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image of January 2013 Talk poster

In January Martin Heard gave a very informative talk about The Bayeux Tapestry. It is the story, in the form of a strip cartoon, of the military- campaign and claiming of the throne of England by the Norman, William the Bastard. It is 70 metres long and was embroidered, probably in Canterbury, by English women. It depicts 625 male figures and one woman. You can tell the English men because they have moustaches! The Pope banned the clergy from carrying swords, so they are depicted with clubs.

Harold gave the English throne by oath to William. He then broke his oath and as a result he became an outlaw. However, the tapestry does not show him in a bad light – he gives alms to the poor and saves men from the quick-sands at Mont Saint-Michel.

Although defeated, Harold is shown dying bravely and not as a coward. A copy of the embroidery was made in Leek, Staffs in Victorian times with certain omissions in the cause of modesty.

Report written by Polly Chandler.

Last Revised: 21-Jan-2013

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