting vernage, an Italian rich white wine, in a pot and adding a ‘good quantity’ of canell, or cinnamon, heating it and straining it to remove any rubbish. It was then put into another pot and ‘a great quantity’ of pine nuts, which had been washed clean with wine, were added. White sugar was then added, as much in quantity as the volume of liquid. To this sticky liquid was added another good quantity of preserved quinces and then some extract of saunders in wine, that is sandalwood used as a red colouring. Cloves, again in good quantity, were then added and the whole boiled. Almonds (presumably ground) in wine were then mixed in and the whole boiled again, then ale was added and the mixture reboiled. It could then be removed from the fire, some pheasant, partridge or capon brawn added and the mixture seasoned with ‘enough’ ginger powder and with a ‘little’ saffron and salt. If the cook then found that the dish was too strong (too thick perhaps) it should be mixed with wine vinegar. The mixture was then ‘dressed’ with a saucer or ladle, taking care to wet them first with wine or vinegar to stop the mixture sticking to them. It could then be served, provided ‘it have sugar right enough’. Peter Hammond
Branch and Group Contacts Changes made from the Spring Bulletin listing: Listings are now shown alphabetically by branch or group worldwide. Corrected e-mail addresses for Sally Henshaw of Midlands-East Branch (incorrectly shown in Summer Bulletin) and corrections and changes for the American, Greater Manchester, South Australian Victoria and Worcestershire Branches and the Continental Group Address corrections for Hull & District Branch and Dorset Group Airedale Group now have an e-mail address Change of secretary at Thames Valley Branch Removal of Scarborough and Wakefield Groups (see Summer Bulletin) and of the Bolton Group which is now defunct.
Laura Blanchard, 2041, Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19146, United States of America. firstname.lastname@example.org Canada Mrs Tracy Bryce, 5238 Woodhaven Drive, Burlington, Ontario, L7L 3T4, Canada. email@example.com Devon & Cornwall Mrs Anne E Painter, Yoredale, Trewithick Road, Breage, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 9PZ. Tel. 01326-562023. firstname.lastname@example.org Gloucester Angela Iliff, 18, Friezewood Road, Ashton, Bristol, BS3 2AB Tel: 0117-378-9237. email@example.com Greater Manchester Mrs Helen Ashburn, 36,Clumber Road, Debdale, Manchester, M18 7LZ. Tel: 0161-320-6157. firstname.lastname@example.org Hull & District Terence O’Brien, 2, Hutton Close, Hull, HU5 4LD. Tel: 01482445312 Lincolnshire Mrs J T Townsend, Lindum House, Dry Doddington Road, Stubton, Newark, Notts. NG23 5BX.Tel: 01636-626374. email@example.com London & Home Counties Miss E M Nokes, 4, Oakley Street, Chelsea, London SW3 5NN. Tel: 01689-823569. firstname.lastname@example.org Midlands-East Mrs Sally Henshaw, 28 Lyncroft Leys, Scraptoft, Leicester, LE7 9UW. Tel: 0116-2433785. email@example.com New South Wales Julia Redlich, 53, Cammeray Towers, 55 Carter Street, New South Wales, 2062, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org New Zealand Robert Smith, ‘Wattle Downs’, Udy Street, Greytown, New Zealand. email@example.com Norfolk Mrs Annmarie Hayek, 20, Rowington Road, Norwich, NR1 3RR. Tel: 01603-664021. firstname.lastname@example.org Queensland Jo Stewart, c/o PO Box 117, Paddington, Queensland, 4064, Australia. email@example.com Scotland Philippa Langley, 85 Barnton Park Avenue, Edinburgh, EH4 6HD. Tel: 0131 336 4669. firstname.lastname@example.org South Australia Mrs Sue Walladge, 5, Spencer Street, Cowandilla, South Australia, 5033, Australia. email@example.com Thames Valley Sally Empson, 42 Pewsey Vale, Forest Park, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 9YA. firstname.lastname@example.org 72
Victoria Western Australia Worcestershire Yorkshire
Hazel Hajdu, 4, Byron Street, Wattle Park, Victoria, 3128, Australia. email@example.com Carole Carson, 34 Arthur Street, Kewdale, WA 6105. carole_carson @bigpond.com Ms Val Sibley, Fieldgate House, 32, Grove Road, Dorridge, Solihull, B93 0PJ. Tel: 01564 777329. firstname.lastname@example.org Mrs Moira Habberjam, 10, Otley Old Road, Leeds LS16 6HD. Tel: 0113-2675069. email@example.com
Groups Airedale Bedfordshire/ Buckinghamshire Bristol Continental Croydon Cumbria Dorset Durham Mid Anglia Midlands-West North East Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire South Essex Sussex West Surrey
