REQUIEM MASS FOR RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK on 30 December 2014 at the Chantry Chapel

MassImage by kind permission of Mgr Smith

On Tuesday 30 December a Requiem Mass was celebrated at the Chantry Chapel for Richard Duke of York, killed on 30 December 1460 at the Battle of Wakefield. It was a particularly atmospheric and appropriate venue for the mass, as Richard’s son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland was killed just by the bridge, and both he and his father would have known the Chapel.

The mass was celebrated in Latin according to the old Roman rite, which would have been the normal practice at the time of the Battle of Wakefield. Music was provided by Gregorian Chant singers from the Dioceses of Leeds and York, and the choir of St Austin’s, Wakefield. The mass was offered by Monsignor David Smith from St Mary’s, Halifax, assisted by servers from the Leeds Diocesan Latin Mass Society. The service was organised by the Friends of Wakefield Chantry Chapel and there was a retiring collection for the Chapel.

REQUIEM MASS FOR RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK on 30 December 2014 at the Chantry Chapel

At 7 pm on Tuesday 30 December 2014 at the Chantry Chapel, the Latin Mass Society of Leeds will be singing a Requiem Mass for Richard, Duke of York, killed at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460. Entrance is free, but by ticket only. For tickets please contact Kate or at 01924 372748.

December 2012 The Society’s commemorative plaque and the Imperial War Museum

It seems that the plaque that was given by the Society in 2010 to the church at Fotheringhay at the end of our journey commemorating Richard Duke of York’s funeral, may be added to a database being built by the Imperial War Museum to photograph and record all war memorials (the earliest dating from the 10th century). The criteria appears to be very broad and since the plaque not only commemorates our journey, but also the burial place of Richard, it may be added.

30 December 2012 Chantry Chapel, Requiem Mass to mark the death of Richard Plantagenet at the Battle of Wakefield 

The Friends of the Chantry Chapel, by permission of the Dean and Chapter, have arranged with the Latin Mass Society of Leeds to have a requiem mass on the anniversary. The principal celebrant will be Father Michael Hall, Deputy Head of St John Fisher RC School, Dewsbury. Music, principally Gregorian chant, will be by St Austin’s Choir. Admission is free, but by ticket only. Please contact us if you wish to attend:

1st April 2012, Towton Battlefield Society, Battle of Towton Commemoration

Towton Hall, Towton (near Tadcaster), North Yorkshire, 10am – 4pm (guided walks start 9.30 am), admission £2.00. Living history camp, traders & exhibitors, guided battlefield walks, memorial service, combat demonstrations and much more – fun for the whole family!

31st December 2011, 1-3 pm, Sandal Castle, Wakefield

The Friends of Sandal Castle in partnership with the Frei Compagnie re-enactors and the Yorkshire section of the Richard III Society marked the anniversary of the Battle of Wakefield on 31 December.  Wakefield Historical Society’s ‘Pontefract to Fotheringhay’ banner was much in evidence, and those who attended the wreath laying at the memorial monument appreciated WHS’ replacement of the duke’s head

Monument to battle of Wakefield20th November 2011 Restoration of the Monument to the Battle of Wakefield

The monument on Manygates Lane in Sandal commemorating the Battle of Wakefield in 1460 and the death of Richard Duke of York, has been restored. A new head has been sculpted for it by DMW Restoration, Conisbrough.

Leeds International Medieval Congress

13 July 2011 Leeds International Medieval Congress

Pam Judkins and Lesley Taylor attended the Leeds International Medieval Congress on 13th July 2011. During the afternoon they displayed information and photographs about the Pontefract to Fotheringhay journey the previous year. In the evening they joined an activity of medieval dancing.

Marta Smith's Talk at the AGM of Wakefield Historical Society



Wednesday 9th March 2011 Marta Smith’s Talk at the AGM of Wakefield Historical Society

Following the Annual General Meeting of Wakefield Historical Society, Marta Smith talked to members about her experiences of the Pontefract to Fotheringhay journey. This was accompanied by slides of the journey. She has also recorded her experiences in “Marta’s Diary” on this website.

Wreath-laying at Duke of York Monument



Sunday 2nd January 2011, Wreath-laying at Duke of York Monument, Manygates Lane, Wakefield, gathering at 2 pm

The Yorkshire Branch of the Richard III Society held their yearly wreath-laying ceremony at 2.15 pm to commemorate the Battle of Wakefield (Dec 31st 1460) and the death of Richard, Duke of York.




Chantry Chapel30 December 2010, Chantry Chapel, Wakefield, Requiem Mass, 7pm.

