Ricardian Bulletin Magazine of the Richard III Society
ISSN 0308 4337
Contents 2 From the Chairman 3 Society News and Notices Annual General Meeting 2012 Membership Matters Publication and Distribution of the Bulletin The 2013 Study weekend 11 Leeds International Medieval Congress 14 Update: Looking for Richard 15 ‘King Mike I’ has died in Australia 17 A Series of Remarkable Ladies: 2, Eleanor of Scotland, by Rita Diefenhardt-Schmitt 18 The will of Dame Alice Nevile 19 Our Olympic Diary, part 1, by Sue and Dave Wells 21 A day out with a difference? 23 News and Reviews 27 Media Retrospective 29 The Man Himself: Richard’s Wig, by Gordon Smith 33 Researches into the Tower of London, by Annette Carson 37 Papers from the Society’s session at Leeds International Medieval Congress Making the most of miracles, by Lesley Boatwright R.v. Walson: new light on a medieval mugging, by Christopher Whittick Miracles in everyday life: the ordinary and the miraculous, by Heather Falvey 48 Riding forth to aspye for þe town, by Penelope Lawton 49 Two portraits of our founder, by John Saunders 50 Correspondence 54 Report on visit to Stratford-upon-Avon and Baddesley Clinton, by Tom Wallis 56 Future Society Events 59 The Barton Library 60 Branches and Groups 63 New Members and Recently Deceased Members 64 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, 2012
From the Chairman
n Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Feste sings that ‘the rain it raineth every day’ and this pretty much sums up the weather in the UK since the last issue of the Bulletin appeared. As I write, however, we are enjoying a respite and the sun is shining, perhaps specially for the Olympics. Maybe our intrepid joint secretaries won’t have to use their ‘London 2012’ umbrellas after all! They begin their Olympic Diary in this issue and we look forward to the conclusion in December’s Bulletin. This issue of your Bulletin is another triumph for the editorial team. Every quarter, I marvel at how much new and interesting material they find every three months. Of course, they are greatly helped by your contributions, so, in that sense, it’s a great collaborative effort. For The Man Himself, Gordon Smith takes a look at Richard III’s ‘wig’, and again examines that crucial period from April to June 1483. Annette Carson provides some fresh insights into the 1647 discovery of those bones in the Tower and Ken Hillier recalls an encounter with ‘King’ Mike. Penelope Lawton’s research in the Nottingham archives reminds us of the importance of the Ricardian Chronicle project and again I urge those of you interested in research to join the Chronicle team. As usual with September’s Bulletin we include the Annual Report and Accounts for the year 2011-2012. It presents a healthy picture of the Society, recording another year of achievement and progress. Of course, it continues to be a challenge in the current economic climate to maintain membership levels and we are determined to do more on this front. The Society’s presence at this year’s Leeds Medieval Congress was another success, and I thank all those involved in making it so. This year, we organised a lecture session, and you can read summaries of the talks in this issue; these, together with our bookstall, showcased all that is best about the Society to medieval scholars from around the world. We have recently become aware of two portraits of our founder, Dr Saxon Barton. One is now in private hands but the other is part of the collection of the Williamson Gallery in Birkenhead. It’s in a poor state of repair and is not presently on display. We are investigating the possibility of providing financial support to help with its restoration with a view to having it on display so members and others can see it. I am delighted to report that the Society has been able to make a significant contribution to the conservation of the Stillingfleet boar badge recently acquired by the Yorkshire Museum (see page 8 for details). We are hopeful that this will be the start of a positive working relationship between the Society and the museum. We welcome Jacqui Emerson to the post of Branches and Groups Liaison Officer and wish her well for the future. I extend our grateful thanks to Pauline Harrison Pogmore and Angela Moreton for jointly undertaking the role for the past two years and for all the hard work they put in. The AGM and Members’ Day in York fast approaches. I know it’s going to be an enjoyable and informative day and, for those going to Middleham on the Sunday, a great weekend. For those unable to join us, there will be a full report in December’s Bulletin and for those who are there, as ever, I look forward to meeting and talking with you.
Society News and Notices Subscriptions Due Subscriptions for the forthcoming membership year fall due on 2 October 2012. Please see the renewal form in the centrefold section of this Bulletin, and Membership Matters below for rates and methods of payment.
Richard III Society Members’ Day and Annual General Meeting Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Fossgate, York YO1 9XD Saturday 29 September 2012 As is the established practice, Saturday 29 September is both the AGM and a day for members to meet each other and get involved. This year’s venue will enable us to re -visit one of the most splendid medieval buildings in York. The event will follow a similar pattern to previous years. At the time of writing this article, late June, 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, should be sent to the Joint Secretaries, in hard copy, by no later than Friday 14 September 2012. 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 Society’s website. The Annual Report is published in this Bulletin. It contains much of the material formerly reported by officers at the AGM. This means that officers’ reports on the day 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 submitted by email or in writing to the Joint Secretaries (contact details on the inside cover of the Bulletin). If you wish to submit a question in advance, it would be helpful if it is received by Wednesday 26 September. You will also be able to post questions on the day and ‘post-it’ notes will be available for you to place on a board in the hall. Questions may be submitted anonymously, but, if they cannot be answered on the day, questioners will be invited to give their contact details to a Society officer to enable an answer to be provided at a later date. Speaker: this year our speaker will be the historian and author George Goodwin, who has recently published a book entitled Fatal Colours - Towton 1461: England’s Most Brutal Battle. Copies of this book will be available on the Society’s bookstall. Please remember that this is your day. Please try to attend and take the opportunity to raise any question that you have, to meet old friends and to make new ones. If you intend to come to the event, please register your place by email to the Secretaries at their email address or by completing and returning the booking form which was published in the June Bulletin.
Further to the official notification in the June Bulletin, set out below is the proposed programme for the day: Programme: 10.30 12.00 13.15 14.30 16.30 (estimated)
Doors open; members arrive, time to visit stalls etc. Isolde Wigram Memorial Lecture – George Goodwin (further details above). Lunch – own arrangements. Annual General Meeting and Open Forum/Question Time followed by raffle. Conclusion of Members’ Day and dispersal.
Details of the venue and how to get there are given below: Venue: Public Transport:
Major Craft Sale:
The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, York YO1 9XD. The hall can be accessed from Fossgate or Piccadilly. York railway station is on the East Coast Main Line. Trains run direct from York to many of the UK’s regional centres. The location is well served by numerous bus routes and the nearest stops are in Piccadilly. Parking facilities in York are very limited. However, park-andride is available. All details of parking services can be found on the City of York website: www.york.gov.uk. The venue will be open from 10.30 a.m. Members will be asked to register on arrival at the reception table, which will be staffed by members of the Yorkshire Branch. 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. Lunch will be by own arrangements and various local facilities are available within a very short walk of the venue. OTHER ATTRACTIONS: The thirty-third Major Craft Sale will be held around the AGM/ Members’ Day. The sale will start at 10.30 am and run until noon, and then continue in the lunch interval. On sale there will be books, Ricardian embroidery, cakes and sweets (for home consumption only), paperweights, RCRF Christmas cards, knitted items and baby clothes, soft toys, collages, etc., and Ricardian and other bric-à-brac. The proceeds of the Craft Sale will be devoted to the Ricardian Churches Restoration Fund. We would warmly welcome items for sale. We do appeal to members to try to provide some items for sale, so please try to look out some items of jumble or bric-à-brac. We would of course also warmly welcome all items of any sort of craft work. If you wish to give or send items in advance, please contact Elizabeth Nokes, 26 West Way, Petts Wood, Kent BR5 1LW (email: Elizabeth_Nokes@hotmail.com, tel. 01689 823569) to check that the items are suitable. If you wish to bring items along on the day, it would be most helpful if you could mark them with an indication of the price(s) at which you think they should be sold. 4
Annual Grand Raffle: As usual we shall be having a raffle in aid of the RCRF. The tickets will be 25 pence each, or five tickets for £1, and will be on sale at the meeting. At the time of going to press, the prizes include: a plaque of Richard on horseback (Marcus Designs); a framed heraldic print of the Battle of Bosworth (Peter Russell, 1981); a double-sided rosepatterned compact mirror; a video of the English Shakespeare Company’s history cycle ‘The Wars of the Roses’ (Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Henry V, Henry VI (House of Lancaster), Henry VI (House of York), Richard III); a pewter tankard from Hampton Court; a tall metal jug with lid, decorated with Warwick symbol, from Warwick Castle. (Further prizes may be added.) Prizes are not ranked in any order: the first ticket drawn will have first choice, and so on. We thank the contributors and suppliers of these prizes. Ricardian Sales Stall: There will be a range of Society and Trust publications and Society artefacts. Website: Beth Stone, the Web Content Manager, will be present. Treasurer’s Table: Paul Foss will be available to receive payment of subscriptions on the day. Barton Library: The librarians will be selling off duplicate library stock at bargain prices and a selection of the Society’s books. They will also be showcasing the diverse services that the Library can offer to members. Battlefields Trust: This organisation will again be represented and have a display. Bookseller: As last year, Starkmann Limited will be in attendance with a range of publications and associated sales items. Branches & Groups: This is an opportunity for Branches and Groups to showcase their publications and activities. Yorkshire Branch: The branch will again be represented and be selling some Ricardian publications and items with specific local focus. London Branch: The Branch treasurer will be in attendance to collect subscriptions. Visits Committee: A table 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. Visit to Middleham: At the moment, there are still some places on the coach for the trip to Middleham the day after the AGM (see p.4, June Bulletin). You will have time to explore the castle and St Alkelda’s church. Return to York approx. 4.00 pm, with drop-off at York Station for those travelling hom by train. Cost £12 each (coach only); please note that the entrance charge to Middleham Castle is not included and will be payable on the day (£4.40 adult, £4.00 concessions, free to English Heritage members). If places are still available, you can book at the AGM: see Marian Mitchell on the Visits Stand. Overseas members: please let Marian know if you want a place, and pay at the AGM (contact details on back cover).
We are delighted to say that during the morning and the lunch period, we will again be entertained by the ‘Trouvere’ strolling players.
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 14 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.
Post-AGM meal Arrangements have been made with the ASK restaurant in the Grand Assembly Rooms, Blake Street, York, for an area to be reserved for the Society on the Saturday evening. Please note that this is not a block booking, and individuals will be responsible for their own choice from the menu and for settling their own bills. Further details will be available on the day from the Secretaries, but please be aware that the restaurant may be unable to increase the allocated space and so we cannot guarantee to accept late requests to attend.
Membership Matters Subscriptions will become due on 2 October this year and there is a renewal reminder form in the centre pages of this Bulletin for those of you who prefer to pay by cheque. The current subscription rates are: Full Member £26 Senior Member/Student/Junior £20 Family £32 Senior Family £26 The overseas postage supplement remains unchanged at £9. Members can pay by various means: By cheque or postal order: payable to the Richard III Society, and sent with the renewal form. By standing order: If you would like to pay by standing order and do not have the arrangement already in place with your bank, please write or email me asking for a form to complete. This should be returned direct to your bank for implementation. By direct transfer: those members who use Internet banking can transfer their subscriptions direct to the Society’s banking account. Our bankers are HSBC, sort code 40-22-26, account number 71077503. Overseas members wishing to use this method will need the IBAN (International Bank Account Number) which is GB50MIDL40222671077503. Please remember to quote your membership so that I can reference payments with members. By PayPal: Our PayPal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and all payments should be in pounds sterling. The message to recipient box should include my name and your membership number. Please note there is a 5% surcharge on the amount payable which needs to be paid by members. By credit or debit card: the Society can once again accept credit card payments. Please complete the renewal reminder and send to me by post. Please note you should not send any credit or debit card details by email as this could compromise the security of your card. There is a 6
5% surcharge on the amount payable on these transactions and which needs to be paid by members. By non-sterling cheque: the Society can process such cheques but due to the heavy fees levied by our bank the equivalent of £15 should be added to cover this cost. At the AGM: as always there will be a subscription payment table at the AGM and credit and debit cards can be accepted. Unfortunately it is not possible for the Society to offer members payment by direct debit nor is the Society able to accept payments by Western Union or Moneygram. Please let me know if your circumstances have changed in a way which necessitates a change of membership category, for example full member to senior citizen (we do not hold birth dates for all members) or student to full membership. This can be done by ticking your new category on the subscription renewal form and the relevant box at the bottom of the page or by email/ letter. This helps considerably with our administration. Finally, if you are not renewing your membership, I would be grateful if you could let me know. To facilitate this there is a space on the reminder form. This will save the Society the expense of sending out reminder letters and helps us to determine the correct print-runs for our journals. Of course, I do hope you consider the Society good value for money and will continue to enjoy your membership for many years to come. Wendy Moorhen, Membership Officer
Publication and distribution of the Bulletin: future arrangements Last year we reported on the establishment of a Publications and Distribution Working Party (PDWP) to consult on and consider future arrangements for the production and distribution of the Society’s quarterly and annual publications. Initially, the focus is on the Bulletin. The first round of consultation with the overseas representatives (Joan Szechtman, USA; David Bliss, Australasia; and Victoria Moorshead, Canada) was conducted earlier this year, and showed that there was a diversity of views about how people wanted to receive the Bulletin. Whilst some were of the opinion that the Society should change to wholly electronic, others were happy to continue with the current arrangements. The Business Manager has also been looking at the arrangements for postage and distribution to overseas branches, and has been able to intro– duce wider direct posting at reduced cost. While the concept of electronic distribution of, or access to, the Bulletin clearly meets twentyfirst century practice, there are implications that will need to be taken into account, not least of which is the fact that if fewer numbers of hard-copy Bulletins are printed, the cost is likely to become higher. This may, of necessity, lead to considering the implications for subscriptions. There would have to be changes made to the website to create a ‘members-only’ area, access to which is controlled by password. The Society will be happy to deal with all of the above issues resulting from any change desired by the membership, but feels that the trigger for a change will have to be an actual majority of members voting for electronic access. Currently, the Society has around 2,200 members worldwide; thus, it will need a significant number of members requiring electronic access before this facility can be made available. We must emphasise that members who wish to stay with the current hard copy postal system will be able to do so. There is no intention to enforce an electronic-only system for receipt of publications. The next step is to seek the views of the wider membership and, with this in mind, there is a very short questionnaire in the centrefold of this issue of the Bulletin, which can be completed in hard copy or electronically. We would urge members to complete and return the questionnaire so that we can proceed in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the membership. Members who do not respond to the questionnaire will be deemed to have voted for ‘no change’. 7
The 2013 Study Weekend
Richard III: his Friends and Foes in the North The Elmbank Hotel, York, 12-14 April 2013 As notified in the June Bulletin, the 2013 study weekend will focus on Richard III and his relationship with allies and opponents from the north. Our key-note speaker will be Tony Pollard, who will be putting the question of Richard III and the north in historiographical context, and will suggest a new perspective, especially of the reign and its consequences. Our other speakers will include Toni Mount, Ken Hillier, Marie Barnfield, Peter Hammond and Lynda Pidgeon, talks will include consideration of various individuals and families: lesser-known Neviles, the Pilkingtons and Miles Metcalfe; while a broader approach will be taken to look at those who fought at Bosworth and were attained in the first parliament of Henry VII, and those who were planted in the south to give Richard support. We also hope to have another external speaker, but this has yet to be confirmed. On the Saturday we shall be launching the Society’s latest book, The York Wills. The book launch will include light refreshments, and we hope to hold it in Barley Hall (to be confirmed). Costs have not yet been finalised, but should not be more than £95 non-resident, £235 single and £385 twin/double. A £50 deposit is required with the initial booking, and final payment will be required by 15 January 2013. Final costs will be confirmed in the December Bulletin. There is a booking form in the centrefold of this Bulletin. Please note that it will not be possible to make any refunds for cancellations made after 15 January 2013 unless there is a waiting list. Study weekends have proved very popular in the past, and early booking is recommended.
The Stillingfleet Boar Hot on the heels (trotters?) of the Bosworth boar being on the television, we heard of an appeal by the Yorkshire Museum in York to raise £2,000 to buy a silver-gilt boar found two years ago near Stillingfleet, about seven miles south of York. As soon as we heard about it, the Executive Committee agreed to offer the full purchase price and donate the boar, which is about an inch and a half long, to the museum. However, the appeal had been so successful that the money was raised from members of the public within four days of the Copyright York Museums Trust (Yorkshire Museum) launch. Indeed, our own Facebook page has had over 700 people accessing our posting about it. Not to be outdone, the Committee decided that the money previously intended for the purchase should be given to the museum for the conservation, cleaning and display of the boar – after all, £2,000 should buy them quite a few tins of silver polish. Needless to say, our offer was greeted with grateful thanks by the head curator, Andrew Morrison, who is keen to get together with the Society to make more of the links with the county of Yorkshire and Richard III. The Committee has told him that the Society will help in any way possible. We thank the museum for permission to use the picture – as you can see, the boar has a large oval eye, a snout and tusks and is obviously male.
Phil Stone 8
Dorothea Flies in At our July meeting the Bulletin Editorial Committee were delighted to be joined by our new member from Australia, Dorothea Preis. Dorothea was over in the UK on holiday with her family, and we are grateful that she gave up one of her days in London to spend in one of the Civil Service Clubâ€™s meeting rooms with the rest of us. In a normal July it might be thought a shame to spend a day inside when you could be out enjoying the sunshine and visiting the sights; this year, of course, it was more a case of being grateful to be inside and not out in the rain. At the meeting we discussed the forthcoming issue of the Bulletin, the one you now have in your hands, and our plans for future issues. We also had a presentation from our other new member, Helen Challinor, on the filesharing system we are setting up to provide back-up for all our Bulletinrelated files. In all our discussions it was very helpful to have the input of our new members, and in particular to hear how the Bulletin is viewed from an overseas perspective. We were pleased to hear that members in Australia and New Zealand appreciate Members of the Bulletin Committee at their meeting on 7 the magazine, and recognise its role in July 2012 in London. Sitting, left to right: Dorothea Preis, binding our worldwide Society John Saunders, Lesley Boatwright. Standing: Lynda together. It was also encouraging to Pidgeon and Howard Choppin. Peter Hammond took the hear about activities down under, and picture. Unfortunately, Helen Challinor had to leave the plans that are progressing for next before it was taken. yearâ€™s convention in Sydney (see p. 57). Dorothea also stayed on for the Research Committee meeting that followed in the afternoon, after a good lunch, of course, and so the opportunity to talk more informally. We hope it will not too long before she can again attend a meeting in person, although a suggestion that we hold the next meeting in Sydney might present a few logistical and financial challenges. We all hope Dorothea enjoyed the remainder of her holiday, and that for her planned visits to Bosworth and Middleham the sun shone and the rain clouds dispersed.
STOP PRESS Following the advertisement in the June Bulletin inviting applications to take on the role of Branch and Group Liaison Officer, the Executive Committee has appointed Jacqui Emerson to the post. She will take over after the AGM on 29 September. Her contact details can be found on the inside back cover of the Bulletin under her previous post of Research Events Administrator. More details will be given in the December Bulletin. Meanwhile, our thanks go to Angela Moreton and Pauline Harrison Pogmore, who have been Branch and Group Liaison Officers for the last couple of years.
Josephine Tewson One-Woman Show Society member Jo Tewson has offered to give a performance of her one-woman show for members and their guests as a fund-raising event for the Society. Although she has had a significant career on the stage, Jo is probably best known more recently for her television roles in ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ and ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, as well as her work with the late Ronnie Barker. The proposal is for this to take place in the spring or summer of 2013, probably as a Saturday matinee, in a London theatre yet to be chosen. In order to help in the selection of the venue, we need an idea of how many people would attend. Consequently, we should like members to let us know if they are interested. Please contact the Chairman, Dr Phil Stone (contact details on the inside back cover), with your name and the estimated number of people in your party, by the end of October. This is not meant to be binding, but is simply an expression of interest. Once we have an idea of the interest, we can finalise the details with Jo, and a notice will appear in the Bulletin asking for a firmer commitment. The Executive Committee thanks Jo for the generous offer of this not-to-be-missed experience, and we look forward to hearing from members that they want to attend.
