King John: the Worcester Connection ConferenceLogo_King-John--Magna-Carta-Logo-Positive_small.jpg

Friday 8 and Saturday 9 April 2016
A conference on the subject of King John, to commemorate the 800th anniversary of his death and burial in Worcester Cathedral.
Organised by Worcester Cathedral in partnership with Professor Stephen Church of the University of East Anglia.

Worcester Cathedral commemoration of King John's burial.
At Newark-on-Trent, on the night of 18 October 1216, King John died. His kingdom was in ruins, a foreign prince stalked the land, and his heirs looked unlikely to succeed to the kingdom. It was a disastrous state of affairs, and John knew it, so when he drew up his last testament he urged his executors to do all in their power to help his sons. As for himself, he commended his body to the monks of Worcester cathedral and his immortal soul to the two Worcester saints, Oswald and Wulfstan, the latter of whom was canonised in part because of John's own interest in him. His body was carried from Newark to Worcester and, sometime around 23 October, he was laid to rest, the tide of history moving on without him.

The community that undertook the duty of looking after King John's soul were assiduous. They said masses for his soul twice daily and serenaded him with the song of kings, the Christus Vincit. They erected an effigy in his honour which to this day lies on top of the stone casket (now surrounded by a sixteenth-century altar tomb) in which the king's body still lies and they made every effort to assure John's son, Henry III, that his father was in good hands. As a result of their efforts, Henry III rewarded the monks handsomely, so much so that they were able to afford to complete the rebuilding programme that gives us the cathedral largely as it stands today.
Prof Stephen Church

This conference commemorates King John’s burial in Worcester Cathedral and will gather together a group of scholars who will lecture on and discuss the history of Worcester Cathedral in the 13th Century and the impact that John's tomb had on the development of the cathedral. 

Prof Stephen Church, who teaches medieval history at the University of East Anglia, is helping the Cathedral organise the conference. There will be nine lectures, each one focusing on a key issue to do with Worcester in the 13th Century. The two day conference will include an evening lecture by Prof Stephen Church asking 'Who was King John?' and a lecture by Prof David Carpenter, emeritus professor of medieval history at King's College London on 'Henry III's perceptions of his father'. Other speakers are to include Nigel Baker - ‘Worcester in the 13th Century’, Ann Williams -‘St Wulfstan of Worcester’, Philippa Hoskins - ‘The bishops of Worcester in the early 13th Century’, Sophie Ambler - ‘The bishops of Worcester in the late 13th Century’, Chris Guy -‘The rebuilding of the Quire in the 13th Century’, Ute Engel - ‘The Architectural and Sculptural Setting of King John’s tomb’ and Malcolm Thurlby – ‘the late 12th Century rebuilding at Worcester Cathedral’.

Download more information about  the speakers.
Download the full information with details of Conference Dinner.
King_John_-_head_150.jpgDownload a booking form to complete and return.

We plan for most of the lectures to take place in the King School Theatre, off College Green, WR1 2LH.

Lunch and the conference dinner will be in the beautiful setting of the early 12th Century Chapter House, within  the Cathedral precinct.
Tea and coffee breaks will be taken in the King's School dining hall, close to the theatre.  


Friday 8 April 2016
8.30am - 8.55am             Registration in the King's School Theatre
9am - 10.15am                Dr Nigel Baker, ‘Worcester in the 13th Century’
10.15am - 10.45am        Tea/coffee
10.45am - 12.00pm        Dr Ann Williams, 'St Wulfstan of Worcester’

12pm - 2pm                     Lunch in the Chapter House.
During the lunch break there will be an opportunity for some to view King John’s will and artefacts or take a tour, 1.05 - 1.50pm listen to Matthew Bennett 'Magna Carta Wars'.

2pm - 3.15pm                 Dr Laura Cleaver,'A 13th Century Psalter from Worcester and its significance'
3.15pm - 3.45pm           Tea/coffee
3.45pm - 5pm                 Sophie Ambler, ‘The bishops of Worcester in the late 13th Century’

6pm – 6.45pm                Conference drinks and canape reception at the Cathedral Nave Crossing

7pm - 7.45pm                 Evening lecture Stephen Church, ‘Who was King John?’
Likely to be in the Cathedral Quire in sight of King John’s tomb

Saturday 9 April 2016
9.30am -10.45am           David Carpenter, ‘Magna Carta in the reign of King John and Henry III’
10.45am -11.15am        Tea/coffee
11.15am - 12.30pm       Christopher Guy, ‘The rebuilding of the Quire in the 13th Century’

12.30pm - 2.00pm          Lunch in the Chapter House.
During the lunch break there will be an opportunity to have a tour of the Cathedral. 

2.00pm - 3.15pm            Malcolm Thurlby, ‘The late 12th Century rebuilding at Worcester Cathedral'
3.15pm - 3.45pm            Tea/coffee
3.45pm - 5.00pm            Prof Dr Ute Engel, ‘The architectural and sculptural setting of King John’s tomb’

5.30pm - 6.15pm            Choral Evensong with the Lydian singers
6.30pm - 7.15pm            Private viewing of the Cathedral in the company of Christopher Guy, Malcolm Thurlby, and Ute Engel.

7.30pm                             Conference Dinner in the Chapter House.
                                           Hosted by the Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, with music from Worcester Cathedral lay clerks.

Please note lectures are in the King's School John Moore Theatre unless otherwise stated.

Sunday 10 April
10.30am  You are invited to join the Dean and Chapter for Sunday Eucharist service.

Details of the conference will be £122 for the Conference only, £157 for Conference and Conference Dinner 
There are a limited number of reduced priced tickets for full time students, please contact the Chapter Office 01905 732900 for details.

The conference cost will include – 
Nine lectures by speakers of note over two days. 
A buffet lunch, tea and coffee on Friday and Saturday.
The Friday evening conference drinks & canape reception.
A tour of the Cathedral.
An opportunity to see King John's Will and artefacts and of course visit his tomb!

An optional extra will be the Saturday evening conference dinner
(numbers will be restricted so please book early to avoid disappointment). See details of menu on page 2.

Contact the Cathedral Chapter Office to purchase tickets  –  or phone 01905 732900

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