Contents 2 3 9 12 14 15 16 19 22 25 27 30 32 34 38 40 41 43 49 53 55 62 63 64
From the Chairman Society News and Notices Media Retrospective Richard III’s Burial: The Saga Continues by Richard van Allen The Summer Floods by Wendy Moorhen Is Richard the inspiration for ‘You Know Who’? by Richard van Allen News and Reviews Living History: Order of the Boar by Callum Forbes The Man Himself by Lesley Boatwright, Moira Habberjam and Peter Hammond Northleach Parish Church by Gwen and Brian Waters A Fifteenth-Century Football Hooligan by Lesley Boatwright Further Adventures in Historical Research by Toni Mount Sweden, Denmark and Norway - The Kalmar Union 1397-1521 by Lynda Pidgeon Correspondence The Barton Library Book Review Letter from Canada Report on Society Events Future Society Events Branch and Group Contacts Branches and Groups New 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 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 inside back cover of the Bulletin The Ricardian Bulletin is produced by the Bulletin Editorial Committee, Printed by St Edmundsbury Press. © Richard III Society, 2007
From the Chairman
t would seem that no part of the world has managed to miss out on the publicity surrounding the final Harry Potter book and fifth film that both appeared during July. In this issue, we have an article that makes a link between the series and Richard III. Read Richard van Allen’s piece entitled ‘Richard III and “You-Know-Who”’ to find out more. If there has to be a link, I would rather have hoped that J.K. Rowling had modelled Voldemort on a certain Cardinal Morton! This is another issue with a wide selection of articles and reviews, showing the quality of our home grown writers and the range and depth of our activities. I particularly like ‘The Man Himself’, in which Richard’s very poignant concern for the fallen of Towton, tells us so much about the real man and his recognition of loyalty and concern for others – something that the Tudor myth-makers were not able to erase from history, thank heaven. Our Annual Report can be found in the centre of this issue – it provides a concise account of our activities over the year 2006/2007, and also looks forward to some of the initiatives planned for the future. Having got our house well and truly in order, we can now plan for the longer term with more confidence. I hope members will recognise that we are now reaping the benefits of the reforms and changes made over recent years. However, the subscription increases made in 2001 and 2004 provided us with the income to maintain our existing services and activities, but they didn’t provide a working capital for investment in the future. In consequence, it’s inevitable that we will be seeking to increase subscription rates at this year’s Annual General Meeting. By tradition, the weather dominates conversations in the British Isles and this has certainly been the case recently. Serious flooding has hit many parts of the country and the picture of Tewkesbury Abbey sitting like an island will be difficult to forget. We have a report on how the floods have affected Ricardian sites and impacted on summer events associated with them, and we all send our sympathy to members who have suffered as a result of the floods. With this Bulletin, you will find Ricardian bookmarks designed by Geoffrey Wheeler. The idea is that you can leave them in library books, borrowed books or indeed anywhere else, in the hope that whoever picks them up next might be enticed to find out more about King Richard, and, maybe, even join the Society. Alternatively, you may want to keep them for your own use. Thanks to Geoff as always for his excellent work on this project. Looking ahead to next year, we are due for our triennial conference, the 10th, and, with its Princes in the Tower theme, the 2008 one looks set to be very popular. This is a subject that never ceases to both fascinate and frustrate, no matter how often we talk about it. The conference aims for a comprehensive approach to the subject in the hope of shedding new light on the controversy. Book early to avoid disappointment. With some substantial business to cover concerning subscription rates and voting procedures, this year’s AGM is an especially important one. Please read the motions carefully and, if you are able to make the meeting, we look forward to hearing your views. We are back in London this year returning to the Staple Inn Hall, and if anyone is wondering why we are not at the Scientific Society’s Lecture Theatre, I am afraid it has fallen to the bulldozer, along with the rest of Fortress House. As far as we know, Staple Inn Hall stands firm and I look forward to meeting members there on 29 September. Phil Stone 2
Society News and Notices Richard III Society Membersâ€™ Day and Annual General Meeting Saturday 29 September 2007 As the heading states, Saturday 29 September is both the AGM and a day for members to get involved and will follow a similar pattern to recent London AGMs. Further to the official notification in the summer Bulletin, the start time for the Membersâ€™ Day has been changed from 12:00 to 11:30 and this time we will start proceedings with the lecture. We also have several motions to vote on: In accordance with the motion passed at the AGM in 2006 that the EC bring forward proposals to allow members not able to attend the AGM to vote on matters raised there, it is hereby proposed that: Motion 1 This AGM agrees that the Constitution of the Society be changed to allow postal voting for substantive motions and for membership of the Executive. Motion 2 This AGM agrees to the following changes to the Constitution to allow postal voting. Article 10 (h) to become 10(i) and current 10(f), (g) (i), (j) and (k) be deleted and replaced by (f) Substantive motions for discussion at the AGM must be received by the Secretary on or before 15 April and shall be published in the Summer issue of the Bulletin, (see 12(d) below) together with a ballot paper to allow for postal voting. The motion must be proposed and seconded in writing. If desired a note in support by both proposer and seconder may accompany the motion. (g) Substantive motions published as above shall be discussed and voted on by a show of hands at the AGM. Postal votes on these motions must be received by 15 September to be valid. They shall be counted by a teller or tellers appointed by the EC, the results announced at the AGM and added to the votes at the AGM. (h) Emergency motions may be proposed after 15 April by the EC for debate at the AGM. If so decided by that meeting the motion may be published in the Winter issue of the Bulletin for voting by post. (j) Nominations for membership of the EC, duly proposed and seconded in writing, must reach the Secretary on or before 15 April for them to be published in the Summer Bulletin together with a ballot paper. They shall be valid only if the person nominated has consented to the nomination in writing, the consent also to be received by 15 April. (k) Nominations for membership of the EC shall be voted on at the AGM. Postal votes for membership of the EC must be received by the Secretary by 15 September to be valid. They shall be counted by a teller or tellers appointed by the EC and the results announced and added to the votes at the AGM. (l) If 15 or fewer valid nominations have been received those so nominated shall be declared elected at the AGM. If fewer than 12 have been nominated the AGM shall be required to make additional nominations to bring the number up to 12. If the number of valid nominations so received exceeds the number of vacant places a ballot shall be held at the AGM between these nominees for the number of places vacant. This ballot shall be conducted by the outgoing Committee in the customary manner. Article 12 to be altered to read 3
(d) The majority required to pass any substantive motion shall be two thirds of those voting. Article 16 to be changed to read A rule or rules of the Society may be proposed for change, or a new rule may be proposed for adoption, on the proposal of at least eight members of the Executive Committee or of eighty other members by voting at a GM and by postal voting as for other substantive motions according to articles 10(f) and 12(d). Motion 3 That all references to the Committee in the Constitution shall read ‘Executive Committee (EC)’ Motion 4 That allowance be made to allow the Society accounts be audited by a qualified independent examiner instead of by a chartered accountant. To allow for this, the following changes to the Constitution be made:Article 7 to be altered to read 7(f) [second sentence] The Treasurer shall put draft accounts to the Executive Committee for approval, before arranging for the accounts to examined by a qualified independent examiner or examiners appointed under Article 10(b)(iv); and duly inspected copies shall be circulated to members of the Society before the AGM. Article 10 to be altered to read (b)(iii) Receive, and adopt if thought fit, the independently examined accounts of the Society for the financial year ended 31 March; (b)(iv) Appoint a qualified independent examiner or examiners. The EC also propose the following motion: That the Society refrain from submitting to a British newspaper the annual In Memoriam notice to commemorate the fallen at the Battle of Bosworth but replace it with a more substantial In Memoriam notice on the Society website. 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 29 September). Therefore, officers’ reports will need only to bring matters up to date and the focus of the meeting will be on the future and on members’ issues. In addition, as with other years, there will be an open forum/question time to answer your questions and respond to your issues. These can be raised verbally or can be written down. There will be a supply of Post-it notes and a board to put them on. Queries can be anonymous but, if they cannot be answered on the day, you may be asked to supply your name and address so that the appropriate person can respond to you individually. As always, the focus is on you, the Society members. Please come along and let us have your views. o0o Venue: Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ Public Transport: Nearest main line station is Kings Cross, St Pancras but Staple Inn is within easy walking distance (10 minutes) of Farringdon and Thameslink Holborn stations. Nearest underground is Chancery Lane (Central Line) Bus routes include: 8, 17, 242, 25, 45, 341, 243, 501 and 521 Parking: It is not recommended that you travel by car as parking facilities in Holborn are very limited. However, the nearest NCP is on Saffron Street, just off Farringdon Road (approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Staple Inn). Please note that weekend parking restrictions are now enforced until 19:00 hours. 4
Programme 10:30 11:30-12:30 12:45-14:15 14:30-15:45 15:45-16:15 16:15-16:45 17:00
Members arrive, time to visit stalls, etc Lecture - Richard Knox - Update on the archaeology project at Bosworth Lunch at the Cittie of Yorke public house, over the road from Staple Inn Annual General Meeting and Open Forum/Question Time Afternoon Tea Auction & Raffle Conclusion of Members’ Day & Dispersal
Other Attractions: The venue will be open from 10:30 am for: The Major Craft Sale The twentyeighth Major Craft Sale will be held around the AGM and Members’ Day. The sale will start at 10:30 and will run until 12:00 and then will continue in the lunch and tea intervals. We shall have on sale Ricardian embroidery, cakes and sweets (for home consumption only), paperweights, RCRF Christmas cards, Elaine Robinson’s hand-made cards, knitted items and baby clothes, soft toys, collage and Ricardian and other Staple Inn bric-à-brac. We would warmly welcome offers of items for sale at the Craft 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-à-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 in advance, please contact Elizabeth Nokes to check that the items are suitable. Elizabeth’s contact details are: 4 Oakley Street, Chelsea, London SW3 5NN, Tel. 01689 823569 (voicemail). Please note that the proceeds of the Craft Sale will go to the Ricardian Churches Restoration Fund, as also will be the proceeds of the raffle. Ricardian Sales Stall with a range of Society and Trust publications and Society artefacts. Research Officer and Webmaster Wendy Moorhen and Neil Trump will have a stall. They will be delighted to talk to members about Ricardian research activities, and the Society’s website . Branches and Groups Table The branches and groups will showcase their publications and activities. Visits Committee Table This will be hosted by members of the Visits Committee and will display information on past visits and details of future visits: suggestions for the latter will be very welcome. Membership Manager and Treasurer’s Table Brian Moorhen and Paul Foss will be able to receive payment of subscriptions on the day and will have a table for this purpose from 10:30 to 12:00 and from 15:45 to 16:15. 5
Bennett & Kerr will be providing a stall, as usual bringing with them a tempting array of second-hand books of Ricardian and other historical interest. Refreshments Lunch will be provided by the Cittie of Yorke public house, 22 High Holborn, WC1V 6BN for a price of £6.50 for a choice of six traditional pub dishes, including a vegetarian option. The charge can be paid on the day but you do need to book in advance. If you are bringing your own sandwiches, you will be able to eat them at Staple Inn but not at the Cittie of Yorke. Please note that no drinks will be served at Staple Inn over the lunch Venue for lunch: The Cittie of Yorke period. Should you wish to purchase your lunch elsewhere, there are a number of eating places in the vicinity of Staple Inn. Tea and Coffee will be served in the morning and during the Afternoon Tea break by members of the London Branch. We need to give numbers for lunch in advance to the Cittie of Yorke and it is also important to know numbers for tea and coffee. Therefore, if you have not already done so, please can you fill in the AGM and Members’ Day booking form in the centre of this Bulletin and send to Jane Trump as soon as possible. Lecture This year we are delighted to welcome Richard Knox, Leicestershire County Council’s Archaeologist, who will be updating us on the latest developments at Bosworth. Please note that the order of events has been changed, and the lecture will be the first official item of the meeting this year, commencing at 11:30. Annual Grand Raffle As usual we shall be having a raffle at this year’s Members’ Day, in aid of RCRF. The tickets will be 25p each or five for £1.00 and will be on sale at the meeting. The prizes will include:
Replica of boar roundel boss from Westminster Abbey Embroidered blazer badge of White Rose of York Roses are White – a Ricardian novel by Lesley Lambert ‘Daisy’ necklace White rose tree ‘Cuddly toy’ – plush polar bear Pottery pot with illustration of Richard on lid Small carved wooden boar
Prizes are not ranked in any order. The first ticket drawn will have first choice and so on. We thank the contributors and suppliers of these prizes. 6
Auction As notified in the summer Bulletin, we thought we’d have some fun and have an auction this year, with proceeds going to the Society. We have received one or two lovely items for auction but would welcome any further contributions. So this is a reminder that if any of you, intending to attend, have any suitable items that you would be willing to donate to the auction and bring with you to the AGM, please can you let Jane Trump know in advance. Again we thank the contributors and suppliers of all items donated. Reminder to Branches and Groups If your branch or group wishes to make a report at the AGM, please let the Secretary know by Friday 14 September so that you may be included on the AGM Agenda. Reports can be made in person by a branch or group representative or, for overseas branches/groups, if no local representative is to be in London at the time of the AGM, in printed form, to be read at the AGM. Reports should not exceed three minutes and should consist of new material not previously reported verbally or in print. If you have any queries about any matters relating to the Members’ Day or the AGM, please contact Jane Trump - contact details inside the back cover.
Subscription Renewal 2007-2008 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.) Overseas Members’ postage supplement
£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. Please note that cheques should be in pounds sterling. We can also accept payment by credit card (VISA and Mastercard only), but please note there will be a 5% surcharge to compensate for the charges levied by the Bank. Payments can also be made by PayPal (see page 11 of the summer Bulletin) but again a 5% surcharge will be made. A special insert in this Bulletin is provided for those not paying by Standing Order, and it would be helpful if members 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. There is no increase in the overseas postage supplement this year which remains at £6.50. This rate does not apply to members of the Canadian, New Zealand, NSW and Victoria branches as special arrangements are in place for their journals to be sent en masse. Brian and Wendy Moorhen
Executive Committee – the Low Down Diversity again has been the name of the game for the last two meetings. Weighty issues such as postal voting have been rubbing shoulders with gentler topics like the In Memoriam notice. With belts being tightened, it was discussed whether to continue with the notice as recently it was not bringing in new members. However, keen discussion followed on the motives for submitting such a notice and it was agreed that this was an issue too close to members’ hearts to be voted on solely by the EC. As you will have noticed, an invitation for members’ views was included in the summer Bulletin although only a small number of members responded. However, this is now on the agenda for the AGM. At the April meeting the EC received the report on postal voting from the working party tasked to investigate the pros and cons. Again, you will have seen this report in the summer Bulletin. As you will appreciate, there was quite a bit to chew over, and the working party had certainly done some serious research. The EC were extremely grateful to them. As for the next steps – as always on such important matters, this will be up to you, the members, at the 2007 AGM. Storage of stock and back-copies of our journals was an issue discussed at the May meeting. It’s good that we have so many items for sale but books are bulky and finding somewhere to store them can be a headache. We have a group of members who very kindly give up room at their homes to store stock and the journals were held in a warehouse by courtesy of one EC member’s employer. Unfortunately due to a re-organisation we had to vacate and had the worry of finding another ‘home’ for them. Luckily Lynda Pidgeon’s mother came to the rescue and we are very grateful to her for taking the problem of this stock off our hands for a while. Now comes the plug … as another stock holder will be moving abroad it would be great if anyone reading this does have any space to spare and could hold some stock for us in future, please can you let me know? You would be a friend and a half! The problems with the Australasian postage rumble on. Wendy Moorhen learned that another consignment to New South Wales had not arrived so she arranged for copies of the spring Bulletin to go to them with the summer Bulletin and fortunately this consignment has got through. This has proved a serious worry for Wendy, the EC and our members in Australia. PR is all-important and the Society is now a proud owner of a pop-up publicity tent that can be transported to any site where we need publicity. We were going to inaugurate it at the Bosworth event in August but unfortunately this has been cancelled due to the weather. See page 14. We are also negotiating for a longer-term presence at the Bosworth site. Richard van Allen has forged some fruitful relationships and we hope to be very much to the fore there in the future. Watch this space! We are taking an exhibition stand at next year’s Who do you think you are? event in London. We decided that, if the National Archives have a stand there, so should we! It will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase our wills project products which hopefully should be ready for purchase by then. On a global note, Phil has been corresponding with James Berry, the director and owner of the Richard III College in Portugal. A member of the Society, Mr Berry named his college after our king. The EC thought it would be fitting to offer a small annual award to scholars for an outstanding piece of historical work in recognition of the link with Richard. An annual pleasure for EC members is to meet up with those members from America taking part on their UK trip. This year was unfortunately beset with problems, not least the weather, but for those who did make it, it was extremely pleasant to meet and exchange news. Jane Trump
Media Retrospective laughs, of course. Moira Stuart showed Ian Hislop’s team the Millais picture of the two princes, all apprehensive at the foot of the Tower stairs – and carrying a bricklayer’s hod between them, and they had to work out what it was all about. They succeeded (well, we all know the show isn’t 100% unrehearsed). They knew about David Baldwin’s book, though they didn’t mention his name, but knew of the Richard Plantagenet buried at Eastwell. Ian Hislop said something about, ‘There are people who think Richard III didn’t do it’, and Paul Merton found the idea of brickies speaking Latin very funny.
From Fiona Price, Margaret Stiles and Lesley Boatwright from various media: David Baldwin’s book The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York has figured in the media recently in various ways – in the press, on the radio, and on TV. Fiona Price at ITN saw a press release (released on Friday 25 May) which was apparently printed almost word for word in the Daily Mail that day; Margaret Stiles heard about it that morning on Radio Essex; Fiona and Lesley Boatwright saw the fun extracted from it later on ‘Have I Got News For You’, on BBC 1. In the press release, Andrew Barrow of the Press Association says ‘a young English prince, believed to have been murdered along with his brother by Richard III, may actually have ended up as an Essex bricklayer ... University of Leicester historian David Baldwin has cast new light on the mystery, saying the elder boy died of natural causes and his brother was allowed to live, under guard, with their mother. In his book ... Mr Baldwin maintains the betrayal by Richard III is not supported by the evidence. He believes that Edward V, the elder prince, died of natural causes – with evidence showing he was receiving regular visits from his doctor. And Richard, the younger Prince, was eventually reunited with his mother, Queen Elizabeth Woodville, and allowed to live with her under the supervision of two trusted courtiers ... Mr Baldwin suggests that Prince Richard was taken to St John’s Abbey at Colchester after the battle of Bosworth and worked there as a bricklayer until the Dissolution of 1539. [Baldwin] added ... “Eastwell, where he died, is only 12 miles from Canterbury Cathedral where his portrait still adorns the royal window of the Martyrdom Chapel. I wonder, did an elderly bricklayer ever pause to look into the face of his own image – an image from another life – on the occasions when he visited the greater church?”’ Radio Essex was presumably interested in the story because of the Colchester connection. ‘Have I Got News For You’ went for
On the same subject from Geoffrey Wheeler: 25 May this year saw gratifyingly wide press coverage given to David Baldwin’s new book The Lost Prince (see ‘Richard of Eastwell: a New Hypothesis’ pp. 17-18 of the spring Bulletin). Even the tabloids devoted paragraphs to it, with heaven-sent opportunities for headlines like ‘Prince to a Brickie’ (Mirror), ‘Prince of the Tower a Brickie’, with longer reports by the Daily Mail and Express writers. It even made the front page of The Daily Telegraph: ‘Prince in the Tower died a Bricklayer’, whilst The Times’ article inevitably elicited a follow-up letter, claiming that the story was not new, but had been debunked by Audrey Williamson and Alison Weir in their respective books (1978 and 1992). However, as David was able to point out in reply, ‘Prince Rebunked’ (31August): ‘They each devoted only two highly selective pages to it’. The Sunday Times (27 August) neatly summarised everything under ‘The Little Brickie in the Tower’. Naturally, the local press were able to go into greater detail, ‘Breaking News’ in The Leicester Mercury devoting a whole page to the mystery ‘Did Richard III really murder young princes?’, canvassing the views of a City Heritage Guide and side columns on Shakespeare’s version: ‘Bard’s View Questioned’, ending with details for readers to text their messages 9
Quiz’ section left viewers in no doubt that David Baldwin’s Lost Prince book would be subjected to the irreverent wit of Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, the regular team captains. While the presenter, Moira Stewart, attempted to read out the pertinent facts, and asked for a ‘Frankie Howard connection’, this led to a series of quick-fire wild fantasies, involving the camp comic’s Roman TV series and ‘cod’ Latin, before finally revealing the bizarre fact that for some reason the Queen Mother had once presented him with a picture of the Princes in the Tower as a house-warming present. This gave rise to more muttered comments about ‘murdered ancestors’. An extract from the programme is available from the AV library on VHS tape. Although seemingly unaware of this new book, a reference occurred in the following week’s London Review of Books (pp. 32-34) where David Carpenter, reviewing Ian Mortimer’s latest life of Edward III, The Perfect King, under the headline of ‘What happened to Edward II?’, concluded that ‘William Melton, Archbishop of York, came to believe that Edward II was alive, or said that he believed it, or was alleged to believe it. This doesn’t mean it was any more true than the belief that Richard II was still alive in the 1400s or Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the Princes in the Tower, was alive in the 1490s.’ However, the London Review of Books’ 2 August issue did carry a review though the writer was unimpressed with David Baldwin’s arguments. He commented on the photograph at the end of the book which showed the Society visiting Eastwell ‘They are a very respectable bunch, the gentlemen in suits, ties and raincoats, the ladies with hats and handbags.’ This was taken in 1964 though.