Mrs Christine Symonds, 2, Whitaker Avenue, Bradford, BD2 3HL. Tel: 01274-774680. firstname.lastname@example.org Mrs D Paterson, 84, Kings Hedges, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 2QE. Tel: 01462-649082. email@example.com Keith Stenner, 96, Allerton Crescent, Whitchurch, Bristol, Tel: 01275541512 (in affiliation with Gloucestershire Branch) keith.stenner@ airbus.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Frau R. Diefenhardt-Schmitt, Am Eichpfad 8, D-61479, Glashutten 3, Oberems, Germany. email@example.com Miss Denise Price, 190, Roundwood Rd, NW10. Tel. 0181-451-7689 (in affiliation with London & Home Counties Branch) John & Marjorie Smith, 26, Clifford Road, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 8PP Mrs Judy Ford, 10, Hengelo Place, Dorset Street, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7RG. Tel: 01258-450403. firstname.lastname@example.org Mrs E Watson, Oakcliffe House, 4, North Terrace, Aycliffe Village, County Durham, DL5 6LG. Tel: 01325310361. gonrk@teesdaleonline .co.uk. email@example.com John Ashdown-Hill, 8, Thurlston Close, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3HF. Tel/fax: 01206-523267. firstname.lastname@example.org Mrs Brenda Cox, 42, Whitemoor Drive, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 4UL. email@example.com Mrs J McLaren, 11, Sefton Avenue, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QR Tel: 0191-265-3665). firstname.lastname@example.org Mrs Anne Ayres, 7 Boots Yard, Huthwaite, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts, NG17 2QW. email@example.com Mrs Maureen Collins, 41, Linkway, Hornchurch Essex, RM11 3RN. Tel: 01708-447548. Miss Josie Williams, 6, Goldstone Court, Windsor Close, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6WS. firstname.lastname@example.org Rollo Crookshank, Old Willows, 41a, Badshot Park, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 9JU. email@example.com
Branches and Groups Durham Group A visit to St Brandon’s at Brancepeth Durham Group had not visited the church since before the time of the disastrous fire in 1998. I suggested the date for our visit to coincide with a flower and music festival at the castle, reasoning that if our visit to the church was brief we could take advantage of the rarity of the castle being open and find more to interest us, but – the best laid plans of mice and men, etc. … We arrived to find the flowers and music were in the church as well as the castle and to get in we each had to pay £4.00 (and that was the concession rate). Another pound each gave us souvenir programmes which were in effect lists of the flower arrangements. Further ‘ganging agley’ was caused by the musical performance being in full swing and though the ushers urged us to walk round, one felt very intrusive. We must have stayed in the church all of five minutes. For me, five minutes was more than enough. The words restoration, renewal, and resurrection had been in the back of my mind. Of course I knew the Westmorland effigies and the ancient helms would be gone and I did not seriously expect the box pews to be replaced, but I did not expect such a culture shock. The interior is, to quote one of our group, ‘pure 21st century’. I did not trust myself to sign the visitors’ book but said I would go outside and read some gravestones. The first stone I read had my name on it! With hindsight I feel that anyone entering St Brandon’s for the first time might be delighted by the feeling of space and light and the excellence of the workmanship but if you are looking for the familiar past or historic County Durham it is gone. Elsie Watson
Gloucestershire Branch The talk in June, ‘Did Edward IV’s family policy make the reign of Richard III inevitable?’ by Stephen David, proved a great success. It was a brilliant, comprehensive and perceptive appraisal of the strategic and legal implications of Edward’s policies and how they conditioned the scope of Richard’s own policy and direction. Steve had a very original view of the topic and the content stimulated much post-lecture debate and analysis. A new face to us, Steve had studied under the tutelage of Ralph Griffiths at Swansea University, where he acquired a real passion for the latemedieval period. We certainly hope to re-book Steve for further talks and would strongly recommend him to other Branches and Groups looking for a quality speaker. Please give me a call if you would like contact or further details. A big thank you is due to Mickie O’Neill for arranging and leading two summer field trips during June and July. The weather on both days remained perfect and certainly enhanced travelling in one of the most unspoiled and rurally peaceful corners of our now over-crowded country. The first visit, in June, concentrated on ‘Churches of North Herefordshire and South Shropshire’. Early arrivals to the muster visited the stunning 12th-century St Mary’s at Kempley to see the famous fresco mural paintings and the later tempera paintings of the 13th and 14th century. Moving on to St Bartholomew’s at Much Marcle we much enjoyed the Grandison tomb dedicated to Blanche Mortimer, the descendants of whom were to attain the throne of England in the person of Edward IV. We went on to St Peter and St Paul at Weobley, then next on the schedule was St Mary the Virgin at Kington. The highlight here was the alabaster tomb of Thomas Vaughan (killed at the Battle of Banbury) and his wife Ellen Gethin. Known as ‘Ellen the Terrible’ she retains notoriety for avenging her brother’s murder by attending an archery competition disguised as a man and shooting an arrow through the heart of the murderer. Following a leisurely lunch we travelled on to Wigmore and a visit to St James’s Church and the Mortimer castle which once dominated the valley. A cream tea was included (we like to maintain the Ricardian tradition of 74
