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.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

King Henri's head

An interesting story caught my eye on the web today about the identification of the head of King Henri IV of France and the plan to re-inter it at St Denis. You can read it here.

There are further reports, with illustrations, from the Daily Mail and also in the Daily Telegraph.

A mummified head dug up after the French Revolution, lost for a century and unearthed by an antiques dealer belongs to Henri IV, the revered French king who died 400 years ago, leading historians and scientists have revealed.

King Henri IV

Reburial of the head of the King at St Denis would be some small act of reparation for the frightful desecration of the royal tombs in 1793, and perhaps one also for the ingratitude of so many of the French towards the monarchy that created the country.

2011 thus may afford us the sight of something like a royal funeral at St Denis - presumably the first since that of King Louis XVIII in 1824.

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