The Brickie Prince. Engraving adapted by Geoff Wheeler
to the Mercury Mail Box. Because of the Colchester connection their Gazette and Herald also carried feature articles: ‘Colchester: murdered prince’s secret second life?’ and ‘Fate of the Princes in the Tower revealed’. Local historian Andrew Phillips devoted two pages in the Essex County Standard to an illustrated account of the ‘Secret abbey refuge of bricklayer prince’. Kent on Sunday included a footnote on ‘Mystery of blue-bloodied brickie’ to a page devoted to a forthcoming new ITV series Lost Royals on the descendants of William the Conqueror, followed up by an illustrated article on ‘Richard of Eastwell’ by David (3 June). A further bonus came when the press reports featured as one of the topics covered on the BBC2 satirical quiz show Have I Got News for You? (see above). Humour of the satirical kind was in no short supply where the accompanying visual of the hod-carrying Princes introducing the ‘Picture
From Geoff Wheeler: Following on from Pauline Pogmore’s report in the last Media Retrospective (p. 12) The Guardian’s G2 Magazine (16 June) reviewing The Elgin Macbeth: ‘Apparently Lady Macbeth was really quite a nice woman, and her husband was the sort of chap you’d invite round for tea. Just as Shakespeare’s Richard III might not be historically accurate, so it seems that he might have given the Macbeths 10
a bad press. The Elgin Macbeth tries to reassess his reputation and identity.’
Rankin. Fame is once again beckoning Scottish literary sensation Josephine Tey from Inverness. The star playwright of London’s West End in the 1930s is being brought back to life as a fictional literary sleuth in a new novel snapped up by publishing giant Faber and Faber. Nicola Upson’s debut nove, An Expert in Murder, sets a fictionalised Tey in London’s West End of the 1930s, where she made her name in real life. The writer is dragged into a murder case related to one of her plays and embarks on a complex relationship with a Scotland Yard detective called in to investigate ... ‘Notoriously shy when she was growing up, the theatrical world let Tey show her true colours and wit and she developed close friendships with Gielgud and the play’s leading lady, Dame Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies.’ The article ends with a note that The Daughter of Time is Tey’s best-known book, and comments that Ian Rankin describes as ‘wonderful’ the literary device of having a hospitalised detective investigate a crime from history, piecing together the arguments for and against Richard’s guilt.
From Shirley Stapley: Reprinted in The Duke & Duchess of Windsor Society Magazine, and taken from The New York Times Book Review, July 2006. Review of a book ‘The Woman I Am, A Memoir’ by Helen Reddy, a chapter on ‘Royalty and Reincarnation’. Reddy suggests that Wallis Simpson was the reincarnation of Richard III, her mission being to atone for the murder of the princes and ensure the crown was restored to its rightful heirs. The Duke of Windsor was therefore one of Richard’s devoted personal servants, unidentified, and Elizabeth and Margaret are the princes in the tower. From Dave Fiddimore: Scotland on Sunday, 25 March 2007, article ‘Scottish Queen of Crime Rediscovered ...’ by Thomas Quinn Dave comments, ‘I scan all my newspapers before I dump them, and I don’t know how this article got past me at the time’: ‘Seventy years ago her writing wowed Sir John Gielgud and today it helps to inspire Ian
‘Summer's End’ A new novel about Francis Lord Lovell by Frances Irwin, author of ‘The White Queen’. Paperback or download from www.lulu.com
Richard III’S Burial: The Saga Continues
t seems that even 500 years after Richard’s death on the battlefield of Bosworth he still creates controversy. However, now it concerns the whereabouts of his remains. As many members will remember, Polydore Virgil, the Tudor court historian, relates that after the battle Richard’s dead body was stripped and slung over the back of a horse and carried back to Leicester. There his naked body, still covered with the blood and mire of battle, was publicly displayed for two days in the Newarke to prove that indeed he was dead, before being claimed by the Franciscan friars for burial at the Greyfriars monastery. This despicable treatment of Richard’s body is confirmed by the Crowland Chronicle, which reports that ‘many insults were offered to King Richard’s body after the battle’. Indications are that Richard’s burial lay within the friary church. In 1495, ten years after Bosworth, Henry VII was said to have paid the sum of £10 1s. 0d. for an alabaster monument to be erected over his grave. From this point on the story becomes vague. Tradition has it that when the monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII in the 1530s, Richard’s tomb was destroyed and his remains thrown into the nearby River Soar. A nineteenth-century plaque near Bow Bridge commemorates this tradition. However other accounts say that Richard’s body remained buried in the ruins of the Greyfriars and that a pillar, with an inscription in Richard’s memory, later stood on the site of the tomb. Tradition also goes that a stone coffin, said to have been Richard’s, but actually dating from an earlier period, was used as a horse trough outside the White Horse Inn in Gallow Tree Gate in the centre of Leicester in the early eighteenth century and later broken pieces of the coffin were incorporated into the cellar steps of the inn. See Lynda Pidgeon’s article in the Summer 2005 Bulletin. With Richard being the only (crowned) English king without an identified tomb, the whereabouts of his body continues to exercise a fascination, rather like a quest for the Holy Grail, so when word gets out that there is to be a new building development on part of the site of the former Greyfriars Monastery it naturally excites interest. This development concerns the conversion of a former late-nineteenth-century bank (Pares Bank, subsequently the NatWest), a listed building, by demolishing an existing 1950 extension and the construction of a block of flats. It should be noted that this proposed development occupies a tiny area towards the east of the former friary site. This development may well have archaeological implications, and as a result the site of the flats is to be the subject of archaeological trenching to be carried out by the University of Leicester. If this trenching indicates that building on this part of the site might have a significant impact on buried archaeological remains, the developer would then be required to make provision for archaeological recording before the development can proceed. If these remains were to include human burials, anyone disturbing them would require a licence from the new Department of Justice. However, before getting too excited about this trenching and the possibility of finding any remains of Richard, it should be noted that the site also lies within the defences of the Roman centre of Ratae Coritanorum. These defences were re-used in the medieval period and it was in the second half of the thirteenth century that the Franciscan friary was erected in this part of town. The exact location of the friary church is unknown as a great deal has happened to the site since the friary was dissolved in the 1530s. The land was sold and the owners would have found a ready market for the masonry in the town. Thereafter the site became the location for a large mansion set in its own gardens. This mansion was demolished in the eighteenth century and the 12
area became built up. In the nineteenth century new roads running north-south were driven across the site. I do not want to sound discouraging, but it is highly unlikely that any remains will be found in these building operations because the bank, as a listed building, is not going to be demolished, and, what is more, the main vault located under the bank is not going to be destroyed but will probably just be filled in. Also, as noted above, there has been a lot of development on the site of the former Greyfriars monastery over the intervening years and in earlier years it should be remembered that there was really very little interest in preserving or investigating the remains of historical buildings. One last point is that the old bank is unlikely to to have been erected over the former friary church (Richard’s grave site), which is more likely to be in the area of the Social Services car park that appears to lie above the site of the choir of the priory church. Carol Simmonds, a professional archaeologist, wrote a very informative article in the Summer 2003 Bulletin about the difficulties of locating Richard’s remains. The Society was alerted to the forthcoming development when a local member, who was passing the site of the former bank, reported it to the local branch. As word was passed around, expectations became optimistic and almost turned into a crusade to save Richard’s burial site. Members were concerned that the local council might not be aware of what was happening or might not be interested. This was far from the case and I am in contact with the Leicester City Council’s archaeologist, who has advised that the council is fully aware of the development and its responsibilities in the matter. The Council has a great interest in preserving local history of all periods. I am also in contact with the head of the Archaeology Department at Leicester University who will be supervising the trenching to take place later this year. It is important that any members who do come across similar situations contact me in the first instance. See my article in the spring issue of the Bulletin. Circumstances dictate how we respond to a situation, sometimes centrally, sometimes locally, sometimes en masse but it is crucial that I am involved from the onset otherwise we are in danger of antagonising those very people whose interests are the same as own. Richard van Allen
Andrew Jamieson – Heraldic Artist Andrew is a professional heraldic artist who has recently rejoined the Society after a gap of a few years. Longer-term members will remember that the Society was fortunate enough to benefit from his excellent artwork back in the 1980s, including the stunning menu for the Quincentenary dinner at the Guildhall in London. Should you have an interest in or require any medieval-style artwork, heraldry or calligraphy, Andrew has a website: www.medieval-arts.co.uk which showcases his work. He would be delighted to hear from you.
The Summer Floods
lthough some of the fields at Tewkesbury were water-logged for the 24th Tewkesbury Festival held on the 12 and 13 July which necessitated a change of venue, I am sure none of the locals were prepared for the horror to come. Whilst youngsters were camped-out outside bookshops waiting for midnight and the release of the last of the Harry Potter books the heavens opened in the west country and the waters of the rivers Avon and Severn rose and flooded the medieval town of Tewkesbury. The floods are believed to be worse than those in 1947. The aerial photograph featured in some of the national dailies showed a small island and The Guardian’s Jonathan Glancey described the scene as a ‘dense weave of old streets gathered around the magnificent 900-year-old building standing proudly above the surrounding flood waters’. Sadly Tewkesbury Abbey succumbed to the flood water and by mid-morning on the 21 July the water began to penetrate the abbey despite the strategically placed sandbags. Although several events at the Abbey had to be cancelled the word was spread that the Abbey would remain open and normal services would be held. By 2 August the Photograph by Simon Fogden Abbey shop and refectory were back in business and offering a full service. The Rev. Canon Paul Williams, the Vicar of Tewkesbury, commented ‘now that the “rescue” phase is over, we are beginning to enter into a period of “reclamation” of the town’. He continued ‘we would like to pay tribute to the emergency services who have been excellent. The Borough and Town Councils, ably led by their Mayors … the many volunteers, visitors and members of the congregation who have freely given of their time and talent display, once again, what a truly amazing town this is. Thank you, and congratulations on a job well done!’ The Abbey and town of Tewkesbury have survived a major disaster, though not without the loss of human life and the devastation of hundreds of homes. Another much loved Ricardian site was also flooded, Minster Lovell, the home of Richard’s friend Francis Lovell. I am sure members’ thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered through the flooding. If members would like to make a contribution in the Society’s name to the repair work at these sites, would they please send their cheques to Phil Stone (details inside the back cover), made out to the Society and marked ‘Flood appeal’ on the back. Once the money has stopped coming in, it will be passed on to the appropriate authorities. The Bosworth Battlefield Centre, although not flooded had waterlogged fields which meant the event for the battle commemoration weekend also had to be cancelled. This was a blow to some us who were planning on the launch of our new exhibition stand. Still, there is always next year! Inside the Abbey. Picture courtesy of Tewkesbury Abbey
Wendy Moorhen 14
Was Richard III the Inspiration for ‘You Know Who’?
suppose it was almost inevitable that the current well-known fictional villain, ‘You Know Who’ aka Voldemort would be likened to Richard III at some stage. So as not to disappoint us Professor Kathryn Jacobs of Texas A&M University has written for the online journal, Borrowers and Lenders – The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation’.This site appears to have the objective of proving that many plots for books, play and film scripts are based on situations and characters borrowed from Shakespeare’s plays, hence the peculiar name of the Society. Jacobs sees strong parallels between a scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where he is aided by the spirits of Voldemort’s victims, and a dream sequence at the end of Richard III, in which Richard’s victims curse him and bless his opponent the night before the battle of Bosworth Field. Jacobs also sees other parallels between Voldemort and Richard: ‘physical deformity, a trail of blood, tortured egoism, and an inability to take seriously his youthful opponent’. The dissertation which can be viewed on the university’s website. Having read all of the Harry Potter books it has never struck me that any of the situations or characters, have any association with Shakespeare. I have to admit that I find it weird that a professor of English Literature should spend, or should I say waste, so much time going through the Harry Potter books with a fine tooth comb in order to try and prove any associations with Shakespeare’s writings. There is no doubt that Shakespeare was one of, if not the greatest, of English playwrights, but to try and prove that he was the font of ideas for all modern plots and characters is ridiculous, after all where did Shakespeare acquire his ideas in the first place? Naturally the Society was not going to take this lightly and a press release was put together to coincide with the launch of the last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. American branch chairman, Wayne Ingalls, commented ‘Anyone who wants to look at a nuanced picture of the historical Richard III faces the constant struggle against Shakespeare’s play’. According to Ingalls, Society members who attempt to talk about Richard’s real accomplishments as a solder, administrator, leader and ruler, must contend with the hysterical and mortal deformities Shakespeare gave him – his hump, his seductive amorality, and his frenetic activity as he does away with most of his immediate family – and a few friends and supporters into the bargain. The press release also described the real Richard as having a solid reputation for loyalty, skill in commanding and inspiring his troops in battle, and a keenly-honed sense of fair play in his administration of the north of England over a ten-year period before assuming the throne. So how seriously does the Society take this new threat from the wizarding world? With a bit of a philosophical shrug. Phil Stone commented, ‘The Voldemort–Richard III theory is found on an internet journal and knowledge of it isn’t all that widespread at the moment’ although he notes that a growing number of graduate students are including the link in their blogs and personal pages’. In the US Wayne hopes the American Branch may be able to settle the question by going right to the source. One of their members, who lives in Nevada, told him that her grandson won an essay contest and is travelling to England to spend some time with the author. She has emailed her grandson and asked him to ask Rowling if Voldemort really was modelled on Richard. No answer yet but watch this space. A final soundbyte from Phil, ‘things could have been much worse. At least no one’s yet suggesting that Richard III was the model for Tolkien’s dark lord, Sauron.’ For this he is grateful. Thanks to Laura Blanchard of the American branch for being instrumental in producing the press release and liaising myself, Phil and Wayne. Richard van Allen 15
News and Reviews spondence between Lucas and the Reformers could be seen. There is a copy of the first bible in the German language, which Luther wrote in his small room in the Wartburg in Eisenach as a refugee, and for which Lucas made beautiful illustrations. The famous prayer-book Lucas illustrated for the emperor Maximilian is there, as well as the portraits and carvings he did showing Luther and his main supporters, many of whom he knew personally. There is a little portrait of Katharina of Bora, Luther’s wife, who found shelter and work in Lucas’s home shortly before she married Luther.
Exhibition of the the work of Lucas Cranach the Elder Rita Diefenhardt-Schmitt sent us this account of an interesting exhibition this summer in Germany on the artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, a German contemporary of Richard III and the Tudors. Always interested in themes about the German Reformation and in older paintings, a friend and I went to the old town of Aschaffenburg, on the river Main in Bavaria to visit the exhibition about Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553). It was shown in three separate locations in the town. The main part was in St John’s Castle, another in the Hall of Arts, a former Jesuit church, and the third in the collegiate church of St Peter and St Alexander. Aschaffenburg has an old quarter with many timbered houses, old churches and convents, as well as the huge quadrangle-shaped St John Castle overlooking the river, and the ‘Pompeianum’, the reconstruction of an elegant Roman patrician house under King Louis I (1786-1868), closely connected with the castle through a wonderful park, in which many white roses can be seen. This town is well worth a visit. In the Castle exhibition, the Cranach family is introduced in general before focusing on Lucas Cranach the Elder himself. The Cranachs were supporters of the Reformation, and Lucas himself became a very close friend to Martin Luther and his main circle, which can be seen from the many letters that passed between them, and the many portraits Lucas did of Luther and his supporters. Lucas also made many works for a late but important client, Albrecht of Brandenburg, archbishop and Elector of Mayence, in spite of the fact that he did not mince his words when criticising the Catholic church. However, he was never seriously accused for his support of the Reformation, as he was not only an excellent artist but also a communal politician, frequently mayor of Wittenburg, and an influential and rich businessman. In the other two locations further corre-
Editor’s note. The exhibition ended in June, but some of Cranach’s work will be on show at the Courtauld Institute in London from 21 June to 23 September, including Eve’s Temptation of Adam, painted in 1526, which is reaching new audiences as it is used for the opening credits of the US series of ‘Desperate Housewives’.