healthy repasts while in the field!) before, in late afternoon, we reached St Michael and All Angels, Kingsland, to visit the Volka Chapel, a chantry foundation dedicated to those killed in the nearby Battle of Mortimer’s Cross. Survivors of our day eventually reached the remote and beautiful Arts and Crafts church at Brockhampton in the early evening where we were able to relax and enjoy the peace of a classic English churchyard at the end of truly memorable summer’s day. Two weeks later we reconvened at Ludlow for a guided tour of the medieval hilltop wool town. After lunch individuals were free to explore the many medieval delights of the town and visit the church of St Laurence, as featured in Simon Jenkins’ book on the thousand best churches in England. Despite the heat many from the group continued on to Stokesay in the afternoon. Stokesay Castle is probably the finest example of a fortified manor house in England. Built by Lawrence of Ludlow, a wealthy wool merchant, the building has changed little since the late thirteenth century. The adjacent 12th-centurychurch of Saint John the Baptist was also a real gem and the two buildings, presented in such a glorious setting, completed another excellent day out in superb countryside. These were two really rewarding days in which we were only able to visit a limited number of sites. There are so many medieval locations to see and enjoy. I am sure we will return before too long to this exquisite area. Forthcoming Branch Events: Saturday 2 September Branch AGM Saturday 14 October Branch Annual Lecture. We are especially proud this year to welcome the Society Chairman, Dr Phil Stone, to give our Annual Branch Lec ture: ‘Of Golden Trees and White Roses: Bruges and the Re-enactment of the Wedding Pageant of Margaret of York’. All Society members and their friends are very welcome to join us for this very special event. Saturday 4 November Medieval Imagery in Churches 1000–1600. Illustrated talk by Brian Waters. Saturday 2 December Medieval Christmas Gathering. Festive period food and drink with the Coynes, at The Old Stables, Beckford. Please note this meeting will begin at 12:00. Keith Stenner
Hull and District Branch Fiftieth anniversary celebration dinner Friday 9 June 2006. Across the road from historic Beverley Minster lies narrow Friars Lane. At its end and behind ancient high walls stands a Dominican friary rebuilt in 1449, just before Richard’s birth. What remains today, as a youth hostel, is attributable to the local population’s successful efforts to preserve it. If one could have entered via the fifteenth-century archway into the rough grassed area in front of the friary at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 9 June, one might have gone back in time six hundred years. Drinking monk-made lemonade in the early evening sunlight stood court ladies in all their finery and wearing truncated hats, with one of the local squires in attendance and a frowning grey friar for good order. There was no doubting the authenticity of what one was seeing. Inside the hall, where we sat on wooden benches, the ornate menu (designed and drawn by our squire Gordon Gledhill, a copy of which has been lodged in the Society’s records) not only titillated the taste buds, but the reverse reminded everyone of their good table manners. A warning not to eat the trencher in front of everyone ensured one had a plate from which to eat. Each of the five courses was delicious, and far beyond our expectation of how well some people in Richard’s day lived. Halfway through the evening the ‘hog’s head’ was paraded to its pride of place. The evening ended with mead and subtleties and expressions of appreciation to the YHA staff who prepared and served a meal fit for a king Peter Wilsher 75
Thames Valley Branch Garden Party to Celebrate the Refounding of the Society On Saturday 22 July the Thames Valley Branch held a garden party at the home of their chairman in Langley, Berkshire. At their AGM in January the branch discussed how they could celebrate the refounding of the Society and it was agreed that they would invite for a celebratory tea all members of the Society who lived in their catchment area and who hitherto may not have been involved in a Society event. Obviously as it was high summer many local members were on vacation or had other commitments but the branch were delighted with the turnout and the opportunity to meet fellow Ricardians. Chairman Phil Stone and his wife Beth, together with Richard Van Allen, joined the party. After a rather damp start, the heavens opened an hour or so before the kick-off after a week of non-stop blue skies and sunshine, but Morton was dismissed in time for tea. Glasses were raised for the loyal toast, to the memory of King Richard and to the Society. Sally Empson
From left to right: Sue Peirce, Kate and Robert Brown, Judith Ridley, Jim Reddux, Anne-Marie Cooper, Pauline Stevenson, Richard Van Allen, Beth Stone, Lynn Nolder, Jean Rossiter, Jane Trump, Laurette Sanders, Phil Stone, Gillie Francis, Marjory Barnes, Barry and Elizabeth Marsden, Ann and Derek Barber
