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, 14 May 2020

Queen Emma rediscovered

In my previous post I referred to King Cnut and that has prompted me to post some material from a year ago about him, and more particularly his Queen, Emma of Normandy.

Major conservation work on the sixteenth century royal bone chests in Winchester cathedral which contain the remains of members of the house of Wessex and early bishops of the see has disclosed the bones of Queen Emma.

Queen Emma receives the Encomium Emma Reginae in 1041 or 1042 watched by her sons King Edward the Confessor and King Harthacnut. This is the earliest surviving portrait of a Queen of England.
Image: British Library

The Mailonline feature discusses the discovery of her remains as well as giving background and illustrations of this forceful woman, consort to both King Aethelred II and to his eventual surplanter King Cnut, mother of two other monarchs, King Harthacnut with him, and with Aethelred of King Edward the Confessor, It was through his Norman mother that St Edward was related to Duke William II, her great nephew, whom he appears to have favoured if not actually designated as his successor, and who was to become less than a year after Edward’s death King William I.

The Mail article can be seen at Bones of Saxon queen who was wife of King Canute found in Winchester

One thing in it which particularly caught my eye was a description of the physical appearance of King Cnut which I do not recall having seen before.

The BBC News website also has a post about the discoveries which can be seen at 'Queen's bones' found in Winchester Cathedral royal chests

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