Kings as Prisoners at the Tower of London in the Middle Ages On 26 June, the Friends of the Royal Palaces enjoyed a lecture by Sally Dixon-Smith, a curator at the Tower of London, in the new Charles Clore Learning Centre at Hampton Court. Sally was anxious to dispel the grisly but widely held perception of the Tower as torture chamber and a sort of medieval Death Row. Only a small number of the thousands residing or indeed imprisoned in the Tower were tortured and executed, she said. As Ricardians will recognise, the Tower represented power and majesty; it held the Mint and controlled river traffic; from here kings proceeded to their coronation. The first regal prisoner was John Balliol, set up as puppet king of Scotland by Edward I. When after four years he rebelled against Edward’s bullying tactics, Edward marched north, where he crushed the Scots and returned with the Stone of Scone together with John Balliol who was imprisoned for break16
ing his oath of fealty. Edward’s rage was evidently assuaged; Balliol’s imprisonment in the three-storey Salt Tower was more like house arrest in a five-star hotel. Housed almost certainly on the first floor, he had large windows overlooking the river (now reclaimed land). He was permitted out on ‘away days’ to hunt within a 25-mile radius of the Tower provided he left a surety behind. Amongst the list of 17 servants and three squires, there was a barber, tailor, laundress and chaplain – but no chef, his royal captor perhaps reserving the right to poison an irritating prisoner, albeit a right he did not exercise. The second royal prisoner was David II of Scotland who was defeated by his brother-inlaw Edward III when he had the temerity to invade England. Edward demanded a high ransom and when David was eventually released after a peace treaty, to the annoyance of his brother-in-law, he took with him back to Scotland his mistress, Catherine Mortimer. In 1300, on Edward’s instructions, John II of France was imprisoned in the White Tower which caused commotion and a flurry of preparation as it was then used for storage. In true French tradition, he enjoyed good food and wine, and Sally read us a list of the large quantities of wine, meats, spices, aloes, pepper, ginger, rice, for which Edward footed the bill. It appears John had his own organ and organ master and amongst the accounts is a bill for two jester’s caps. He also visited the royal menagerie where he saw the royal lions held as a heraldic symbol of royal power (two of which accompanied the king to war). For his release, Edward demanded 60,000 crowns to be paid in instalments. But when the French defaulted John returned voluntarily to the Tower – motivated probably less by honour than by a wish to survive the internecine struggles at home. James I of Scotland, captured by pirates whilst returning from France, was imprisoned in the Tower from 1406 to 1424. Here he wrote the collection of passionate poems, ‘The King’s Quair’, to celebrate his love for Joan Beaufort, niece of Richard II, with whom he fell in love on seeing her walking in the gardens. James was assimilated into Court
life, and was knighted by Henry V, who even took him on the Agincourt campaign, undoubtedly a diplomatic move to discourage the many Scots who had joined the French King. Sally pointed out the contrasts in treatment with less exalted prisoners who might be kept manacled, on earth floors and below ground, where in the fetid air they only survived a few months. Edward III thought that 150 were too many prisoners in the Tower but, in 1290, 600 Jews were brought there as a temporary holding camp before deportation. After Agincourt, Charles d’Orleans was in the Tower for 25 years, and Sally showed us a depiction of this in a slide of a tapestry giving an interesting multi-viewpoint on the Tower and including the kings’ Kiss of Peace. The two English kings held in the Tower were treated with less courtesy and concern. Richard II was held here in 1399 under pressure to renounce the throne; it is likely his health was undermined by this. But he was allowed visitors and was seen here by a chronicler. His mood seemed to vacillate between pride and anger as befitting the monarch, and real human fear of a man, a fear well founded because after his abdication, he was removed to Pontefract where he died the following year, generally assumed to be murdered at the instigation of Henry IV. Henry VI was imprisoned in 1461 and then exiled. In 1470 he was restored to the throne but was soon captured and returned to the Tower. After the death of his son at the Battle of Tewkesbury it was given out that he had ‘died of pure displeasure and melancholy’. But whilst there may have been little advantage in killing Henry while his son was alive clearly after his death at Tewkesbury there was a strong motive to despatch Henry too. In conclusion, it seemed that foreign kings had fared much better in the Tower than English ones. Perhaps sensing the presence of a Ricardian or two in the audience, Sally skirted the subject of Edward V, later in question time excusing herself because Edward V was of course uncrowned. In spite of this it was an instructive and entertaining evening. Gillian Lazar 17
How We Built Britain. New series from BBC1 Part One, A New Dawn covering 1066 to the end of the Middle Ages was transmitted on 3 June. David Dimbleby visits Eastern England, exploring cathedrals, churches and secular buildings, stopping along the way to try his hand at local crafts including carpentry, sheep shearing and pargetting. This episode takes in Ely Cathedral, Colchester, Castle Hedingham and Castle Rising, Lavenham, Walsingham and Oxburgh Hall, ending with the glories of King’s College Chapel. There are spectacular aerial views but everywhere is curiously deserted on the ground, with the exception of Gainsborough Old Hall, where he is served a medieval feast in solitary splendour. The programme (along with the inevitable accompanying book) was much derided by the critics, who would have preferred a guide with the gravitas of Schama, Starkey or Jonathan Meades. They called it the heritage equivalent of Smooth Drivetime Classics and ‘A weird mixture of Arthur Mee’s King’s England and Sellars and Yeatman without the humour’. A copy of the programme on VHS is in the Audio Visual Library. Geoff Wheeler
The Society of Antiquaries Portrait of Richard III
time treasures from Britain’s oldest learned society concerned with the study of the past. It will feature unique works of art, antiquities and manuscripts of national historical importance, from one of the oldest museum collections in this country, including the Yorkist processional cross recovered from the battlefield of Bosworth (1485), the inventory of Henry VIII’s possessions at the time of his death and an early copy of Magna Carta. Also on show will be paintings of ancient sites and landscapes by Constable, Turner, Blake and an extraordinary collection of English royal portraits from Henry VI to Mary Tudor (including those of Richard III and Henry VII). In addition there will be the only surviving visual records of objects long since lost or destroyed. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily and tickets cost £8 with concessions for those who are disabled or over 60 years of age (£6.50). For advance tickets contact the Royal Academy on 0870 848 8484 or visit their website at www.royalacademy.org.uk Wendy Moorhen
Society of Antiquaries Tercentenary Celebrations There are two major activities being undertaken by the Society of Antiquaries to celebrate their tercentenary. The first is a series of lectures that have been organised between September this year through to June 2008 which will take place in London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Liverpool and Cardiff. Details are available on www.sal.org.uk or telephone 020 7479 7080. Secondly there will be an exhibition entitled Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707 – 2007 which will be held at the Royal Academy of Arts in London from 15 September until 2 December 2007. The exhibition will explore the work and achievement of the Society of Antiquaries of London over the past three hundred years, from its foundation in 1707 to the present day. The exhibition will consist of 190 works, showcasing for the first 18
Living History ORDER OF THE BOAR We announced in the Summer Bulletin that we would begin an occasional series on the theme of living history and, with tournaments being the subject at both the Australasian Convention and the York Study Weekend, it seemed a very natural step for this aspect of living history to feature as the first of the series. It was also appropriate to invite Callum Forbes of the Order of the Boar to be our contributor for several reasons. He was the speaker at the Convention and the Order strongly support the ethos of living history, but there is the added slant that the tradition of this very European sport is being continued so far away from its roots. And, then, of course, there is the Order’s name and emblem – the boar. Your vision is restricted (by your helmet). You can’t hear anything. The horse under you is fired up and ready to go. You have trouble holding him back while you wait for the ‘go’ signal. In front of you is a guy with a big stick who wants to hit you as hard as he can and your system is full of adrenaline. The signal flags go up. You are both ready. You take off as fast as you can to seize any advantage that you can over your opponent. Your perception becomes living in the moment, you are entirely focused and everything unfolds in slow motion. You lock your lance on the opponent’s target and you are rewarded by the explosion of flying shards and by the familiar recoil through your arm and shoulder as you continue to push the broken end of your lance into the target to drive home your hit and hopefully to rattle your opponent’s composure. Simultaneously you feel a hit like that of a sledgehammer on your target as your opponent drives in a good hit as well. You are forced back in the saddle and then suddenly it is over. You regain control of your horse as you approach the end of the lists and prepare to return to your end for another run. The dull roar of the crowd filters through your helmet and you know that that pass was a good one. You feel exhilarated because your skills have carried you through and you have defeated possible injury or even death. Callum Forbes (in a article in Capital Times, 2 January 2003)
he Order of the Boar is a medieval re-enactment group based near Upper Hutt in New Zealand who recreate aspects of the medieval tournament along with related living history activities from the second half of the fourteenth century. The group specialises in jousting and its development as a modern sport. We are organised along historical lines as a small retinue of mounted men-at-arms, infantry, family and servants at a tournament. This is portrayed in a living history setting which includes period tents, camp furniture and other equipment. We are also among the founding members of the International Jousting Association (IJA) which sanctions our competitions and issues grading certificates for our members who regularly complete in tournaments both in New Zealand and off-shore. Living history is an important but often neglected aspect in many jousting and medieval combat groups. Living history is a snap-shot into a period of history. It can involve the accurate portrayal of just a single activity or a range of activities. This allows people to experience long forgotten crafts and skills – providing us with some idea of what life in the Middle Ages may have been really like. We do not view living history and jousting as separate activities but instead we 19
try to use one to enhance the other in order to provide a more complete medieval experience for both ourselves and for the public. Living history allows us to challenge many of the misconceptions that the public have about medieval life. Jousting, however, is the most spectacular and the most dangerous activity that we engage in. Along with other members of the International Jousting Association, we have revived jousting as a modern equestrian competitive sport that also has a mass public appeal.
Four members of the Order at Omaka Classic Fighters 2007 Air Show The author is second from the left
The historical sport of jousting originally evolved in the early Middle Ages as a training exercise for war. As the Middle Ages progressed, jousting was gradually made safer by the introduction of specialised armour and rules. During the Middle Ages there were many forms of jousting, each with its own specialised rules and items of armour. The two main forms of the joust were the ‘joust of war’ where sharp weapons were used and the ‘joust of peace’ where blunt weapons were used. Our joust represents the latter. The objective of our style of jousting, however, is to shatter a lance on the opponent while he or she is trying to do the same to you, rather than trying to dismount your opponent. Historically the head and torso were considered to be the legitimate targets, with a strike to the head being regarded as the most difficult to pull off, so it was awarded the most points. Unlike other martial sports there is no defensive aspect – you are going to get hit! Any defensive movement with your shield, called an écranche, will open you up to a direct strike to the torso or a deflection to the head. Nowadays it is generally inappropriate to target the head so we target the torso from the waist upwards instead, which is protected by the écranche. The purpose of the shield is to help spread the area of shock before it is transmitted to the rider rather than to actually absorb the full force of a blow. However, the impact from a good hit is like being smacked by a sledgehammer. Points are awarded on how well you strike your opponent, with maximum points being awarded for shattering the lance. 20
Today, most people understand jousting as being two riders engaging each other with long spears called lances, as popularised by such films as A Knight’s Tale and Ivanhoe, although technically this activity is more accurately referred to as tilting. However, to avoid confusion, we also refer to jousting as just being the engagement between two armoured riders using lances. The International Jousting Association Joust training in the Order of the Boar follows a progressive grading system that we originally developed for local riders. This system has since been adopted by the International Jousting Association as its worldwide training programme. Locally we also require that all of our riders be IJA qualified footmen as well. Footmen are our ground support crew, whose primary role is to ensure that our riders have everything that they need in order to do their job effectively. So the job of the footman is not that of a servant or ‘gofer’ but more of a multi-skilled problem solver with a thorough knowledge of armour, weapons, horses, jousting and event management. Riders must also complete this grade and also serve as foot crew as and when required. Rider Level 1 is the first riding grade. This introduces mounted skill-at-arms exercises as well as mounted combat with hand weapons against other riders and footmen. Skills in both riding and basic horse care are also required. A qualified Level 1 rider is eligible to take part in skill-at-arms competitions. This is the only Grade that we allow members under 16 to complete. Rider Level 2 builds on the skill-at-arms skills learnt in the last grade and jousting skills are also developed. Further development of both horse care and riding skills are also required. A qualified Level 2 rider can take part in jousting competitions. Usually you need to spend at least 12 months as a Level 1 rider before you can be graded to Level 2. Rider Level 3 builds on the jousting skills learnt in the last grade. A qualified Level 3 rider is sufficiently well equipped with the skills required to take part in jousting tournaments offered by other jousting organisations. Usually you need to spend at least two years as a Level 2 rider before you can be graded to Level 3. Rider Level 4 is jousting instructor. In addition to the skills above, the rider must demonstrate skills in training others to Level 3 as well as in organising tournaments and in training horses. He or she must also have taken part in at least one overseas competition to qualify for the grade. Usually you need to spend at least three years as a Level 3 rider before you can be graded to Level 4. There two further grades that are not often used by other IJA groups but we use them in our Order. Foot Fighter grade trains foot combatants to stage mock combat with and/or around horses. Members of other re-enactment groups that wish to take part in integrated foot and mounted combat displays with us must obtain this grade. Supporter grade introduces people who wish to support us in an indirect role to our activities and safety procedures. Skill-at-Arms This involves using weapons from horseback in a number of exercises designed to test both the rider’s horsemanship and weapon-handling skills. In North America skill-at-arms is known as Games and in the UK and Europe simply as Skills. There is no element of direct physical competition with another rider such as occurs in jousting or mêlée so skill-at-arms is an ideal activity for people who do not want to joust or engage in physical competition with another person. However, in our group all the riders must be competent in skill-at-arms if they wish to progress to jousting as all the core horse- and weaponhandling skills required for the joust are developed from the skill-at-arms exercises. We practise a number of skill-at-arms exercises. While the modern format of these may or may not be period, they allow us to demonstrate the other mounted combat skills required by a medieval knight. There are several basic exercises but I will just cover two of them. Probably the most important exercise for people learning to joust is ‘Rings’, as it develops accuracy and control with the Continued on page 29 21
The Man Himself RICHARD III AND THE MEN WHO DIED IN BATTLE LESLEY BOATWRIGHT, MOIRA HABBERJAM, PETER HAMMOND
ne thing we know absolutely for certain about Richard III is that he prized loyalty: his chosen motto proves it. He must also have been aware from a very early age that a man’s ultimate loyalty was to follow his lord into battle, to fight and die, perhaps die horribly, for him. His own father, with his loyal followers, was killed at Wakefield. Men would later die fighting loyally for his brother Edward, and for Richard himself. Indeed, men also died fighting loyally for the Lancastrian side. Battlefield corpses might be subject to indignities: looted, left to rot to discourage others, or cleared away into mass graves. Richard III had strong views on the subject. There is a little-known document in the Duchy of Lancaster archives which shows his concern that the men who died in battle should receive proper Christian burial. Towton was his brother Edward’s battle, the longest and bloodiest battle ever fought in England, after which, according to George Neville, Chancellor of England, ‘so many dead bodies were seen as to cover an area six miles long by three broad and about four furlongs’.1 This cannot be taken literally; Neville must be including the scattered corpses of those overtaken and cut down while fleeing, and those who had stumbled away to die of their wounds in the distance. Andrew Boardman in his recent analysis of the battlefield believes that it was fought ‘in a very circumscribed area of just over half a square mile’.2 Many of the bodies choked the Cock Beck, which ran red with blood.
Wherever they were, there would have been an urgent need to bury the bodies as quickly as possible. What was the system for the mass burial of battle casualties? Obviously, bodies of men of rank and wealth would be removed by their followers, especially if they were on the winning side. This happened to Lord Dacre, whose body was taken to Saxton churchyard. Possibly survivors who could find their dead friends or relatives and had the means to hire a cart would be able to remove their bodies to be taken care of individually. But for the vast majority their funeral ‘rites’ would be to be put together into a pit. Would any attempt be made to consecrate the ground – would a chaplain walk round as men dug the pits, and say a few prayers and sprinkle holy water? Edward IV had taken some thought for the bodies. There is a papal bull dated 6 November 1467 which shows that some of the dead were buried in the cemetery of a chapel of St Mary at Towton, and others were buried near it.3 The bull describes the chapel as fere desolata & destructa, ‘almost abandoned and ruinous’, and says that Edward IV was intending to repair and enlarge it so that divine services could be held there [ut ibidem divina observantia peragentur]. It promises some time off purgatory for people who visited the chapel and contributed to the repairs. There is also a memorandum dated 14 December 1472 in The National Archives to the effect that four (named) men are guaranteeing that Miles Chapman, chaplain of St Mary’s Chapel near Towton, would spend all the alms and offer22
ings received there on repairs to and beautification of the chapel, having deducted his own wages of ten marks a year.4 Whatever happened to the fabric of the chapel, it seems that Richard III was concerned for the mortal remains of the men who died in the battle. Within months of becoming king, he arranged for the recoverable dead of Towton to be given ecclesiasticam sepulturam, Christian burial. The document setting out his intentions is recorded in the register of grants of the Duchy of Lancaster, and is very revealing.5 The document is in Latin; this is a fairly literal translation of the relevant portions:
rituals and prayers that had been lacking, these could have been performed over the existing burial pits. He goes out of his way to give his brother Edward all the praise he can – he was ‘of famous memory’, the rightful king, who only fought when he was forced to, and won a victory with God’s help – but there seems to be an underlying rebuke for his treatment of the bodies, and consequent disregard for the souls, of those who had died for him. In November 1483 Richard had paid £40 for ‘the chapel’ at Towton to be built. Harley 433 (II 39) records ‘A warrant to the Receivor of Pountfret to pay & deliver to Thomas Langtone & William Salley for the bilding & edifieng of the Chapelle at Tawton xl li. Yeven the xxviijti day of Novembre Anno primo’. The Duchy of Lancaster grant quoted above concerns the salary of a chaplain who is to sing for the souls of the dead of Towton. It continues:
‘The king to all to whom [this letter will come] greeting. Know that, whereas a few years ago, namely at the time when our brother King Edward of famous memory first began to wield the royal power rightfully due to him, our same brother, leading a great army, was forced to fight a battle in the field of the vill of Towton in our county of Yorkshire when certain men at the time opposed and rebelled against him and his royal right, and with the assistance and help of God won a victory by his efforts in the same battle – and a number of noblemen sprung from the family of our said brother and ourselves, and other leading men and people of this kingdom in a great multitude (the pity of it!) were cut off from this human life, and their bodies put in three pits in the said field and other nearby places completely without any Christian burial, as is well known [corpora ... extra ecclesiasticam prossus sepulturam terciis concavis notorie tradita] – wherefore we, deeply sorry [pro affectu compacientes] that the dead should be buried in this way, in these last months [iis proximis mensibus] have caused their bones to be exhumed and given Christian burial [ecclesiasticam sepulturam], partly in the parish church of Saxton in our said county of Yorkshire and its cemetery, and partly in the chapel of Towton and its surrounding.’
‘Now, wishing indeed to perform a service pleasing to God in this matter, and desiring greatly the rest and health of the souls of the aforesaid dead, of our special grace and from our certain knowledge and spontaneously we have given and granted, and by the tenor of this present letter give and grant, to the proprietors [impropriators?] of the said parish church of Saxton and the present and future churchwardens or guardians of its fabric an annual rent of seven marks of legal money of England coming from our honour and demesne of Pontefract ... annually at the feasts of Pentecost and St Martin in Winter in equal portions for ever, for the support and maintenance of sir John Bateman, chaplain; and when he retires or dies, or in any other way relinquishes the underwritten charge ... another suitable perpetual chaplain [is to be] nominated and set in place ... who will celebrate masses and other divine offices in the aforesaid chapel of Towton for the healthy state of us and of our most dear consort Anne, Queen of England, and of our dearly beloved firstborn son Edward, ... and for the souls of the aforesaid dead, as long as we shall live, and for our souls and theirs and the souls of
Presumably Richard’s concern was to get the bodies into properly consecrated ground, as he had had them exhumed. If it had been 23
all the faithful departed when we have departed from the light of this life ... Given at London on the 19th day of February in the first year [of our reign] .’
that six years after their deaths in battle the memory of his former servants (none of them great men in terms of worldly consequence) was still held by Richard in active and affectionate regard. As a side light on his character, this circumstance deserves consideration.’6
Richard’s concern for the souls of the men who died at Towton may well have sprung from his personal religious feelings of what was due to the dead, but it also points to a real appreciation of their loyal sacrifice. Side by side with this endowment the chapel at Towton we may set his endowment of prayers for men who had died for him at Barnet or Tewkesbury. Charles Ross comments on Richard’s ‘conspicuous loyalty to, and generous treatment of, the men who had been in his service as Duke of Gloucester’, pointing out that this extended to people of humble or comparatively obscure origin. He cites the indentures of 1477 drawn up between Richard and the President and Fellows of Queens’ College, Cambridge, regarding four fellowships which Richard was endowing there in return for prayers for the good estate and the souls of himself and members of both his immediate and extended family, both of the House of York and the House of Neville. Richard also stipulated that other souls were to be prayed for: ‘the soules of Thomas Par, John Milewater, Christofre Wursley, Thomas Huddleston, John Harper and all other gentilmen and yomen servanders and lovers of the said duke of Gloucetr, the wiche were slayn in his service at the batelles of Bernett, Tukysbery, or at any other feldes or jorneys.’ Ross concludes his article by remarking, ‘it is .. [a] fact
[A full transcription and translation (where necessary) of all these documents concerning the chapels at Towton and other relevant material is in active preparation. We hope to publish this in 2008.]
Notes 1. Letter from George Neville, bishop of Exeter and Chancellor of England to the Papal Legate Francesco Coppini (Hinds, A.B., ed., Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts in the Archives and Collections of Milan, vol. 1, London 1912.) 2. A. Boardman in Blood Red Roses, ed. V. Fiorato, A. Boylston and C. Knüsel (Oxbow 2000), p. 27. 3. TNA C 270/26/30. Calendared in the Calendar of Papal Letters XII, p. 623 ed. J.A. Twemlow (HMSO 1933). ‘Near it’ is iuxta illud in the Latin, so the ‘it’ is the cemetery, not the chapel, which would have been written iuxta illam. 4. TNA C 270/26/30. 5. TNA DL 42/20 fo.14. 6. Charles Ross, ‘Some “Servants and Lovers” of Richard in his Youth’, Richard III, Crown and People, ed. J. Petre (Gloucester 1985), pp. 146-8. The article first appeared in The Ricardian, Vol. IV, No. 55 (December 1976), pp. 2-4.