The requiem mass for Richard Plantagenet and Edmund, Earl of Rutland, took place on Thursday 30 December in the Chantry Chapel of St Mary the Virgin, Wakefield Bridge. The event had been organised by the choir of St Austin’s RC Church, Wakefield, and Father David Smith from St Mary’s, Halifax, presided. The mass, in Latin, follows a 15 century setting

Talk at Chantry ChapelTuesday 28th December 2010, Talk at Chantry Chapel, Wakefield, 10.30 am

Kate Taylor, President of Wakefield Historical Society will be giving a talk on the Funeral of Richard Plantagenet in July 1476, and how Wakefield Historical Society marked the event. For those who have not already done so, this will also be an opportunity to see the newly refurbished chapel.


Plaque presented at the church of St Mary and All Hallows29th July 2010 Plaque presented at the church of St Mary and All Hallows, Fotheringhay

The final event of the Pontefract to Fotheringhay journey in July was a service of Compline at the Church of St Mary and All Hallows, Fotheringay, a reception, and the presentation of a commemorative plaque to the Vicar, the Reverend. Brian Rogers. Seen here, with the plaque, are the Duke of Gloucester, the Dean Emeritus of Wakefield Cathedral the Very Reverend George Nairn-Briggs, and the Vicar of Fotheringhay.



Requiem Mass at St Giles Pontefract22nd July 2010 Requiem Mass at St Giles Pontefract

The Bishop of Wakefield, the Right Reverend Stephen Platten, celebrated a Requiem Mass for Richard Plantagenet at St Giles’s Church, Pontefract, at the start of the journey to Fotheringhay on 22 July. Also attending was the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Wakefield, CouncillorTony Wallis and Mrs Doreen Wallis. Assisting at the Mass were Canon Bob Cooper, Father Ian Bullock, and the Bishop’s Chaplain, the Reverend Matthew Bullimore. Included in the group are Mrs Pam Judkins, the initiator of the Pontefract to Fotheringhay project, bearing the helm, and Dr Phil Judkins, who has served as the secretary and general administrative officer, with the Duke’s standard.

19 July 2010 Franciscan-habited musicians to sing Vespers of the Dead in medieval Latin at St Wulfram’s, Grantham, on 26 July

Dressed in the original Franciscan habit, a group of Leicesetershire musicians will sing the Vespers of the Dead in medieval Latin at St Wulfram’s Church, Granthan, on Monday evening, 26 July as a part of the Pontefract to Fotheringhay project.The Duke’s body was brought to St Wulfram’s on 26 July 1476  to lie there through the night.

Providing the 15-century plainsong Vespers are the Medieval Voices, an ensemble directed by Richard Roddis. They will wear the full-length brown robes of the Franciscan Order. These take the form of a cross. The habit is tied at the waist by a white cord which has three knots at one end to recall the three Gospel vows which are the basis of Franciscan life.

Bringing Medieval Voices to St Wulfram’s is the work of Celia Davies, the artistic director of Heritage Music, who is a member of the Friends of St Wulfram’s.

11 July 2010  Motet by well-known composer specially commissioned for performance at Newark during the Pontefract to Fotheringhay expedition

Commissioned by George Richford, Master of the Music at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Newark, Guy Turner, who is a distinguished composer of both light choral and sacred music, has written a motet especially for performance on Sunday evening, 25 July. at St Mary’s. Mr Turner is a Lay Clerk at Southwell Minster and has had choral work published by Oxford University Press. The motet is based on the Eulogy to Richard Duke of York . The words of the eulogy are framed by Latin phrases from the service of Vespers. The work will be sung by the choir of St Mary Magdalene.

HRH the Duke of Gloucester8 July 2010 The Duke of Gloucester to attend Compline at Fotheringhay on 29 July

Following in the footsteps of an illustrious predecessor, HRH the Duke of Gloucester will attend the service at the Church of St Mary and All Saints, Fotheringhay, at 6pm on 29 July when Wakefield Historical Society commemorates the reburial there in 1476 of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York..
Among the chief mourners in 1476 was Richard Duke of Gloucester, the youngest surviving  son of the dead duke,  who was to be crowned as Richard III in 1483.
The service of Compline at the York dynasty’s church at Fotheringhay is the final event in the nine-day ‘pilgrimage’ to mark the Duke of York’s death by retracing the route of the great funeral procession from Pontefract, via Doncaster, Blyth, Tuxford le Clay, Newark, Grantham and Stamford.
The fifteenth century Duke of Gloucester rode with the cortege for the full length of the journey. The procession was met at Fotheringhay by his elder brothers, Edward IV, and George, Duke of Clarence.

The present Duke of Gloucester will be met at Fotheringhay at 5.45pm on 29 July by Lady Juliet Townsend, Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire. The Very Reverend George Nairn-Briggs, Dean Emeritus of Wakefield Cathedral, who is one of the team from Wakefield Historical Society which has planned the ‘pilgrimage’, will then introduce the Duke to Mrs Pamela Judkins, Vice-President of Wakefield Historical Society who has had overall responsibility for the project, and Dr Phil Stone, Chairman of the Richard III Society of which the Duke of Gloucester is Patron.


