Save the Wolsey Angels

22nd January, 2015


Following my blogs about searching for the lost remains of Cardinal Wolsey, the Victoria and Albert Museum got in touch with me. Recently the 4 Renaissance Angels that Wolsey had commissioned for his tomb, had been discovered. They had been lost for overĀ 400 years. The V&A is currently running a fundraising campaign to keep the Angels on permanent display to the public.

All of us in Leicester should support the fundraising campaign because of our very special link to the cardinal. He is still here somewhere since he died at Leicester Abbey in 1530. Just like Richard III his remains have been lost and may yet be found.

The only other remaining part of the tomb that Wolsey commissioned from Benedetto da Rovezzano now contains Admiral Lord Nelson in St Paul’s Cathedral London.NelsonTomb

If people wish to donate to save the Angels then please visit the V&A website

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if, when they are saved for the nation, we were able to borrow them and have them on display at the Richard III visitor centre. After all before Wolsey became Henry VIII’s Chancellor he was Chaplain to Henry VII the victor at Bosworth and founder of the Tudor dynasty.

Further interest in Wolsey and the Tudors has been sparked by the BBC serialisation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. The first episode was shown last night. I viewed with some anxiety, as the novels are tremendous and beautifully written.

The BBC didn’t disappoint and I can’t wait for the next episode. Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell walks straight out of the pages of Wolf Hall. Jonathan Pryce’s Wolsey captures Mantel’s depiction of a good humoured, powerful, and beneficent man, although much less rotund than we are led to believe by contemporary images!

Unrestored Angel

Unrestored Angel


Two Restored Angels at the V&A

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