Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.
I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.
Thinking of visiting Oxford?
Allow me to be your guide... and discover the history of Oxford with an Oxford historian.
I offer a wide range of guided walks around the city and university. These can be a general introduction to the history and architecture or looking at specific themes and subjects.
I am a Catholic and a historian based in Oxford, where I am a member of Oriel College. My research, for a long delayed D.Phil., is a study of Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln in the second decade of the fifteenth century. I also work as a freelance tutor in History and as an independent tour guide.
I was received into the Church in 2005 and am a Brother of the External Oratory of St Philip Neri at the Oxford Oratory.
The BBC News website, no doubt with Halloween in mind, has a report under the title of The terrifying story of the 'hell hound, and saying that tales of ferocious dogs have been the stuff of myth for centuries, but how have accounts of these mythical beasts spread so far and wide?
I marked the anniversary last weekend of the battle of Agincourt by reading right through Juliet Barker's Agincourt
In my post some months ago on Prof. Anne Curry's book on the battle I described Juliet Barker's book as being more popular. That it perhaps is, but not in any slighting sense. It does perhaps set the battle and the society that existed at the time in a way that is perhaps a little more approachable to the non-specialist reader.
Although I would have some quibbles about points Juliet Barker makes, especially on church matters, her book is splendid - very readable and full of details, one that self-consciously looks at individuals and how they prepared for the campaign, such as the Earl Marshal equipping himself with armour, but not always from the same supplier, and it is a gripping read, which touches on those emotions Agincourt still evokes in the English, a point to which I referred in a recent post.
For anyone wanting to know about the battle or the wider campaign, or the military society of the time this is, perhaps, the book to read. When first published it was the fourth best selling history book of the year ( which also tells you something about the continuing fascination with the battle) and richly deserved its success.
It is quite a page turner, gives one plenty to think about - such as firing off ten arrows inside a minute to be able to qualify as an archer - and catches the sheer emotion of the success against the odds of King Henry V and his men in 1415.
John Dillon posted as follows on the Medieval Religion discussion group; I have added occasional notes in [ ]
Quintinus of Vermand (Quintin, Quentin; d. late 3d cent., supposedly) is the martyr of today's Saint-Quentin (Aisne) in Picardy. His cult there is already recorded by St. Gregory of Tours in the sixth century.
The earliest of his many legendary Passiones (BHL 6999-7012) is commonly dated to the eighth century. According to this account, Quintinus, the son of a senator, was a Christian inhabitant of Rome who had traveled to northern Gaul as a missionary. During a persecution under Maximianus he was arrested on the orders of a Roman official named Rictiovarus or Rictius Varus (the villain of numerous Passiones from northern Francia) and was cruelly tortured in various ways: of these, the one most frequently depicted in the later Middle Ages was having iron nails and iron stakes driven into his body. Quintinus' sufferings ended when he was decapitated at Augusta Viromanduorum, a Roman-period predecessor of Saint-Quentin thought to underlie the modern city's outlying canton of Vermand. His body was then secretly deposited in the river Somme, where it remained incorrupt for about fifty-five years until its miraculous discovery by a Roman matron named Eusebia. Thus far BHL 6999.
