Ricardian Bulletin Magazine of the Richard III Society
ISSN 0308 4337
Contents 2 3 10 12 14 17 19 19 20 21 25 27 31 34 37 40 42 43 47 52 54 56 58 63 64
From the Chairman Society News and Notices ‘Will Power: Sex, Politics and Salvation in the Logge Wills’ at the Leeds Medieval Congress Tewkesbury Medieval Festival Anne Mowbray: Publication at last: by Bill White The Battle of the Monarchs Not something you see every day in the country ... Edward V is crowned at the British Museum In Prospect News and Reviews Media Retrospective The Man Himself: Bone Density, Richard III, Rafael Nadal and Exercise-induced Osteo– genesis: by Peter Stride Retrospective on the Quincentenary of the Death of Henry VII: Part 3: Elizabeth of York, by David Baldwin Richard’s 777 Days: a Test of Time: by Philippa Langley The Sheriff Hutton Monument: by Jane Crease Living the History: a Re-enactor’s Experience of the 15th Century, Part 2: by Helen Cox What’s in a Name? Fifty Years of the Richard III Society: by John Saunders The Arrivall: by Brian Wainwright Correspondence The Barton Library Report on Society Events Future Society Events Branches and Groups: reports New Members, etc. Calendar Contributions Contributions are welcomed from all members. All contributions should be sent to Lesley Boatwright.
Bulletin Press Dates 15 January for March issue; 15 April for June issue; 15 July for September issue; 15 October for December issue. Articles should be sent well in advance.
Bulletin & Ricardian Back Numbers Back issues of The Ricardian and the Bulletin are available from Judith Ridley. If you are interested in obtaining any back numbers, please contact Mrs Ridley to establish whether she holds the issue(s) in which you are interested. For contact details see back inside cover of the Bulletin The Ricardian Bulletin is produced by the Bulletin Editorial Committee, Printed by Micropress Printers Ltd. © Richard III Society, 2009
From the Chairman
his is the twenty-sixth edition of the new style Bulletin and perhaps this is a good point at which to ask if we’re getting it right? In a letter in this issue, Bill Featherstone suggests that we are, at the same time cautioning us not to get too serious. We will certainly bear this point in mind, but we will continue to be serious about providing a well-balanced magazine for members, with a broad range of historical articles, features, news and, yes, the more light-hearted bits too. Long-held assumptions are sometimes hard to break, but after reading part one of the fascinating article by Jane Crease about Sheriff Hutton, it is looking as though we might have to to challenge our assumptions about just who is buried there. Bill White also challenges assumptions with his intriguing article on Anne Mowbray, while other articles include the second part of Helen Cox’s feature on Living History and David Baldwin’s timely article on Elizabeth of York, which is part of our Henry VII retrospective series. We also have a piece by Philippa Langley that contrasts the seven hundred and seventy-seven days of Richard’s reign with those of some other monarchs. The popular author Brian Wainwright has written the fiction piece for this issue, choosing Graham Turner’s painting The Arrival as the focus for his story. Brian is well known to many members as the author of the hilarious The Adventures of Alianore Audley, and it is good to know that he is currently writing a new novel focussing on King Richard. We welcome feedback about the inclusion of fiction in the Bulletin so let us know your views. In the middle of this issue, you will find the Annual Report for the year 2008/2009, which I hope you will find both interesting and encouraging. We plan to revise the format of the report next year and would welcome suggestions from members on how to improve both its content and presentation. We were represented at the Leeds International Medieval Congress again this year, hosting a session where Lesley Boatwright, Wendy Moorhen and Lynda Pidgeon presented papers. My thanks to all three for doing the Society proud. Leeds is one of the most important gatherings of medieval historians in Europe, and this is a great opportunity for us to promote our research work and publications. Next year we hope to have an even better promotion of our publications there. In the last issue, we paid tribute to the service given by Yorkshire’s Moira Habberjam and I am delighted to announce that at this year’s AGM, the Executive Committee will be nominating her as a new vice-president, an honour she richly deserves. And writing of the AGM, let me remind you that we are back in London this year, returning to Staple Inn Hall. As well as the formal part of the day, there will be many other activities including a lecture by Dr Tobias Capwell of the Wallace Collection. (At least, I am hoping Toby will be with us. As well as being an authority on medieval armour, he puts his expertise into practice by jousting!) So, please come along and enjoy the day. I certainly look forward to meeting many of you there. Shortly after the AGM, members down under will gather in Perth for the Australasian Convention and I wish them well for a successful and enjoyable meeting. Lastly, we are reminded in this issue that it is fifty years since we changed our name from The Fellowship of the White Boar to the Richard III Society. What a successful fifty years they have been! Here’s to the next fifty. 2
Society News and Notices Subscriptions Due Subscriptions for the forthcoming membership year fall due on 2 October 2009. See renewal form in the centrefold and Membership Matters below.
Richard III Society Members’ Day and Annual General Meeting Saturday 3 October 2009 As the heading states, Saturday 3 October is both the AGM and a day for members to meet each other and get involved and will follow a similar pattern to recent AGMs in London. At the time of writing this article – late July – no motions have been received by the Chairman or the Joint Secretaries. All members are reminded that motions and resolutions for the AGM agenda, proposed and seconded by Society members and signed by them, should be sent to the Joint Secretaries in hard copy by no later than Friday 18 September 2009. Similarly, nominations by Society members for membership of the Executive Committee, proposed, seconded and accepted by the nominee and duly signed by all, should also be sent to the Joint Secretaries by the same date. Forms for this purpose may be obtained from the Joint Secretaries, by electronic or hard-copy means, or downloaded from the website. The Annual Report is to be found in the central section of this Bulletin. It contains much of the material formerly reported by officers at the AGM. This means that officers’ reports will provide attendees with any relevant updates which will enable the focus of the meeting to be on the future and members’ issues. As with other years, there will be an Open Forum/Question Time to enable members to raise questions and issues. These can be raised verbally at the meeting or they can be submitted by email or in writing to the Joint Secretaries (contact details on the inside cover of the Bulletin). Please ensure that these are received by Thursday 1 October. There will also be ‘post-it’ notes available on the day for you to post questions on a board within the hall. Queries and questions may be submitted anonymously, but, if they cannot be answered on the day, questioners may be asked to give their contact details to a Society officer to enable an answer to be provided at a later date. Please remember that this is your day. Please try to attend to take the opportunity to raise any question that you have, to meet old friends and to make new ones. Further to the official notification in the June Bulletin, set out below is the proposed programme for the day: Programme: 10.30 12.00 13.30 14.30 16.00 (estimated)
Doors open; members arrive, time to visit stalls etc. Lecture – Dr. Tobias Capwell: (further details below). Lunch Annual General Meeting and Open Forum/Question Time followed by Raffle and Auction Conclusion of members’ Day and dispersal
Details of the venue and how to get there are given overleaf:
Venue: Public Transport:
Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ Nearest main-line station is Kings Cross/St. Pancras but Staple Inn is within easy walking distance (10 minutes) of Farringdon and City Thameslink stations. See map on p. 5. Nearest Underground is Chancery Lane (Central Line). Bus routes include: 8, 17, 25, 45, 46, 242, 341 and 521 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 some weekend parking restrictions are enforced until 7.00 p.m. The venue will be open from 10.30 a.m. Members will be asked to sign in on the reception table which will be staffed by members of the Croydon Group and we would like to record our appreciation of their assistance in providing this service. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be on sale in the hall during the morning from 10.30 to mid-day. We would like to record thanks to members of the London Branch who have volunteered to staff this table. Own arrangements. Details of local facilities will be available on reception.
Other attractions: Major Craft Sale:
Ricardian Sales Stall: Website:
Treasurer’s Table: Bookseller: Barton Library:
Branches & Groups:
The thirtieth Major Craft Sale will be held from 10.00 a.m. until 12.00 noon, and then in the lunch interval. On sale will be Ricardian embroidery, cakes and sweets (for home consumption only), paper weights, RCRF Christmas cards and other items. We warmly welcome offers of items for sale, especially craft work. For items given in advance please contact Elizabeth Nokes at 4 Oakley Street, London, SW3 5NN (email: Elizabeth_Nokes@hotmail.com, tel. 01689 823569) to check suitability. If you bring items on the day, it would be helpful to mark them with a suggested selling price. We shall also have Elaine Robinson’s popular hand-made cards, which are suitable for all occasions including Christmas, and new ranges. There will be a range of Society and Trust publications and Society artefacts. Beth Stone, the Web Content Manager, will have a stall and we hope that she will be accompanied by the new Webmaster, Jane Weaver, who is looking forward to meeting some of the membership. There will be a questionnaire available on the day seeking members’ views on the website. Paul Foss will be available to receive payment of subscriptions on the day and will have a table for this purpose. At the time of going to press, we are investigating a bookseller for the event. Bennett & Kerr are not able to be present this time. The librarians will be selling off duplicate library stock at bargain prices as well as a selection of the Society’s books and artefacts. They will also be showcasing the diverse services that the Library can offer to members. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your publications and activities. 4
Yorkshire Branch: Visits Committee: Annual Grand Raffle:
The branch will again be represented and be selling some of their publications (Rosalba Press) and items with a specific local focus. 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 would be very welcome. In aid of the RCRF. Tickets will be 25 pence each, or five tickets for £1, on sale at the meeting. The prizes include: Bosworth 1485: the psychology of a battle, by Michael Jones (paperback); an oval pendant with portrait of Richard III; two glass roundels of Richard III and Elizabeth I; a standing boar; a ‘Venetian’ style glass trinket box; a ‘Richard III’ brooch; a three-piece kitchen set: oven glove, teatowel, mat; Yardley lavender toilet water and soap; a bridge set and accom– panying books; a set of six EPNS dessert spoons and serving spoon, in case; ‘Celtic Lands’ pewter pill box with double rose motif; Crabtree and Evelyn gardener’s toiletries set in ‘nesting box’. We are delighted to welcome Dr Tobias Capwell, curator of arms and armour at the Wallace Collection and formerly of the Burrell Collection. He will speak on ‘The English Style: Plate Armour Design in Yorkist England 1471-1487’.
Reminder to Branches and Groups If your branch/group wishes to make a report at the AGM, please let the Joint Secretaries know by Friday 18 September so that it can be included on the AGM agenda. Reports can be made in person by a Branch/Group representative or, for overseas branches/groups, if no local representative is able to attend the AGM in person, a printed report can be supplied 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. The arrow in High Holborn is pointing to Staple Inn Hall (no. 1 on map). The underground station nearby is Chancery Lane.
Membership Matters Subscriptions will become due on 2 October. There is a subscription reminder form in the centre pages of this Bulletin for those of you who prefer to pay by cheque or credit card, and you also have the option of using PayPal (see details on page 7 of the Autumn 2008 Bulletin or, for new members, the sheet in your joining pack). Please do let us know if your circumstances change in a way which necessitates a change of membership category. This can be done by ticking your new category on the subscription reminder form and ticking the box at the bottom of the page. This helps considerably with our administration. Please note that our system does not automatically change your category if, for instance, you move from full membership to senior citizen, as we do not hold birthdates for members. If you pay by standing order and you have amended it to pay a different rate, please do complete and return the renewal form. As a further reminder, those members who have reached the age of 60 by 2 October qualify for the reduced subscription rate. If by any chance you will not be renewing your membership (and we do understand that in the present financial crisis some people may wish to economise), we would be grateful if you could let us know. To facilitate this we have added an extra box to the reminder form. This will save our Society the cost of sending out reminder letters and enable us to have up-to-date information on our membership, which in turn helps the Society to decide on the print-runs for our journals. The Executive Committee hopes, of course, that you do consider the Society is good value for money and that you will continue your membership for many years to come. Brian and Wendy Moorhen
Change to the Bulletin dating style Following representations from members in Australasia, the Executive Committee at its last meeting took a unanimous decision to change the dating style of the Bulletin from the seasons to the names of the months when it appears. Some of you may already have noticed the change, as we introduced it silently in June (there was just time to change the cover before the issue went to press, but not time to insert an editorial mention). As well as not assuming inappropriate weather outside the window when the Bulletin is read in Australasia, this change will put to rest for ever the arguments among the proof-readers: is it the Autumn Bulletin or the autumn Bulletin? Question solved. It is the September Bulletin.
Hand numbered and signed limited edition prints depicting Richard III King of England 1483 - 1485
An historical interpretation of Richard III Full colour and black and white prints available Complete with certificate of authenticity Print size approx. 11½ x 8½ inches (297 x 210mm) Image size approx. 8 x 5½ inches (200 x 140mm)
Visit our website at www.shakespeare.eu.com and click on the Historic Richard III link or write to us at B J Harris Figurines, 123 Coverside Road, Great Glen, Leicester. LE8 9EB
More changes to the Society’s administration We have to say goodbye to Neil Trump ... We are sorry to announce that Neil Trump has had to resign as webmaster. This happened too late for us to make any mention of it in the last Bulletin, though eagle-eyed readers might have noticed that his name was not there on the Contacts List. Over the last nine months Neil’s day job changed (he works for BT in a system-support and project-management role), and he has had to work evenings and weekends to support a new project which restricted his time for home concerns. This meant that he had to re-evaluate what he spent this time on. He told us, ‘Although I am not a Ricardian with a large ‘R’, I have acquired an interest mainly through my wife Jane. In the late 1990s the Society could see that the internet offered an opportunity to spread the word regarding Richard III to a much wider audience. Unfortunately, the Society did not know of any expertise in web design within its membership, and Jane, who was a member of the Thames Valley Branch [and later secretary of the Society] offered my services, unknown to myself – thanks, Jane!’ With a work colleague, Neil built and designed the first generation website. It was clear that after a couple of years this could not easily be expanded, so the next design had to be future-proof for a longer period, and offer greater flexibility. This second version met the demands then envisaged Neil is going to spend his available leisure time on two hobbies, both to do with transport (an interest he shares with one of our new secretaries, Dave Wells). First, he is into the restoration and technical support of vintage buses, and needs to start again to manufacture critical spare parts to enable such vehicles to continue to be roadworthy, and give pleasure to their owners as well as enthusiasts. The other thing he plans to do is to finish a loft conversion in order to have somewhere for his antique model train collection. He says, ‘It has been a lifelong ambition to have somewhere to display and run the trains, and I can see that if I don’t do it soon then I never will. I wish the Society the best for the future.’ And we wish Neil the best for the future too, and thank him for the work he did for the Society. Like his wife Jane, who also had to give up office through pressure of work, he will be missed. ... but we welcome Jane Weaver Jane Weaver is the Society’s new webmaster and is responsible for looking after the day-to-day management of the Society’s website. Jane will be supporting Beth Stone, the Society’s Web Content Manager, and will be inputting updates and changes received from Beth. She knows the value of websites as important ‘shop windows’ for organisations in the twenty-first century. Jane has worked in both the private and public sectors, and since 1998 has been the webmaster and administrator for the Inter Authorities Group. She is thoroughly looking forward to working with the Society and also, as she readily admits she knows nothing about Richard III and this era of social history, she is looking forward to learning as she works. It is proposed to relaunch the website in the autumn after it has been brought up to date and any corrections or amendments made. Please note that all requests for changes or additions to the web must not go to Jane, but to the web content manager, Beth Stone, at Beth’s special email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. 7
The Society’s Bursaries Many of you will be aware that the Society offers a number of bursaries. One of these is administered by the Institute of Historical Research in London and is open to those studying for higher degrees throughout the country. A second is administered by the University of York Centre for Medieval Studies and is open to students studying for an MA degree there. We also offer a bursary to members who are graduates and are working on a dissertation or thesis related to the later medieval and early Tudor period, from about 1375 to 1540. Any applicant must have been a member of the Society for not less than two years, and this bursary will only be awarded to members who have not previously received one of the other bursaries. Of course, any member who meets the relevant conditions may apply for one of the other bursaries, and unsuccessful applicants are able to apply in future years. Full details are on the Society’s web site (www.richardiii.net/education.bursaries). Applicants for the Society bursary should obtain an application form from the Research Officer, Lynda Pidgeon. All recipients of our bursaries are encouraged to contribute an article to The Ricardian, and, if possible, give a talk at a Society event or to a local branch. There have been no applicants for the Society’s Members’ Bursary for 2009, for which the closing date was 31 July. If you want to apply for the 2010 bursary, please start thinking about it. The Richard III Bursary for 2009 tenable at the IHR in London This bursary (a scholarship of £500 tenable for one year), has been awarded to Simon Lambe of Ashford, Middlesex, who is now registered for a PhD at St Mary’s University College (University of Surrey). The title of his thesis is ‘The Somerset gentry during the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII’. Simon says that his aim is to study and assess the nature of, and developments in, the style of government between 1485 and 1547, and to broaden our present understanding of the political and social landscape in that period. To study such developments will, of course, need a thorough understanding of what went before, and Simon, as his co-supervisor Dr Glenn Richardson says, ‘is interested in tracing continuities as well as any significant changes in administration and patronage patterns in this locality’. Simon’s MA dissertation, completed in 2006, was on the relationship between the gentry and religious orders in pre-Reformation Somerset. Simon intends to use the Somerset gentry as a case study of active political communication and local administration of central policy at the county level. From the beginning of his reign, Henry VII, like his predecessors, ‘was reliant on the passive obedience of the population and the cooperation of the upper echelon of society – the nobility and the gentry – to provide the necessary administrative duties’. In his Tudor England (Oxford, 1988), John Guy suggested that Henry VIII ‘followed late-medieval Crown policy by constructing an affinity in the country’; Simon will look at the Somerset gentry and their relations with the crown, and assess just how successful the ‘Tudor State’ was. He will focus on three powerful knightly families in southern Somerset, the Paulets, the Spekes and the St Loes, and also address the impact of the dissolution of the monasteries in the county. He chose Somerset because its boundaries are roughly the same as those of the diocese of Bath and Wells; Bristol, then England’s third largest town, was on its northern boundary, which may help to explain why the county enjoyed steady prosperity; and excellent documentary evidence survives for the county. As well as working for his PhD, Simon is Chair of the History Lab at the Institute of Historical Research, which involves organising meetings and events for this network of postgraduate historians in the UK, and is Academic Advisor at the Academic Skills Centre of Kingston University, which means he advises undergraduates on essay-writing skills. We wish Simon every success in his research. 8
New Ricardian Tote Bags for Sale The Society has recently designed and is delighted to offer for sale these handsome and environmentally friendly tote bags. The price is £2.50 for members and £3 for non-members, plus £1.00 for postage and packing. We hear that they have already proved popular with visitors to the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival. You can just see a stack of them on the Gloucester Branch stall in the picture on page 13.
To buy one (or more) of these bags, please apply to the Society’s Sales Liaison Officer, Sally Empson, email@example.com (her full details are on the inside back cover). They will also be on sale at Society events and the AGM.
The last chance to see the Middleham jewel and ring ... ... for a few months anyway (writes Doreen Leach). The Yorkshire Museum is closing for a massive £2 million refurbishment in November and is not due to be re-launched until Yorkshire Day (1 August) 2010. The intention is to take the early-nineteenth-century building (which sits among the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey) back to its roots by removing later partitions and window coverings. Hence the project is known as ‘Letting in the Light’. The new museum will have five galleries, including one for the medieval period to be called ‘York: The Power and the Glory’, that will take over the whole of the basement. This will allow many objects to be brought out of store and enable the stained glass collection to be displayed for the first time. No doubt the Middleham jewel and ring will be given pride of place. Doreen tells us that the Curator of Archaeology, Andrew Morrison, is very keen to allow members of the public to handle objects. She recently attended a handling session of medieval artefacts which included two silver coins from Richard’s reign. One was from the London mint and was in perfect condition. The other from York mint had been clipped around the edges. Even more exciting was attending a handling session of the Middleham jewel. This took place in a locked room (after all bags had been placed inside another locked room). The jewel is much heavier than it looks when it is seen in its display case, and the wearer would have been very conscious of it hanging round their neck, if indeed that was how it was worn.