West Surrey Group In January we held our AGM and our Treasurer reported that our funds are healthy, always good to know. A number of suggestions were made for the 2006 programme with visits to various places of interest, of which we always seem to have more possible venues than we can actually fit in. However, there is always next year if we are unable to see all the places we would like to see this year. It is so very pleasant to get out and about when the days are longer and warmer. Indoor meetings are best left for the winter months. 76
We hope to produce fliers promoting our group website (and Richard, of course) which we can distribute in local libraries and notice boards etc. Our first visit of the year in February was to the Surrey History Centre in Woking, where we were given an extensive tour of the building which houses books and documents relating to just about everything of note that has happened in Surrey from pre-history to the present day. We were shown how valuable and ancient documents are handled, restored and preserved. The building itself is very interesting, with an impressive entrance foyer which has stunning engraved glass doors portraying Surrey events. There is also a beautiful painted frieze showing scenes and people who have lived in and contributed to Surrey’s past. The centre has an enormous research department, equipped with computers where students (in fact, anyone) can go to seek information on subjects like tracing ancestors or any other topic, with plenty of helpful expert staff to assist and advise. In March we met at Jim and Jean’s house for an illustrated talk by Steve Goodchild of the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society on the battle of Tewkesbury. Steve contends that Louis XI was to blame for the battle by bringing Warwick and Margaret of Anjou together, having his own axe to grind – vengeance for England’s wars in France. He showed maps of the battlefield which highlight many changes in the area over the centuries since 1471, with huge development during the last century. There is much concern that the remaining land should not be built on. On Saturday April 1 we attended the Richard III Foundation’s Yorkist Era Conference at Farnham. John Ashdown-Hill spoke on ‘What we can learn from local repositories’ and discussed how much material is there to be found. He also told us about his work on seals at Colchester Castle. John was followed by Dr Sean Cunningham speaking on The National Archives and how to go about researching late medieval history. He showed images of manuscripts, legal and government records and explained how teachers, academics, students (and us) can go about researching one of the largest collections of archives in the world. Our group hopes to visit The National Archives at Kew to do just this later in the year. The next speaker was Dr Michael Miller, who explained the enigmatic roots of the ‘Wars of the Roses’. Dr Ann Wroe discussed Perkin Warbeck and his career and the particular difficulties and frustrations she encountered in trying to uncover his story. Finally, Professor Michael Hicks spoke about ‘Queen Anne Neville and her marriage to Richard III’, about which so little is really known. On May 2 we joined the local (West Surrey) branch of the Historical Association for a guided tour of Sandhurst Military Academy, just a few days after Prince Harry’s passing-out ceremony in the presence of the Queen. We had the perfect guide – a retired Major-Instructor – who was able to tell us how tough the training is for potential young officers. There were many wonderful paintings, trophies and treasures to be seen and finally we were given a rivetting presentation on the Anzio landings in 1944 by Sandhurst’s senior lecturer. He did not look old enough for such a responsible position but he was brilliant. Also in May a small group went on a day visit to Gloucestershire where the first stop was St Mary’s church, Fairford, famous for its unique set of twenty-eight medieval stained glass windows. It also has some wonderful misericords and a pamphlet on sale which claims there are hidden portraits of Henry VII and his family in the windows but we did not look too hard for them. Next we went to Fyfield and the church of St Nicholas to see the tomb of Lady Katherine Gordon, widow of Perkin Warbeck. She was given Fyfield Manor by Henry VIII in 1510 and died there in 1537. After a most convivial lunch at the excellent White Hart, Fyfield, we went to Ewelme to see the church, almshouses and school all founded by Alice Chaucer (granddaughter of Geoffrey) Duchess of Suffolk. The almshouses are beautiful and peaceful and a glimpse through an open window revealed a cosy, comfortable lounge – I would move in tomorrow! The school founded in 1437 is the oldest church school in the state system still in its original building. We were given a guided tour of the school by four young boys who are pupils there and they were very knowledgeable about the history and features of the church, even pointing out the grave of Jerome K Jerome. The climax of the visit obviously was the magnificent tomb of Alice 77