Other accounts relate the translation of Quintinus' remains over a century later to a basilica where their location came in time to be forgotten and their subsequent rediscovery by St. Eligius in the seventh century. One may read about the latter finding in Jo Ann McNamara's English-language translation of Dado of Rouen's Life of St. Eligius (scroll down to II, 6): http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/eligius.html
Excursus: one thing that Dado does not tell us is how St. Eligius (Éloi) advised Dagobert I on matters pertaining to the king's wardrobe (or perhaps he did tell us but it's in one of the lacunae). For that, one has to go to the song "Le bon roi Dagobert": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_bon_roi_Dagobert_%28song%29
An illustrated, French-language summary of Quintinus' legend is here (better views of the illuminations are linked to in "images", below): http://stqvillhist.free.fr/068Legende.htm
Some period-pertinent images of St. Quintinus of Vermand (the suffix differentiates him from St. Quintinus of Meaux):
c) as depicted (martyrdom) in the late thirteenth-century Livre d'images de Madame Marie (c. 1285-1290; Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 16251, fol. 82v): http://tinyurl.com/yl3ex6n
d) as depicted (at left; at centre, St. Michael the Archangel; at right, St. Romanus of Rouen) in an earlier fourteenth-century glass window (w. 309; before 1325) in the cathédrale Saint-Pierre in Beauvais:
e) as depicted (martyrdom) in an earlier fourteenth-century copy of the Legenda aurea in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (c. 1326-1350; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 185, fol. 266r): http://tinyurl.com/ygf2dot
f) as depicted (three scenes) in an earlier fourteenth-century copy of books 9-16 of Vincent of Beauvais' Speculum historiale in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (c. 1335; Paris, BnF, ms. Arsenal 5080):
1) leaving Rome with fellow missionaries (fol. 268v): http://tinyurl.com/nqucqf5
2) martyrdom (fol. 269r): http://tinyurl.com/qy4somw
3) his body discovered by Eusebia (fol. 269v): http://tinyurl.com/ntgngbj
g) as depicted (martyrdom) in a late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century copy of the Legenda aurea (Rennes, Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole, ms. 266, fol. 300r): http://tinyurl.com/nsobqxp
i) as depicted (martyrdom) in the earlier fifteenth-century Hours of Jacques Cauchon and Jeanne Bohais (c. 1440), one of the items in the Arcana Collection announced for sale at an auction at Christie's on 7. July 2010:
j) as depicted (at right, martyrdom; at left, St. Sebastian) by André Robin and workshop in a mid-fifteenth-century glass window (w. 115; 1450s) in the north transept of the cathédrale Saint-Maurice in Angers:
k) as depicted (at left, martyrdom; at right, his body discovered by Eusebia) in a later fifteenth-century copy from Bruges of the Legenda aurea in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay followed by the Festes nouvelles attributed to Jean Golein (c. 1460-1470; Mâcon, Médiathèque municipale, ms. 3, fol. 11v):
m) as depicted on three painted panels of a late fifteenth-century winged altarpiece (ca. 1480-1500) in the kostol sv. Vavrinca in Revúca (Banská Bystrica Region), Slovakia:
1) appearing before Rictiovarus:
[ I suspect that originally St Quentin's armour was done insilver leaf whuich has flaked away, leaving the brown undercoat - Clever Boy]
n) as depicted (martyrdom) in the Suffrages of a late fifteenth-century book of hours from the southern Netherlands (Mons?; ca. 1490-1500; Baltimore, The Walters Art Museum, Walters ms. W.431, fol. 111r): http://tinyurl.com/pacqaz4
Today is the 590th anniversary of the stand off on London Bridge which averted the outbreak of more serious conflict in the capital and perhaps elsewhere.
A decade after Agincourt and little over three years after the death of King Henry V the Council ruling England for the child King Henry VI was split between factions centred around the King's younger uncle and Protector - a position that remained undefined, and hence a source of tension - Humphrey Duke of Gloucester and his uncle, and the King's great-uncle, Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester and later to become Cardinal.
Humphrey Duke of Gloucester
Duke Humphrey sponsored by St Alban before the Blessed Sacrament and Christ as the Man of Sorrows circa 1430-40
Duke Humphrey favoured a belligerent policy in France in pursuit of the English campaign, and had managed to bitterly offend the main English ally, the Duke of Burgundy by his marriage to Jacqueline, Countess of Hainault, Holland and Zeeland. To do so the couple had sought an annulment of her marriage to the Duke of Brabant, couisin to the Duke of Burgundy who hoped to eventually secure her territories - as indeed he did manage to in the end. Humphreye was not trusted by many of his colleagues on the Council, and they had successfully resisted his claim in 1422 to exercise wider powers in England during the absence in France of the Regent, his elder brother, John Duke of Bedford.