The Bosworth ‘Deathstone’ has been moved For all members who were not at the Triennial Conference, or who have not been to Bosworth recently, we should point out that, following the finding of ‘the true site of the battle’, the socalled ‘Deathstone’ has been moved from the site near Shenton, thought for many years to be the site of Sandeford, the place where Richard III died. As the picture shows, it is now in the central courtyard of the Battlefield Centre. This is said to have been done for two reasons, to allow for safer public access, and to allow the field at Shenton to be returned to agricultural use.
An International Society Group or Branch Rita Diefenhardt-Schmitt writes: To form an International Society Group or Branch is a certain challenge and delicate matter, but surely worth a try when we look to our fellow-members in America and Australia, who meet together. I would give my support in this project as long as others join. So anybody interested in this experiment shouldn’t hesitate to contact me, as well as those of you who are willing to form another German Group, which has always the option to unite with other countries here in Europe. It has already worked in the past, so be encouraged! Rita’s address is Ulmenweg 8, D-65520 Bad Camberg-Obserselters/Ts., Germany. Telephone (0) 6483 800 956. Email email@example.com
For your Fotheringhay diary October 21 7.30 pm Organ recital by Dr Simon Lindley Tickets can be purchased at the door October 27 2.00 pm AGM Friends of Fotheringhay Church 3.00 pm Talk by Dr Phil Stone: ‘Richard III – A bloody tyrant? Non-members of the Friends: £5. 10
Leeds International Medieval Congress 8 to 12 July 2012
his is a major event in the medieval conference calendar every year. In alternate years the Society has either puts up its display board for the day at the ‘Historical Societies Fair’ or we book a stall for the week to sell Society and Trust publications. This year it was the turn of the book stall. 2012 was also a special year in that it was the last time that the Congress would take place at Bodington. So it was also a year of celebrations and goodbyes. Alongside the big-name booksellers such as Boydell and Brewer, Oxbow, Routledge, Palgrave and Ashgate there were university publishers such as Wales University Press, Oxford, Exeter and Cambridge. Overseas publishers were also well represented with Brepols and Brill, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht Unipress (who did a very nice black cotton tote bag), the universities of Pennsylvania and Chicago and Yale, to mention but a few. There were of course ourselves, and Shaun Tyas who is the Trust’s publisher. The Book Fair proper began on Monday morning but for those delegates who arrive Peter and Carolyn Hammond on the Society’s early there is an Antiquarian Book fair which bookstall at the Leeds Congress opens on the Sunday afternoon. Luckily nobody seemed to have spent all their money on some of the rare books on offer as there was a regular flow of visitors to our stall over the week. We shared a room with Oxbow books, who took up three of the four walls, while our stall was an island in the middle of the room, which we shared with Suzanna from Vandenhoeck, who very kindly gave us all one of her bags in exchange for a Ricardian bag. Also on our ‘island’ was Martin from Extraordinary Editions. An apt name, as his books were certainly extraordinary: on display he had the most beautiful replica of the Illuminated Fightbook, bound in leather and a snip at £750. He spent a lot of time, care and love over each book which he reproduced, some of them taking up to five years to get exactly as he wanted them. Also on display was a copy of René of Anjou’s Tournament Book, reproduced down to the nick on the page of the original manuscript. You really don’t wish to know how much this cost. Maney Publishing shared the remainer of the wall. They are responsible for publishing and distributing a large number of journals, including The London Journal, Northern History, Midlands History and Arms and Armour. As well as checking out what the latest issues contained, it gave us the chance to pick up a few tips and ideas from them regarding the marketing and presentation of journals. While we made several hundred pounds in book sales, what is most important is that we had the opportunity to speak to students and scholars from across the world, some of whom were very enthusiastic for Richard III, so as well as giving them membership leaflets we also gave them a free tote bag so that they could carry the message back home along with their books. Amongst those who stopped for a chat was Sharon Michalove, a retired history lecturer and Society member, who was visiting with her husband. We were also approached by a student who 11
was aware that the Society offered a bursary and wished to discuss how to go about applying, so we are obviously making an impression and gaining recognition. Once the bookstalls closed in the evening there was an opportunity to join in the various events on offer or find the next wine reception. Publishers and Universities offered wine receptions most evenings, and, timed right, it was possible to find a glass of wine to take into dinner. Medieval banquet: Peter Hammond, Carolyn Hammond, Tuesday evening a medieval feast Lesley Boatwright, Lynda Pidgeon, Peter Michalove was an optional extra, and one which we thought couldn’t be missed. Beside each plate was a menu and on the back instructions on how to behave at the table. We had to share out the food from one large dish and serve each other, using only spoons and knives. Accompanied by music from the Leeds Waits we enjoyed ninestra of greens, limonia, hericot of North Yorkshire lamb, corymary, lasagne, and watercress poree and fennel and leek (i.e. vegetable soup, chicken, lamb and pork with cheese and pasta and vegetables). This was Music by the Leeds Waits followed by Sienese tart, apple rissoles and chireseye (almond and cinnamon tart, apple with figs and cinnamon and cherries). After the meal – and via another wine reception – entertainment was laid on in the form of a medieval combat. Because of the weather this took place indoors. Andrew and Andy from the royal armouries demonstrated their skill with the pole axe and sword. As they went through the moves that I had seen illustrated in the Illuminated Fightbook, they kept up a continuous dialogue explaining what they were doing, with a flow of jokes. If they ever have to give up fighting they could Andrew and Andy from the Royal Armouries in combat probably earn a living as comedians. Not only were they excellent swordsmen but on Wednesday evening they showed their skill at jousting. The rain held off long enough for them to run four courses and for their squires to
demonstrate their skills at the quintain. Such events were unusual for the Congress, but as this was its last year at Bodington they pulled out all the stops to make it a memorable occasion. Next year the Congress will take place at the main university site in the city centre. It remains to be seen how well it will work, at least at Bodington it felt like you were out in the countryside, even though it was just a few miles from the city. Thanks go to Peter and Carolyn Hammond who helped on the stall Monday to Wednesday, Ken Hillier who came along on Wednesday, and was very restrained in his book buying despite the enormous temptation, Heather Falvey, who came along between giving her talk on the Monday, and Lesley Boatwright who popped in and out throughout the week.
The Society’s Session Reality, Real People and Propaganda ... was the title of the session the Society presented to the academic side of the Congress. It was concerned with the miracles of Henry VI, which I have been studying for some years with a view to publishing a complete translation, with notes on those of the people involved with the miracles who can be found as real, living people in the public records. Chaired by Peter Hammond, there were three papers. I set the scene with ‘Making the most of miracles: political propaganda and the tomb of Henry VI’, in which I offered an explanation of why Richard III had Henry VI’s body moved from Chertsey Abbey to St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Then Christopher Whittick, Senior Archivist at East Sussex Record Office, having found the case in the records of King’s Bench, shed ‘New light on a medieval mugging: the horrible case of Dr William Edwards, 1488’, and Heather Falvey looked at ‘Miracles in everyday life: the ordinary and the miraculous’, showing how many of the miracles involved children having the accidents children have always had through the ages, and what nasty things could happen to people playing football. Among the people who came to hear us we were glad to greet Dr Cristina Mourón-Figueroa, who wrote in the March 2012 Bulletin about the seminar on Richard III she organised at the University of Santiago de Compostela. Shortened versions of the papers will be found on pp.37-47 of this Bulletin.
Calling all Fishermen Found in The Records of the Borough of Nottingham, vol. III, p. 449: ‘First hit is an old custom for the Mayre, for the tyme being to give his bredern knowledge for to see the game of fyshing, etc.’ The accounts for 1484-5 (pp.240-1 of the same work) give the costs of the mayor’s fishing for that year, but they do not specify a date. Would it be at the start of the fishing season? As well as the costs of the actual fishing and the wages of the fishermen, the mayor also paid for bread and ale and ‘for the soper of the seid fisshers þe same nyght and of þe laborers’. It seems to have been an important occasion in the yearly life of the town, and I thought I would send it in for the Society’s Chronicle as festivities are of interest. However, for this I need a date. All Google has produced is that it is still a tradition in Colchester for the mayor to open the oyster fishing on 1 September, but the salmon fishing season begins in March. Are there any members who can possibly help with this? Perhaps other towns had a similar ceremony, and someone out there can advise me. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to 6 Railway Cottages, Leekbrook Junction, Leek, Staffs, ST13 7AU.
Penny Lawton 13
Update: Looking for Richard: in search of a king PHILIPPA LANGLEY
ince this project was announced in the June 2012 issue of the Bulletin a remarkable event has taken place which has demonstrated the unshakable loyalty of Ricardians everywhere. In July we received a devastating blow when one of our funding partners was forced at short notice to reduce their financial commitment by £10,000. To enable the dig to go ahead as planned all funding had to be in place by a deadline of 1 August. With only weeks to go, urgent action was called for. The Richard III Archaeology Appeal went out to Ricardians around the world via email from the Branches and Groups and, thanks to Phil Stone, was also placed on the Society’s facebook page. It was a huge mountain to climb, one that appeared almost impossible – the deficit would have to be made good in no more than 14 days. However, it soon became clear that we had reckoned without King Richard’s army. If any of us have ever doubted that our king has a modern-day army, question no more. The response to the Richard III Archaeology Appeal from Ricardians and their friends and families from around the world was overwhelming. Pledges and donations poured in from every corner of the globe – from the UK (England, Scotland and Wales), the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Turkey and Brazil – and in two very short weeks £10,000 was raised. It was a staggering achievement and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who gave to the appeal and made it such an incredible success – 10,000 thanks to one and all. In a future article we will list all those who donated so generously but for now I would like to say a very big THANK YOU indeed to our Branches and Groups without whose support the appeal’s success would not have been possible. They not only worked tirelessly to spread the word but also gave generously of their own funds and collected on behalf of their members. I would also like to thank the Society of Friends of King Richard III in York and the King Richard Armitage website for taking up the cause and helping to achieve this remarkable success. Special mention must also go to a member of the American Branch, who wishes to remain anonymous. With time running out this donation enabled us to reach our target and we cannot thank him enough for his kindness and generosity. To those who did not hear about the appeal and would have liked to have helped, our very many apologies but the short time assigned to us meant we could only use those communication methods open to us. I hope you will understand. My very grateful thanks also go to our Chairman, Dr Phil Stone, for his help and advice. I hope one day to be able to inform the membership and Ricardians everywhere of the pivotal role Phil has played throughout this project. I would also like to thank Dr John Ashdown-Hill who gave with remarkable generosity, and Annette Carson who also gave and skilfully created the crucially important Archaeology Appeal leaflet. As you read this, thanks to the generosity of Ricardians around the world, the dig in Leicester will be underway. We will very soon know whether our search for the long lost remains of the choir of the Greyfriars church where King Richard III was buried after the battle of Bosworth will have been successful. To all Ricardians we would now like to reiterate a commitment originally made to those who donated to the appeal: 14
Our pledge to you is that we'll be doing everything in our power to search, diligently and reverently, for traces of King Richard III at the Leicester Greyfriars. Here finally is our chance as Ricardians to investigate the Greyfriars area of Leicester that has held so many questions about the priory and church that once existed there. Further, it may perhaps offer us the opportunity to discover more about the burial place of King Richard, and potentially recover the remains of our king so that they can be reinterred with true honour and dignity more than 500 years after his heroic death. Channel 4 and Darlow Smithson Productions will be filming the dig. If something of significance is found it is anticipated that a TV special will be commissioned and broadcast. If nothing of significance is found then a 10-minute film about the dig will be made available for the websites of the main partners, including the Richard III Society website. A further update on the dig will appear in a forthcoming Bulletin. Please note: the proposed Memorial Service to King Richard in Leicester Cathedral scheduled for 2 October 2012 will now take place in 2013. This will allow time for any remains uncovered during the dig to be DNA identified, and the standard and banner of King Richard to be designed and made for the service (thanks to the work of Sally Henshaw and Richard Smith and the East Midlands Branch), and to also ensure that as many Ricardians as possible might be able to attend. It is hoped that a new date for the Memorial Service may coincide with the commemoration of Bosworth in 2013. STOP PRESS. Please also note that as part of the Heritage Weekend (8–9 September) the dig will be open to the public for guided tours. Philippa aims to be on-hand to welcome all Ricardians who may wish to visit it. If nothing has been found at the dig then this event may not take place. Please check websites for further details nearer the time.
‘King Mike I’ has died in Australia KEN HILLIER
wonder how many Ricardians suspend disbelief when they encounter yet another heritage attraction which proclaims ‘Queen Elizabeth I slept here’, ‘Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned here’, or ‘Oliver Cromwell destroyed this building’. Well, ‘King Michael I’ did sleep in our guest bedroom with his second consort, Barbara, when they stayed with us for several days in June 2006. Whilst revisiting Ashby Castle and Donington Hall, both one-time family headquarters, he also popped in to Ashby Museum to unveil an Alternative Royal Line and be photographed holding a papier-mâché severed head of William Hastings. The family always knew of their claim to the English throne. George, duke of Clarence, left not only malmsey on the floor but two children: Edward, earl of Warwick, executed by Henry Tudor in 1499, and Margaret, who was to suffer a similar fate under the second Tudor in 1541. Her son, Henry, Lord Montague (another dispatched by Henry VIII in 1538), had overseen the marriage of his daughter Catherine Pole to Francis, second earl of Huntingdon, great-grandson of Lord Hastings. Michael was a descendant of this Hastings line. His mother, Barbara, thirteenth Countess of Loudoun, had been featured in a weekend magazine, as one of a series of alternative monarchs of England. She was quoted as exclaiming: ‘Oh, Lord, no – it’s not me at all’. In the same article, Michael – then Lord Mauchline – was alleged to have remarked on one occasion, ‘My title is a frightful bore; I want to become a dinkum Aussie’. He was also a committed Republican for Australia. 15
Then came the January 2004 Channel 4 programme ‘Britain’s Real Monarch’. Part filmed in Ashby-de-la-Zouch and partly in Australia, and fronted by the ubiquitous Tony Robinson, it revealed how Michael K. Jones – who has also stayed with us – had discovered that King Edward IV was ‘almost certainly illegitimate’. At one stroke, the descendants of the duke of Clarence became, not just a family with a claim, but the rightful monarchs. Step forward Kings Ferdinando, Theophilus, Reginald; and also several King Harrys. There would have been queens, too: two Ediths and, of course, Barbara I. Michael’s reaction? ‘I take the whole king thing very lightheartedly, it is a bit of fun. I get messages from people across the world about it.’ He lived in Jerilderie, NSW, where he was chairman of the local historical society and on the shire council. Known to the locals as ‘Kingsy’, he had landed in Australia in 1960, aged 18 and fresh out of Ampleforth. It was the Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser who was first on the scene with news of his death, which was later reported round the world. Michael may have voted for a republic in Australia, but he was a keen patron of Ashby Museum, as was his mother Barbara before him. Our museum is delighted that the new earl, Simon Abney-Hastings, has accepted the role and will be coming over next year. ‘The Patron is dead. Long Live the Patron’. The next generation of princes include Zac, Caleb, Jett, Riley, Callum and Oscar. Our family will genuinely miss Michael’s friendship, 10 June 2006: ‘King’ Michael, Barbara and Kenneth in which had developed over the last Calke Abbey Gardens decade. There was no ‘side’ to him; like his mother, he never stood on ceremony. The flagpole, promised to me by my family for the Jubilee period, never materialised. If it had, the flag would have stood at half mast for a ‘great bloke and [his word] mate’. PS: The present Ricardian President and his wife also slept in the same bed. No one doubts his title. We are running out of wall space for the blue plaques.
Peter Hammond writes: Members will have noticed that the grandmother of the current earl was Countess of Loudoun in her own right. Loudoun is a Scots peerage and if there are no sons these can descend to a daughter. If there are several daughters then the eldest inherits the title. This is quite unlike English earldoms, which except in exceptional circumstances can never descend to, or through, a woman. However some old English baronies, those known as Baronies by Writ, i.e. not created by patent, can descend through females. If these titles behaved like Scots peerages and descended to the eldest daughter instead of going into abeyance between several daughters, the current earl of Loudoun would also be Baron Hastings of Hastings, the title held by William Lord Hastings, as well as Baron Stanley, the title held by Thomas, Lord Stanley. to the eldest daughter instead of going into abeyance between several daughters, the current earl of Loudoun would also be Baron Hastings of Hastings, the title held by William Lord Hastings, as well as Baron Stanley, the title held by Thomas, Lord Stanley.
Editor: Our thanks to Sheila Hamilton Smith, Geoff Wheeler and others, who have sent in various newspaper cuttings about the death of Mike Hastings. The Daily Telegraph’s obituary was racy: ‘a beer-swilling, rotund Australian rice farmer and former jackaroo ... he set sail with just £50 in 16
his pocket ... for the next few years he jackarooed on ranches, tried a bit of orange-picking, sold encyclopaedias door-to-door and worked for a stocking station agency ...’ The Daily Mirror (with a heading ‘Aristocracy Crown Under’) said that he had become a household name after TV researchers [that’s Daily Mirror speak for Dr Michael Jones] revealed his family was cheated out of the crown in the 15th century’. Tony Robinson’s Channel 4 programme was reviewed in the Bulletin for Spring 2004, p.3, with an A/V report in the same issue on p.44.
A Series of Remarkable Ladies RITA DIEFENHARDT-SCHMITT 2. Eleanor of Scotland, Duchess of Austria (1433-1480) Fact file: Parents: King James I of Scotland (1406-1437) and Joan Beaufort Husband: Duke Sigismund of Tyrol (1427-1496) Children: none surviving Illustration: anonymous portrait, redrawn by Geoffrey Wheeler Before her marriage, Eleanor spent her life in Linlithgow Castle in Scotland. After the death of her father and second marriage of her mother, she and her sister Joan were given into the care of Charles VII of France in the town of Tours, where they were well educated. In 1448 Duke Sigismund of the Tyrol was chosen as her husband. That autumn she travelled on a troublesome journey to the Tyrol, where she was married to Sigismund in a small ceremony in Meran on 12 February 1449. It was not a happy marriage, and none of their children survived. Between 1455 and 1458, when her husband was abroad mostly for political reasons, Eleanor ruled the Tyrol herself. During this time she was involved in a dispute of her husband’s with Cardinal Nicholas of Kues (then Bishop of Brixen) over the so-called Habsburgian Vorlande (the valleys of the Eisack, Puster and Inn). In 1467 she chose the town of Thann as her residence. After 1469 she began to give up her political activities and devote herself more to charity work and matters of the church in general. She and her husband were very interested in reading books. They introduced authors and humanists to their court and supported their work. Eleanor probably translated several books herself, such as the adventure novel Ponthus and Sidonia, which her husband had published after her death, and which became famous. Sadly, Eleanor died in childbed with her son, Wolfgang, who died with her, on 20 November 1480. She was buried in the monastery of Stams in the Tyrol. Four years later, her husband married Catherine of Saxony, aged 16.
The will of Dame Alice Nevile
This is will no. 6 in our transcripts of the York wills. Nevile is a name to conjure with, but who was this Dame Alice? There are the usual clues: she names her husband and a son, and chooses her burial place. The will was proved on 24 May 1481. Most testators describe themselves as ‘of sound mind, but Alice goes further: she is ‘of myghty mynde’ (line 3). She left ten marks, a great sum (£6 13s.4d.) for distribution at her burial, ‘money, mete and drynk’ (line 11). The answer is that she was one of two daughters of Ralph Gascoigne of Hunslet, esquire, and married Sir Thomas Neville of Liversedge. He died in 1433, but she did not re-marry, and so was a widow for almost fifty years.
