Licoricia Lecture Series with Winchester Cathedral – May/ June 2022

https://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/event/licoricia-lecture-series/

https://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/event/licoricia-lecture-series/

3rd May ‘The Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, to and beyond the statue’ by William and Maggie Carver 

19th May  ‘God’s Everlasting Word: Christian-Jewish Relations today’ by Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave OBE

30th May ‘The Role of Money in Medieval Christian-Jewish Relations’ by Anna Abulafia

30th June  ‘Licoricia, her son, and other Jewish stories at the Tower of London’ by Rory MacLellan

Please see the link above for details and how to book.

HRH Prince Charles visits Licoricia of Winchester

HRH Prince Charles, with the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mr Nigel Atkinson, Ian Rank-Broadley FRSS, William Carver and children from Winchester listen to the speech by the Chairman and Founder of The Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, Maggie Carver CBE
William Carver talks about Licoricia of Winchester with HRH Prince Charles, with Ian Rank-Broadley and Maggie Carver
Ian Rank-Broadley, Prince Charles and Licoricia of Winchester
Ian Rank-Broadley describes the statue to HRH Prince Charles
Prince Charles at the statue
Trustees Tony Stoller CBE, William Carver, Chairman Maggie Carver CBE, Ian Rank-Broadley FRSS, Danny Habel, Paul Lewthwaite

HRH The Prince of Wales confirms visit to Winchester on 3rd March in Platinum Jubilee year

Preparations are underway by Hampshire County Council to welcome to Winchester, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales on Thursday 3 March, following an announcement of the rescheduled Royal visit to the city, to see the statue of ‘Licoricia of Winchester’, a medieval Jewish businesswoman – and to officially open The Arc, Winchester’s new cultural centre.

Spectators wishing to view the Royal visit are advised to gather on Jewry Street outside The Arc, for mid-morning. 

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, said: “We are extremely honoured that His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales has confirmed his rescheduled visit to Winchester, as promised. It is a great privilege to host His Royal Highness during our historic Platinum Jubilee year of celebrations in Hampshire, at a time when communities across the county are preparing to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s historic milestone. We all look forward with great anticipation to His Royal Highness’ visit – not only to showcase the city’s new Licoricia statue – echoing one of the Jubilee’s key themes of tolerance across faiths and communities, but also for The Prince to officially open The Arc – Winchester’s wonderful new cultural hub, following a major refurbishment of the landmark former Discovery Centre building. I am sure that many people will wish to join in this special visit and will offer The Prince of Wales a very warm welcome to Winchester.” 

‘Licoricia of Winchester’, a statue funded and organised by The Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, stands outside The Arc cultural centre on Jewry Street, where Licoricia was known to have lived. This area was the historic centre of the medieval Jewish community before the Jews were expelled from England in 1290. The sculpture was created by award-winning sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and unveiled by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq. 

Maggie Carver, Chairman of the Licoricia Trust, said: “The trustees are honoured to welcome His Royal Highness to see the statue of Licoricia of Winchester which was unveiled on his behalf on 10 February. In doing so, The Prince emphasises the continued relevance of the statue in marking the historic importance of the medieval Jewish community in Winchester’s royal past, and in promoting inter-faith understanding.” 

The Arc, which is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, has recently re-opened following a £715,000 makeover. Paul Sapwell, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented: “We are delighted that The Prince of Wales has returned to Winchester so soon after the postponement of his previous visit. It is particularly fitting that His Royal Highness will officially open The Arc, given that The Duchess of Cornwall opened the building in its previous incarnation as Winchester Discovery Centre in 2008. The Arc is a partnership between Hampshire Cultural Trust and Hampshire County Council and offers an inclusive, diverse programme of live performance, exhibitions, library and community services. Part of the City of Sanctuary network, it is a safe, neutral space that welcomes those in our community who may be vulnerable, and as home to the statue of Licoricia, the themes of tolerance and diversity are key to our vision for The Arc.” 

Hampshire County Council is planning a range of Platinum Jubilee celebrations in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 70-year reign. Read more about the Authority’s planned Jubilee events.

There will be traffic and event stewards in place during the visit, supported by Police officers to ensure a safe and secure occasion.

Winchester is expected to be busier than normal and there will also be road closures in place along the length of Jewry Street, Tower Street and Staple Gardens. A signed diversion route will be in place.

The advice for anyone coming into the city that day is to travel in by public transport, use Park & Ride, or to walk where possible. 

The Spectator on Licoricia

About three minutes’ walk from my house in Winchester is Jewry Street. It runs from the Theatre Royal at one end towards the 13th Century Great Hall at the other. It’s a picturesque throughfare, dotted with cafés, restaurants, churches and a library. But despite its name, it is all but Judenrein.

I’ve lived in Winchester for almost 15 years. My grandparents brought their children up here. The air is clean, crime levels are low and there are many green spaces. It is often listed as the best place to live in Britain, especially for families. But the walk along Jewry Street has always given me a sense of eeriness.