Bishop Henry Beaufort
Kunstjistorisches Musuem, Vienna
The Bishop of Winchester was again serving as Chancellor of the realm, and as a man of exceptional wealth was a key figure in funding loans to the Crown for the French war. An ambitious as well as an able man he had been forced by King Henry V to decline the offer of a Cardinal's hat in 1418-19.
Gloucester had returned in April from his inglorious military efforts on behalf of his wife in the Low Countries, and increasinglt polarised opinion in the government. Bishop Beaufort as Chancellor appointed Sir Richard Wydeville (grandfather of the Queen of King Edward IV) as Constable of the Tower of London and ordered him to forbid access to others, including the Duke of Gloucester. With tension rising the Bishop now brought in Lancashire and Cheshire archers to his manor at Southwark facing London across the Thames. Beaufort later claimed that this was because he feared an attempt by Gloucester to seize the young King who was living at Eltham
At 8 or 9 in the morning of October 30th the Bishop's men morning attacked the bridge gate, and followed up " with shot and other means of warre." On the north bank Gloucester appealed to the Londoners - it was the day of the election of the new Mayor - and with whom he enjoyed a good relationship. The Londoners swarmed to repel any move by the Bishop's men into the City.
Peace was preserved by shuttle diplomacy across London Bridge carried out by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry Chichele, who had presumably come in from Lambeth, and the Infante Dom Pedro, Duke of Coimbra. A cousin of Duke Humphrey and nephew of the Bishop he was in London whilst travelling round Europe and the Near East. There is an online life of him at Peter, Duke of Coimbra, and his life is in some ways not dissimilar to that of Humphrey in many ways, in their interests, career and fate as protectors or regents for their nephews.
Archbishop Henry Chichele
Tomb effigy in Canterbury Cathedral
Pedro, Duke of Coimbra
Portrait believed to be of Infante Pedro, first Duke of Coimbra. Detail from the fifth panel of the polyptych Adoration of Saint Vincent, attributed to Portuguese Renaissance painter Nuno Gonçalves, composed c.1470 (possibly as early as 1450s). Originally found at the monastery of São Vicente de Fora, now held by the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon, Portugal.
Their shuttle diplomacy required eight journeys across the bridge, but peace was maintained.
London Bridge and Southwark byVissher circa 1600
A reconstruction of London Bridge circa 1450
A reconstruction by W.S.Brewer showing Southwark, showing Winchester House on the lower left, St Mary Overy Priory - now the Anglican cathedral - and London Bridge about 1500
The bridge was finally rebuilt in 1831, but the remains of Winchester House or Palace can still be seen on the Souk Bank, clos eto what is now the Annglican cathedral in Soutwark
The remains of the hall of Winchester House today Image: Wikipedia
The following day, October 31st, Beaufort wrote to the Regent Bedford in France, urging his return, as follows:
"as you desire the welfare of the king our sovereign lord and of his realms of England and of France, and your own weal and ours also, haste you hither; for by my troth if you tarry , we shall put this land at risk of a battle. Such a brother you have here. God make him a good man. For your wisdom knows well that the prosperity of France stands in the welfare of England "
John, Duke of Bedford
On December 20th the Regent arrived with his wife at Sandwich, and during the next months which included the meeting of Parliament at Leicester, a part of the Lancastrian patrimony and away from the tensions of London, brokered a deal whereby Beaufort gave up the Chancery, but did receive early in 1427 his long-desired Cardinal's hat from the hands of the Regent in Calais. Gloucester may have removed the Chancellor but got little else, save a further grievance against his uncle, that of becoming a Cardinal whilst still based in England.