Chaucer herself – a memento mori with its beautiful effigy of her dressed in the habit of a vowess, ducal coronet on the head and underneath, her emaciated body in a shroud. June 3 and 4 saw a medieval fair complete with re-enactment of the battle of Barnet at Loseley House, an Elizabethan mansion near Guildford, Surrey. Members of our group attended on both days with a small display about Richard III and the society. Many people showed interest – let us hope they all come and join us. On Saturday June 10 eight of our group went, on a glorious weekend, to Leicester for the East Midlands Branch Study Day on the subject of ‘Women of Power and Influence during the Wars of the Roses’. The day was really well organised and very well attended, with lectures by David Baldwin (Elizabeth Woodville and the Battle of Stoke), and Jean Townsend on the role of Queens and consorts from 1066-1500. Angela Smith examined the life and character of Margaret Beaufort and John Ashdown-Hill fascinated us all when he explained his research into the DNA of Margaret of York and how he has discovered a present day relative of the Plantagenets living in Canada. During the lunch break our little party dashed to the Castle grounds to see Richard’s statue. It was a pleasure to meet so many fellow Ricardians and I was amazed to find myself sitting next to a lady who works for the DSS and actually parks her car in that car park, but unfortunately is not able to pull the necessary strings to have it excavated. On the following day we moved on to Warwick, where we had arranged to have a guided tour of the exquisite Beauchamp Chapel. We were most fortunate in having an extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide and we spent a long time studying the truly magnificent tombs of not only Richard Beauchamp (with the Kingmaker among the ‘weepers’ around it) but of the Dudleys, especially that of Robert, Earl of Leicester and his second wife, Lettice. Lastly we moved on to Coughton Court, home since 1409 of the Throckmorton family, of Gunpowder Plot fame. Among the marvels to be seen there is a large chair, reputed to have been made of wood from the bed in which Richard slept in Leicester before he left for the battle of Bosworth. This was a suitable finale to a delightful weekend. Renée Barlow and Pat Hibbs
Worcestershire Branch Our AGM in April was very well attended, particularly as it marked Ralph Richardson’s retirement as our Chairman. He has served in the post for twelve years and we agree that he deserves a rest, however, even Judith Sealey who has bravely taken up the position agrees that he will be a hard act to follow. Ralph has enhanced our Branch activities with his infinite knowledge, excellent leadership and sometimes wicked wit. We all wish Judith the very best in her new role. There were a number of other changes in the committee with Jane Tinklin and Mary Friend leaving due to other commitments and Joan Ryder rejoining the committee as Programme Planner. At the end of the meeting a presentation was made to Ralph, a Spode plate commemorating the Founding of Tewkesbury Abbey and the 500th Anniversary of the Battle of Tewkesbury. Needless to say, he was delighted! On May 13 fifteen of us spent an interesting afternoon at Goodrich Castle near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire. It is a substantial ruin standing high above the Wye valley, with a keep dating back to 1160. Owned by the Earls of Pembroke until 1324, it was inherited through marriage by the Talbot family, earls of Shrewsbury from 1442. Lady Eleanor Talbot, daughter of John Talbot, first earl of Shrewsbury, was betrothed to Edward IV. The castle is now administered by English Heritage and has an excellent audio guide available. The month of June was very special for our Branch with the celebration of our twentieth anniversary. On 10 June we held a wonderful banquet to mark the occasion, attended by fifty people, members both past and present with their families and friends. We transformed the large modern village hall at Inkberrow into a medieval banqueting hall with shields, banners and brass rubbings, and set out tables fit for a king, with pristine white tablecloths draped with murray and blue runners with white roses, and it all looked really enchanting in the candlelight. Many of the 78
visitors and organisers wore costumes, despite the extreme heat, adding to the overall effect of stepping back in time. Musicians played soft music as the guests received a glass of wine and were shown to their seats for the feast to begin. Our new Chairman, Judith, gave an excellent welcoming speech and invited Ralph to say grace, which he duly did in Latin of course. Not being satisfied with presenting Ralph with a gift at the AGM we also presented him with another one at the banquet, much to his great surprise and delight. He has gazed longingly at one of Graham Turner’s paintings every year that we have attended the Tewkesbury Festival so we could not resist buying him the print of it and having it framed. The small group of organisers breathed a sigh of relief as the evening progressed: all the hours of preparation and hard work had been well worthwhile and it was a resounding success. There was only one drawback: the mountain of washing up