If you can’t read Dame Alice’s will ... why not take the Society’s palaeography course? This ‘correspondence course’ for members who wish to begin to read fifteenth-century handwriting was established by Professor Rosemary Horrox and is now tutored by Dr Heather Falvey. The emphasis is on private and business hands – the kinds of script to be found in government and family records – rather than the formal book hands employed in copying literary texts. The examples used are predominantly in English, with any Latin phrases fully explained. The full course consists of eight lessons. Each lesson includes photocopied sample texts with a commentary drawing attention to such matters as abbreviations and characteristic letter shapes and to any particular problems. Part of the sample material will be fully transcribed; the student will be expected to transcribe the remainder and return it, either by post or as an email attachment, for correction and comment. The corrected version will be sent by post with the next lesson. Students can work at their own speed and no deadlines will be imposed. The cost of the course to UK members is £27.50 per module of four lessons (two modules available) payable in advance, or pay the whole £55.00 in one go. There is an overseas postage supplement of £5 for Europe, £6 for USA and Canada and £8 for Australasia. Contact Heather Falvey at email@example.com 18
Our Olympic Diary: part 1 SUE AND DAVE WELLS
y the time that you read this, it will all be over, and your correspondents will be in recovery mode â€“ probably having breathed a huge sigh of relief. At the time of writing, our excitement and enthusiasm are at a high level. Since being selected as drivers (March Bulletin), we have attended an initial induction session at Wembley Arena. This was hosted by world triple jump record holder Jonathan Edwards, assisted by comedian and multiple marathon runner Eddie Izzard. There were over 7,000 GamesMakers (the term used for volunteers at the London Games) in attendance, not just drivers but covering all aspects of volunteer duties. This was one of a series of events to enable all 70,000 GamesMakers to attend. It was our first sortie into the Olympic world and we came away motivated and looking forward to the next steps. The next stage for us was to be assessed via a criminal records check to ensure that our intentions were sincere and that we had no doubtful backgrounds or nefarious motives. Fortunately, we passed. GamesMakers are certainly checked thoroughly as we then had to submit our driving licence details and take an on-line driving test. This took the form of numerous Highway Code type questions and video scenarios; we had to achieve a minimum 80% pass rate which, again, fortunately, we managed. As some of you may be aware, neither of us are in the first flush of youth and have been driving for many years. We both found this process quite stressful as we had not been through anything like it for decades. Since these evaluations, we have had two days of service-specific training based at the main transport depot which is adjacent to the Olympic Park, Stratford, East London. The first day was half classroom based and half a practical driving assessment â€“ yes, another one. This was the first opportunity that we had to begin familiarisation with the cars and their equipment. These have been supplied by the sponsors and are BMW 3 and 5 series models: very smart and distinctive they look with their Olympic transfers (decals). They are fitted with satellite navigation systems which are specially programmed to locate and direct to all of the Olympic venues, London hotels, airports and other locations which we are likely to drive to. They also have a fuel-saving cut-out device which is quite unnerving when you stop at lights or in traffic and the engine stops. It restarts when you engage gear. Our assessor on this first day was a thirty-something French lady 19
who praised us highly and very patronisingly – we were ‘very good drivers’. We bit our tongues and swallowed back any retorts about having been driving since before she was born to avoid giving the impression that we were rude or inclined to ‘road rage’. For our second training day, we were partnered with two other GamesMaker drivers, given an itinerary, a set of car keys, packed lunch and a ‘see you at 3 o’clock’ message. There were no ‘facilities’ at the assembly point and this meant that, regardless of the itinerary, the first task was to locate a public toilet. Fortunately, all four of us got on well together. We took turns in driving and all had to drive around Hyde Park Corner at some stage during the routeing. Unlike some of our colleagues in other cars, we located and reached all of our given destinations, the furthest from Stratford being Wimbledon, which of course is being used as the Olympic tennis venue. Occasionally, the sat-nav wanted us to make illegal manoeuvres, such as right turns, that were clearly banned. When we queried this on our return to the transport depot, we were told that there would be specific Olympic-only routes during the games and these movements will be permitted for Olympic vehicles. Bet we’ll be popular with other road users! We have also collected our uniforms and other essential equipment such as an Oyster Underground travel card which is programmed for use on the days when we are on duty (no free trips to London on other days), driver handbook, street maps and an umbrella – an essential for a summer like this. Uniforms are surprisingly good and well made. Sponsored and supplied by Adidas, they comprise: t-shirts (non-iron – hooray), showerproof jacket, trousers, socks and trainers. The latter are particularly high quality and probably the only items that we will wear afterwards, as the logos are somewhat more discreet. At the uniform distribution centre, we had to try on the clothing to ensure fit and comfort, but there were no mirrors provided in the men’s or women’s changing rooms. Sue and another GamesMaker, who had flown to London from Aberdeen – travel to all pre-events is at our own cost – just to collect her uniform, photographed one another on their i-phones so that they could see how the kit looked. The picture is reproduced with this article. So, we are now set to start our driving duties on 16 July. We will be providing a VIP taxi service. This means that we will not know from one day to the next who we will be driving or where we need to go. Sadly, we do know that the athletes have a separate transport facility and we won’t be able to say that ‘we drove that Usain Bolt in the car last night’. Duties cover tenhour shifts, two days on and one day off, with some morning starts and evening finishes, and others starting in the afternoon and finishing in the early hours. Fortunately, the son of a friend of ours lives close to a convenient Underground station, only a few stops from Stratford, and we shall be able to park on his front driveway. Our next dispatch should be with you in the December Bulletin and will hopefully report on a successful and exciting Olympic Games, for us, if not for the whole of Team GB.
A day out with a difference? Two of our members, one in the UK and one in Australia, have brought to our attention two London Underground posters from earlier times which they thought other members would appreciate. The first was drawn by Dora M. Batty (1900-1966) in 1938. (C) TfL from the London Transport Museum. We are grateful for their permission to reproduce the posters in the Bulletin.
(C) TfL from the London Transport Museum
News and Reviews Tower of London Lecture Series
Plantagenets vs. Tudors – which dynasty mattered more? 17 May 2012
attended this lecture with Geoffrey Wheeler, anticipating that the comparisons between the two dynasties would be of particular interest to the Society. The speakers were to each deliver a forty-minute talk in their particular subject area, with the aim of influencing the audience to decide which dynasty mattered more. The other aim of the talks was to encourage sales of their new books with the prospect of personal signed copies being available over a glass of wine, and the opportunity to talk to the speakers personally. First, a little about the speakers. Dan Jones graduated from Cambridge with a first in history in 2002, writes for various newspapers and periodicals, and has recently published a book about the Peasants’ Revolt. He was to talk about his new book The Plantagenets – the kings who made Britain. The second speaker, Dr Suzannah Lipscomb, author, historian and broadcaster, was to talk about her new book Visitors’ Companion to Tudor England. Dan Jones opened his lecture by inviting the audience to witness some of the events during Plantagenet times that could have been viewed from the Tower of London, from the anarchy that followed when Matilda was driven out of London through to the escape of Roger Mortimer, the lover of the ‘she wolf’ Isabella of France. Next, the dynastic claims that began the Hundred Years’ War with France. Lastly, the meeting of commoner and king during the Peasants’ Revolt. The longevity of the dynasty (1154-1399) emphasised their profound importance to English history, so who were the Plantagenets? Geoffrey of Anjou, who never set foot in England, gave the dynasty its name. Henry II brought an end to anarchy, and the beginnings of bureaucracy; his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, brought vast territories in France. However, he will always be remembered for instigating the murder of Thomas Becket. Richard I considered a great soldier, not often in England, became a military legend with his adventures during the third crusade. King John, not a personal favourite of Dan Jones (who believes the historical record for this king does not need much revising), caused a civil war and a French invasion of England, but the signing of the Magna Carta established that a king was subject to his own laws. Henry III, politically inept, tended to listen to the advice of others, but can be remembered for some of the great architectural achievements of the Plantagenet dynasty. Edward I: the castles in Wales are powerful symbols to remind us of his conquest of the Welsh, and he was also known as the Hammer of the Scots. Edward II, too much time spent with favourites, forced to abdicate. (Dan Jones believes that his murder with a red hot poker might be a myth.) Edward III: his victorious military campaigns in France on land and sea confirmed him as a great warrior. The order of the garter and the cult of King Arthur ensured that chivalry and pageantry were alive and well under this king. Richard II. grandson of Edward III, had a grandiose view of English kingship, but as an individual was damaged, suspicious and paranoid. Civil unrest led to his deposition. The review of kingship displayed by the various monarchs showed the beginnings of a British identity, with conquests in Ireland, Wales and Scotland, plus the ongoing struggle with France. This dynasty also produced the only English pope, Adrian IV. The majesty of kingship can be seen in their tombs and buildings. Also the beginnings of financial, bureaucratic and parliamentary government are evident. Myths and legends – Robin Hood, Arthur, and St George – are all from this dynasty. Dr Suzannah Lipscomb told of the people and stories of the Tudor age, but the 118 years of this dynasty pales into insignificance beside the longevity of the Plantagenets. In shaping the 23
Britain that we know today, the development of a national church was fundamental, but she did refer to the cultural vandalism in the dissolution of the monasteries, and the associated redistribution of wealth. There was an English renaissance, in music by Tallis and Tavener, and in other arts by Spencer, Shakespeare and Marlowe for example. The marriage of Henry Tudor to Elizabeth of York put an end to the Wars of the Roses. The civil service developed, parliaments became more permanent (albeit to collect grants and taxes). Parish registers were introduced. The secret service made its first appearance. The Tudor dynasty saw the end of territories in France and the start of an Atlantic empire. It was a time of discovery and exploration. John Cabot discovered Canada, John Hawkins developed the British aspect of the slave trade. Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe; he and others took enough treasure to pay off the national debt. Henry VIII can be considered as the father of the modern navy. Lipscomb, unlike Jones, did not go through the Tudor monarchs chronologically. Much was made of Henry VIII, his physical appearance – comparing the famous painting by Holbein with the comic book hero ‘superman’ in a similar pose. His military and chivalric identity was further enhanced at The Field of the Cloth of Gold. Although given the title ‘defender of the faith’ by the Pope, he broke with Rome – and no foreign ruler had authority over England, which was further enhanced by Elizabeth, and England was now a protestant entity. When the lectures were concluded a vote was taken to establish which dynasty the audience considered mattered the more. The Tudors had the majority. Dan Jones was asked why he decided to finish his book in 1399, as the Plantagenet dynasty went well beyond that date. The response was that there might well be another book. Incidentally, we noticed that the automatic voting system in the Bloody Tower indicated only a difference of 18,000 between Henry Tudor and Richard III being responsible for the ‘murder’ of the Princes, and over 33,000 people believed they were not murdered but disappeared. In conclusion, the lectures were an interesting insight into the important aspects of both dynasties, presented in two different styles, Dan Jones being the more engaging and lively, whereas Dr Lipscomb’s was perhaps more concerned with the popular image of the Tudors, especially in respect of her admiration of Henry VIII. But then, perhaps I am being a little bit partisan here.
Steve Green Book Review:
The Lady of the Rivers By Philippa Gregory Simon & Schuster, 2011. Hardback 493 pp. £18.99, ebook £17.09.
his is the third in Philippa Gregory’s series of novels about the Plantagenet women, and she here turns her attention to Jacquetta of Luxembourg, mother of Queen Elizabeth Woodville. Jacquetta’s first marriage, at 17, to the powerful but ageing duke of Bedford, gave her immense prestige if little love, but her second, a romantic, runaway liaison with Richard Woodville, her late husband’s chamberlain, was a true love match (for which they had to pay a fine of £1,000 to the king for marrying without permission). Their love story provides the background for the tale, the frequent long separations while Woodville is away on the king’s business punctuated by another of Jacquetta’s fourteen pregnancies. Against this personal story the reader is presented with the turbulent events of the period through Jacquetta’s eyes. Told in the first person and in the present tense, Gregory’s narrative technique means that her heroine has to be present at all the great events she describes, observing and commenting. It is certainly true that the little we know of Jacquetta’s life (records are scarce) indicates that she was a powerful and influential force at Henry VI’s court, particularly after she became the confidante and favourite of Margaret of Anjou, Henry’s wife. But the narrative device forces the 24
reader to accept her presence in the most unlikely, sometimes fantastical, situations. So, for example, we find her in the room when the king discovers his pregnant wife in Edmund Beaufort’s arms (p.290), the shock precipitating the onset of his mental illness, his withdrawal from the world: he becomes ‘… a lost king. He has lost his print upon the earth … his words are written on the water’ (p.367). Likewise, can we really accept that she would be at Towton, a lone woman standing in a gateway, with just one man to protect her, watching the aftermath of this appalling battle? ‘… so many men, so bedraggled in their livery or working clothes that I cannot tell one from another. It seems as if it will never end, this procession of men who have escaped death but are still bloodstained, and bruised, and wet with snow’ (p.483). However, these dramatic set pieces are always Gregory’s real strength as a writer, and her account of the capture, interrogation and ultimate burning of Joan of Arc in the opening chapters is both vivid and compelling. The difficulty with Jacquetta is that, although she was one of the most powerful noblewomen at Margaret’s court (and certainly used her influence to acquire privileges and wealth for her family, – who wouldn’t?) she had little real personal, long-term effect on the events of the time, in the way Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort had. And compared with her portrayal of these strong, vibrant characters, Gregory’s Jacquetta seems somehow pale and insubstantial, like the watery spirit Melusina from whom she claims descent.
Two new novels We have been sent details of the following novels by their authors:
Loyalty by Matthew Lewis (a member of the Society) Only available on Amazon at present, £7.20 for Kindle, £12.99 paperback Matthew tells us that the novel deals with ‘the events that shaped him [Richard III] and those around him, his relationships with his brothers which moulded him, with his son and wife who defined him, and with the friends who would remain loyal to him throughout. ... the book seeks to examine the effects of the events of the Wars of the Roses on the people of the time, and those people’s effects upon events. The strong personalities of the women of the time are also given room to share the highs and lows and to help shape them. The story is delivered by Sir Thomas More ... who is often credited with most heavily influencing Shakespeare’s King Richard III, to the painter Hans Holbein, a man renowned for his talent, in particular for hiding messages within his work. Thomas More will commission a family portrait, but the real picture will be hidden within it, a secret that could rock the fragile foundations of the delicate Tudor dynasty.’
On Summer Seas by Richard Unwin Available on Amazon (Amazon.co.uk) or via the author’s website: www.quoadultra.net Richard tells us that it is the first of a planned series set in the latter part of the Wars of the Roses, and ‘is, of course, pro-Ricardian’. It deals with the dramatic events of spring to autumn in 1471. Warwick the Kingmaker has placed Henry VI back on the throne as a puppet ruler. Then Edward IV returns from exile. ‘However, those who had driven him from England are not disposed to let him return. Several powerful armies, each larger than Edward’s ... oppose his tiny force. Aided only by his younger brother, the eighteen-year-old Richard, duke of Gloucester, and a few retainers and mercenaries, Edward will have to defeat them all ...’ ‘Laurence de la Halle, a young Breton armourer, has been sent by duke Francis II of Brittany to join Edward’s army, with the intention by his trade of getting close to the noble houses of England’. This is because Francis will need future English support against King Louis of France. 25
‘Though desperate to keep himself clear of battle, Laurence becomes reluctantly embroiled in the central conflict between the houses of York and Lancaster. Then he becomes enmeshed in the secret world of a London apothecary, who is also a spymaster, and becomes inescapably involved in more ways than one.’
. . . and a gazetteer Dr Michael Robin Ryan Jones has written to say that his book White Rose or Red? a gazetteer of the Wars of the Roses is now available via the Internet (lulu.com). There are two volumes of two books each totalling approximately 1,300 pages. It is available as an e-book (£15.99) or in hardback (which costs about £180 the pair).
Fifty Hidden Treasures The Bosworth Boar comes fifth During the week ending Sunday 22 July, ITV 1 showed a series of programmes in which several presenters, led by Bettany Hughes and Michael Buerk, showed fifty artefacts found in Britain over the last few years. Apparently, ‘hidden’ in this context meant that the items had been found by accident by members of the public, which makes the inclusion of the Bosworth boar interesting, since it was found during an organised search. As we know, the small silver boar, believed to have been lost by one of Richard III’s closest supporters at the battle of Bosworth, was found by the team investigating the new battlefield site, and the find caused quite a stir at the time. It was discussed by re-enactor Paul Parker, dressed in York livery, and Michael Portillo, who pointed out, amongst other things, the importance of the find as indicating that the site of the battle, which brought about a dynastic change on the throne of England, was probably two miles or so from where it was thought to have been. Out of the fifty treasures, the Bosworth boar came fifth, beaten by the Chalgrove Hoard at no. 4, the Staffordshire Hoard (3), the Ringlemere gold cup (2) and a 500,000-year-old flint handaxe, found at Happisburgh and the oldest flint tool in Britain, at no. 1. Distinguished company and not a bad placing for such a small, beautiful, but easily overlooked little pig. The Middleham Jewel, however, did not make it on to the list at all.
Sir Derek Jacobi’s Books A current fashion amongst photographers illustrating celebrity profile interviews in weekend colour supplements perfectly illustrates the truism ‘Books do furnish a room’ by posing the subjects in front of closely-stocked shelves, thereby giving the reader a chance to indulge in some pseudo-psycho-logical evaluation of their character and literary traits. Earlier this year, David Starkey’s study revealed nothing extraordinary, but the most recent interviewee, Sir Derek Jacobi (Sunday Telegraph Seven magazine 1 July) threw up an interesting Ricardian insight. Whether by accident or design, placed right above his head in the centre of the picture taken at his Primrose Hill home, was the unmistakeable purple spine and white lettering of Jeremy Potter’s biography Good King Richard (Constable 1983). Although probably more familiar for his role as Richard II, which he has played several times on stage, radio and TV, the actor is no stranger to Richard III, having played the part in tandem with Richard II at the Phoenix Theatre in 1988. Ten years previously, he had also read a ‘complete and unabridged’ Audio-book of The Daughter of Time, displaying his versatility by giving distinctive voices to all the characters. He also provided the narration for an audio-guide to Warwick Castle’s Kingmaker exhibition. Details of this, and all the other recordings mentioned, can be found in the catalogue of the Society’s A/V Library.
Geoffrey Wheeler 26
Media Retrospective members, as he says Richard III ‘almost certainly murdered’ his nephews – see below) with the headline ‘Sacre Bleu! Not content with strangling the City, those thieving Frenchies want to steal our Crown Jewels!’ of which the less said the better. The good people of Angers seem less than well-versed in their own history. It was in 1204 than Anjou ceased to belong to the English crown. When Richard I of England died in 1199, his brother John inherited his lands. Philip Augustus of France, to whom John owed homage for his French lands, summoned him to appear at his court in Paris in 1202 to answer complaints by the Lusignans of Poitou, whom John had accused of treason; John ‘failed to answer the summons, was adjudged contumacious and sentenced to the loss of his French lands’ [A.R. Poole, Domesday Book to Magna Carta, Oxford 1955, pp.380-1] Philip invested John’s nephew Arthur of Brittany with Brittany, Anjou, Maine, Touraine and Poitou; but John captured Geoffrey, who disappeared. Dissatisfaction spread, Philip mounted a successful campaign and (to cut a long story short) by midsummer 1204 the Channel Islands were all that remained in John’s hands of his cross-Channel lands. After 1204, the original AngevinPlantagenet succession was in real terms totally irrelevant to Anjou. Letter in The Daily Telegraph 20 July 2012 from Robert Sutherland-Smith of London: ‘... I think that Anjou belonged to the Plantagenets, rather than the reverse ... so, in accordance with the wishes of Henry V, who actually pawned his crown to fund a war to win back his stolen lands in France, Anjou could now happily reunite with our Crown Jewels by reverting to the Crown. The medieval Angevin empire could be revived. This would reduce Britain’s over-dependence on banking and bring down our debt-to-GDP ratio by increasing the latter ...’ While they are at it, perhaps we could have Eleanor’s Aquitaine back too?