Along the street lie unmarked locations of Jewish significance. The site of the synagogue – whose owner was lynched as part of a blood libel in 1236 – is now a small car park behind a bric-a-brac shop. At the end of the road used to stand the fortified Jews’ Tower, in which the community would take refuge during pogroms.Amid the modern preoccupation with colonialism and the slave trade, this difficult chapter in our island story remains obscure

This eeriness is familiar to me from visits to Germany and Eastern Europe. Many Jewish sites there are empty sockets, defined not by their presence but by their absence. You can feel the ghosts. In Koppenplatz, in the old Jewish quarter of Berlin, there is a sculpture called The Deserted Room. It comprises a table with two chairs, one of which is lying on its back as if somebody has been dragged away. It is about what has been taken from the world.

In 1290, England expelled its Jews. In one haunting incident, Jewish refugees on a ship from London to France were persuaded to stretch their legs on a sandbank at the mouth of the Thames. When the tide came in, the captain refused to lower the gangplank. They drowned, leaving him to sail home with their worldly possessions.

Amid the modern preoccupation with colonialism and the slave trade, this difficult chapter in our island story remains obscure. The official 3,000-word biography of Edward I on the Royal Family website, for instance, does not mention the fact that he expelled the Jews. It’s not like anybody’s making a fuss. As a community, Jews tend to keep their heads down. But we feel it.

Those brutal years occurred many centuries ago. Britain today is one of the most tolerant societies the world has ever known, and nobody is more grateful than the Jews. If it hadn’t been for Edward I’s Edict of Expulsion, however, our community in this country would almost certainly be larger and more vibrant. There would still possibly be a synagogue on Jewry Street. Less would have been lost from the world.

This week, the healing process started. A statue was erected on Jewry Street of a Jewish businesswoman called Licoricia, who was close to Henry III before she was stabbed to death in 1277, along with her toddler son. A carnival of Jewish dignitaries, from the Chief Rabbi to Simon Sebag Montefiore, descended on Winchester for the unveiling. Prince Charles, who had been scheduled to attend, was forced to pull out after catching Covid, so I was unable to bring the biography of Edward I to his attention. Nonetheless, I suspect there hadn’t been that many Jews in the city for 700 years (except, perhaps, at my family parties).

In the peace of this morning, with the colour and bustle of the event behind me, I walked along Jewry Street into town. Licoricia formed a striking silhouette against the bright blue sky. She had been positioned to gaze towards the site of her old house, several doors down from the carpark where the synagogue once stood, where its owner had been lynched. On her plinth was the Hebrew phrase from the book of Leviticus, ‘love thy neighbour as thyself.’ Her expression was defiant, as if looking death in the eye, and her son was glancing over his shoulder, as if at the coming expulsion. Or perhaps they were looking to the future.

I never expected to be so affected. The statue will change my sense of myself in the city, and it will change, I expect, my sense of belonging in this country. The same must be true for many Jews, especially the handful who live in Winchester. Memorials can never remove the suffering of the dead, but they can grant the living something important: acknowledgement.

Jake Wallis Simons

ALSO IN SOCIETY

FAITH LEADERS GATHER TO CELEBRATE LICORICIA OF WINCHESTER STATUE

INFORMATION RELEASE for 10 February 2022


Faith leaders from across the UK joined Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at the unveiling the statue of Licoricia of Winchester today [Thursday 10 February] in England’s historic royal capital. The sculpture, crafted by leading UK figurative sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, and now installed in Winchester’s Jewry Street, was celebrated by the presence of leaders of Jewish, Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Quaker, Muslim, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh and Bahai communities.

The Chief Rabbi of the UK and the Commonwealth, Ephraim Mirvis said:

“In many ways, the story of Licoricia shines a light on the nature of the Medieval Jewish community. Despite living in a society which was frequently hostile to Jews, Licoricia was totally committed to raising her family, building a successful enterprise and contributing to the prosperity of the country. As such, the unveiling of this significant statue sends a powerful message to contemporary British society of the importance of industriousness, generosity and respect for all people.”

Licoricia was a leading personality in the Jewish community of Winchester in the 13th century. Despite being widowed twice, she successfully brought up her family, conducted her business and prospered in a hostile society. She was a major financier to Henry III and his Queen, Eleanor. Money raised from Licoricia and from the estate of her second husband David contributed to the building of Westminster Abbey and its rich shrine to Edward the Confessor.

The project to install a statue of Licoricia aims to inform people about England’s little-known but important medieval Jewish community; to be a fresh gateway to the study of Winchester’s royal medieval past; to promote tolerance and diversity in today’s society; to inspire women and show the importance of education in providing opportunity; and to be a lasting artistic enhancement to the city of Winchester.

Maggie Carver, Chairman of the Licorica appeal, said:

“The statue of Licoricia stands as a reminder of the importance of Jewish and other minority communities within England’s history and right up to the present day. The trustees hugely welcome the presence of so many leaders and representatives of all the faiths in this country, as a mark of the importance of inter-faith understanding, tolerance and education.”

As well as the statue itself, the Licoricia project includes a new book researched and written by historian Rebecca Abrams to be published later this year, educational materials for schools prepared by Hampshire County Council, and an exhibition mounted by the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Notes

Fuller details of the Licoricia project are set out in the attached project summary.

Photographs are attached. Further photographs are available from the Licoricia of Winchester Appeal Trust mail@licoricia.org.

Contacts:

Licoricia of Winchester Appeal:

Office of the Chief Rabbi

  • Director of Communications Mark Frazer mark@chiefrabbi.org

Further information on the Licoricia project: www.licoricia.org.uk


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