You never know what you might find when you do some dusting or dig up a car park . . .
It was while helping to dust the screen in the church opposite my studio, that I noticed the carving of a wild boar painted white - it rang a bell deep in the dusty recesses of my memory.
The White Boar was the badge of Richard III
Have you been following the discovery and this week's reburial of King Richard III aka the King in the Car Park?
I can imagine the historians and archaeologists involved in the project are getting very excited, as are thousands of others who are prepared to queue for hours to see the coffin in Leicester Cathedral. Richard has certainly put Leicester on the tourist map!
Back to The White Boar, there's some interesting information here. I wonder if our village church screen dates from Richard III's short reign 1483-5?
Richard of York (as he was known before he became Duke of Gloucester and then King) may have chosen for his badge a Boar as a pun on Eboracum, the Roman name for York. Another part of the church screen has a White Rose which was the badge of the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses.
In the right hand corner of the same panel is a White and Red Rose . . . the Tudor Rose which became England's badge uniting houses of York and Lancashire when Henry VII defeated Richard III at Bosworth in 1485. Although a Tudor Rose is usually red with a white centre, so I wonder if the roses have always been painted in these colours or have they been changed over the years - or was the rose painted by a Yorkist reluctantly adding a red centre? The North Aisle of the church was built in the 1480s which also includes a Tudor Rose, was paid for by Robert Wyburgh, did he also install the screen? was he a supporter of Richard of York?
The screen has somehow survived the Reformation and the Civil War, and it may have been painted (repainted?) in the 18th century.
If it's not Richard's badge then whose is it?
Please pop over to the next blog post for an up date!
If you are interested in the background behind the story of Richard III and whether he was a villain or not, I can thoroughly recommend this book:
I first read 'The Daughter of Time' when I was at school and still have my paperback copy. This week's ceremonial reburial of Richard's bones is an interesting epilogue to the story.