‘Will Power: Sex, Politics and Salvation in the Logge Wills’ at the Leeds Medieval Congress
his was the title of the Society’s session presented at the Leeds International Medieval Congress on the morning of Tuesday 14 July. There were three speakers, Lesley Boatwright (who also arranged and chaired the session), Wendy Moorhen and Lynda Pidgeon. The Leeds Congress, as we noted in the June Bulletin, is a marathon event, with some 375 individual hour-and-a-half sessions (each containing from two to four papers) on offer in the course of three and a half days, which means participants can choose from at least 25 sessions in any given time slot. People come from all over the world to attend it, many of them young PhD students whose supervisors have brought them along to present their first ever papers, and the subjects tackled can range from ‘Gaelic Personal Names in Northern England in the Central Middle Ages’ to ‘The Medieval Castle of Vrbouch in Klenovac Humski, N.W. Croatia’ and ‘The Re-defining of Armenian Orthodoxy under the Islamic Rule’. We were allocated a smallish room for our session, so the dozen or so people who came to hear us seemed almost to fill it (some sessions at previous Congresses have drawn audiences of only two or three people). Lesley Boatwright spoke first, on ‘Admission Fees at the Pearly Gates: nice little earners for the craftsmen and the chaplains’. Medieval testators, she said, had one thing in common: they all wanted to be remembered in people’s prayers and to go to heaven, and their wills were their final bids for this. Many of them left substantial sums of money for charitable deeds, and this put money into the local economy. Patterns of charitable giving were very different in the fifteenth century in that much of the money was given to people thought best qualified to pray for the testator’s soul: the poor of the parish, and men in holy orders, or people seen as specially holy, like anchorites, monks and friars. Friars, at least in London, came off best. After them come the prisons (which were for debtors, not criminals), and, a long way down the list, hospitals. People also left money to be spent on building, repairing and beautifying churches: statues, vestments, plate and books, and craftsmen would earn good sums from this. Another very common bequest was money for a chaplain to be employed to say masses for the testator’s soul. Some testators wanted masses for a period of years, a steady stream of prayer ascending, but others asked for a great blast of supplication rising to heaven, 1,000 masses in one day. Sums between 2d. and 6d. were left for each mass. Lesley concluded by wondering about the logistics of this: where did the executors find 1,000 priests, and how did they collect enough coins to pay them? Lynda Pidgeon spoke on ‘Merry Widows and Grave Choices’, looking especially at women’s wills to discover their expectations and their treatment by their husbands. She discussed Marion Sponely, whose will gave the impression of loneliness, Margery Counsell who took especial care of her servant Margery Lambe in her will, and Margaret Leynham, whose several codicils showed her changing circumstances, travelling perhaps to stay with relatives in Worcester, and requesting burial there, but later coming to Supwell, and cancelling her bequest to Worcester. Some women were concerned that their family might obstruct their executors and said their bequests were to be cancelled if this happened. Lynda also looked at men’s wills to see how they regarded their wives, and found that a number of men tried to exercise control from beyond the grave, but that many male wills expressed complete trust in their wives as executors. Today’s wills tend to be business-like and devoid of emotion, so we should be cautious in using medieval wills as evidence for anything more than material culture and care of the soul. 10
Wendy Moorhen began by remarking that she was confident that her paper would need to cover sex and politics, as Hastings was a notorious and powerful man, but she was unsure of the salvation aspect. She had found little indication of piety in his life, but it was certainly a theme of his will – but was he truly pious, or was it just a quick fix for his salvation? Hastings had made his will in 1481, and in it he had made a great number of bequests to religious institutions. Wendy took us through his bequests to St George’s chapel at Windsor, where Edward IV had granted him burial (which Richard III honoured), his founding of chantries, and his gifts to priories and churches. His will was a long one, about 5,000 words, and 1,700 of these words were on instructions for his burial. He was one of the testators who had asked for 1,000 masses in one day, and Wendy pointed out that as Master of the Mint he would have had no problem in finding enough coins and perhaps he even had a bagful ready for his executors. The cost of the prayers and gifts to the religious came to £479, and jewels and vestments bequeathed accounted for more, perhaps about £700? But bequests to his family came to much larger sums, and possibly Hastings’ bid for salvation indicates a conventional rather than excessive piety. As well as the academic session, the Society had a stall at the Historical and Archaeological Societies Fair up in the Bodington Gallery on the Wednesday afternoon. This was manned by Peter and Carolyn Hammond, and John Saunders. Originally we had hoped to have a stall for the whole Congress down in the booksellers’ area, but Richard Van Allen, who had hoped to organise this, could not in the end be there. He did, however, manage to get material for sale and display to Lynda. As she says, ‘It was a rendezvous at Chievely Services on the M4. Richard was coming from Whitchurch, and I was returning from an open John, Carolyn and Peter, and a Logge day at Astley Castle and so made a ‘slight’ diversion.’ He handed over the two big banners and the book stand, and Lynda got a supply of back copies of the Ricardian and Bulletin from storage in her mother’s garage. The four sets of Logge, however, were driven from Croxley Green and round the M25 by Heather Falvey to Wendy’s house in Langley, Berks, and Wendy nobly lugged them up to Leeds by train. We sold about £100 worth of stock, including two sets of Logge (Lynda took the other two sets to the Keele University Latin and Palaeography week, where we sold them and four other sets as well, as well as one of the few Society publications on offer remaining sets of Harley 433). John Saunders commented that the sheer size and diversity of the Congress brought home to him just how intricate and rich the medieval world was. The bookstalls down in the sales area had books on ‘medieval subjects I had never even imagined, which reinforced the old saying that no amount of learning can ever diminish the amount to be learnt’. He managed to find and buy (at a reduced price) a huge catalogue of a major exhibition held in Budapest last year on Hungary’s national icon, King Matthias Corvinus. Just about every academic publisher with an interest in the medieval world comes to the Congress to tempt participants. The Leeds Congress is a unique opportunity for the Society to engage with a wide crosssection of the international medieval academic community, and we hope to have a presence there next year as well, though probably not as speakers. Fuller versions of all three papers presented this year will appear later. The Society would like to thank everyone who took part in any capacity. 11
Tewkesbury Medieval Festival A Superb Day Out
his yearâ€™s event took place on the weekend of 11-12 July. The Richard III Society are traditionally represented at this very popular annual gathering by the Worcestershire Branch. By way of a change they decided, this year, to attend the Three Battles Event and asked if the Gloucester Branch would like to step in and represent the Society. We were happy to do this although we had to accept we could not replicate the panache of the Worcestershire Branch in their resplendent medieval dress. If we lacked the style we tried enthusiasm as a makeweight. We were fortunate in being able to take an excellent position in the main marquee, sharing with The Tewkesbury Battlefield Society, The Lance and Longbow Society, Tewkesbury Museum and an impressive presentation of paintings and prints by Graham Turner. It was also good to see fellow Ricardians from the West Surrey Group who took a position next to us. As the marquee is really the focal point for the Festival we were well placed to promote the Society. The event originally began as part of a campaign to challenge proposed housing development on the Tewkesbury battlefield. Over the years it has become established as a regular annual event attracting visitors and re-enactors from all over Europe. The battle is re-enacted on both days and has around 2000 participants â€“ Europeâ€™s largest medieval re-enactment. Both days have a full programme of events which take place both in the town and on part of the original battlefield.
The sheer number of people engaged give a very authentic feel on this most atmospheric site. It really is a most exuberant and colourful affair which any devotee of the late medieval period would find a superb day out. 12
Visitors have a large medieval market to wander around, which includes all kinds of medieval crafts and book stalls complete with various period entertainers and music. Working armourers are much in evidence and keep up lively activity producing new equipment and providing welcome running repairs for the combatants. The medieval camps are extensive, give a real flavour of the period and are free for people to wander at leisure and see how the medieval soldier would have lived on campaign. Guided walks around the battlefield are also available. The only real problem is finding enough time to catch everything going on. Despite predictions of heavy rain the skies remained clear during the daylight hours on both days so we are now hoping the very wellattended weekend will produce some new Ricardians from the intense canvassing our team produced. However, whatever the outcome, we all enjoyed the experience immensely and hope we can attend next year and develop an even better presence. Keith Stenner and Angela Iliff on the Gloucester Branch’s stall We would like to thank Phil Stone, Sue and Dave Wells, and Richard Van Allen for their advice and encouragement. Finally, a big ‘Thank you’ to Phil Stone and Lynda Pidgeon for provision of the Ricardian wares to furnish our tables. Keith Stenner And thanks to you, Gloucester Branch. The Society owes a great deal to the members of Branches and Groups who are willing to give up their time to attend fairs and other functions arranged by external organisations, and we should like to record our thanks to all of you who do so. Musicians performing at Tewkesbury Fair
Anne Mowbray: Publication at Last BILL WHITE ‘Mummy found on City site’ was the startling front-page story in the London Evening News on Friday 11 December 1964. It appeared that workmen on a building site in St Clare Street, Stepney (just north of the Tower of London) had broken through into a vault, in what were the ruins of the Abbey of the Minoresses of St Clare, to find a single burial: a small anthropoid-shaped coffin made of lead. The coffin was taken to the London Museum in Kensington Palace, where the Latin inscription on the coffin was cleaned then read to show that here was Anne Mowbray, Duchess of York and Norfolk, who had died at the age of 8 years and 11 months in 1481, after a short marriage to Edward IV’s son Richard. A short article by Wendy Moorhen in the Spring 2005 issue of the Bulletin includes a summary of the circumstances of the find and the far-sighted multi-disciplinary investigation initiated by Dr Francis Celoria, the London Museum’s archaeological Field Officer. Although in the 1960s I was not yet a Ricardian, the story had a great appeal to me (and many other members of the public, as letters sent to the London Museum reveal) and I was impatient for further information. There was not long to wait. The Observer on Sunday 2 January 1966 bore an article entitled ‘Teeth link with the Tower Princes’, based on a paper published in the British Dental Journal the previous year by Dr Martin Rushton, who was the dental expert appointed by Francis Celoria to his team. Rushton showed that Anne Mowbray had a rare congenital condition which prevented her adult left second and third molars from developing (‘anodontia’). The jaw ascribed to Edward V similarly showed anodontia when examined in the 1933 investigation, with third molars and second premolars undeveloped, leading Rushton to surmise that here were
two children related by blood, as well as by marriage. At this time I was unversed in the sub-discipline of dental anthropology, so I was obliged to accept this evidence for identification at face value. Unfortunately, Rushton’s flawed argument has bedevilled renewed studies on the bones of the ‘Princes’ ever since. A little later that year Francis Celoria published a paper rather obscurely in the Folklore magazine. It was entitled ‘Burials in Archaeology: a survey of attitudes to research’ (vol. 77, 1966). In it he surveyed antiquarian tomb-openings and casual exhumations of the famous, from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. By contrast, his own investigation of Anne Mowbray’s burial had attracted opposition at the time, often at a very high level. In the House of Lords the recently ennobled Baron Mowbray, Seagrave and Stourton enquired ‘as a member of Anne Mowbray’s family’ [albeit at a considerable remove, as other peers remarked] as to when the body would be reburied. The Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshall, who said that he had found a photograph in a newspaper account upsetting, sent Sir Anthony Wagner, Garter King of Arms, to lobby the Cabinet Office requiring the investigation to cease and for Anne’s body to be reburied ‘in the shortest possible time and accepts that the maximum time should be three months’. In fact, she was reburied in Westminster Abbey on 15 May 1965, i.e rather more hastily than had been demanded. Also, not only was the investigation curtailed and several tests omitted, but it seems that Francis Celoria was in no hurry to publish the results, lest he stir up further trouble for himself. Celoria was silent for nearly four years, then came an indication that the results from the Anne Mowbray study might soon be 14
published. In a short-lived journal with the title Science and Archaeology (vol. 1, 1970) he revealed further aspects of the project. In particular, Anne Mowbray’s full head of hair had been studied exhaustively in the laboratories of Unilever Ltd, the material and construction of the coffin had been analysed by metallurgists at Perivale Laboratories and the remains of insects found with the coffin had been identified. Unfortunately, with time, it again became clear that the promised comprehensive publication was not yet to appear. Meanwhile, I underwent training in osteology, and began to echo Dr Lyn-Pirkis (Paul Murray Kendall’s anatomy expert) and others in challenging the conclusions of the 1933 investigation of the bones of the ‘Princes’, using modern developments. I wrote to Francis Celoria, who by now was the Director of the Gladstone Pottery Museum, Stoke-on-Trent, as well as a lecturer at the University of Keele. I told him that I was in contact with someone who had measured Anne Mowbray’s bones in 1965 before they were reburied. I asked whether the report on Anne Mowbray’s hair was yet in the public domain and also asked about the significance of the type of salts of lead that had been found in the coffin and whether the report was in the publication pipeline (10 May 1982). He replied with alacrity and replied to all my questions courteously: ‘We are still awaiting the report on one of the teeth which is being done at a midland University [viz. Birmingham]. Regrettably people are not getting on with it and we are having to be patient so that all the reports can be done without anyone ‘jumping the gun’ – as Rushton did! ... I shall always be interested in your assessment of the report on the ‘Princes in the Tower’ which have had so much doubt cast on them that when there is some truth in them we doubt too much.’ (14th May 1982). Greatly encouraged, I wrote back pointing out how several aspects of the Anne Mowbray investigation, when published, could be brought to bear upon the problem of the identification of the bones attributed to the ‘Princes’ (21 June 1982). Again came a swift and friendly reply: ‘I am most grateful for
your very detailed account of the bodies of the alleged ‘Princes in the Tower’. It is very amazing that we can say little about the skull of the alleged King Edward V which had a missing molar, but it would be extremely difficult to link the matter. In 1965 I got someone at Guy’s to carry out a discreet enquiry about hereditarily missing molars in the present Royal Family and did get the kind of negative that people got from ‘Deep Throat’ during the Watergate investigations … I hope that we may in the future keep in touch as we near the final preparation and report on my princess.’ (24 June 1982). So far, so good, although his proprietorial ‘my princess’ was a little disturbing. In 1984, at the Quincentenary Symposium at Jesus College, Cambridge, Peter Hammond and I spoke about the disappearance of the sons of Edward IV. As we prepared the written publication I wrote to Francis Celoria to discuss Anne Mowbray matters for inclusion (and acknowledgement) and to ask again whether publication was imminent. (29th January 1985). This time his reply was very different in tone. He did not wish to be acknowledged in the paper on the grounds of the imminent publication of his own work. Unfortunately, this never appeared. In 1984 The Trial of Richard III was shown on Channel 4. Expert testimony on the bones of the ‘Princes in the Tower’ was presented by Dr Jean Ross. She had been a student of Professor Roger Warwick, coincidentally the anatomist who examined the skeleton of Lady Anne Mowbray, so when he saw the televised Trial he began to be aware of the great interest that there was in the subject. Thus, Prof. Warwick in retirement began a lecture tour about Anne Mowbray, based upon his large collection of 20-year old lantern slides, and he spoke to the London Branch of the Richard III Society in 1985. The following year he finally published his report on the skeleton of Anne Mowbray. Further years passed. I joined the Museum of London in the City (the lineal successor to the London Museum) as a professional osteologist. In 1997, when I was introduced to Dr Simon Thurley, the new Director of the Museum, he outlined a plan for an exhibition 15
showing how the appearance of Londoners had changed over the centuries. This was to become the very popular temporary exhibition: London Bodies (1998-99). Many departments of the Museum of London became involved and I was responsible for selecting archaeological skeletons for display. The Anne Mowbray project seemed to cry out for inclusion. I wrote to Unilever to ascertain whether they had kept any samples of Anne’s bright red hair. Remarkably, after 32 years there was still someone on the staff who remembered the original investigation and he assured me that nothing had been retained; all the hair had been reinterred with the bones in Westminster Abbey. However, he prevailed upon his current Head of Department to send me a copy of the 1965 report. I wrote to Francis Celoria, stating our plans and asking for his co-operation. He refused to take part and indeed to discuss his own report. Finally, in 2008, Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) decided to publish the results of the archaeology of London Mendicant Houses and it happened that Anne Mowbray’s was the only burial included, so here perhaps was the ‘final’ opportunity to publish the Anne Mowbray investigation in full. Bruce Watson of MOLA and I would be the principal authors and there would be contributions by Barney Sloane of English Heritage (co-author of Requiem: the Medieval Monastic Cemetery in Britain (2005)) and Mrs Dorothy Thorn, who was with the London Museum in 1964 and whose late husband had been involved in the investigation. It was decided to publish in the Antiquaries Journal in 2010, with appendices
on the publications that have appeared so far (the skeleton and the teeth, the coffin insects), unpublished material (the hair, the finger- and toe-nails with their distinctive trim, the lead coffin) and reports reconstructed from extant correspondence (the waxed cerecloth, the plant remains from the samples of coffin liquids, etc). We then tried to persuade Dr Celoria to take the opportunity to be involved in this final chance to publish. Initial attempts by telephone (no answer), E-mail (via the University of Keele) and letter were to no avail. Bruce Watson then chose another tack, he wrote to Francis Celoria, saying that we were going ahead with this publication, preferably with his collaboration as co-author but that the paper would be published regardless (17 June 2009). This appeal was successful to some extent. Dr Celoria replied, enclosing a leaflet: ‘Anne Mowbray: a Final Newsletter’ which again rehearsed his many tribulations over the years. His final message was to decline to cooperate with us. As the end of a long, sorry story approaches it will be with a sense of relief that my colleagues and I see the Anne Mowbray publication into print some 45 years after the discovery. While a publication as originally envisaged by Francis Celoria would have been far superior, and the model for future investigations of its type, such was not to be, and we believe that our publication will at last make the fascinating story of the discovery of the body of Anne Mowbray available to all. Copies of most of the papers referred to are in the Society’s Library.
The Battle of the Monarchs or: How Alison Weir Spoke for Richard III
n the evening of 2 June, Foyle’s Bookshop in the Charing Cross Road, London, hosted an event which promised an amazing revelation: there was to be a debate between four biographers to ascertain who was the greatest English monarch, and Alison Weir was to speak for Richard III. A few Society members found this out by passing Foyle’s window and reading the notice, and hastily emailed their friends. We managed to assemble about a dozen members to attend this remarkable event. Kate Fletcher, a new member from York who was in London for three weeks for her job, had also seen the notice in Foyle’s window and came along. We were thus able to welcome her into the Society and introduce her to Phil Stone, and some other Ricardians. The debate was organised by Foyle’s Events Team, and the Biographers Club, who provided wine and nibbles; big stacks of the published works of the four speakers were available for purchase and autographs. The contestants were: Edward I, proposed by Marc Morris; Richard III, proposed by Alison Weir; Elizabeth I, proposed by Susan Ronald; and James I, proposed by Alice Hogge. The debate was chaired by Paul Lay. About fifty people in all attended. Speakers were each given ten minutes in which to make their case, and then there were questions and a vote. The monarchs were taken in chronological order. The following account has been put together from notes made by Kate Fletcher, Phil Stone and Lesley Boatwright. Marc Morris spoke first – ‘thank heaven for Mel Gibson!’ – and made a very convincing case for Edward Longshanks (ruled 1272-1307), the conqueror of Wales and Scotland, castle-builder and great legislator for the common people. He made the point that Edward was ‘great’ according to the Irish Chronicle, but this does not necessarily mean ‘good’. Edward took the ailing institution of Parliament and made it a forum for solving problems. Not till Edward VII did another English king travel so widely; he went all over Europe, to North Africa, and on crusade, one of only two English kings to do so. By the end of his reign he was being compared to King Arthur, and there was a great renascence of history writing in his reign, because people knew they were living in stirring times. Then it was Alison Weir’s turn to deal with Richard III. She started with an apology for her earlier comments on the Princes, and said she was ‘making it up to Richard’, but also ‘historical research doesn’t tell us everything we want to hear’. As Kate Fletcher comments, ‘What exactly does that mean? ... It was a very tongue-in-cheek look at Richard, full of back-handed compliments and cheap, obvious laughs’. Alison said Richard loved his family – ‘he even wanted to marry his niece’. And that Richard had been there in the Tower when Henry VI died – ‘to see that the deed was done humanely’. Kate notes, ‘When she said that the princes were in Richard’s care when they were never seen again, it started to become obvious where this was going. Though she did admit there was no evidence either way, her slant had certainly persuaded some in the audience, particularly the woman in front of me, who commented later than there was no way she could ever be for Richard. ... She did concede that he showed himself as a sovereign worthy of respect, but in the next breath called him the Peter Mandelson of his day and “a pioneer at spin and character assassination” – was she confusing him with Henry VII? ... And she 17
said that still today we benefit from his laws – but we have no idea how much of these laws he was responsible for.’ She also said that Richard had blameless morals – she paused – ‘according to an Italian observer’ – which generated laughter from some of the audience. The proposer of Elizabeth I was Susan Ronald, whose book on Elizabeth, The Pirate Queen, has been well received by the critics. Susan spoke about Elizabeth’s difficult childhood and the problems she experienced once she became queen at the age of 25: problems with Mary, Queen of Scots, and with the kingdom of Spain. When she ascended the throne, the treasury was empty, and she needed money. She encouraged privateering both on land and sea as long as she got a 30% share of the proceeds: hence The Pirate Queen. Bacon came up with a mass education system to allow people to understand Protestantism; the English language flourished through Elizabeth’s interest in the theatre; and she helped the Dutch to win freedom from Spain. She had to face so many factions, and survived by playing one off against another. She would not allow the English to be subservient to any nation. The final monarch to be presented was James I, by Alice Hogge. He was the first king of Great Britain, probably one of the best-educated monarchs we ever had, a patron of the arts – Ben Jonson, Inigo Jones and Shakespeare flourished under his patronage – and he ensured that the Bible was translated into ‘the best English possible’. He may even have translated some of the psalms himself. He doubled the size of the Privy Council, reduced the power of the monarch and increased the representation of the people. Knowing that war breeds war, he kept England out of the Thirty Years’ War. He proposed a European Council to be held between Protestants and Roman Catholics, and a union with Scotland, but did not get either. James was a peaceloving king, said Alice, and peace-loving kings have a problem: historians look on war as the stuff of history. And his introduction into England of the game of golf may not in itself have qualified him for greatness. The discussion that followed the presentations was very interesting. One of the most important points to emerge was that it is always essential to judge monarchs against the times in which they lived, and not according to modern precepts and morals. And during the discussion one of your Committee members present spoke up and said that it was a pity to go for cheap laughs, and ‘Richard III would have been much better served by someone who actually believed in him’, causing Alison Weir to explain that she had wanted to speak about Elizabeth I, but she had already been claimed. Eventually there was a vote, which was won by Edward I with 15 votes. Elizabeth and James received 10 each, and Richard 8. Not everyone present voted. To strike a serious note, how many people could put their hand on their heart and say, ‘Richard III was the greatest English monarch’? He might have been, had he lived long enough, but he reigned just 777 days. Later in this Bulletin there is an article by Philippa Langley which is very much to the point here: she compares Richard’s reign to what the obviously great English monarchs would have achieved if they had only reigned for 777 days. After the debate, in the book-buying and signing session, Phil Stone spoke to Susan Ronald, and discovered that she is very pro-Richard, and that she would like to join the Society. She is working on a book about Richard at the moment, and we hope that she will be the speaker at a future AGM of the Society, possibly next year in Leicester.
