Skip to main content

IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 1738: 14th-Century England, III: Death, Burial, and Religious Patronage

Thursday 9 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Society for 14th-Century Studies
Organiser:Gwilym Dodd, Department of History, University of Nottingham
Moderator/Chair:James Bothwell, School of History, University of Leicester
Paper 1738-aRevised and Edited: Reburial in the House of Plantagenet
(Language: English)
Anna M. Duch, Department of History, University of York
Index terms: Politics and Diplomacy, Social History
Paper 1738-b'Death, what ails thee, that you could not have taken me?': Elite Widowerhood in 14th-Century England
(Language: English)
Rebecca Holdorph, Department of History, University of Southampton
Index terms: Gender Studies, Politics and Diplomacy, Social History
Paper 1738-cThe College of St Stephen's: Westminster in the 14th Century
(Language: English)
Elizabeth Biggs, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Politics and Diplomacy, Religious Life, Social History

Paper -a: Medieval England witnessed the reburial of several of its Plantagenet kings. By re-interring their predecessors, monarchs edited the death and burial narrative to include themselves. This reaffirmed a shared identity as 'king of England' and also corrected perceived errors in the handling of the initial burial. The reformation of history was a political tool, used to renew bonds with disaffected factions. However, the House of Plantagenet also had a robust habit of disinterring, moving, and reburying non-ruling family, friends, courtiers, and enemies. Similar motivations existed for these events, but the results presented in very different, less direct ways than the more famed translations of kings. Paper -b: For the elite classes, widowerhood provides a unique lens to examine the intersection of the personal, social and political. This paper will examine the impact of a wife's death for elite men. What evidence do we have of men's grief? What options were available for widowers and what pressures - political, familial or social - did they experience? Drawing on my research on the earldom and duchy of Lancaster, I will explore the widowhoods of Henry of Lancaster, John of Gaunt and Henry of Bolingbroke. Their personal feelings and experiences, as well as unique political contexts, created three very different experiences of widowerhood. Paper -c: St Stephen's College, Westminster, was founded by Edward III in 1348. It was to spend the rest of the 14th century establishing itself, fighting with Westminster Abbey, and trying to get disputed lands back from Richard II. This paper looks at the contexts of the foundation of a new royal institution in the Palace of Westminster and at the relationships with Abbey and king which were to define the college for the entirey of its existence. In so doing, this paper examines the understandings of the interconnected work of Church and state served by the canons of St Stephen's.