Angevin claims John Saunders and Geoff Wheeler have found reports of a bizarre claim by the people of Angers, capital of Anjou in France, whose twelfth-century ruler Geoffrey was the father (by William the Conqueror’s granddaughter Matilda) of King Henry II of England, and thus the progenitor of the Angevin dynasty, which became the Plantagenet dynasty. (For a narrative of the stirring times of Geoffrey and Matilda, see Helen Castor’s She Wolves, Faber and Faber 2010.) The Angevins are asking the Queen to hand over the Crown Jewels. This is because the last legitimate heir in the male line of the Plantagenets, Edward of Warwick, son of George, duke of Clarence, was executed by Henry VII in 1499. Peter Allen in The Daily Telegraph (Monday 16 July 2012) says: ‘Recalling 25year-old Edward’s “unfair and horrible death” at the hands of henchmen working for Henry VII ..., the city believes it is owed an apology and 513 years’ worth of compensation ... but is prepared to accept the jewels to cover it. ... The petition, which has already been signed by hundreds of so-called sympathisers around France and other parts of the world, is directed at the Queen. It describes a “state crime” against a noble line that played a central role in making Britain great, and wants the jewels to be put on public display at the Saint Aubin tower in Angers.’ The petition will be delivered to the Queen at the beginning of September, when Angers celebrates an annual cultural festival, the Accroche-Coeurs, ‘in which street artists conjure up the city’s rich history’. According to the city’s website, the festival was started in 1999 and ‘is celebrated in an atmosphere of fairy tales, concerts, art exhibitions, street theatre, circus ...’ The theme for 2012 is ‘gens du Nord’, ‘people of the North’. The Daily Mail Online (under the tab Rightminds) for 16 July has an article by Nigel Jones, author of The Tower (Windmill Books, not a book highly regarded by 27
executed: ‘I bet he got mighty tanked up’. This is on BBC1 at prime time. Sit down and weep because the barbarians are no longer at the gate, they have taken the gate off its hinges and are eating lunch on the lawn. ... Serious history is shuffled away like an uncle with a dirty secret at a family party. History is now a big TV soap that’s all about character, about the little people who swept the hearth. .. Now is the time for television history to (re)assert itself, otherwise whole generations of kids will grow up thinking Richard III is some kind of film franchise.’
Dirty medieval fingerprints From Marilyn Garabet, Scotland The Times 21 April 2012: ‘Oh Lord, please look after me and to Hell with other people’, by Lindsay McIntosh. ‘Dr Kathryn Rudy used equipment favoured by photographers to measure the dirt imbedded in manuscripts from the late Middle Ages. Her finding suggest that the upper classes (the only ones able to afford books) had some of the same neuroses as modern times. They read prayers which they believed would protect them from illness and secure a happy afterlife. The prayers which remembered others were less popular.’ The project began when Dr Rudy noticed ‘that medieval books were caked in varying degrees of dirt along their margins ... books were printed on vellum, which naturally wants to snap shut, meaning readers would have to keep their fingers clamped to the page to keep them open.’ ‘People loved to read texts that give them indulgences. ... Favoured saints are Sebastian (prayed to as a protector from bubonic plague), Apollonia (sympathetic to toothache sufferers) and Christopher: if you looked at his image, you would still be around by nightfall.’
BAE’s ‘Operation Bosworth’ Daily Telegraph Business Section, 3 May 2012, by Graham Ruddick. ‘The chairman of BAE Systems has been forced to apologise after it emerged the operation to close the company’s factory in East Yorkshire was named after the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses. ‘Workers from the plant in Brough said the decision to call the closure Operation Bosworth was “disrespectful” ... The reference to Bosworth by BAE is alleged to relate to the fact that its Brough aerospace plant in Yorkshire would close while the company’s two aerospace sites in Lancashire would survive. ‘Dick Olver, BAE chairman, said: “I express regret it that name has caused concern. I apologise. ... Mr Olver was responding to a question by Brough worker Paul Bell. He said it was the first time he had been made aware of the name.’
Gimmicks in the Tower of London From Bill Featherstone, by email ‘The July History Today Book Choice was The Tower: an epic history of the Tower of London, by Nigel Jones. In answer to a question from the editor about how authentic the tourist experience was, Jones is quoted as saying, ‘On the one hand they try to avoid sensationalism ... but on the other there are some crass gimmicks ... in the Bloody Tower you get to press an electric button to vote on whether you think Richard III murdered the little princes or not (he did, by the way).’
Shakespeare’s Richard III is fiction From Geoff Wheeler The Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2012 Coventry University researchers have analysed various myths such as the Iliad and Beowulf and shown they depict real social networks, whereas works such as Richard III contain ‘tell-tale signs of being fictional, in that people are all connected with each other’.
Drowning in cheap history From Geoff Wheeler Alison Graham in Radio Times, 9-15 June ‘People, we are drowning in cheap history. Take National Treasures Live on BBC1: hairdresser Michael Douglas speculating on Charles I’s activities the night before he was
Quizzing Richard III Mrs C.J. Gait of Harrow, and Miss E. Theresa Egan of Caistor, have told us that The Dalesman of July 2012 contains a poem with that title by Tessa Nelson-Humphries 28
The Man Himself
Richard’s Wig GORDON SMITH
n the early years of the last century, the philosopher Bertrand Russell ran up against a logical problem: was the statement ‘The present king of France is bald’ true or false? Since France is a republic, the present king of France does not exist. In a puckish aside, Russell remarked, ‘Hegelians, who love a synthesis, will probably conclude he wears a wig’. The one king who attracts debate about truth and falsehood is Richard III. Neither the extreme traditionalist villain nor the extreme revisionist saint can really be considered an adequate portrayal. The quest for the real Richard, it seems, should therefore avoid both extremes. His alleged crimes can be reduced to the plausible ones, usually to his usurpation of the crown and the murder of his nephews. As the latter might best be regarded as not proven, we are left to concentrate on the events of April-June 1483. Here some revisionists seem prepared to admit that perhaps Richard as duke of Gloucester and protector aimed at the throne. We appear to have a possible synthesis involving moderate minds among both traditionalists and revisionists. But can such a synthesis be made consistent, and shall we find the real Richard, or a wig? The old traditionalist line was at least consistent. We would expect a villain who had murdered his way to within sight of the crown to seize it and kill his nephews and poison his wife. Unfortunately, in removing his other crimes, the moderate view renders Richard’s overall psychology inconsistent, because he is now being accused of a ruthlessness during April-June 1483 which he did not conclusively show before then or afterwards. Evidence for the events of these three months also looks inconsistent. We
immediately come up against the difficulty of deciding what happened on the death of Richard’s brother Edward IV on 9 April. The early accounts in Dominic Mancini and the Crowland Chronicle appear to cast doubt on the provision in the king’s will that appointed Richard protector to his son Edward V. The later one by Polydore Vergil tells us that Edward IV made Richard protector with unlimited power. Edward’s decision was relayed after his death to Richard by William, Lord Hastings. Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham, also contacted Richard. We would appear to have an alliance of Richard, Hastings and Buckingham against Edward’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville, and her family. On 30 April, Richard and Buckingham seized Edward V at Stony Stratford. Chronicles agree that the queen’s brother Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, conveniently met up with Richard and Buckingham, and got himself arrested. Yet chronicles disagree with each other, and with the geography of the area, about the whereabouts of Rivers and what he was doing. Similarly, chronicles agree that in June Richard, definitely made protector, beheaded Hastings to clear his own path to the throne. Yet chronicles disagree about the date of the Friday on which the execution took place. Are such inconsistencies important anyway? By having those between him and the throne declared ineligible, Richard got himself elected. He was thus clearly aiming for the crown, and tried to legitimise his usurpation. This was a convincing argument for his opponents, who finally removed him. The argument, however, is actually an assumption, in the light of which the inconsistencies can doubtless be explained away. But let us look at the evidence they provide. 29
after Rivers had arranged a rendezvous for Richard and Buckingham with Edward V at Northampton. We need some explanation of how Richard and Buckingham could have captured the king when the royal escort of 2,000 men was probably more than twice their combined forces, and when, while they both arrived at Northampton on 30 April, Edward V was at Stony Stratford. This looks like another snub, whch would tempt Richard and Buckingham down the road from Northampton to Stony Stratford. Along this road at Grafton Regis there was a Woodville manor, from which Rivers could have directed an ambush. Richard indeed claimed that Rivers and others were trying to kill him by ambush. Richard and Buckingham survived, and they arrested Rivers when they met him. In other words, Rivers was caught in the act. The assumption of the chronicles that he was arrested after he purposely met them implies the exact opposite of Richard’s accusation. We can explain the inconsistency of the accounts of events round Stony Stratford once we realise that the chroniclers or their original informants were trying to manufacture evidence to fit a false assumption. This suggests Richard’s claim is correct and the informants probably knew it was. It is consistent with Richard’s claim that Edward V was delivered into his hands because of the failed ambush. As he was a threat if he reached London, it is hardly surprising that the Woodvilles should think of eliminating him. When the unexpected news of the capture reached them, the cause of the Woodvilles collapsed and they bolted for sanctuary into Westminster Abbey. Richard and Buckingham entered London with about 500 men. The Council then confirmed Richard as protector, presumably with the powers willed by Edward IV, which Crowland later appears to admit. Richard hardly seems to have been in a powerful enough position to exercise such powers. his negotiations with the queen were protracted and inconclusive, but the delay would have allowed the Woodvilles time to rebuild their collapsed cause. By early June, Richard realised he was in danger, and on the 11th
The Council snubs Richard We start with the problem at the death of Edward IV. Either he made Richard protector or he did not. No source openly states that he did not, and it would have been irresponsible for Edward not to have made such a provision in his will, which mentions only Richard as protector. Because of their rivalry, the office could not be given to either the Woodvilles or Hastings. Richard, with his experience and loyalty, was the obvious choice. We must look elsewhere for the reason for doubt. Royal councils were not obliged to follow the will of a dead monarch, but usually reached some sort of compromise. Richard wrote to the Council commending himself as protector, but it decided that he was to be nominally the first among equals. This decision was, in effect, an uncompromising No. The Council could snub Richard because it was dominated by the Woodvilles, and apparently he could do little or nothing about it. As the Woodvilles were planning to crown Edward V once he arrived in London, Richard’s office as protector might last only a few days anyway. Largely from unwitting hints in Mancini, it has been conceded that the Woodvilles may have been trying to stage a coup of their own in April 1483. The ease with which the Woodvilles assumed control would suggest a general willingness to continue a previous status quo, but now without Edward IV’s power of restraint. The wish of the dying king to prevent this would have led him to try to intrude Richard with full powers, and the Council would have reacted unfavourably to the intrusion. Councillors who were possible informants of Mancini and Crowland would have known their decision was a reprehensible insult to the dead Edward IV. They could escape opprobrium by casting doubt on Edward’s willing Richard to be protector. Because he was not involved in the events of 1483 and did not understand their import, Vergil dealt with the matter quite straightforwardly. The weak position of Richard is acknowledged by those who believe that because of it he acted viciously and preemptively. He is assumed to have acted thus 30
sent for help against the queen to his powerbase in the North.
As with Stony Stratford, Richard’s claim of an assassination plot fits the facts, whereas the inconsistency in dating shows that the allegations of his opponents do not. After 13 June, Edward V was still in Richard’s hands and could still be crowned in Westminster Abbey, but his brother York was still in the abbey in sanctuary. Richard’s insistence on the release of York on 16 June would have ended any risk of York being crowned instead of Edward V. Interestingly, to justify crowning York would be to question the legitimacy of Edward V, and this could have blown open the problem of the invalidity of the secret marriage of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV, upon which Richard’s claim to the throne was based. Be that as it may, when the problem surfaced, Richard postponed the coronation and tried to postpone the meeting of Parliament by issuing writs of supersedeas, but it was too late to be practicable, and he stopped. Here Richard seems to be trying unsuccessfully to play for time rather than seizing the crown. Given the political insecurity after 13 June, the decision of what was virtually a Parliament plus the citizens of London to offer Richard the crown was the only viable option, and would have required no coercion. The Council rebuff and the assassination plots of Stony Stratford and 13 June were not only aimed at Richard as protector but were also a direct challenge to the wishes of Edward IV. Ironically, Richard’s opponents were responsible for these events, and the situation the events caused may have propelled Richard on to the throne. However, his acceptance of the crown allowed his opponents to attract support against him as a usurper, and bring about his eventual downfall. Nevertheless, in June 1483 his election was inevitable, and concealment and obvious ridiculing of Richard’s claim to the throne would lead us to suspect that his documented claim was substantially accurate. If this explanation of the course of events is correct, then we are not obliged to accept that Richard usurped the crown or planned to do so. We have seen that we cannot assume that the chronicles are a reliable source; indeed, as
The date of Hastings’ death On 16 June, the queen was induced to release her younger royal son Richard, duke of York, from sanctuary in Westminster Abbey to join his brother Edward V in the Tower of London. Crowland says that Hastings died on 13 June, the Friday before York’s release, and endows Richard with quasi-regal powers because the author needs to make his execution of Hastings on 11 June convincing as Richard’s bid for royal power. Others either choose 20 June, the Friday after York’s release, or omit the week entirely (the 20th thus becoming the 13th), dating subsequent events a week early. The effect of these latter two choices is to bring the date of the execution of Hastings close to that of Richard’s election. Before his election, Richard would be planning to take the throne, and Hastings as a threat to his plans had to be removed. The execution is therefore more plausible during this period than a week earlier. Independent evidence, however, points to 13 June being the correct date. Informants to chronicles other than Crowland could have realised this date made a Woodville-Hastings plot of assassination claimed by Richard look more likely. On 11 June Richard did not seem to realise that Hastings was involved, but a decision that Richard was to remain protector after Edward V’s coronation was something that Hastings could have really opposed as much as the Woodvilles. He may never strictly have been Richard’s ally. Hastings initially contacting Richard need only imply that he feared reprisals from the more powerful Woodvilles, and that Richard might provide the hoped-for counterweight. Sir Thomas More reveals that Hastings contacted the queen after Stony Stratford, and Vergil that he had a meeting in St Paul’s Cathedral with friends of Edward V to rescue the king. These events suggest that Hastings hoped to hold the balance of power, which would allow him to select the winning side, and this increasingly looked as if it was not going to be Richard. 31
an unreliable source, they can be seen to confirm Richard’s claims, which are consistent with the facts. His opponents contradict him with a counter-claim which they support with allegations inconsistent with the facts, which have found their way into our chronicles. Edward IV failed to plan adequately for the succession of his son Edward V and, in appointing his brother protector, he ensured Richard became the target for any other aspirants trying to take advantage of the weak position he bequeathed him. Richard could form no real alliances. We should therefore not be surprised at Hastings joining the Woodvilles, or at Buckingham being executed for his part in the rebellion planned for mid-October 1483 to kill Richard and rescue Edward V and York from the Tower. With the rumour that Richard had murdered his nephews in the Tower, the October rebellion seems to have started to fall apart. Buckingham could have used the rumour to take over the rebellion and try to become king. However, most of the rebels were fighting to restore Edward V to the throne, not to support the claims of Buckingham or Henry Tudor, and they are likely to have been discouraged by a rumour that would force such a change in their allegiance. Without the aid of Buckingham or Tudor, the restoration of Edward V was no longer feasible, and with the collapse of the
rebellion the rumour was assumed to be true, whether in fact Richard had murdered his nephews or not. They were forgotten when at Christmas 1483 Henry Tudor promised to marry their sister Elizabeth. Looking at Richard’s opponents, we can see the Woodvilles, Hastings, Buckingham and Henry Tudor, rathr than Richard, emerging as opportunistic power-grabbers. If Edward IV appointed him protector and his opponents inadvertently put him on the throne, it could be argued that Richard had had power thrust upon him. As there was no preconceived intention on Richard’s part to seize the throne, the ruthlessness of which he is accused lacks motivation. Once the accusation is removed, his overall psychology can be seen as consistent. On the contrary, Richard remained in a weak position which he could not resolve or, it seems, was ever likely to, given his persistent opponents who could influence sources. They could not admit that they were exploiting the political weakness following the death of Edward IV. They transferred that exploitation to Richard, and in effect created what Bertrand Russell would have called a ‘wig’, an improbable synthesis of two diametrically opposing versions of Richard’s character. It seems odd to worry about an imaginary hairpiece, but the real Richard is likely to elude us until we recognise the problem of his wig.
