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Archive for the tag “Richard III”

York Minster

Here is an interesting article on York Minster with some stunning photographs.

My Ricardian friends will find it easy to picture King Richard, Queen Anne and their small son, Edward, emerging through the massive doorway and pausing for a short while on the steps,  following the glorious ceremony  where  Edward was invested as Prince of Wales, before commencing their walk, in state procession, from the Minster with the crowned Queen holding Edward’s hand.  What a glorious day for York that was!

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Richard III – the musical

There has been attempt to write this already and some of the songs are available. The songwriter in question, who died during the process, was Anthony Newley, who would have been 86 today.

So how do they compare to other music on the subject?

Stanley and the Stanley Knife

They are sharp and good for purposes both fair and foul, and might even be handy for some back-stabbing (should one be of that disposition!)

What am I talking about? The Stanley Knife.

Jokes abound on certain medieval groups about these multi purpose knives being something that should have been invented by the two side-shifting, game-playing Stanley Bros of the 15thc…so I thought I would endeavour to find out if there was indeed a connection.

Here is what I’ve found…

A WILLIAM Stanley invented the Stanley Knife. No, not the one who Henry Tudor executed when he suggested Perkin Warbeck might be the ‘real deal’ but William Stanley, born in Islington in 1829. He was the son of a mechanic called John Stanley and was a descendant of  Thomas Stanley–not THAT particular Thomas Stanley, but the one who wrote The History of Philosophy in the 17th c. Author-philosopher Stanley was the son of Sir Thomas Stanley of Cumberlow, who—and this is where it gets interesting—happened to be the grandson of  yet another Thomas Stanley (they loved the name Thomas, those Stanleys! Doubting Thomases?), an illegitimate son of Edward Stanley, third Earl of Derby. Edward Stanley was the son of Thomas Stanley (that name again!) the 2nd Earl, who was, in turn, the son of George Stanley…you might also know George as Lord Strange, who was held at Bosworth by  Richard for  the good behaviour of his father, THE Thomas Stanley.

(The story goes that Stanley said Richard could go ahead and execute poor old George  because he ‘had other sons’; this may be purely mythical, however. Other falsehoods about Lord Strange is that he was a hapless innocent child held hostage by the nasty ‘baddie’ Richard—he was at least 24-25 at the time of Bosworth, and some sources list him as older still. A further interesting fact is that his wife Joan’s  mother Jacquetta was sister to Elizabeth Woodville.)

And so this leads us to George Stanley’s father, who was, of course, was Thomas the Trimmer, first Earl of Derby, step-father to Henry Tudor and husband of Margaret Beaufort–so yes, one could indeed say the Stanley Knife is connected to that slippery lord and his kin.

I expect Lord Stanley would have approved.

stanleyknife

More than one target for the Cairo dwellers?

21 September 1327 is the traditional date of death for Edward II at Berkeley Castle and various myths about it and his life have passed through these 690 years almost unquestioned. They are repeated by quite a few notable people without real evidence as well. If this sounds familiar, it is because certain individuals have made statements about Richard III over the years that either wasn’t based on any reliable source or contradicts the evidence that has gradually come to light thanks to the likes of Barrie Williams and John Ashdown-Hill. For some years, they have been referred to as “Cairo (or even Alexandria) dwellers”, because they are so far up the Nile.

Edward II has evidently attracted similar such posthumous adversaries – of which Channel Four’s series “Monarchy” referred to the most grisly myth of all. That this was presented by David Starkey demonstrates that both kings, and possibly several others, attract the same drastically over-simplifying detractors, whose followers appear to have closed

their minds at the age of about seven.

Here Kathryn Warner, who has gone some way towards showing Edward may well have survived his visit to Berkeley and died later elsewhere, demonstrates that a forty year-old footnote referred to a fictional part of a mis-dated document and was cited to fuel a new myth by someone either monumentally stupid OR … worse.

