Historic Maundy commemoration
Thu 29th March 2018 at 14.30 - 15.30
The first recorded distribution of Maundy Alms took place 808 years ago in 1210 at Knaresborough
Rotary in Knaresborough to mark historic Maundy event
The first recorded distribution of Maundy Alms took place 808 years ago in 1210 at Knaresborough Castle when King John distributed clothing, food and other gifts to the poor of the town. He introduced coins in addition to alms in 1213 and King Edward I made it an annual event at Easter. King Edward III directed that the number of recipients should equal the sovereign’s age.
The Maundy service, normally held at a different provincial cathedral each year on the day before Good Friday, celebrates Christ washing the feet of the Apostles. The washing of feet by the sovereign, which had accompanied the giving of alms, was discontinued by King James II. The service includes the presentation by the sovereign of alms, now in the form of specially minted Maundy Money. The recipients of alms are retired people who have given service to the church or community where the service is held.
This important historical event is only commemorated in Knaresborough in Peter Kearney’s trompe l’oeil painting in Castlegate, but not at the castle itself. That is about to change. At 2pm on Maundy Thursday, 29th March 2018, the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd CBE, will unveil a commemorative stone outside the castle walls.
The idea for a commemorative stone was first suggested by Rotarian John Tapscott, when he was President of Rotary in Knaresborough in 2012. When John moved away from the area the project was taken over by Rotarian David Kaye who has worked with English Heritage (now Historic England), the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, the Duchy of Lancaster and Harrogate Borough Council to get approvals and planning permission. All were supplied with sketches, technical drawings and a site plan. The project has been supported by the George Moore Foundation, Knaresborough Town Council and North Yorkshire County Council.
VIPs attending will be the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd CBE, Andrew Jones MP, Mayor of Harrogate Cllr Anne Jones and the Mayor of Knaresborough Cllr David Goode, Rotary District Governor for Yorkshire and Humberside Robert Morphet, Dr Keith Emerick of Historic England, Martin Ingram (stonemason), the Chairmen of Knaresborough Civic Society and Knaresborough Historical Society and representatives of the sponsors Angela James, of the George A Moore Foundation and a County Councillor to deputise for County Councillor Bill Hoult who will be on holiday. Also attending will be Knaresborough Rotarians including Past President John Tapscott who initiated the project.
Photograph shows:- King John with his bags of Maundy money looks down from a window in Peter Kearney’s trompe l’oeil painting in Castlegate, Knaresborough.