Arms of England Lapel Badge An enamelled lapel badge, 24 mm wide and 30 mm long, depicting the Arms of England as used by Richard III. These arms are: quarterly France modern and England, i.e. showing three golden fleurs-de-lys of France on a blue background, and three golden lions of England on a red background. Each badge is in a presentation box. Price £6.00. Postage UK £2.00, EU £3.00, RoW £3.50 Orders to our Sales Liaison Officer (details on back inside cover)
Researches into the Tower of London ANNETTE CARSON
he end of 2008 saw the publication of The White Tower,1 edited by Edward Impey, an important analysis of the findings of the White Tower Recording & Research Project, the most comprehensive research ever conducted into the fabric and development of the central keep of the Tower of London. In connection with research for my book, Richard III: The Maligned King,2 published the same year, Dr Impey kindly afforded me pre-publication access to some relevant sections of this work. My interest concerned the discovery in the Tower, in 1674, of some bones which were rather precipitately, and on no evidence at all, assumed to be those of Edward IV’s sons, Edward and Richard, popularly known as the ‘Princes in the Tower’. I was convinced that a proper understanding of the circumstances was crucial to evaluating the stories written about this discovery, reports of which had been usefully collated and published by Lawrence Tanner in 1934.3 But as soon as I saw Tanner’s accompanying plan of the Tower forebuilding, near which the bones were unearthed, I realised that it was both inaccurate and incomplete. Hence it became one of my special objectives to
provide for the first time an illustration showing the precise geography of where the discovery was made. Many people assisted in these researches, in particular Geoffrey Wheeler: thanks to his interest, I am now the proud owner of an extensive collection of images of the Tower from every century and all conceivable angles. Various experts at Historic Royal Palaces were consulted for information and plans, while Dr Geoffrey Parnell of the Royal Armouries offered his opinions about longvanished buildings, windows, doorways and staircases. Other professional friends –
architects and civil engineers – contributed expertise on staircases, foundations, building techniques, etc. This endeavour continued for four years, and you might think it was a huge amount of trouble for very little purpose. Nevertheless, I was absolutely determined that when writing of the Tower and any evidence relating to it, I would cite the most accurate information possible. The forebuilding mentioned above was a defensible, crenellated stone structure that was added in about 1200 to the solitary entrance to the White Tower at the western end of the south façade. It remained in place until its demolition in 1674, in the course of which the famous bones were discovered. The White Tower Recording & Research team produced a reasonably accurate estimation of its size and height, which until then was something I had had to calculate for myself. Fortunately my calculations agreed with theirs, and Lawrence Tanner’s proved as erroneous as I suspected. But it was not the forebuilding itself so much as the associated access stairs that were of interest, because it was under these – i.e. ‘the stairs leading to the Chapel in the White Tower’ – that the bones were reported to have been found. Looking at the White Tower today, with its timber staircase ranged across the south wall and ascending directly to the 20-ft high main entrance, what we see is a reproduction of the initial arrangement that existed pre1200. Impey’s book agrees that, when the forebuilding was added, the old timber access stairs were replaced by stone steps leading up to the forebuilding’s own entry door, most likely let into its east wall. The new stone stairway presumably ranged across the façade of the White Tower like the original timber staircase, culminating in a landing, with the last 7-8 steps inside the forebuilding.4 The next important architectural event was the opening up of a small doorway on the right of the forebuilding and a few feet lower. It was c. 1360 that one of the basement windows of the White Tower was converted into this small doorway, with a spiral
staircase ascending to the interior chapel of St John the Evangelist. Until then, there was no way of reaching the chapel directly from outside. Presumably this window was chosen for enlargement because it positioned the new doorway conveniently for access from the outdoor landing. The reports of 1674 stated that the bones were unearthed during a process of demolishing all structures adhering to the south façade of the White Tower, so it seems self-evident that the stairs under which they were found were the exterior stone staircase mentioned above. Nevertheless, a surprising amount of doubt and confusion still exists to this day, with commentators holding different opinions as to the exact location of the discovery: underneath the stairs, at the foot of the stairs, beside the stairs, under a nearby heap of rubble, or even inside the base of the staircase (i.e. where you might find an understair cupboard in modern houses). Regrettably, the Victorian authorities in charge of the Tower mounted a plaque inside the small doorway, suggesting – impossibly – that the bones were found under the interior spiral stairs which had been gouged out of the 13-15ft thick wall. Actually a report by one of the Tower’s own Lord Lieutenants proved the plaque to be in error when he described a mulberry tree planted on the site of the discovery outside the White Tower’s south wall. This has not deterred today’s authorities from placing under the plaque a framed copy of the dreadful Northcote engraving of the ‘burial’ of the boys,5 in keeping with the Tower’s main aim of feeding the public a diet of ghoulish tales, suitably embroidered. My researches revealed no authentic plan from the fifteenth century showing the forebuilding, stairs or any adjacent structures. Worse, there were a number of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century illustrations which indicated that the forebuilding had acquired at some point a slender turret at its south-east corner, depicted as either round or hexagonal. In commissioning an illustration, I had to exclude this turret owing to uncertainty as to its date and design. 34
Victorian plaque to mark ‘the stair under which the bones were found’ (but inside the doorway), and a copy of the Northcote engraving
Similar uncertainty also excluded any illustration of structures which had been built abutting the south wall of the White Tower, next to the forebuilding, at various times. These included living quarters for the constable around the later fourteenth century and, by 1508 on the same spot, a Jewel House to contain the crown jewels and regalia. It was clear that the stone staircase, as originally built ranging along the south wall, was incompatible with two consecutive buildings constructed in the same place. Discussing this with Dr Impey, he acknowledged that there probably had been a reorientation of the stairs. 6 The obvious solution was that they were moved 90 degrees and ranged forward, abutting the forebuilding’s east wall. In this position they could quite feasibly have remained unaltered 35
from, say, the fourteenth century until the seventeenth century when they were demolished. At the time of erecting the adjacent buildings they could have been enclosed, or more simply roofed over to create a covered way. On this basis my artist’s reconstruction of the forebuilding, stairs and small door of the 1360s was duly commissioned and is illustrated on p.33. It does not, of course, preclude some other stair arrangement, e.g. there is a suggestion in Impey (p.169) that the small doorway might have been accessed from the upper floor of the adjacent Jewel House. In practice this seems extremely unlikely, because after the Reformation the chapel was converted into a repository for state archives, so it was in constant use, as were the stairs that remained necessary to reach it. The Jewel House with its precious contents would have needed constantly guarding, so the idea of people traipsing through it with bundles of documents and pipe rolls does not really make sense. Impey speculates that access might alternatively have been via a spiral staircase housed inside the forebuilding’s slender turret. However, the primary purpose of any such staircase was to gain entry to the keep via the forebuilding, an awkward enough proposition on its own when you consider the apparel of the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries, especially that of ladies of the court, not to mention the constant traffic of guards bristling with arms and armour. To use it also to access the small side doorway and stairs to the chapel would necessitate the user climbing a spiral staircase inside a turret leading into the forebuilding, only to have to exit the forebuilding again and descend somehow to the lower doorway in the next bay along the south face. On balance the exterior stairs seem the obvious solution, especially as the 1674 remains were found underneath stairs leading to the chapel, not under stairs in a turret leading to the forebuilding. The various accounts of the discovery stated that the bones were unearthed at a
depth of ten feet. This would have been a remarkable depth for an interment (especially a secret one) in the fifteenth century, in an age when graves were routinely two or three feet deep at most. So the depth has been subject to query. Nevertheless the reports are utterly consistent, and include an account from the son of the great architect Sir Christopher Wren, who presumably would not make a mistake about something so elementary. There is, in any case, a simple explanation. When you look at the illustration you can see that the forebuilding rested on a deep plinth, necessary owing to the incline of the terrain as it fell away to the west and southwest. As confirmed to me by two civil engineers, when originally built its foundations would have gone right down to the very deep footings of the White Tower itself, to eliminate any possibility of subsidence or slippage relative to the Tower, which was sited not on rock but on a gravel terrace on the flood-plain of the Thames. The master mason in charge in 1674 also had orders to replace the demolished staircase with new exterior steps (substantially redesigned) so that state archives could still be transported to and from the chapel above. Therefore he would have instructed his men to dig down to expose the foundations in the area that had to accommodate the new staircase. Hence the excavation to a depth of ten feet or more. A final quibble must be addressed, and that is surface accumulation. To account for the bones being found ten feet deep, might the bodies have been buried at three or four feet in 1483, and then become covered with surface debris over the next 200 years? Enquiries of the authorities at Historic Royal Palaces have disposed of this suggestion, revealing that the ground surface in the fifteenth century was about 2ft 3in higher than in the thirteenth century. Extrapolating from this a build-up of roughly one foot per century, the burial depth in 1483 could have been scarcely shallower than about 8ft, still unaccountably deep. Viewed
another way, it would take six centuries to build up 6ft of deposit, making the latest possible burial year, ironically, not far off 1066 â€“ before the Tower of London was even built. Was it such a huge and suspicious coincidence that bones of children were found within the grounds of the ancient castle? Having pinpointed the location of the find, if we trace it back through time to the erection of the Tower, it can be seen that no part of the Norman structure was ever built over that spot prior to the stone stairs of the forebuilding. Looking further back before the Norman Conquest, fortifications in Roman and earlier times had always been placed on the firmer ground where the White Tower has its eastern extremity, not here at the southwest where the ground was soft and gravelly. Thus the site of the stone stairs that led to the chapel had previously been nothing but open ground, entirely suitable for use as a burial-place at any time during history or prehistory prior to the year 1200. I would suggest there is a very good chance, when the bones in the urn are eventually accurately dated, that they will be found to be more than a thousand years old. Notes 1. Edward Impey (ed.), The White Tower (Yale University Press, 2008). 2. Annette Carson, Richard III: The Maligned King (The History Press, 2008, 2012). The paperback editions contain relevant amend ments/ up d ates and a mo re comprehensive index. 3. Archaeologia LXXXIV, 1934. 4. Impey, p.87. 5. Photographed by Geoffrey Wheeler in March 2012. 6. Impey, pp.168-9: â€˜Certainly, from 1508 there could not have been a great entrance stair across the south face, though it may be that the Jewel House did not abut the forebuilding and so left room for a modified stair to the forebuilding in this areaâ€™ (my emphasis).
Papers from the Society’s session at Leeds IMC 2012
Making the most of miracles: political propaganda and the tomb of Henry VI LESLEY BOATWRIGHT
hen Henry VI died in the Tower in 1471, Edward IV caused him to be buried in Chertsey Abbey in Surrey. It was Richard III who thirteen years later, in 1484, had his body transferred to St George’s Chapel in Windsor. We don’t know why Richard had the body moved from Chertsey. By that time it was clear that some of the English regarded Henry as a saint, and stories about his miracles were in circulation. Note that Richard was bringing the body to a much more prestigious place. He can’t have been trying to cover up Henry’s new status and pretend that the miracles weren’t happening. We know that Henry VI was a very religious man, of the gentle, not fanatical sort. He was also an anointed king, and by his death he could be regarded as a martyr, especially by people who did not like the Yorkist kings. People equated him with the gentle Christ, who had also suffered undeservedly. As early as 1479, Archbishop Booth of York was castigating people who venerated Henry’s statue in York Minster and left offerings there. He said it was in contempt of the church, and an insult to King Edward IV.1 But by then Henry had become one of the Helpful Dead. There are two main points here. The first is that people have always wanted their own private line to the power of the divine, and for this most cultures have their Helpful Dead. In medieval Christian society, these were the saints. The other point is that by praying to King Henry you could also make a political statement about your opposition to current authority. There was a long history of this sort of cussedness in England. After Simon de Montfort was killed fighting against King Henry III at the battle of Evesham in 1265, he
began almost immediately to cure the sick – especially the high-status sick from the families who had supported him in life. Another parallel, of course, is Saint Thomas Becket. We know about the miracles credited to Henry from just one manuscript, now in the British Library.2 It dates to about 1500. The manuscript itself says the work was compiled from the depositions of the people who had experienced the miracles and reported them at Chertsey or Windsor. Some are dated, and some are not. Some are just given in summary, and others are worked up into great long accounts in full rhetorical Latin prose. There are 174 miracles in all in the manuscript, of which 23 are noted as proved. The compiler says that he has written a selection of ‘the more evident and more famous miracles’. There are marginal annotations in a later hand which refer to a process of investigation. The place-names are written out again in the margin by this later hand, and notes added, such as ‘proved’, ‘not found’, or more explicit notes, such as ‘true, but of no importance’. It seems that the miracles were investigated as part of an attempt officially to canonise Henry VI, and our manuscript was the working document used in this process. We know that Henry VII did open negotiations with the Pope about this, but dropped the idea in 1509 when he found at that the legal fees would cost a lot. The first dateable miracle in the manuscript took place on 31 August 1481 and was proved afterwards on investigation. A miller’s grandson, aged four, fell into the millstream at Westwell, ten miles from Canterbury, and was ‘drowned’. Grandfather 37
collected a crowd to help him, and they all stood round lamenting. ‘Then on a sudden someone chanced to mention the glorious King Henry, and soon they were all invoking his memory with one voice.’ Finally one man got down and fished the boy out with an iron hook. They laid him lifeless on the bank and began lamenting again, and calling on God and the Virgin Mary and King Henry – and of course the child breathed again. The miller was named Richard Queston, but the owner of the mill was one William Gootley, and he was the nephew and heir of William Iden, who died in 1472. The Iden family of Kent will be remembered most for Alexander Iden, who in 1450 killed Jack Cade, leader of a popular revolt against Henry. So there is a good loyal Lancastrian background for the first recorded miracle. Two pre-Bosworth miracles concern touching for the King’s Evil. The report of one is very politically slanted. Agnes Freman, of Church Honeybourne, was nine years old when a large tumour grew in her throat. Doctors proved useless – miracle narratives are very rude about doctors – but someone told her parents that the cause was the King’s Evil, and it could only be cured by the king’s help. However, they were unwilling to ask a favour of Richard III, whose usurpation – says the account – was now in its second year – and made various excuses. Then they heard about the miracles of King Henry and vowed a pilgrimage to him, and Agnes was cured within four days. So people in Kent and in Worcester with Lancastrian sympathies were publicly looking to Henry VI for healing and help under the Yorkist kings. There is a woodcut dating from about 1490 pasted into a fifteenth-century parchment Bible in the Bodleian Library.3 It shows Henry VI standing in front of his tomb at Windsor, with his rather fearsome antelope at his feet. At shoulder level, it is possible to make out a number of votive offerings, such as a sailing ship, a chain and fetters, a pair of crutches and a chap book. On the left, on a shelf, is the bottom half of a small nude statuette with a large circle just above its buttocks. These must be wax images
depicting Henry’s miracles. Nicholas Harpesfield, Archdeacon of Canterbury in the reign of Elizabeth I, described the offerings to Henry VI as including ‘sticks and crutches of all kinds, used by people who had been cured there ... there were also innumerable waxen images of various members of the human body – eyes, hands, feet, etc., models of the afflicted parts, which had been cured by the intercession of King Henry’.4 The Windsor monument had acquired an active life of its own, displaying the healing powers of King Henry. But was this always Lancastrian propaganda? Grouped round the king in the woodcut are eight kneeling figures. On the left, one woman is only shown as a long garment and a praying right hand. In front of her, at the back, is an old woman, muffled up to the chin. In front, a man clutching a halter round his neck.
The ‘hanged man’ and Henry VI’s antelope. All drawings are by Geoffrey Wheeler
On the right, there are two women who seem younger and perhaps more fashionably dressed than the woman on the left, but with no other attribute. Nearer to Henry kneels a man with a wrinkled face who has a spear in his throat – though he is not clutching it – indeed, his hands are raised in supplication. 38
Then there is another kneeling man, with shoulder-length hair, and a face with fewer lines, and what appear to be a fine pair of boots, equally taking no notice of the long arrow which is piercing him right through the chest – except to raise his hands in supplication (see p.46). Finally, a young woman in a somewhat complicated headcloth (it certainly isn’t a hennin), has her hands neatly together in prayer – or are they clutching at the dagger that is stuck in her throat?5 These eight figures, the three men and five women, must represent eight of the betterknown miracles of Henry VI. Who are they? I don’t think there’s any chance now of identifying the figures with no attributes. As to the men with the spear and the arrow, no miracle seems to match exactly, and the suggestion has been made that disease was seen symbolically as attacking like a sharp weapon, and that throws the field wide open. One of the most prominent figures of all is the woman with the dagger in her throat. We can identify her. She was Helen Barker, and she was the servant of a soap-boiler of London named John Ravenyng, and I wrote up her miracle in the Summer 2007 Bulletin. Ravenyng had missed some property and accused her of theft, making all sorts of horrid and unspecified threats against her. She ran upstairs to her room and slashed her throat from ear to ear. Then she regretted it – a bit late now, as the narrator remarks – thinking she was bound for the everlasting fires of hell as a suicide, and she prayed to King Henry. Her mistress, wondering why Helen didn’t come when she was called, went looking for her, and found her lying on the floor covered in blood. She and her sisters apparently wailed for about half an hour, then other people came up, and more prayers were said to King Henry – and Helen breathed again. At which point someone sent for a doctor. Helen made a full recovery within 20 days, and a week later went to Windsor and dedicated to King Henry the knife she had used to cut her throat. In our edition of the Logge Wills we have a testator named John Ravenyng.6 He is described as salter of London, and died in
February 1482. He left his son, John Ravenyng, ‘in money ten marks, a standing piece with a cover of silver, and my little cast vessel of brass with the lid belonging thereto, for soap-making’. As Helen gave thanks at Windsor, i.e. in or after 1484, her soapboiling master must have been our Logge testator’s son, John Ravenyng. What is very clear is that this was a much-talked about miracle, and here is Helen Barker kneeling at Henry’s feet to prove it. It was a London miracle, done in the house of a London tradesman – and it is worth noting that London was always Yorkist
Helen Barker, servant of John Ravenyng
in sympathy. Kneeling opposite her is one of the two men whom Henry VI saved from being hanged. Both these rescues are dated – both happened in 1484. The victim of one was Richard Beys of West Harptree, in Somerset, servant to the Stourton family, who was victimised by an enemy of the Stourtons and falsely accused of robbing a priest (no. 106). He was tried at Salisbury in February 1484. After his miracle he came to Windsor in a group of about 40 men, including two venerable priests, and then they all went off to give thanks at Walsingham. The second hanged man was an agricultural labourer 39
named Thomas Fullar, from Hammersmith in the parish of Fulham, who fell in with bad company and was accused of sheep-stealing at Cambridge (no. 40, July 1484). Fullar went and told his story at Chertsey when Henry was still buried there – on the very day before he was taken to Windsor, according to our ms. – and then for good measure he went to Windsor as well very soon afterwards and called together all the leading clergymen there and addressed them, which made a strong impression on them – so I should think, if Fullar really was an ag lab. Both these miracles are listed as proved. Both seem to have been marked by very public thanksgiving, which would have been well remembered. It isn’t possible to decide which man is depicted here – the one figure might well represent both – but it is worth noting that the Stourton family were Yorkists. Another pre-Bosworth miracle happened to Henry Walter. The scene of this narrative is the sea battles fought off Scarborough in the summer of 1484 against the French and Scots.7 The miracle narrative says – ‘A very famous soldier, Thomas Everingham, collected a fleet of many ships by the orders of King Richard III ... and setting out to sea braved those dreadful waters and hideous waves ... to check the audacity of some whom the said intruder upon the kingdom [that’s Richard] had reason to fear.’ This narrative puts the battle at Pentecost – Whit Sunday was 6 June in 1484. In the battle, a man named Henry Walter was shot through the body by a cannon ball. He is described as of Guildford, and a servant of Thomas Everingham. His wound festered to such an extent that his shipmates, who couldn’t stand the smell, put him adrift in a small boat. He stayed in it, awaiting death, for perhaps twelve days, but saw a vision just before dawn after his third night adrift. ‘One appeared to him, elegantly built and a pilgrim by his dress. He seemed to have a gown of blue velvet, and a yellow cap on his head, and a pilgrim’s scrip at his side. The dying man recognized him as King Henry. Then he looked the other way, and saw the holy martyr Erasmus He saw these visions on the next two nights as well, and cheered up a lot,
believing that they signified his recovery. Then, says the narrative, after eleven days the wind changed and he was blown into port, and taken to a hospital. The doctors wouldn’t treat him because they said he was dying, but then he prayed to Henry and Erasmus, and at once along came a surgeon who cut away the gangrened flesh on both sides and bound up the wound. The narrative adds the delightful detail that whenever people took off his bandages to clean the wound ‘whatever food he had taken that day showed itself there all undigested’. But in the end he recovered. When Henry’s body was taken from Chertsey to Windsor he wasn’t yet well enough to go on pilgrimage, but sent his sister to take a wax image of himself as an offering. In the end, he managed to get here to Windsor himself, and told his story, and let people see and feel his scars as corroboration. This story was verified by the Tudor investigators, so Henry Walter lived at least twenty years after his ordeal, and perhaps forty. Here is another pre-Bosworth miracle,
Wax image of Henry Walter of Guildford?
with a man who had fought for Richard III in his ships expressing gratitude to Henry VI and sending his wax image off to Windsor very soon after the translation of Henry’s body. A wax image of himself. Is it the image of a man with a big hole in his belly shown in the woodcut? Only six adult miracles were proved, and two of them were done for Yorkists, Richard Beys and Henry Walter. This is being orchestrated. Richard III brought the body to Windsor, and immediately there were high40
profile miracles being seen to be done for the supporters of York. I think Richard was trying to neutralise any Lancastrian propaganda concerning Henry’s miracles and perhaps even distance himself from Henry’s murder. It had been a terrible shock to Richard when many of his brother Edward’s household men joined in Buckingham’s revolt in the autumn of 1483 – was taking over the cult of Henry VI one of Richard’s ways of dealing with the opposition?
