Free Library of Philadelphia


Second section showing two roundels containing the Temptation of Adam and Eve and Noah's ark.

This image shows a section of a genealogical roll that was commissioned to celebrate the English king Edward IV's (1442-1483) accession to the throne after he deposed Henry VI. By placing his ancestry within the framework of world history as it was understood at the time, Edward IV could claim hereditary and God-given rights to the throne of England. Edward's motto, 'confort et lyesse', and his badge, the rose-en-soleil, alternate with coats of arms placed along the edges of the roll that illustrate Edward's ties to the royal and aristocratic families of England. In this section, the history of the world beginning with the Temptation is followed by portraits of the descendents of Adam and Eve and continues with a roundel depicting Noah's ark in the flood waters. Written below are the names of his descendants who were believed to be the ancestors of the British, French, and Saxon kings.

This manuscript was executed sometime between June 1461 (Edward IV's coronation) and May 1464 (his marriage), probably ca. 1461.

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Rare Book Department