View the Manuscript: Part 4
Some of the more interesting imagery in this section can be found on the left and right borders. Where the previous section contained banners alternating with white roses, we now see shields alternating with standards held up by heraldic beasts.
Left to right: white hart, black bull, white lion
The choice of beasts, like everything else in this manuscript, was calculated to emphasize the legitimacy of Edward IV's claim to the throne. The white hart, emblem of the deposed Richard II, would have reminded a fifteenth century audience of the injustice of that deposition. The black bull of Clare is a pointed reminder of Edward's descent from Lionel of Clarence, Edward III's second son. Finally, the white lion, the emblem of the Mortimer earls of March, who married into the Clare line, is an emblem that Edward IV retained as his own throughout his reign.
At the beginning of this genealogical section (see previous screen), although there are seven half-portraits of kings and dukes, there are only five lines of descent shown. In this section of the manuscript the Norman line shifts to create a space for the dukes of Aquitaine; the Spanish line will be included in similar fashion later. Note also the blending of the Norman (red) and Saxon (yellow) lines just below Harold, defeated at the Battle of Hastings and surrounded by a green-brown border instead of Saxon yellow; and the union of the British/Welsh and Mortimer lines, red and green, toward the bottom of this section.
The French line (blue) has split, about two-thirds down this section. The left split leads to Isabella of France, who will marry Edward II of England, and the right split eventually leads to Katherine of Valois, who will marry Henry V.
Two images toward the bottom of this section also bear mentioning. A pair of small roundels containing a red dragon, representing the Welsh, and a white dragon, representing the Saxons, are visual reminders of Geoffrey of Monmouth's account of a prophecy by Merlin. This prophecy describes a struggle in which the Welsh, defeated by the Saxons at first, would ultimately prevail. For the Yorkists the red dragon represented Edward IV, and the white dragon the Lancastrians. The identification of Lancastrians and Saxons is made further along in the manuscript, where Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI are all bordered in Saxon yellow alone. The dragon images celebrate the blending of the Welsh and the Mortimer lines (green and red) when Ralph de Mortimer, lord of Wigmore, married Gwladys Ddu, daughter of Llewelyn the Great, prince of Gwynedd -- thus linking the Mortimers, and by extension Edward IV, to Cadwaladr, Arthur, and Brutus.
Finally, this section includes a charming miniature of a peacock -- a symbol of immortality, and one connected with Edmund the Martyr, whose banner appears nearby.