Similarly, here, Jacqueline Reiter shows that a book supposedly owned by John 2nd Earl of Chatham could not have been written until after his death.

A High Court privacy battle, but the Tate Modern’s extension still wins top award….

Tate Modern's viewing platform

The controversial Tate Modern extension has been named one of the buildings of the year by the Royal Institute of British Architects, despite the design provoking a High Court privacy battle.”

Hm, Richard’s centre in Leicester is another winner of this RIBA award—I wonder if his privacy could have been contested in the High court? Bet not.

 

Portraiture – including Richard – at Redgrave church’s latest history workshop….

Redgrave church

St Mary’s Church at Redgrave is hosting the event, called ‘People Power’, on September 30 from 10.30am-4pm, which will be led by lecturer Tania Harrington. 

June Shepherd, workshop organiser, said it would be the latest in a popular series of study days the church has run since 2007, covering everything from Richard III to First World War airmail.

She said: “From the start our team aimed at providing history lovers with something more meaty than an evening lecture, yet not as involving as a several-month course.

“An added interest is that the study days all take place inside a beautiful building which is itself historically important.”

Cost is £18, including a light lunch. To book, send SAE to Mrs J. Shepherd, Barn View, Chapel Lane, Botesdale IP22 1DT, with cheques made out to Redgrave Church Heritage Trust. 

http://www.edp24.co.uk/going-out/portraiture-to-come-into-focus-at-redgrave-church-s-latest-history-workshop-featuring-tania-harrington-1-5190789

 

The Bedingfield turncoat of Oxburgh Hall….

Oxburgh Hall - picture by Art Fund

Oxburgh Hall – picture by Art Fund

In this 2014 post mention was made of Sir Edmund Bedingfield of Oxburgh Hall, near King’s Lynn in Norfolk. He was a Yorkist-turned-Tudor supporter who, like the Stanleys and others, failed Richard III at Bosworth.

Sir Edmund was a Yorkist who benefited under Edward IV and Richard III (at the coronation of the latter, he was created a Knight of the Bath), but the ingrate signally withheld support at Bosworth. By 1487 Bedingfield was very cosy indeed with Henry Tudor, playing host to him—and Elizabeth of York, Margaret Beaufort and the Earl of Oxford—at Oxburgh Hall at Easter 1487. I trust it stretched the Bedingfield finances to breaking point! The traitorous fellow then turned out for Henry at the Battle of Stoke Field, fighting under John de Vere, Earl of Oxford. After the battle, Bedingfield was made a knight banneret.

A rather handsome Henry VII

A rather handsome Henry VII from the Oxburgh Hall National Trust website

So, what conclusion are we to draw from all this? That Bedingfield was a staunch supporter of Edward IV, but did not agree with Richard III’s claim to the throne? He probably believed the rumours that Richard had done away with Edward IV’s two sons, and so went over the wall into the Tudor camp. One imagines he would subsequently have been very much under Henry’s eye, because that suspicious king very sensibly did not trust anyone who changed sides. Nevertheless Bedingfield prospered under the Tudors, as did his descendants, until their Catholicism got in the way under Elizabeth. Although that queen did honour Oxburgh with her presence in 1578.

Let us return to Easter 1487 (in April that year) and the royal visit to Oxburgh, which house, incidentally had been built after Edward IV granted Bedingfield a licence in 1482. Unusually, the chosen material was red brick, a very costly option at that time. Bedingfield’s gratitude can be seen in the numerous Yorkist falcon-and-fetterlock badges throughout the house, where Edward’s licence is on display. No doubt Bedingfield was especially honoured to have Elizabeth of York beneath his roof, because (in the absence of her brothers) he undoubtedly regarded her as the true heir of Edward IV.

falcon and fetterlock

According to Bedingfield family tradition, the king and queen did not lodge in the main house, but in the noble gatehouse, which has remained virtually unchanged since it was first built. Henry and his Yorkist queen would recognized everything about it were they to return now, and so would Elizabeth I.