Recent Books by the Speakers in the Debate Alice Hogge, God’s Secret Agents: Queen Elizabeth’s Forbidden Priests and the Hatching of the Gunpowder Plot (HarperCollins, 2006) Marc Morris, A Great and Terrible King; Edward I and the Forging of Britain (Hutchinson, 2008) Susan Ronald, The Pirate Queen; Queen Elizabeth I, her Pirate Adventurers and the Dawn of Empire (HarperCollins, 2007) Alison Weir, The Lady Elizabeth (HarperCollins 2007) 18
Not something you see every day in the country ... Richard III Society member and jousting artist Graham Turner spotted out on a hack with his daughter Georgina a few weeks ago. Graham says that people might think he takes his personal protection a bit too far, but this was all part of his training programme to get his horse Magic used to armour. Magic had no problem at all in accepting the unusual riding attire, and a week or so after this photo was taken he did indeed joust at a training session, and, as we reported in the last Bulletin, he will be present at some low-key events later this summer. Time will tell if he proves suitable. Our occasional short story series is centred on Graham’s paintings of medieval scenes. See pp. 43-46 for Brian Wainwright’s story based on Graham’s painting The Arrivall.
Edward V is crowned ... at the British Museum According to the records, Edward V was never crowned, so it was with great surprise that Society members visiting the recently opened medieval galleries at the British Museum learnt from the labels on a silver-gilt boar badge and a Sword of State that they had been used at the coronation of Edward V. In a letter to the curator of the galleries, James Robinson, I drew his attention to the errors, expressing my surprise, since it has been my experience in the past that the accuracy of work done by the British Museum is usually second to none. A reply was a long time in coming, but, when it did, Dr Robinson apologised for the labels, explaining that the text had been through many hands before going to print. My first thought on reading this was of the definition of a camel as being ‘a horse designed by a committee’. He assured me that the labels were being reprinted and the correct ones would be in use by the end of July. At the time of writing it is too soon to go back to check, but I can thoroughly recommend a visit to the new galleries, whether they are labelled correctly or not.
Phil Stone 19
In Prospect The 550th anniversary of the Battle of Blore Heath Blore Heath Heritage Group have written to tell us about their ‘Blore 550’ programme. The battle was fought on 23 September 1459 and is considered by many to be the first true battle of the Wars of the Roses. It set in train the first phase of these Wars (1459-1464), which ended at Towton in 1461. After the first confrontation at St Albans in 1455 (says the Group), a compromise peace was achieved, but after Blore Heath no accommodation between the parties was possible. ‘Although a Yorkist victory, Blore Heath’s strategic significance was short-lived, as less than a month later the Yorkist leaders were to abandon their army at Ludford Bridge and flee the country. Among the army abandoned at Ludlow was the frightened seven-year-old boy who would later become Richard III.’ The Blore Heath Heritage Group, who are dedicated to improving and enhancing the Blore Heath battlefield, are undertaking a programme of events to celebrate the anniversary and bring the battle and the events of 1459 to a wider audience. The programme will be as follows: 19-20 Sept. 550th Anniversary Re-enactment at Blore Heath Farm, off the A53 near Market Drayton. The event will include a re-enactment of the battle with over 300 participants, living history displays and a medieval traders’ fair. There will be a display explaining what happened in the battle, and guided walks and talks around the battlefield itself. The event will take place between 11.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. on the Saturday and Sunday, with the battle re-enactment starting at 3.00 p.m. Admission charges are £7.50 for adults, £2.50 for children between the ages of 8 and 14, with under-sevens free. For advance discount tickets contact www.bloreheath.org or ring the information centre at Market Drayton, tel. 01630 653114.
The Maurice and Shelagh Bond Memorial Lecture St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire This year the Maurice and Shelagh Bond Memorial Lecture will be given at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday 7 October by Professor Eamon Duffy of Cambridge University on ‘The Cult of Henry VI’. St George’s Chapel is the place where Henry is buried, and his shrine there received the thanks and offerings of the people who said they had been cured of their diseases and troubles by Henry’s miraculous intervention. Admission, although free, is by ticket only. Apply to The Chapter Office, Windsor Castle, Berks SL4 1NJ with an s.a.e. by Wednesday 30 September. When you arrive, you must bring photo I.D. with you.
The International Medieval Congress, Leeds 2010 We have received advance notice of next year’s Leeds Medieval Congress, which will take place from 12 to 15 July 2010. This time the special thematic strand will be ’Journeying Along Medieval Routes: Narratives, Maps and Archaeological Traces’, though there will, as usual, be sessions on offer which have nothing to do with the main theme. There are no plans at present for the Society to offer a session of papers in 2010, but we hope to have a stall there to sell our publications. Further information may be obtained from their website, www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc
News and Reviews Bosworth Battlefield Wins National Museum Oscar On 13 May the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park (as it is now called) won the Museum and Heritage Award for Excellence. This award, the ‘Oscar’ of the museums world, is open to any museum, gallery or heritage attraction that has been established ten years or more. It is given to recognise and celebrate best practice within such institutions, and the judges look in particular for evidence of continued growth, development and visitor interest over the long term, and ‘ongoing relevance and vibrancy’. Bosworth beat a shortlist of six museums, including the Natural History Museum, the National Museums in Liverpool, and the Cabinet War Rooms. The judges included Bernard Donoghue, Head of Government and Public Affairs at Visit Britain; Diane Lees, Director of the V&A Museum of Childhood; Matthew Tanner, the director of the SS Great Britain; Marie Roberts, editor of the Museums and Heritage Magazine; and Sam Mullins, director of London Transport Museum. The winners were announced by the broadcaster and journalist Simon Calder at a ceremony at Church House, Westminster, on Wednesday 13 May. Helen Emery, Project Director of Bosworth Battlefield, expressed their delight in winning, saying, ‘For the last 35 years, Leicestershire County Council have been the guardians of this story, providing not just the facts in an honest and accessible manner, but also the fun, drama, excitement and vibrancy that really brings this pivotal moment in history to life’. As a Society we too should like to convey our congratulations to the Battlefield Centre, even though the press release we received remarks, ‘The battle ... saw the infamous King Richard III lose both his life and his crown to Henry Tudor’. As Richard might have said, like a recent Julius Caesar, ‘Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it Infamy!’
Exhibition at Bruges: Charles the Bold At a time when status was obvious through clothes, jewellery and displayed wealth, Charles the Bold, the last duke of Burgundy, was one of the richest men in Europe. This is manifestly clear from the ‘Charles the Bold / Karel de Stoute’ exhibition at the Goeninge Museum in Bruges. Charles might have been called Charles, Duke of Bling! The exhibition contains over 300 exhibits from (amongst other places) the national historical museums in Berne and Vienna, the Louvre, the British Library and Aachen cathedral. The 2005 exhibition in Mechelen about Margaret of York and Margaret of Austria was impressive enough, but I thought the Charles the Bold exhibition surpassed it. It includes the famous ‘Burgundian booty’ plundered from Charles’s camp at Grandson by the Swiss in April 1476 – personal items such as Charles’s seal, jewellery, tapestries, weapons (crossbows and guns). This booty has now returned to Bruges for the first time in 500 years. I was amazed by the beautiful mille fleurs tapestries emblazoned with Philip the Good’s coat of arms, and the bolts of cloth and military banners. How had these fabrics retained their colours? They must have been kept pristine in the most stringent conditions in Berne museum. Other delights on display included an ivory and jewelled chessboard and backgammon set. Did Margaret of Austria play with this, I wonder? I also enjoyed seeing the famous reliquary gold statue of Charles and St George given to Liège cathedral, in which St George’s features strongly resembled those of Charles – or should that be the other way round? There was also a display of pictures of jewelled crosses which are too valuable to leave Aachen cathedral treasury. Most ‘bling’ of all was a reconstruction of Charles’s jewelled ceremonial hat, done from a later sketch as the original hat was apparently sold to the Fugger 21
bankers in the sixteenth century. It was decorated with seven rows of pearls, with a ruby and two jewelled feathers. Some of the exhibits were familiar, Margaret of York’s coronet, for instance, which was given to Aachen cathedral. I have now seen it in exhibitions at the Tower of London, at the V&A, in Mechelen (but not at Aachen).* It was displayed intelligently, allowing access all round it. Among the smaller exhibits were toy figures of fighting knights, which belonged to Philip the Fair, Charles’s grandson, and the suit of armour made for Philip as a child. There are just three suits of medieval child’s armour in existence, and they all belonged to Philip the Fair. The exhibition concluded with entry to Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk (the Church of Our Lady) to visit the tombs of Mary of Burgundy, and Charles himself, who was killed at Nancy in 1477. His tomb was completed in 1550. The exhibition gave me a tremendous insight into Charles, his wealth and status as a medieval ruler, and his military ambitions. He was so ‘hands-on’ that he wrote notes in military ordinances to ensure that his soldiers were strictly disciplined and drilled. Through his daughter Mary’s marriage to Maximilian, Charles’s Hapsburg descendants did rule much of Europe, and his possessions ended up in Europe’s museums where we can enjoy them today. The exhibition is a travelling one. It began in Berne in 2008 and after Bruges (where it ends on 21 July) it will go in September to Vienna and remain there until January. There is a website: www.kareldestoute, and the National Gallery in London is apparently stocking copies of the well -illustrated exhibition catalogue. Rumour has it that at least two members of the London Branch are planning to go to Vienna in the autumn to see this exhibition, and I am sure they will not be disappointed.
Fiona Price [* When the Society visited Aachen in 2002, the co-organiser Derek Verdin took an immense amount of trouble to ascertain that the crown, which was about to be sent to London, would still be on view the day of our visit. Alas, we had to postpone our scheduled visit because a local civic ceremony caused the museum to close – and by the time we got there a couple of days later the crown was gone. Eds.]
Did Richard Wear Lipstick? Dorothea Preis, Treasurer and Librarian of the New South Wales Branch of the Society, has sent us an interesting snippet from Sunday Life, the colour supplement to Sydney’s Sun Herald for 3 May 2009. The magazine printed a short history of lipstick, in which the author, Liz Henderson, said ‘Colouring was fashionable for medieval courtiers in Western Europe. Both men and women wore lip rouge under King Edward IV in the 1460s. ...’ Dorothea says, ‘So we started wondering whether Richard III, as a courtier at Edward IV’s court, would have worn lip colour. And if so, what shade. Julia Redlich [Branch Secretary] suggested Mellow Middleham or Fotheringhay Frost. It surely could not have been Lancastrian Red Rose. Any suggestions which shade he might have worn are very welcome. So far we are used to showing our loyalty by wearing the Society’s pendants, but wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same by wearing the correct lipstick?’ It so happened that our Research Officer, Lynda Pidgeon, had signed on to attend a session at the medieval congress in Leeds called ‘To Paint the Lilly’, a medieval cosmetics workshop directed by Vicky Shearman, the ‘informal learning officer’ at Clarke Hall Museum in Wakefield. When Lynda asked about Richard’s putative lipstick, she was told that it was more likely to have been a type of lip salve than simply for the sake of the colour. We have asked Dr Tig Lang, a member who is interested in medieval medicines and produced some of the medical material on display at the current Barley Hall exhibition, to investigate the matter for us. Watch this space. 22
Book Review A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin, Headline Review, 2008. Hardback, 399pp. A Secret Alchemy has an ambitious and complex narrative structure: there are three storytellers, two real people from the fifteenth century (Elizabeth Woodville and her brother Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers), and one modern, fictional character, Una, who provides the link between past and present. Una is an academic, researching the Woodvilles’ books. A widow, she has returned briefly from Australia to sell her London home and visit the family, the Pryors, who brought her up when her parents died, and who run a distinguished printing firm. The ‘Una’ strand is the dominant, but least satisfactory, of the segments. All three characters relate key events from their past in the first person, but Una comes across as totally self-absorbed, her thoughts ranging widely over past and present, introducing a large cast of characters from her childhood onwards, some of whom have little or no relevance to her present-day story. For example, there are three pages devoted to a detailed account of her first rather unsatisfactory sexual encounter with a fellow student who never appears again in the story (pp.199-202). Trivial incidents, e.g. no boiled eggs in a fish pie eaten at the age of 11 (p.123), and long conversations from the past are given equal prominence with more important events from the present. It is these not recollections which drive the story forward and so Una’s account seems to be packed solid with detail and often confusing. A ‘lost love’ reappears and Una finds her feelings recharged. There are tentative suggestions that a new relationship is to start. It’s hard to care – and we don’t learn much about the Woodvilles’ books either. A love affair is also at the centre of Elizabeth Woodville’s story. Like Una, Elizabeth picks out key moments from her younger days such as learning of her parents’ intention to marry her to John Grey, and a highly-coloured account of Edward’s wooing of the now-widowed Elizabeth: ‘S-sire, you – you do me a great honour, but it is one that I do not deserve…I-I must say no, I cannot be yours’, to which Edward replies, ‘I am the sun: have they not told you? And you are the moon, with your silver-gilt hair that I could drown in if we lay together. Can you not see we were born to make merry together as surely as the stars surround us both in the sky?’ (p.137) Elizabeth’s story includes Clarence’s death, Edward’s death and the disappearance of the princes. Her final segment sees her in Bermondsey Abbey where she receives an unexpected visitor, Louis de Bretaylles, a friend of Anthony’s, who tells her how her young sons came to die. After her understandable grief at this news, Elizabeth finds a certain peace and resignation in the knowledge and looks forward to her own death and to be reunited with her sons. Anthony Woodville is also approaching death – but he knows exactly when his will be. Anthony’s section is by far the most successful of the three narratives. His story takes place over the course of one day’s journey from Sheriff Hutton to Pontefract as a prisoner, en route to his execution on Richard’s orders. As his thoughts range over his past life and times, such as his capture by Warwick at Sandwich, the night before the battle of Towton, his exile in Burgundy, they are interspersed with details of his present journey. Anthony is portrayed as a profoundly religious man who permanently wears a hair shirt, racked by remorse over his inability to protect his nephew, Edward, and almost longing for death, shriven of his sins and prepared to face the 23
final judgement of God. Darwin’s account of his experiences is rendered sharply and economically (he has no time to lose, after all), his recollections vividly portrayed and the small events of his last journey (his gratitude at not being manacled, his captors’ gruff, almost kindly insistence that he eat) are movingly given. Unfortunately, however, the author descends into bathos at the end of his account, by drafting in a young man, the Constable’s retainer, who quickly becomes Anthony’s confidant and comforter during his last night on earth. In a talk at the Du Maurier Festival in Fowey, Cornwall in May 2009, Emma Darwin said she ‘fell in love with Elizabeth and Anthony’, and she certainly portrays them both in an uncritical, admiring way. Elizabeth is a loyal and passionate queen who enjoys the power her sexuality has over Edward, bears his children and tolerates his affairs. When she refuses to come out of sanctuary, the Council attack her, accusing her of being a sorceress. Boldly and intelligently she defends herself: ‘I would not be beaten … point by point I argued my case … They put forth no argument that I did not refute’ (p. 297). Anthony, likewise, is Edward’s loyal and faithful retainer, a cultured, high-minded man overtaken by events and, it is implied, the duplicity of Richard and his followers. Perhaps the ‘bad press’ which the Woodvilles suffer and which the author says inspired her to write about them is indeed exaggerated and inaccurate, but this book is too one-sided to redress the imbalance. A missed opportunity.
Elaine Henderson All About Henry Tudor The journal Historical Research (vol. 82 issue 217), August 2009, will consist entirely of articles on Henry VII, considering such topics as chronology; Henry in European perspective (Steven Gunn); household, politics and political morality in Henry’s reign (David Grummitt); policy and prosecution (Mark R. Horowitz); loyalty and the usurper (Sean Cunningham); the enforcement of penal statutes in the 1490s (P.R. Cavill); Henry VII and his towns (James Lee); reaction to Henry’s style of kingship (Penny Tucker); Henry VII, France and the Holy League of Venice (John M. Currin); standards of conduct for Henry’s chamber officials (Margaret McGlynn); and Henry’s treasure (Mark R. Horowitz). Copies may be obtained from the Institute of Historical Research, and articles read on line (for a fee) at www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/
The Henry VIII Exhibition at the British Library The exhibition leaflet remarks (in case we needed reminding) that Henry VIII is England’s bestknown king, ‘with his wives, his girth and his bloodthirstiness’. The exhibition is well worth seeing but most people may find they need two visits to take in all its glories. The maps alone could take hours to examine, and there are fascinating details about how he collected in and actually read many books from monastic libraries up and down the country in order to find the best way to end his marriage to Katherine of Aragon. There is also instruction on how the scoring worked at tournaments, the Parliamentary Procession Roll of 1512, Cromwell’s notes on what to do about Sir Thomas More, a 1527 love-letter from Henry to Anne Boleyn, and a Book of Hours in which Henry and Anne wrote love-notes to each other during (it is suggested) a mass in the Royal Chapel. You may also find that you need to keep your coat with you, as the exhibition rooms are very cold. The exhibition closes on 17 January 2010.
Tail piece Phil and Beth Stone found the following information in the South Yorkshire Times on line: at Pontefract Racecourse sprinters are in the spotlight on Tuesday 7 July when the King Richard III Handicap Stakes is contested over six furlongs. The 26th running of this race, with prize money of £15,000, commemorates the granting of a royal charter to the borough of Pontefract in 1484, and the winner will receive a perpetual challenge trophy given by Pontefract Civic Trust. 24
Media Retrospective and Henry I, both of whom took the throne in a similar manner, and used expedient marriage to a Saxon princess as a means of enhancing their claims’. The letter adds that many believe Henry Tudor descended from Caswallon ‘an early Celtic English king’ [sic] who ruled much of southern England ... before the Saxons or Normans arrived’.
From John Saunders and others Notes and Queries Page, The Guardian, 15 July 2009. The question had previously been asked: In her book The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey refers to documents in the British Museum that exonerate Richard III of the murder of the princes. Are they there? Letter in reply from Richard Keane, Thornton Heath, Surrey: I have not read the book and cannot comment on documents which may lurk in the British Museum. I would be surprised however if any serious historian still believes Richard III was the murderer. For doubters I recommend Hugh Ross Williamson’s essay on the subject in the collection entitled The Man in the Iron Mask and Other Enigmas, which disposes of the myth by examining the available evidence. I hope that documents do exist. It is high time that we rehabilitated the reputation of the last legitimate king of England.
Again, on 29 July 2009, there were two letters on the subject. The first is from Annette Carson of South Africa, who notes that in her book Richard III: the Maligned King, she surveyed all the contemporary sources accepted as reliable, and the British Museum failed to yield any new clues. ‘Neither has any new document come to light that casts blame on Richard, yet most historians still claim he must have done the deed. Brian O’Farrell of Grantham listed the three candidates, Richard III, Henry Tudor and the Duke of Buckingham, then suggested ‘the princes could have died from jail fever, which was very common’.