Today is the feast of the Apostles SS Simon and Jude and John Dillon has again posted a selection of images of them on the Medieval Religion discussion group:
Simon (Simon the Zealot; Simon Cananaeus; in Greek, Symeon) and Jude (Jude Thaddaeus, Jude of James) occur next to each other in lists of the Twelve Apostles (Mt 10:3, 4; Mk 3:18; Lk 6:15; Acts 1:13). Contrary to what was thought in the Middle Ages, it is not certain that the apostle Jude was the author of the Epistle that bears his hardly unique name. The reported places and manners of these saints' deaths vary enormously. According to Eusebius of Caesarea, Simon was crucified in very advanced years by order of Atticus, a Roman governor of Palestine under Trajan. He and Jude share a legendary, originally late antique Passio (BHL 7749-7750a) that calls Simon _Simon Chananaeus_ and Jude _Iudas Zelotes_ and that has them evangelizing in what would appear to be Parthia, coming into conflict with magi there, and finally suffering martyrdom on 28. October. Or perhaps they died in Armenia, where they are traditionally considered that nation's apostles along with St. Bartholomew and where Jude (as Thaddaeus) and Bartholomew are commemorated jointly on 28. November. In many Byzantine-rite churches Simon is celebrated on 10. May and Jude is celebrated on 19. June.
Some period-pertinent images of Simon (S.) and/or Jude (J.), apostles:
a) Simon and Jude as depicted (J. at centre; S. at right; at left, St. Bartholomew) in the later fifth-century mosaic ceiling (between 451 and 475) of the Neonian Baptistery / Orthodox Baptistery in Ravenna:
b) Simon and Jude as depicted (S. at far left; J. just above him on the arch soffit) in the very late fifth- or early sixth-century mosaics of the Cappella Arcivescovile (a.k.a. Cappella di Sant'Andrea) in Ravenna:
g) Simon (right-hand leaf, at center) and J. (at right; at left, the Emperor Henry III [d. 1056]) as depicted in the mid-eleventh-century Emperor's Bible or Codex Caesareus Upsaliensis, formerly at Echternach (Uppsala, Universitetsbibliotek, cod. C 93, fol. 4r):
k) Simon (at left; at right, St. Bartholomew) as depicted in the mid-twelfth-century mosaics (between 1146 and 1151) of the chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (a.k.a. chiesa della Martorana) in Palermo:
l) Simon and Jude as portrayed in high relief by Gruamonte at different locations in his sculpture of Christ, the apostles, and flanking angels (c. 1167) on the lintel above the central portal on the face of Pistoia's chiesa di San Bartolomeo in Pantano:
Simon (second from left; betw. an angel and St. Matthew): http://tinyurl.com/nrl6ewe
Jude (second from left; betw. St. Andrew and St. James): http://tinyurl.com/qafv6yg
q) Simon (at left, with another disciple; at right, undergoing a beating before the seated Atticus) as depicted in the later twelfth- or early thirteenth-century frescoes in the santuario di Maria SS. Regina (a.k.a. Santa Maria d'Anglona) at Tursi (MT) in Basilicata: http://tinyurl.com/8n9fhfm http://tinyurl.com/8ufwhy6
r) Simon and Jude as depicted (with scenes from their Passio) in the earlier thirteenth-century window devoted to them (c. 1220-1225) in the basilique cathédrale Notre-Dame in Chartres (for detail views, click on the numbered panels at right): http://tinyurl.com/9ch4sbs
s) Simon as depicted in the mid-thirteenth-century Touke Psalter from Bruges (c. 1250-1260; Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, Walters ms. W.36, fol. 61v): http://tinyurl.com/nqx8bqb
u) Simon and Jude as portrayed in silver gilt statuettes on the later thirteenth-century copper gilt châsse of St. Remaclus (completed between 1263 and 1268) in the église Saint-Sébastien in Stavelot:
x) Simon (at left; martyrdom by crucifixion) and Jude (at right; martyrdom by the sword) as depicted in the late thirteenth-century Livre d'images de Madame Marie (ca. 1285-1290; Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 16251, fol. 70r): http://tinyurl.com/367scnm
aa) Simon as depicted (lower register, second from left) in separate calendar compositions in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (between c.1312 and 1321/1322) of the narthex in the monastery church of the Theotokos at Gračanica in, depending upon one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
