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.

Thursday 24 November 2016

Lecturing to the Oxford University Heraldry Society

This teatime I spoke to the Oxford University Heraldry Society at Christ Church, delivering the first of two illustrated lectures on "Arms and Insignia of Heirs Apparent".

I originally planned this as a single lecture but finding I had more than enough material I arranged with the Society to split it into two, giving the first part tonight.

This concentrated on why and when and how hereditary monarchs started indicating in heraldry, in ceremonial and in insignia their heir apparent, and then looked at the evolution of this from crowning an heir in his father's lifetime  ( the Empire, France, England in 1170 and Hungary as late as 1830 - and considered there in the 1870s or 80s)  to distinguishing him with a title and arms as well as an appanage, beginning with the earliest such consistently applied title, that of the Prince of Wales.

I also spoke about the insignia of the Duchy of Cornwall and the Earldom of Chester, as well as my theory that the badge of the three feathers for the Prince of Wales derives from him holding three Palatinates - Wales, Cornwall and Chester - and with an ostrich plume being the symbol of a palatine authority the use of three as badge by Edward of Woodstock Prince of Wales in the mid-fourteenth century.

The Arms of HRH The Prince of Wales


I spoke also about the ceremonial investiture of the Princes and their coronet with its single arch, and then turned to the topic of the same person in Scotland, where he is, of course, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland and Lord of the Isles.

Coat of Arms of the Duke of Rothesay.svg 

The Arms of HRH The Duke of Rothesay

These were granted to him by The Queen in 1974

Image: Wikipedia

On February 23 I shall be giving the second lecture, on that occasion time on European heirs apparent, and looking at figures such as the Dauphin and the Prince or Princess of Asturias, again at 5.30 in Lecture Room 2 at Christ Church.

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