(entirely in Latin) by P.Grosjean, Henrici VI Angliae Regis Miracula Postuma (Brussels, 1935) and a selective one by Ronald Knox and Shane Leslie, The Miracles of King Henry VI, CUP, 1923. 3 MS Bod.277 fol.376v. 4 Gasquet, The Religious Life of King Henry VI, London, 1923, p.67. 5 See Ellen Ettinger, ‘Notes on a Woodcut Depicting King Henry VI Being Invoked as a Saint’, Folklore, vol.84, no.2 (Summer 1973) pp.115-9. 6 L. Boatwright, M. Habberjam and P.W. Hammond, eds, The Logge Register of Wills (Richard III Society, 2008), no. 33. 7 N. Pronay and J. Cox, The Crowland Chronicle Continuations 1459-1486 (Richard
Notes 1 Register of Laurence Booth, Archbishop of York, pp.172-3, quoted in Grosjean, p. 157. 2 MS BL Royal 13c, viii. There are two modern editions of this, a complete one
R v Walson: New light on a medieval mugging CHRISTOPHER WHITTICK
n 1925 L.F. Salzman published an account of miracles relating to Sussex drawn from several medieval hagiographies. The author was non-committal on the subject of the likely veracity of the stories and was able to advance evidence for the mere existence of only one participant. Over 25 years ago, when I was going through the ten years of King’s Bench plea rolls between 1485 and 1495, I was delighted to find ample corroboration for another case, and a Sussex one at that. I published an article in the county journal, and there the matter rested until it was picked up by Lesley Boatwright to such excellent effect. According to one of the miracle texts, on 1 November 1488 Dr William Edwards, vicar of Hollington near Hastings in East Sussex, was attacked by three of his parishioners. They extracted his tongue using wooden tools which were ‘in a strange and horrible shape, toothed like a saw’ and cut it out by the roots; they then blinded him by pricking his eyeballs
with pins. Edwards, taken for dead, miraculously revived to denounce his attackers, who were arrested and taken to prison. After he had vowed a pilgrimage to Windsor if cured, his speech and the sight of one eye were restored. The records of the court of King’s Bench contain details of the process against John Walson of Bexhill, called a labourer, which, though lacking some circumstantial details and any mention of the miraculous cure, leave little doubt that the events did take place; indeed the miracle text bears a remarkable similarity to the indictment. Those keen to bring the assailants to justice were perhaps fortunate to have Thomas Oxenbridge, not only a justice of the peace but a leading member of the London legal establishment, in residence at Brede Place not more than five miles from the scene of the outrage. He was named on all Sussex commissions of the peace between 1485 and 1493, regularly delivered the county’s 41
KB 9/403/19 indictment of John Walson of Bexhill for wounding William Edwards, vicar of Hollington
Miracle no. 8: how William Edwards, vicar of Hollington, recovered his sight and speech
indictments to Westminster in response to writs and was possibly the county’s custos rotulorum. Oxenbridge committed Walson to Guildford Castle gaol (which served Sussex as well as Surrey) on suspicion of felony only, since no indictment had yet been found against him. The Michaelmas sessions had already taken place – in the first week of October – and the next chance to do so would not occur until the second week of January 1489 at the Epiphany sessions. For reasons which at first sight seem difficult to understand, this opportunity was ignored and it was not until the Easter sessions, at Chichester on 27 April, that Walson was indicted. The facts alleged conform well with those of the miracle text – though of course the reverse must be the case. On the date given by the miracle text – 1 November 1488 – Walson and others unknown attacked Edwards at Hollington, pulled out his tongue cum diversis instrumentis ligneis ‘with various wooden implements’ and cut it out with a knife. They pricked his right eye with needles, leaving him almost without speech and blind in one eye. Furthermore, a coral rosary with silver gilt mounts, a gilt ring, a lace with a green silk tassel, a blood-red hatlace with gilt points, a knife inlaid with silver, a gilt earpick and toothpick, a black silk purse with fifty-two pearls and a small piece of gilt (worth £10 in all) and £5 17s 0d in cash were stolen during the assault. This robbery is not mentioned in the miracle text and may have been added as a direct result of
Edwards’s partial recovery. Apart from the appeal of mayhem, the common law had no concept of grievous bodily harm and disoculation and tongue-cutting had been made felony by statute only in 1404. Contemporary criminal lawyers however were expressing the opinion that the blinding of only one eye would not amount to statutory felony since sight was still possible; the same reasoning presumably applied to partiallyrecovered speech and perhaps it was also necessary for the eyes to be physically removed. The robbery was not subject to such jurisprudential problems. The Epiphany Quarter Sessions issued a writ of capias (arrest) returnable at the Lewes sessions three days later before a list of justices which included Thomas Oxenbridge. Somewhat surprisingly, the sheriff returned that he could not find Walson and so the process began which resulted in his outlawry at the county court at Chichester on 7 January 1490, reported to the Lewes sessions five days later. There was a good reason for the sheriff’s inability to produce Walson and for the suspect’s failure to appear at successive county courts to escape outlawry; he was no longer in the sheriff’s custody at Guildford. On Saturday 7 February 1489 a writ habeas corpus cum causa captionis had been sent to the gaoler, commanding him to produce Walson in chancery the following Wednesday with the reasons for his arrest; to concentrate the official’s mind, a penalty clause of £100 for failure to execute the writ was inserted. The writ was returned by William Shadet, 42
with an endorsement that the prisoner had been committed by Oxenbridge on suspicion of felony in Sussex; on his arrival at Westminster Walson was confined in the marshalsea of the court of king’s bench. The date of this writ makes it clear why no indictment had been found in January; there had not then been time to remove him out of the sheriff’s custody and an immediate trial in the county, with a good chance of acquittal, would have been the unavoidable outcome. Once the prisoner was safely out of the jurisdiction, however, an indictment could be found in the certain knowledge that the process upon it would lead ineluctably to outlawry. Walson’s position was parlous indeed; he had the unenviable choice of remaining in a disease-ridden prison far from home or volunteering to stand trial for a notorious crime, even of course presuming that he had the means to reverse the outlawry. When a list of prisoners in the marshal’s custody was drawn up on 5 June 1491 he was still among their number. Official interest stirred again on 21 November 1493 when a writ was sent to the Sussex justices ordering them to send up copies of any indictments pending against Walson by 20 January; not until 3 February 1495 was a copy of the 1489 indictment delivered, by none other than Thomas Oxenbridge. A further year and more passed until 6 May 1496, when Walson was brought to the bar of king’s bench, produced a writ of error dated 30 May 1495 and reversed the outlawry on the grounds that he had been confined at Southwark when the proclamations were being made at Chichester. He then pleaded not guilty to the felony and put himself upon a jury, which the sheriff of Sussex was ordered to produce in the next term. More delay followed as successive sheriffs failed to return writs until Trinity 1499 when a panel was returned; he was ordered to be at Westminster on 14 October and ‘by special grace’, almost eleven years after the offence of which he was accused, Walson was bailed to appear on the same day. When that day came, neither the defendant nor his bails appeared and the court again set in motion the process which led to
the outlawry of them all at a county court held at Lewes on 31 October 1521. It is of course impossible to say what had happened to Walson; were he dead, it would not have been difficult for the bails, a London gentleman and a Southwark yeoman, to have been discharged. Perhaps the court considered that over a decade’s imprisonment was sufficient punishment for his offence and was satisfied that the outlawry and the unanswered charge of felony would act in effect as a suspended sentence and encourage Walson to keep the peace in future. From that point on, he disappears from the record. There is no more definite evidence of the victim’s career either; his service as vicar of Hollington goes unnoticed in the bishops’ registers as does his degree in the published lists of university men. The citation of a William Edwards, rector of Chichester St Pancras, to appear at a visitation in 1521, where he remained incumbent in 1526, allow us to speculate that a less traumatic cure was found for the unfortunate priest; to the common law, almost thirty-three years after the assault, his attacker was still technically a wanted man. We may also speculate on the motives for the assault. Perhaps Edwards was the subject of xenophobic hostility as well as simple secular envy; the stolen goods were worth almost twice as much as the annual value of the benefice and it is possible that the parishioners regarded their priest as a foppish schoolman foisted upon them by the living’s patron John Clement, a non-resident prebendary of Hastings free chapel. The system of presentations by the prebendaries had been reviewed in 1480 as part of arbitrators’ award that altered the chapel’s constitution. The case brings home the reality of the common law doctrine of felony, the only penalty for which was death. In formal terms, imprisonment was not available as a sentence, and cases deemed to warrant a more lenient punishment required, of necessity, some manipulation of a system which advanced, albeit with its own peculiar rhythm, at a snail’s pace. On many occasions as a result, what appears on the face of the plea roll is little better than fiction; the reality has often to be sought in the parallel series of files, dirty, difficult to consult and 43
made available only relatively recently. Many of those who have ridiculed the inefficiency of medieval criminal justice have, it is submitted, taken the formal enrolments of the court of king’s bench too much at face value. Whether lawyers used these tactics, which they termed ‘policy’, in all criminal cases we do not yet know. Perhaps the Walson case was extraordinary; a foul and notorious crime, committed against a clergyman and within the sphere of influence of a local magnate who was also a member of the legal establishment. Until more similar cases are investigated using the whole archive of the court, we shall not know. In revisiting these records now, I am conscious of two developments which have taken place during the intervening thirty years. The first is our project to produce a modern edition of the entire miracle manuscript, BL Royal MS 13 C viii, and the preliminary work which Lesley has undertaken to investigate the circumstances of individual miracles. The second is the vast increase in the availability of both online lists of documents – chiefly the TNA catalogue and the Access to Archives website – and of images of many of the documents themselves via the AALT website.* A huge amount more work remains to be done, almost to the extent
that a collaborative project, with assistance from across the country, seems called for if the identities of everyone mentioned are to be investigated. These include the witnesses by whose testimony some of the miracles were proved. In the case of the events at Hollington in 1488, the three witnesses were Thomas Hayward, John Parminter and the victim, uniquely here called Doctor William Edwards. Trawling for such people in local as well as national records might help us to establish when the investigations took place and when the text was compiled. Although the manuscript has been attributed to 1528, three years earlier an Agnes Parmiter of Hollington, perhaps John’s widow, was assessed for the subsidy. And what of the annotator, who has added the location of each miracle in a distinctive and one might hope recognisable hand? We feel that with the new and powerful resources now available, we will be able to identify yet more of the cast – either the principal actors or those with merely walk-on parts – in the mini-dramas of which our document consists. * There will be an article about the AALT (Anglo-American Legal Tradition) website by Heather Falvey in the December Bulletin.
Miracles in everyday life: the ordinary and the miraculous HEATHER FALVEY The opening line of L. P. Hartley’s The GoBetween (1953) states ‘The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there’. In some respects, this is true of medieval England: so many aspects of daily life were different – such as communications, travel, employment, domestic spaces, hygiene standards. But in other respects, it is not true: the inhabitants of that foreign country were human beings like us, suffering illnesses, disfigurements, accidents and death; many
had loving friends and families. As a social historian I am interested in ordinary people and their everyday lives: the miracles of Henry VI are very significant as sources for medieval social history.1 Of course, sceptics both then and now would try to find a logical explanation for each miracle. Perhaps some of the dead who miraculously came back to life had simply fainted, or had concussion, or were in a coma. But to explain them away is irrelevant: the 44
friends and neighbours of the victim, and indeed often the victims themselves, had faith that King Henry would aid them. They called on him, promising to visit his tomb and there offer a coin – the most likely way to attract his interest and help. Many of the miraculés and their friends did indeed visit his tomb, initially at Chertsey and then at Windsor. There they gave statements about their experiences, which were subsequently written up by an unnamed monk in the manuscript now in the British Library.2 Knox and Leslie briefly analysed the ages of the miraculés. They observed that Henry VI ‘was claimed as the patron of the helpless, and especially the young’. 3 Of the 138 miracles for which we have a full record, 31 happened to children under 5, 24 to young people under 20. These miracles, accordingly, tell us a lot about childhood in late medieval England; and considering that the writer was a monk, his understanding of and acquaintance with the ways of family life, and of children in particular, are striking. I will consider various aspects of life (and death) displayed in his reports, and then look at three cases in more detail. Six-month-old George Trevagnes was put to sleep in a cradle, suspended from a roof beam so that it could be rocked easily (no.142).4 But instead of fastening the child in securely, his mother tied him in loosely round the chest with a linen cord, ‘of the sort that women use as ornamental girdles’. Consequently he wriggled out and hung strangled in the fastenings. According to the narrator, children of a year or so ‘can scarcely go along by leaning against forms or footstools, unless they go crawling rather than walking’. The mother of little Edmund Brown had been washing the clothes on Saturday, ready for Sunday (no.109). It was such a good drying day that she decided to wash the old kerchief that she was wearing as well. While she went in to change it, she left Edmund playing but he wandered off and fell in a pool of very dirty water – perhaps a cesspit? The compiler also noted wryly that ‘children love nothing better than swallowing things’.6 Miles Freebridge, scarcely nine
months old, was being carried in the arms of an older boy. He had been given a silver pilgrim badge of St Thomas of Canterbury to hold; ‘as is the way of such, he must put it in his mouth’ and swallowed it (no.113). Threeyear old Thomas Garat swallowed a brass pin (no.162). Agnes Devenish had a plum-stone stuck up her nostril for more than six months (no.94). And Richard Denys had stuck a bean in his ear when a child – and it remained there for 37 years (no.126). Water was particularly hazardous. A little serving maid, just seven years old, was sent to draw water from a well. ‘Managing her bucket rather carelessly’ (perhaps swinging it round and round) she suddenly lost her footing and fell in (no.161). The fifteenmonth-old son of Richard Woodward fell into a pool just outside his front door (no.115). Six -year-old John Bythewey was playing by the river with his three younger brothers, when he fell in – his feet were caught in some bushes and his head was under water (no.114). Children might play in dangerous places. Beatrice Shirley, aged three, was sitting under a large stack of firewood, playing with other children of the same age, when a huge trunk fell from the stack and pinned her to the ground. Her little playmates were horrified and ran to and fro in all directions, screaming wordlesssly (no.11). Joan Walran, home alone, was playing with the fastenings of a cellar door: two straps from a woman’s old satchel. Mischieviously Joan put her head through the straps as in a noose, and the door gave way, crashing inwards, taking her with it. She slipped from the top step, could not get a foothold anywhere and so hanged herself (no.55). There might also be accidents during the course of someone’s work. One-year-old Ann Plott was toddling about the streets, when a factor was driving a cart loaded with dung to manure the fields (no.111). The cart ran right over her, leaving her body shattered on the ground, as the narrator says ‘well-nigh as flat as a pancake’.7 When Thomas Paynston was taking a load of dung into the fields, the horses pulled in opposite directions and got their traces tangled. ‘Whereupon the boy lost his temper and beat the animals. When he 45
went between them to fix the harness, his angry shouts frightened the lead-horse, which took off and dragged the wagon over the boy.’ (no.24)8 Just as today, there were accidents, and accidental deaths, while people were participating in sports and games. At Marden (Kent) some boys were shooting arrows for sport. One ‘took an uncertain aim’ (i.e. he was a rotten shot), and hit four-year-old Thomas Fowle in the right eye (no.12). Needless to say, there was a footballing incident (no.91).9 Before relating the miracle the narrator thoroughly denigrates football: ‘A game, I say, pretty disgusting and, in my opinion at least, rowdier than any other type of game, more dishonourable too, and baser, one which rarely ends without some calamity, disaster or injury to those playing it.’ He then relates how William Bartram suffered a nasty personal injury during a game of football, being kicked in the genitals. In fact, the scribe seems to take great pride in this particular account for it is full of doubles entendres and suggestive plays on Latin words which Knox and Leslie modestly overlooked in their translation. Bartram’s experience was embellished by the narrator, but other dangers did not need to be spelled out, such as the destruction wrought by fire. One particular fire-related miracle provides a vivid picture of how an accidental fire might start, the panic that it might cause and how a miracle might ensue (no.54). One Sunday in late September, in Berkhamsted (Herts), some boys were burning peas and beans in straw to eat them rather charred (barbecued?). Carelessly they lit the fire too near William Hardford’s house, which caught light and was soon in danger of being utterly destroyed. William was out, but on seeing the fire in the distance he dashed home. Straightaway he snatched up a nearby ladder, but it was too short, scarcely reaching the roof. Anyway, he scrambled up, and on reaching the gutters, he crawled up the roof. When he got to the apex and tried to put out the violent flames, he overbalanced and began to plunge headlong. While almost toppling over the precipice,
into the midst of the flames, he suddenly remembered ‘that man of God’ (King Henry) and he sensed a certain invisible strength pulling him back and holding him strongly lest he should fall. Then he felt himself sliding back to the ladder, but it gave way as he slid and, as if thrown back by a great force, it threw him on to the ground about 24 feet away from the burnt house. Although severely shaken, not a single bone was even bruised. Shortly after, on Michaelmas Day, William, together with ‘no small crowd of neighbours’, visited Windsor to give thanks. Several plague victims were cured and the reports contain detailed descriptions of the passage of the disease. John Noble of Elstree (Herts) was one such sufferer who, going through the various phases of plague, had spent five weeks lying in bed and had become utterly wasted(no.147). On the last day he had lain there speechless; drawing no breath, as if totally lifeless. His household and his friends were present and besought the Almighty that he would either to take the departing soul within the bosom of his mercy or let him live a few more years. They also prayed that King Henry might give his support. Suddenly John was brought back to
John Noble of Elstree? Drawn by Geoffrey Wheeler
life in the sight of all, having regained his former health by the gift of supernatural grace. Ellen Ettlinger has suggested that the man transfixed with an arrow in the woodcut Lesley mentioned is John Noble, as no surviving miracle records this actual physical injury: the artist was endeavouring to ‘represent a miracle that everybody at the end of the fifteenth century could easily identify. Since ancient times the plague was likened to the shooting of arrows into the body’.10 It might be suggested that these miracles are simply stories; inventions to be used as moralising tales and to encourage the canonisation of a ‘political’ saint. Lesley has been trying to find some of the miraculés in other records, to prove their existence, so to speak. I have also found one: the rector of Bildeston, Sir Richard Swettock, who witnessed the wills of several testators from there.11 When he witnessed them he was perhaps in his middle age – he became rector in 1442. His name occurs eight times in the probate register of the archdeaconry of Sudbury as either executor or witness to Bildeston wills.12 When his miracle occurred he was a very old man: he probably died in 1491, having been rector for nearly 50 years (no.111).13 ‘This old and aged man finally became so deaf that he was completely unable to hear even the singing of the clergy, however near he stood, or, the sound itself of the pealing bells. This weakness grew more burdensome to him over the space of ten weeks and he was heartbroken because Lent was approaching, when a rector ought to watch with a special diligence over the healing of the weaknesses of his flock. He perceived that he was unfit for the exercising of this care … He took that man most blessed and beloved of God, King Henry, as his mediator and advocate, urging his prayer and adding that he would hasten even on foot to his holy shrine ... On the Sunday next coming, all that blockage of deafness was exchanged somehow for sharpness of hearing, and caused the man to be healthy and cheerful, so that he publicly acknowledged that never before had he by any means had a more effective use of that organ …’ Yes, the old priest may simply have been suffering
from a severe build-up of wax which subsequently dispersed; nevertheless he believed that his deafness was cured as a result of his prayers to King Henry and, even at his great age, travelled all the way to the tomb at Windsor to give thanks and record his miracle. Were these miraculés credulous? Perhaps. But their illnesses or accidents are not pure fabrications, however they may have been embellished by the narrator. And they were real people, as the wills of John Ravenyng and the Bildeston parishioners prove. The miracles of Henry VI are a valid, and fascinating, source for ordinary lives in late medieval England. Notes 1
R. Knox and S. Leslie, The Miracles of King Henry the Sixth (Cambridge, 1923). The miracle numbering is taken from their book. See also, Alison Hanham, ‘Henry VI and his miracles’, The Ricardian, vol. XII, no. 148 (March 2000), pp.638-652, 2 MS BL Royal 13c viii. 3 Knox and Leslie, p.26 4 Corrected by Hanham, p.645. 5 Hanham, p.645. 6 Knox and Leslie, p.164 7 ‘flat as a pancake’ in English, first appears in 1611 (OED). The Latin in the miracle text is corpusculum ... quassatum in modum fere placente planum. 8 quoting Hanham, p.649 9 translated (enjoyably) by Lesley Boatwright, who also translated the next two miracles. 10 Ellen Ettlinger, ‘Notes on a Woodcut depicting King Henry VI being invoked as a saint’, Folklore, 84: 2 (1973), pp.115-19, quotation from p.118. 11 See Bulletin, March 2010, pp.41, 42. 12 Peter Northeast (ed), Wills of the Archdeaconry of Sudbury 1439-1474, part I, 1439-1461 (Suffolk Records Society, vol. XLIV, 2011), nos 415n, 744, 1486; Northeast and Falvey (eds), Wills of the Archdeaconry of Sudbury, part II, 1461-1474, nos 284, 303, 431, 720 & 721 13 translated by Lesley Boatwright.
