Saturday, August 15, 2015

Where's the Hump? Or, Richard III in Keevil Manor (UPDATE)

It never fails to amaze me how I come across the inspiration for another blog entry.  For example, this morning, a friend posted a link to her results from searching "Richard III" on the National Trust Collections website.  I did my own search, & discovered this rather striking, modern-looking portrait of Richard III.
In looking at the additional information, I discovered that it is dated to approximately 1650 & came into the National Trust from Keevil Manor in 1910.  It is now on display at Westwood Manor in Wiltshire, according to the National Trust website.

Apart from the rather 20th Century look this portrait has, what piqued my curiosity was  the lack of any deformity one would think would have been shown in a portrait of Richard III done centuries after his death.  If "Tudor propaganda" was so successful & so ingrained as we are practically beaten over the head to believe, where is the hump? And why would there be a portrait of Richard III in Keevil Manor? Where is Keevil Manor anyway?

So off I went in search of this information.  What I found was rather interesting & some familiar names crop up in it.  As it happens, Keevil Manor was owned by the Earls of Arundel. During the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, & Richard III, the Earl of Arundel was William Fitzalan.  He participated in Henry VI's "Loveday Council" in 1458, but his Yorkist loyalties were such that he had to be ordered by the king to stop footdragging & attend.  He fought at the Second Battle of St. Albans for the Yorkist side, and in 1483, served as "Pincerna" (cupbearer) at Richard's Coronation.  He is listed as a Bosworth Combatant on Richard's side as well, but that didn't prevent him from being "Pincerna" at Henry VII's coronation a few months later.  Keevil Manor itself was later sold in the 16th Century to Richard Lambert, husband of Alice Paston (!!).  The current manor dates from this time & is located about 13 miles southeast of Bath.

Although I didn't find an answer to satisfy my curiosity about this portrait, I'm quite happy with the results of my search.  I found a new-to-me portrait of Richard, learned a little bit more about one of the Yorkist supporters, & another museum to visit on a future trip to the U.K.    Plus, I have a lot of information to use while speculating why this portrait doesn't have a hump!

UPDATE: I came home this evening to do some more searching online to see what I could find out about this painting.  I came across a Trip Advisor review of Westwood Manor & looked through the photos posted there.  In the slideshow, I came across the photo below.  It appears that this portrait is part of a "Kings & Queens of England" series from the 17th Century, but that still doesn't explain to me how or why the "Tudor propaganda"-inspired hump wasn't included or how this portrait came to resemble Richard so closely.  Was it a copy from a now-lost original?


  1. Very informative more like I thought he looked like looking forward to more info

  2. Now that you call this picture modern, it reminds me of Jawlensky. :-) Posted the link on fb, because it doesn't show up here.
    Isn't it fascinating how we come across pieces of new interest? Today I was hit by the topic "suffragettes", out of the blue.
    But back on topic: thanks for doing the research for the portrait. I'm always interested in background info.
    Good point also to about questioning "Tudor propaganda". While I think there has been a good deal of it, unfortunately today it has become a simplifying formula for a very complex subject. Would deserve a closer look.

  3. I'm not far from Westwood Manor. Must see if I cam go have a 'look see.'