Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

St Giles

Today is the feast of St Giles, the patron saint of the church where I was baptised in Pontefract and where I worshipped for many years before coming to Oxford, and served there as Parish Clerk for a number of years.

One of the many little projects I have in mind is to do a study of the cult of St Giles in medieval England. Devotion to him seems to be post-Conquest, but to have spread rapidly, and as he was invoked as a patron by a wide variety of people churches, chapels and hospitals dedicated to him occur in many places.

Detail of "Saint Giles and the Hind," by the Master of Saint Giles c. 1500

There is an article about St Giles here.

Out of my fees as Parish Clerk at Pontefract I gave copies of three pictures of St Giles to the church - two from the work by the Master of St Giles of circa 1500 now in the National Gallery, and another, of a fourteenth century stained glass figure of him from the choir clerestory of Wells Cathedral.

The first one I gave is that of The Mass of St Giles:

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