This was followed up a week later, 22 July, by further letters in The Guardian on its Notes and Queries Page: Letter from Neil Wellman, Bristol: ‘It is rare that one can credibly say “a bloke in the pub told me the answer to this one”, but in this case it is true. The bloke in question, Keith Dockray, is a regular at my local and author of several books on medieval history, including Richard III: A Source Book ...’ The letter goes on to list the French Chancellor (Guillaume de Rochfort), Caspar Weirich of Danzig, John Rous and the Great Chronicle of London as ‘contemporary comments’ accusing Richard, and ‘an unknown London citizen’ and Mancini as ‘less harmful to Richard’s cause’. And Mr Wellman ends with Dockray’s judgment that ‘the available evidence ... is inconclusive’, and that Richard has both passionate defenders and harsh critics. Letter from David Fynn, Uxbridge: ‘... Richard’s legitimacy runs from William I
From Lynda Pidgeon Wiltshire Life, May 2009, pp. 52-4: article by Michael Marshman: ‘The Collingbournes were Bourne to be twins’.* The article first quotes the rhyme: The Cat, the Rat and Lovel the Dogge / Rule all England under a Hogge, and says: ‘William Collingbourne is believed to have been born in Collingbourne Kingston or Ducis and had been steward for the Wiltshire lands of King Richard’s mother. He was dismissed in favour of Lovell and had a reputation for writing libellous rhymes and so it was little surprise that he was accused, with others, of plotting a rebellion and inciting Henry Tudor to land at Poole. Collingbourne was charged with ‘rhyme in derision of the king and his council’ and was hanged, cut down while still alive, then castrated and disembowelled. Literary criticism was severe in the 15th century!’ 25
*The twins of the title are the two Collingbourne villages in the Bourne valley.
was on the ground, what became of chivalry?’ From Geoff Wheeler Daily Mail, 25 June 2009. Article ‘How I struck gold after seven years of bad luck’ by Dalya Alberge. ‘After seven years of combing fields and beaches with a metal detector, the only thing housewife Mary Hannaby had to show for her hobby was an old dental plate. But all those efforts paid off when her first proper find turned out to be a 15th-century gold treasure valued at £250,000 or more. ‘The find is thought to be part of a high-quality reliquary or pendant, and depicts the Holy Trinity.’ ... ‘As one of only three of its kind to have survived, the find could be worth even more than £250,000, and its engraving is being compared to that of the Middleham Jewel, which sold at auction for £1.3 million in 1986 and was later resold to the Yorkshire Museum for £2.5 million.’ The find-spot is not mentioned, but Mrs Hannaby lives in Hemel Hempstead, Herts.
From Marilyn Garabet, Argyll Article by Gavin Madeley, ‘A knight’s tale’, in the Scottish edition of the Daily Mail, 30 June 2009. [Excavations in 1997 in a chapel in Stirling Castle revealed 11 skeletons which were then ‘subjected ... to state-of-the-art technology’. One skeleton may be that of Robert Morley, who died during a tournament at the castle in 1388. ‘Analysis using laser-scanning techniques revealed the warrior was in his mid20s and had suffered several serious wounds in earlier fights. He had survived some time with a large arrowhead lodged in his chest. Bone regrowth around a dent in the front of his skull indicates that he had also recovered from a blow from an axe. ... the fatal blow was delivered by a sword that sliced through his nose and jaw. His reconstructed skull indicates that he was on the ground when it was struck.’ Marilyn comments: ‘If he was struck when he
Picture Howler In my attempt to make crystal clear what had necessarily to be a somewhat shortened version of Geoffrey Wheeler’s piece ‘The Counterfeit Presentment of Two Brothers’ in Media Retrospective in the June Bulletin, I perpetrated a horrid howler by inserting the words ‘Broken Sword’ in the second paragraph, thus making nonsense of it. The picture in question was, of course, the Society of Antiquaries portrait of Richard which we use on the front cover of the Bulletin, not the ‘Broken Sword’ one at all. My (feeble) excuse is that I was looking at the wrong photocopy of the material, the one of the first page of the article on David Hipshon’s book (which does have the ‘Broken Sword’ picture and a shadowy person in a plumed hat) and not the cover of the BBC History Magazine for March 2009. Apologies to Geoffrey Wheeler and to everyone else. LB
Richard III and the Murder in the Tower Peter A. Hancock This book proposes a solution for the execution of William, Lord Hastings, on 13 June, 1483. It highlights the role of William Catesby in affecting Richard’s actions during the ‘summer of three kings’ Available from The History Press (www.thehistorypress.co.uk/) at £20 hardback
The Man Himself Bone Density, Richard III, Rafael Nadal and Exercise-induced Osteogenesis PETER STRIDE villainous appearance. However, recent xrays showed the original Windsor painting had level shoulders, with the subsequent addition of shoulder elevation, and some facial alterations.2 Descriptions of Richard, written during his life, noted that he was short and slim, but determined and courageous.3 Descriptions written posthumously described a villainous appearance with a humped back and elevated shoulder, but without consensus on which shoulder was elevated. Each version embellishes the odious picture till Shakespeare’s monster appears. Winston Churchill wrote ‘No-one in his life-time seems to have remarked these deformities, but they are now very familiar to us through Shakespeare’s play’. 4
Introduction The common perception today of King Richard III, based on Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Richard III is that of a physically deformed and mentally warped monster: But I – that am not shap’d for sportive tricks, Nor made to court an amorous lookingglass ... I – that am curtail’d of this fair proportion, Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time Into this breathing world scarce half made up ...1 Muscular development from weight training is well known but, although exerciseinduced bone osteogenesis is well known in medical circles, it is less well documented in historical circles. Theories of Richard’s alleged deformity are listed, followed by research data on bone-density changes with exercise, culminating with the hypothesis that he had the physique of a contemporary professional athlete.
Modern Medical Theories For over 100 years doctors published theories ascribing their favourite diagnosis to the Shakespearean Richard III, provoking a vigorous correspondence from the Englishspeaking medical world. However, after review of contemporary pictures and evidence these doctors regretfully concluded that Richard did not have that favoured diagnosis. A few theories from a Medline search follow. William Little (1810-1894),5 initially a sickly child with a clubfoot deformity, trained as a doctor and surgeon, becoming an expert surgical authority in correcting clubfoot. He described the connection between birth injury, perinatal asphyxia and cerebral palsy. Reading only More and Shakespeare, Little concluded that Richard had a cerebral palsy when he presented his cases to the Obstetrical
Contemporary Evidence The location of Richard’s skeletal remains is unknown, hence we depend upon available contradictory evidence when speculating about his physique. The earliest extant portraits of Richard, such as the Society of Antiquaries portrait, are probably based on originals done from life, and show no deformity. Later portraits, such as the Windsor Castle portrait painted between 1590 and 1600, show uneven shoulders and a 27
Society of London on 2 October (Richard’s birthday) 1861. In 1977, Philip Rhodes considered three possibilities.6 Firstly he rejected a kyphoscoliosis or spinal curvature, in the absence of contemporary supporting portraiture. Rhodes also suggested two spinal diseases, Klumpke’s or Erb’s paralyses, in which compressed and damaged nerve roots cause localised muscle wasting. Klumpke’s spinal lesion causes muscle wasting in the hands, but Rhodes noted the normal appearance of Richard’s hands in the National Portrait Gallery picture, making this unlikely. Erb’s vertebral lesion causes failed development of the shoulder girdle, upper arm muscles and scapula such that the right shoulder would remain elevated. Rhodes, though writing four years after x-rays detected revisions to the Windsor Royal Collection portrait, was deceived by this appearance, and considered Erb’s palsy an ‘attractive hypothesis’. Rhodes noted Richard’s martial prowess and wondered strangely if Richard had a generally poor physique. He finally diagnosed Sprengel’s deformity, an under-development of the scapula or shoulder blade, which causes shoulder weakness with difficulty in elevating the arm. This seems improbable in a man able to wield a battle-axe in the frontline of a battle. Following Rhodes suggestion of Sprengel’s deformity, Jeremy Potter, then chairman of the Richard III Society, wrote that, after Richard’s death at Bosworth, there were 29 people with a better claim to the throne than Henry Tudor. He noted the Tudor need to denigrate his predecessor and create a monster, and the literary brilliance of Shakespeare, but concluded, ‘Thanks to Shakespeare the mud has stuck, but mud is mud, not kyphoscoliosis, Klumpke’s paralysis, Erb’s palsy, Sprengel’s deformity, cerebral palsy, or even coeliac passion’.7 In 1987, Hook8 speculated that a kyphoscoliosis, atrophy or hypoplasia of an arm, unequal leg length and other bone disproportions, suggested some congenital syndrome such as neurofibromatosis. He thought acquired poliomyelitis or tuberculosis were possible, but Shakespeare implied a
congenital disease. Hook also noted discrepancies between the Tudor historians’ writings and the lack of contemporary evidence of any abnormality. In 1991, Van der Werff ten Bosch noted the difficult breech birth, and deformities followed by slow growth and short stature, general weakness and sexual impotence from Rous, More and Shakespeare. Van der Werff ten Bosch thought Richard had idiopathic pituitary dwarfism9, caused by mechanical distortion of the skull base during birth damaging the pituitary stalk, and reducing the secretion of growth hormone and sex hormone secretion. An affected individual is abnormally short, with failure of sexual development and infertility. However, Richard’s son Edward and at least two illegitimate children, John of Gloucester and Katherine Plantagenet, are evidence against Shakespeare’s line of ‘cannot prove a lover (Richard III, I.i.28). Van der Werff ten Bosch hypothesises that in view of Richard’s ‘alleged’ (!) offspring, he must have had isolated growth hormone deficiency. The allegation that Edward, John and Katherine were not Richard’s children appears to be a new addition to the malignant legend. Henry Tudor would have been delighted. Shakespeare had a fine sense of irony; perhaps his portrayal of Richard Plantagenet is so outrageous as a picture of any individual, that one may see this play as a comedy lampooning the Tudors’ sense of self -importance. Bramwell and Byard10 summarise the medical literature stating ‘there is little likelihood of drawing meaningful conclusions on Richard’s supposed infirmities’. New medical research and a contemporary theory: exercise and bone density Many observers have noted an osteogenic or bone-enlarging effect of exercise, but investigations prior to 1980 lacked a reliable bone density measurement. Precise information awaited the arrival of new technologies. Bone densitometry and bone CT scanning are medically well-known, but relatively new, diagnostic imaging modalities that can measure bone size and density, 28
although their relevance has yet to appear in the Ricardian literature. Research into bone density has predominantly involved women because of their postmenopausal osteoporosis and greater risk of fractures.11 Development of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry has enhanced the knowledge of bone physiology in the last twenty years. Exercise is known to enhance bone density, with impact sports such as running being more effective than non-impact sports like swimming. Colletti et al.12 assessed the effect of weight lifting on bone density by comparing twelve men, age 19-40, who had undertaken regular muscle-building exercises for at least a year, with fifty age-matched controls. The two groups had similar body weights (78±2 vs. 74±1 kg, NS), but the muscle-building exercise group had significantly greater bone density at the lumbar spine (1.35 vs. 1.22 g/ cm2), and in the head of the femur both at the femoral trochanter (0.99 vs. 0.86 g/cm2), and femoral neck (1.18 vs. 1.02 g/cm2), compared with the control group. Unilateral limb studies show the effect of exercise in a model that controls for other genetic and environmental influences in an individual. Kannus13 showed that female squash and tennis players had 16.2% greater bone density in the ‘racquet arm’ humeral shaft than in the non-dominant side. The differences were most marked, up to 23.5%, in those players starting before puberty, compared with those starting after puberty with a maximum of 9.6% difference. Haaspasalo et al. (1998),14 comparing the racquet arm with the non-dominant arm in junior female tennis players, showed that an increase in muscle strength of up to 20% and in bone density of up to 15% occurred during the age 12 to 15 early pubescent growth spurt. Kontulainen et al.15 measured bone size in tennis- or squash-playing females, and showed 12.6% greater bone cross-sectional area in the dominant arm humerus than in the other arm. Haaspasalo et al. (2000)16 reported similar results in males. He studied the arms of twelve elite male tennis players utilising computed tomography and found the cross
sectional bone area of the racquet arm was 16%-21% greater than that of the non dominant arm. Training in the use of weapons was an important part of knightly skills development that Richard would have undertaken before and during puberty under the tutelage of the earl of Warwick. It would be reasonable to consider wielding a heavy battleaxe in the front line of battle a high impact activity, if not a sport from a twenty-first century perspective. Some medieval weapons may have been two-handed, some one-handed, though weapons used while on horseback would have been held on the dominant side. Pre-pubescent boys spending hours wielding weapons would be expected to develop significant bone and muscle mass increase over subsequent years in their weapon arm. Conclusion Richard’s remains are still unavailable, and the published history after Richard’s death on which Shakespeare’s portrayal is based, is mostly biased and flawed, but limited contem -porary evidence suggests a normal physique. Perhaps Richard’s only abnormality was bone osteogenesis in the humerus, scapula and clavicle and muscle hypertrophy in the shoulder, from weapons training, a fifteenthcentury Rafael Nadal. Bibliography 1. William Shakespeare, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Collins, London 1961) pp. 701-747. 2. Jeremy Potter, Good King Richard, an account of Richard III and his reputation (Constable, London 1983). 3. Livia Visser-Fuchs, ‘What Niclas von Popplau really wrote about Richard III’, The Ricardian, vol. xi, no. 145, June 1999, p. 529. 4. Winston Churchill, A History of the English Speaking Peoples (Cassell, London 1956). 5. W. Little, ‘On the influence of abnormal parturition, difficult labours, premature births on the mental and physical deformities’, Trans. Obstet. Soc. London 1861-62; 3: p. 293. 29
6. P. Rhodes, ‘Physical deformity of Richard III’, Br. Med. J. 1977, 2, pp. 1650-52. 7. Jeremy Potter, ‘Physical deformity of Richard III’ Br. Med. J. 1978, 1, pp. 506-507. 8. E. Hook, ‘Shakespeare, Genetics, Malformations, and the Wars of the Roses: Hereditary Themes in Henry VI and Richard III’ Teratology 1987, 35, pp. 147-155. 9. ‘Richard III: a royal pituitary dwarf?’ Editorial in Lancet 1991, 338, pp. 480-481. 10. H. Bramwell and R. Byard, ‘Richard III’, Lancet 1991, 338, p. 952. 11. P. Stride, A. Houston, D. Ratnapala, J. Perron, ‘International benchmarking of 500 admissions with a fractured hip in Australia using the Standard Audit of Hip Fractures in Europe and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network’, J. R. Coll. Physicians Edinburgh, 2007, 37, pp. 98-102. 12. L. Colletti, J. Edwards, L. Gordon, J. Shary, N. Bell, ‘The effects of musclebuilding exercise on bone mineral density of the radius, spine, and hip in young men’,
Calcif. Tissue Int. 1989, 45, pp. 12-14. 13. P.Kannus, ‘Effect of starting age of physical activity on bone mass in the dominant arm of tennis and squash players’, Ann. Int. Med. 1995, 123, pp. 27-31. 14. H. Haapasalo, P. Kannus, H. Sievanen et al., ‘Effect of long-term unilateral activity on bone mineral density of female junior tennis players’ ‘J. Bone Miner. Res. 1998, 13, pp. 310-319. 15. S. Kontulainen, P. Kannus, H. Sievanen et al., ‘Effect of long-term impact-loading on mass, size, and estimated strength of humerus and radius of female racquet-sports players’, J. Bone Miner. Res., 2003, 18, pp. 352-359. 16. H. Haapasalo, S. Kontulainen, H. Sievanen, P. Kannus, et al., ‘Exerciseinduced bone gain is due to enlargement in bone size without a change in volumetric mineral density: a peripheral quantitative computed tomography study of the upper arms of male tennis players’, Bone, 2000, 27, pp. 351-357.
About the author Peter Stride was born in Shoreham-by-Sea, England, and educated at Sherborne School in Dorset, a centre, as he says, steeped in Anglo-Saxon history and probably attended by King Alfred. He went on to do an MB BS degree at Middlesex Hospital in 1970, became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1973, migrated to Australia in 1975, and has been there ever since. He has been a member of the Richard III Society for forty years (with a few gaps) and, like so many people, was influenced by Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time. He was also very much influenced by Winston Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking Peoples, by Rosemary Hawley Jarman ... and (he says) by the poignancy of lost causes. He is now a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Australia, Edinburgh, London; head of the medical school at Redcliffe Hospital, Queensland, Associate Professor in the University of Queensland Medical School, and consultant physician at the Redcliffe Hospital. He has published on medical history, and on infectious diseases on the island of St Kilda (Scotland).
The Kingmakers’ Sisters David Baldwin The story of six sisters divided by the Wars of the Roses.
The History Press, June 2009, hardback, 192 pp., 22 illustrations, £20 Available from bookshops, or by post from Marstons Book Services on 01235 465577
Retrospective on the Quincentenary of the Death of Henry VII Part Three: Elizabeth of York DAVID BALDWIN
lizabeth of York is an enigma. Did the vivacious princess who allegedly tried to engineer her own marriage to her uncle, King Richard, become the dowdy matriarch of the House of Tudor? And is either of these stereotypes accurate? Can we, at this distance in time, discern what she was really like, and see her role both before and after 1485 in a different light? Elizabeth was born on 11 February 1466, the eldest child of King Edward IV and his queen, Elizabeth Woodville. She was only four years old, and perhaps barely able to understand what was happening, when her father was driven from England by Warwick the Kingmaker and she found herself in sanctuary with her mother and younger sisters. King Edward returned six months later to rescue his family and defeat and kill Warwick at Barnet, and Elizabeth would soon have realised that his change of fortune had again made her a bargaining chip in high politics. She had already been betrothed to Warwick’s nephew, George, when her father tried to patch up his differences with the Nevilles, and was contracted to Charles, the future king of France, under the terms of the treaty of Picquigny signed in 1475. But she was still unmarried when her father died in 1483. Elizabeth would only have seen her uncle, Richard of Gloucester, occasionally when she was growing up in the 1470s, but he now burst in upon her life in a way she could never have anticipated. Within three months, her brother Edward had been deposed, she
and all her siblings had been declared bastards, and the Westminster sanctuary had again become her home. She was destined to remain there for ten long months until her mother made her peace with the new King Richard, and left with the promise that she would be married to a ‘gentleman’ as befitted her new status. We do not know how she felt about this, nor what her reaction was when she heard that her uncle’s exiled Lancastrian rival , Henry Tudor, had sworn an oath to wed her when – and if – he won England. But it would not be surprising if she took a rather dim view of a man who wanted to use her to bolster his own slender claim to the throne without (as far as we know), ever having spoken to her or written her a letter. Elizabeth lived in the king’s northern household at Sheriff Hutton castle after she left sanctuary, but was invited to spend Christmas at court in London. She was warmly received by her aunt, Richard’s queen, the Croyland writer remarking sourly that they exchanged dresses, both being of ‘a similar colour and shape’.1 They were just amusing themselves, of course, but Queen Anne was sickly and unlikely to bear her husband an heir. Was this the moment when Richard and perhaps others thought that if Elizabeth could step into Anne’s clothes so easily, she could step just as readily into her role as queen? The possibility was certainly being aired by the beginning of 1485. Sir George Buck saw a letter Elizabeth sent to the Duke of Norfolk towards the end of February in which 31
she appeared to ask him to facilitate her marriage to the king even though the queen was still living. She declared that Richard was ‘her only joy and maker in [this] world’, and ‘that she was his in heart and in thoughts, in [body,] and in all’. Unfortunately, Sir George has only left us his impressions of the message rather than a full transcript, but there can be little doubt that he saw it, as he says, in the cabinet of Norfolk’s descendant, the earl of Arundel, and that it was ‘the autograph or original d[raft] under her [own] hand’.2 This letter has occasioned no end of debate, some scholars arguing that Elizabeth was only seeking to remind the king that he had promised to find a husband for her and she was tired of waiting. It does seem improbable that she would have wanted to marry the man who, only twenty months earlier, had bastardised her and executed her uncle, Earl Rivers and her half brother Richard Grey, but it is difficult to put any other interpretation on Buck’s statement that time was passing and ‘she feared the queen would nev[er die].’ In the end the rumours became so threatening that Richard felt obliged to stand up in the great hall of St John’s Hospital and publicly deny that he had ever thought of wedding her, although (says the Croyland writer), ‘there were some persons . . . who very well knew the contrary’. It seems likely that they would have put aside past differences and married had circumstances permitted, not least because of the advantages they both thought the arrangement held for them. Richard hoped to win over more of his late brother’s supporters, and Elizabeth to re-establish her family at court. So what does this episode say about Elizabeth? Was she secretly hoping Queen Anne would die at almost the same moment that she was enjoying and apparently returning her friendship? Anyone who behaved in this way nowadays would be branded cynical and duplicitous, but we need to remember that Elizabeth had already taken some hard knocks in a harsh world. Three of her uncles, Rivers, Clarence, and John Woodville, had been executed, her royal status had been taken from her, and if
sanctuary had taught her one thing it was surely that she must do whatever was necessary to ensure that she never found herself there again. Perhaps it would be fairer to describe her as hard-headed, and possessed of a streak of realism, than uncaring. Did she love Richard, or did the well-being of her family take precedence over all else? When Henry Tudor won the battle of Bosworth he lost no time in securing Elizabeth’s person, but did not marry her until five months later and then only after Parliament had petitioned him to do so. She duly gave birth to Prince Arthur, their first child, on 20 September 1486, Henry’s mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, supervising all the arrangements. Lady Margaret – whose title to the throne was better than her son’s – might defer to Elizabeth on formal occasions, but she meant to be the first lady of the kingdom in all but name. It was for this reason that Elizabeth Woodville, according to Lord Bacon, turned against the man who had so recently restored her family’s fortunes, because, he says, she thought her daughter ‘not advanced but depressed’. This is not the place to embark on a long discussion of whether or not the elder Elizabeth retired willingly to Bermondsey abbey in February 1487, but even Polydore Vergil does not try to hide the fact that she was being punished.3 The new queen had to accept that her mother would no longer be on hand to guide her, and that she was now, more than ever, on her own. Elizabeth had no say in politics, and may have lacked even that ability to intercede with her husband on behalf of supplicants which was traditionally part of a queen’s role. There is no reason to doubt the Spanish ambassador’s remark that Henry was disliked but Elizabeth was loved ‘because she is powerless’, and that some, perhaps many, people felt sorry for her.4 It was not until November 1487 that she was crowned Queen of England, an unusually long delay that may have been designed to emphasise that Henry was king in his own right, not merely the husband of the rightful queen. By tradition, kings did not attend their wives’ coronations (unless they were crowned together, of 32
course), but Henry and his ever-present mother watched Elizabeth’s from behind a screen, or lattice. Were they motivated by simple curiosity, or did they want to witness any shows of affection towards her at first hand? Elizabeth was destined to bear Henry eight children, although only four lived to reach maturity. Arthur died when he was sixteen, shortly after marrying Katherine of Aragon, but Henry survived to succeed his father as king of England, and Margaret and Mary became queens of Scotland and France. It is impossible, at this distance in time, to probe the true nature of their parents’ relationship, but Arthur’s death in 1502 brought them together in sorrow as perhaps nothing had before. Elizabeth comforted Henry, reminding him that he had been his mother’s only child, that no harm had come to Prince Henry, and that more sons might still be born to them. ‘Then the King thanked her of her good comfort [but] after that she was departed and come to her own chamber, natural and motherly remembrance of that great loss smote her so sorrowful to the heart, that those who were about her were fain to send for the King to comfort her. Then his Grace, of true, gentle, and faithful love, in good haste came and relieved her, and showed her how wise counsel she had given him before; and he, for his part, would thank God for his son, and would she should do in like wise’.5 It is only rarely that a small but telling insight into a personal relationship has trickled down the centuries, and it may also be possible to discern something of Elizabeth’s character from the privy purse expenses that survive from the last year of her life. These were edited as long ago as 1830 by Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, and show her not only paying for a host of goods and services, but also dispensing charity to poorer subjects.6 She received a stream of petitions from individuals who had money problems of one kind or another, and donated sums for purposes that ranged from paying for the burial of executed felons to providing a girl about to enter a convent with a dowry. A page was provided with forty shillings to help buy
his wedding clothes, and small amounts of cash were given to retired servants and to poor people generally, sometimes in response to a small gift, often of food, from the petitioner to the Queen. ‘A poure woman that brought a present of apuls from Hownslowe to the Quene to Richemounte’ was rewarded with twenty pence, and the same sum was given to ‘a pore man in aulmouse somtyme being a servant of King Edward the iiij’. Elizabeth would not have been unique in this – on the contrary, it would have been something expected of any English queen of the period – but she seems to have fulfilled her responsibilities with genuine kindness and there is no hint that anyone was turned away. Elizabeth died nine days after the birth of her last child on 11 February 1503, her thirtyseventh birthday. Henry, it is said, ‘privily departed to a solitary place and would no man should resort unto him’,7 further evidence that what had undoubtedly begun as a marriage of convenience had blossomed into one of genuine affection as the years passed. The narrative of her funeral – which cost £2,800 – described her as ‘one of the most gracious and best beloved princesses in the world’.8 No one, it seems, disagreed.