Riding forth to aspye for þe town PENELOPE LAWTON There was a short note by Lesley Boatwright in the June 2012 Bulletin about an item found by Penelope Lawton, one of the volunteers working on the Society’s Chronicle project: ‘Item paid, þe xviij day of August, to Thomas Hall ridyng forth to aspye for þe town afore þe feld, by þe Maires commaundment, etc. : vjs viijd.’1 Penelope has now sent us her further thoughts on the entry.
been away, how much was for horse hire and other expenses. 6s 8d (1 mark) was a ‘round sum’ in medieval accounting which could have been a ‘reward’ but again this would have been recorded as such. One detail which is given however, is that payment was made by the Mayor’s commandment. This is unusual: more usually the accounts detail what was paid for. Presumably the business in the course of which the expenditure was incurred would have been already agreed upon by the Town Council. So it may be that Thomas Hall was paid 6s 8d in advance to cover travelling expenses, rather than, as would be more usual, afterwards when he rendered his account, and, secondly, that it was something of last minute decision on the part of Mayor Thurland, to send him, rather than a matter planned and discussed in Council. Both of these could be reasons why Easingwold recorded that this payment was made by the Mayor's commandment. Easingwold states that Thomas Hall was sent ‘to aspye for þe town’. I think that this probably means that he was sent to bring back news of the outcome of the campaign. The city of York apparently sent a man for that purpose. ‘It was showed by diverse personnes, and especially John Sponer, send unto the feld of Redemore to bring tidinges frome the same to the Citie, that King Richard, late mercifully reigning ...’ The rest of the quote is well known, especially to Ricardians.5 Perhaps other towns also sent their ‘war correspondents’.
his occurs in the accounts of Richard Mellers and John Williamson, chamberlains of the town of Nottingham, from Michaelmas 1484 to 1485. The Chamberlains were responsible for making the payments, but the accounts were written up by Master William Easingwold, clerk to the mayor (Town Clerk) c.1478-1506.2 Master Easingwold was meticulous in recording precisely what payments were for, e.g.: ‘Item paid the xxvj day of November  for þe costes of a man and an horse ridyng to þe Recorder to cause hym to com speke wit the Maire and his bredern, þat he myght ride to þe Shireff of þe Shire for þe mater of Cornerwong etc.: xd.’ ‘Item paid the same tyme for þe costes of þe Recorder and iij men and iij horses beying here for the seid mater by þe space of a day and ij nyghtes [24-26 Feb 1485] as apperith by a byll hereto annexed: iijs jd.3 ‘Item paid þe same tyme, to Robert Nevyll, for lyke wyse bying of counsell wit the seid town in the seid Assise, and also for his hors mete, beside his rewarde: xs.4 In view of the level of detail with which Easingwold recorded items, it seems worthwhile to look closely at exactly what he has written concerning Thomas Hall. Comparison with the examples in the borough records, leads me to think that if Thomas Hall's spying had been done earlier and he was being paid for services already rendered, it would have been entered in a similar way to the above examples, detailing how many days he had
Notes 1 Records of the Borough of Nottingham, Archives of the Corporation of Nottingham, Vol. III, 1485–1547 (1885): Nottingham, Forman & Sons; London, Quaritch. p.238 2 op.cit. Introduction, pp. ix 3 op.cit., pp. 232-3 4 op.cit. p.235 5 York House Books 2-4, 169v. 48
Two Portraits of our Founder
wo paintings of our founder Dr Samuel Saxon Barton have recently been brought to the Societyâ€™s attention; we had previously been unaware of their existence. Saxon Barton, as he was usually known, was born in 1892 and lived most of his life in Liverpool. After service in the First World War he trained as an obstetrician and gynecologist, and became a Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. His practice was based in Liverpool and covered many parts of north Wales, including Llandudno. Saxon was a very keen amateur historian, an active member of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, and a convinced Ricardian. Together with a small group of friends he founded the Fellowship of the White Boar in 1924, which became the Richard III Society in 1959. Saxon was killed in a car crash in 1957 and, as reported in the last issue, is buried in St Nicholas Church, Halewood, Merseyside. The portrait of Saxon reproduced below was painted by the artist Mavis Blackburn, probably in the late 1940s. She was trained at the Liverpool School of Art, became an art teacher and throughout her life was an important member of various art groups in the North West. She died in 2005 and bequeathed her painting of Saxon Barton to the Williamson Gallery in Birkenhead. Unfortunately, the portrait is not on public display, and is in fact in a poor condition. We are investigating the possibility of having it restored and put on display, and we will keep members informed of developments here. The portrait is also featured on the BBCâ€™s Your Paintings website and can be accessed at: www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/dr-saxon-barton-18921957-obe-frsa-67617 The other painting was sold by the auctioneers Bonhams in 2008, and was painted by the artist George Herbert Buckingham Holland in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Unusually, it presents Saxon Barton operating on a patient, with a nurse and assistant in attendance; the operation probably took place at The War Memorial Hospital, Blaenau Festiniog. The painting is now in private hands and we do not have copyright permission to reproduce it here, but it can be viewed on line at: h t t p : / / w w w. a r c a d j a .c o m / a u c t i o n s / e n / ho lland _ geo rge_ herb ert_b uckin g ha m/ artist/13735/ If anyone is aware of other pictures or photographs of our founder we would be very interested to hear about them.
Dr Samuel Saxon Barton, OBE, FRSA (1892-1957), founder of the Richard III Society. Artist: Mavis Blackburn (1923-2005). Reproduced by kind permission of the Williamson Gallery, Birkenhead
Correspondence Will contributors please note that letters may be shortened or edited to conform to the standards of the Bulletin. The Bulletin is not responsible for the opinions expressed by contributors. further piece on their monuments, including the collateral branches.
Final words on the Minster Yorkist From Marcus Herbert, by email Following recent correspondence in the Bulletin between myself and Sally Badham regarding my article The Minster Yorkist etc. (The Ricardian, 2011), I am now able to refute beyond question her suggestion that the effigy represents Sir John Cheyne (d. 1467). On 3 July 1474 John Cheyne d. (1499), his mother Eleanor and brothers William, Robert, Roger, Alexander and Humphrey were granted a license to found a chantry in a chapel built by Eleanor’s father, Sir Robert Shottesbrooke (d. 1471), in the churchyard of All Saints, Faringdon, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire). The purpose of the chantry was to pray for the souls of the king, queen, prince of Wales, the founders, Sir Robert Shottesbrooke and Sir John Cheyne. In his Itinerary compiled in the years 1535-43 the antiquarian John Leland stated ‘in the chirch yard is a very fair chapelle of the Trinite made by on(e) Cheyny, buried ther in a high tumbe of marble: and ther is a cantuarie endowed. (Sir Thomas) Cheney Lord Warden of the 5. Portes now geveth it’. The chantry was suppressed in 1548 and had probably disappeared altogether by 1644. A comparison of his description of the Faringdon tomb with others in the Itinerary show that what Leland meant by a ‘high tumbe’ was an altar tomb with a canopy. He was wrong in attributing the building of the chapel to Cheyne but as the Shottesbrookes were of Berkshire it is clearly a case of Sir John predeceasing his wife and her having him interred in the chapel built by her father and where she probably intended herself to lie. I would be pleased to supply Ms Badham with details of all relevant sources upon request. I am continuing my research into the Cheyne family of Shurland, Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey, and I am currently writing a
Editor: we offered Sally Badham the opportunity to reply, and she sent us the following: From Sally Badham, by email May I offer Marcus Herbert my sincere congratulations on his latest important discovery of a lost monument at Faringdon to John Cheyne associated with the chantry discussed in his original article? I am afraid that it does not, as he suggest, totally refute the possibility that the Minster Yorkist is Sir John Cheyne (d. 1467). Recent research on church monuments has resulted in a growing corpus of examples of multiple commemoration in different churches of individuals, presumably to increase the likelihood of prayers being said for their souls. The record appears to have been held by Ralph Hamsterley (d. 1518), whose surviving brass at Oddington (Oxfordshire) was one of five monuments to him placed in different Oxfordshire churches. Sir John may therefore still have been buried and commemorated at Minster; indeed it would have been odd for him not to be buried in the church at the centre of his ancestral landholdings. What is needed to complete Mr Herbert’s case is documentary evidence that Cheyne was buried elsewhere. If anyone can unearth such information, I am sure that he can. Editor: this correspondence is now closed. The manor of Ampthill From James Petre, by email With regard to Rose Skuse’s statement (March 2012 Bulletin) that the manor of Ampthill was given to Sir Edmund Grey as a reward for his treachery at the battle of 50
Northampton, this was not in fact the case. He bought it, the transaction commencing well before the Wars of the Roses. The later ‘castle’ or grand house was built in the years after Agincourt by Sir John Cornwall, who purchased the Ampthill estate from the St Amand family. He married Elizabeth, sister of Henry IV, and wanted a residence ‘meet for his royal spouse’. Ralph, third Lord Cromwell, purchased the castle and estate in 1444. In June 1452 it was seized by Henry Holand, duke of Exeter, and Cromwell did not secure its return until 1454. Thereupon he sold the reversion to Edmund Grey, fourth Lord Grey of Ruthin, but the value of the castle and estate was so large that Grey had to pay in instalments. Cromwell died in 1456, but it was not until 1473 that Grey completed the payments and so finalised the purchase of Ampthill from Cromwell’s feoffees, although it is apparent that Grey had taken possession long before. Editor: James has just written a book on The Castles of Bedfordshire (published by Shaun Tyas). We understand that it will cost £19 including postage and packing – email firstname.lastname@example.org
ments, but I managed to attend the Bosworth commemoration for the first time last year, and the Members’ Day, and am looking forward to going again this year.
The Manners family From Pauline Harrison Pogmore, Sheffield. I have recently read and enjoyed John Ashdown-Hill’s Last Days of Richard III. The section on DNA I found fascinating. How right John is when he says that the Tudor kings took good care to see that the Plantagenet surname and all the males who carried it were exterminated. He then goes on to say the Somerset family are surviving descendants, although illegitimate. He is quite correct in this, but I always find it curious that one line of descendants with close links never seems to be mentioned. That family is the Manners family. This family is directly descended from Richard’s eldest sister, Anne, duchess of Exeter, and her only surviving child, Anne St Leger, and therefore shares a close relationship with Richard. Anne married George Manners, Lord Ros. Their eldest son Thomas was created earl of Rutland in June 1526. The descent of the earldom was not direct, several earls dying without male heirs. This meant that Thomas’s great-grandson John Manners (descended from Thomas’s son John and his wife Dorothy Vernon) eventually succeeded as eighth earl. His son, also John, was created duke of Rutland in 1703. This line continues today with the present eleventh duke, David Manners, residing at Belvoir Castle, and his brother Lord Edward Manners at Haddon Hall. The descendants of Thomas Manners, the first earl, continue in at least three other titled families. The present earl of Shaftesbury is descended from Thomas’s daughter Dorothy, the marquess of Exeter from his daughter Frances, and the marquess of Salisbury from his daughter Margaret. On a personal note, Haddon Hall, home of Lord Edward Manners, is a matter of fifteen minutes from my home. A few years ago, while taking a party of American Ricardians around Haddon, I mentioned the connection with Richard. I admit to being somewhat
Fotheringhay photographs From Dr Esther Ketskemety, by email I am writing to you regarding the request for names of people featured in the photographs of the Fotheringhay Christmas lunch published in the March Bulletin. The upper photograph on page 16 shows myself seated on the right (wearing glasses and with shoulder-length hair) with a very nice couple who I had met for the first time at the lunch. I think they were from a branch in Lincolnshire or Northamptonshire? [Ed.: Barry and Angela Edwards from Peterborough] This was the first time that I had attended the Fotheringhay service as I am quite a new member (I joined in October 2010) and went on my own as my husband was looking after our two-year-old daughter for the day. I would like to say how friendly everyone was, and how much I enjoyed the event. I do not often have the opportunity to attend meetings as I have family commit51
surprised when one of the stewards standing nearby announced, ‘I didn’t know that’. It seems that to most of the world in general the connection to the House of York has been forgotten or (worse) is unknown.
A real Richard III retainer’s badge From Gillian Worth, by email Geoffrey Wheeler’s article in the most recent Bulletin struck a strong chord with me. In 1980 I spent two days in York and during that time I visited the Museum, which in those days seemed very small and intimate. I asked one of the attendants whether they had any artefacts relating to Richard III. ‘Oh, yes,’ she replied, and disappeared for several minutes. She then appeared with something in her hand, and handed it to me. I was dumbstruck – it was a Richard III retainer’s badge, found at Middleham. I have never forgotten the experience of holding that badge and wonder whether anyone else has had that experience. That one was certainly no fake. My other unforgettable experience was when visiting Windsor Chapel with two American friends. We were looking at the stalls of all the holders of the Order of the Garter, and the attendant allowed me to sit in Richard III’s stall. I know exactly where it is – the first stall on the right when entering the chapel. Our American friends were very impressed. The Bulletin is a pleasure to read – most informative without being ‘heavy’.
Richard weeping at Anne’s funeral From Peggy Martin, by email Just in case no-one else has contacted you with reference to p.16 of the June Bulletin, with reference to Professor Michael Dobson’s programme notes to the production of Richard III at the Swan, Stratford-uponAvon, in which he says that Richard wept throughout Anne’s funeral, the source of this may be Caroline Halsted’s biography of Richard [Richard III, edition published by Alan Sutton 1977, first published 1844]. In vol. 2, p.397, footnote 2, she gives her source for Richard’s tears as Baker’s Chronicle, p.232. I have tracked down this chronicle: A Chronicle of the Kings of England from the time of the Roman’s Government to the death of King James the First, by Sir Richard Baker, kt (1588-1645), but have not yet had time to go to the Bodleian Library and look at it. Editor: according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Sir Richard Barker’s chronicle (written in the Fleet prison) was ‘lively, often but not excessively so, anecdotal’. Wikipedia remarks, ‘owing to numerous inaccuracies its historical value is very slight’ – a bit of pot and kettle here?
Richard is a respectable name From Stephen York, by email The article in June’s Bulletin about Jane Austen’s opinion of Richard reminded me of another passage in her work, which touches on the monarch’s later reputation. In the first chapter of Northanger Abbey, describing the family of the heroine Catherine Morland, Austen says, ‘Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard’. The point of the ‘though’ is that by the eighteenth century Richard was a very uncommon name among the English upper and middle classes, so much so as to give rise to comment when bestowed on the son of a respectable family. Richard had clearly been a very popular name at all levels of society in medieval England (as witness the survival of so many surnames based on it, from Richards and Richardson to Hicks, Higson, Hickson, Dixon, Dickens and so on), but its popularity
‘Bambi’ versus ‘superswine’ From Brian Wainwright, by email Geoffrey Wheeler’s most interesting article ‘Bambi versus Superswine’ (June 2012 Bulletin) prompts me to mention that the House of York had a two-fold claim to the Holland cognisance. Duchess Joan’s eldest sister, Alianore Holland, married Roger, earl of March, and so was the mother of Anne Mortimer and grandmother of Richard, duke of York. It was of course through Alianore, countess of March, that Edward IV and Richard III (along with many others living and dead) had descent from ‘the Fair Maid of Kent’. 52
must have dropped like a stone during the Tudor period. Possibly Richard lived on as a boy’s name among the rural poor, whose naming habits have always been more conservative than those of other sections of society. If Richard was indeed a name surviving mainly among farm labourers and the like, it would explain the term ‘a country hick’ (Hick being a diminutive of Richard, like Hodge for Roger and Hob for Robert); we associate this phrase nowadays with US usage, but it was already proverbial in England by the eighteenth century. By the 1800s, the effect of Richard III’s malign reputation must have been waning, because by 1900 it was the 23rd most chosen name for boys, and in 1950 stood at no. 20. Since then it has been in decline again – none of the lists of top 100 boys’ names for 2008 and 2011 that I consulted contain it.
recommend these books to anyone interested in Mary and Elizabeth Tudor and their times. The books are intriguing, chilling, and the story of the supposed unknown grandson of Perkin Warbeck entirely believable. If it hadn’t been for the mention of these books in the Bulletin I would not have known of their existence.
No roof should be without one From Janine Frances, Mildenhall, Suffolk
Primary and Secondary Sources From Shirley Stapley, Devon and Cornwall Branch When my eleven-year-old grandson James started secondary school last September, I asked him what period he was studying in history. To my surprise and delight, he said that the subject would be Richard III. He had to present evidence for both sides, that either Richard had killed the princes, or he had not. His conclusion was that he believed Richard was not guilty, and he gave his reasons. James was asked as well about the difference between a primary and a secondary source. I was amused when he wrote that an example of a primary source is when he asks his Nanny about World War II, because she had lived through it – however, when he asks her about Richard III she is a secondary source because she is a member of the Richard III Society and is not old enough to remember him herself.
I couldn’t resist sending you this photo of the weather-vane my clever husband made for me. Isn’t it absolutely perfect? No roof should be without one. I’m absolutely over the moon, as you can imagine. Editor: has anyone else any Ricardian weather-vanes or other house embellishments to tell us about?
‘A horse, a horse ...’ From Brenda Ruddock, Bishop Auckland Quite possibly I forgot to add an address label to the copy of the Saga crossword [June Bulletin, p. 25]. My apologies. What amazed me most about 22 across was that it was one of the first clues I solved. As I seldom get more than halfway with this crossword, I thought I had better wait for the February confirmation until I sent it in. Have you come across the Peter Maxwell books by M.J. Trow? They are more or less ordinary detective novels, but Maxwell is a history teacher who considers Richard ‘a much maligned king’, and rides a bicycle which he calls ‘White Surrey’.
The Warbeck trilogy From Jennifer Tidmarsh, via email I just wanted to thank you for the advertisement in the June Bulletin of the Warbeck trilogy of books by Karen MacLeod, available on Kindle at Amazon. I haven’t read such good fiction in many years and highly 53
Visit to Stratford-upon-Avon and Baddesley Clinton 12 May 2012
To the Manor Borne On Saturday 12 May a band of Ricardians set off from London on a two-part visit, this time through the lovely and historic county of Warwickshire. The first call was to Stratford-upon-Avon, which exuded a festive air, made even more so by the colourful bunting aflutter in the gently blowing breeze. Although it has both Roman and medieval foundations and from a Domesday manor developed into a thriving market town, Stratford’s fame these days rests mainly on that of its most illustrious son, William Shakespeare. The town is rich in Elizabethan-style architecture, with many examples of ‘black and white’ buildings. Among them, in the town itself, are several with links to the Shakespeare family: the house of his father, John (a prosperous businessman and town bailiff in 1568), where William was born, that served both as trade and domestic premises; New Place, to which Shakespeare retired in 1616 and of which only the foundations of the original medieval house remain. However, the site is occupied by Nash’s House (William’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Hall, married Thomas Nash) and a knot garden, which together make a charming setting; the Edward VI School, a timbered fifteenth-century building (adjoining the chapel of Holy Cross Guild), where he (probably) received his Latin-based, formal education. Mercifully, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust now cares for some of these, rescued from further acts of depredation by souvenir hunters. A pleasant walk along the river Avon brings us to the collegiate church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, the parish church. Situated in Old Town Road, away from the present town centre, its steeple dominates the skyline and the approach to it, through its grassy graveyard with pollarded trees and mellowing memorials, is impressive. The building is laid out on the Gothic ground plan: east-to-west axis, cruciform in shape with transepts, aisles, crossing and chancel. The internal effect is of light and loftiness from the lancet windows, especially those parts in the perpendicular style, i.e. chancel and clerestory. From Saxon times this church evolved into what we see today: some parts are thirteenthcentury (transepts, crossing and tower); other structures (arcades and nave) fourteenth-century. The archbishop of Canterbury (John de Stratforde) established a chantry chapel here (1331) dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury, thus its collegiate status. Outside the sanctuary stands the original, although damaged, font (recovered as a cistern), at which many parishioners, including Shakespeare, received their baptism (the present one in the nave is a Victorian copy.) Also here are the graves of William himself, of his wife Anne Hathaway, and several others of the family, all with plain incised stone slabs. In a niche on the south wall sits the semi-bust of Shakespeare, surrounded in marble and columns, cherubs above each side and the family coat of arms; in appearance balding, holding a quill and paper (tools of his trade), his hands resting on a rich embroidered, tasselled cushion. With schoolmasterly mien, the Latin text inscription underneath extolling his learned accomplishments, William seems to gaze down benignly on the scene before him. Then we travelled through more of this county’s delightful countryside for the next part of our cultural quest. On arrival, our driver successfully manoeuvring us through a (very) narrow lane (bravo!), there emerges from its seclusion the crenellated, towered and moated manor of Baddesley Clinton, which began from a Saxon settlement in the Forest of Arden. The Baddesley estate was part of the Hampton-in-Arden estate until c.1100. Then Roger de Mowbray bestowed it on Walter de Bisege, through the marriage of whose daughter to Sir Thomas de Clinton (1290), it took on the name that it bears to this day. John Brome bought it in 1438 and his son, Nicholas, inherited it (1483). Sir Edward Ferrers gained it on the death of Nicholas (1517) through marriage to John’s daughter Constance, and it remained in the Ferrers family until 1940. 54
Crossing a charming courtyard via the moat bridge, we pass through the entrance hall (formerly the Little Hall), its windows displaying heraldic glass, which commemorates a Ferrers/ White marriage (1582) plus similarly themed panels, and several family portraits. Other domestic offices are reminders of the staff hierarchy in a large establishment: butler’s pantry; servants’ hall and kitchen. However, it contains a reminder of the danger for this recusant family with its dangerous past, when Over the bridge to Baddesley Clinton manor Catholics needed to be very wary of the pursuivants who hunted for hidden (usually Jesuit missionary) priests. Situated in a corner, immediately over the sewer, is a priest’s hole, visible through a glass cover. The pièce de résistance in the great hall is its magnificent chimney centrepiece. Its dominant feature is a central shield of the family’s coat of arms; Ferrers in the first quarter, quarters 2, 3 and 4 displaying those of Brome, Stampden and White with other smaller shields spread around it. The dining room has a cosy feeling with warm-toned furniture and the overmantle’s fine carving and dominant Ferrers shield of arms and its stained glass heraldic windows and more family portraits. The table set with the dinner service (c.1825) and other tableware is very inviting. The drawing room, an addition c.1790, is typically Victorian in its decoration and furnishings but has a Baddesley Clinton kitchen: Tom Cooker, ‘family’ air to it since it was used by the ‘Quartet’.* Marian Mitchell, Elaine Robinson and The next bedroom has Elizabethan woodwork Rosemary Waxman panelling revealed after the removal of 15 coats of over-painting, the colour of its curtains reflected in its being appropriately named the Blue Room Bedroom. Next is the sacristy, formerly used for the celebrant at mass, its ceiling fifteenth-century. At the end of the room, now covered by a trapdoor, was the garderobe, used by the Jesuit escapers. Although modest by some standards (3,000 books), the library was formerly reputedly the place of a murder, with a stone surround fireplace and sixteenth-century wooden panels. There is a nice suggestion of immediacy about it, where the elegant desk has on it a pair of opened spectacles, teapot and just-used cup and saucer . The last owner, Thomas Ferrers-Walker, sold the house in 1980 to the Government, which handed it over to the National Trust, and the site opened to the public in 1982. Although this place has had its share of danger, mayhem and murder and over the centuries witnessed much change, it now rests, surrounded by the moat and lovely gardens, in peaceful solitude. Our thanks must go to the Visits Team, and Marian Mitchell in particular, for a visit that was both instructive and enjoyable – not forgetting our driver. * Edward Heneage Dering approached Lady Georgiana Chatterton for the hand of her niece, Rebecca, in marriage; she, being very deaf, thought it was for her and accepted and he, being very gentlemanly, did the honourable thing. Rebecca married Marmion Edward Ferrers and the four lived at Baddesley Clinton – the ‘Quartet’ And after the death of their respective spouses, Dering and Rebecca married.
