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.

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

The burial of King Henry V in 1422

I am grateful to the Special Correspondent for reminding me that these recent days are the 600th anniversary of the last rites in London and the burial in Westminster Abbey of the body of King Henry V in 1422. 

I have posted about the lengthy and elaborate ceremonial that accompanied the deceased monarch from Vincennes to Westminster in September, October and early November of that year in an illustrated post a decade ago which can be seen at The death and obsequies of King Henry V

I apologise for the fact that one or two pictures have disappeared from that but I think it worth sharing once again.

The funeral ceremonies of the King were on a scale without precedent or indeed emulation by his successors until that of Queen Elizabeth II this year. A recent biography of King Henry VI begins with his father’s funeral and states that when the head of the procession reached the west door of St Paul’s the rear was passing under the bridge gate at the southern end of London Bridge. It was a funeral on an unprecedented scale for a monarch who had achieved unprecedented things.

This evening Westminster Abbey commemorated the anniversary at Evensong,  which included the incensation of the King’s tomb during the singing of William Bytd’s Justorum animae and afterwards the laying of a wreath by representatives of the Worshipful Companies of Fletchers and Bowyers, accompanied by the strains of William Walton’s Henry V Suite. 

May he rest in peace. 

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