East Anglian Churches
SIR,-The letter of your correspondent Mr. Parr calls attention to the representation of King Henry VI in the Dominican Church at Haverstock Hill.
Not least among those of our forbears who wished to provide for future generations similar tangible expressions of their own veneration were the people of East Anglia. The Benedictine Priory Church of St. Leonard here in Norwich became "of great note for an image of King Henry VI which was visited by pilgrims from far and near, some of whom reported extraordinary cures to have been performed at it."
At least nine representations of the King are still to be found among the remains of our East Anglian rood screens, notably at Nayland, Hoxne, and Eye in Suffolk, and at North Elmham, Binham, Ludham and Barton Turf, in Norfolk. The Binham screen portrays the King standing on an antelope. holding a cross. and again with jug and towel. That at North Elmham shows him without a crown, and although the identity of this portrayal has been put in question, Dom Bede Camm supported that of the King. The Ludham screen, dated 1497, shows the King as young and beardless, as does also that at Barton Turf. This latter representation (which was part of a four-panelled side-screen to the Chapel of St. Thomas of Canterbury) is of a later date and painted by a different hand to the portraits of the three sainted kings who accompany him. Was this space left specially for Henry, or was another figure painted over? As in the medallion at Haverstock Hill, Henry is shown in close proximity to St. Edward the Confessor. The other two Kings are St. Edmund. who is especially revered in the Eastern Counties, and St. Olave, who in his dethronings and reinstatements has a certain similarity to Henry VI. Genuine and authentic likenesses of King Henry arc apparently considered sufficiently rare for it to have been proposed that this panel should have been sent to the Manchester Art Treasure Exhibition of 1857. It is certainly of great his tonic interest. Paul W. Jarvis
91 North Waltham Road, Old Catton, Norwich.