JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  September 2006

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION September 2006

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: Burial places of English saints

From:

Thomas Izbicki <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 7 Sep 2006 08:54:29 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (220 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

I was in St. Alban's a few years ago.  The shrine has been reinstalled,
& the watching chamber (for a monk to keep an eye on the shrine) is a
rarity.

Tom Izbicki

Thomas Izbicki
Research Services Librarian
 and Gifts-in-Kind Officer
Eisenhower Library
Johns Hopkins
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410)516-7173
fax (410)516-8399

>>> Jon Cannon <[log in to unmask]> 9/6/2006 6:14 PM >>>
medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
culture

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
culture 

Of course, Ely also claimed St Alban, having been given his relics for
safekeeping from the Danes, and having presaged the story below by
giving back some other person's bones. The question wasn;t resolved
until the early c14, when none other than Alan of Walsingham of future
Octagon fame helped open the casket for Edward II's inspection.
Whatever
the king saw convinced him that it was St Alban's, rather than Ely,
that
had the real relics. But then, he always *was* a good judge of
character. 

 

I've sometimes wondered what impact it had on that fenland cathedral
priory to be caught with a fake saint. The scale of building works
there
over ensuing decades goes much further than a simple response to a
fallen tower: one element in 'the mix' might be a certain
looking-to-laurels, saint-wise: the laurels in this case being
Etheldreda shaped, of course. 

 

As for St Albans, the latter part of Brenda Cook's story - about the
recent return of a bone from Koln - is absolutely fascinating. Because
St Alban's shrine, even more than St Whyte's, has enjoyed something of
a
rebirth of recent years - since it was 'restored' with HLF money, in
fact. A couple of years ago I spent several hours in that
extraordinary
feretory - surely the most evocative in England - and watched people
of
all faiths and none coming and going, paying their respects. One woman
sat and wept; a teenage couple worked their way through all the
photocopied prayers, one by one. A verger told me he gets through
100,000 candles a year there. I'm sure this was before the return fo
the
blessed bone. It struck me forcefully that this very modern,
'spiritual'
without being 'religious' response to the shrine was doubly ironic as
it
was simply a shrine *base* that is exciting interest. . not any more,
it
seems! 

 

By the way, do you think there might be a connection between the Abbot
and his school in the Lady Chapel, and the fact that the shrine base
itself was walled up between the two? But I think the dates don't fit:
said wall was built when the ambulatory/retroquire (I'll take either,
guv)  became a right-of-way, a decade or two after the school was set
up? 

 

Jon 

-----Original Message-----
From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious
culture [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ms
Brenda
M. Cook
Sent: 06 September 2006 22:04
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: [M-R] Burial places of English saints

 

 But does anyone know of any other English medieval saints whose
relics
are still known to lie in the church where they were held, or even on
the site of a medieval shrine in that church? Answers to this question
-
or indeed other stories of the fate of such relics, welcomed. 

 

There is a body of opinion - mainly in St Albans itself - which
believes
that the (surviving) bones of Albanus, the British (not English as
frequently said) proto-martyr were smuggled out of England and put in
a
Shrine in St Panteleon's church in Cologne. This shrine, which already
had some bits of St Albans bones dating from the marriage of
Theophanou
and Otto. (Emperor Otto I or II ?) She had as part of her dowery the
bits of Alban which St Germanus was given when he came over to give
Pelagius a set down. The bones in the Shrine at St P. were examined
recently when the Shrine was moved from the Treasury into the body of
the church. Those who examined the bones within were very interested
to
find the skull had a thin gold circlet round its temples,
corresponding
to what King Offa is supposed to have done to the head of St Alban
when
he (Offa)  founded the Benedictine Monastery in what is now St Albans,
England.

 

(I am doing this from memory so have not checked on the dates, but
King
Offa is definitely later than St Germanus by several hundred years.)

 

The implication of this is that at the Reformation, the monks of St
Albans, seeing what was happening to the other Religious Houses, took
steps to preserve their greatest treasure - Albans' bones - by sending
them to the one place in all Christendom where there was an existing
cult of St A. In this way Henry VIII would not have discovered what
was
going on. (The last Abbot of St A recycled himself as the first
grammar
school headmaster, taking over the redundant Lady Chapel to be his
class
room - he was not the stuff of martyrs but that doesn't mean he was
not
a devotee of St A.) and the reformers presumably flung on the dunghill
the bones of some anonymous monk from the graveyard who had a few
brief
weeks of glory ...

 

A few years ago, a bone from the Shrine to St A. at St Pantaleon was
given to the (Anglican) Cathedral at St Albans (which is of course the
old Benedictine Abbey Church and still called The Abbey by the locals,
not the Cathedral - tho that is what is now is.) As a gift it had a
mixed reception. Some of the Church of England clergy were charmed and
delighted with the gift and its cementing of friendship between the
two
churches. Some of the more - shall we say "of the rigorously reformed
tradition" ?- were embarrassed if not actually scandalised. The
ceremonial arrival of the Bone - I think a shoulder blade - was the
occasion of some ecclesiastical high jinks and a great deal of jollity
and reunions between members of the two comgregations who had made
friends on previous occasions. The Bone was placed in a casket and put
on the top of the restored Shrine of Saint Alban underneath the new
crimson canopy. This occupies a prime position just behind the High
Altar.

 

We said afterwards - I was there - that Saint Alban had come home. Not
that he had ever really left. Like Durham, St Albans is very much a
place where there is a strong sense of Our Local Boy being around,
bones
or not.

 

This is a bit vague and impressionistic but I no longer live in St
Albans [ :-( ] and the appropriate notes and guidebooks are in a box
in
the attic .......

 

BMC

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to:
[log in to unmask] To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask] To leave the list, send the message:
leave medieval-religion to: [log in to unmask] In order to report
problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask] For further information,
visit
our web site: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html 

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask] 
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask] 
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask] 
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask] 
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JISCMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996


WWW.JISCMAIL.AC.UK

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager