Seal and Charter bathed in sunlight
William of Wykeham’s Seal & the College Charter bathed in Sunlight

William of Wykeham, once one of the richest men in England, was a great public administrator in the 14th century. Career highlights included Bishop of  Winchester and Chancellor of England. He also founded Oxford’s New College in 1379, and the public school, Winchester College in 1382. The seal and charter being bathed by the sunlight are the originals from Winchester College’s foundation. They are kept to this day in the original rooms built for their storage in 1390s.

107 thoughts

  1. I’m very surprised that documents that old would be allowed to be under sunlight even with protective coverings. Usually, documents that are much newer are kept in semi-darkness. It’s a beautiful picture — but sunlight on ancient documents leaves me puzzled.

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    1. It was only for the day, usually they are kept in a very secure and dark chest. Apparently the occasional light as well as occasional handling doesn’t do a huge amount of damage . . and I think the sunlight would have only been directly on them for an hour or so


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