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.

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Accession Day

Today is the sixty ninth anniversary of the accession of H M The Queen. As we enter the year 70 Elizabeth II a window from the church of St Peter and St Paul at Farningham in Kent seems an appropriate way to mark the day, and indeed Her Majesty’s reign.

The old west window of the church had been destroyed by bombing in 1941. The design of its replacement apparently caused some controversy as the Vicar at the time proposed a depiction of King Charles I, King and Martyr and St Elizabeth of Hungary, the patron saint of charities. The matter was resolved on the death of King George VI in 1952 with the figure of the new Queen replacing that of St Elizabeth. The window was finally dedicated in 1954 and was the first stained glass window in a church to depict Queen Elizabeth II. The imagery of her figure clearly refers to those from her coronation in 1953.

Image: Farningham PCC

The window was not one I knew off until the Special Correspondent drew it to my attention. Not only is it a handsome example of the glaziers art but it captures not only an image of Her Majesty at the beginning of her reign but also an image of her sense of duty and fidelity to that as a Christian monarch.


Matthew Reynolds said...

Her Majesty has done a phenomenal job to live & reign for so long. She has outlasted her namesake Elizabeth I as well as George III. And indeed Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary & Queen Victoria. Elizabeth II has reigned longer than Queen Victoria and has had a longer actual reign than James III & VIII had as 'King Over The Water.' Her Majesty does though have to go on a bit longer to 'overtake' Louis XIV & the stint of the Late King of Romania as Head of their Royal House which was some 80 years. Simeon II became Tsar of Bulgaria in 1943 & has been titular Monarch since 1946. So well done Your Majesty & excellent blog past by the author which was as ever well written & thoughtful.

Matthew Reynolds said...

Ironically the accession anniversary of Elizabeth II is also the same anniversary for James II & VII. And since the illegal invasion of William of Orange which was neither glorious nor a revolution the Throne of our nation has been disputed in terms as to who the rightful occupant is. From James II & VII to HRH Duke Franz of Bavaria there has been an alternative 'King Over The Water.'