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Richard II's treasure

the riches of a medieval king

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St Edward the Confessor and St Edmund, king and martyr

Detail from the Wilton Diptych

St Edward with the ring and St Edmund with the arrow. Detail from the Wilton Diptych

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Among Richard II's chapel goods are gold reliquary statuettes of St Edward and St Edmund. Images of St John the Baptist and St Edward the Confessor, two of the three saints presenting the kneeling king to the Virgin and Child in the Wilton Diptych, are described on a considerable number of objects in the treasure roll. The impaled armsimpaled arms - two coats of arms set side by side on a shield  of the king with the fictive arms of St Edward are also frequently described. St Edmund, on the contrary, is only mentioned once in the whole of the document.

A gold image of St Edward was specially ordered for Richard for New Year 1398 by Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy. From the Burgundian archives it is known that this cost the duke the very large sum of 1,800 francs. Philip the Bold was at that time the dominant political force in France in face of the recurrent fits of madness of Charles VI. Almost certainly it was for the same New Year that Charles VI (or more probably Duke Philip acting as regent in the king's name), gave to Richard the image of St Edmund which is the next entry in the inventory. Thus, very interestingly, the only recorded occurence of this saint among the whole of Richard's treasure has a French provenance.

R 970 Item, un ymage de seint Edward d'or esteant sur j pee d'argent enorrez, tenant en sa main destre j anel ove j rubie et en la main sinestre j pile rond' ove j croice de iiij perlez et j bal', et la crone garnis' ove v bal' et xxix perlez, du donn le duc de Burgoigne, pois' de Troie x lb. iiij unc', et vaut, Cxvj li. vjs. viijd.

[Item a gold image of St Edward on a silver-gilt foot, holding in his right hand a ring with a ruby and in his left hand a round orb with a cross of four pearls and a balas ruby, and the crown is set with five balas rubies and twenty-nine pearls, the gift of the duke of Burgundy, Troy weight 10 lb. 4 oz., value, £116 6s. 8d.]

R 971 Item, j ymage de seint Edmond d'or esteant sur un pee d'argent enorre ove iiij settes en sa main destre et en sa main senestre j pile rounde ove j croice garnis' ove j rubie, iiij diamand et iij grosses perlez et la corone garnise ove xij bal', viij saphirs et xxxij perlez, de donn le roy Fraunceis, dont l'image pois' de Troie vj lb. ix unc' et le pee d'argent pois' de Troie viij li. iiij unc' demy, et vaut par estimacion, CCxx li.

[Item, an image of St Edmund on a silver-gilt foot with four arrows in his right hand and in his left hand a round orb with a cross set with a ruby, four diamonds and three large pearls and the crown is set with twelve balas rubies, eight sapphires and thirty-two pearls, the gift of the French king. Troy weight of the image 6 lb. 9 oz. and the silver foot 8 lb. 4 ½ oz., estimated value, £220.]

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