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, 16 May 2016

An altar frontal made from part of a dress of Queen Elizabeth I ?

There is an intersting post on the website Royal Central about a discovery in a Herefordshire church. I have  amended the text slightly:

A richly embroidered altar cloth, which may be a remnant of a dress belonging to Queen Elizabeth I herself, has been found in Bacton, Herefordshire. Historians believe that Queen Elizabeth I could have given the dress to one of her faithful servants, Blanche Parry. Blanche Parry was born in Bacton. The cloth was preserved for centuries in the small rural church of St Faith's in Bacton and it has now been identified by experts as a piece of a 16th century dress. Until very recently it hung in glass case on the wall.
© Historic Royal Palaces
© Historic Royal Palaces
 The connection to the Virgin Queen has been rumoured for centuries. Tracy Borman, a Historic Royal Palaces joint chief curator, has featured the story in her new book, The Private Lives of the Tudors. It was not uncommon for Queen Elizabeth I to pass on clothes she no longer wore, due to her enormous wardrobe, and the theory is that it once formed part of a court dress. It was made from cloth of silver, which was a high status fabric which could only be worn by royalty or the highest members of the aristocracy. It cannot be definitely confirmed that the dress was worn by Queen Elizabeth I, but she is depicted wearing a very similar fabric on the bodice of her dress in the Rainbow Portrait at Hatfield House.
 Tracy Borman said, "This is an incredible find - items of Tudor dress are exceptionally rare in any case, but to uncover one with such a close personal link to Queen Elizabeth I is almost unheard of. We're thrilled to be working with St Faith's Church to conserve this remarkable object, which will now be further examined by our conservation experts at Hampton Court Palace, where we hope to be able to display it in future."

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