Northleach Parish Church GWEN & BRIAN WATERS
he Church of St Peter and St Paul, Northleach, is one of the great ‘wool’ churches of the Cotswolds.
it is remarkable that this has survived the Reformation and the weathering of over five hundred years. The upper room was originally equipped to provide living quarters for the priest, with fireplace, cupboard and lamp brackets, but in past centuries it has been used for a variety of civic purposes; it now houses a museum. The nave and aisles are mid-fifteenthcentury and the clerestory windows, which increase the height of the nave almost half as high again, were the gift of John Fortey, one of the town’s most prominent woolmen. He died in 1458/9 and was buried ‘in the new middle aisle of the church of St Peter’ (Church Guide) but his brass has now been moved to the north aisle to minimise wear and tear. In his will he left £300 ‘to complete the new work already begun by me’ and also a number of charitable bequests including the wedding gifts of twenty shillings to each of 40 poor girls, £200 for making clothes for the needy and four pence to each prisoner in Gloucester Castle. (‘Northleach Brasses,’ church leaflet.) The font (fourteenth to fifteenth century) has angels playing musical instruments, devils being defeated by baptism and a series of ‘portraits’ (possibly of benefactors), one being of a priest, another of a woman and six of men with long hair and drooping moustaches. The pulpit is another very beautiful example of Cotswold fifteenth-century carved stonework. The south-east or Lady Chapel was built by the Bicknell family (probably wooltraders) in 1489, which date is inscribed in Arabic numerals high up on a corbel. Two other corbels bear the reputed likenesses of Henry VII and his Queen. The reason for these royal portraits is not known – except, of course, that they were the king and queen on the throne at the time – but Jenkins (p. 222)
‘Wolle is cheoff tresour in this land growing: To riche and poore this beeste fynt clothing: Alle nacions afferme up to the fulle, In al the worlde ther is no better wolle.’ (John Lydgate, 1370-1450) Here Lydgate is extolling the quality of Cotswold wool. Wool was the most popular material for clothing in the medieval period, and the finest and most expensive wool was that which came from the Cotswolds. Northleach is now a quiet little market town, but in the fifteenth century, when the wool trade was at its height, it would have been alive with activity. (See Sheep in the Cotswolds: The Mediaeval Wool Trade, by Derek Hurst.) As Simon Jenkins says in his England’s 1000 Best Churches (p. 222): ‘Money flowed through the town, much of it finding its way to adorn a church that ranks with those of Cirencester and Chipping Campden’, and he awards it a four-star rating. So impressive is the Church of St Peter and St Paul that it has been called ‘The Cathedral of the Cotswolds’ – but this claim is made for Cirencester too. It is certainly a monument to the success of the wool trade for, although thirteenth century or earlier in origin, much of the present building dates from the fifteenth century. The stalwart tower (AD 1300-1400) is stately and impressive. The high, clerestoried nave and the chancel and chapels, with their fine windows, form a beautiful grouping, but it is the porch that is the church’s crowning architectural glory, being one of the finest in the country. It is very splendidly pinnacled and crocketed and buttressed, and elaborately rib-vaulted within. Medieval imagery, representing the Virgin and Child, the Trinity, and several saints, still adorns the south face and 25
makes the rather surprising suggestion that the chapel was founded ‘in thanks for the end of the Wars of the Roses and the marriage of Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York’. Northleach’s collection of brasses is remarkable in that they have survived the ravages of time, the misplaced zeal of the reformers and the metal-plunderers of the Civil War. They are also exceptional for the wealth of information they provide about civilian dress in the fifteenth century and the change of fashion during the one hundred and eightyfour years they span – every trimming, fastening and button being shown in precise detail. All the memorials are of woolmen and their wives (excepting those of William Scors, a tailor, and William Launder, or Lavender, vicar of Northleach in 1530) and so sheep are shown in the designs, and the feet of all the deceased are firmly planted on, or by, a woolsack, the source of their wealth. The woolsack is shown as consisting of a simple rectangle of cloth or canvas, tied at the four corners. There are little touches of a pleasantly idiosyncratic nature – dates are often written in a mixture of Roman and the new Arabic numerals; the sheep on the Bushe brass, shown in elaborately-designed canopies above Thomas and Joan, are grazing among the bushes: the inscription around the brass of Agnes and her two husbands, William Scors and Thomas Fortey (the latter described as a ‘repairer of roads and bridges’), has the words separated by plants and fruits, a castle, and a diverse collection of creatures ranging from a dragon to a slug. On the brass of John Fortey, who initiated so much of the rebuilding of the church, are six medallions showing the woolmark which would have been stamped on his woolpacks to identify them on their journey to London and Calais. At the base of his memo-
rial is an inscription which, translated, reads: ‘Reflect on the worth of the present – All is nought save the worship of God.’ This reflects the deeply religious spirit of the age in which he lived – the fifteenth century was a very pious era with a profound concern about what happened to the soul after death. It was hoped that charitable bequests and church-enhancing projects would give some respite of the years spent in purgatory, but donors like the Forteys no doubt also enjoyed a close association with their parish church and accepted their duty to share willingly in its upkeep and embellishment. Editor: Northleach church will be one of the churches visited during the Triennial Conference weekend. See page 50.
The South Porch of Northleach Church
A Fifteenth-Century Football Hooligan LESLEY BOATWRIGHT
n the last Bulletin (Summer 2007) I said that I had been searching the public records for evidence for the historical existence of the ordinary people who said they had received a posthumous and miraculous helping hand from Henry VI. One of the series of documents I thought might be productive was a rather motley class in The National Archives known as Ancient Indictments, documents connected with criminal cases brought before the king’s justices, including local justices of the peace. They survive very patchily, and are often badly preserved, and some of the bundles even now are kept threaded on elderly string, which makes reading them very difficult. I was looking for an experiencer of miracles, but I found a fifteenth-century football hooligan. He was Alexander Syda, the vicar of Bethersden in Kent. An inquiry1 was held at Canterbury on Tuesday 8 April 1483 before a distinguished set of JPs, some of whom are well-known to Ricardians, such as Sir John Scott, Sir Henry Ferrers and Roger Appelton.2 Notice the date of the inquiry. Edward IV died the very next day. They just got the case done in time, as the justices’ commissions expired with Edward, and they would have had to wait for new ones from the next king. The account of the inquiry is written in Latin, except when the jury verdict quotes the vicar’s actual words, which are in picturesque English. The actual offence was said to have taken place more than two years before, on 10 February 1481. The plaintiff was one Richard Carpenter. He was a tenant of William, prior of the church of St Gregory by Canterbury, and held
a piece of land in Bethersden named Courtfield which belonged to Prior William in right of his church, i.e. it was church property rather than William’s private estate. In February 1481 Richard intended to plough the land in order to plant it with beans and oats, so on Saturday 10 February he went there, taking his plough and all its bits and pieces with him, and apparently left them there overnight. The actual account says ‘purposing to fulfil his aforesaid intention on the morrow of that day’, which is slightly surprising as the morrow would be a Sunday, but the trouble was not about doing such work on a Sunday. The vicar got upset about the proposed ploughing because Courtfield was – he said – where the village played football. This is the translated text of the main portion of the account (with repetitions excluded): ‘The jury [named] say on their oath that ... one Alexander Syda, late of Bethersden in the county aforesaid, clerk and vicar of the parish church of Bethersden, cunningly plotted maliciously to harm, frustrate and disturb the said Richard from his purpose and intention, and caused to be made various foot balls [pilas pedales] called Foteballs, and on the morrow of the said tenth day, namely on the eleventh, which was a holiday but not a feast day [dies ferialis et non festivalis], gathered together into his company as many unknown evildoers and disturbers of the peace ... as he possibly could, to the number of 20 persons, who helped him in a riotous manner, with force of arms [vi et armis], namely with staves and knives, and he entered the aforesaid piece of land and then and there played at football with the aforesaid balls for a greater part of the same day with the aforesaid malefactors, 27
and trampled and ruined the grass belonging to Richard ... by walking on it with his feet and beating it, riotously singing, exclaiming, and making a hue and cry and keeping on openly and publicly, and saying in these words’ – (here the account switches to English): ‘This is the comen Grounde and comen pleiyng place for all men of this parisshe. I wold the priour or his fermour [firmarius = tenant, i.e. Richard Carpenter] were now here to let us [= hinder us] to pleie here and if he or his fermour wold now begyn to ere [= plough] this ground to let us of our pleiyng place, in good feith we shall tere ther hodis.’ For Alexander Syda, the monks of St Gregory’s were the hoodies to be dealt with. The account continues in Latin. ‘And he broke and ripped to pieces the said plough and its equipment found there and then on the same piece of ground, and then and there scattered it about the various parts of the same piece of land and of its hedges, and he broke up the wheels of the same plough piecemeal and put them and hung them high up into various trees.’ According to the account, ‘the game of football had not been seen or played in that said parish for many years before then’. It concludes by saying, ‘By this the aforesaid Richard lost the profit of the said piece of land from the aforesaid eleventh day of February until the present moment, against the peace of the lord king, and this would be a pernicious example of delinquency unless in future in such cases such a penalty were inflicted that would deter others.’ We do not know what penalty the justices of the peace imposed on Alexander Syda. It is also not completely clear how much of the document is the verdict of the jurors, because, although we are clearly told at the beginning that the jury dicunt super sacramentum suum quod, ‘say on their oath that’ Syda did all these criminal acts, by the time we reach the end it appears to be a demand from Richard Carpenter that the justices should hand out a severe and deterrent sentence to him, perhaps copied from the original indictment. Bishops’ registers tell us that Alexander Syda was vicar of Reculver, Kent, from 1467
to 1475, and then exchanged this benefice for Bethersden, whose patron was the prior and convent of St Gregory, Canterbury, so he must have been at least 40 at the time of this piece of football villainy, no spring chicken. The prior of St Gregory seems to be the villain of the piece, at least in Syda’s mind, although the prior had appointed him to his Bethersden benefice. The Oxford English Dictionary’s earliest reference to the use of the word ‘football’ in England is from 1486: ‘it is calde in latyn pila pedalis a fotebal’. Perhaps I should send them this reference, which is three years earlier. Scotland has an earlier reference, from 1424: ‘the king forbiddes that na man play at the fut ball under the payne of iij d.’ (They are all supposed to be practising their archery in their spare moments, not kicking balls about.) Latin references are much earlier. In 1321 William de Spalding, a canon of Sculdham of the Order of Sempringham, was playing a game of ball (ad pilam) and, as he kicked the ball cum pede (with his foot), a friend ran against him and wounded himself fatally on the canon’s sheath knife. William who was very upset, got a Papal dispensation as no blame was attached to him. But this just tells us that men kicked balls about, rather than that the word ‘football’ had been developed. It sounds as if Syda had gathered two full teams of eleven for his Sunday game on Courtfield. When did eleven men a side become the canonical number in a football match? Perhaps this is the earliest evidence for it. Or perhaps it was just the number of local men he could muster for his protest game.
Notes 1. TNA KB 9/365 (Ancient Indictments 1483) 2. It was usual to have distinguished local men on the bench at such enquiries. This panel consisted of Sir John Scott, Sir Henry Ferrers, Roger Appelton, Reginald Soudez, John Alfegh, John Fyneux and Roger Brent. Sir John Scott of Brabourne had done much useful public service in Kent, being at times sheriff and MP as well as JP; his will is in the Logge register. Sir Henry Ferrers, of Peckham, had also served as MP for Kent; with his 28
brother John he was knighted after the battle of Tewkesbury, and was to carry the banner of the Trinity at Edward IV’s funeral. Roger Appelton, of Dartford, served on many Kent commissions and juries, had been MP for Dover in 1478, and was one of Richard III’s commissioners to raise money south of the Thames in February 1485. Sir John Fyneux,
of Faversham and Herne, yet another MP – for Bodmin, Cornwall – was a lawyer, and steward of the manors of Christchurch, Canterbury. He is recorded as saying, ‘No man thrives but that lives as though he were the first man in the world and his father were not before him’. Roger Brent was an alderman of Canterbury, another MP and lawyer.
Living History: Order of the Boar continued from page 21 long spear. Rings can be set up either singly or in multiples, at varying heights and to the rider’s left or right. The rings can be captured with dagger, sword or spear so the possible combinations are almost endless. We train with rings set at 60 cm, 165 cm and 210 cm. The lowest height simulates a footman crouching behind a shield, the middle height a standing footman and the highest height an incoming rider. The second is ‘Quintain’. The quintain was a medieval training device that consisted of a target (usually a shield) fixed to a revolving beam that pivoted on top of a centre post. Often a bag of sand was attached to the opposite end of the beam. The objective was to hit the target cleanly and at speed. If the rider didn’t do this then he received a painful clout on the head from the bag of sand. We use the quintain to teach accuracy and timing when placing a lance-strike, and in competitions the points are awarded for the number of times the target rotates after being struck. We also use a heavier quintain called the ‘shock’ quintain. This is a modern innovation and is designed to provide some significant resistance. If it is not well struck then the rider can be dismounted by the recoil. It is intended to teach people how to deliver and receive strong hits in actual competition jousting and is not used in skill-at-arms competitions. The other exercises are tent pegging, moor’s head, spear throwing, mounted archery and races. Mêlée Combat As well as jousting with lances, another element of our combat activities is mounted and foot mêlée combat. This is derived from the very early tournaments or behourds. These were mock battles between teams of mounted and foot combatants rather then individual contests between knights which evolved later. We train or horses and riders to engage in close-in mêlée combat with swords, axes and other medieval hand weapons. These require a great deal of skill as the unpredictable nature of combat means that each combatant must also be aware of where everybody else is at the same time so that a mistimed blow does not strike a horse. We can also add in foot fighters to the mêlée to make it even more dramatic and interesting. Not only are the foot fighters trying to capture ‘knights’ for ransom but they are also fighting among themselves. Because of the very real risk of a horse being accidentally struck by a weapon, foot fighters must be trained by us before we allow them to participate in this activity. Callum Forbes To be continued 29
Further Adventures in Historical Research TONI MOUNT
ost of my recent research into the ‘Physician’s Handbook’ [MS8004 at the Wellcome Library] has, unfortunately, been of the negative variety and not got me very much further. Nevertheless, even blind alleys can prove interesting. You may remember from my previous report [Winter 2006] that it was perhaps a ‘Richard of Lincoln’ who compiled MS8004. This theory rested on the Christie’s catalogue entry which claimed that, under ultra-violet light, an area of erasure on the first folio stated the [astrological] tables were compiled… after the… devising of ‘Richard … of the city of Lincoln’. Clearly, it would have been a good idea to confirm what the erased words were before I attempted to identify ‘Richard’, but the Special Collections department at the Wellcome Library in Euston Road was closed in October 2006 while the library moved to premises across the road, so earlier observation of the erasures wasn’t possible. In the meantime, other avenues of my research have included work on St Hugh of Lincoln. His days occur as red-letter days in the manuscript calendar on both his feast day, 17 November, and the day of his translation, 6 October. The whole calendar is based on the Salisbury version of the church calendar, which was the one generally used in England in the fifteenth century. However, this does not include St Hugh among its saints, so his appearance suggests the compiler must have had some special reason for adding his name. Was it the Lincoln connection? I discovered on the Internet that there were two St Hughs of Lincoln – the first was the Bishop of Lincoln who died in 1200 AD, the second, known as Little Saint Hugh, was a small Christian boy said to have been crucified by Lincoln’s Jewish community a few
years later. Bishop Hugh may have been of special interest to the compiler of a physician’s handbook. He was applauded, during his lifetime, for his work among the sick and for the ‘kissing’ of lepers, which was reckoned a sure cure when performed by a holy man. He is depicted in various images as raising a child from the dead and it was said that all the sick people who took part in the procession to Lincoln Cathedral at his funeral were miraculously cured. According to the Roman Catholic Church, Hugh is the patron saint of the sick and of sick children in particular, so this probably explains his inclusion in the book. However, it may be worth noting that the feast day of St Cosmas and St Damian, the patron saints of surgery and physic, (27 September) is included in the calendar but doesn’t receive the redletter treatment accorded to St Hugh. It occurred to me that Lincoln might have had a Guild or Fraternity of St Hugh that had physicians and surgeons among its members and that the handbook, being so impressive with its gold illuminations, might have been made for the guild. I have in mind the wonderful book of the Barber-Surgeons of York [Egerton 2572, British Library] as an example of this kind of thing. However, only one Guild of St Hugh has come to light – set up in 1984 for altar servers in Lincoln Cathedral – despite Heather Falvey’s superb efforts in unearthing information for me in Cambridge University Library on medieval guilds in Lincoln. On 1 May, I went again to the Wellcome Library to see MS8004 ‘in person’, now that the library has reopened in its superbly refurbished home, to see it under ultra-violet light with my supervisor, Dr Alixe Bovey. I was worried because, over the phone, the conser30
vator said that a few other people had looked at the erasures and couldn’t see anything. Was I dragging my supervisor there for nothing? Lara Artemis, the conservator who had rebound MS8004 and who was most familiar with it, met us and as we followed her along endless white, pristine and anonymous corridors. In a vast and, as yet, unoccupied laboratory, stacked with brand new equipment still to be unpacked, Lara brought out a gleaming new UV magnifier, protective goggles, also still in their packaging, and the precious MS8004 in its blue box, familiar from my previous visit. We were instructed ‘on no account remove your goggles while the UV is on!’ Fortunately, there were definitely words visible (I could have danced round the lab with delight, but thought I’d better behave myself). Even I could see the name ‘Richard’ was certainly there and then, a surname, previously unseen. Though the initial is totally obliterated, we could see ‘.etaly. or ..etasy’. This is a new discovery, not previously recorded. Then, and we all three agreed, what looks like ‘limner’. A limner was a painter or illuminator, so we have two new discoveries. The bone of contention turned out to be ‘the Cite of …’ on the line below. Alixe thought it said ‘London’, not ‘Lincoln’, and Lara Artemis agreed. We were then joined by Richard Aspin1 who had been instrumental in purchasing MS8004 for Wellcome and whose ‘pet project’ it had been until he was promoted, as he said, to ‘handling A4 rather than parchment’. He also thought the city may well be ‘London’.2 This is how the sentence now seems to read:
by the ‘archaeological people’ across the road. I shall eagerly await the outcome. So I’m having to do a rethink now – what about the text having an East Anglian/ Northern dialect? What about the prominence given to St Hugh of Lincoln in the calendars? Might the text have been sent from Lincoln to London for a professional limner to illuminate it? If so, why should the limner get a mention but not the compiler and the scribe? Or why should a limner compile a physician’s handbook? As you can see, my research is taking me everywhere and nowhere fast. Even so, I am enjoying myself and finding that the people I meet along the way are all so friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, that research is a fascinating and pleasurable end in itself, so I shall carry on. Editor: Toni has, just in time, sent to us the following:I am 90% sure I know the author/compiler of MS8004 ‘The Physician’s Handbook’! I think that’s worthy of an exclamation mark in this instance I have found that Richard Esty, a surgeon of London on Edward IV’s French campaign in 1475, whom I knew from research for my OU dissertation, on occasion spelt his name ‘Elstie’. This fits quite well with the name in the book, visible only under UV, of ‘Richard elasty/etasly ... of the cite of London’. The man was already an Upper Warden of the Surgeons’ Gild in 1459 so was most likely to have been old enough and experienced enough to compile a physician’s manual in 1454. He probably earned enough money to afford to have his book illuminated. His will, drawn up before the French campaign, leaves his seven best books of surgery to the Fellowship of Barbers of London, so presumably he had more than seven books in his library. MS8004 may even have been one of those bequeathed to the barbers. Anyway, everything I’ve discovered about Richard Elstie/Esty fits the profile - name [almost], age, profession, social status, location.
Tabuls compylyd and drauyne aftyre the consate and the deuyse of Richard ?etaly limner of the Cite of London Lara, told us that, when she had taken the manuscript apart, prior to rebinding it, the old glue had been like amber, preserving fluff, seeds and pollen, with so much of the last, she was certain the book must have been read out of doors on numerous occasions – strange treatment for a beautiful book that must have been very expensive. She said she has plans to send the seeds and pollen for examination 31
scripts and Archives in the Research Collections. 2. Reading also confirmed (from Lara Artemis’s drawing of the word) by Lesley Boatwright and Christopher Whittick.
Notes 1. Dr Richard Aspin was Curator of Special Collections and is now Head of Manuscripts and Archives at The Wellcome Trust. He is also Secretary of the Association for Manu-
Sweden, Denmark and Norway – The Kalmar Union 1397-1521 LYNDA PIDGEON A look at what was happening in other parts of Europe during the late middle ages.
and is power, and for medieval society in Scandinavia it was no different. The ‘Old Nobility’, who could trace their ancestry back to the Viking age, were independent of the crown and resistant to royal power. The monarch, however, held little personal land. In the fourteenth century this led to increasing conflict between the two. In an attempt to curb the old nobility’s power the monarch ennobled his supporters and nominated them to offices of state, which only nobles could hold, but granted them no land. Thus the ‘New Nobility’ were dependent upon the king for their continuing status. During the fourteenth century pretenders to the Swedish throne came and went, supported by various interest groups, friends from the other kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, relatives, even the Hanseatic League. This was also a period of expansion, with Sweden expanding into Finland and Estonia, while Norwegians settled in northcentral Sweden. Colonies also survived on the Faeroes, Iceland and Greenland. While Denmark-Norway existed as a co-kingdom, Sweden constantly tried to exert its independence. In 1360 the Danish king Valdemar IV Atterdag retook the Swedish province of Skane and in 1361 took Oland and attacked the island of Gotland. On 27 July his army confronted the peasants, farmers and some
nobles outside the walls of Visby. The merchants and townspeople of Visby firmly shut their gates and refused to assist their fellow Gotlanders. They believed they had an agreement with Atterdag which secured their safety and privileges. They did, but it cost them three large barrels of gold and silver. Two thousand Gotlanders died in the battle of Visby and their farms were robbed and burnt. Five mass burial graves were dug in the churchyard of a nearby nunnery to take the dead. Early last century three of the graves were excavated. The bodies had been buried so deep that they still smelt, and many still had on their armour. Upon examination of the remains one third were found to be old men, young boys or disabled. Following the Danish invasion the Swedes expelled their king, Magnus Eriksson, and offered the throne to his nephew Albert of Mecklenberg. Albert installed German officials; the mayors and leading merchants were all German as were the soldiers. This led to him being widely disliked across Sweden and the removal of foreigners was an important factor in the propaganda of rival parties for the crown. In 1389 Albert was defeated at the battle of Fallkoping by a group of nobles backed by Queen Margrete of DenmarkNorway. In 1397 Margrete ruled all three countries 32
as regent for her nephew Erik of Pomerania, a minor, and descendant of rulers of all three countries. At a meeting of the Diet held in Kalmar it was agreed that each country would retain its own laws and customs, and that no foreigner was to be granted high office. Although the union remained until 1521, cracks soon began to appear, and civil war continued in Sweden for 120 years. Sweden broke away from the Union several times, finally leaving in 1521. Norway and Denmark remained united until 1814. When Margrete died in 1412 Erik succeeded; against the terms of the union charter he appointed an increasing number of foreign officials which led to unrest amongst the nobles who were feeling excluded from lucrative lordships. It was felt that the king was more interested in his duchies and counties in Germany than in his Scandinavian kingdoms. Of interest is his wife, Philippa, daughter of Henry Bolingbroke, later Henry IV, who was crowned with him in 1412. Although Erik may not have been a good ruler, Philippa ruled wisely and with force while her husband was absent for several years. In 1428 she led the defence of Copenhagen against a Hanse fleet. The Hanse were unhappy with the Union as it damaged their trade; a weakened Union was to their benefit and if it collapsed then it would be even better for them. They therefore instituted a trade blockade. The blockade severely affected the region of Berglagen and in 1434 the people rebelled. Erik made agreements with the rebels which he soon broke and rebellion broke out again in 1436. By 1439 Erik was overthrown and a Swedish magnate Karl Knutsson, who had joined the rebels, became Protector. In 1440 Erik’s nephew Kristoffer of Bavaria was elected king. He restored the original conditions of the Union charter and Karl Knutsson became Lord Chief Justice. For a time peace followed. When Kristoffer died suddenly in 1448 Karl was elected king. To make sure of his claim he forged his pedigree proving he had a relationship to ‘holy king Erik’ (11561160).
Karl proved as oppressive as his predecessors and the nobility resented his claims to power. Members of the major Scandinavian families joined together to overthrow him. Revolt broke out in 1457 and the leading families agreed to crown Christian I. He earned himself the nickname ‘empty and bottomless moneybag’, and by 1464 they had once again had enough and recalled Karl Knutsson. When he died three years later the office of Protector became crucial. Sten Sture the Elder seized power and manoeuvred so well that who was to be the king of the union was not decided until 1497. Christian I attempted a return and invaded with a large army in 1471 but was defeated at Brunkeberg near Stockholm. It was only Sture’s ruthless acquisition of lands that led to the opposition finally agreeing and removing him in favour of Christian’s son Hans who was king of Denmark in 1481 and Norway in 1483. Hans’ wife Kristina was crowned queen in 1499. Here was another strong lady. She defended Stockholm against Swedish attacks from October 1501 to May 1502 until she was forced to surrender due to lack of supplies. After her surrender she was imprisoned for one and a half years. Hans died in 1513 and their son Christian succeeded to Denmark and Norway. In Sweden there was still rebellion and a succession of aggressive and power hungry Protectors. Christian II fought the Swedes in 1517 but was defeated; however in 1520 he was successful and the Protector was killed. Christian now controlled all three kingdoms again. Following his coronation he had 80 Swedes executed in the Great Square at Stockholm for their part in supporting the Protector. Christian the Tyrant then went on a bloody progress through the kingdom, wiping out all resistance. If he thought this would secure his throne he was mistaken. He too was soon deposed and went into exile. Following an attempt to regain power he was imprisoned in 1532 and died a prisoner in Denmark, in 1559. Does any of this seem familiar?
Correspondence Will contributors please note the letters may be edited or shortened to conform to the standards of the Bulletin. ety’s Library. Meanwhile, if anyone would like to see Act III, then it can be borrowed from Lynda Pidgeon (contact details on inside back cover). In Act III Henry VII is interviewing Sir James Tyrell. He wants an explanation of a payment of £3,000 made to him at Calais by the late King Richard III. Tyrell explains that the money came, not from the Privy Purse, but from the late King Edward’s private treasure, and that it was used for a personal service he had been asked to carry out for King Richard. Early in the second year of Richard’s reign he had been promoted to be Constable of Guisnes, near Calais, which he assumed was a normal promotion from being sheriff of Glamorgan. However, before leaving, he was told that he would be paid this large sum of money on arrival in Calais, and that he was to have two rooms at the Castle prepared to accommodate two young gentlemen. Then he was also told that he was to buy and equip a boat and sail across and up the River Thames, when the tide was right, to the entrance of the Tower by the Cradle Gate. He was to evacuate the two young princes from their lodgings and transport them to the safety of Guisnes. There they were to be raised and educated as gentlemen, no expense spared, but secretly so as not to be the focus for further insurrection. Unfortunately, things did not go to plan. Tyrell had found Prince Edward lying on his bed close to death. The priest, Father Dighton, had just administered the last rites. The poor young man had suffered terrible grief to find that he was illegitimate and would not be king, and fear at his confinement in the Tower, which was so different from his former home at Ludlow, and this had affected his rather frail constitution. He had been receiving treatment from Dr Argentine. When Tyrell arrived, dressed in black, in the
Who Murdered the Princes? From Mrs. A.N. Butler, Torquay Reverting to the Bulletins of last summer and last autumn 2006 containing The Debate: Who Murdered the Princes?, I would like to offer the enclosed possible contribution. Some years ago (I am now aged 91) I had been recently widowed and employed some time on Butler family history. The story of Lady Eleanor Butler’s marriage contract with Prince Edward of York and consequent later illegitimacy of the Princes in the Tower led to my interest in Richard III. I wrote a play – very amateurish, I fear – but enclose a copy of Act II which features Sir James Tyrell’s explanation to King Henry VII as to the fate of the princes and the expenditure of the large sum of money which King Richard paid him. King Henry, of course, was determined that his intended bride, the princes’ sister Elizabeth, should not bear the taint of illegitimacy so was content to let the rumour of their murder continue. As you did say that readers’ suggestions are welcome, I have at last worked up courage to send it. I have not ignored any of the known facts of which I am aware, so hope perhaps it offers a reasonable explanation. I don’t believe that, after his staunch support of his brother Edward during his reign, and later in exile together, Richard would have murdered his nephews. But he had the well-being of the country at heart and must have considered a boy king, under age and illegitimate, totally unsuitable to be in charge and therefore that he should be tactfully replaced. Editor: Below is a précis of the arguments put forward in Act III. It offers a possible theory for what may have happened to the princes, explaining the mystery and Tyrell’s role in it. If anyone would like to read it in full, Mrs Butler has agreed to place a copy in the Soci34
flickering light of dusk, and announced that he had come from their Uncle Richard to take them away, both boys were terrified. Edward drew his last breath and expired. The younger prince had cowered in the corner afraid of what would happen. On the death of his brother, unnoticed, he suddenly dashed for the door but tripped at the top of the stairs and fell to his death at the bottom. Tyrell, Father Dighton and the servant Miles Forest panicked, fearing they would be held responsible for the deaths of the princes. They piled the bodies into the partly-filled clothes chest and covered them, then pushed the chest into the cavity beneath the staircase which ran up against the wall, managing to disguise this with some stones left by the masons from repairing the Cradle Gate. The absence of the two princes was not questioned because the Constable of the Tower had some knowledge of the plan and thought they had been taken to Guisnes. This also explained why there were no guards on duty. King Henry is satisfied that the princes are dead and therefore no threat to his accession, and is also relieved because the assertion of their illegitimacy is no longer important. He instructs Chancellor Morton quietly to collect and destroy all copies of the document Titulus Regius so that there can be no further stain of illegitimacy on them or, more importantly, on their sister, his intended bride, the Princess Elizabeth.
Lower Canongate and the entrance to Forsyth’s Close
Richard III Scottish lecture season. There are 197 closes, wynds or pends that run off this old medieval street like a fish’s ribs. The first ones that Richard of Gloucester’s small army would have passed on the day in 1482 when he changed British history for ever, having been admitted without resistance to Edinburgh through the Water Gate in the east, are those on that very same Canongate (in old Scots the Canon’s Gait, or Walk, i.e. the route the friars walked from Holyrood Abbey to St Giles and the Castle). The closes are named after people who lived or owned properties in them, or places or events associated with them. Simple examples are Campbell’s Grove, Panmure Close and the Tollbooth Wynd. Where a close has had more than one name, the Edinburgh District Council uses the most recent, but places a smaller street sign with the original name below or adjacent to it. Having walked the lower Canongate for the best part of twenty years, I am ashamed to admit that last week my attention was drawn for the first time to the shadowy gated entrance to Forsyth’s Close, an old entrance to the yard of Whitefoord House (Georgian ex-
A Gateway to the Past From Dave Fiddimore, Scottish Branch One of the nice things about living in a medieval city is that clichés sometimes come true, particularly the one which states that ‘you learn something new every day’. My house is in the Old Town of Edinburgh – as apart from the New Town, which is a mere 300 years old. I live on an old road in the shadow of Calton Hill that was formerly known as ‘The North Back of Canongate’ – it runs parallel to the Canongate on the north side. The Canongate is the lower third of what we now call the Royal Mile, that straight road which climbs Edinburgh’s spine from the palace and abbey at Holyrood, to Edinburgh Castle, the venue for this year’s 35
fewer than three times in a week, a welcome change to the indifference shown so frequently. No excuse now for people to wonder why we exist. How valuable this statement is! I am sure I am not alone in my gratitude to whoever wrote it when the Society was founded. Its reasoned air is masterly, and forms the basis of our answers to the many queries we receive. Would that some headline writers could learn such restraint! Entrance to Forsyth’s Close. The Gloucester Gate sign is on the gate itself
pansion of a medieval house), one of the first houses that Richard’s army would have passed. I probably noticed it because I was actually walking on the other side of the road, by the Marquis of Queensberry’s lodging, and looking across. Forsyth, it turns out, was an Edinburgh merchant who acquired his property in the 1700s, and the small street was named for him in 1795. Its older name is still there, on a smaller place – the first Edinburgh close that Richard rode by. It is Gloucester Gate, and I thought that you’d like to see a photograph of it. Coincidence? I hardly think so; and it is somehow fitting that we rediscovered it in the year that the local branch of the Society is focusing its lecture day on that very ‘invasion’ – Richard is himself again. Three Times a Winner From Julie Redlich, Secretary, NSW Branch When John Saunders reported the item from the Sydney Morning Herald about the NSW Branch toasting both Richard III and Australia’s third World Cup in cricket (Bulletin Summer 2007), he didn’t mention the follow-up. The next day someone wrote in to the paper, wanting to know what the Richard III Society actually did – and it was a wonderful opportunity for us to give the readers of the elegant broadsheet the statement given at the beginning of Ricardian publications (‘In the belief that many features ...’ etc.), and this was published at the end of the week. So Richard actually made his appearance in the paper no 36
More on Joanna of Portugal From Maria Torres This is a very interesting correspondence, and it emphasises the parallels between the civil unrest in Castile and the Wars of the Roses in England. Many thanks for this fascinating discussion. In response to Pamela Hill’s last contribution, and her comment about Juan II of Castile being an ‘able man’ [Spring 2007 Bulletin], unfortunately this is not true. Juan II was a very intelligent man, who promoted literature and artistic development in Castile, and even wrote some pleasant poetry himself; however, he had very little ability or even interest in governing. He left this to his extremely able, and extremely controversial, favourite, Don Alvaro de Luna, certainly one of the most intriguing characters of his time and place. Ruling Castile in all but name for about half a century, he finally fell from Juan’s favour owing to the manipulations of Isabel of Portugal, Juan’s second wife, whose coming to Castile was, ironically, arranged by Don Alvaro himself. Beheaded in 1453, Don Alvaro was followed to the grave a year later by his erudite but rather flaccid master. Isabel of Portugal was retired to Arevalo with her two children, Isabel and Alfonso. Regarding the rights of ‘la Beltraneja’ and Isabel the Catholic, the latter had a legitimate case. In 1468, in the Treaty of Los Toros de Guisando, Enrique IV officially named Isabel Princess of Asturias, and heiress apparent to the throne of Castile. Civil war had been ripping the kingdom apart since 1464, Enrique’s opposition being led by Isabel’s young brother Alfonso. Alfonso died suddenly at the age of 14, and the rebel nobles approached Isabel,
then aged 16, to take his place as leader of the blood-shedding. Isabel preferred to end hostilities and let Enrique rule undisputed on condition that he named her as his successor, and this was done. There is no way of knowing what kind of ruler ‘la Beltraneja’ would have been; moreover, she was about 12 when Enrique died (Isabel was 23, married and with a daughter). Aside from the regency rule among members of an ambitious and uncooperative nobility, this would have opened the way for Juan II of Aragon to invade Castile, an ambition which
he, his brothers and his father had harboured since the accession of his father to the throne of Aragon in 1412. As a result, Isabel might very well have finished as ruler of Castile in the end anyway, via a more bloody route. We do know that Isabel was an observant and practical presence as early as 1468, providing evidence of capability from fairly early on; she already knew that she wanted to marry Fernando, and knew that she wanted to restore a sense of law and order to Castile, which had lacked effective and authoritative rule for about two generations.
Memorials of the Wars of the Roses An occasional series devoted to notables who lived during this period and whose memorials were published by the late W.E. Hampton in 1979
North Creake, Norfolk 1494 SIR WILLIAM CALTHORPE Checky or and azure, a fess ermine. Brass, without inscription,in civilian dress, holding as donor A church in his hand; floor of sanctuary Son and h. of Sir John Calthorpe, by Anne (or Amy), dau. of John Wytham; m. 1, Elizabeth, dau. of Regionald Lord Grey of Ruthin; 2, Elizabeth, dau. and coh. of Sir Miles Stapleton of Ingham (her siser m. Sir John Huddleston) and wife afterwards of Sir John Fortescue and (lastly) Sir Edward Howard, K.G., who was killed at Brest, 1513. She d. 1509. J.P. 1460, 1461-3, 1466-75, June, 1483 until Bosworth, removed from the bench by Henry VII; Sheriff, 1441-2, 1458-9, 1463-4, 1475-6; knighted at the coronation of Elizabeth Woodville, 26 May, 1465; in June, 1469, indentured to serve Richard Duke of Gloucester, who he later supported, although he was not a commissioner of array (as Wedgwood states) in 1484, but a commissioner of subsidy, in 1483; probably did not attend the king at Bosworth (being then aged seventy-six). In his will Calthorpe made arrangements for the building of the choir and presbytery of ‘ye Abbey of Creyke’. King Richard had himself donated £500 for the repair of the abbey, which had been damaged by fire.
The Barton Library Fiction Book Catalogue If you would like your own copy of the printed catalogue of all the novels in the Society’s Library, (revised in 1998, but with an updating supplement of all the novels added since then), or if you already have the catalogue but would like the updating supplement only, please send a first or second class stamped self-addressed envelope (A5 size) with a note of your requirements to Anne Painter, the Fiction Librarian. Her address is on the inside back cover of the Bulletin. Latest Additions to the Library Listed below are a selection of books, papers and videos that have recently been added to the Library. The books are hardbacks unless otherwise described. Please contact the relevant Librarian to borrow any items. You will find their names and contact details on the inside back page of the Bulletin. Non-Fiction Books BALDWIN, David Stoke Field: The Last Battle of the Wars of the Roses (Pen and Sword Military, 2006) The Battle of Stoke was the last and most neglected armed clash of the Wars of the Roses, but Henry VII’s victory confirmed the crown to the House of Tudor for more than a century. This book takes full account of recent research and discoveries, and includes a comprehensive battlefield tour. BOARDMAN, Andrew The First Battle of St Albans: 1455 (Tempus Publishing, 2006) ‘I saw a man fall with his brains beaten out, another with his throat cut, and a third with a stab wound to his chest, while the whole street was strewn with corpses’: Abbot John Whethamstede, eyewitness to the battle fought on the streets of St Albans on 22 May 1455. This is a detailed illustrated study of the events leading up to the battle, the combatants, the battle itself and the sources describing it. BROMLEY, Ian Bromley: A Midlands Family History (Troubadour Publishing, 2007) This is a well presented book, kindly donated by the author, who is a Society member. At a time when the country was in turmoil, during the Wars of the Roses through to the reign of Henry VIII, a family by the name of Bromley settled in the Kibworth area of Leicestershire – what were the Bromleys’ origins? This book is the result of a decade long search for the answer and although the Bromleys of Cheshire were Lancastrian there is an intriguing twist when they became associated with the Woodville family. CROSLAND, Margaret The Mysterious Mistress: The Life and Legend of Jane Shore (Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2006) The author sheds new light on the woman who had an incredible rise and fall through the strict hierarchy of medieval society This is the first complete biography of Jane Shore, examining the woman behind the myth and how her life became the subject of art and literature through the centuries. HICKS, Michael Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III (Tempus Publishing Ltd, 2006) This new biography seeks to tell the story of Anne’s life in her own right, and uncovers the real wife of Richard III by charting the remarkable twists and turns of her fraught and ultimately tragic life. See pages 60-61 of the Winter 2006 Bulletin for a very interesting critique of this book by Helen Cox. MOUNT, Toni Medieval Housewives & Women of the Middle Ages (Echoes from History, paperback, 2007) This book highlights the fascinating world of women of the Middle Ages and shows, in respect of human nature at any rate, that despite the passage of time, the lives of medieval housewives were not so different to our own. It covers housewives, women in trade, medieval ladies, peasant women and women and the church. 38
Fiction Books MAKEPEACE, Joanna Her Guardian Knight (paperback, 2003) A Mills & Boon historical romance: Rosamund Kinnersley’s father has died fighting for the Lancastrians. Now the enemy knight, Sir Simon Caudwell, whom she first met on the battlefield at Tewkesbury, is to become her and her brother Arthur’s guardian. MAXWELL, Robin To the Tower Born (2005) A novel offering another version of what might have happened to the ‘Princes in the Tower’, this time seen through the eyes of Nell Caxton, only daughter of William Caxton, and her friend Bessie, daughter of Edward IV and sister to the two princes. WHITFORD, Meredith Treason (first published in 2000, 2004 paperback in the Library) After seeing his parents brutally slain and his home destroyed, Martin Robsart’s life becomes entwined with that of his Yorkist cousins, Edward IV and Richard III. He learns the cost of loyalty and love on battlefields and in bedchambers at a time when life is cheap and treachery can hide behind a smile. Papers CLARKE, Peter D. ‘English Royal Marriage and the Papal Penitentiary in the Fifteenth Century’, (English Historical Review, Volume 120, Number 488, September 2005). A study of documents in the papal registers relating to dispensations for the marriages of Margaret of York and Charles the Bold, Anne Neville and Edward of Lancaster, Anne Neville and Richard of Gloucester and Elizabeth of York and Henry VII. HICKS, Michael ‘The Second Anonymous Continuation of the Crowland Abbey Chronicle 1459-86 Revisited’, (English Historical Review, Volume 122, Number 496, April 2007). Reviews the many attempts to identify the author of the Chronicle, and adds a sixth candidate to the five already proposed by different historians. POLLARD, A.J. ‘Richard Neville, Fifth Earl of Salisbury 1400-60’ (from New Dictionary of National Biography). A full account of Salisbury’s life and career, with interesting information on the transformation of a staunch Lancastrian into a Yorkist supporter. POWELL, Sue ‘Margaret Pole and Syon Abbey’ (Historical Research, Volume 78, Number 202, November 2005). Presents the evidence that Margaret lived at Syon Abbey as a young widow, when under the care of Margaret Beaufort, who also had the care of her brother, the earl of Warwick, and other young Yorkists after the Battle of Bosworth. WILSON, Juliet ‘Fair Neville’s Woe: Cicely, Duchess of York, and Fotheringhay’. A booklet detailing Cicely’s connections with the manor of Fotheringhay. Audio Visual Collection Recent additions to the Video section: How We Built Britain: Part One, A New Dawn . A new series from the BBC introduced by David Dimbleby. See review on p. 18 BBC2’s Have I got News for You (an excerpt from the programme of 2 June about the ‘brickie’ prince). See pp. 9 and 10. The National Theatre and BT Interactive Video-Guide, with Sir Ian McKellen exploring one of his most famous roles: Richard III. Viewers can use the video format to interact directly with the actor almost as if they were talking to him in real life. Also included is ‘The Richard III Speechbuilder Challenge’, which involves putting quotes from the ‘Now is the winter of our discontent’ soliloquy into the right order, against the clock.
