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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The London Hours of William Lord Hastings



Master of the First Prayer book of Maximilian
Image of The Nativity and Prime
From The London Hours of William Lord Hastings
Late 1470s
Pigments and gold on vellum
165 x 125 mm
MS 54782, ff. 106v-107
The British Library, London




Master of the First Prayer book of Maximilian
Adoration of Kings and Largesse
From The London Hours of William Lord Hastings
Late 1470s
Pigments and gold on vellum
165 x 125 mm
MS 54782,  ff. 42v-43
The British Library, London

William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings (c. 1431 – 13 June 1483) was Lord Chamberlain to King Edward IV

During his reign he was recognized by the greatest peer in the realm, 

He was executed for treason by Edward's brother and ultimate successor, Richard III

He was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor, near  Edward IV

He is one of the main characters in Shakespeare`s Richard III

Hastings commissioned the Book of Hours from the south Netherlands

As the British Library website makes clear there is some irony in the scene of the Adoration of the Kings who are sent on by King Herod to find the Messiah

Hastings was a staunch protector of Prince Edward and his brother - the young 'princes in the Tower' 

He and the two princes stood between Richard  Duke of Gloucester and his kingly ambitions

For more on this manuscript see Bodo Brinkmann The Hastings Hours and the Master of 1499