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.


Monday, 27 July 2015

SS Joachim and Anne


Had yesterday not been a Sunday it would have been in the novus ordo the feast of SS Joachim and Anne. In the pre-1970 ordo and in the Extraordinary Form it is the feast of St Anne, with St Joachim having his separate feast day on August 16th.

Gordon Plumb has posted a set of pictures of pre-reformation stained glass depictions of the couple and their daughter on the Medieval Religion discussion group. These serve, inter alia, to show aspects of devotion to Our Lady and her life in medieval England, and, by implication and extension, its extent. The frequent depiction of St Anne teaching the Virgin to read, and that the Virgin is often shown reading in depictions of the Annunciation does raise interesting points about the extent and expectation of female literacy in the period.

York Minster, sXXXV, 2b, the meeting at the Golden Gate:

York Minster, sXXXV, 3b, Annunciation to Joachim in the Wilderness:

York Minster, sIX, 2a, Marriage of Joachim and Anne:

York Minster, sIX, 1b, Birth of BVM:

Elland, St Mary the Virgin, West Yorks, east window, 3b, marriage, heavily restored:

Elland, St Mary the Virgin, east window, 2a, meeting at Golden Gate:

Thornhill, St Michael and All Angels, West Yorks, nIV, centre light:

Gresford, All Saints, Lady Chapel east, b3c, Golden Gate, very restored:

Gresford, All Saints,3d, very restored:

Gresford All Saints, same window, 2b, Presentation of Mary in Temple:

Great Malvern Priory, Worcs, NII, Golden Gate:

Norbury, St Mary & St Barlok, sVI, 2b-3b, Anne teaching Mary to read:

Wisbech, St Peter and St Paul, Cambs, sIX, teaching Mary to read:

Leicester, Jewry Wall Museum, roundel of birth of Virgin:

Stanford-on-Avon, St Nicholas, Northants, sIV, 1a, teaching the Virgin to read:

Nowton, Suffolk, Joachim and Anne on right:

York, All Saints North Street, east window, 2b-3b, teaching the Virgin to read:

Stamford, St George, sII, 2c, teaching the Virgin to read:

Exeter Cathedral, sIII:

Hingham, St Andrew, east window, St Anne and BVM:

Both Elland and Thornhill are not far from my home town. I regret to say I have never visited the church at Elland, but I have visited Thornhill, and the church is a treasure house of good things for the historic church-crawler. Not only is there this glass but Anglo-Saxon crosses and a splendid array of tombs of the Savile family. Very well worth seeing, and a church that deserves to be better known for it's contents.

Stanford-on-Avon and Gresford I have drawn attention to before. All Saints North Street in York is very well worth seeing - a lot of interesting late-medieval glass, including a depiction of a pair of spectacles of about 1410, and a charming interior re-designed or, if you prefer, restored, for Anglo-Catholic worship in the Sarum tradition more than a century ago. 

Wisbech church I have not visited but it contains the remains of the last Marian bishops, such as Thomas Watson of Lincoln, and Abbot Feckenham of Westminster since they were detained in the Elizabethan period in Wisbech castle and buried in the parish church when they died.



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