Book Review A Rose For The Crown by Anne Easter Smith Published by Touchstone (Simon and Schuster), USA 2006. (622 pages) ISBN 13: 978-0-7432-7687-0.
e know that Richard III had at least two illegitimate children (John of Gloucester and Katherine Plantagenet) and, just before the battle of Bosworth, Richard is said to have acknowledged a third illegitimate child, possibly Richard of Eastwell. We also know that Richard’s household accounts cite an annuity given to a Katherine Haute, possibly as maintenance for a child. From these scant facts, Anne Easter Smith has drawn together all three children with Katherine Haute as their mother, and created an intricate and detailed account of her romance with Richard and her part in his life. We first meet Kate Bywood when she is nine years old, the daughter of a poor peasant farmer. Beginning with fortuitous family links with a local landowning family, Kate gradually makes her way up through the social strata, becoming a rich widow and later marrying into the Haute family. Eventually, she meets Richard in a woodland glade and they fall in love. The story has all the conventions of the classic romance – chance meeting, stunningly beautiful heroine (russet hair tumbling down her back and eyes variously described as amber or tawny), attractive, powerful (yet sensitive) hero and doomed relationship (they both know they cannot marry because of her lowly status). The characters of both Kate and Richard are depicted fairly simplistically, but what makes the book a fascinating read is the sheer wealth of detail about the fifteenth century that Smith weaves into her story. Food, music, clothes, medicine, travel, buildings, customs are all meticulously researched and cleverly interlaced into the action. The author is especially good at depicting major set pieces – Kate’s first visit to London (the smells, the people, the streets), Christmas at Edward’s court, the human aftermath of the battle of Barnet, Richard’s coronation – and she really brings these vividly to life. As we have no real information about the mother of Richard’s children, Smith cannot truthfully incorporate Kate into Richard’s court or public life and the turbulent politics of the time and, to her credit, she does not try to do so. After Richard’s marriage, Kate’s focus is her home and children; we only learn about what’s happening at second or third hand, when someone tells Kate of some new event or Richard writes to her, and this means that the dramatic impact of these most dangerous and unpredictable times is diminished. In the last third of the book, Smith tries to rectify this by allowing Kate more involvement in the events of the time – being introduced to Anne Neville, witnessing Richard’s coronation and even meeting Richard at Leicester on the eve of Bosworth, but these events seem contrived and implausible. Having said this, Smith writes fluidly and easily, she sweeps the reader up into the life and times of her heroine and her sympathetic portrait of Richard will surely win a few more converts to the cause. Elaine Henderson 40
Letter from Canada VICTORIA MOORESHEAD
In February, we were introduced to The Treasures from the Buyers’ Library; special holdings belonging to our Branch. Our library has more than 400 titles, including a 1646 copy of The History of Richard III by George Buck, the oldest of our holdings and older even than the copy held by the parent Society. Our library also contains a 1768 edition of The Life and Reign of Richard III by Horace Walpole and a 1906 edition of Sir Clements Markham’s Richard III: His Life and Character, which has a 1957 In Memoriam clipping from the Montreal Star pasted inside. The artefacts shown to members included numerous photo albums, which were passed around with Post-It Notes in the hope of identifying the subjects, various newspaper clippings and replica wax seals of King Edward IV and Richard III. Afterwards, a game of Ricardian Bingo was played. March’s meeting featured a talk by Doug Woodger on Ricardian contemporary Cesare Borgia, who died 500 years ago that month. In April, Tracy Bryce presented a biographical paper on the woman known as Jane Shore. In May, Ray Rawlings presented his paper on the decline of feudalism. We rescheduled our meeting in Toronto that month, so that Lorna ‘Ollie’ Ollie, an ex-pat Canadian now a resident of New Zealand, could join us. She told us about the Australasian Convention of the Richard III Society in New Zealand, which took place in April of this year. Ollie also brought along copies of her book On the Trail of Richard III, from which she read a passage, and which we decided to make our selection for our Ricardian book club meeting this September. Ollie also kindly presented us with kiwi toys, T-shirts and conference tote bags. In the spring, a survey was sent out to Ricardians across Canada asking them a vari-
he year 2006 was the fortieth anniversary of the Canadian Branch’s founding, which we celebrated with a guided tour of the Royal Ontario Museum for our Annual General Meeting in October. The tour focused on the armour collection of the museum, and was conducted by the charismatic Corey Keeble. Mr Keeble managed to tie Richard III, his contemporaries and their period to many of the artefacts we were shown. After the tour we retired to the nearby Duke of York pub for a meal and our AGM. Long-time Branch Librarian Sheilah O’Connor stepped down and was given a unique Ricardian brooch for her services, and it was announced that a bouquet of white roses had been sent to Anne Buyers, one of the founders of the Canadian Branch, to recognise that momentous event in 1966. This year has seen a number of interesting papers and activities undertaken by our Branch. At our first meeting after the summer break, we had a Ricardian book club. Members had read Charles Ross’ Richard III over the summer and we discussed the book at the meeting. In November, Sheilah O’Connor revisited her 1987 paper on ‘Francis Lovell and the Rebels of Furness Fells’, as published in The Ricardian. This paper is significant to Ricardian research in that it revealed the existence of a letter of safe conduct from James IV of Scotland in June 1488 for Francis Lovell and others, which provided evidence of where Lovell was after the defeat at the Battle of Stoke. In January, Christine Hurlbut read from her doctorial thesis, concerning women in the late medieval church, focusing on anchoresses. She discussed their role in medieval society, the strict regimes they lived by, their reasons for adopting such a life, and the physical, mental and moral issues with which they had to contend. 41
ety of questions, such as how they came to know of the Society, other Societies they belong to, etc., including the eternal question, if they don’t think Richard killed the Princes in the Tower, who did? (It would seem that supporters of the Duke of Buckingham might want to consider starting their own group to reverse the blackening of his reputation, as he was the most popular candidate for being the Princes’ assassin.) We had an excellent rate of return for the survey, more than 50 percent, and learned a few interesting things, such as that our annual notice in a national newspaper is a good investment*, as it still attracts attention and inquiries, and that eighty-six percent of responding Ricardians think they get good value for their society membership. The many positive remarks about our newsletters and mailings also were heartening. Overall, mem-
bers seem happy with the Society. However, more regional participation is desired. At the moment, we have monthly meetings in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, and there have been several attempts over the years to get members in other areas to meet. This Ricardian year has also had its share of sadness. In December, David Yuill of British Columbia, died. We recently learned that Mr Yuill kindly left a generous bequest to our Branch. In April, Noreen Armstrong, our former membership secretary and a recent recipient of the Robert Hamblin Award from the Richard III Society, passed away after a long battle with cancer. She is greatly missed. We capped the year with our annual Founder’s Picnic in June, and now look ahead to embark on another year of Ricardian revelry in September.
*Editor: This is very interesting in view of the situation with the UK notice, the future of which will be voted upon at the AGM. See pp. 4 and 8
From Our Sister Publications An occasional series featuring extracts from branch and 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. John writes: In its June edition of RIII, the Canadian Branch published a long article by Tracy Bryce on Edward IV’s mistress, Elizabeth Lambert (alias ‘Jane Shore’). Unfortunately this is much too long to reproduce in full here, but (with profuse apologies to Tracy for my extensive pruning) I include two short extracts on Elizabeth (‘Jane’)’s early life. ‘Fifteenth-century sources refer to her only as “Mistress Shore” or “Shore’s wife” so that later chroniclers such as Fabyan were ignorant of her first name, and often left a blank. The name “Jane” occurs for the first time in an Elizabethan play by Thomas Heywood nearly a century later’. ‘No definite date of birth for “Jane” is known: she is thought to have been born sometime between 1450 and 1452 in the City of London as Elizabeth Lambert, the daughter of John Lambert and Amy Marshall. Lambert was a wealthy liveryman of the Mercer’s Company, and alderman and sheriff, and in 1464, the Warden of his Company. Amy was the daughter of a rich London grocer, and hardy enough to produce a passel of children: 4 boys and 2 girls, of which “Jane” was the eldest daughter’. … [She] was married at about the age of 11 “ere she was well ripe”, according to More, to William Shore. … It is thought that the marriage took place in 1461, but that “Jane” “not very fervently loved for whom she never longed” .’ The Shore marriage was annulled by the pope in 1476, on the grounds of William Shore’s impotence, probably shortly after “Jane” became the king’s mistress. 42
Report on Society Events Visit to Brixworth and Grafton Regis on Saturday 28 April 2007 With spirits raised by a lovely sunny morning, 46 Ricardians set off into the heart of England where our first stop was the ancient church at Brixworth, just north of Northampton. The coach driver, following his Sat-Nav instructions, ignored the ring-road signs and took us straight through Northampton, inevitably finding that every set of traffic lights was against us. However, only some 15 minutes late, we arrived at Brixworth and were met by the Vicar, Fr Watkins, who gave us an entertaining talk on the history of the church. He referred to himself as ‘Watkins the Second’ as a previous incumbent, a Victorian Watkins (1832-1873) had undertaken and was responsible for much of the restoration work. There was a monastery founded at Brixworth in Saxon times, around 690, probably built of wood and on a different site. The present church was built around 750-850 and was one of the most important churches of its period in Europe. Probably built by workmen from Gaul, with Saxon help, it was constructed with re-used material, almost certainly of Roman origin. The nave was at one time much larger than at present, with open arches along each side leading to compartments probably used as side chapels. The arches are now blocked, the side chapels having been abandoned in the early thirteenth century, when it is thought that the clerestory windows were added to give more light to the nave. The arches around the nave are interesting in that Roman bricks can still be seen, set rather inexpertly in mortar by Saxon workmen. Early churches did not have towers but Brixworth had a two-storey narthex which formed the base of a tower added in the eleventh century. A tall spire made of Clipsham stone was added in the fifteenth century. A fragment of bone inside a reliquary was found in the Lady Chapel during restoration work. This was obviously an important relic which has been attributed to St Boniface as there are records of guilds and festivities in his name, although why someone born in Crediton, Devon, and martyred in Mainz, is associated with Brixworth is not really clear. Almost hidden by the door, in a glass case, is ‘The Brixworth Eagle’, an ancient stone carving, which was probably originally a Roman legionary emblem. We were entertained by a local member, a one-time organist at Brixworth, with a short recital which was very much appreciated. The ladies from the Brixworth Heritage Trust laid on a splendid lunch for us in the Community Centre. Apparently they had never catered for such a large party before but it was a great success. They would be happy to provide lunch for other parties with a bit of prior notice. After lunch, on to Grafton Regis, a small, pretty, village just south of Northampton (again via every set of traffic lights), and very quiet and peaceful. Long gone are the days when Royalty and other great personages came and went. There cannot be many English villages nowadays where visitors are met by an Elizabethan lady, but we were. She turned out to be Mistress Merry, who took us on a tour of the village and introduced us to several other Elizabethan local inhabitants, who told us of their lives. There is nothing to see of the Great House now, of course, it having burned down long ago, but we saw the site where it had stood, now just a field. It was, however, of some significance and well known, not only for having been the meeting place of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, but was where Henry VIII wooed Anne Boleyn. Henry often stayed at Grafton House and hunted in the neighbouring forest. It was from here that Henry conducted his negotiations with Rome for his divorce from Katherine of Aragon, with Papal envoys to-ing and fro-ing. The village tour took rather longer than we were originally told, so we had a rather hurried tea, as the coach driver was getting increasingly worried about his hours and could not allow us an extra half-hour to consume it in a more seemly fashion. As we left, ‘Mistress Merry’ and her fellow villagers faded back into history but can still be visited in the churchyard where they all lie peacefully. Carolyn West 43
The Unveiling of the Cromer Plaque Saturday 2 June 2007 started as a misty day at Cromer, on the north Norfolk coast. It was certainly misty and rather chilly at 9 am, when I arrived at the site of the new plaque, accompanied by Dave Perry and Bernard Cuthbert. We had set off from Colchester very early, in order to arrange the veiling of the plaque (since obviously if a plaque is to be unveiled it has first to be veiled). The plaque itself had been set up late the previous afternoon by North Norfolk District Council workmen. This was organised for the Society by Philip Godwin, the Councilâ€™s planning officer, and I am very grateful to him for his help, without which I would have had to go to Cromer on Friday and stay overnight. On arrival in Cromer I was relieved to see that the plaque was indeed in place, and we commenced operations with a large blue velvet curtain which had to be suspended in front of it in such a way that the cutting of a cord would allow it to fall away, revealing the plaque. Since the new plaque is sited on a sloping, rough flint wall, this was not an easy task, and it took the three of us over an hour (complete with various practice curtain drops). Probably those who attend an event such as an unveiling have no idea that all this activity has to go on beforehand to make the event possible. They may also be unaware that several years of planning and preparation, complete with planning applications, and listed-building consent forms, normally precede the erection of such a plaque. Once the curtain was in place, we had to guard it on a rota basis, to ensure the plaque was not accidentally unveiled by incautious passers-by ahead of schedule. Gradually fellow Ricardians and interested locals and holiday makers arrived at the site, and just after 2 pm the new Richard III Society Cromer Plaque was unveiled by David Austin, Chairman of the Norfolk Branch. By this time the sun had broken through the mist and the afternoon was growing hot. The new plaque is sited above the old Cromer shipway, opposite the lifeboat museum. This is a good location, as many visitors pass to and fro here. It is also a very appropriate location, since the plaque commemorates the arrival of Edward IV and Richard, Duke of Gloucester at Cromer on 12 March 1471, their first landfall in England on their return from exile in the Low Countries. Since the shipway dates back to the middle ages, and was the gangway down which vessels were slid to be launched in Cromer harbour, it is probably as close as we can get to the spot where the royal visitors anchored their ship. When Edward IVâ€™s two knights (Debenham and Chamberlain) came ashore, it was quite possibly up the shipway that they walked. Indeed, if Edward IV and his brother came ashore to stretch their legs, they too probably walked up the cobblestones of the shipway. The unveiling of the plaque was followed by a presentation to Cromer museum. This comprised pictures of Edward IV and Richard III, together with details of their visit to Cromer, and information on fifteenth-century Cromer ships and ship-owners, both from contemporary sources. The documentation on the Cromer visit was taken from the Norfolk Group Chairman David Austin making the presentation Arrivall, while the information to Alistair Murphy, curator of Cromer Museum. Photo courtesy on Cromer ships and shipof Cromer Museum 44
owners is to be found amongst the papers of Sir John Howard and came to my attention as part of my current PhD research. The presentation was received by Cromer Museum curator, Alistair Murphy, who then invited Society members to visit the museum free of charge. The museum now plans to display a folder on Richard III and his Cromer associations, and since our visit to Cromer electronic copies of the portraits and documents, together Members of the Society with curator Alistair Murphy in front of Cromer with an electronic copy Museum. Photo courtesy of the Museum. of the Mid Anglia Group booklet, Seeking the Real Richard III, and other portraits and documents, have also been sent to the museum to be added to this file. Previously, Cromer’s fifteenth-century history had been somewhat neglected, and the fact of the royal visit of 1471 was not generally known in the town. The plaque has therefore been welcomed by local residents. Hopefully future visitors to Cromer will now be much more aware of fifteenth-century Cromer history, and of Cromer’s Ricardian associations as a result of the commemorative plaque and the museum display. The Norfolk Branch of the Richard III Society is to be congratulated on this initiative, which has made a very real contribution to ensuring that the events of the Yorkist period are better known and understood by the general public. John Ashdown-Hill
Trip to Battle and Rye The Battle and Rye trip took place on a sunny, warm (dry!) Saturday in June. The coach made its way from the Embankment through the east London landscape and then through the leafy lanes of Surrey and Sussex. The actual battle of Hastings was fought not at Hastings but six miles away, on Senlac or Tenlam hill at the edge of what became the town of Battle. 1066 is one date that most people can remember (apart from 1485, of course), and, unlike the uncertainty over Bosworth, William the Conqueror made sure that everybody knew where the battlefield was by founding a Benedictine abbey in 1071 on the site of the battle. I suppose Henry Tudor was too mean. The site with its imposing gatehouse is at the end of the main street of Battle, a civilised town with antique shops. English Heritage have recently opened a new exhibition centre on the battlefield, with displays illustrated by the Bayeux ‘tapestry’ (really an embroidery) about the campaign and the rivalry between Duke William of Normandy and the Saxon king Harold Godwinsson for the English crown. Exhibition signs are in English and French, and visitors are invited to try their strength by lifting replica battle-axes and shields. Displays show how the English language developed between the ‘high status’ Norman French and ‘low status’ Saxon. There is also a short film narrated by that ubiquitous historian Dr Starkey. Will he narrate the new film displays at Bosworth, I wonder? 45
A picturesque house in Rye close to the Church
The atmospheric battlefield trail is a one-mile walk down the hill and on to swampy ground. Visitors walk from the top of the hill, where Harold and his housecarl bodyguards stood with their shield wall to repel the Norman invaders fighting their way up hill. Harold and his army were already exhausted after marching to Yorkshire and back to fight his brother Tostig, Harold Hardrada and a Scandinavian army at Stamford Bridge. Each army numbered between 5,000 and 7,000 men. The battle of Hastings lasted all day (14 October). The Saxons fought on foot against the Normans, who used crossbows for the first time in England and had mounted troops. Eventually, William resorted to devious tactics by pretending to withdraw his troops. Some of the Saxons followed the Norman soldiers down the hill and were ambushed, breaking up the shield wall, allowing Duke William the victory. The geography of the site made us realise the problems and tactics required to win the battle, but the landscape also includes remains of medieval fish ponds from the abbey and an eighteenth-century water feature. A stone in front of the high altar of the abbey was placed at the site where King Harold fell. Another more recent ‘Gothick’ memorial, with a French inscription, was placed near by in 1904 by the Sisters of Normandy, honouring the brave Saxons - an early example of entente cordiale, perhaps? The abbey was built between 1071 and 1090, and re-built in the thirteenth century, with the gatehouse providing necessary defence at the time of the Hundred Years’ War. The abbey was the fifteenth richest in the country by the time of its dissolutionin May 1539. Henry VIII gave the abbey to his master of the horse, Sir Anthony Browne, who converted the Abbot’s lodging into his residence. He started building two towers as part of lodgings for Henry’s daughter Elizabeth (whether Elizabeth would have enjoyed the Sussex countryside is not known), but Sir Anthony died and the plan was abandoned. He was buried in the nearby parish church in 1548. His coat of 46
arms on display in the Abbey gatehouse shows him to have had aristocratic ancestors, as his mother was Lucy Neville, daughter of John Montague, brother to the Kingmaker. The abbey house later passed into the Webster family and then to the Duke of Cleveland. At some point the abbey cellars may have been used by smugglers. Other remains of the stately mansion include a Regency dairy building and an ice house. In 1922 the house was leased to the school which still occupies the site. After thoroughly exploring the battlefield, we went on to the picturesque town of Rye, on the banks of the River Rother. The manor was originally owned by Queen Emma, and granted to the abbey of Fécamp in Normandy. In 1205 King John was forced to give the town to the French. It was returned by Henry III, but the abbey did not forgo its rights until the Reformation. In the fourteenth century Rye became one of the Cinque Ports. The town survived invading raids by the French. In 1377 it was burnt down and then the defensive walls and the Landgate and Ypres towers were built. The main street includes the sixteenth-century Mermaid Inn, a haunt of smugglers, nowadays an expensive hotel. Rye in more recent times has become a literary town. John Fletcher, the Jacobean playwright who collaborated with Fletcher on The Knight of the Burning Pestle, was born in Lion Street in 1579; the American writer Henry James lived in Lamb’s House, which was later the home of E.F. Benson, who wrote the ‘Mapp and Lucia’ comic novels of the 1930s. St Mary’s church has an elaborate town clock decorated with cherubs blowing trumpets. The church was described as ‘the goodliest edifice of its kind in Kent or Sussex’ in the seventeenth century. Rye succeeds in having all the attributes which Ricardians find desirable: attractive buildings, a selection of second-hand bookshops, and good teashops. The owner of a bookshop in Lion Street asked us if we were Ricardians – whether because we were lurking by the history shelves or because of our boar or white-rose badges, I don’t know. The trip made us think about parallels and similarities between Hastings and Bosworth: a year of three kings, an English king fighting both treachery and foreign invaders of dubious legitimacy, and a battle on a hill. It made me think of the great ‘what ifs’ of history: what if Richard had won Bosworth, what if Harold had won Hastings? But if Harold had won Hastings there might not have been any Nevilles, Percies or Plantagenets, and so no Richard. Thanks go to Marion Mitchell for organising another inspiring trip, and also to the coachdriver. Fiona Price (with input from Susan Ponsonby and Jeanette Underhill).
