Richard III’s raucous parties and the meaning of Christmas

Posted by pt91 at Dec 21, 2012 12:42 PM |
Riotous music played in the King’s 15th century parties sparked debate at the time
Richard III’s raucous parties and the meaning of Christmas

Credit: Geoff Wheeler

Music from Richard III’s raucous Christmas parties will feature with other works of the time in an upcoming concert at the University of Leicesterr – which will tell the story of the King’s life.

Some of the riotous music played in the King’s parties during the festive season sparked debate at the time.

The 15th century writer of the Croyland Chronicle wrote disapprovingly of 'the goings-on' at court during Christmas in 1484.

The writer says that he was unable to account for many of the activities “because it is shameful to speak of them” – but is particularly critical of the dancing, festivity and “vain changes of apparel” of Queen Anne and Elizabeth of York, Richard III’s niece.

Bishop Thomas Langton, who was a close supporter of Richard III, was similarly disapproving. The bishop wrote that ‘sensual pleasure holds sway to an increasing extent’, though he tactfully refrained from elaborating on that elusive comment.

Richard III: A Musical Biography will be held on Friday 11 January, 2013, 6:30 pm at the University’s Fraser Noble Hall in Leicester and will feature TritonE, a trio of leading Early Music performers.

Tickets are £5 for the general public and £3 for Society for Historical Archaeology delegates, and can be booked through the University’s Shop@le site.