15th century House Book revealing York’s relationship with Richard III goes on display at the Yorkshire Museum

Natalie McCaul, curator of archaeology at the The Yorkshire Museum in York, with the 15th century manuscript which is on display

Natalie McCaul, curator of archaeology at the The Yorkshire Museum in York, with the 15th century manuscript which is on display

First published in News

A 600-year-old manuscript which sheds light on York’s relationship with Richard III has gone on public display for the first time in living memory.

The 15th century House Book reveals how York prepared for the king’s visits, wrestled with rumours of treason and what the city leaders felt about his death in 1485.

It is being loaned to the Yorkshire Museum by York’s civic archive, and is one of a unique series of House books, dating from 1476, documenting York’s civic jurisdiction.

Natalie McCaul, curator of archaeology, said the first-hand written account offered a unique insight into the relationship between York and Richard.

“It talks of the pomp and circumstance of his visit to the city – where people were made to clean the paths in front of their doors and put up banners from their windows. It describes his murder being a ‘grete hevynesse of this citie’ and how Henry VII’s messenger was afraid to visit after Richard’s death.

“But it also shows that even then the city wasn’t united in their support for Richard – rumour and reality were still deeply intertwined.”

Coun Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “This House Book survived floods at the Guildhall in 1892 and is arguably one of the most important late medieval documents in the country.”

The book is on show in the Medieval Gallery. Until December, it will be open at the pages detailing Richard’s visit to York. From January until April 27, it will be open on pages relating to Richard’s death.

Comments (5)

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12:20pm Fri 18 Oct 13

YOUWILLDOASISAY says...

***Coun Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “This House Book survived floods at the Guildhall in 1892 and is arguably one of the most important late medieval documents in the country.”***

Perhaps Coun Crisp could enlighten us by telling us which of the three languages in use in the later medieval period this document is recorded in.
Is it Middle English, Anglo-Norman (French) or Latin. Any of these I would really struggle (complete fail if I'm honest) to read. My guess is latin but it may have a smattering of Anglo-Norman, or even Middle English.

I would be interested to learn how you concluded this house book as being "arguably one of the most important medieval documents in the country". Would it be the control elements where people were made to clean the paths in front of their doors and put up banners from their windows and its historical demonstration of maintaining control of the resident population.

It would be interesting to see a more in-depth interview by the press on this subject, an opportunity to see the depth of understanding from which our councillors speak.
***Coun Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “This House Book survived floods at the Guildhall in 1892 and is arguably one of the most important late medieval documents in the country.”*** Perhaps Coun Crisp could enlighten us by telling us which of the three languages in use in the later medieval period this document is recorded in. Is it Middle English, Anglo-Norman (French) or Latin. Any of these I would really struggle (complete fail if I'm honest) to read. My guess is latin but it may have a smattering of Anglo-Norman, or even Middle English. I would be interested to learn how you concluded this house book as being "arguably one of the most important medieval documents in the country". Would it be the control elements where people were made to clean the paths in front of their doors and put up banners from their windows and its historical demonstration of maintaining control of the resident population. It would be interesting to see a more in-depth interview by the press on this subject, an opportunity to see the depth of understanding from which our councillors speak. YOUWILLDOASISAY
  • Score: 8

1:23pm Fri 18 Oct 13

CHISSY1 says...

Wow
Wow CHISSY1
  • Score: -4

4:30pm Fri 18 Oct 13

NoMorePlease says...

Richard fell, that is was killed, in battle, that is not the same as murder
Richard fell, that is was killed, in battle, that is not the same as murder NoMorePlease
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Fri 18 Oct 13

bolero says...

Richard the third, Richard the third, Richard the t...... Richard ... ..... Rich... ... ..... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
zzz.
Richard the third, Richard the third, Richard the t...... Richard ... ..... Rich... ... ..... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ zzz. bolero
  • Score: -8

9:08pm Sat 19 Oct 13

gwen4me says...

Let him stay in Leicester, at least there will be one englishman left.
Let him stay in Leicester, at least there will be one englishman left. gwen4me
  • Score: -3

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