Norfolk Weekend Visit, 6-9 July – Part One A full report of this most enjoyable trip will appear in the winter Bulletin. On the last day, on the way home, we visited the manor of Hemingford Grey. Gillian Lazar has sent us the following account of the manor, and the remarkable woman who owned it in the middle of the twentieth century. The Manor of Hemingford Grey On 9 July, as the final day of the trip, we visited the manor of Hemingford Grey on the borders of Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire. This house, part of which goes back to the mid twelfth century, is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited house in England. Set in four acres of gardens going down to the river Ouse, the house was bought in 1937 by Lucy Boston, a ‘Renaissance woman’ of her day: writer, artist, gardener, designer and maker of patchwork quilts, and an amateur ecologist clearly ‘green’ well before our present preoccupation. As medievalists, we were eager to know the history of this intriguing house, but the presence of Lucy pervaded everywhere. A bevy of her acolytes, including her daughter-in-law Diana, tall, 47
dark and a little forbidding, tend the garden and give tours voluntarily out of devotion to her memory. She created the Green Knowe children’s books, producing one a year; one is now being filmed, with Dame Maggie Smith playing Lucy. We saw the sitting room with the deep inglenook fireplace where Lucy sewed her beautiful patchwork quilts on long winter evenings. Upstairs, spread upon her bed in chronological order, were these colourful quilts, the last of which was done when she was 90, with white thread because of her failing eyesight. Upstairs, in an attic nursery where the window was left open summer and winter for a chaffinch and other birds, we entered the world of the Green Knowe books through the toys there, a rocking horse, a cradle, a toy box, a birdcage and a tiny carved mouse. By far the most interesting part of the house for Ricardians was what they called ‘The Knight’s Hall’. This room, on the west side of the house, is a twelfth-century hall built at firstfloor level with cellars or storage rooms beneath. The house, built like Ely Cathedral of Barnack stone, is still surrounded on three sides by a moat, and the river encloses the fourth side; it flooded one winter leaving Lucy marooned in her house. The approach was once by a stone staircase to an entrance door, above which is a rare keyhole window. It appears Lucy did care passionately about preserving the Norman character of her house. Aided by her son Peter, who switched at Cambridge from engineering to architecture, she set about a sensitive restoration. Behind a wardrobe she found an old stone fireplace, dating from Norman times but somewhat damaged, and subsequently discovered its cylindrical dressed stone pillars torn out by Tudor owners and lying in the garden, which she carefully returned to their former place. Here in this lovely room during the war Lucy held musical evenings for locallystationed airmen, who relaxed between dangerous missions to the classical music produced by Lucy’s EMG gramophone with huge horn and bamboo needles; the gramophone is still there. Unable to glean the history of the house from the guides, subsequent research discovered the following from the second volume of A History of the County of Huntingdon. Hemma or Hemmi was presumably the name of a Saxon chief. In the ninth century, the two Hemingfords, once one estate, were split into two, and the Danes built a new settlement at Thorpe on the eastern side. By 1066 Little Hemingford was acquired by Ramsey Abbey. Although Aubrey de Vere, an ancestor of the earls of Oxford, seized Hemingford in 1086, the abbey never relinquished its claim. De Vere’s tenant in 1068 was Ralf son of Osmund, and it was his son Payn de Hemingford who began to build the house, dying in 1166. Here lived both Payn and his son William Ruffus, a servant of the king. The house then descended through the female line to the Turbervilles and then to the de Greys. John de Grey had a chapel and chaplain here in the early fourteenth century. When George Grey, third earl of Kent, got into debt in the late fifteenth century, Henry VII seized his manor and leased it to various nobles including Edmund Dudley (executed 1510) and his son John Dudley, later Duke of Northumberland, who lived there for a year before selling it to Richard Williams, great-grandfather of Oliver Cromwell. Afterwards the house passed to the Newmans, and then to the Mitchells, who enlarged it, building a Georgian front of brick, which was burned in a disastrous fire in 1798. The Norman stone building at its heart, however, was not affected by the fire. The house was leased by a Mitchell to the father of the Gunning sisters, famous Regency beauties who both married dukes. No trace now remains of the Georgian additions, and the house has returned to its Norman structure. Our visit was completed by an excellent ploughman’s lunch in the cricket pavilion, supplied by the welcoming ladies of the W.I. Gillian Lazer
Future Society Events Bookable Events Christmas at Fotheringhay – Saturday, 15 December, 2007 It may only be September, but it’s time to be booking for Christmas at Fotheringhay. One of the highlights of the Ricardian social calendar, this is considered by many to be the start to the Christmas season and, as ever, I’m sure that all those who attend will greatly enjoy this festive occasion, meeting up with old friends and making new ones too. The general feeling after the last two years is that a Saturday is preferred and so we are staying with it. As usual, lunch will be in the Village Hall. (I have looked around for different venues but those that were willing to take us were all far too expensive.) We will have soup as a starter, followed by a hot meal, probably chicken in a red wine sauce, with a selection of seasonable vegetables. There will also be a vegetarian option for those who let me know. The choice of desserts will include Christmas pudding and fruit salad and there will be a glass of wine or a soft drink as desired. The Carol Service, in Fotheringhay Church, begins at 3 pm. Similar in style to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, it is shared with members of the parish, some of whom take part. Yet again, the music will be led by the wonderful St Peter’s Singers. There will be a coach from London, leaving Charing Cross Embankment at 9.30 am and getting back between 7 and 7.30 pm. Pickups in Bromley and Wanstead will be available for those who let me know beforehand. If you wish to join in, 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 b) lunch after making your own way to Fotheringhay c) just a place in the church (so that we can estimate the seating required) The costs will be as follows:a) £29 to cover cost of coach, lunch, choir, admin., etc. b) £17 for lunch, choir, admin., etc. Please complete the coupon and return it to me with a cheque and an s.a.e. as soon as possible. Remember: no s.a.e., no reply – no reply, no place! Thank you, Phil Stone, Fotheringhay Co-ordinator
The Norfolk Branch Study Day: Crown and Sword Saturday 10 November 2007 at The Assembly House Theatre St. Norwich The full programme was published in the summer Bulletin, p. 34. Speakers are Dr David Grummitt, Matthew Bennett, Dr Michael J Jones and Prof. A.F. Pollard. Cost £20 per person. Please see centre pages for booking form Annemarie Hayek 49
England’s Greatest Mystery: The Princes in the Tower The Society’s 10th Triennial Conference – 28-30 March 2008 The Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester For this rather special conference the research committee has chosen a subject close to the hearts of Ricardians – the fate of King Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York. However much research is carried out into the life of King Richard the question about the fate of the Princes always returns to haunt his reputation, in fact Paul Murray Kendall wisely consigned the issue to an appendix so as not to distract from his biography. During the conference we intend to examine all aspects of their disappearance and to conclude the weekend with a debate to draw out conclusions. The format will be a little different to previous years as we have a very full programme and it is anticipated that registration will take place early to mid-afternoon on Friday 28th March. A programme will appear in the winter Bulletin The Programme There will be four strands to the conference. The first is Perspective which will examine the historiography from both the UK and European perspectives and a chronology of the Protectorship. This will be followed by a review of the Suspects of the alleged murder of the princes, namely John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, the duke of Buckingham, Henry Tudor and his mother Margaret Beaufort and King Richard. Bones, believed at the time to be those of the Princes, were found in the Tower in the seventeenth century, and this discovery will also be examined as the Remains. The possible Survival of one or both of the princes will cover the claims of Lambert Simnel, Perkin Warbeck and the latest ‘pretender’ – Richard of Eastwell. Confirmed speakers are David Baldwin, Anne Crawford, Peter Hammond, Tony Pollard, Anne Sutton, Bill White, Ann Wroe and Livia Visser-Fuchs . The Venue The building of the Royal Agricultural College began in 1845 on the site of some old farm buildings, of which only the farm house (now known as the Bathurst Wing) and the sixteenth century tithe barn remain. Designed by Samuel Whitfield Daukes, it was based on an Oxford College, and so its Victorian Gothic style will hopefully appeal to Ricardian sensibilities. The lectures will be given in the Garner Theatre and accommodation will be blocks which offer both en-suite and shared facilities. All rooms are centrally heated and comfortably furnished. Tea- and coffee-making facilities, soap and towels and linen are provided in each room. Meals will be taken in the self-service restaurant and the conference dinner will be served in the hall. The tithe barn, with its adjacent bar, will be the focus for our leisure time. Transport and Parking There is adequate parking at the college with none of the restrictions that we have experienced with other venues in recent years. The nearest train station is Kemble with services from London Paddington, Stroud, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Birmingham. Nearer to the time I may look at providing shuttle service from Kemble station to the College. Other Attractions A coach trip has been arranged on Saturday afternoon, with a drop-off in Cirencester for those who wish to visit the town, and a visit to the churches of Northleach and Chedworth (see this Bulletin and summer 2007). This will be included in the cost of the weekend.
What will it cost? The residential cost for the weekend to include accommodation in single rooms with shared facilities, breakfasts, Friday night dinner, Saturday conference dinner (including wine), lunch on Saturday and Sunday and refreshments will be £220
The supplement for en-suite facilities will be £20 Twin rooms with en-suite facilities are available, please tick the appropriate box on the booking form. There are a limited number of places available due to the size of the lecture theatre so in the first instance bookings will be taken for those requiring residential accommodation. Any members who particularly wish to be day delegates only are invited to register their interest on the booking form but not to send a deposit at this stage. To reserve your residential place please complete the booking form in this issue of the Bulletin. A non-returnable deposit of £20 is required and the balance is due by 1 February 2008. To keep down our administration and costs it would be helpful if, as well as cheques for the deposit, post-dated cheques could be sent with the booking form. Please provide an s.a.e. (no smaller than 9”x 6” / 230mm x 160 mm) with the appropriate stamp for the joining instructions, which will be sent out at the beginning of March, and an additional s.a.e. if you require immediate confirmation of your booking. I look forward to meeting you next March for what should be a memorable conference. Wendy Moorhen, Research Officer
The Royal Agricultural College
The Tithe Barn
Society Visit to Avignon 2008 The Visits Committee propose to take a group to Avignon, France, for the period 14-19 May 2008. The proposed programme is as follows: Wednesday 14 May 2008
Eurostar from Kings Cross St Pancras to Lille TGV to Avignon Station, where a coach will pick us up and take us to our hotel (the TGV station is out of town). Thursday 15 May 2008 Day in Avignon Friday 16 May 2008 Day in Arles and Aigues Mortes (by coach) Saturday 17 May 2008 Day in Nimes and Pont du Gard (by coach) Sunday 18 May 2008 Day in Fontaine de Vauclause and Carpentras (by coach) Monday 19 May 2008 Return to London The order and contents of the day visits above may be changed. We have reserved 21 rooms (bed and breakfast) for five nights, at the Hotel Mercure, Avignon, where we have stayed before. These can be singles, doubles or twins, as we specify. We do not know if we can reserve any more rooms at that hotel or at another similar hotel nearby. Please book quickly. The total cost will be very approximately £450-£475 per person sharing a twin or double room or £500-£525 per person in a single room. The cost of the coach hire and the train costs are still being investigated. The above costs will comprise five nights bed and breakfast, and all coach and train travel. Everyone will be responsible for his or her own travel insurance, lunches and dinners and entrance fees. Please send a deposit of £100 per person (cheque drawn in favour of The Richard III Society and marked ‘Avignon’ on the back) to Rosemary Waxman, 37 Chewton Road, Walthamstow, London E17 7DW, by the closing date of 31 October 2007. Alternatively, you can pay by PayPal (see Summer 2007 Bulletin). Bookings will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis. Please send one s.a.e. for an immediate acknowledgement by post, and a second for further information. Deposits will not be refundable unless we cannot find accommodation for you. We are finding out about obtaining group travel insurance. If you have your own annual travel insurance we will ask you for details in due course. If you have any further enquiries please contact Rosemary Waxman, tel: 0208 521 4261, email: email@example.com, or Rosalind Conaty, tel: 01553 827367. 52
Branch and Group Contacts Branches America
David M. Luitweiler, 1268 Wellington Drive, Victor, New York, 14564 United States of America. Tel: 585-924-5022. E-mail: Rochdave@rochester.rr.com Canada Mrs Tracy Bryce, 5238 Woodhaven Drive, Burlington, Ontario, L7L 3T4, Canada. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Devon & Cornwall Mrs Anne E Painter, Yoredale, Trewithick Road, Breage, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 9PZ. Tel. 01326-562023. E-mail: email@example.com Gloucester Angela Iliff, 18 Friezewood Road, Ashton, Bristol, BS3 2AB Tel: 0117-378-9237. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Greater Manchester Mrs Helen Ashburn, 36 Clumber Road, Gorton, Manchester, M18 7LZ. Tel: 0161-320-6157. E-mail: Hhathorhm@aol.com Hull & District Terence O’Brien, 2 Hutton Close, Hull, HU4 4LD. Tel: 01482445312 Lincolnshire Mrs J T Townsend, Lindum House, Dry Doddington Road, Stubton, Newark, Notts. NG23 5BX.Tel: 01636-626374. E-mail: email@example.com London & Home Counties Miss E M Nokes, 4 Oakley Street, Chelsea, London SW3 5NN. Tel: 01689-823569. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Midlands-East Mrs Sally Henshaw, 28 Lyncroft Leys, Scraptoft, Leicester, LE7 9UW. Tel: 0116-2433785. E-mail: email@example.com New South Wales Julia Redlich, 53 Cammeray Towers, 55 Carter Street, New South Wales, 2062, Australia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org New Zealand Robert Smith, ‘Wattle Downs’, Udy Street, Greytown, New Zealand. E-mail: email@example.com Norfolk Mrs Annmarie Hayek, 20 Rowington Road, Norwich, NR1 3RR. Tel: 01603-664021. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Queensland Jo Stewart, c/o PO Box 117, Paddington, Queensland, 4064, Australia. E-mail: email@example.com Scotland Philippa Langley, 85 Barnton Park Avenue, Edinburgh, EH4 6HD. Tel: 0131 336 4669. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org South Australia Mrs Sue Walladge, 5 Spencer Street, Cowandilla, South Australia 5033, Australia. E-mail: email@example.com Thames Valley Sally Empson, 42 Pewsey Vale, Forest Park, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 9YA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Victoria Hazel Hajdu, 4 Byron Street, Wattle Park, Victoria, 3128, Australia. E-mail: email@example.com Western Australia Helen Hardegen, 16 Paramatta Road, Doubleview, Western Australia 6018, Australia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Worcestershire Mrs Pam Benstead, 15 St Marys Close, Kempsey WR5 3JX E-mail: email@example.com Yorkshire Mrs Habberjam, 10 Otley Old Road, Leeds LS16 6HD. Tel: 01132675069. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Groups Airedale Bedfordshire/ Buckinghamshire Bristol Cumbria Dorset Mid Anglia Midlands-West North East Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Sussex West Surrey
Mrs Christine Symonds, 2 Whitaker Avenue, Bradford, BD2 3HL. Tel: 01274-774680. E-mail: email@example.com Mrs D Paterson, 84 Kings Hedges, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 2QE. Tel: 01462-649082. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Keith Stenner, 96 Allerton Crescent, Whitchurch, Bristol, Tel: 01275-541512 (in affiliation with Gloucestershire Branch) E-mail: Keith.email@example.com John & Marjorie Smith, 26 Clifford Road, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 8PP Mrs Judy Ford, 10 Hengeld Place, Dorset Street, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7RG. Tel: 01258-450403. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org John Ashdown-Hill, 8 Thurlston Close, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3HF. Tel/fax: 01206-523267. E-mail: email@example.com Mrs Brenda Cox, 42 Whitemoor Drive, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 4UL. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mrs J McLaren, 11 Sefton Avenue, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QR Tel: 0191-265-3665). E-mail: email@example.com Mrs Anne Ayres, 7 Boots Yard, Huthwaite, Sutton-in-Ashfield Notts, NG17 2QW. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Miss Josie Williams, 6 Goldstone Court, Windsor Close, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6WS. E-mail: email@example.com Rollo Crookshank, Old Willows, 41a Badshot Park, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 9JU. E-mail: Crookshank@starkmann.co.uk
Caption Competition As a little bit of fun the Editorial Team thought members might like to supply a suitable caption for picture of chairman Phil Stone contemplating some of the problems of chairing Executive Committee meetings. Please send your ideas to Technical Editor Lynda Pidgeon (contact details inside back cover) who will include the best in the winter Bulletin.
Branches and Groups Gloucestershire Branch Report The summer season opened with John Ashdown-Hill giving us a very stimulating talk on his ongoing research into ‘Finding the DNA of Richard III’. The presentation proved extremely interesting to the extent that the question session following virtually constituted another meeting. We very much appreciate John’s kindness in making the long journey to be with us. One week later the Bristol Group were off on the first field trip of the season – ‘Medieval Tiverton’. As always with these visits the choice of what to leave out of a one-day window is really very difficult. There is so much to see in the immediate area around Tiverton and several days at least would be needed to cover even a selection of the most important medieval locations. En route for north Devon we made our first stop at All Saints, Trull, just south of Taunton, to see the superb wooden carved pulpit, which dates from around the mid-sixteenth century and the fine fifteenth-century stained glass. Later in the morning we also managed to squeeze in churches in Bradninch and Cullumpton to view the exceptional rood screens. St Andrews, Cullumpton also retains the famous ‘Golgotha’, a unique medieval wooden carving of roughly hewn rocks, skulls and bones which once served as the base for the rood figures. The work has a primitive and graphic quality which cannot fail to impact on the viewer. Complete and towering over the rood screen, the whole assembly must have presented a truly memorable impression on the congregation below. A much needed pub lunch was taken on the banks of the fast flowing River Exe at Bickleigh – what a location! Bickleigh itself is very picturesque and has several medieval sites but, with time, as always, pressing we reluctantly moved on to St Peter’s Tiverton and our guided tour of this wonderful building, described by Pevsner as ‘a gorgeously ostentatious display of civic pride’. And so it is: decoration and carving in abundance and detailed representations of the late medieval merchant ships, which brought Tiverton the wealth to embellish St Peter’s, decorate the buttresses, porch and south aisle. The chantry chapel of John Greenway has its own profusion of carvings, more merchant ships, coats of arms and extensive scenes from the life of Christ. St Peter’s is also the resting place of Katherine Courtenay, the second youngest daughter of Edward IV, so we made time to visit the site of her chantry foundation before leaving. Ideally, we should have allowed much more time as the church justified much longer investigation. With no time to visit Tiverton Castle, we now opted, en route to the motorway, to call in on the opposition with a brief visit to Margaret Beaufort’s manor at Sampford Peverell. Lady Margaret paid for the south aisle of the church of St John the Baptist, and the adjacent Priest’s House is also said to have been funded by her. Once again our collective enthusiasm got the better of us and we tried to pack too much into what became a rather crowded day. However, the all too brief visit enabled us to plan future forays into an area which contains so much to enjoy from the late-medieval period. The Branch paid a visit to St Mary’s Fairford in Gloucestershire in early July. This is truly one of the great late-medieval churches in England and, of course, the windows are world famous. Having secured the vital services of an expert guide, we toured the building viewing the stunning collection of windows which date from the very early sixteenth century. The detail and content of the windows are capable of retaining the interest for many hours – there is literally so much to take the interest in this unique collection of glass. The early start enabled us to enjoy a leisurely Cotswold lunch before we visited Kelmscot Manor, the Thameside country home of William Morris. The building dates from the mid-sixteenth century and although not our period presented an idyllic afternoon on the perfect English summer’s day (we do get them occasionally) and an opportunity to just relax and enjoy the Cotswold experience. Our previous excellent good fortune with the English weather took a down-turn when a party from the Bristol Group went to a mid-July staging of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. This was 55
presented in the beautiful gardens of Hazelbury Manor in Wiltshire. However, even the rain could not ruin the pleasure of experiencing this most magical of Shakespeare’s plays in such wonderful surroundings. The acting, staging, costumes and lighting were absolutely superb. Many thanks to Ruzi Buchanan for arranging something so different for us and such a great night out. Forthcoming events: Saturday 13 October
Saturday 3 November
Saturday 1 December
Medieval Medicine – Talk by Adrianne Jones in the guise and period costume of the Medieval ‘Wise Woman’ Bramwen. The talk will cover the use of medicines, herbs and surgery. There will be a practical display of medieval surgical instruments and a full exposition of the role of women in the application of medieval medicine and treatments. The Coynes, The Old Stables, Beckford, near Tewkesbury. Constantinople: The Last Great Siege 1453 Illustrated presentation and discussion with the author Roger Crowley. Emmanuel Hall, Leckhamton, Chelten ham. Christmas Gathering – Festive food and drink with the Coynes, The Old Stables, Beckford, near Tewkesbury. Please bring a medieval dish or drink. Note: the event will commence at 12:00 noon.
