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Funeral of Edward IV

Funeral arrangements and ceremony for Edward IV, April 1483

The Funeral of Edward IV took place over several days in April 1483 with the requiem mass taking place on the 18th. The ceremony included all of the formalities typical of the age. The king’s body was embalmed and laid out for the nobles to see and pay their respects to. The following, taken from Manuscript 1.7.f7 of the College of Arms, describes the process in detail. There are some dating anomalies within the document, with days not necessarily matching up to the day of the week that the document says things took place on. 

Like facts about anniversaries and events? My book on the Wars of the Roses is full of them.

As the documents are from the College of Arms we can be reasonably sure of its accuracy with regard to the process of preparing the body and the formalities of the funeral. Note that the funeral itself takes place over several days, it is not just the requiem mass and internment.

[MS. I. 7. f. 7. College of Arms.]

HERE foloith the Ordenaunces which shalbe done in the observaunce at the deth and buryall of a annoynted king.

WHEN that a king annoynted ys deceassed, after his, body spurged, it most be washed and clensed by a bishop for his holy annoyntment. Then the body most be bamed, if it may be goton, and wraped in lawne or reynes, then hosen shertes and a pair of shone of redde lether, and do over hym his surcote of clothe, his cappe of estat over his hede, and then laie hym on a faire burde covered with clothe of gold , his one hand upon his belly, and a septur in the other hand, and on his face a kerchief, and so shewid to his nobles by the space of ij. days and more if the weder will it suffre. And when hehe may not goodly lenger endure, take hym away, and bowell hym and then eftsones bame hym , wrappe hym in raynes well trameled in cordis of silke, then in tartryne trameled, and then in velvet, and then in clothe of gold well trameled ; then lede hym and coffre hym , and in his lede with hym a plait of his still, name and date of our, &c. And if ye care hym, make a ymage like hym, clothed in a surcote with mantill of estat, the laices goodly lyeng on his bely, his septur in his hand, and his crown on his bede, and so carry him in a chair opon ,with lightes, baners, accompanyed with lordys and estates as the counsaill can best devyse, havyng the horse of that chair traped with dyvers trapers, or els with blacke trapers with scochons richely beten, and his officers of armes abowt hym in his cottes of armes. And then a lord or a knyght with a courser traped of his armes upon hym, his salet or basnet on his here crowned, a shilde and a spere tyll he come to his place of his entring. And at the masse the same to be offered by noble princes.

But when that noble king, Edward the iiij., was deceased at Westminster in his palais, which was the x day of Aprell, the xxiij yere of his reigne, first the corps was laide upon a burde, all naked saving he was covered from the navyll to the kneys, and so laie x. or xij ours that all the lordys bothe spirituall and temporall, then being in London or nere ther abowt, and the maier of London with his brether sawe hym so lying. And then he was sered, and so brought into the chapell on the morne after, wher were songon thre solempne masses; the first of Our Lady, the ijde of the Trenitie, the thrid of requiem (the which was songon by the bishop of Chechestre). And at after none ther were songon diriges and commendacions. And after that be had the hollsawter said by his chapell ; and at nyght well watched with nobles and other his servauntes, whose names appere in the wache roll, from the first nyght unto the tyme his [body?] was buryed. And at the masse of requiem the lord Dacre, the quenes chaumberlain, offred
for the quene ; and the lordys temporall offred daily at the same masse, but the lordys spirituall offred not to the bishop but to the high auter , and other the kinges servantes offred also . This order was kept in the palais viij dais, saving after the first day ther was but one solempne masse wich alwais was songon by a bishop.

