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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: December ::
Was Chichelle There?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0679  Wednesday, 24 December 2008

From:        Harvey Roy Greenberg <
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Date:        Tuesday, 25 Nov 2008 14:01:36 EST
Subject:     Was Chichelle There?

In relationship to research on Henry Chichelle (Chichele), Archbishop of 
Canterbury, he of the knotted oration in Act II, Sc. 1, H5.

One source claims that the Archbishop was never present at the Leicester 
parliament, also claims historical evidence for same, in effect says 
that Hall and Holinshed were basing their histories on a retrospective 
falsification, for reasons vexed. The claim is that there is no 
contemporary account which would back up the charge that Chichelle was 
involved in a scheme to divert Henry's attention from the ''bad bill to 
an invasion of France which the Church would fund."

It is further said that the charge of Canterbury's deviousness was first 
made in some sort of history (broadside? book? speech?) by a bloke named 
Redman (there are other spellings), which was written around 1540, and 
possibly had something to do with furbishing the Tudor myth.

Furthermore, it is maintained that the Leicester Parliament began on 30 
April 1414 before Chichelle was elected archbishop. The rolls of 
parliament, which supposedly exist -- or existed -- indicate no presence 
of Chichellle. And, far from proposing a general raid upon the Church's 
holdings, that parliament passed a  brutal Act aimed at the Lollards, 
who supposedly wanted to destroy Henry and his holdings.

Is any of this true? It seems incredible to me that Hall and Holinshed 
would 'cook up' the story of the oration, and the subsequent tennis ball 
speech, indeed the whole scene depicted in H5 after Canterbury speaks. 
What could there reasons have been?

OK folks. The source is WIKIPEDIA (Hiss, Boo!) and indicates no 
substantive authority for this information. After exhaustive research -- 
perhaps not exhaustive enough -- I have found no substantive proof that 
the Archbishop was not at the Parliament, and never gave the speech.

Thanks in advance for clarification of this matter.

Harvey Roy Greenberg MD
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