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 5 March 2024

The late arrival of a Faroese jumper

The BBC News website has an interesting story about the opening of a package sent from the Faröe Islands to Copenhagen in 1807 which was intercepted by the Royal Navy off the Norwegian coast in the naval engagements  around the second Battle of Copenhagen. Preserved as a war prize the parcel has now been opened. 

The most striking item inside is a Faroese jumper intended for the fiancé of the intended recipient. 

What makes it so special is its colour. It 
comes from remote island communities, not a court or commercial centre, yet is vibrant in its dye colour - a further example to rebut the contemporary idea we so often encounter in film and television that almost everything was drab in the past.

Similarly a pair of stockings are shown which are of fine quality - something you might otherwise imagine being sent from Copenhagen rather than to the capital. They were clearly the product of a sizeable domestic industry using island resources from the total numbers recorded on the vessel.

There are two illustrated articles about the discovery which can be seen at National Archives: Faroe Islands jumper uncovered 200 years on and Centuries-old Faroese jumper unwrapped at National Archives

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