Notes 1. Ingulph’s Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland, trans. H.T. Riley (1854), p. 498. 2. Sir George Buck, The History of King Richard III, ed. A.N. Kincaid (Gloucester 1979) p.191. 3. The Anglica Historia of Polydore Vergil 1485-1537, ed. D. Hay (RHS Camden Series lxxiv (1950), pp. 17-19 4. C.H. Williams, England Under the Early Tudors (1925) p. 148. 5. J. Leland, De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea, ed. T. Hearne, 6 vols. (1770) vol. v, p. 373. 6. N.H. Nicolas, Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York, Wardrobe Accounts of Edward IV, with a Memoir of Elizabeth of York (1830, reprinted 1972). 7. Nicolas, Memoir, p. xcvii 8. Nicolas, ibid. 33
Richard ‘s 777 Days: a Test of Time PHILIPPA LANGLEY
hree items from the Autumn Bulletin 2008 made very interesting reading. The first was Wendy Johnson’s letter in response to the impromptu debate sparked by David Fiddimore’s ‘The Man Himself’ article, where she reinforces Anne Sutton’s view that while attempting to determine Richard’s success, or lack of it, it is pointless to compare medieval politics to those of our own time. The other items were those from Lynda Pidgeon and Lesley Boatwright featured in the Media Retrospective section, where they both cited examples from recent media that seemed to indicate that King Richard III was now no longer an obvious choice for ‘Britain’s Worst Monarch’. If, as Anne and Wendy suggest, it is pointless to compare Richard’s situation with those of today then is there another means by which a comparison can be made in order to put David’s hypothesis of Richard as the ‘inevitable loser’ to the test? Richard reigned for only 777 days. Is it possible to compare his reign to those of our other monarchs? And if so, what would be the outcome if we considered their reigns for a comparable period – that is, the first 777 days? In order to make this even more interesting, we may narrow our comparisons to those monarchs considered to be our greatest. In this way, if Richard’s short days as king can compare in any way with those of our most lauded figures, then can David’s unsettling hypothesis finally be laid to rest? When asked to consider who they believed to be our greatest monarchs, a quick poll of friends and family yielded pretty much the usual suspects: Elizabeth I (5); Henry V (3); Victoria (2); Richard the Lionheart (2); Alfred the Great (1). In order to compare these five reigns with Richard’s in such a short article, they will be broken down into very simplified terms: age at succession, how they were viewed, main events of the reign up to the 777th day, and their ‘probable’ legacy. Elizabeth I Actual reign: 45 years, 1558-1603, accession 17 November 1558. If, like Richard III, she had only reigned for 777 days, she would have died on 3 January 1561. Elizabeth was 25 years old when she succeeded. Well-educated but not considered an intellectual, her first act was to appoint friends to positions of power. The most pressing concern of her only Parliament was that of the settlement of religion. A new Act of Supremacy was introduced, as well as an Act of Uniformity imposing a Book of Common Prayer to reconcile confessional differences. A manipulated disputation was skilfully staged, which led to the exclusion of two bishops and a mitred abbot, and the Act of Uniformity was duly passed. Although Elizabeth had many powerful royal suitors, gossip about her relationship with Dudley, a commoner, continued until on 8 September Amy Dudley, his wife, was found dead in suspicious circumstances. In February 1559, Elizabeth set in motion a reform of the currency, and in July 1560, after much effort by her secretary, Cecil, the Treaty of Edinburgh was signed with Scotland, which formed a new political union between the two countries. In 1561 Elizabeth ‘died’ aged 28, unmarried and childless, leaving her country in turmoil with the young Catholic Mary of Scots a very difficult choice for Protestant England as well as being yet another unmarried woman. 34
Elizabeth’s currency reform failed to deal with inflation and the religious settlement would not unravel for the next two hundred years. However, the question that hangs over Elizabeth’s short reign is whether any of these policies were Elizabeth’s, or those of the ubiquitous Cecil? Henry V Actual reign: 9 years, 1413-1422, accession 21 March 1413, crowned 9 April 1413. If, like Richard III, he had only reigned for 777 days, he would have died on 26 May 1415. Henry was 27 years old and already an able warrior when crowned. His first act was to exhume Richard II for reburial at Westminster Abbey. At around the same time a Lollard rebellion broke out and, although it was quickly quashed, it forced Henry into new legislation against Lollardy. In November 1414 Henry began preparations for war against France but ‘died’ in the May of the following year aged 29, having never left his kingdom. He died unmarried and childless, leaving his kingdom on the brink of civil war. His brother Thomas, Duke of Clarence, was most likely his named heir but many powerful nobles including Richard, Earl of Cambridge, (future grandfather of Edward IV) now believed that it was Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March who was the true claimant to the throne and would fight to ensure he would become king. Victoria Actual reign: 63 years, 1837-1901, accession 20 June 1837. If, like Richard III, she had only reigned for 777 days, she would have died on 6 August 1839. Of German descent, with German as her first language, the diminutive Victoria ascended the throne at 18 years of age. Having lived her life under the strict regime of the ‘Kensington System’, Victoria showed a determined character when on the old king’s death she went down alone to accept her new office. In February 1839 the Lady Flora Hastings affair broke out, which would come to mar Victoria’s short reign. The unmarried Lady Flora, one of Victoria’s mother’s ladies-in-waiting and a member of a prominent Tory family and potential claimant to the throne, was rumoured to be pregnant by Conroy. In fact she was suffering from a tumour of the liver and died in agony. Furious that the queen had not acted to protect the reputation of their daughter, the Hastings family and much of the aristocracy became vehement in their hostility towards her, as did the country. Why the young queen took this cruel stance remains a moot point. Opinion remains divided but it is clear that it highlighted a ruthlessness of character from which Victoria’s reputation never recovered. Victoria ‘died’ unmarried and childless. Her throne would go to her hated uncle, the vilified Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover and Duke of Cumberland. Richard the Lionheart Actual reign: 9 years, 1189-1199. If, like Richard III, he had only reigned for 777 days, he would have died on 22 August 1191. A brave, cultivated but cruel and tempestuous young man, Richard had already proved himself a capable warrior by the time he ascended the throne at 32. His coronation at Westminster Abbey, however, was marred by bloody anti-Jewish riots which led to the great massacre at York in March 1190. By the autumn of 1189, Richard had raised funds to go on crusade by selling every public office to the highest bidder. This was standard practice for the time, but what was not was its speed and scale. He is said to have vowed he would sell London itself, if only he could have found a buyer. By July 1190, he left on crusade with King Philip of France but unbeknown to Philip, Richard had reneged on his marriage alliance with Alys (Philip’s sister) to make a secret alliance with Berengaria, the daughter of Sancho IV of Navarre in order to secure the borders of his much-loved ancestral lands of Aquitaine. 35
After marrying Berengaria, Richard joined Philip at the siege of Acre on 8 June 1191 and by 4 July Acre capitulated. Terms were agreed but by then Richard had made two dangerous enemies in Philip of France and Leopold of Austria, who left him to return home. By 30 July Saladin had not paid any of the ransom for Acre’s 3,000 prisoners. Unable to leave them unguarded, Richard slaughtered them, sparing only the garrison commanders. On 22 August, he left Acre for Jaffa and battle with Saladin but ‘died’ later that same day. Richard died without an heir, leaving his dominions in disarray and reputedly naming his brother, John, as his successor. Alfred the Great Actual reign: 28 years, 871-899. If, like Richard III, he had reigned for only 777 days, he would have died on 9 June 873. When his elder brother Ethelred died leaving two young sons as heirs, the adult Alfred’s accession could not be challenged. Aged 22 years of age when he was crowned king of the West Saxons, Alfred was a keen scholar who had gained military experience. However, having lost three battles to the Danish enemy in the years before his accession, Alfred found himself facing them again, only to lose for a fourth time. Living peacefully amongst the Danes within an unofficial truce, the married Alfred ‘died’ two years later leaving his two-year-old son Edward unable to contest the now irrefutable claim of Alfred’s young nephews. Conclusion How many of these great monarchs would have achieved their towering reputations if they had been given the same test of time as Richard III? From this simple investigation it is clear that the first 777 days of five our greatest monarchs were both difficult and dangerous and showed little sign of the greatness to come. It would seem that time itself is the only purveyor of greatness; whether by the clever manipulation of image as seen with Elizabeth I, whose abiding legacy was to leave the English crown to Scotland. Or by the simple expedient of being able to achieve one’s objectives as with Henry V; his French campaign became the stuff of legend. Or even the affection that comes with old age and its associated fading from memory of past evils as with Victoria. Had Richard survived Bosworth, had he achieved his conquest of France, united England with Portugal, and fulfilled his potential to become arguably one of our greatest administrators and law-givers then we can only surmise where his reputation would be today. When considering Richard’s achievements within his 777 days compared to those of our great monarchs is it really overstating the case to say that by this reckoning he would surely have stood amongst them and that, as has often been said before, his only real failure was to die?
Ancient and Medieval History Books (3500BC-1600AD) For a catalogue of secondhand fact and fiction send SAE to : Karen Miller, Church Farm Cottage, Church Lane, Kirklington, Nottinghamshire, NG22 8NA
The Sheriff Hutton Monument JANE CREASE
n the church of St Helen and the Holy Cross in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire, is a small alabaster chest tomb with an effigy, the monument of a child. It is fifteenth-century and can be related both stylistically and in workmanship to other alabaster tombs in Yorkshire. J.W. Clay in his 1904 edition of Dodsworth’s Yorkshire Church Notes first speculated that it was the monument to Edward, Prince of Wales, only son of Richard III and Anne Neville. 1 The purpose of this paper is to try and trace something of the history of the monument, suggest its original location and discuss how that location might relate to the iconography on the tomb. The monument is now erected towards the east end of the north aisle of the church. It sits in a spot which originally would have been part of the screened chantry chapel built c1447 by Thomas Wytham of Cornborough, whose brass lies on the floor of the chapel.To the east of the alabaster tomb is the fourteenth-century stone monument of a cross-legged knight bearing the arms of Thweng of Cornborough, the family of Thomas Wytham’s wife. Robert Glover, Somerset herald, visited the church in 1584 and his Visitation records both the Wytham arms and the stone knight but makes no mention of the alabaster monument: ‘A knight lying ould, crosslegged with these 3 former armes about the sides and this one underneath upon his shield…’.2
The first record of the monument in the church is that of Dodsworth, whose visit in August 1623 recorded ‘… a neat monument of alabaster, on the top wherof is the portraiture of a child in his long coat having on his head a cap of maynetenance …’.3 Dodsworth’s description of the heraldry in the church and its relationship to the monument has been the subject of some debate. 4 As was his custom, Dodsworth did not trick but blazoned the coats of arms. His record was copied into the College of Arms MS Yorkshire Arms which bears the date of his visit for the Sheriff Hutton entry. In this MS Dodsworth’s notes are translated into Latin and and many of the shields are tricked, i.e. the colours are indicated by the use of abbreviations. 5 The tomb is incomplete, with the north side of the tomb chest missing. It consists of the truncated effigy of a child, the feet and supporters lost, the south side of the tomb chest and the east and west ends. The two end panels consist of shields under canopies, the shield at the east end carved in relief with a cross. The south side is made up of a central image of the Trinity with a small donor figure facing east, with a prayer scroll going up from the mouth of the donor to the ear of God the Father. The orientation of the donor figure to the east confirms this as the original south side of the tomb. This figure, almost certainly the patron who commissioned the tomb, is bare-headed with a short round haircut, and is dressed in armour. The central Trinity image is flanked by two shields supported by kneeling angels with figures of saints at each end. The alabaster is very weathered and much detail is lost, but the saint’s figure at the east appears to be female and holding a tower – presumably St Barbara – while the figure at the west is a beardless male who appears to be holding a book, probably St John the Evangelist. The effigy is of a male child dressed in a belted robe, possibly with a fur trimming at the hem, and wearing a soft cap. His head rests on the customary cushion whose supporters, although very damaged, look far closer to this writer to the usual supporting angels than to the heraldic griffins suggested by Routh and Knowles.6 Although the tomb would originally have been polychromed no traces of colour remain. The condition of the tomb, though now stabilised after much needed conservation work, is very weathered with the pattern of weathering strongly suggesting that it has had directional exposure to the elements at some point during its existence. Alabaster is a form of pure gypsum; it is a soluble stone; prolonged exposure to moisture causes it to flake and dissolve, as has happened to both effigy and tomb chest at Sheriff Hutton. Interestingly, none of the other tombs in the church shows any signs of damp or weathering; a section of a freestone late medieval tomb chest survives in the church in splendid, crisp condition. The alabaster from which the effigy is carved is full of small dark nodules of harder stone than the alabaster. Where the alabaster has dissolved and flaked away these nodules stand proud of the surface of the effigy, a characteristic especially noticeable on the north side of the effigy. There is a large flaw in the alabaster which has caused a split at the top of the head; this flaw may not have been evident at the time of manufacture but water getting into a small flaw in the stone which then freezes can cause it to split, as seems to have happened here. The damage to the alabaster of the effigy is much more severe on the north side, the south side being in rather better condition. This pattern of damage, and the loss of the north side of the tomb chest, points to the tomb having spent some time without protection from the weather. The design of the tomb chest can be Showing the exposed nodules in the alabaster very closely related to a group of tombs in of the effigy 38
Yorkshire which are datable to the first quarter of the fifteenth century, all associated with Yorkshire gentry of the Lancastrian affinity, more specifically that of Henry IV. They were probably made not in the Midlands, where the major deposits of alabaster were found, but in York, using a local source of the stone. The design of the tomb chest is a smaller version of the tomb chest of Robert Waterton (d. 1425) at Methley and of Sir Richard Redman (d.1426) at Harewood. Two characteristic features of the workshop which produced these tombs are the carving of the shields with a slight convexity and the carving of miniature vaulting inside the canopies finished with a small central boss. Both these tombs can be dated to within a few years of each other; at Harewood the two founders’ tombs, of which Sir Richard Redman’s is one, were probably in place before 1420 and at Methley the tomb and the chapel in Showing the large fissure in the head of the effigy which it is housed relate specifically to caused by damp and frost the 1425 will of Robert Waterton where he left a bequest for the building of the chapel and the founding of a chantry. The arms of his executors recorded on its contemporary wooden screen date the chapel to soon after the will. How, then, did the alabaster tomb come to be in the Wytham chantry chapel in Sheriff Hutton church? There is no record of it in the church until Dodsworth’s record of 1623 (although there are later records, for example Torre’s, who places it – incomplete and disassembled – in the north aisle in 1690).7 One explanation which fits both the physical evidence and the iconography of the tomb is that its original location was not the parish church at all, but the chapel at Sheriff Hutton castle.
Notes 1. R. Dodsworth, Yorkshire Church Notes 1619-1631 (ed. J.W. Clay), Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series XXXIV (1904), p. 176, note 2. 2. R. Glover, The Visitation of Yorkshire 1584-5 (ed. J. Foster), London 1875, p. 434. 3. Dodsworth, Yorkshire Church Notes, p. 176. 4. P. Routh and R. Knowles, The Sheriff Hutton Alabaster: a Re-assessment, Wakefield 1981. 5. London, College of Arms MS RR 14/C, Sir William Dugdale, Yorkshire Arms 1641-1667, f.64r. 6. Routh and Knowles, The Sheriff Hutton Alabaster, p. 23. 7. York Minster Library MS L1/9/1, J. Torre, ‘Archdeaconries of Cleveland and the East Riding’, unnumbered sheet; p.479 follows.
The second part of this article will appear in the December Bulletin.
