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.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Duke John V of Brittany

Following on from my recent post Anne of Brittany, Queen and Duchess I thought I would post apicture of this delightful statue of her relative and predecessor Duke John V. Born in 1389 he succeeded his father Duke John IV in 1399, and his mother, Joanna of Navarre, later married the widower King Henry IV of England, making Duke John and his siblings step-brothers of King Henry V - which was to prove a complication in the later stages of the Hundred Years War.

I first saw a picture of this statue at a seminar given by Michael "Brittany" Jones  in the wonderful series on Late Medieval France chaired by Peter Lewis at All Souls in my early days in Oxford, and I am delighted to find a view of it again on the internet.

Statue of Jean V, Duc de Bretagne (polychrome wood)

Duke John V of Brittany 1399-1442
Polychrome statue in the Chapelle Saint Fiacre at Le Faouet in Brittany
The Duke wears a state robe decorated with the erminois arms of the Duchy


There is an online life of the Duke here, which accounts him as John VI rather than John V due to differing interpretations as to the Breton succession in the fourteenth century conflicts. However it seems more usual amongst historians to refer to him as Duke John V.

An online illustrated history of the Duchy can be viewed here  and a family tree of the Ducal house can be seen here.

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