Please note Bristol Group events for October onwards were not available at time of going to press. Keith Stenner
North Lakes (Penrith) Group Report On 31 March 2006 a medieval meal was held at the home of the Chairman, Pamela Spence, and her husband. Seven members were present. The meal consisted of three savoury courses, or removes, served on trenchers of dry bread, and a sweet course of two dishes. For each of the savoury courses four dishes were offered and each course included a fish dish. A wide variety of food was served, all planned and cooked by Pamela and Jim: blanc mange, carlings, pease pudding, ‘hedgehogs’, small meat patties, chicken legs, ‘humble pie’, little ribs and apple sauce. The fish dishes were prawns in sauce, salmon and rice, and herrings. The dessert dishes were syllabub and a fig compote served with bread. Afterwards we drank a herb tea. Excellent food, good company, a medieval feast. To celebrate the Society’s anniversary, the Group decided to write a Richard III Trail for Penrith. We hoped the Tourist Information Office here might find it of value for interested holidaymakers. It was a complicated piece of work, that had to fit on to an A4 sheet of paper, to be folded in three, and include a sketch map of the town and the places of interest, a big project for a small group. Pamela Spence wrote it, Linda typed it out, the layout and printing being done by Norma Benathon, and we were satisfied that it included all the salient points. To our pleasure, the Tourist Office was very interested in it, and offered to sell them for us. So far, there have been two printings, which have all sold, and we will be visiting the Tourist Office shortly to see if they need more. On 5 May 2006 the AGM took place in the home of the Secretary, who read a letter she had received from Phil Stone to thank us for the Richard III Trail leaflet, and hoping that other groups might take up the idea. Jim Spence congratulated the Group on the production of the Trail, and said he thought we had done very well for such a small Group with so many other commitments. 56
He thanked those responsible for producing the publication. Norma showed a poster she had put together advertising the Trail, and Pamela suggested one should go to the Gloucester Arms. The chairman in her report thanked all the members for keeping the Group going, and suggested that we should perhaps research medieval topics, such as art, music and jewellery, as a group activity, and present the findings to our meetings. On Saturday 22 July 2006 the Group walked through a local beauty spot. This was much enjoyed by our members. We returned to the Chairman’s home, where a delicious buffet awaited us. Afterwards, the minutes of previous meetings were read and passed. The members were all relieved to hear that the museum, at present housed in Robinson’s School, is not to be transferred to Rheged, an out-of-town visitors’ centre, but to stay where it is, at least for the present. The Secretary reported that the Tourist Information Office had asked for 50 more Richard III Trail leaflets. Norma reported that the Gloucester Arms would like some information about Richard, and we propose to compose a brief resumé of his life for them. Our next activity was to meet on 1 September at the Gloucester Arms for a meal, and we agreed that a meal here should be a regular feature of the September meeting: good food in a very suitable setting for a Richard III group. On 3 October, Norma Benathon spoke to the Group about John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, a soldier, sailor, member of Parliament and an ambassador. A man of great wealth, and the most documented man of the fifteenth century, he was a careful and efficient administrator of his many interests, and more involved in the running of his affairs than many of his peers. By the end of Edward’s reign he was the Crown’s most prominent supporter in East Anglia. After Edward’s death, he did not transfer his loyalty to the Queen and the Woodville faction, but his allegiance went to Richard, who created him duke of Norfolk. He died at Bosworth as he had lived, serving his king. On 23 November a meeting was held at the home of the secretary. She gave us a talk on William Robinson, of Robinson’s School. Although outside our period (mid-seventeenth century), he is of great interest in Penrith. He left the north in his youth and went to London to make a large fortune, but he never forgot his home town. He left a very generous sum of money to the churchwardens of the parish of Penrith to endow a school for poor girls, where they could learn to read and sew, and thus support themselves respectably. The school, in the main street, was in use until 1974, although by then it included boys, and they learnt more than reading and sewing. It is now used as the town’s museum and is a quaint and attractive building. On 20 December the Group met for a meal at the Royal Oak, Appleby, for our Christmas meal: excellent food and good company. After the meal, we retired to the home of our chairman and her husband, where we enjoyed mulled wine and Christmas goodies. Members had brought Christmas readings, and we all felt the festive season had begun. Elaine Henderson
West Surrey Report For our first meeting of the year we met at the home of our Treasurer for our AGM. He gave us the annual report on our finances, which although already in the black, looked considerably blacker when we had all produced our subscriptions for the coming year. Our programme for 2007 was discussed and a number of ideas and suggestions were put forward. Including a visit to the National Army Museum, a study weekend at Oxford and authors to be invited to speak to us about their recent publications. In February Eva was our hostess, when we all gathered for a debate on the Buckingham rebellion and what the result may have been if the attempt had not been ‘washed out’ by the providential severe weather. It was agreed that the campaign could well have been tougher for King Richard if Buckingham’s followers had not deserted en masse either by loss of heart or because of the appalling flooded conditions in the Severn Valley, South Wales and Gloucestershire. Not to mention that these conditions sent Tudor, fleeing back to Brittany. The violent storms also kept a 57
number of ‘lily-livered’ would-be traitors snug and warm in their various castles – for the time being, at any rate! March took us on a visit to the National Army Museum in Chelsea, where the Annual Battlefield Trust Talks weekend was taking place. On Saturday, among other lectures, Robert Hardy spoke about the use of the longbow in the Wars of the Roses. Harvey Watson and Mike Elliott gave a talk on the 1st battle of St. Albans in 1455. On the Sunday Watson and Elliott spoke on the 2nd battle of St. Albans in 1461 and Frank Baldwin’s on Barnet 1471. Some of us were able to attend on both days. The lectures were excellent and the National Army Museum is extremely good and well worth a visit at any time. In April a few of us were able to participate in a study weekend in Oxford, to hear some distinguished scholars speak on a number of aspects of Medieval English Childhood from the Anglo-Saxon period until the fifteenth century. Nicholas Orme, Professor of History at the University of Exeter, gave two absorbing lectures on ‘Medieval Children’ and ‘An English Schoolroom in the fifteenth Century’. There were further talks on ‘Children in Literature’ and ‘Beginning an Apprenticeship in later Medieval London’. An enjoyable and thought-provoking weekend. Also in April, we were delighted to meet Carole Carson from the Western Australia Branch. You may remember that I wrote, in the Spring Bulletin, about my meeting with some of the W.A. Ricardians last November, when they entertained me royally in Perth. It was a real pleasure to be able to return their hospitality on the occasion of Carole’s visit to the U.K. Those of us without work commitments were able to meet with Carole and her charming father at a very pleasant restaurant overlooking the Thames at Kingston. May’s meeting was held at Rollo Crookshank’s house, we heard a wonderful illustrated lecture by Peter Bramley on his recent book ‘The Wars of the Roses – A Field Companion’. His beautifully illustrated book focuses on the remarkable number of castles, houses, battlefields and church artefacts which have survived for over 500 years. It is arranged by region and is a ‘must’ for Ricardians who enjoy visiting historical sites in England and Wales. 260 sites are covered, varying from a brass in a remote, rural church to famous battlefields and magnificent castles. He gives a brief description of what there is to see and an account of its connection to the Wars of the Roses, plus a short biography of any relevant personality. All this with directions on how to find the site and even recommendations regarding local hostelries! This was an incredibly interesting afternoon and Peter Bramley is a dedicated and enthusiastic writer who really enjoys sharing his subject. In June we had hoped to visit Bruges to have a tour of the Gruthuyse Museum, the home of Louis of Gruthuyse, who gave sanctuary to Edward and Richard in 1470. However, when we attempted to choose a date on-line for a group visit, we were told that, this year, the building will be closed until November! Maybe next year? Instead, we took ourselves to Old Basing to visit the ruins of Basing House, where we were given an interest-filled two-hour tour by the Custodian, Site Manager Alan Turton. The site has seen non-stop habitation since the Iron Age. During our period the site was held by the St. John/Poynings family and by the early sixteenth century the manor was in the hands of Sir William Paulet, later 1st Marquess of Winchester, who built here what was described as ‘the largest private house in the kingdom’. The site is now mainly grass-covered but there is still a great deal of interest to see, including a magnificent huge Tudor barn which withstood various sieges and has many scars to show for it. I firmly recommend it as a place worth visiting. Following on from Old Basing we travelled to the little church at nearby Bramley, to see some precious pieces of Yorkist stained glass in one of the windows. A delightful little church, with interesting wall paintings and hatchments, as well as Edward 1V’s sunbursts in the window. Not quite Bruges but a very enjoyable day out. Finally, later in June, four of our Group joined the London Branch at Russell Square to hear David Baldwin speak about his latest book, The Lost Prince. A great deal of food for thought here and yet another possibility of survival for the younger of Edward IV’s sons. 58
Forthcoming Events: Saturday 8 September Saturday 13 October Saturday 3 November Saturday 8 December
Talk on medieval medicine by Pat Hibbert, one of our valued members Meet at Rollo Crookshank’s for a book review Talk by John Saunders Annual Christmas lunch, venue to be arranged Renée Barlow
Worcestershire Branch Report Our AGM on 14 April brought several changes to our committee as June Tilt retires as treasurer and Carol Southworth joins us on the committee. Val Sibley is bravely taking on the treasurer’s task while Pam Benstead and I share the tasks of the secretarial position, Pam being first point of contact with the Branch and new members and me dealing with minutes, reports and newsletters. Pam will also continue as editor of Dickon Independent, our branch magazine. Judith Sealey remains as chairman, Joan Ryder remains as programme planner, Margaret Gregory continues with her embroidery project. Unfortunately we found it necessary to increase our annual subscription to £7 and to charge members and visitors £3 instead of £2 at meetings where we have a speaker due, to increasing costs of room hire and speakers’ fees. On 4 May Ralph Richardson and Judith Sealey took up an invitation from the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society to join them in a debate at the Berkley Arms in Tewkesbury. It was held in the ancient barn at the rear of the pub. The subject was ‘What if the Battle of Tewkesbury had not been won by the Yorkist cause?’ RAF Wing Commander Clive Montellier led the debate with an alternative account of the battle, one in which neither side was triumphant. The group they were in concluded that Margaret would have fled to Wales to join up with Jasper Tudor, the Yorkists returning to garrison London against the Bastard of Fauconberg. Edward, armed with the men of Kent, would have gone out to meet the Lancastrian force, perhaps at Silverstone, a suitable flat area between Chester and Wales. They assumed Edward would have won, making little difference to the future, the alternatives being too awful to consider. A most enjoyable evening at which many new friends were made. Our first outing of the year, in May, saw us at a very small village called Wormleighton, between Southam and Banbury in Warwickshire, to see a deserted medieval village with Ralph Richardson. Before the Black Death in 1347 the village was thriving, with a population of around 250 people involved in a mixed agricultural economy spread over the Cotswold scarp with pastoral farming at the top and arable farming below on the plain. After the Black Death the nonresident lords of Wormleighton could no longer make a profit and drastically changed the farming practices. With the aid of an excellent map and interpretation from Ralph our group of around 18 members and friends spent a delightful afternoon walking the whole site, recognising in the landscape the narrow main street with humps and hollows indicating the shape and size of houses and larger buildings, fish ponds, of which there were five, ridge and furrow fields and even the site of the Manor House. All of this part of the village had been enclosed and used for sheep; oddly enough they are still there today. In June we visited Old St Martins Church in the Corn Market in Worcester, a Georgian church built on to the original medieval foundations. Standing by what was the original city market, just inside the city walls, it is one of only two working churches within Worcester City. Both the market and most of the city walls have now gone. Our guide was Father Ian, the incumbent priest. Worship here is in the High Anglican style; this is one of a few Church of England buildings that have the Stations of the Cross and a gallery, and it is beautifully decorated. We then went on to visit the redundant church of St Swithin’s that contains one of the few three-deck pulpits in this area. In glorious sunshine we continued to Friar Street, to Greyfriars, a National Trust property in the centre of the city. It is a remarkable specimen of a late medieval timber framed town house 59
dated about 1480 and built by Thomas Grene, a wealthy brewer. It has had a chequered history, being used as shops, offices, a private house, storage and having had a row of small houses/hovels built in the garden to provide an income. Falling into a derelict state in the early twentieth century, it faced demolition and was only saved by the efforts of the Worcester Archaeological Society, in particular Mr Matley Moore and his sister Elsie who lovingly restored it to its present form. Well worth a visit if you are in Worcester. Despite the low attendance this was a beautiful day and those that came enjoyed themselves. Our weekend at the Tewkesbury Festival was very successful despite the dreadful weather experienced the previous week. The planned venue had to be changed to avoid areas of flooding; even the field in which the re-enactment took place was altered. Despite all these problems the event went ahead on a lovely sunny day and was well supported. Our Branch stand in the main marquee looked very attractive with display boards and locally sourced sales goods from which we made a respectable profit. The coasters, mugs, tumblers, mouse mats and fridge magnets were popular as well as the books and bookmarks. Most of the members who helped on the stand wore medieval costume to add to the atmosphere. We were very pleased to welcome a member from New Zealand to our stand that has resulted in an invitation for Ralph Richardson to give a lecture to the New Zealand Branch while he is visiting the country this summer. Several members of the Nottingham Group who were visiting Tewkesbury for the day also came and talked to us and purchased item from our stand. Many thanks for their support. Our last two meetings of the year will be: 10 November Holy Innocents Church Hall in Kidderminster. Talk and demonstration of ‘Medieval Underwear’ by Sarah Thursfield. (£3 entrance fee.) 8 December Annual Christmas Social with a ‘Bring and Share’ festive tea. Upton Snodsbury (£2 entrance fee). Details of our programme can be found on our branch web site www.richardiiiworcs.co.uk or contact our programme planner Joan Ryder 01384 394228, for further information. We are always pleased to welcome friends and prospective members at any of our meetings. Pat Parminter
Yorkshire Branch Report Branch members will have read in their August Newsletters that our Chairman, John Audsley, has decided to resign from his post with effect from our AGM, to be held on 8 September. Due to Bulletin deadlines, details of the new Branch committee will be given in the Winter issue. John has not enjoyed very good health in recent years, and as he has been in the Richard III Society for nearly 40 years and held various offices over a quarter of a century he is surely owed some time off now for good behavior. Although his presence on the committee will be very much missed we are glad that he will still take part in Branch activities and events. In June we appreciated the chance to spend some time with the party of American Ricardians led by Linda Treybig who this year began their UK visit in Leeds. Several members and friends – including the Chairman and the Secretary – had a very pleasant meal with our visitors, who a couple of days later were guided round Eyam and Haddon Hall by Sheffield member Pauline Pogmore. Our annual Bosworth commemoration took place at Middleham on 19 August. This was the Branch’s only visit to ‘the Windsor of the North’ this summer, since English Heritage had held no events whatever at the castle and the Middleham Festival week in July no longer takes place – a great pity. The Branch has heard that visitor numbers at the castle are declining: holding no events to attract people surely doesn’t make sense. On Saturday 22 September we are due to visit Hornby castle and church in North Yorkshire with members of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. As previously noted here, the castle is not generally open to the public so the opportunity to tour the building and grounds is especial60
ly welcome. The visit begins with a talk on the castle by Erik Matthews, who has organised the day’s events. The Branch’s Boar Dinner is to be held on Saturday 20 October. Since last year’s Dinner had to be cancelled because the chosen restaurant closed after it had accepted our booking (whatever can they have heard about us?) we are hoping for better luck this time! The venue is Peasehill House Restaurant, Harrogate Road, Rawdon, Leeds; further details and a booking form should have appeared with the August Branch Newsletter or is available from me (0113-2164091). The Committee apologises for the non-appearance of the Yorkshire Branch Lecture this year. As local members will know, our usual venue was closed for some months, and it has not proved practicable to get a speaker at short notice. Normal service should be resumed in 2008. Angela Moreton
From Yester Year The following review was dropped into my e-mail box a few days ago. I had never heard of the play but needless to say Geoff Wheeler, with his encyclopaedic knowledge, recalled that it was a private performance which he believes Jeremy Potter (one of our late chairmen) attended. Perhaps some other members may also have seen in it! Were there further performances? My e-mail correspondent was the actor who played Dickon, Alan Pateint. Wendy Moorhen The Stage and Television Today. November 15 1970 John Lewis Theatre Dickon Michael Deacon obviously has an eye for a new script – shown in his selection of Dickon by Jack Pulman, premiered for the 50th anniversary of the John Lewis Partnership players. Deacon, a professional director engaged by the players, contacted literary agents and asked for scripts ‘too large and expensive to be done commercially’. This play, presumably not alone in its class, is evidence of the wealth of material lying unused in agents’ offices. Pulman, who died earlier this year, was best known for his TV work which included I, Claudius and Crime and Punishment. The ‘Dickon’ of the title is that infamous monarch Richard III. In this version of his reign he tells his own story as part of a wager with three witches to avoid hell and damnation. Dickon (a strong performance from Alan Patient) effectively pleads guilty to the crimes placed at his door by historians and playwrights but presents more than a few mitigating circumstance; pressures from the Church, the treacherous Queen of Edward IV and a desire to see a united kingdom. The production was sumptuous with trappings that many a professional company would cast envious eyes over. The only time that pomp and circumstance – not to mention costumes – appeared to take over was in the Coronation scene. The cast, however, were more than a match for the crimson and ermine plot and present the politics of shifting allegiances clearly. Characterisations and comedy were handled with ease under Michael Deacon’s excellent guidance. Sue Ayres’ gothic designs were impresive. Dickon certainly deserved its first airing. 61
New Members UK 1 April – 30 June 2007 Stephanie Biber, London B Brent Rooks, London Malcolm Catesby, Garndolbenmaen, Gwynydd Richard Collishaw, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Notts. Mark Craster-Chambers, Newcastle upon Tyne Lucia Diaz Pascual, London Brian Forster, St Helens, Merseyside John Fox, Little Neston, Cheshire Kathy Frost, Bedford Bethan Groom, Worcester Helen Gurden, Coventry, West Midlands Sian Hawes, Bourne, Lincolnshire Jan Herlinger, Box Hill, Surrey Jean Hester, Marlow, Berkshire Darren Hudson, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire Hermione Humble, Hexham, Tyne & Wear Thomas Hutchby, Bristol
Andrew Jamieson, Dorset Ellie Landy, Leeds, Yorkshire Shirley Lenderyou, Ryton, Tyne & Wear Faith Lewis, Wimbledon, Surrey Anne Mcleod, Woking, Surrey Pauline Moore, Wellingborough, Northants. Colin Peerless, Chelmsford, Essex Julia Phillips, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire Nadia Quarcoopome, Hove, Sussex Jenni Ransom, Portsmouth, Hampshire Karen Stone, Esher, Surrey Deirdre Szczepanik, Brighton, Sussex Gary Thomas, Bridgnorth, Shropshire Leannie Tonkin, Crewe, Cheshire Vicky Wood, Ruislip, Middlesex Sophie Yeo, Vale of Glamorgan
Overseas 1 April – 30 June 2007 Kelly Leighton, North Kingstown, Rhode Island
Stephanie Rigby, Kirrawee, New South Wales Rex Williams, Sydney, New South Wales
US Branch 1 April – 30 June 2007 Jacob Bateman, Alabama Katherine Blocker, Pennsylvania Laura Dobbs, New York Huntley Fitzpatrick, Massachusetts Maria T. Goncalves, California
Jamie Kim, California Heather Mortensen, Wyoming Toni Stickrath, California Christopher West, North Carolina
Ricardian East Anglia and Essex The essential guide to places of Ricardian interest in the eastern counties (Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk).- second edition, revised, enlarged and updated. Price £2 (all profits to the Mid Anglia Group). To order by post (in UK) please send a cheque for £2 payable to Richard III Society – Mid Anglia Group, together with an A5 s.a.e. bearing a 40p stamp (2nd class) or a 48p stamp (1st class). To order by post from outside the UK, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details of postage. (Group orders from Branch or Group Secretaries would be welcome and would save on postal charges. Payment by Paypal is possible.) 62
Obituaries Iris Armstrong Lillian Carr of the New Zealand writes to advise us of the death of Iris Armstrong in her 92nd year. Iris was born in England and went to New Zealand in 1952. Iris joined the Society in 1997 and remained an active and enthusiastic member until last year when her eyesight and health began to fail. Iris was a staunch defender of King Richard. Her many artistic skills were used to make delightful Christmas cards with medieval themes. She will be particularly missed by the South Island members of the Society.
Noreen Armstrong Toronto members watched with great sadness as our dear friend Noreen waged a quiet and heroic battle against the cancer which claimed her life on 31 March 2007. This remarkable woman was for many years the Corresponding Secretary of the Society in Canada, and the first point of contact and welcome for most new members across the country. Those who knew her best in the branch remember a woman with a dry sense of humour, distinctive laugh, and the gift of looking for the best in people. She hosted countless meetings at her lovely home, sewed armorial banners, stored costumes, poured generous glasses of wine, presented astonishingly well-researched papers, spent hours staffing our sales tables at medieval fairs, tirelessly planned and worked on the details for our great celebrations, and came to our banquets prepared to enjoy herself – though declaring ‘medieval food has no flavour!’ She will be remembered for her devotion to her family, her church, and her firm conviction that ‘Richard was innocent’. Her passing leaves a huge void in the Canadian Society. Christine Hurlbut Editor of R3 and proud to say, a friend of Noreen for over 25 years
Shirley Roberts Mrs Roberts, of the Isle of Wight, passed away earlier this year. Her husband has very kindly donated her Ricardian books to the Barton Library.
Recently Deceased Members Dr K.R. Hargrave, Epsom, Surrey. Joined 19 July 1988 Mrs Yvonne Sawmy, Truro, Cprnwall. Joined 19 April 2004 Mrs C. Weeler, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Joined 8 November 1985
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 and Groups - or by others, please let Lynda Pidgeon have full details, in sufficient time for entry. The calendar will also be run on the website.
Membersâ€™ Day and Society AGM
Jane Trump see p. 3
Norfolk Branch Study Day: Crown and Sword
Norfolk Branch see p. 49
Fotheringhay Lunch and Carols
Phil Stone see p. 49
Annual Requiem Mass, Clare Priory, Suffolk
28 â€“ 30 March
Triennial Conference at Royal Agricultural College Cirencester
Research Officer see p. 50
14 - 19 May
Visit to Avignon
Visits Committee see p. 52