Living the History: a Re-enactor’s Experience of the 15th Century (2) HELEN COX Camp Cookery I have always enjoyed cookery, and I learnt how to do it on re-enactments for one very simple and selfish reason: to make sure my husband Mick and I got properly fed on events. I soon found there was virtue in necessity. To begin with, it’s practically challenging: you’ve got to keep the fire in, which requires a steady supply of fuel, and master the art of juggling pots and pans over the heat without benefit of thermostats, gas jets or electric rings. It’s good exercise both physically (carrying wood, carrying water and lugging the cast-iron cookware about) and intellectually; whatever we eat in public view must be made from ingredients available in fifteenth-century England – hence no potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate, coffee or other modern anachronisms – and it’s fascinating to trawl through the sources for recipes that can be achieved in the field. Finally, it’s a great draw for the public; the more people rely on fast-food restaurants and pre-packed convenience foods, the more amazing they find it to see us cooking pottage (soup) or drop-scones from scratch, with fresh ingredients, over an open fire. Some of their questions are mind-boggling: ‘Of course, they didn’t have sharp knives in those days, did they?’, ‘Are you going to eat that?’, and even, ‘Is that a real fire?’ Yes, we really have heard these things – and tempting though it is to make sarcastic replies, we always have to remember that no matter how commonplace it may be to re-enactors and history buffs, the world we’re depicting is completely alien to many people’s knowledge and experience. Inevitably, there are compromises to be made. Medieval soldiers, if they cooked for themselves, probably did so over simple bonfires or fires in pits. Re-enactors almost invariably use some form of cast-iron fire-basket, or a fire-tray like ours, not dissimilar to a barbecue; after all, few farmers welcome the digging of pits on their land, and it’s out of the question on the historically/archaeologically sensitive sites where many events are held. We also eat foodstuffs which, while perfectly authentic, would in the fifteenth century have been the provenance of the wealthy: bread and pastry made from white wheat flour, and soft or full-fat cheeses, rather than the dark, coarser flours and hard skimmed-milk cheese of the commoner’s fare. Marzipan-stuffed dates are a popular sweet treat, and make a handy, welcome energy boost for our sweating ‘soldiers’ – again, these would have been expensive medieval delicacies with their imported fruits and the quantities of ground almonds, sugar or honey and rose-water needed for the marchpane. So, generally speaking, we enjoy a much more varied and high-status diet than the average fifteenth-century soldier; my rationale is that it’s fine as long as we explain this to the public – indeed, it can lead to some interesting discussions of medieval cuisine and the things people did and didn’t eat. Conversely, we don’t tend to have many of the things that would have been common at the time; I’m not keen on game (apart from the royal venison) and don’t fancy cooking or eating the offal, songbirds, eels and muddy-flavoured river fish like carp and pike, which would have regularly appeared on medieval tables. Fortunately (and perhaps surprisingly), a great many medieval recipes, both simple and elaborate, have survived; they can be recreated using authentic ingredients or the nearest modern equivalents – and they are absolutely delicious. For example, here’s the menu for our wedding feast, expertly realised by the chef at the Crooked Billet: 40
Jowtes with Almond Milk (Spinach and Leek Soup), Mounchelet (Mutton Stew) Cormarye (Pork Roast with Spiced Wine), Pomme dorryse (Pork and Beef Meatballs) Champignons en pasté (Mushroom Pasties), Tart in Ymbre Day (Herb and Ricotta Mini-Quiches Salat (Green Salad) Crème Doucetes (Cream Custard Tart), Fretoure (Apple Fritters), Wardonys in Syryp (Pears in Wine Sauce) Yum! Yes, medieval cuisine is well worth giving a try; recipes and some of the more unusual ingredients (such as galingale, a gingery spice) are readily available over the Internet or from reenactor markets, and I’ve listed a couple of my favourite cookery books at the end of this piece. Period Sounds The only instrument I learned to play at school was the descant recorder; not until I started reenacting did I realise what an ancient instrument it is, dating to before the fifteenth century and evolving in the Tudor period into the form we recognise today. So I resolved to re-learn it, and bought a second-hand replica recorder at a market for £60 (new instruments can cost over £100): a simple wooden tube with single holes for the lower D and C notes, instead of the double hole seen on modern instruments; in other respects its range and fingering are identical. Period music is also easy enough to come by; many of the surviving tunes derive from ecclesiastical sources, but there is also a body of secular music from the French trouveres and troubadours whose compositions would have been written down for the upper classes. Some of these, like the beautiful, languorous Brid one Brere (Bird on a Briar) are songs of courtly love; others, like the bransles (pronounced brawl), estampies and lively saltarellos, are dance tunes. Tunes in the original manuscripts do not have time signatures, bar lines or accidentals to guide modern players; luckily some dedicated period musicians like Jane Foster have transcribed them into the now-familiar format for our convenience. Having had no formal music lessons for 35 years, I find translating these notations into tunes as challenging as cracking a cryptic crossword; it’s easier for me to acquire new pieces by ear so that I get the tempo right, as the majority of non-aristocratic musicians must have done in the fifteenth century. But it’s well worth the effort; the music is delightful to play, and if you’ve ever heard a professional ensemble like Trouvere in action, you’ll know that it can really rock. And despite my amateurish performance and limited repertoire, it seems to go down well enough at events; I particularly enjoy playing in places like Barley Hall, where the authentic space and acoustics add greatly to the resonance, and give an extra layer of meaning to the music – another way of connecting directly to our ancestral experience. In Conclusion Medieval re-enactment is an excellent vehicle for developing almost any interest you like. It’s already made me an archer, a seamstress, a cook and a musician; other avenues I’d like to pursue in the future are calligraphy (teaching myself to write like Richard III); growing medieval varieties of vegetables, fruits and herbs for our authentic table, under the guidance of my gardener husband; and making our own soap using the ashes from our wood-burning stove. It provides our historical societies with a highly photogenic, entertaining way of interpreting and communicating serious academic issues to our own memberships and to the wider public; it brings history alive; and best of all – it’s great fun. Further Reading: The Medieval Cookbook, Maggie Black, British Museum Press, 1992 Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks, Constance B. Hieatt, Brenda Hosington & Sharon Butler, 2nd edition, University of Toronto Press, 1996 The Living History Tune Book: Book 1 – Medieval, Jane Foster, Piper’s Publishing, 2003 41
What’s in a Name? Fifty Years of the Richard III Society JOHN SAUNDERS
hen the Society was founded in 1924 by Saxon Barton, we were known as The Fellowship of the White Boar; a name and description that accurately reflected the small and rather exclusive nature of the then membership. The Fellowship was re-founded in 1956, and we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of that event during 2006. However, our name was not changed to the Richard III Society until the AGM of 1959, so this year we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of that name. The suggestion to change the name was first raised at a meeting of the committee held in May 1959, by Mrs V.B. Lamb, the author of the Ricardian classic The Betrayal of Richard III. She was strongly supported by amongst others, Joyce Melhuish. The minutes record ‘she [Mrs Lamb] would like to propose that the name of the Fellowship be changed to the Richard III Society. She felt that this change would be an advantage as the name would then be self-explanatory.’ That was a good point, particularly at a time when the Society was seeking to widen its membership base and adopt a higher profile. At its August meeting in that year the committee agreed that a formal resolution to that effect be put to the AGM in October. The AGM approved the change with only seven objections, and on 2 October 1959 The Richard III Society came into being. It was an optimistic AGM that year, with membership levels on the increase after a slight decline during the previous year. Approval of the new name was not the only initiative discussed. There were also two new projects agreed: a memorial to Queen Anne Neville in Westminster Abbey (which was unveiled the following year) and the production of a lapel version of the Society’s badge. This badge had been designed back in 1956 by Royman Browne, a freelance heraldic artist, and had replaced the original crest designed by Saxon Barton. It was now felt that a new one was needed which kept the key features of the original but was more heraldic in appearance. The new badge represented Richard’s White Boar, and the wording on the scroll underneath the turf and boar was taken from a document in the British Library in King Richard’s own hand. The badge is still very much in use today: it appears on the cover of The Ricardian and adorns one side of our new Society tote bag. The Society now has an official badge granted by the College of Arms, but the old lapel badge remains current as well. With its distinctive blue background it will be familiar to many members. Today we might term the re-naming as re-branding, and a very successful re-branding it was. The decades following 1959 have seen a considerable growth in the Society’s membership, range of activities and success in meeting its aims. The new name certainly better represented what the Society was about and has served us well for the past half century, giving us name recognition throughout the world. Old and new style badges
The Arrivall BRIAN WAINWRIGHT Our fiction series in which published authors write a story relating to a painting by Graham Turner returns with a story by Brian Wainwright, the author of the acclaimed and very funny novel The Adventures of Alianore Audley. For his Bulletin story Brian has chosen Graham Turner’s painting of The Arrivall, which depicts Edward IV entering London through Bishopsgate to reclaim the throne on 11 April 1471.
o you remember that wonderful April day when we rode into London at Edward’s side? Typical English spring weather it was, quite bright with just a hint of rain in our faces to remind us we were home. You were little more than a boy, but you’d already seen a campaign or two. We’d shared exile together – and our last coins. When we first landed in Yorkshire, I’d not have given above two pence for our chances. Just a ragged handful of Englishmen backed by a few hundred mercenaries, not even gathered together on the same beach. It took us the best part of a day to find each other and we knew Montagu was waiting in our path – a good soldier, whatever else he might have been. As for Percy of Northumberland, no one could guess which way he’d jump. It wasn’t so long since Edward had let him out of the Tower, and his family had been fierce Lancastrians. We’d slaughtered most of his kin, if truth be told. Strange to think he’s your bosom friend now, isn’t it? Do you trust him? Really? Apart from all that, we were hated in Yorkshire in those days. There were too many who remembered Towton and the fathers, brothers and sons they’d lost there at our hands. You’ve done very well to bring those Yorkshire folk around, to make them love you as their good lord. Seems they’ve forgotten Towton now. I’d not have thought it possible, not in so short a time. Ned wasn’t worried. Marched us to York and talked us through the gates, pretending that he was content for old King Harry VI to have the crown, just as long as he could be Duke of York! Oh well, I suppose it saved a few faces. I don’t suppose anyone really believed it, but you know merchants and such like – let alone the lesser folk – don’t give a straw for our quarrels. They just want to be left in peace to bake their bread, or sell their cloth, or whatever they do to feed themselves. If the price of that’s to pretend to believe a nonsense, so be it. I don’t blame them. When they take a hand in the business of lords they’re far more likely to be hanged than rewarded. So why should they? Percy sat still on his estates, and how we blessed God for it! Montagu held off as well, when he could have crushed us. He had an army gathered at Pontefract, and we were so very few. Didn’t understand that at the time, and I’m not sure that I do now. I suppose he loved his brother Warwick, but loved Ned just as much – divided loyalties. Yes, that would be it. You and I both know what that feels like; especially now. On we went, and no one stood in our way. At Nottingham we gained 600 men from Lancashire, under your friends Parr and Harrington. At Leicester 3000 of my men joined us. So did William Stanley, but we were still far too few. If Warwick had had the resolution to face us in the field, it’d have been a close-run thing at best. I doubt we’d have prospered. Instead he shut himself up in Coventry, expecting reinforcements. Of course he thought George Clarence was on his way to join him, not us. I wish I could have seen his face when he learned the truth! George more or less doubled our array. I can still see the three of you together in my mind. Brothers united for once, from then until Tewkesbury. Then it was back to the old squabbling: first you and George; then Edward and George. That could only 43
end one way. He caught Edward on a raw nerve, and it cost him his life. Yes, I know, the Woodvilles had something to do with it, but it was always Ned’s decision. Ned, God rest his soul! It played on his conscience, you know. Yes, really. You’re not the only one to have one, and come to think of it I don’t recall you rejecting your share of the spoils. It felt strange to be fighting Warwick. He’d been one of us for so long. Imagine him, of all men, coming to terms with Margaret of Anjou, with Lancaster! After all he’d said about Margaret, naming her whore and witch and God knows what else. I dare say you heard it from 44
his own lips when you were a lad in his household. He loved Ned so much, more like a brother than a cousin, and yet that love turned to bitter hate. The Woodvilles, you say? The King’s marriage to Elizabeth? Yes, I dare say that was part of it, but not all. (It’s tempting to blame the Woodvilles for everything, but you know we really shouldn’t.) Warwick was never content to be just a great lord – he wanted to rule, and Ned would not have it so. You cannot have two kings in one realm, or not for very long. He was my wife’s brother and I loved him well. We’d fought side by side, more than once. But when he turned against Edward I had no choice. We two felt much the same about it, as I remember. I think we even discussed it, half-drunk, on one of those cold grey nights together in Flanders. ‘Loyalty binds us’. That was what we agreed, even though a part of us wished Warwick was our friend again and with us there. Now I come to think of it, I’m not so sure that Montagu’s case was so very different to our own. You and I faced the same dilemma; it’s just that we made a different choice. It was kill or be killed, either way. That’s where such choices lead you. You end up killing your friends; or being killed by them. On Palm Sunday we were at Daventry. You must remember the miracle of Daventry! It being Lent all the images were covered, with little wooden doors closed upon them. As we knelt in the church the doors that hid St Anne swung open, just for a moment or two, and then closed again. We were all very impressed, weren’t we? Even I was and – may God forgive me – I have not been as pious in this life as I ought to have been. It was a sign that St Anne, at least, was on our side, and she was probably interceding with God for our quarrel at that very minute. It does a man good to believe that he is fighting in a righteous cause. Even death itself is not so terrible if you know God is with you. Of course, I never doubted for a minute that Ned was the rightful King, but it still helps to be reassured. By Wednesday we were in St Albans, and it was there Edward received word from the Common Council of London that he would not be resisted. That was a relief, because Warwick had men behind the walls – to say nothing of his brother, Archbishop Neville, and Henry of Lancaster himself. The Archbishop and his people had paraded Henry through the streets, trying to whip up support, but no one raised as much as a cheer for him. Poor Henry! If he’d ever had any wits to speak of, he’d certainly lost them by then. More fit to be a monk than a king, a gentle monk, more godly than most of the breed. They say there are miracles at his tomb. I hope he forgives us for what we did to him, even if it was necessary. We were out of bed right early the next day. As I recall it was still not fully light when we set out along the road and we made good time, so as to be in London before they could change their minds. Suddenly there it was before us across the fields, with all its hundreds of towers and spires, just waiting for us to walk in and take it. A beautiful sight; it always is, and especially from afar, looking down from the high ground. That day though, after months of exile wondering whether we would ever live to see it again – well, to my mind it was like looking at the Heavenly City itself. Somehow I felt we were safe – even though I knew right well we still had a battle or two to fight, with Warwick and Margaret and all their friends. I also remember how quiet it was. There was nothing but the wind against your ears and the clink of harness. No one shouted or cheered. We just walked our horses on, passing the odd cart that pulled aside for us, into the outskirts of the city. If you recall, Ned placed the Flemish handgunners at the front of our advance, to act as a shield. I suppose it was fitting they should enter London first, given that they’d been with us from the beginning, all the way from Burgundy. We didn’t expect any resistance, but only a fool takes chances, and your brother was no fool in the field. If only he’d been as wise in everything. It can’t have been much after noon when we passed through the Bishopsgate. It was still very quiet. I think most people were locked up in their houses, not knowing whether they were going to find themselves in the middle of a battle. The king stopped to talk to some priest or other – you know how he was, God bless him, he’d talk to anyone if the mood so took him. I rode on a little, 45
down the dark narrow street between the houses, sensing there might be trouble. There was none. Here or there a shop was open, a beggar held out his cap for coins, a dog sniffed around. We were home. We waited there a little time to allow our stragglers to catch up. Someone thrust a cup of ale into my hand, and I think it went down in one swallow, because my throat had turned bone dry. Not that I’d noticed until that minute. Then the bells started to ring, just one or two at first, joyously as if someone was getting married, then all of them, all over the city. A group of aldermen came rushing down the street to welcome us – the Mayor was not among them, for he was ill in bed, had been from the moment we landed. He recovered later that day though, and proved to be as good a Yorkist as any of us. Suddenly we were a procession, trying to look smart and assured, not weary and covered in the dust of half of England. As we rode into the Chepe, the cheering really started. Despite what I said before about merchants and lesser folk, the people of London really loved the king, or at least they preferred him to Henry of Lancaster. It took an age to reach St Paul’s, because Ned seemed to want to talk to most of them, and kiss half the women. You’d have thought we were liberating them from tyranny, but I don’t think for a moment that Warwick’s government had been so unkind. No, it was more they felt relieved; that there was to be no fighting, no looting – they were safe. At St Paul’s we sang Te Deum Laudamus and made our offerings. I think half London was in there with us – with the bustle and the singing and the bells we were all near deaf by the time we emerged again. As for Henry of Lancaster, he was in the Bishop’s Palace next door. I wonder what he thought when he heard all the noise. God alone knows. I do know what he said to Ned when we went in there to arrest him. ‘My cousin of York, you are very welcome. I know that in your hands my life will not be in any danger.’ You see, even poor Henry VI trusted King Edward! He trusted him too much in the event, but at least he trusted him. He didn’t go running off into sanctuary, as he could have done. Ah, if only your brother had lived! We’d not be here now – we’d both be quite secure and content. Last year didn’t feel like a golden age, not when we were living through it, but now, suddenly, it does. At Westminster Ned put on his crown again, and we stood around and acclaimed him. Ceremony for the sake of ceremony you might think, and yet that moment filled me with joy as little else has done, to the point where I was weeping. It also had a more subtle effect. We were no longer a band of rebels, but the lawful King and his loyal supporters. Yes, yes, I know we’d been that all along, you don’t have to convince me, but that’s how it felt! No longer pretending, but real. We went straight from there into the sanctuary, where Elizabeth was waiting for him, with their new son. What a moment that was! The child had been born while we were all abroad in Burgundy, and she sat there with him on her lap, looking like an image of the Blessed Virgin. How beautiful she was! You and I have never had much cause to love her, and yet, at that moment, did you not soften? I wish that son had grown more like Ned, less like her and her brother, Rivers. And yet – and yet, he is still Ned’s son. We were fighting for his rights. That was what it was all about. That’s why you shed your blood at Barnet, why you fought so well at Tewkesbury. We all admired you, you know. I may not have said as much at the time, but that’s just my way, to make light of all matters, to laugh at all, even myself. I remember little else of that day, except having a bath and getting very drunk. I think there might even have been a woman involved, Lent or no Lent, but it’s a long time ago now. It all merges into one. I’ve always tried to do right, but my sins have been many. I’ve said enough. God forbid that your old friend Will Hastings should delay your dinner! I bear you no grudges and, whether you believe it or not, I intended you no harm. I just hope, lad, that you know what it is you are doing. Remember me, Richard. Remember the good times. And pray for me, when it’s over. 46
Correspondence Will contributors please note that letters may be shortened or edited to conform to the standards of the Bulletin She goes on to speak of some marriage contracts not being binding, and even ‘made by two parties on behalf of others’. This is true in modern times, but in the Middle Ages the term ‘contract’ referred only to marriage, whether future, per verba de futuro (engagement), or present (actual indissoluble marriage). It did not refer to prenuptial agreements entered into by the spouses’ families, in spite of the loose use of the term by historians. While I am at it, let me point out another loose usage, of calling the words of matrimonial consent ‘vows’. Vows (sworn promises made to God) had no place in marriage, and neither did oaths (sworn promises made to others in God’s name), though sometimes an engagement would be confirmed by an oath. The engagement could still be broken, but the oath-taker would be forsworn and liable to punishment for perjury.3
Precontract Explained Again From Professor Henry Ansgar Kelly I write in response to Alison Hanham’s piece, ‘Edward IV’s Precontract of Matrimony’, Ricardian Bulletin, June 2009, pp. 42-43. She asserts that the phrase ‘precontract of matrimony’ in the Parliamentary Act of 1484 ‘must refer to Edward’s alleged prior engagement with Eleanor [Butler] before his marriage to Elizabeth [Grey]’. This is not possible. As I pointed out in an earlier article, precontract ‘means previous marriage, when alleged as a challenge to a subsequent marriage. Any previous marriage would do, whether secret or public. The word does not mean “preliminary contract” or “betrothal”. A betrothal to one person did not invalidate a subsequent marriage to another person.’1 The Act makes this clear: ‘King Edward was and stood married and trothplight to one Dame Eleanor Butler’. Hanham takes the term ‘trothplight’ to refer to a ‘betrothal’, in our restricted modern sense (as I use it above), to refer only to an engagement to marry in the future. It is quite obvious that it can also refer to actual marriage here and now, from the words of the marriage ritual used at this time in England. Here is the woman’s formula: ‘I, N., take thee, N., to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, [for fairer, for fouler], in sickness and in heal, to be bonner and buxom in bed and at board, till death us depart, if Holy Church will ordain, and thereto I plight thee my troth.’2 Hanham speaks of an allegation of marriage being ‘solemnized’ between Eleanor and Edward, but this is the wrong term, since solemnization referred to a marriage that was not only public but also conducted in facie ecclesiae, with full ecclesiastical approval and ceremony.