Tom Wallis 55
Future Society Events Christmas at Fotheringhay Saturday 15 December 2012 It’s time to book your places for Christmas at Fotheringhay – old friends, a good lunch, the uplifting experience of the carol service – the Christmas season starts here. At 12.30 pm, there will be a buffet lunch in the village hall, which will include 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. We also hope that Kitty Bristow will hold one of her raffles. The carol service begins at 3 pm in the medieval church of St Mary and All Saints. It is similar in style to the Festival of Nine Lessons, and the music will again be led by the 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. Pick-up in Bromley at 8.15 am will be available for those who let me know. It will not surprise anyone, I’m sure, to learn that the costs have had to go up again this year. Everyone is aware of the relentless rise in food prices, but added to this is the increased cost of travel and I’m afraid the coach company have had to make a small increase in their charges. If you wish to take part (and who could not?), either by coach or using your own transport, please let me know as soon as possible which 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 will be as follows: a) £ 41.50 to cover cost of coach, lunch, choir, admin., etc. b) £ 23.00 for lunch, choir, admin., etc. I know some may think these costs seem a lot but they really are remarkably good value. As I’ve written before, if we were to pay what we should for the village hall, the meal and the choir, we would be adding another £15-£20 a head for this really wonderful day out. Think of it as lunch followed by a very fine concert, and it really doesn’t seem half as much. Please complete the coupon and return it to me with a cheque, endorsed ‘Fotheringhay’, as well as an SAE, as soon as possible. (Remember: no SAE, no reply – no reply, no place!) Contact details on the inside back cover. There is no problem with disabled access to the village hall or the church. Phil Stone
NORTH TO NEWCASTLE Thursday 11 July to Monday 15 July 2013 Newcastle upon Tyne is our destination for the 2013 long weekend. Places to be visited will include: Barnard, Raby, Prudhoe and Aydon Castles, Hadrian’s Wall, Lindisfarne and Flodden. We will stay at Jury’s Inn, just a few minutes from Newcastle station, where there is a choice of double/twin or single rooms. Four nights bed and breakfast, group train travel and coaches for day trips will cost in the region of £300 per person for sharing and £400 per person for a single room. Does this whet any appetites? Full details will be in the December Bulletin, but we would welcome advance notice of interest – get your name on the list first! Please contact Marian Mitchell, 20 Constance Close, Witham, Essex CM8 1XL. Tel: 01376 501984: Email: email@example.com.
AUSTRALASIAN CONVENTION 2013 The NSW Branch will be hosting the biennial Australasian Convention
‘Richard III: the Man behind the Myth’ Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July 2013
at Novotel, Darling Harbour, Sydney All members and friends of the Richard III Society are welcome. For further information and/or registration please contact the New South Wales Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s mark the 530th anniversary of Richard’s and Anne’s coronation with one big celebration! 57
The Richard 111 Society Worcestershire Branch Present 1985-2011
An Illustrated TALK by GEORGE GOODWIN Author of
FATAL COLOURS: Towton 1461 The tragic reign of Henry VI & Towton, England's most brutal battle
“The Wars of the Roses have attracted many historians; some deal in the technicalities of military strategy; some analyse structures of power; some chronicle the lives of the chief protagonists. Much rarer is the ability to combine all three – but Goodwin has pulled it off in this page-turning read.” Helen Castor, Sunday Telegraph
Saturday November 10 at 2.00 pm at HANLEY CASTLE HIGH SCHOOL Church End, Hanley Castle, Worcestershire WR8 0BL Just off M5/M50 south of Worcester Tickets £4 available from Pat Parminter, 53 Roden Ave, Kidderminster, Worcs DY10 2RE, Tel 01562 67264
Light refreshments will be available 58
The Barton Library An Addition to the Non-Fiction Books Library Walk Towton 1461: a visitor guide to battle-related sites by Helen Cox and Alan Stringer (Herstory Writing and Interpretation/York Publishing Services, 2012, paperback) This concise illustrated guide allows the reader to follow Edward, earl of March’s campaign for the crown from the first engagement at Mortimer’s Cross to the bloody climax at Towton on Palm Sunday 1461. Featured are Wigmore Castle and Mortimer’s Cross, St Albans, Ferrybridge and Dintingdale, the Crooked Billet and St Mary’s Chapel, Lead. Also included are the Towton Battlefield Trail, Dacre’s Cross and Bloody Meadow and All Saints’ Church, Dacre’s tomb and the Towton Monument, Saxton. An Addition to the Fiction Library Loyalty Binds Me by Joan Szechtman (Paperback 2011) The second book in a series featuring Richard III transported to the twenty-first century. His trip to Britain from Oregon is interrupted by the police, MI5, FBI and a tabloid reporter, all suspicious of his name (Richard Gloucestre), his identity and his intent regarding the current monarchy. News from the Non-Fiction Papers Librarian The work of re-cataloguing the Papers Library continues, and is now near completion, which means that it should not be too long before a new catalogue becomes available. In the meantime, new additions continue to be made. These are just three articles that have been acquired over the last quarter. The first two relate to traditions regarding the battles of the Wars of the Roses, and the last to one of Richard’s ministers: ‘Hall Place and the First Battle of St Albans, 22 May 1455’ by Gerard McSweeney (Herts Past and Present, 3rd Series, Issue No 6, Autumn 2005) This article offers a critical examination, based on local records, of the oft-cited claim that Hall Place, which until 1905 stood at the north end of St Peter’s Street, sheltered Henry VI both before and during the battle. ‘The Battle of Sandeford: Henry Tudor’s understanding of the meaning of Bosworth Field’ by Tim Thornton (Historical Research, Vol 78, No 201, 2005) Those members who attended the Bosworth Conference may recall Anne Curry remarking that Sandeford – the name given to the Battle of Bosworth in an early proclamation – and Gladsmuir – a name associated with the battle of Barnet – may not have been the names of places in the vicinity of these battles at all, but may rather have been plucked from the prophecies of Thomas the Rymer. Anyhow, this is the article that explains it all. ‘John Gunthorpe: Keeper of Richard III’s Privy Seal, Dean of Wells Cathedral’ by A. Compton Reeves (Viator, Vol 39, No 1, 2008) A detailed and fascinating biography of the man whom Richard chose to be his Keeper of the Privy Seal, despite a history of service to Elizabeth Woodville. Additions to the Audio Visual Library BBC4 tv ‘Metalworks: the Knight’s Tale’. The Wallace Collection’s Toby Capwell investigates the origins and evolution of the Greenwich Armouries, with visits to the lost site in London and 59
the medieval de Vere effigies at Bures, Suffolk. Amongst the experts interviewed are Philippa Gregory, Angus Patters (V&A), and Thom Richardson (Royal Armouries) on the Henry VIII armours, as well as Stuart Phyrr (Metropolitan Museum, New York), and the introduction of modern replica construction and engraving/etching techniques are demonstrated by armourer Jeff Wasson. Contact details for all the Librarians are on the inside back cover.
Branches and Groups West Surrey Group Report At our AGM in January, we had so many suggestions for our monthly meetings, we could have filled our 2013 meetings as well, and we nearly have. In February, twenty of us met in Holy Trinity church, Guildford, for a pre-matinee (and pre-book signing) talk by Alison Weir on ‘Richard III – The man and the myth’, ahead of the Guildford Shakespeare Company’s production of The Tragedy of Richard III. Ms Weir gave a robust presentation and was brave enough to stand up for questions at the end of it. The church made a marvellous theatre space, and the play performance, some of it in the round, was a tremendous blast of what theatre should be: engrossing, full-blooded and memorable. Indeed, murmurs of ‘Better than the Old Vic’ were heard from some of our group. At our March meeting, Matt Pinches, joint artistic/executive producer for the GSC (and the Duke of Clarence in the play), came to talk to us about the powerful female characters presented in Richard III, and also about what is entailed in putting on such a play in such a place, giving us a fascinating insights into how actors work, as well as the complexities of design, sound, lighting and fighting. In April, Jane Trump, from our neighbouring Thames Valley branch, met us in Tadworth to give us a talk on ‘Jane Shore: Fact and Fiction’. Members had numerous questions for Jane, and the afternoon developed into a very enjoyable discussion on various aspects of her talk Our May meeting took place in Ewelme, Oxfordshire, with a most interesting walk and guided tour by Professor Nigel Saul, in association with our local Surrey branch of the Historical Association. We saw (from the outside), a number of interesting historic buildings, including the school, and almshouses, established in 1437, by William de La Pole, the 1st duke of Suffolk, and his wife, Alice Chaucer. She and her father, Thomas, had been lords of the manor, and both are buried in the church of St Mary; she in a wonderfully overstated tomb, The village, its setting, its watercress stream, and the site of the vanished Ewelme Palace, where Alice and her father lived, together make the perfect vision of an English landscape. Some of us then travelled on, after lunch in a local pub, called Home Sweet Home , to the historic town of Wallingford, to visit the shops and castle, and have afternoon tea. Our June meeting was a visit to London, to the Victoria and Albert museum, where we were given a guided tour of the medieval and renaissance galleries, which were magnificent. After lunch in the museum’s restaurant, we spent rest of the day visiting other galleries in the museum. For our July meeting, we are planning to visit Chertsey, where one of the members of staff of the local museum will give us a talk on the history of the abbey, King Henry VI’s grave and the transfer of King Henry’s body to Windsor during the reign of Richard III, followed by a guided tour of the abbey ruins. In the afternoon, we will drive to Old Woking Palace, where the Friends of Old Woking Palace have very kindly agreed to give us a guided tour and a talk on its history. We would like to give a very warm welcome to Julie Roberts, Margaret Knight and Valerie Hall, who have joined our group this year. Gill Gibbins 60
Worcestershire Branch Report The Worcestershire Branch AGM was held this year on 14 April at Church House, Areley Kings. Two long-serving Committee members, Val Sibley, who had been secretary and treasurer, and Judith Sealey, who had served as librarian and chairman, retired, and were thanked for their unstinting support for the Branch and for the Society’s aims. Pat Parminter was re-elected as chairman with the remainder of the committee; Brenda and David Cox were elected as joint treasurers. Reports showed the Branch to be in good heart and financially stable. After the meeting, and refreshed by tea and cakes, members were able to examine Church House itself. Built in 1536, the building, recently and splendidly refurbished, was used for the brewing and selling of ale and subsequently as a stable, a barn, a school and a bier house. The building is jettied, which is unusual in the countryside, and has floors and window frames of English oak. Part of the ground floor has had the blue brick flooring reinstated; these bricks were discovered during the restoration and date from the time when the building was used as a stable. St Bartholomew’s church next door was mentioned in the twelfth century poem, the Brut by Layamon, who described himself as priest of Areley. His existence is recorded in an inscription on the base of the font, and there is a picture of him, dating from 1899, in the glass in a twelfthcentury window. In May the Branch made a chilly, but interesting and enjoyable, visit to the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. The relatively new exhibition and refurbished Visitor Centre has interactive displays, film clips, armour and maps, and also tells the story of the battle through the lives of four characters, Lord Stanley, a Norfolk archer, a young girl who lived at the White Boar inn in Leicester where Richard stayed the night before the battle and a French mercenary’s wife who was accompanying her husband. This man was injured and the treatment he received from the surgeon was explained. The information on the display boards certainly provoked discussions about accuracy and impartiality. After an excellent lunch in the Tythe Barn, members went outside where, in place of ‘Ambion Parva’, there was an encampment of Knights Templar and Knights Hospitallar and also a herbalist, all of whom gave most interesting short talks and were happy to discuss their roles. The visit concluded with a walk to the new sundial memorial and a discussion of how the ‘old’ battlefield fits Polydore Vergil’s description, the possible site identified by Michael K. Jones and the ‘new’ site. Returning via Dadlington, some of the group were spotted looking at the outside of St James’s church by the keyholder, who was happy to let them in. The requiem masses instituted by Henry VIII ceased in 1547, but there is an annual commemoration on the anniversary of the battle, so the slain are not forgotten. A small group of members visited Stokesay .Castle in Shropshire in June. Described by English Heritage as ‘the finest and best preserved fortified medieval manor house in England’, it looked superb and proved to be fascinating. And the planned picnic was enjoyed as it did not rain and the sun shone. The highlight of the autumn programme will be the lecture on 10 November by George Goodwin, author of Fatal Colours, the new and much praised book about the battle of Towton. The lecture is at 2 p.m. at Hanley Castle High School, Church End, Hanley Castle, Worcestershire WR8 0BL, just off the M5/M50 south of Worcester. All members of the Society will be most welcome to join us. Carol Southworth
Yorkshire Branch Report The Branch paid its now customary visit to Towton on Palm Sunday (1 April this year) for the commemoration of the terrible battle of March 1461. This year the weather was sunny and breezy, and our stallholders were variously able to spend time walking round the large living history encampment on the field by the barn and talking to some of the re-enactors taking part. We were much impressed by the standard of domestic comfort enjoyed by the captain of archers 61
and his wife. Our Branch stall featured quite a lot of new merchandise and we made good sales, enjoyed meeting the public and enrolled a new member. As usual, an arrangement of flowers by our secretary Pauline Pogmore was placed on behalf of the Branch by the Dacre Cross outside Towton village. In the next issue of this Bulletin we hope to report on our Arthur Cockerill Spring Lecture, due to be given on 28 April in York by David Baldwin, and also on our Middleham Study and Excursion Day on 9 June. Branch members should have received details of these events in their April Newsletters, and also via our website. The committee is very pleased to learn that the new site is doing very well, and in the first year at its present address visits to it have increased by an impressive rate. Our thanks as always to James Garton for managing the site so efficiently. We hope to hold our Branch Bosworth commemoration at Middleham church on Sunday 19 August at 2.00 p.m. and our Branch AGM in York on Saturday 1 September. Tea will be available at the AGM as usual, and a booking form will appear with our August Newsletter. The Branch is holding a dinner (medieval costume optional this year) in York on Saturday 29 September, to coincide with the Society AGM that day – if you would like a menu and booking form, please contact our secretary before 15 September. Angela Moreton
Change of contact details Keith Stenner writes that he has now retired, and therefore his previous email contact is no longer valid. He should be contacted at email@example.com Pauline Harrison Pogmore writes that her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org (not .com as previously shown in the Bulletin).
RICHARD III AND EAST ANGLIA A record of the proceedings of the Triennial Conference of the Richard III Society held at Queens’ College, Cambridge, 15-17 April 2005 Edited and with foreword by Livia Visser-Fuchs
Richard of Gloucester and his East Anglia Lands: Anne F. Sutton Friends and Foes: Richard III and the East Anglian Magnates: The Howard Family:
The de Vere Family and the House of York c.1440-1485: James Ross The Last Yorkist Rebellion? Henry VII and the Earl of Suffolk, 1499-1501: Sean Cunningham Socio-religious Gilds of the Middle Ages: David Dymond ‘As dear to him as the Trojans were to Hector’: Richard III and the University of Cambridge:
Anne F. Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs
MEMBERS’ PRICE £5.00 + p&p (UK £3.00, EU £5.50, rest of world £8.50) Available from Anne Sutton, 44 Guildhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1QF Please make cheques payable to The Richard III Society
New Members UK, 1 April to 30 June 2012 Mark Armstrong, Colchester Michael Butler-Knife, Mulberry Green, Essex Kitty Caisley, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Sebastian Carew Mills, Poulto, Glos Sue Crowhurst, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire Hilary & Andrew Dearing, Reading, Berks June Frith, Monks Risborough, Bucks Diane Gebbie, Milton Keynes, Bucks Edward Goodall, Reading, Berks Pamela & Martin Hargreaves, Northampton Peter & Susan Lawson, Leeds Susan Loudon, Manchester David Mansel, Horsham, West Sussex Mary O’Sullivan, London Sally Parker, Tadworth, Surrey Richard Postlethwaite, Castle Douglas Victoria Rabbitts, East Garston, Berks Duncan Rowe, Norwich Dominic Sewell, Whittlesey, Cambs Cynthia Spencer, Calne, Wilts Pamela Strong, Altrincham, Cheshire Rosemary Swabey, Shepton Mallet, Som Alan White, Redditch, Worcs
Overseas, 1 April to 30 June 2012 Sean Brophy, Philadelphia, USA Cynthia Gregan, Manly, NSW, Australia Angela Lowe-Van-Beek, The Hague, The Netherlands Bjorn Thorvinger, Lund, Sweden Nelleke Van’t Veer-Tazelaar, La Voorschoten, The Netherlands US Branch 1 April to 30 June 2012 George Batts, Jacksonville, Florida Carole Bell, Haddon Township, New Jersey Sandy Green, Colorado Springs, Colorado Karen Huisman, St Ignace, Michigan Christopher Koon, Columbia, South Carolina Eric Livingston, Walnut Creek, California Fred Manthal, Langhorne, Pennsylvania Sandra Martensen, Yakima, Washington Barbara Preheim, Palmdale, California
Recently Deceased Members Mr E.W. Coles, Acklam, Cleveland (joined before 1985) Michael Farrar, London (joined in 2010) Mr G. Hooper, Sutton Coldfield (joined in 1987) Joyce Shanks, North Hykeham, Lancs (joined in 2003) Harold Cadell Isolde Martyn writes: ‘The Sydney Branch are very sorry to report the death of Harold Cadell, a member of the Branch from its early days, and always stout in defending Richard III’s reputation. He was a courteous and well-read man, but in latter years age got the better of him and he could no longer come to meetings. Those who knew him will remember him as a kindly and quiet presence, with just that tad of flamboyance that was rather fun.’
Calendar We run a calendar of all forthcoming events notified to us for inclusion. If you are aware of any events of Ricardian interest, whether organised by the Society (Committee, Visits Committee, Research Committee, Branches/Groups, etc.) 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
2012 28-30 September Joint US-Canadian AGM and Conference, Toronto
Canadian Branch (see June Bulletin)
Membersâ€™ Day and AGM, York
Executive Committee (see pp. 3-6)
Excursion from York to Middleham
Visits Committee (see p.5)
Norfolk Branch Study Day
Norfolk Branch (see June Bulletin)
Talk by George Goodwin
Worcestershire Branch (see p.58)
Christmas at Fotheringhay
Chairman (see p.56 and centre-fold)
Research Committee (see p.8 and centre-fold)
North to Newcastle: 2013 long weekend
Visits Committee (see p.57)
Australasian Convention, Sydney
NSW Branch (see p.57)