If your library subscribes to the SCJ click here

Get ADOBE Reader® button Follow 16th Century Journal on Twitter

Journal > Volumes > 52 (2021) / 1 (Spring)
The Accidental Worthy: Guy of Warwick and the Influence of Gerard Legh’s Accedens of Armory (1562–1612)
Richard J. Moll
University of Western Ontario

The Nine Worthies, a collection of Jewish, pagan and Christian heroes, was a well-established tradition in literature and art by the end of the Middle Ages. Several examples of the Worthies from early modern England make a substantial change to the grouping by replacing Godfrey of Bouillon with the English hero Guy of Warwick. Although it has been sometimes argued that this substitution is evidence of a growing nationalist sentiment, this paper argues that Guy’s presence among the Worthies is merely the result of textual confusion in the production of Gerard Legh’s Accedens of Armory (1562). Indeed, Guy is one of several peculiarities of Legh’s list of Worthies and all other witnesses to this English tradition simply repeat the list (and its peculiarities) from Legh’s very influential heraldic text.

Pages: 51 - 78