in the kitchen and taking down all the lovely decorations when all the guests had gone home. Over the weekend 8-9 July we attended the Tewkesbury Festival to promote the Society and our own Branch activities. Our stall looked very impressive with display boards depicting places of interest and information about the Branch prepared by Pam Benstead. We made good use of some of the display materials made for the banquet to enhance the sales table, which was a little sparse this year due to the current difficulties in obtaining goods to sell. There were thousands of people at the event and we chatted to numerous interested visitors throughout the two days. Each August we have an evening outing, usually visiting two local village churches that Ralph manages to locate for us. This year we visited churches around Norton. The meeting of September 9 was to have been a visit to Madresfield near Malvern but this had to be cancelled. We are now visiting Stokesay Castle and church near Craven Arms in Shropshire, and our new Programme Planner Joan Ryder will lead this visit. On October 14 our outing will be to Gloucester Cathedral, led once again by Ralph Richardson. The November 11 meeting will be a talk by one of our newest members, Richard Thompson, entitled ‘Richard III and his Inheritance’. This will take place at Belbroughton Village Hall near Kidderminster at 2.00 p.m. Visitors will be welcome to join us. On December 9 we shall complete our year with a bring and share seasonal celebration at Upton Snodsbury village hall, again starting at 2.00 p.m. All of the above events will be reported in our excellent Branch publication Dickon Independent, edited by Pam Benstead. We are always pleased to welcome friends and prospective members at any of our meetings. Details can be found on our branch web site www.richardiiiworcs.co.uk or please contact our Secretary, Val Sibley, for further information on 01564 777329. Pat Parminter
Yorkshire Branch This summer members of the Branch have met up with visiting American Ricardians at Middleham and also Conisbrough castle, as well as becoming involved with the Barley Hall Medieval Pilgrimage in July by sponsoring Branch member Lynda Pidgeon. We aim to report in the next Bulletin in more detail about our presence at Middleham on different occasions this year, including our Bosworth commemoration. Our Branch AGM is scheduled for 2 September, as advised in the last Bulletin but one destination of our Branch Trip on 16 September has had to be altered, since opening times at Raby castle were not convenient for us. We now hope to visit Barnard Castle and the Bowes Museum. The Branch will take part in Members’ Day at York on 30 September, when we shall be running short workshops on palaeography (Moira Habberjam) and medieval costume (Lynda Telford and lovely assistants) We shall have our usual sales table for Branch merchandise and our Rosalba Press publications. At the time of writing we have not yet decided on a venue for our autumn Boar Dinner (although unfortunately this does not mean that members of the Committee are undertaking a 79
sampling tour of Yorkshire restaurants). It is hoped that some definite information can be given to members in the August Newsletter; alternatively, please ring our Chairman, John Audsley, on 0113 294-2656 if you are interested in attending. Subscriptions are now due for Volume 41 of our magazine Blanc Sanglier, born c. 1961 and (like Johnnie Walker) ‘still going strong’. Rates remain the same as last year - £7.00, £8.50 or £10.00, including postage, for three issues and Newsletters. Angela Moreton o0o
Coats of Arms of some Ricardian Contemporaries by Lawrence T Greensmith (first published in The Ricardian September 1973) Sir William Catesby (d. 1485): ‘The Cat’
The Cat, the Rat & Lovell the Dog Rule all England under the Hog. Part 1
Three letters of his name give one clue and his badge another. The shield was silver, two lions passant black each with a golden crown; the clue is not here. The crest was a silver leopard passant pellety (which means with black spots): is this the clue? Not quite, but it helps. Not part of the arms, but often closely associated with the, is the badge: and Catesby’s badge was a white cat with black spots and a golden collar. The cat in heraldry is usually drawn sejant (which means sitting) and with his face turned to the front but it may be otherwise. And what is the difference between badge and crest? Not really very much, except the position and the cat’s tail which is fluffy and not tufted. It is more relevant, and a change, to draw the badge. Catesby was the son of another Sir William, of Ashby St Leger, Northants. He was learned and well versed in law. Thanks to the patronage of Lord Hastings, he had much authority in both Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. He became Chancellor of the Exchequer and then Speaker of Parliament. With Ratcliffe, he was opposed to the much rumoured prospect of King Richard’s marrying his niece Elizabeth. At Bosworth, he was (so it is said) taken prisoner and hanged with some others, but is also said that he escaped only be captured again and beheaded at Leicester.