Siomon (May calendar; lower register, second from left; crucified): http://tinyurl.com/pph35q4
Detail view: http://tinyurl.com/nak9mh4
Jude (June calendar; lower register, at far right; trussed and hanging from a pole): http://tinyurl.com/6vhwuo2
bb) Simon and Jude as depicted in earlier fourteenth-century panel paintings by the workshop of Simone Martini (c. 1320) in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC:
dd) Simon (at left) and Jude (at right) as depicted by Ugolino di Nerio in an earlier fourteenth-century panel painting (?c. 1325-1328; from his dismembered Santa Croce altarpiece) in the National Gallery, London:
ee) Simon and Jude (martyrdom; both by the sword) as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century French-language legendary of Parisian origin with illuminations attributed to the Fauvel Master (c. 1327; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 183, fol. 53r): http://tinyurl.com/2wfojoh
ff) Simon and Jude as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century copy, from the workshop of Richard and Jeanne de Montbaston, of the Legenda aurea in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (1348; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 241, fol. 286r): http://tinyurl.com/36wvlnh
gg) Simon as depicted in the later fourteenth-century frescoes (1360s and 1370s; restored, 1968-1970) in the church of St. Demetrius in Marko's Monastery at Markova Sušica: http://tinyurl.com/qjnc33j
hh) Simon (at left) and Jude (at right) as depicted by Lorenzo Salimbeni on the wings of his late fourteenth-century altarpiece of the mystical marriage of St. Catherine of Siena (1400) in the Pinacoteca civica "Padre Pietro Tacchi Venturi" of San Severino Marche:
ii) Simon and Jude as portrayed in high relief (fifth and sixth from left) on one of the long sides of the late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century tomb of St. Wendelin in his basilica in Sankt Wendel: http://tinyurl.com/oa3lzja
jj) Simon and Jude as depicted on different ranges of the fifteenth-century chancel screen of the church of St. Helen, Ranworth (Norfolk):
Simon (at left; at right, St. Thomas the Apostle):
ll) Simon and Jude (at left and at centre, respectively; at right, St. Margaret of Antioch) as portrayed in an early fifteenth-century (c. 1410) altar frontal in wool, linen, and silk from Strasbourg / Straßburg now in the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main:
qq) Simon and Jude as depicted (overcoming demons in the presence of magi and of the king of Babylon) in a later fifteenth-century copy of Vincent of Beauvais' Speculum historiale in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (1463; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 50, fol. 335v): http://tinyurl.com/yjht8us
rr) Simon and James as depicted (accused by magi) in an even later fifteenth-century copy (ca. 1480-1490) of Vincent of Beauvais' Speculum historiale in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 245, fol. 148v): http://tinyurl.com/yfsrxtx
ss) Simon and Jude as depicted by Miguel Ximénez and workshop in adjacent panels of his and Martín Bernad's late fifteenth-century altarpiece of the Holy Cross (completed, 1487) for the parish church of Blesa (Teruel) and now, after dismemberment, mostly in the Museo de Zaragoza:
Simon: (at right; at left, St. Matthew the Apostle):
tt) Simon and Jude as depicted (martyrdom) in hand-coloured woodcuts in the Beloit College copy of Hartmann Schedel's late fifteenth-century Weltchronik (Nuremberg Chronicle; 1493):
Simon (fol. CVIIv; martyrdom by club and by sword): http://tinyurl.com/9vusjwo
Jude (fol. CVIIr; martyrdom by clubs): http://tinyurl.com/997h3ez
uu) Simon (at left, with a saw) and Jude (at right, with a lance) as depicted in the late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century Master of the Dark Eyes Missal from Utrecht (c. 1500; Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, Walters ms. W.175, fol. 201r): http://tinyurl.com/q76ut8v