Recently I came across these two roundels from a late medieval manuscript, held in the John Rylands Library, which depict Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville seated on thrones, crowned and holding their sceptres. These two miniatures are extremely colourful even after the intervening 500 + years and hold lots of interesting details, including, in the background a castle, a cathedral and a boat.

Although these small illuminations are not mean to to be portraits of the people depicted, I did note the slightly rounded (okay, double!) chin of Edward, which I thought looked rather familiar. I then realised it reminded me strongly of the carved head of Edward on the chancel arch of St Mary’s Church, at Barnard Castle opposite the rougher-hewn carving of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who almost certainly had them placed there.


Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville:


Stone corbel in St Mary’s Church, Barnard Castle.

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