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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  December 1997

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION December 1997

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Subject:

Re: speaking of English saints' relics ...

From:

George FERZOCO <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sat, 20 Dec 1997 15:06:08 +0100 (BST)

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (42 lines)

Many thanks, Peter (fount of all knowledge regarding Thomas of Hereford, and much 
more)! For those without access to the web, hereunder is the short article in the 
local Hereford newspaper.

George

* * * * * * * *

Archeologists probe tomb of a great man 

SLOWLY but surely the fragile stone slab covering the ancient tomb of St Thomas 
Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford, has been raised, writes ELIZABETH
WATKINS. An elaborate system of jacks and hoists was rigged up in Hereford 
Cathedral's north transept to carry out the delicate operation, supervised by
consultant archaeologist Ron Shoesmith and a team of skilled conservators. As 
expected, no remains were found inside the medieval shrine, one of the most
complete in the country. Cantilupe's bones were dispersed at the time of the 
Reformation. The only find was a piece of slate inscribed by a Victorian wag with
the words 'gone to the dogs by the time you read this' and dated 1861. The 
dismantling of the tomb is part of a #20,000 restoration directed by English 
Heritage
and part-funded by Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust. Tests will reveal whether 
the lid of the 700-year-old tomb, which once bore a full-length brass of
Cantilupe, is of Purbeck marble or, as some believe, of polished limestone from 
the Bishops Frome area. Cantilupe, a well-known clergyman and chancellor of
England, died in Italy on his way to see the Pope. It was reported that miracles 
happened after his death and this hastened his canonisation. Perpetual trust
director Sue Embury said: ''It was extremely satisfying to see this stage of the 
conservation programme go so well. None of this would have been possible
without generous donations.'' 

* * * * * * * *

George Ferzoco                    tel ++  44  (0)116  252 2654
Director of Studies for Italian   fax ++  44  (0)116  252 3633
University of Leicester           e-mail  [log in to unmask]
School of Modern Languages
LEICESTER LE1 7RH UNITED KINGDOM


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