Great Cloister: A Lost Canterbury Tale: A History of the Canterbury Cloister, Constructed 1408-14, with Some Account of the Donors and their Coats of Arms [Paperback]

Paul A. Fox(Author); Edward Fitzalan-Howard(Foreword By)

ISBN: 9781789693317 | Published by: Archaeopress Archaeology | Year of Publication: 2020 | 682p, H11.5 x W8, 759 illustrations, full color throughout
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Great Cloister: A Lost Canterbury Tale


Great Cloister: A Lost Canterbury Tale presents a new study of the heraldry, genealogy and history of the Canterbury Cathedral cloister. It is the first comprehensive and complete study of this monument ever undertaken, and it provides a detailed chronology as well as many new insights into the families who were donors. The monument is revealed to have been the personal project of Archbishop Thomas Arundel (d.1414), an individual closely connected with the overthrow of King Richard II. The work as a whole provides considerable insights into the revolution of 1399 and the troubled reign of Henry IV as seen through the lens of individual families.

The cloister, as originally conceived, contained 856 heraldic shields, badges and devices of which 576 were unique. Some 365 families, principalities, religious foundations and other individuals both real and imagined were represented, some with more than one shield or device. More precisely, there were 252 families, 51 peerage families, 3 English royal families (Lancaster, York and Beaufort), 20 principalities, 12 religious foundations, 9 bishops, 7 saints, 3 heroes, 4 cities or towns, 2 priests, 1 monk and 1 for God himself (in the form of the Holy Trinity). The origins and evolution of each shield represented are considered in detail.

Table of Contents

Foreword by His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal

Explanation of shield numbers


History of the Cloister’s construction
Dating the cloister

Thomas Arundel as Archbishop of Canterbury

The Cloister as a roll of arms
The Bay of Reconciliation (Bay 30)
The Royal Bay (Bay 32)
The Arundel Family Bay (Bay 33)
Lollards in the cloister
The English Cardinals
Other bishops and monks
Religious foundations
The Archbishop’s friends
Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen
The last bay
The lost paper record of the Cloister Roll

Problems of the sources
Willement’s Three Sources
Incorrect repainting

Heraldry in the era of the Cloister
Heraldic authority
Ricardian innovations
Female arms
Cadency marks
King Henry IV

The lost shields
Bay 1
Bay 10
Bay 11
Bay 12
Bay 15
Bay 17
Bay 20
Bay 25
Bay 26
Bay 29


Alphabetical list of shields

Numerical list of shields

The shields

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