Can I ask your source? I can't answer any of your questions, though Q2,
they are all symbols/relics of the saint, so St Bridget was famous for her
prayer the 15 Oes said while telling the rosary or beads, St Helen's
quickingtree is presumably the Rood which she discovered
I would guess that the 'rie' is wry neck, which together with
'migreme'/megrim can be cured by St Thomas's hood, or possibly St Thomas
Hood (does any one know of such a presumably unofficial cult?) from/at
There seems to be quite a high proportion of northern saints in you list
University of Huddersfield
From: John A W Lock [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 19 January 2001 10:53
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Relics to be identified ....
I've been sitting on this bit of Tudor polemic for ages but it drifted into
so I thought I would get something done about it. And where better?
john aw lock
Q1. What is the 'red Cowe' that is lost?]
They mumble with their lippes, with rich Copes & kels,
And chaunting with their chastes lyke Owles in a frost,
They duck & they sence, and they trumpe up their Bels
And sprynkle water fast, but the red Cowe is lost,
Candles are illuminate and set on every post,
Before a gorgious Idol freshe figured and gylt,
And though it maye be suffered, yet thereby hath ben lost
Many a Christian man, and many a soule spylt.
Q2. What are these ....
For (thanked be God) sainct Frauncis cowle is spied,
And sainct Brides bead, with sainct Hellyns quickingtree,
Their girdles inuented, and their faire hayres died,
With their chaulk oled for the milke of our Lady.
Sainct Sithe and Tremans fast, with works of idolatrie,
as sainct Nicholas chaire and sainct Anthonies bell,
With Turpine stone and Moyses yarde so thee,
With S. Katherins knots, & S. Anne of Buckstones wel
Q3. What is St Peters grease? (where can I get some?)
Q4. Is the rie anything to do with ergot ?
And S. Wilfred Boorne of Rypon to keep cattel from pain,
And his needle which sinners can not passe the eye,
With S. John & S. Peters grease for to co'serve ye braine,
And S. Thomas hoode of Pomfret for migreme & the rie,
And S. Cuthberts sta'derd of Duresme to make their foes to flye,
And S. Benets bolte, and S. Swithens bell.
And sainct Patrikes staffe & saint Williams head pardy,
And saincty Cornelis horne with a thousand mo to tell.