8 July 2010 Leicester couple devise service for 29 July at St Mary and All Saints, Fotheringhay

GillianGeoffreyLeicester musicians Geoffrey and Gillian Carter have devised a special service of Compline to be sung at the church of St Mary and All Saints, Fotheringhay, on 29 July in the presence of the Duke of Gloucester.  The service will be an interweaving of the ancient service of Compline with 15 century music and plainsong. For the event, the Carters have formed a twelve-voice choir, styled Cantores in Ecclesia (Singers in the Church), with members drawn principally from Leicester Bach Choir and Leicester Cathedral Choir.
The Carters’ greatly appreciated contribution to the Road to Fotheringhay project came about following a meeting between Pam Judkins, a vice-president of Wakefield Historical Society who has overall responsibility for the project, and members of the East Midlands branch of the Richard III Society. Realising that the culmination of the journey needed something special, Gillian Carter offered to devise something appropriate.

Gillian, a retired teacher who is the Treasurer of the East Midland branch of the Richard III Society, sings with the Leicester Bach Choir. Her husband was  for 21 years the assistant organist at Leicester Cathedral and will provide organ music before the service begins. He has had a lifelong connection with church music having been a chorister at Armagh Cathedral (where his father was organist and choirmaster) from the age of eight. As it happens the Carters both have some connection with Wakefield. Mr Carter gave organ lessons to Wakefield Cathedral assistant organist Thomas Moore when he was a choirboy at Leicester Cathedral.  Mrs Carter was a student in the 1960s at Bretton Hall College of Education. It was there that she first encountered the service  of Compline.

Plaques27 June 2010 A 186-year old Wakefield Company creates plaques to mark the funeral journey of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York

In its 186-year old history, the Wakefield engineering firm of Joseph Rhodes Ltd has faced many challenging tasks but none perhaps quite so unusual as that of creating wall plaques to commemorate the 15 century funeral journey of a Royal duke.  But when the Dean Emeritus of Wakefield Cathedral, the Very Reverend George Nairn Briggs, approached company chairman Ian Ridgway with the request for support for Wakefield Historical Society’s ‘Pontefract to Fotheringhay’ project in the form of a dozen plaques, he determined that his team must find a way of responding.

Kevin Hall, Ian Ridgway, Steve Gilbert, and Barry RichardsonThe company has a proud reputation for ingenuity and was recently given the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category in recognition of its continuous development of Super Plastic Forming and Diffusion Bonding Presses.  The wall plaques were something rather different.  Mr Ridgway took a brainstorming approach with his co-directors.  Sales Director Barry Richardson volunteered to lead the project, suggesting ceramic plaques which would make use of the company’s expertise in the clayworking industry and would also echo the materials available in the fifteen century. The manufacture was not easy. Two key members of the team were Kevin Hall, Sales and Service Manager, and Steve Gilbert, a pattern-maker of renown, both of whom joined the company when Joseph Rhodes acquired another old Wakefield firm, Craven Fawcett.  With advice from the Nostell Brick Company, and help from local artists, the team overcame all difficulties.  The plaques will be presented to each church where vespers is sung on the commemorative ‘pilgrimage’ from Pontefract to Fotheringhay.

20 June 2010  Grant from the Co-operative Membership Community Fund towards publication of a leaflet.

The Co-operative Membership Community Fund has awarded Wakefield Historical Society a grant of £500 towards the cost of publishing a leaflet providing details of the route of the great funeral procession which took the body of Richard Plantangenet from Pontefract to Fotheringhay and indicating the many items of interest from the medieval period to be found along the way.  The Society hopes to publish the leaflet within the next few months so that this summer’s project can be given some permanence.

Richard Donner, George Nairn-Briggs and Richard KnowlesMay, 2010 Banner bearing the arms of Richard, Duke of York

The Chairman of the Wakefield Shirt Company, Richard Donner, has personally overseen the commissioning of a substantial banner bearing the arms of the Duke of York whose funeral procession is being commemorated in July.  The banner has been designed, at the request of Society member Richard Knowles,  by Geoff Wheeler, an heraldic authority and professional graphic artist. It shows the Duke’s personal arms, described in heraldic terms as ‘the Arms of England differentiated by a label argent of three points, each bearing three torteaux jules’. It has been made by the Leeds company, Northern Flags, Matrix Court, Leeds. The cost has been shared between  the Wakefield Shirt Company and a member of Wakefield Historical Society (who chooses to remain anonymous). It was handed over by Mr Donner to the Very Reverend George-Nairn Briggs, Dean Emeritus of Wakefield, and Richard Knowles on 26 May at Double Two Mills, Thornes Lane Wharf, Wakefield.The banner is an important element in the scheme to retrace the route taken by the great funeral procession for the Duke of York when his body was borne from Pontefract for reburial at the York dynasty’s church at Fotheringhay in July 1476. The 9-day ‘pilgrimage’ this summer includes the service of vespers or compline at each of the churches where the body lay overnight, or, if they have now gone, at churches in the same towns and villages close to the original church. Before the services (at 6pm each evening) a replica of the Duke’s helm, and the new banner, will be carried ceremonially into the church.