This couplet, so well known to Ricardians, is oddly absent from the usual quotation collections but it does appear in The Brewer’s Dictionary with the Rat given first. The name of its author, Colynebourne (however, spelt: Brewer calls him Collingham), is also not in the DNB. There is, however, no doubt about it, or him, or the identities of the four men thus lampooned.
New Members UK 1 April – 30 June 2006 Catherine Bateson, Bristol Elizabeth Blackman, London Antony & Mrs Farnath, Wolverhampton James Fleming, Winchcome, Gloucestershire Doreen Gould, Eastbourne, East Sussex Sadie Jarrett, Port Talbot Beth Lambah-Stoate, Bath Maureen McKay, Formby, Merseyside
Geraldine McVeigh, King’s Langley, Herts Matthew North, York Janet Robinson, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk Raymond Rose, Maidstone, Kent Linda Ross, Horsley, Surrey Samara Sakayam, Dunstable, Bedfordshire Paul Watkins, Mistley, Essex Christopher Whincup, Northallerton, Yorkshire
Overseas 1 April 2006 – 30 June 2006 L Bates, Hamburg, Germany Edward Blanton, Md.,USA Carole Carson, Western Australia Martha Driver, New York, USA
Peta Horneman-Wren, Queensland, Australia Liam Kelly, Glasnevin, Ireland Elizabeth Lee, Ontario, Canada
US Branch 1 April 2006 – 30 June 2006 Karen Rhodes Clarke, Maine E Tomlinson Fort, Pennsylvania Jeanette Grimshaw, Michigan Erin Hastings, Texas Alice Hendershot, Virginia Robert P Lombardi, Massachusetts Sasha Miller, Texes Michael Myers, Illinois
Diane Preston, Connecticut Teri Reis-Schmidt, Illinois Alison Walsh Sackett, California CSW Schorr, New Jersey Sarah Sickels, New Jersey Sonia Tower, New York Susan Vaughn, Georgia Sarah Walsh, Wisconsin
Recently Deceased Members Mr Frank Gibbs, Norwich. Joined 1985 Mr J Kershaw, Preston, Lancashire. Joined 1985 Mr Philip Masters, Mullaloo, Western Australia. Joined 1989 81
Obituaries Don Fleming If ever anyone was the life and soul of the party it was Don Fleming. Over many decades of active membership his personality, wit and sheer joie de vivre enlivened many a Society event. And now he is gone, having passed away in Sutton’s Royal Marsden Hospital on 25 June this year. He had been suffering from asbestosis for a number of years. Regulars on Society trips (especially during the time of the late Joyce Melhuish) will all have fond and vivid memories of Don: his jokes, his stories, his mimicry and a never ending range of different t-shirt motifs. In fact on many of these trips there were two Dons – Don Fleming and Don Jennings, often room mates together, and those who had the adjacent rooms will long rememDon in 1975 ber the early morning serenades as the two Dons went through their vocal exercises. Don J will in particular miss his good friend Don F and would want me to place on record his appreciation of their friendship and sadness at its ending. Don was proud of his home town Sutton and I always thought of him as ‘a man about Sutton Town’. Accounts of his banter with the checkout girls of Marks and Spencer, strange encounters with Chinese ladies on the bus, the goings-on at his local library, the latest antics of his cats, neighbours and sundry other local Sutton folk: the stories were never ending and always entertaining. But there was a serious side to him as well. He knew his history and was widely read in many subjects ranging for Richard III to UFOs. He had many interests in life and approached them all with enthusiasm. Sometimes he held strong opinions, and let you know it, but there was always that cheeky grin at the end of any reproach. He was a first-class conversationalist and no meal in his company was ever dull. Indeed any time in his company was sure to leave you with a smile on your face. He was a regular visitor to the theatre and concert halls, and it eventually ceased to be a coincidence if you happened to bump in to him at a performance. He went to so many. Don served on the Executive Committee from 1973 until he retired in 1980, during which time he undertook the role of Publications Officer and was a member of the sub-committee which revised the constitution during the late 1970s. He was also for many years Chairman of the London Branch, and there will be a full appreciation of his time as chairman in the branch’s next newsletter. He was married to Irene, who predeceased him by a number of years, and she was a perfect foil to his mischievous nature. Towards the end of her life she suffered from severe arthritis which eventually confined her to a wheelchair. Undaunted, she continued for as long as possible to accompany Don on Joyce’s trips to the continent. I can still picture her in that chair, being faithfully attended by Don, who for once was doing as he was told. Her death was a great loss to him. Don’s own health problems in more recent years, and a growing involvement with the Merton History Society, meant that we didn’t see so much of him. However to the end he kept faithfully in touch with his many Ricardian friends. Wherever he is now we can be sure that he will be cracking those jokes, telling his stories and undoubtedly taking the mickey out of St Peter - once through the pearly gates of course! We will all miss you, Don; but thanks for the memories of all the good times we shared with you. John Saunders 82