1. H.A. Kelly, ‘The Case Against Edward IV’s Marriage and Offspring: Secrecy; Witchcraft; Secrecy; Precontract’, The Ricardian vol. XI no. 142 (Sept 1998), pp. 326-35, reprinted as Ch. 8 in my Inquisitions and Other Trial Procedures in the Medieval West (Aldershot 2001). See R.H. Helmholz, Marriage Litigation in Medieval England (Cambridge 1974), p. 76, section (i): ‘Precontract’: ‘a marriage could be dissolved because of the existence of a prior contract by verba de presenti. 2. Manuale ad usum percelebris Ecclesie Sarisburiensis, ed. A. Jeffries Collins, Henry Bradshaw Society no. 91 (Chichester 1960), p. 48 (spelling modernized). 3. I make both of these points in my review of To have and to Hold: Marrying and Its Documentation in Western Christendom, 4001600, ed. Philip L. Reynolds and John Witte, jr (2007), English Historical Review (forthcoming). 47
The Heir Male From Dr Ian Mortimer In your last Bulletin Annette Carson asked the question whether there is more than one ‘contemporaneous report describing Henry [IV] as the “heir male” of Henry III’. She states that she is only aware of the one example: An English Chronicle of the Reigns of Richard II (ed. J. S. Davies, Camden Society, 1856), and asks if readers know of any others as she feels that my article in a previous Bulletin ‘hinges’ on this evidence. There are two ways to clarify this point. The first way is to point out that my argument does not ‘hinge’ on any particular piece of evidence: the ‘heir male’ aspect was implicit in the claim of inheritance. This is for the good reason that Henry was the heir male, not the heir general, of Henry III. For example, the official Parliament Rolls for 1399 state that Henry issued a ‘challenge’ for the throne (in English) ‘in as much as I am descended by right line of the blood from the good lord King Henry the third’. Reference to this ‘right line of blood’ implies that he believed that his was the pre-eminent claim, not because he was the heir general of Henry III (which he wasn’t – unless one believes the Crouchback legend, which even contemporaries gave short shrift) but because he was the heir male. Thus the official line itself supports the ‘heir male’ aspect of his claim. The official wording is closely followed in a number of contemporary accounts, albeit with minor variations, both in English – e.g. ‘I Henry of Lancastre challenge this reiaume ... save the ryght blood comying of the King Henry’ in Chronica et Annales (ed. H.T. Riley, Rolls Series, 1866), p. 281 and in Latin, e.g. Ego Henricus de Lancastria vendico regnum istud ... tanquam per regium sanguinem veniens de rege Henrico) in Walsingham’s Historia Anglicana (vol. 2, ed. H.T. Riley, Rolls Series, 1864), p. 237. The second way of answering this question, which is much clearer but less official, is to point out that there are at least three published contemporary references to Henry IV overtly claiming the throne as the ‘heir male’ of Henry III. (There may be others as yet unpublished). The one mentioned by
Annette Carson states that Henry in parliament ‘redde in a bille how he descendid and cam doun lynealli of kyng Harri the sone of king Johan, and was the nexte heir male of his blod, and for that cause he chalanged the croune’ (op. cit., p.18). The continuation of the Eulogium (vol. 3, ed. F.S. Haydon, Rolls Series, 1863) states on p. 383 that Henry ‘legebat quamdam cedulam in qua ostendebat quod ipse descendebat de rege Henrico filio Johannis, et proximus masculus erat de sanguine suo; et istis de causis regnum vendicabat’ (‘he read a certain document which showed how he was descended from King Henry son of John, and was the next [or ‘nearest’] male of his blood; and on this account he challenged the kingdom’). As can be seen, this is patently a Latin version of the English Chronicle text. In much the same way as the officially enrolled version of the claim circulated and was copied in English and Latin, so too this specifically ‘male heir’ version of the text circulated and was copied in English and Latin. Having said this, the third chronicle which specifically states that Henry IV claimed to be the male heir of Henry III is slightly different. This is Corpus Christi College MS 59, published in Chronicles of the Revolution (ed. Chris Given-Wilson, Manchester University Press, 1993), p. 166. This records that Henry claimed the throne as ‘the nearest male-heir and worthiest blood-descendant of the good King Henry the third, son of King John’. As this was probably written by an eye-witness (Given-Wilson suggests Thomas Chillenden, prior of Canterbury Cathedral) and as the core of the Eulogium continuation was completed by a friar in the Canterbury area before 1404, the three documents here cited indicate that contemporaries in the south-east of England understood that Henry had claimed the throne overtly – rather than implicitly – as the ‘male heir’ of Henry III. Errors and the Reviewer From Susan Higginbotham, American Branch While reading the glowing review in the Winter 2008 Bulletin that John Ashdown-Hill gave to Annette Carson’s The Maligned King, I looked in vain for a mention of the fact that he and 48
Carson have previously collaborated on an article for The Ricardian, or that AshdownHill is frequently referenced in most complimentary terms in Carson’s book, both in the acknowledgements and in the text itself. Shouldn’t readers have been given this information so that they could bear this in mind when assessing the objectivity of the review? Significantly, Ashdown-Hill makes no mention of the factual errors in this book. Just in reading the parts of The Maligned King that were of the most interest to me, I found several: on p. 127, Carson gives Katherine Woodville’s age at the time of her marriage to Buckingham as 20 (she was actually about seven at the time); the statement on the same page that Edward IV bought Henry’s wardship ‘in order for the boy to be bestowed on the Woodville clan’ (Edward IV bought the wardship well before his marriage to Elizabeth, and the boy was first ‘bestowed’ on Edward IV’s sister, the Duchess of Exeter); the statement on p. 33 that the Woodvilles acquired ‘three dukedoms’ in the ‘haul’ of Woodville matches following Elizabeth’s marriage to Edward IV (no male Woodville becomes a duke, and only one female Woodville, Katherine, became a duchess); the statement on p. 127 that Buckingham received ‘the solitary ceremonial honour of Knight of the Bath’ (he also became a Knight of the Garter, the duke of Gloucester being one of the men who nominated him); and the extravagant claim on p. 232 that ‘to Richard’s parliament we owe our right to be judged fairly by our peers [and] to enjoy bail’ (Richard’s parliament did indeed enact bail and jury reforms, but both the right to bail and the right to jury trial long predated Richard III’s reign). None of these errors, granted, is so crucial as to destroy Carson’s arguments, but one suspects that Ashdown-Hill or other Ricardians would be disinclined to ignore them if they were made by, say, Alison Weir. Interestingly, Ashdown-Hill’s review was followed by a second reviewer’s objective, and not uncritical, review of a historical novel. Surely the standards for reviewing non -fiction should be as high – if not higher – as those for reviewing fiction?
A Miracle in Kent From Marilyn Garabet, Argyll I enjoyed reading my Bulletin, as always, and was particularly drawn to Lesley Boatwright’s article entitled ‘Miracle in Bedfordshire’ as, some thirty or so years ago, I can well remember how delighted the folk on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent were when one of our local historians, Mrs Lisa Tyler, discovered that we had our very own miracle at Minster, which is described in the document Lesley discusses. To put it briefly, the case concerns a oneyear-old baby, little Ann Plott, who lived with her parents in a cottage ‘before the convent’. She was playing in the street when she was run over by a cart loaded with dung which was being driven to the fields by ‘a factor in the service of the nuns’. The wheels passed ‘barely an inch from her neck’, leaving the little one quassatum in modum fere placente planum, which Mrs Tyler thought to be the first written occurrence of the phrase ‘as flat as a pancake’. Some neighbours who had witnessed the accident made a great noise and the baby’s mother, having ascertained that her daughter was indeed dead, ran angrily after the factor with loud cries, but one woman, Agnes Andrew, bent a penny over the lifeless little body and implored ‘the pity of Our Lord and the prayers of his most devout servant King Henry by this promise of an offering’. Hardly had the prayer ended when the little girl came back to life and cried aloud for her mother – yet another miracle, as she had never spoken before. She speedily recovered and, before dusk, was playing in the street again. Sheila Judge, in her book The Isle of Sheppey, comments that ‘to modern minds one year old is rather young to be playing in the street’, but points out that in the 1480s it would only have been ‘a dirt track between the little houses that huddled near the convent’. An interesting footnote to this miracle is that, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the event, a tableau was constructed of it by the Sheppey Local History Society and displayed in Minster Abbey Church. Models were made of all the main characters – the factor on his dungcart, the griefstricken mother, and Agnes Andrew bending her penny over the crushed body of little Ann Plott – and they were 49
grouped before a backdrop of the magnificent Minster Abbey Gatehouse, where the poignant little tale took place.
It seemed to sit rather uncomfortably From Elaine Henderson Chérie Stephens writes emphatically against the inclusion of historical fiction in the Bulletin. Lesley Boatwright comments: the miracle is Does fiction ‘fit’ in the Bulletin? Probably not. transcribed and translated in the book The The story in the spring edition seemed to sit Miracles of King Henry the Sixth, by Ronald rather uncomfortably amongst all the usual Knox and Shane Leslie, who draw attention news, views, articles and events information. to the pancake image. The child had her It’s not that I dislike historical fiction. Indeed, shoulder crushed, and it happened on Corpus the Society itself has an up-to-date Fiction Christi Eve, though we don’t know the year. Library to which new volumes are regularly This was one of the miracles investigated and added – I review some of them myself. I have verified by the commissioners, and would no academic training in history, so I am have counted as evidence for Henry’s saint- probably less critical of historical fiction than a hood at the Papal hearings. I am very grateful historian. For me, a well-researched and wellto Marilyn for the information – does anyone written novel can bring the past alive – the else know anything about any of these people, the events, the minutiae of daily life. miracles? But it is, in the end, a story. Historical fiction certainly has a role to play in helping us to understand the past, but the Bulletin is Fiction in the Bulletin: Your Views essentially a fact-based publication whereas historical fiction is the creation of the author’s What is the Bulletin For? imagination and may or may not be reliable as From Bill Featherstone Chérie Stephens’ letter in the June Bulletin: to historical fact. ‘There’s enough fiction in Shakespeare’ makes a fair criticism but ultimately fails to prove the What harm is there in it? writer’s point. There is a difference between From Anne Painter reviewing and reporting on fictional works As the Barton Fiction Librarian I believe that relating to Richard III and the later fifteenth there is no harm in the occasional short story in century, and publishing an actual work of the Bulletin, as long as the story is factually correct. Many members have come to the fiction in a Society publication. Whether or not Chérie exempts The Society through reading fiction, many from Daughter of Time from her criticism, indeed reading Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time whether or not she likes fiction, is irrelevant to (including Chérie Stephens, who seems to have her argument. That surely must turn on what a great aversion to fiction). Miss Stephens the purpose[s] of the Bulletin are, and what supports her arguments against fiction by Rous, Virgil, More and cannot be in doubt is that it is there to serve the mentioning needs and interests of all members – and that Shakespeare, but I am sure there are people means that not all members will always agree who, having read these authors, have wanted to with all that appears in its pages. When I first know more about King Richard III and with joined the Society the Bulletin was newsy, further research have become members of the chatty, irreverent and jokey. It has now grown Society. I have always believed that the Bulletin was up a bit and is more serious but it is still the to entertain as well as to educate the Society’s main organ of communication and membership. What harm is there in an has a lighter tone than The Ricardian. It is a great credit to the Society, and to its occasional short story? The excellent Ricardian editorial team; it is also a jolly good read, but it with its more in-depth articles is well received should not take itself too seriously, and if this in the academic world, and works of fiction means breaking free and publishing a good would be totally unacceptable in that piece of fiction, from time to time, it is all to publication, but the Bulletin, which is solely for members, is another matter. the good. 50
Finally, I would like to draw attention to the fact that in last year’s surplus fiction book auction I sold 84 novels, raising £460. Surely this proves that there are many Society members reading fiction?
The Bulletin and Ricardian are definitely not the place for any sort of historical fiction. It is inappropriate for the Society to publish such work, and I think it would certainly not enhance our standing in the eyes of historians and scholars, nor, probably, would potential new members be impressed. I have previously come across only one ‘out of place’ item of fiction. In a book of scholarly essays on Jane Austen, a collection of serious pieces by established literary critics, I was very taken aback to find that the final piece was a story by Margaret Drabble, written in the first person, dealing with imaginary twentieth-century descendants of the Elliot family of Persuasion. Many of the essays had originally been written for a North American conference on this novel, but I don’t think that is any excuse, and have always felt it a pity that the last piece was published.
It is entirely inappropriate From John Knights, Brighton Referring to Phil Stone’s remarks re fiction in the Bulletin in the June issue, may I say how much I agree with Chérie Stephens’ letter in the Correspondence section of the same issue. Unlike her, I do like historical fiction, but not in the Bulletin, please, where it is entirely inappropriate. I cringed, but I am being inconsistent From Lesley Boatwright I never read historical fiction for the simple reason that I don’t want to find someone else’s imagination interposing between me and the history. I want to think my own thoughts about people, and what they might have thought and what they did. And I am totally sick and tired of people trying to tell me what Richard, Edward and the rest did in bed. If history has to be dramatised, coloured, sexed up, spattered with gore and soothed with music, I’ll take it from Shakespeare, but not from many other authors. When I saw that we were printing fiction in the Bulletin, I cringed. I thought it devalued what we are doing, shifting our focus from news and views to women’s maggery. We are, after all, a society trying to be taken seriously. On the other hand, I like Graham Turner’s accompanying pictures, and those interpose his imagination between me and history just as much as the story does. So I am being inconsistent. I should remember that the Bulletin is for everybody, not just for me. I’ll just skip the short stories and read the bits I want to.
Humpty Dumpty explained From Eric Swainsbury, Bristol May I suggest that Society members who would like a reliable and comprehensive explanation of Humpty Dumpty look at the entry in the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes edited by Iona and Peter Opie, who are considered to be the authority in this field? Heraldic Designs: a correction From Geoffrey Wheeler In his article ‘New Heraldic Designs: Our Founder’, first published in the Heraldry Society’s magazine Coat of Arms (NS Vol. 6 no. 133 (1985) and reprinted in the June Bulletin, John Bainbridge notes that ‘the pages at his [Richard’s] feet are based on those depicted in the fifteenth-century Froissart illustration of the Coronation of Edward IV as is the pattern of the flooring (but with the addition of the white roses)’. The Froissart illustration in question is a depiction of the coronation of Henry IV (‘Jean Froissart’, BL MS.Harl. 4380 f.186v), not of Edward IV, although Laurence Olivier used it as his source for Edward IV’s coronation in his 1955 film.
Not the place for historical fiction From Carol Hartley, Banstead I would like to express strong support for the views of Chérie Stephens in the correspondence pages of the June Bulletin. 51
The Barton Library Non-Fiction Papers The Society’s collection of non-fiction papers, amounting to some 2,000 items, has moved home and is now in the care of the new Non-Fiction Papers Librarian Gillian Paxton.
Non-Fiction Books Firstly, a thank you to David Spenceley for his help in finding a lost book, namely Margaret Pole: Countess of Salisbury 1473-1541 and then offering it at a generous discount. My thanks also go to Dr H.A.W. Burl, a long-standing member of the Society, for donating his book, a wellresearched biography of the mid-fifteenth-century French poet and vagabond, Francis Villon (1431-1461?). Secondly, some new books to borrow: Eleanor: the Secret Queen by John Ashdown-Hill (The History Press, hardback, 2009). Eleanor is described as the woman who put Richard III on the throne. From the day when Edward IV married Eleanor, or pretended to do so, or allowed it to be whispered that he might have done so, the House of York, previously so secure in its bloodline, confronted a contentious and uncertain future. John Ashdown-Hill argues that Eleanor Talbot was married to Edward IV, and that therefore Edward's subsequent marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was bigamous, making her children illegitimate. He thereby offers a solution to one of history's great mysteries. The Paston Women: Selected Letters edited by Diane Watt with an introduction, interpretive essay and bibliography (D.S. Brewer, an inprint of Boydell and Brewer Ltd, paperback, 2004). This selection includes letters from three generations of Paston women: Agnes Paston, her daughter-in-law Margaret, and Margaret’s own daughter-in-law Margery, together with correspondence from other women family members and associates. The time period covered is 1440 to 1489. The Prince in the Tower by Michael Hicks (Tempus Publishing Ltd, paperback, 2007). This is the paperback version of Edward V by the same author which was published in 2003. Though he was never crowned, Edward reigned for 77 days until Richard made himself his nephew's Lord Protector before imprisoning him and his younger brother Richard in the Tower of London. Michael Hicks presents to us the backdrop to this tragically short life – Edward's parents, the contemporary political scene, his own remarkable achievements – and reveals how he was both the hope of a dynasty and an integral cause of that dynasty’s collapse. Margaret Pole: Countess of Salisbury 1473-1541 by Hazel Pierce (The University of Wales Press, paperback, 2009; hardback version 2003). Born in 1473, Margaret Pole was the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, niece of both Edward IV and Richard III, and the only woman, apart from Anne Boleyn, to hold a peerage title in her own right during the sixteenth century. She was restored by Henry VIII to her executed brother’s earldom of Salisbury in 1512. In the 1530s, however, her deep Catholic convictions became increasingly out of favour with Henry and she was executed on a charge of treason in 1541, aged sixty-seven.
Additions to the Fiction Library Messire by Els Launspach (2008, paperback). This novel portrays the dilemmas of three writers on Richard III: the statesman and philosopher Thomas More, the seventeeth-century Master of the Revels George Buc and lastly a witness in the televised Trial of Richard III in 1983. What truth should they serve? The immediate pressures of political expediency and public opinion, or a truth they personally pursue? NB: This novel is written in Dutch. Of the Good Hereafter by Heather Pitt (2009, paperback). Emma inherits Overthwaite Hall from an aunt she has never met. She quickly falls in love with the fifteenth-century pele tower. But what is the secret behind the doorway in the old tower? She finds the answer in a letter from her aunt telling of how she had been transported back to the fifteenth century and met the nephews of Richard III. Emma decides to make the journey and finds herself travelling between London and Cumbria. The book offers an intriguing solution to the mystery of â€˜The Princesâ€™. There will be a review of this book in the December Bulletin. Contact details for all the Librarians are on the inside back cover.
The Western Australian Branch will be hosting the bi-annual Australasian Convention from 9 to 11 October, 2009. For further information and/or registration please contact Helen Hardegen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jenny Gee at email@example.com.
Report on Society Events A Daring Victory for the Mary Rose (or A Pun Too Far?) Despite earlier doubts about its viability, our visit to Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard on 16 May went ahead and those of us who took part were very glad that it did. It is many years since I’d last been to Portsmouth – not since shortly after the remains of the Mary Rose had first been put on display – and I was amazed at how much the Dockyard now has to offer the visitor. Between us, we did everything, though, even in the six hours available, it would have been difficult for any one person to do them all. No doubt several did, if only to prove me wrong! For many, the first call was in ‘Number 7 Boathouse’ for coffee and the facilities, but the next visit had to be to the Mary Rose herself. Henry VIII’s flagship, she was built in Portsmouth, and was the first ship capable of firing a full broadside. Launched in 1510, she sank in the Solent in 1545, whilst engaged with the French and in full view of the watching king. The surviving section was brought to the surface in 1982 and put on display not long after. It is still shrouded in a mist of preservative fluid, which could be seen streaming off the timbers to drain away and be recycled, though we learnt that this will stop in September this year so that the timbers can begin drying out. The remains of the Mary Rose make an eerie yet intriguing sight, as they stand in the mist and subdued lighting, and there is now more than enough put together to give a good idea of how cramped it must have been to be a member of her crew of over 400, be it as a sailor, a soldier or one of her thirty gunners. Besides the evocative remains of the Mary Rose, there is much to see in and around the Dockyard including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, the Royal Naval Museum, boat trips around the harbour, the Porter’s garden and, of course, the Mary Rose Museum and shop. I didn’t go on board either Victory or Warrior – their stairs are too steep for Beth and their decks are too low for me – but I have visited Nelson’s famous flagship a number of times in the past. (When I was a student, my parents lived in Chichester and whenever anyone came to stay, they were taken to the Roman palace at Fishbourne and to Portsmouth Dockyard.) However, I did greatly enjoy reminding myself what a truly magnificent sight HMS Victory is. One of ‘the wooden walls of England’, built in Chatham and launched in 1765, she saw service for many years before being brought to rest in No 2 Dry Dock in Portsmouth in 1922. Although she last saw active service in 1812, HMS Victory is still commissioned and is the flagship of the Second Sea Lord. There is a lot to see in the Royal Naval Museum and inevitably a lot of it is related to Nelson, with portraits, mugs and medals. However, it was fascinating to see the sail from the Victory that is displayed atop one of the converted warehouses. The second largest sail from the great warship, it is huge, and all the more so when one realises that only two thirds of it are on show, the rest being rolled up to one
Royal arms on a bronze culverin, made in 1535, recovered from the Mary Rose site
Medical instruments and medicaments laid out ready for use by the barber-surgeon
side of the vast room. Battered, holed and, in some places, patched, it saw service at Trafalgar, though not all of the holes were due to French cannon fire – some were made by (early) souvenir hunters. The Mary Rose Museum has to have been one of the more spectacular parts of our visit. There are descriptions and displays of how the great ship’s timbers were discovered and brought to the surface, but it is the host of artefacts and replicas, including navigational equipment, carpentry tools, longbows, arrows, cooking and eating utensils, lanterns, backgammon boards, dice and a shawm, that is the real wonder. Among my personal favourites were the clothes, mostly of leather, the cannon, of which at least five of the originals are on show, and the instruments of the barber-surgeon. It must have been dreadful to be on the receiving end of their administrations when at sea – it was surely bad enough on dry land. The replica knives and saws were great and I took several pictures, which will be useful for a talk to be given next year on medieval battlefield surgery. Though the wind was strong, the sun was bright, and a boat trip around the harbour was a must. As well as the standard fixtures, the wharves, HMS Warrior and the Roman fortress of Portchester Castle, there were a great number of modern (and not so modern) warships in port, including HMS Ark Royal, HMS Gloucester, HMS York, HMS Kent and HMS Daring, this last being one of the Royal Navy’s latest additions. Visiting Portsmouth was the USS Klakring (T.B. Klakring was a USN submarine commander during World War II.) We also saw the only ship in the Royal Navy that is painted red, HMS Endurance. As we were told, it is easier to see a red hull against the ice than a grey one. For all that some had wondered earlier how we might fill the allotted hours, all of a sudden it was time to board the coach for the return journey. The rain held off and we had a fairly good run back to London, where everyone went their own way, having had, I’m sure, a most enjoyable day immersed in Britain’s maritime history. Perhaps, as a result, Beth and I will visit now Chatham’s Historic Dockyard – after all, it is on our doorstep! Our thanks go to Marian Mitchell for organising the day.