2nd April 2010 Wakefield Express 
Transcription of article that appeared in this issue:
Support from councillors representing the two Pontefract wards and Wakefield East and South wards has brought a grant of £2750 from Wakefield Council’s Community Chest to assist the Society’s ambitious project to commemorate the death at the Battle of Wakefield, 550 years ago, of Richard Duke of York. Events are to take place over a nine-day period in July, along the route of the duke’s funeral procession from Pontefract to Fotheringhay. Phil Judkins the administrative officer for the project said this week: “We are most grateful to Wakefield Council for this grant which will enable us to show the importance of Wakefield and Pontefract in the Wars of the Roses. We are creating a website and a leaflet so people locally and nationally can learn about the Battle of Wakefield and follow the route of Richard, Duke of York’s funeral, for themselves.”

Talk at Muskham Vale Heritage Group - Copy1st April 2010  Talk at Muskham Vale Heritage Group
Members of Wakefield Historical Society Pontefract to Fotheringhay group were welcomed by Muskham Vale Heritage Group on Thursday April 1st. Phil Judkins gave a talk and presentation about the death of Richard, Duke of York in 1460 and his reburial procession which passed through the village in 1476 on its way to Fotheringhay. Muskham Vale Heritage Group exchanged local knowledge about the route, the Trent river crossings and the villages of North and South Muskham

Muskham Vale Heritage Group

28th March 2010 Battle of Towton Commemorative Event

Pam and Phil Judkins of the Pontefract to Fotheringhay group presented a display of Wakefield Historical Society’s commemoration in July 2010 of Richard, Duke of York’s Funeral procession in 1476. The event was hosted by Towton Battlefield Society at Towton Hall and was commemorating the Battle of Towton on 29th March 1461 when the Lancastrians led by Richard’s son Edward lV were victorious.

Towton Battlefield Society

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Meeting at Pontefract26th February 2010, Meeting at Pontefract

Members of Wakefield Historical Society Pontefract to Fotheringhay Planning Group, Pam, George and Lesley were invited to meet members of Pontefract Groups Together recently. The meeting was convened by the former MP for Pontefract, Bill O’Brien to promote events in Pontefract in July.

The talks, walks, and visits planned by the WHS in Wakefield, Sandal  and Pontefract on 22nd and 23rd July will form a main attraction, as will the civic send-off for the funeral followers from Pontefract which will be attended by West Yorkshire’s Lord Lieutenant. Maintaining the late medieval theme the town’s most important Charter, granted by Richard III, on 28th July 1484 will be celebrated a few days later.  July is also the month of the annual Pontefract Liquorice Festival.

The photograph shows (from left to right)  Back row: Peter Cookson, Kebir Berry, Norman Blackburn, Rev. George Nairn-Briggs, Brian Chapple, David Wilcox, Lesley Taylor. Front row: Janet NcNaught, Pam Judkins, Bill O’Brien, Bernie Weston

Funeral Director22nd January 2010, Funeral Director supports Wakefield Historical Society’s Commemoration of the Funeral of Richard, Duke of York.

A newspaper article has appeared in the ‘Dewsbury Reporter’ about the support that Dewsbury Funeral Director Richard Box is giving to the project.  He has provided 100 copies of the words and music for the service of Vespers which will be performed next July in churches between Pontefract and Fotheringhay. The photograph shows Mr Box with the Very Reverend George Nairn-Briggs who is co-ordinating arrangements with the churches on the route.

The Road to Fotheringhay, 13th January 2010,  7.30 p.m. Ad Lib Gallery, Drury Lane Library, Wakefield.
A joint meeting with Wakefield Civic Society.  Talk and Presentation by Fotheringhay Research Group of Wakefield Historical Society. This talk explores the turbulent history of the years following the Battle of Wakefield in 1460 and the later reburial procession of Richard, Duke of York from Pontefract to Fotheringhay in 1476.

Wreath laying 01Wreath laying 02Wreath-laying Ceremony, 2nd January 2010,  2.15 pm at the Duke of York’s Statue, Manygates Lane, Wakefield.

The Yorkshire Branch of the Richard III Society held their yearly wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the Battle at Wakefield (Dec 31st 1460) The photographs show Angela Morton of the Richard lll Society and the Very Reverend George Nairn-Briggs, Dean Emeritus of Wakefield Cathedral.

The banner at the top of this page is based on an engraving of Wakefield by Samuel Buck: view original
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