Wednesday 24 March 2010

James I, Charles I, and Inigo Jones

I'm not sure how legible the text is, even when enlarged, so I'll reproduce it here.
The statues of James I and Charles I were placed in the Inigo Jones' screen at the entrance to the choir in 1640.  They are the works of Hubert Le Sueur who 'bargained with the King's Majesty of Great Britain to case in brass two statues of 5 feet 8 inches high ... for the sum of £340 of good and lawful money...'  The contract was witnessed by Inigo Jones in 1638.  The Dean and Chapter paid the King's workman £18 for the setting up of the statues.  During the Civil War the statues were stolen, bought by a royalist for £10 who hid them in the Isle of Wight and sold them in 1660 to Bishop Duppa, bishop of Winchester for £100.  He in turn returned them to the Cathedral, to their original position.  When the Inigo Jones' screen was destroyed early in the 19th century the statues were placed in their present position at the west end of the Cathedral.
The royalist turned a nice profit there, but was it good and lawful money, I wonder?

King James I reigned in England from 1603 to 1625 and was at the same time James VI of Scotland from 1567 to 1625.  He succeeded Elizabeth to the throne.  He is known for being firmly Protestant, one of the factors leading to the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, and for the production of the King James Bible in 1611.  He was constantly at loggerheads with Parliament.

King Charles I was his son, and continued to fight with Parliament.  In the end he dissolved Parliament and ruled without for 11 years.  In 1642 the Civil War between the Cavaliers (royalists) and Roundheads (parliamentarians) broke out.  Charles was executed outside Inigo Jones' Banqueting House in 1649.

Inigo Jones, 1573 to 1652, is considered to be one of the first notable British architects but the screen he designed for Winchester Cathedral wasn't well received.  It was out of keeping with the style of the cathedral and was replaced in 1820, and then again in 1875.  At this point, the Kings James and Charles were moved to the west end of the nave.

I lived in or near Winchester for almost 20 years.  I went into the cathedral fairly often.  I never noticed the statues....  The shame of it.

J is for James and Jones. A post for ABC Wednesday.

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  1. Very interesting! It is shameful that we don't notice the treasures around us until they're pointed out . . . ;-)

  2. People everywhere must constantly walk past the things that others make special trips to visit.

  3. Life should always been seen through a stranger's eyes - looks entirely different! :)

  4. I've lived in Boston for years and every so often I notice something I haven't seen before. I really ought to visit the places on my doorstep. I still haven't been to a couple of the town's historic buildings.

  5. So much we walk past everyday without giving a second thought! Must get out there more!

    Thanks so much for contributing!
    denise (ABC Team)

  6. A fascinating slice of history. I bet the statues are awesome to see in person.

  7. I've never seen Winchester cathedral. All of the cathedrals I have been in have been so fascinating and wonderful, that I know that if I'm ever in the area I will go to see it!

  8. Nice conjunction with the Stewart stamps out this week. I've never been to Winchester but will now know to look out for the statues, what a shame about the Inigo Jones screen.

  9. I was watching JEOPARDY! recently, and it was clear the answer was James. Alex said which one, and I think he noted both James I AND James VI, one of those trivial pieces of info also stuck in mu=y brain.

  10. As usual I love your historical postcards. I am always fascinated by statues. They bring to life the people they represent and also celebrate the genius of their sculptors.


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