Phil Stone 55
Future Society Events Christmas at Fotheringhay, Saturday 12 December 2009 As I write, it’s supposed to be high summer, so it must be time for me to arrange, and you to book for, Christmas at Fotheringhay, considered by many of us to be the start of the Christmas season. It’s a great chance to meet up with old friends in a convivial setting over a good lunch followed by the uplifting experience of the Carol Service. The buffet lunch, at 12.30 pm, will be in the Village Hall and there will be a vegetarian option for those who have let me know beforehand. Desserts will include Christmas pudding and fruit salad and there will be wine or soft drinks as desired, followed by coffee and mince pies. Shared with members of the parish, the Carol Service, at 3 pm in the medieval church of St Mary and All Saints, is similar in style to the Festival of Nine Lessons. As ever, the music will be led by the wonderful St Peter's Singers. The coach from London will leave Charing Cross Embankment at 9.30 am, getting back between 7 and 7.30 pm. Pickup in Bromley will be available for those who let me know. (There will be no stop at Wanstead this year in the hope that this will make getting out of London easier and allow for a slightly later start at the Embankment.) If you wish to take part, either by coach or using your own transport, please let me know as soon as possible whether you 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, which have been maintained at the same rates as last year, will be as follows:a) £34.00 to cover cost of coach, lunch, choir, admin., etc. b) £18.50 for lunch, choir, admin., etc. Complete the coupon and return it to me, Phil Stone (address inside the back cover), with a cheque endorsed ‘Fotheringhay’ as well as an SAE, as soon as possible. (Remember: no SAE, no reply – no reply, no place!) Phil Stone
Calais – more than just a passing glance Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 July 2010 Carcassonne had been our destination of choice for the 2010 continental trip. However, this proved a very expensive choice and, bearing in mind the economic situation and exchange rate of the pound and the euro, we reluctantly decided to abandon plans to travel so far south for the foreseeable future. Not wishing to deprive our loyal following of an anticipated trip to France, we hit upon somewhere rather nearer to home – Calais. We so often just pass through Calais without giving it much of a glance but it is, of course, an interesting medieval town and was England’s last foothold on the Continent. 56
The visit is planned from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 July 2010, based in Calais with excursions to Amiens, Le Touquet, Crecy, Agincourt and Bolougne. Please make a note of these dates in your diaries; full details will be published in the December 2009 Bulletin. The Visits Team would like to say a big thank-you to all those members who loyally support our trips. We have room for more â€“ we need at least 30 people to make a trip viable â€“ coaches are becoming more expensive and if we can regularly rely on more people, the cost will be reflected in the lower amount we can charge for a trip. Please also remember that even if you have missed the cut-off date for a trip, it is well worth telephoning me (01376 501984) or emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) as there are usually places available on the coach. Marian Mitchell and the Visits Team
Christmases Past at Fotheringhay 1986 from L to R: Joyce Spears ?, ?, ? Gwen Millan Patsy Conway Jean Nicholls
1985 Can anyone please identify the people in this photograph? 57
Branches and Groups The Scottish Branch Lecture November 2008
n a crisp November morning (it is Scotland after all) we set out for Glasgow and our longawaited visit to fifteenth-century Provan Hall House, the first stop for the 2008 Lecture. And it didn’t disappoint. Arriving in the visitor centre which was originally the resting stop for the Glasgow to Edinburgh mail coach in the eighteenth century, we had a chance to grab a welcome cup of coffee and meet up with old friends as well as our two speakers, Bob WoosnamSavage and Ralph Moffat. And (with much blowing of trumpets) our very first visitor from the internet, Andy Brennan from Lancashire, who is currently working in Glasgow, but we very soon forgave him the red-rose affiliations of his birthplace. Nuzzling in the beautiful Auchinlea Park to the west of Glasgow and somewhat bizarrely placed amongst the high-rise developments of the 1950s Easterhouse housing scheme, Provan Hall House is one of the oldest buildings in Glasgow and a ‘right wee gem’ as Stevie, our very amusing guide, proudly confirmed in his fascinating talk. We very soon discovered that the house was originally a prebend of the bishop of Glasgow – a certain Bishop Blackadder along with his servant Beldrick. Yes, you read that right, spelt with an ‘e’. We wondered whether a certain Richard Curtis had visited it for inspiration! In the fifteenth century the main part of the house was built and this was the focus of our tour. In Richard’s time it was owned by William Turnbull, Bishop of Glasgow and founder of the university. After this it became a hunting lodge for James IV and then the home of many of the prominent families of the area until it was bought by a group of local businessmen who saved it from demolition when the modern housing scheme was built around it. The house’s original doors lead into a kitchen that boasts a fireplace capable of roasting an ox and one of the finest vaulted ceilings in Scotland. Cross-vaulting in the dairy demonstrates its medieval design and construction, as does the round stair tower with its arrow slots and gunloops. On the upper floor is the main living room with a bedroom and garderobe. It was here that we found out about the resident ghosts. Apparently, Provan Hall House is the most haunted building in Scotland and only the night before our visit a séance had been carried out by The Ghost Club, one of its regular visitors. For more information visit: www.ghostclub.org.uk. After a delicious meal in the plush surroundings of the Garfield, we were ready for the main event and our two speakers. I would like to add our very grateful thanks to Bob and Ralph who made it to the day whilst both being involved in very busy and demanding projects. Bob, who is Curator of European Edged Weapons for the Royal Armoury in Leeds, was first up and opened his talk on ‘The Treatment of the Vanquished in the Wars of the Roses’ with a declaration that he wouldn’t be using his slides from Rwanda as he felt this may be a bit much for us. I think we all breathed a collective sigh of relief as the slides of gashed and mashed skulls and sliced and diced bones got the point across more than adequately. Bob’s talk focused on the darker side of medieval warfare, particularly the grim reality of the physical effects of combat. After an overview of the array of weaponry available to your average medieval combatant, together with its physical effects when used successfully, Bob used a heady mix of both modern forensic science and archaeology, as well as contemporary and near-contemporary works of art and writings, to reveal that the so-called ‘Age of Chivalry’ was, in most cases on the field of battle, anything but.
Speakers Robert Woosnam-Savage, Juliet Middleton and Ralph Moffat
He gave us some interesting examples. Amongst them was Giraldus Cambrensis Itinerary of Wales 1191: an arrow pinned the thigh of an unfortunate soldier to his saddle and, as he ‘reined his horse around in a half circle’, he was struck by another arrow ‘in exactly the same place in the other thigh, so that he was skewered to his horse on both sides’. And a description of the battle of St Albans (1455) written by Abbot Whethamstede, who seems to have witnessed the battle’s aftermath, states: ‘They fought each other for a short space of time so fiercely that here you would have seen one man lying with his brain struck out, there another with his arm cut off, there a third with his throat cut, there a fourth with throat pierced, and the whole place beyond filled with the corpses of the slain, on this side and that and everywhere in every direction.’ We also leant about one of Bob’s most recent cases, when he was called in by Glasgow Police to advise on the weapon used in a particularly gruesome murder. A young man had been eviscerated on a street and his intestines pulled out and chopped up. On seeing the horrific wound and understanding the weapon used, Bob concluded that this was not some new psychopath involved in sacrificial murders on the streets of Glasgow but simply the murder of a drugs carrier; his intestines cut up in order to extract the drugs he had been carrying. This sounds very heavy-duty but Bob’s contagious humour and easy manner helped make light of such a difficult subject allowing Ralph Moffat, our second speaker, to take the stand in a similar light-hearted vein. Ralph is the Curator of European Arms and Armour for the Glasgow Museums and his talk titled: ‘Arms and Armour in Fifteenth Century Europe’ was based on the contemporary accounts and expenses of the jousting and tourneying equipment for King James IV and Prince Richard of England (Perkin Warbeck). This was the most fascinating and revealing contemporary account of weaponry in the medieval period, taking us from and through the winter of 1495 right up to, and including, October 1515. Using the account like a forensic expert, Ralph guided us through a translation of the Middle English as he introduced not only the incredible array of accoutrements available to a knight for his jousting and tourneying ‘kit’ but its necessity and cost. In giving the price of the numerous pieces of ‘kit’ in the equivalent in today’s money it was revealed just what an incredibly expensive job it was to be a knight of the first order. It also became clear just how lucky and privileged Richard of England was to have had such a generous benefactor in James. 59
So we were left thinking of the enormous cost of what it was to be a medieval knight both in terms of the financial burden as well as its brutal killing power. It was the most satisfying day and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. We would like to pass on our most grateful thanks to our much-loved Juliet Middleton, its sole organiser, and her daughter, Andy, the day’s photographer. Philippa Langley [We are sorry that this report had to be postponed from June for technical reasons: Eds.]
The Mid Anglia Group seeks John Howard’s Parish Church On Sunday afternoon 12 July members of the Mid Anglia Group were met outside St Clement’s church Ipswich by John Andreasen – keyholder of this redundant church, for which he has a great love. This church on the Ipswich quayside has strong nautical associations, and is one of two possible contenders to have been the Ipswich parish church of Admiral, Sir John, Lord Howard, first Duke of Norfolk. John Howard certainly owned a house on the quayside at Ipswich: a house which must have stood either in the parish of St Clement or in the parish known in more recent times as St Mary-at-the-Quay. Both of these Ipswich waterfront churches have long been redundant, and are closed for worship. Usually they are not accessible, and special arrangements had therefore been made for this Mid Anglia Group visit, one object of which was to explore inside both churches, seeking possible remaining signs of John Howard’s presence. The chancel of St Clement’s is a Victorian addition to the building. There was no separate chancel in the fifteenth century. The nave, however, dates in its present form mainly from the fourteenth century. It contains some fine sixteenth-century brass memorials (possibly palimpsests) and a wonderful fifteenth-century Suffolk font, with fine carvings of the symbols of the four evangelists, alternating with panels bearing angels. The base of the font has splendid lions alternating with ‘wild men’. Thanks to our kind host, the entire church was open to us, and we were even able to explore the bell tower, where we found interesting seventeenth and eighteenth-century graffiti, and also, to the delight of the Group chairman, a clock mechanism made in his native Croydon. However, no signs of John Howard were to be seen anywhere. With many thanks to John Andreasen, the group then went on to explore the second contender for the role of John Howard’s Ipswich parish church. Although since the Reformation this church has generally been referred to as St Mary-at-the-Quay, probably originally the dedication was to Our Lady as Stella maris (‘Star of the Sea’) – hence nautical associations once again. Sadly this small church is now in rather a poor state internally. However, the nave had a very magnificent fifteenth-century hammer-beam roof which seems to point to the fact that once the church had a wealthy fifteenth-century patron. Might this have been John Howard? Also on view was another fine fifteenth-century font – very similar to the one at St Clement’s but minus the ‘wild men’. However, one of the four angels on the font at St Mary’s carries a well -preserved example of what might well be Howard/Mowbray heraldry, in the form of a shield bearing a lion rampant. Unfortunately there are no colours surviving to clinch the identification. But could this perhaps have been the white Mowbray lion on a red ground, which comprised the fourth quartering of John Howard’s shield of arms? Was it therefore at St Mary’s that Howard attended mass when in Ipswich? Absolutely firm evidence is lacking, but this seems a reasonable working hypothesis. Our very enjoyable visit and exploration concluded with afternoon tea on the Ipswich waterfront. We sat looking out over the river Orwell – that very river by means of which John Howard himself so often made his way to Ipswich. Probably he used to land quite near the cafe where we had our tea and cakes. John Ashdown-Hill 60
Worcester Branch Report Our AGM in April was very well attended and the business of the day was completed without any problems so we spent the remainder of the afternoon visiting the nearby church of St Kenelm in Upton Snodsbury. We had a guided tour of this small but beautiful church and our guide provided a wealth of information about the history of the church and this lovely little Worcestershire village. One of our committee members, Val Sibley, arranged a visit to Kenilworth Castle in May. Although most of us have been to Kenilworth many times we never tire of this magnificent ruin. The main reason for this visit was to see the recent restoration work on the Gatehouse and the Elizabethan Garden and we were not disappointed. The Gatehouse now provides an excellent interpretation of living conditions in the late medieval/early Tudor period. The gardens were originally laid out for the last visit of Elizabeth I in 1575 and although they were intended as a privy garden an excellent description of the layout was left by Langham who was given a sneak view whilst the queen was out hunting. A spectacular gallery was built across the front of the castle so that the garden could be viewed from above and this has also been rebuilt. The new planting is very much in keeping with the period and the scent was delightful in the evening air. Following the postponement of the Three Battles Festival in Worcester we needed a hastily arranged outing in June and Carol Southworth did us proud with a guided tour of medieval Coventry. Our guide was excellent, taking us at a very steady walking pace to visit most of the city’s medieval remains, starting at the splendid St Mary’s Guildhall which was built between 1340 and 1460 to house the chambers for merchant guilds of St Mary and Holy Trinity. The first Mayor was elected in 1346. We also saw the Doom Painting in Holy Trinity Church that was painted around 1430 but soon lost to view during the Reformation. It was restored in 1831 but again lost to view as the varnish applied to protect it soon turned it too dark to see. However, the restoration carried out in 2002 has revealed it in all its glory once again. Our next interesting site was the remains of the first cathedral, St Mary’s, which is still being excavated. We were able to walk over a bridge above the ruins as our guide pointed out the various features. There are not many cities that can boast three cathedrals! We were not finished yet as we were now taken to see the ruins of the priory, excavated during rebuilding work in recent years and now fully protected in an ingenious way. The modern office block has been built right over it on a huge platform. We walked through the remains of the monks dormitory were there are very realistic models of monks warming themselves by a fire and climbing the stone steps to bed. There was still one more treat in store as our guide took us into the Herbert Museum, where we went by a set of modern steps down into a modern corridor, through a small door and there we were right inside a medieval storage cellar that had once been under a house or shop. This part of our trip is not open to the public so we felt very privileged. It was just a small dark damp room but the history of it seemed to be tangible. An interesting and enjoyable day. The last two lectures in 2009 are by members of our own branch. Future programme 10 October: ‘Warfare in the Wars of the Roses’, a practical demonstration of arms, armour and the 15th-century soldier’s lot’, by Dilip Sarkar, MBE, FRHist and James Sarkar at Belbrougton Church Hall, 2.00 p.m. 14 November: ‘Lady Margaret Beaufort’ an illustrated talk by Carol Southworth. At Beoley Church Hall, 2.00pm 12 December: Christmas Bring and Share Tea at Upton Snodsbury Village Hall. 2.00pm Details of our programme can be found on our branch web site www.richardiiiworcs.co.uk or ring 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 61
Yorkshire Branch Report The Yorkshire Branch lecture took place this year on 9 May but hasn’t been reported here yet due to the summer deadline. We were very glad to welcome Dr Rosemary Horrox as our lecturer: her topic, ‘Richard III and Parliament’, discussed not only the enactments of King Richard’s only Parliament (January 1484) but also the surviving documentary sources for late medieval parliaments generally and what kind of information they can convey – or suppress. Parliament rolls only reflect the king’s view, and include what business was agreed. There are no reports of how decisions were reached, or of business discussed but not agreed. Neither are sensitive areas explored, so (for example) there is no record in the rolls of the trial of George, Duke of Clarence. Dr Horrox is practically alone among historians in thinking that the bill asserting Richard’s claim to the throne which was recorded in 1484 (and is the only version we now have) is not the same as the one presented to him in June 1483. The later version is far more critical of the character of Edward IV, and Dr Horrox considers that it developed in the wake of the October rebellion of 1483 when Richard realised that he could not, after all, assume that the men who had supported his brother would extend their allegiance to himself. This was a very thoughtprovoking lecture on a subject new to many of us, and it is reassuring to know that if something wasn’t recorded in the Parliament rolls that doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t happen – the outcry over Tydder’s shabby attempt to date his reign from the day before Bosworth was such that it held up Parliamentary business for two whole days, yet not a line was reported. If you’re visiting a castle, do you expect it to be opened specially for you? This is what happened to the group of American Ricardians led by Linda Treybig when their UK tour reached Yorkshire this June. They had hoped to visit Castle Bolton on a Monday, but because castle opening times had changed since the trip was organised last year the party, and several Yorkshire Branch members, arrived outside Lord Scrope’s front door on a very warm afternoon to find that they couldn’t get in. Fortunately the present owner arrived to interview someone for a job at the castle, and was courteous enough to let us look round as intended. He must have trusted us as he left the shop unattended. Our trip to Castle Bolton followed a very pleasant morning in Middleham during which we visited the castle, passing critical comments on The Statue, and St Alkelda’s church. This was a nice contrast to the previous day, when our friends had left the fifteenth century in favour of a ride on the Embsay steam railway near Bolton Abbey. Later in the week they were in south Yorkshire. The weather all week was marvellous. As always, we were happy to meet Linda’s party and marvelled at their energy and Ricardian dedication. The Branch Medieval banquet has been arranged for Saturday 24 October at Bedern Hall in York. Branch members should have received details of the menu and a booking form with their August Newsletter; the closing date for bookings will be 10 October. If you would like more information, please contact me on 0113 216-4091 or email email@example.com. Our new Branch website is finally operational, after a few hiccups including a change of server. You can now find us at www.richardiiiyorkshire.org. New features are gradually being added to the site and it is hoped that a full library and sales list will be available very shortly. We have an excellent library and it is a shame that more use isn’t made of it by members, even bearing in mind postage costs and books for sale on the internet. The Branch is sorry to announce the resignation of our Treasurer, Christine Symonds, in July. Christine has been Treasurer for sixteen years, throughout which time the Branch’s finances could not have been in safer hands. For many years she was also our Librarian, and as Sales Officer she took the stall of Branch merchandise to Middleham, Towton and Sandal, as well as the London and York AGMs, in fair weather and foul. The Committee is grateful to her for all the hard work she has done for the Branch, including her and Bryon’s generous hospitality in their home for many group and Committee meetings. In future, Branch magazine subscriptions should be sent to our Secretary, Pauline Harrison Pogmore, 169 Albert Road, Sheffield S8 9QX. Rates remain the same at £7 for UK subscribers, 62
ÂŁ8.50 for those in Europe and ÂŁ10 for those further afield. Bookings for the banquet on 24 October should also be sent to the Secretary, please; a booking form should have appeared with our August Newsletter. All cheques should be made payable to Richard III Society Yorkshire Branch. Finally, may I remind members that the next commemoration of the battle of Wakefield will be held at Sandal castle on Saturday 2 January 2010. Angela Moreton
New Members Susan Ronald, Wantage, Oxon Jan Rose, Wymondham, Norfolk Janice Simpkins, Wakefield Anne Vafadari, Ashtead, Kent
UK 1 April to 30 June 2009 Sarah Adrian, London Rayleen Bussell, Llandrindod Wells Dianne Coe, Colchester, Essex Roger Dunn, Sidcup, Kent Linda Froud, Bridgend Tony Hawkins, Wymondham, Norfolk Jane Heath, Portsmouth Susan Horsley, Hallaton, Leics Philip Howell, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs Elaine Hunt, Maidstone, Kent Debbie Keenan, Hurley, Berks James Leslie, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs Kate McCorry, St Albans, Herts Pamela Morgan, Scarborough, N. Yorks Karen Morley, Mansfield, Notts Hannah Rayner, Castleford, W. Yorks Vivian Reeves, Great Sutton, Cheshire
Overseas 1 April to 30 June 2009 Rita Sicurella-Milo, New York John Strunk, Dothan, AL, USA William Wiss, Lelystad, The Netherlands US Branch 1 April to 30 June 2009 Gail Allan, New York Stephanie Briggs, New Jersey Rosemarie Brizak, New Jersey Lawrence D. Comen, New York Dean Hammond, New Mexico Arleen Perkins, New Jersey Alisa Siegel, California
Recently Deceased Members Mr A.D. Randle, Midsomer Norton, joined 1987 Miss R.M. Sowden, Ledbury, Herefs., joined 1988 Dr P.H. Sutton, Norwich, joined 1998 Mr Frederick Warr, Bexhill, joined 1997
Calendar We run a calendar of all forthcoming events. If you are aware of any events of Ricardian interest, whether organised by the Society (Committee, Visits Committee, Research Committee, Branches/Groups) or by others, please let Lesley Boatwright have full details in sufficient time for entry. The calendar will also be run on the website. Date
AGM & Membersâ€™ Day Staple Inn Hall, London
Norwich Branch Study Day: Towton Past and Present
Ann Marie Hayek
Christmas at Fotheringhay
Phil Stone (see p. 56)
Wreath-laying at Anne Nevilleâ€™s tomb, Westminster Abbey
London Branch and Visits Committee
Day trip from London (details to be announced) Visits Committee
Annual Requiem Mass for King Richard III and Queen Anne Neville, shrine of Our Lady of Ipswich
Continental trip based in Calais
Visits Committee (see p. 56)