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King Alkmund Choosing Men To Accompany His Son Edmund To England, In John Lydgate's 'The Lives Of Sts. Edmund And Fremund'

King Alkmund Choosing Men To Accompany His Son Edmund To England, In John Lydgate's 'The Lives Of Sts. Edmund And Fremund'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1434

Shelfmark: Harley MS 2278

Item number: f.25v

Length: 24.7

Width: 16.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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Bury St. Edmunds was the burial place of St. Edmund, a Saxon King of East Anglia, martyred in 869 by Viking invaders who had also martyred St. Fremund in 866. John Lydgate (probably from Lidgate, 10 miles from Bury), a monk of the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds and one of the most prolific writers of Middle English, translated this work from Latin into English to be presented to the 12-year-old King Henry VI, to commemorate his stay at Bury from Christmas 1433 to Easter 1434. It is likely that this manuscript was made at Bury under Lydgate's supervision for presentation to the king. King Alkmund is depicted here surrounded by his court, choosing clerks and squires to accompany Edmund on his journey to England. On the wall are painted or sculpted scenes including the Annunciation, Moses with the Tablets of the Law, and St. George or St. Michael Defeating the Dragon.

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