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, 11 June 2022

Katherine Swynford Society Study Day

Through the internet technology that is Zoom I was able today to attend a study day organised by the Katherine Swynford Society at Lincoln Csthedral. This was the first time I had managed to attend one of their events - I joined the society just as Covid shut everything down. The study day concentrated on the life of Lady Swynford in Lincoln and Kettlethorpe both before and after her marriage to Duke John of Lancaster in 1396


The tombs of Duchess Katherine and, in the foreground, her daughter Countess Joan in Lincoln Cathedral.
A drawing of 1640.

Image: Wikipedia 

Judi James, one of the cathedral guides,  spoke about Katherine’s later years living in and around the Close and it was there that she died in May 1403. Both of the houses she occupied still survive. Unfortunately her many gifts and those of her husband to the cathedral were casualties of the reformation in yhe mid-sixteenth century.

Her formidable daughter, Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland was eventually to establish the chantry chapel in which she and her mother are buried. Despite serious damage by the Parliamentarians in the  Civil War in 1644 and later, including the loss of their monumental brasses, the much altered chantry remains a focal point for all who are interested by the story of Katherine Swynford.

Katherine Swynford, tomb
The Chantry Chapel today.
Duchess Katherine’s tomb is in its original position on the right, that of her daughter has been moved to where the altar once stood.

Image; A Bit About Britain

The second speaker was Sarah Hogg - policy maker, broadcaster and commentator aka Baroness Hogg /Viscountess Hailsham - the current chatelaine of Katherine’s home at Kettlethorpe Hall, just west of Lincoln, spoke about her historical work - part fiction, part fact - Katherine’s House published in 2019 which looks at the story of Kettlethorpe from the late ninth to the twentieth centuries.

A figure often considered to be Katherine. This shows her in her later years as the third wife of John of Gaunt with her daughter Joan to the right.

Image: The History Jar

The KSS website is at The Katherine Swynford Society

No comments: