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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  November 2009

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION November 2009

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Subject:

Re: veneration of statues - fonts

From:

Harriet Sonne <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sun, 8 Nov 2009 09:24:50 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (333 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Hi Graham,

Okay, i see we have a reference from Pevsner for the church you mention (?) and font (original missing), (Bristol No. 7- BSI coding for site), Christ Church, Broad St. (Bristol) [orig. from St. Ewen's?]


Pevsner (1958) notes a "slender polygonal wooden baluster" font in this church.  Foyle (2004) mentions two fonts: "C17 octagonal stone font, reputedly from the long-demolished St. Ewen's church."  [NB: Foyle (ibib.) notes also a "mahogany baluster font", by Paty [Thomas Paty, fl. ca. 1755], in the vestry ante-room -- the latter font not listed in this Index]

cheers. H.

-------
Dr. H. Sonne de Torrens
Rm. 3130, 905-569-4610
Centre of Visual and Media Communications
Institute of Communications and Culture
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road North
Mississauga, Ontario L5L 1C6
Canada
________________________________________
From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Graham Jones [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 9:12 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [M-R] veneration of statues - fonts

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Dear Harriet

I imagine it's likely that the testator was referring to the Holy
Trinity church in the medieval town centre of Bristol which became known
as Christ Church. This church was rebuilt in the eighteenth century and
I don't my Pevsner at hand to check on the dates of its fittings.
George?

Best wishes

Graham


******************************************
Dr Graham Jones
St John's College (University of Oxford)
Oxford OX1 3JP
Tel: +(0)1865 280146 (with voice-mail)
e-Mail: [log in to unmask]

Senior Research Associate
School of Geography and the Environment
University of Oxford.
Web: http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/staff/gjones.html
Honorary Visiting Fellow
Centre for English Local History
University of Leicester.
Web: http://www.le.ac.uk/users/grj1
******************************************


-----Original Message-----
From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious
culture [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Harriet
Sonne
Sent: 08 November 2009 14:01
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [M-R] veneration of statues - fonts

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
culture

Hello Maddy,

We have a record for a 19th Victorian font at the Church known as the
Holy Trinity, located at Westbury-on-Trym (Bristol), and from The
National Monuments Record, English Heritage
[http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=379174]
[accessed 16 September 2009] we have the additional information about
the church:

"C19 font, octagonal on marble shafts".  and we have the additional note
"[NB: there may have been a church -part of a monastery- here as early
as the 8th century; the present church goes back to at least the 13th
century, but we have no information of the earlier font(s)]"

Do you think the reference in the will of Hugh John of Bristol might
refer to the earlier font in this particular church? Or is this
impossible to know...? It would be nice to be able to link the reference
to the font in this document to the earlier church.

This is the only Holy Trinity church we have listed for the Bristol area
(so far) in BSI. This may be a far stretch...as we now, fonts move
about. cheers,

Harriet.
-------
Dr. H. Sonne de Torrens
Rm. 3130, 905-569-4610
Centre of Visual and Media Communications
Institute of Communications and Culture
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road North
Mississauga, Ontario L5L 1C6
Canada
________________________________________
From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious
culture [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Madeleine Gray
[[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 7:20 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [M-R] veneration of statues of the Virgin Mary

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
culture
Hello Jim (and others). If you haven't come across it I guess it must be
a new one! which makes it quite exciting. I'll probably put a short note
in one of the local journals.
A bit more context -
The reference is in the will of Hugh John of Bristol, brewer. The
document is in the PCC probate records in the National Archives in
London: reference TNA Prob.11/14 (or 36 Holgrave in the old referencing
system.)
He asked for burial in the parish church of Holy Trinity, Bristol, near
the baptismal font (one for Harriet?)
As I said in my original posting, the testator does seem to have had a
particular devotion to the Virgin Mary. As well as 3s. 4d. to the statue
at Margam, he left 3s. 4d. to the much more famous shrine at Penrhys.
He also had some connection with, or devotion to, the Cistercian abbey
of Margam. He left them 10s., and 3s. 4d. to the work of the parish
church of Llangynwyd, which was one of theirs. (Llangynwyd had a famous
holy rood, but he doesn't mention that.) He also leaves small sums to
other churches in the area and to Llandaff cathedral.
My comment about 'me-too-ery' was tongue-in-cheek speculation but I
think it stands up. The land on which the more famous shrine of Penrhys
stood had been given to Margam to found a daughter house. The foundation
didn't prosper and the land became a grange. It was given to Llantarnam
in an exchange as part of the settlement of a dispute over land in the
early C13. I've always thought that Margam must have been pretty fed up
when Penrhys became so popular (and lucrative) in the C15 and I wonder
whether that were trying to establish a cult at Crick not so much as a
rival as an extra. It would have fitted very nicely into a route from
Llantarnam via Penrhys and Margam's shrine at Llangynwyd and on to St
David's.
I'm assuming the statue was in the church now called Capel Mair (I don't
know how far back we can date the dedication) on the ridge just
north-west of the abbey. The general assumption is that this was one of
the churches which the Cistercians built for lay tenants when they
started letting out their land as opposed to farming it with their own
lay brothers. It's in pretty much the same relationship to a holy well
now called Ffynnon Fair [ie Mary's Well] - again I don't know how far
back we can push the name of the well - as the chapel and well at
Penrhys. In both cases the chapel is on a spur with higher ground behind
it and the well is down a steep slope.
Unfortunately the Margam well isn't marked on the Ordnance Survey map
but if you go to
http://www.multimap.com/maps/?bundle=maps&locale=en-gb&countryCode=GB&ma
pData=904&zoom=15&qs=margam&moveMap=200,200
you get the location of the chapel and the well is just off the track to
Cwm Maelog farm.
There is now a substantial well chapel (I think I have a photo if
anyone's interested) but it's almost certainly a C19 rebuild. How much
of the original survives I don't know.
So now that I know it's a new discovery I clearly have a lot more work
to do! I'll wait until I hear from Christine James and Jane Cartwright,
both of whom have done a lot on Welsh poetry to shrines of the Virgin
Mary, then follow it up and post results to Jim off list.
Btw - you can access the original will on the National Archives web site
(for a fee of 3.50) - go to Documents Online at
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/?source=ddmenu_search
5, click on Wills and key in the search terms. It will download as a PDF
file you can save to your own computer. But beware - I don't know how
politely you can put this in your database, Jim - the PCC online indexes
are notoriously problematic particularly for early wills and the name
has to be entered as Hugh Johannes.

Best wishes
Maddy

Dr Madeleine Gray
Reader in History
School of Education/Ysgol Addysg
University of Wales, Newport/Prifysgol Cymru, Casnewydd
Caerleon Campus/Campws Caerllion,
Newport/Casnewydd  NP18 3QT Tel: +44 (0)1633.432675

'You may not be able to change the world but at least you can embarrass
the guilty'
(Jessica Mitford)

________________________________
From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious
culture on behalf of Dr Jim Bugslag
Sent: Sat 07/11/2009 8:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [M-R] veneration of statues of the Virgin Mary


medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
culture

Dear Maddy,
This is not a shrine I've come across.  Many thanks for pointing it out
to me!  It's now in my database, with an acknowledgement of you as the
source of information.  There are, in fact, a considerable number of
Marian shrines in the British Isles now known only through such bequests
in wills.  And it is not uncommon for people to have "hedged their bets"
by making donations to more than one Marian shrine.  Small Marian
shrines focussed on a miraculous image, usually a statue -- and often,
as you know, a miraculous spring -- were ubiquitous throughout England
and Wales.  Not only were they systematically destroyed at the
Reformation, however, but it would appear that even the records of them
were destroyed in an intentional attempt to consign them to oblivion.
This appears to have worked rather well.  Rather than thinking of this
one in terms of "me-too-ery", you might think of it in terms of a shrine
that would have served a fairly local population.  By the end of the
Middle Ages -- and well past it in the still Catholic areas of Europe --
a whole medico-geographical network of local shrines became established,
to which people resorted, not simply for their salvation, but for their
health, fecundity, the welfare of their livestock, etc., etc.  It is a
daunting task to reconstruct these networks, let alone put them into any
sort of chronological development.  Might I ask the date of your will?
Cheers,
Jim

Madeleine Gray wrote:
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
culture
> I think this may be one for Jim Bugslag or Graham Jones -
>
> Trawling through early Glamorgan wills in the National Archive in
> London (and looking for something completely different - as you do - )
> I came across a legacy to an image (I'm presuming it was a statue,
> though the Latin word is ymaginum and could also mean a painting) of
> the Virgin Mary described as being 'at the blessed Mary of Creke
> belonging to the abbey of Margam'. This is presumably Capel Mair on
> the Crugwyllt ridge above the abbey and in roughly the same
> relationship to Ffynnon Fair, Margam, as the Penrhys chapel was to the
> well there.
> Have you (in your work on the cult of the Virgin and the churches of
> the region) ever come across a reference to this statue, or anything
> that could be interpreted as such? David Williams doesn't seem to have
> come across it. My own suspicion is that it's the monks of Margam
> doing a bit of me-too-ery! The testator does seem to have had a
> particular devotion to the BVM - in the preamble he leaves his soul to
> God and to 'Mary the virgin, queen of mercy' and he gives money to
> Penrhys as well.
>
> I've contacted Christine James and Jane Cartwright to see if they have
> come across any poetry that could be interpreted as a reference to
> this statue.
>
> Best wishes - hope all is well with you.
> Maddy
>
>
> Dr Madeleine Gray
> Reader in History
> School of Education/Ysgol Addysg
> University of Wales, Newport/Prifysgol Cymru, Casnewydd
> Caerleon Campus/Campws Caerllion,
> Newport/Casnewydd  NP18 3QT Tel: +44 (0)1633.432675
>
> 'You may not be able to change the world but at least you can
> embarrass the guilty'
> (Jessica Mitford)
>
>
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