Sheila Hirst Sheila joined the Hull and District Branch of the Society a short while after it was founded in 1975. She had been ill for many years but attended meetings whenever possible. Sheila was a quiet, gentle person, greatly loved by everyone who knew her. Our sympathy goes to her husband Paul and their family. Judith S Preston Anderson, Chairman
George May George died on 25 July, the Patronal Festival of St James – the church he loved, and for which he put so much effort into raising money for restoration. He was always proud to be asked to read a lesson at the Richard III Memorial Service, as he did on several occasions. His commitment to the restoration of St James’s church gave, and will continue to give encouragement to finish the inner restoration of our lovely old church. We all feel that he has left a splendid legacy in our small village for which we will always be grateful. The funeral was held on 1 August, followed by interment in the churchyard Mary Burgess, Churchwarden, Sutton Cheney
Pat Ruffle - a personal memory It is with very great regret that we record the death in July of Pat Ruffle. With her late husband Peter, Pat was a good friend to the Society, which the Executive Committee acknowledged when she was given the Robert Hamblin Award in 2004. Although for many years Pat looked after the back issues of The Ricardian and the Bulletin, sending them out as new members joined and wished to add to their collection of publications, it was for her part in the Fotheringhay Kneeler Project that I knew her best, for it was she who made up all the kneelers. Members would stitch the canvasses with my designs, but it was Pat who stretched and pulled them into shape around the blocks of foam, making them up into the wonderful collection of hassocks that we see in Fotheringhay church today. A quiet and gracious lady, Pat was rarely seen without a smile, even during the later years of Peter’s illness, when life must have been very distressing at times. She never seemed to complain and was greatly sustained by her Christian faith, something that never seemed to waver even in the darkest days. I know it upset her greatly when she had to admit that she could no longer nurse Peter at home and that he would have to go into a nursing home. Whenever I look at the kneelers in Fotheringhay, I think of Pat with affection, and I will always remember some advice she gave me in 2004. Peter was very ill and I had not long been married to Beth. In a letter which still wrings my heart, she told me ‘to seize life to the full and to make the most of every moment we’re together, because we will never know how long we might have’. Bless you, Pat, and thank you – for everything. Phil Stone
Calendar We run a calendar of all forthcoming events: if you are aware of any events of Ricardian interest, whether organised by the Society - Committee, Visits Committee, Research Committee, Branches/Groups - or by others, please let the Editor have full details, in sufficient time for entry. The calendar will also be run on the website. Date
2006 9 September
Day Visit, Romney Marsh and Smallhythe
29 September 1 October
AGM and Members’ Weekend. York
See Winter 2005 issue
‘Chivalry, the Order of the Garter and St George’s Chapel’, Vicars’ Hall, Windsor. Event now fully booked.
See Winter 2005
Lincolnshire Branch Medieval Banquet at the Angel and Royal, Grantham
See page 9
Norfolk Branch Study Day: The House of Lancaster
See page 70
Scottish Branch Christmas Lecture at Edinburgh Castle. ‘The 1482 Invasion’
Fotheringhay Nine Lessons and Carols, and Lunch
Fotheringhay Co-ordinator See page 71
Requiem Mass at St Etheldreda’s Chuch, Ely Place and wreath-laying in Westminster Abbey
See page 35
13 - 15 April
Australasian Convention, New Zealand
See page 35
13 –15 April
Study Weekend in York
Visit to Grafton Regis and Stony Stratford
2007 17 March
14 - 20 May Visit to Provence or 12 – 17 September
6 – 9 September
Norfolk Weekend Visit