Licoricia of Winchester Statue







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This Jewish medieval woman just got a statue | Dress historian on Licoricia of Winchester’s clothes

How did Licoricia of Winchester change medieval history, why did this medieval woman get a bronze statue, and does it show historically accurate medieval dress? This Jewish woman was an important part of Jewish history in Medieval England in the 13th century. Licoricia, Winchester's Jewish community, and the presence and role of Jews in medieval history deserve this representation. Let's take a look at the medieval clothes on the Licoricia statue and find out if she's wearing historically accurate medieval dress dress for a Jew in 13th century England.

The Licoricia of Winchester statue was unveiled on February 10th, 2022, to commemorate Licoricia herself and all medieval English Jews (more info at https://licoricia.org/ ). Fashion history is still only just starting to understand how medieval Jewish women would have dressed differently (or not differently) to non-Jewish medieval women living near them. Medieval Jewish clothing is not well understood, and we're still figuring out how it would have combined Jewish traditional dress and non-Jewish medieval fashion. Licoricia's clothes are a great example of medieval womens' fashion, well documented in illuminated manuscripts and medieval statues. But there's more to Jewish dress than ordinary medieval clothing. I'm so happy to see a Jewish-led project bringing to life an example of a medieval Jewish woman, and while I've done my best to analyze her outfit, I would absolutely love to talk to the researchers behind this project and find out more.

But who actually was Licoricia, and how did she make such a difference in medieval Jewish life? She was both a single mother and a savvy businesswoman, playing a huge role in both Jewish and Gentile business ventures and interceding for the Jewish community with the English King. The tax bill she paid on the death of her second husband paid to build part of Westminster Abbey! In the middle ages Jews were often structurally marginalized, but through resilience and community their stories endure. Through dress history I've gotten to learn more about Licoricia herself and the community around her, and just how many gaps and inaccuracies there are in our picture of history when we leave marginalized people out.

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While I did exchange a couple e-mails with the Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, this video was researched, written, and produced independently. I am not associated with or part of the project, and all my opinions are the result of my own study.

Attributions (All CC-by-SA 3.0, license available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode )
-The photo of Queen Isabella of Angouleme's effigy at Fontevraud Abbey is by Adam Bishop.
-The photo of the Uta von Ballenstedt portrait statue is by Linsengericht.

Chapters
0:00 A Jewish businesswoman got a statue!
1:18 About the statue project
2:40 Jews in Medieval England
5:36 Who was Licoricia of Winchester?
8:53 The Licoricia statue's clothes
9:47 Nope, no Jewish badges here.
10:32 The kirtle
14:10 The cloak
15:19 The headwear
16:23 Jewish womens's headcoverings!
21:28 We need more statues like this one.
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