The Schoolmaster Printer –
the Medieval Printing Press in St Albans
Here endyth this present cronycle of Englonde wyth the frute of tymes, compiled in a booke and also empryted by one somtyme scole mayster of saynt Albons, on whoos soule God have mercy (Wynkin de Worde, 1497)
After the first book printed with movable type had had its debut at the Frankfurt Fair in 1454, Johannes Gutenberg’s invention quickly spread all over Europe.
William Caxton was the first to bring printing to England, when he set up his workshop in Westminster in the mid-1470s (either 1475 or – more probably – 1476). Two years after Caxton opened his shop in Westminster, another printing press, in Oxford, published its first book (in 1478). However, given my personal interest, I would like to find out more about the third English printing press – in St Albans. Continue reading
St Martin in Bonn –
Ernemann Sander tells the story of the saint in reliefs at the Bonn Minster
This time of the year brings a lot of memories of my childhood. 11 November is St Martin’s Day and that’s a very important date in the area of the Rhineland where I grew up with lots of traditions associated with this day. The story of St Martin is told in four bronze reliefs by Ernemann Sander, set into a wall next to Bonn Minster. Continue reading
The Manor of Mawedelyne in Hertfordshire – a puzzle solved?
This research into the manor of Mawedelyne grew out of an interest in the life of Master Thomas Barowe, whom, on 22 September 1483, Richard III appointed Master of the Rolls. In a ‘Feet of Fines’ record, dated 1 July 1484, John and Joan Forster and Thomas and Edith Holbache transferred their interest in the manor of Mawedelyne to Robert Brackenbury, Thomas Barowe, Morgan Kidwelly, Thomas Fowler and Richard Beeston, and to the heirs of Robert Brackenbury for 300 marks of silver. Continue reading
All Hallows by the Tower –
a church and its connection to Richard III
Today, 1 November, is All Hallows (or All Saints) Day. From this comes our Halloween (= All Hallows Eve, 31 October). On this day all saints, who have attained heaven, are commemorated. It was a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning the faithful were obliged to attend mass. Growing up in a traditionally Catholic area in Germany, I can remember our Catholic neighbours decorating the graves of their family members with candles the evening before. And of course it was a public holiday, which meant a welcome day off school! Continue reading