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.

Friday, 29 July 2022

Early Anglo-Saxon bed burials

Live Science has an interesting piece about a project which has analysed an early Anglo-Saxon burial practice, in which the deceased was interred on a specially made bed, and considered the relationship of such a form to similar European examples.

The conclusion is interesting. Not only were the bodies high status, but all the English instances were female. It is argued that these are the burials of high status Christian wives, encouraged to marry pagan Anglo-Saxon kings or nobles to convert them - rathe like Queen Bertha, wife of King Ethelberht of Kent in the 590s. One such burial that receives particular attention is that from Trumpington near Cambridge. Amongst other grave goods that were found with the human remains is a gold cross of the type so often described as Celtic. This is increasingly suspect as an origin for such pieces, and the other evidence adduced for this article points the viewer to the east and the continent rather than the lands of western Britain or their neighbours.

The illustrated article can be seen at Mystery behind medieval 'bed burials' in UK possibly solved

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