Oxburgh Hall - 1482

According to a very detailed description in Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales, 1300-1500 by Anthony Emery:

“The gatehouse is a tall, three-storeyed block with dominating half octagonal frontal towers. The latter are divided by seven tiers of sunk panels decorated with triplets of cusped arches surmounted by a battlemented head on blind machiolations. The four-centred entry arch with double relieving arches is closed by the original pair of oak doors. The four-light window above has a stepped transom with a three-light transomed window at second-floor level. The whole is spanned by an open-machiolated arch supporting a line of blind cusped arcading and crow-stepped parapet.

“The gatehouse is a subtly modulated composition. Ashlar stonework was chosen for the central windows but brick for those in the towers with open cinquefoil lights in the stair tower and uncusped single lights with brick labels to the closets in the east tower. Contrasting chevron brickwork is used over the principal window but a single line of yellow brick surmounts that above. Though blind arcading was a common enough tower decoration at the time—as at Buckden, Gainsborough Old Hall and Hadleigh Deanery—the height of the Oxburgh towers is emphasized by the diminishing elevation of the embracing panels of brickwork. The east tower has loopholes at ground level with two quatrefoils above set in blind recesses withy two-centred heads, whereas the side faces of the stair tower at all stages have quatrefoils set in square frames. The entrance position is curious, for its hood is cut by the west tower and the head stop has had to be turned as though it was purposed to be in line with the hall porch on the opposite side of the courtyard, though this still lay a little to the right as the gatehouse does to the whole north frontage.”

Yes, a very detailed description, and (to the likes of me) somewhat confusing, so here are two photographs of the gatehouse, which will perhaps make Emery’s words easier to follow. The first one is of the external approach, while the one below it is a view of the gatehouse from within the courtyard.

Gatehouse at Oxburgh - approach from outside

Gatehouse at Oxburgh from courtyard - from Tour Norfolk

In the illustration below, of the gatehouse chamber known as the King’s Room, I fear that according to the National Trust, it is something of a misnomer. It is not the room in which Henry slept, nor is it the bed, which is 1675. I have not been able to find anything to identify the actual room. All we know is that the bed in which Henry rested his head was described in the 1533 will of Edmund’s son and heir, another Edmund, as being covered with “…a fustian [wool or cotton fabric] covering or red and green sarsnet [silk] unicorns and scallop shells.”

The King's Room at Oxburgh Hall

The illustration below is of the Queen’s Room, which does appear to be the one in which Elizabeth of York slept. The two figures represent Henry and Elizabeth. Not sure about the accuracy if the 15th-century television.

Queen's Room - with Henry and Elizabeth

Oxburgh Hall is a very beautiful old house set in a moat, and is a great testament to the taste of Sir Edmund Bedingfield. But for those who believe Richard III was rightly the King of England, it is necessary to overlook the fellow’s Judas tendencies.

Bedingfield arms

Bedingfield

 

 

 

Richard’s in the driving seat….!

the-last-plantagenet-1

I can’t agree that Leicester is shamelessly “milking” Richard III for all he’s worth. On the contrary, it seems to me that it’s Richard in the driving seat, and Leicester is having to rush around to keep up with him! Not that Leicester is complaining. Why should they? Richard was an excellent king who knew what he was doing, so of course they bow to his commands! I would too.

The above comments were inspired by this article.

Wetherspoons now have two hostelries named after Richard, the other being The Lord High Constable of England, in my home city of Gloucester. Come on Wetherspoons, York, why not a Duke of Gloucester? Or a Good King Richard?

The menu at Wetherspoons, Gloucester Docks.

To see a list of all Wetherspoons, go here.

 

The story of Richard and Francis as children….

I was there - Richard III

This fictional tale for younger readers, by Stuart Hill, relates the story of the young Richard III and his lifelong friend Francis Lovell when, as boys, they trained to be knights at the castle of the Earl of Warwick, now known as the “Kingmaker”.

I’m told it’s a charming story that introduces a new young audience to what life could be like back in the 15th century. If you have children of the right age, or little relatives and friends, it might be an excellent way to show them our history.

It’s one of a series of books called “I Was There”, so you can pick your period. But you WILL begin with Richard, right?

Available on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com etc.

 

 

 

Richard III and a hansom cab….?

Atkins Building

The following is taken from the site to which there is a link below. I am posting it because among the exhibits will be items concerning Richard III and Bosworth:-

The iconic Hansom Cab will return to its ‘hometown’ as part of the National Heritage Open Days celebration.

The two-passenger horse-drawn carriage will be back in action on Saturday September 9 with town dignitaries being taken for a spin and the public invited to admire its restored splendour.

Developed and tested by Joseph Hansom in Hinckley and patented in 1834, the Hansom cab went on to become one of the most popular forms of transport during the 1800s.

hansom cab

This example, which once graced the entrance to the Hinckley Island Hotel, has been fully restored and remains in the custody of the restorer until a suitable site to house it can be found in the town.

Long-term plans are likely to see it put on show at Hinckley and District Museum but fundraising to create an extension to accommodate it needs to be completed first.

The cab is not the only historical attraction to command attention on the day. Several listed buildings not usually operating a full-time ‘open door’ policy will be available for the public to tour.

These include the Atkins Building, Hinckley and District Museum, Hinckley Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel, St Peter’s Church in Thornton as well as the Hinckley Masonic Hall.

A special history display will be mounted in Hinckley Market Place, with information from the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, local history group Hinckley District Past and Present and also historian Greg Drozdz. Greg will also be leading a walk dedicated to Hinckley’s literary heritage.

The celebration also coincides with the 50th anniversary of conservation areas and a special display will be held within the Market Place.

Borough Councillor Stan Rooney, said: “Having a Hansom cab return to the streets of Hinckley will be a wonderful sight and showcase the heritage that this town has to offer.

“The Hansom cab is an asset to the town and long may we continue to celebrate the fact it was developed here. I am very excited to see the cab in action.”

Hinckley Masonic Hall on St Mary’s Road, will be open on Saturday September 9 from 10am to 3pm to allow visitors access to the Masonic Lodge rooms and lean about the 300th anniversary of Freemasonry and the history of the Hinckley lodges.

Greg Drozdz’s literary themed walk takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday September 9.

Grade I-listed medieval church, St Peter’s at Thornton will be open from 10am to 6pm on Saturday September 9 and from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday September 10.

The museum, Atkins Building and Unitarian Chapel form the focus of a guided walk which starts at 10.30am on Saturday September 9.

Beginning at the museum on Lower Bond Street the tour moves across the road to what was once one of the largest hosiery factories in the world then turns up Baines Lane to visit the Great Meeting Chapel with its links to the Atkins family revealed.

Refreshments will be available at all three venues. The Atkins Building offers full wheelchair access and there is partial wheelchair access available at the other two sites. To book a place email info@atkinsbuilding.co.uk or call Hinckley 247070.

■ For further heritage insight Hinckley and District Museum will be free to visitors on Friday and Saturday September 8 and 9 from 10am to 4pm and Sunday September 10 from 2pm to 5pm.

The thatched former frame-work knitters cottages date from the 1680s and feature exhibits on early stoking making, Romans, local brewing, both the First and the Second World War and of course Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth.

The 1722 Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel will be open for visitors on Saturday September 9 from 10am to 4pm.

“The iconic Hansom Cab will return to its ‘hometown’ as part of the National Heritage Open Days celebration.

“The two-passenger horse-drawn carriage will be back in action on Saturday September 9 with town dignitaries being taken for a spin and the public invited to admire its restored splendour.”

http://www.hinckleytimes.net/news/local-news/heritage-delights-hansom-cab-returns-13549184

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