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, 30 November 2016

Thistle Chapel

Today is the feast of St Andrew, and a suitable day on which to blog about the Order of the Thistle, whose present Chapel in St Giles' Edinburgh is 105 years old this year.

The Queen attends the Order of the Thistle ceremony in Edinburgh earlier this year
Image: Andrew Milligan/PA/Daily Telegraph 

The Chapel Royal at Holyrood as laid out for the Order of the Thistle by King James VII in 1687

After Jan Wyck

Image: Andrew Cusack

I hunted this picture out a while ago for a friend who is a specialist in the life and reign of King James II and VII and think it worth sharing - so far as I know it is the only picture of the interior of the abbey at Holyrood before the vault collapsed in the eighteenth century.

There is a useful, illustrated account of the history, insignia and chapels of the Order, and a discussion of the oath taken by the Knights today at http://www.andrewcusack.com/2010/order-of-the-thistle/

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