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, 24 August 2020

King Richard I and Queen Berengaria

An Israeli archaeologist believes that he has identified the site of the battle of Arsuf fought on September 7 1191 between the Crusader forces led by King Richard I, and which were victorious, and those of Saladin. Live Science recently had an article about this which can be read at Crusader battlefield where 'Richard the Lionheart' defeated Muslims is unearthed in Israel

The campaign is described very well in John Gillingham’s biography of the King in the Yale English Monarchs series.

At about the same time as this research came to my attention there was a report in The Guardian about plans to finally restore the tomb of the King’s widow, Queen  
Berengaria, at the abbey at L’Epau near Le Mans where she was buried in 1230. The article, which records the misadventures of the tomb and effigy since the late eighteenth century, can be read at Berengaria of Navarre's 'cursed' tomb to be restored

Queen Berengaria often appears as a rather shadowy figure, excluded from the limelight by her husband and his mother Queen Eleanor. However two online biographies of her suggest that she was a more resolute figure than the usual perception might indicate and a not inconsiderable figure in her own right when she lived out her widowhood as what looks to have been a model of regal piety They can be read at Berengaria of Navarrewhich is from Wikipedia, and at Berengaria of Navarre, Queen of England

There is more about the history of the abbey, of the tomb and of what are now believed to be the Queen’s bones at the Wikipedia account of L'Épau Abbey.

No comments: