Saturday, 12 December 2009

Warwick Lane EC4

A very dull new block at the top end of Warwick Lane in the City has a medieval nobleman in relief set into one of its columns, dated 1668.
It shows an Earl of Warwick, whose London house was on the site. The most famous was, of course, the 16th Earl, Richard Neville, known as the king-maker.
According to Stow, when he stayed in Warwick House during the Wars of the Roses he was acompanied by six hundred uniformed men, "in whose house there was often six oxen eaten at a breakfast, and every taverne was full of his meate, for hee that had any acquaintance in that house, might have there so much of sodden and rost meate, as he could pricke and carry upon a long dagger."

2 comments:

Hels said...

You have located wonderful objects in your blog. Great stuff!

But why would a carver in 1668 be asked to celebrate the life of Richard Neville, a man who had died 200 years earlier? Was it an anniversary of a significant event during the War of the Roses?

ChrisP said...

Frankly, I haven't a clue why a carving of Warwick the K-M should be produced in the 17th century. None of the reference books say, so I can confidently speculate that it was a pub sign. Now go and shoot me down....