And on the Wednesday the xvij’ day of the month aforesaid , the corps was conveyed into the abbey, borne by divers knyghtes and esquiers at were for his body ; that is to saie, Sir Edward Standley, Sir John Savage, Sir Thomas Worthley, Sir Thomas Mullineux, Wellys, John Cheyny, maister of the kinges horse, Water Hongerford , Guy of Wolston, John Sabacotes, Thomas Tyrell, Jolin Riseley, Thomas Dacre, John Noreys, Boys de Brytaill, Christofer Colyns, having upon the corps a riche and a large clothe of gold with a crosse of white clothe of gold above, above that a riche canape of clothe imperiall frynged with gold and blewe silk, borne by Sir Thomas Seintleger, Sir William AParre, comptroller, Sir John Assheley, and Sir William Stoner, knightes; and at every corner abaner, the first of the Trenite, the which was borne by Sir Henry Ferris, the seconde of Our Lady, borne by Sir Jamys Radcliff, the thrid of Saint George, borne by Sir George Browne, the iiij of Saint Edward borne by Sir Gilbert Debynham . And the lord Haward bare the kinges baner next before the corps amonges the officers of armes, wher was ordened a worthy herse, like as it apperteneth, having before hym a great procession, and the archibishop of Yorke, chancelor of England, the bishop of London, the bishop of Chestre, the bishop of Bathe,” the bishop of Chechestre, the bishop of Norwiche, the bishop of Durham, ” the bishop of Lyncolne,” the bishop of Ely, ‘ the bishop of Rochestre, the abbot of. Awendon, the abbot of Barmsey. Thise lordys foloed the corps and abowt the corps, being then ther the erle of Lincolne, the marques Dorset, the erle of Huntyndon, the vicecounte Barkley, the lord Standeley,” stward, & c., the lord Hastinges and the kinges chamberlain, the lord Dacre the queenes chaumberlain, the lord Dudley, the lord of Burgenye, the lord Audeley, the lord Ferrys, the lord Lysley,’ the lord Morley, Sir Richard Wodvile, Sir Edward Wodvile, the lord Cobham, the lord Wellys, Sir John Bourser, Sir Thomas Bourser and Sir Thomas Bowser, of Barneys; which lordys were [in] the herse that service, and on the morne also the service at Westmestre, was done by the archbishop of Yorke. And at the masse the abbot of Barmsey was dekon. And in that herse abowt the corps and the clothe of gold above said there was a personage like to the symilitude of the king in habet royall crowned with the crown on his hede, holding in the one hand a septur, and in the other hand a ball of silver and gilt with a crosse pate. And after that the lordys that were within the herse and bishops had offred, the maier of London ” offred, next after hym the chief juges and other juges, and knyghtes of the kinges howse with the barons of the eschequier and aldermen of London, as the nyght weyned too. And when the masse was done, and all other solempnitie, and the lordys were redy for to ryde, ther was ordened à royall chair covered with blacke velvet, having above that a blacke clothe of gold, with a white crosse of gold, under that a blacke magestie, clothe of sarsenet drawen with vj coursers traped with blacke velvet, with certain scochons beton upon sarcenet with fynel upon the fore horse, and the thil horse sat ij chariot men , and on the iiij other horse sat iij horsemen. On either syde of the forsaid draught went dyvers knyghtes and esquiers for the body and other, summe leyng ther handes to the draught and somme leding the horse in tyme thei passed the townes. And the lord Haward, the kinges banerer, rode next befor the forhorse, bering the kinges baner upon a courser traped with blacke velvet with dyvers scochons of the kinges armes, with his morning hode upon his hede.

When the corps, with the personage as above, with procession of bishoppes in pontificalibus and the iiij order of freris, was conveyd to the chair, and in order as above, to Charing, wher the bishoppes sensed the chair, and the lordys toke ther horses and so proceded to Syon that nyght, wher at the chirche dore the bishoppes sensed the corps, and the corps and the personage was borne as before into the quere, and there the bishop of Durham dyd the service; and on the more in like order as above he was conveyed to the chair, and from thens to Wyndesor, wher, at Eton, the bishop of Lincolne and the bishop of Ely, with the colege, met and sensed the corps ; and so proceded to the castell by the way at the brigge, and met the procession of Wyndesor at the castell gate. The archibishop of Yorke and the bishop of Wynchestre sensed the corps, being ther with the bishop of Norwiche, the bishop of Duresme, the bishop of Rochestre, with the chanons of the colege and the kinges chapell, and so proceded to the new chirche,  wher in the quere was ordened a mervelus well wrought herse, and furthwith dirige, and in the even ing thei of the colage said the holl sawter. And ther a great wache that nyght by great lordys, knyghtes, esquiers for the body, gentilmen usshers and other whose names ensue, &c. First, within the horse, the lord of Burgeyne, the lord Audeley, the lord Morley, the lord Lysley, the lord Haward, the lord Wellis, the lord Lawar, the lord FitzHugh, the lord Cobham , Sir John of Arundell, Sir Thomas Bourser of Barneyse, knyghtes; without the herse, Sir Thomas Seintleger, Sir Gilbert Debeham, Sir Herry Ferris, Sir John Savage, Sir Edward Standeley, Sir Thomas Wortley, Sir Thomas Mullineux, Sir William Parker, Sir William Stoner ; esquiers for the body, John Cheyne, maister of the horse, William Barkley, William Odall, Robert Poyntz, John Riseley, Lois de Brytails, Antone Malyverer, John Sabacotes; gentilmen usshers, William Colyngborne, Edward Hargill, Bassett, Nicholas Cromer. William Mydilton, Christofer Colyns, William Clifford ; officers of armes, Garter 3 and Norrey 4 kinges of armes, Glocestre, Ruigecrosse, Gynys, Harington pursyvauntes; esquiers of howsehold, Thomas Morty mer, Dymmok, Redmell Delamere, Edmond Gorgis; yemen usshers, William Rider, Roger Chelsall, George Cheyne, James Pemberton, with dyvers and many yemen of the crowne and of the chaumber and howse hold which held torchies.

And on the moro after the commendacions began the masse of Our Lady songon by the bishop of Duresme; at which masse Sir Thomas Bourser offred the masse peny because their was no greater estat present, and after hym all other as were in the herse . After that masse was done began the masse of the Trenitie songon by the bishop of Lincolne ; at which masse therl of Huntyndon offred the masse peny, and after hym other lordys and nobles as above. At the begyning of the masse of requiem , which was songon by the archbishop of Yorke, the officers of armes went to the vestry, wher thei receyved a riche embrothered cote of armes, which Garter king of armes held with a great reverence as he cowd with that at the hed of the herse tyll the offring tyme. At which tyme, after therl of Lyncolne had offred the masse penny, presented it to the marques Dorset and to therl of Huntyngdon, they offred it, and the said Garter receyved it again of the archbishop, and held it still at the high auter ende tyll the masse was done. Likewise in forme Clarencieux” and Norrey kinges of armes received the shilde, and at offering tyme presented it to the lord Maltravers and to the vicecounte Barkley. But ther was a question whether the sonne and heier of an erle should go above a vicounte. And Marche and Yreland king of armes received a riche sword which had byn send from the Pope, and in likeforme behaved themself and presented to Sir John and Sir Thomas Bourser the kinges auntes sonnes. Also Chestres and Leicestre 4 herauldys recey ved a basnet of a riche crown of gold , and presenied it to the lord Hastinges. And Glocestre and Buckingham herauldes, with Ruigecrosse, Roseblache, Calais, Guynes, Barwike, and Harington, pursyvauntes, went [with ]’ the knyghtes and esquiers for the body to the chirche dore for to receyve of Sir John Cheyny, maister of the horse, the man of armes, which was Sir William AParre, armed at all peces saving he was bareheded, having an axe in his hand, the pomell doneward, and thus companyed to the quere dore, wher he dyd alight.And the decon toke the horse which was traped with a riche traper of the kinges armes, wher the lord Audeley and the lord Ferrys receyved the man of armes, and with the forsaid company of knyghtes and esquiers, herauldys and pursyvauntes, accompanyed him to his offring : which done, every lord in mornyng habet offred for hymself, and after that dyverse other noble knyghtes officers, &c. Incontynent that done, the lordes offred certein clothes of gold to the corps, everyche after his degre or estat, that ys to saye, therl of Lincolne iiij by cause he was the kinges nevewe and sonne and heir of the duke of Suffolk , the marques of
Dorset iiij, the erle of Huntyngdon iij, the lord Maltravers ij, by that he was sonne and heier to the erle of Arundelle, the vicounte Barkley ij; and every baron and other knyghtes morners by cause of nyghnes of blode. I cannot order how they offred , by cause the prese of the people was soo great bytwene them and me, but the lowest in estat or degre to the corps begane first . The names of the barons and knyghtes aforesaid; the lord Standeley, the lord Hastinges, the lord Audeley, the lord Burgeyne, the lord Dudley, the lord Ferris, the lord Fitz Hewe, the lord Delawar, the lord Morley, the lord Lysley, the lord Cobham , the lord Haward, the lord Wellys, the lord Mountjoye, Sir John of Arundell, Sir John…

The manuscript comes to an end rather abruptly there.

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