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.

Monday, 20 July 2015

St Margaret of Antioch

Traditionally today is the feast of St Margaret of Antioch, Virgin and Martyr. A very popular saint in the middle ages - she was invoked by women in childbirth - she does not appear in the novus ordo calendar at all, and devotion to her appears to have largely disappeared.

Matthew Heintzelman posted about her on the Medieval Religion discussion group as follows from the online account here

“Olybrius, Governor of the Roman Diocese of the East, asked to marry her but with the price of her renunciation of Christianity. Upon her refusal she was cruelly tortured, during which various miraculous incidents occurred. One of these involved being swallowed by Satan in the shape of a dragon, from which she escaped alive when the cross she carried irritated the dragon's innards.” [ Hence her concern for women in labour - Clever Boy ]

Gordon Plumb posted these medieval English stained glass depictions of her on the discussion group:

Leicester, Jewry Wall Museum:

Landwade, St Nicholas, Cambridgeshire, nIII, 2a:

Stanford-on-Avon, St Nicholas, Northamptonshire, nIV, 1b:

Stanford-on-Avon, St Nicholas, sV, 3b:

Wrangle, St Mary & St Nicholas, nVIII, B3:

York Minster, nXXX, 1c-2c:

York, St Michael Spurriergate, sV, 1b:

Addlethorpe, St Nicholas, Lincs, nIV, A5:

Oxford, Balliol College Chapel, nV, 1c:

York Minster, sXXXIV, 2a:

Winchester Cathedral, nVIII, A7:

Winchester College, Chapel, Thurburn's Chantry, south window A2:

York, St Denys, nIV, 2a-3a:

South Ormsby, St Leonard, Lincs, sIII, 1b:

Langport, All Saints, Somerset, East window, B6:

Oxford, Trinity College, Dining Hall, roundel c.1515:

Kirk Sandall, St Oswald, South Yorkshire, nIV, 2d:

Oxford, Christ Church Cathedral, nVI, 3a:

These examples inclusde ones from some of the parish churches for which I have a particular enthusiasm - St Oswald Kirk Sandal, with the marvellous Rokeby chantry where the image of St Margaret is to be found, St Denys Walmgate in York and St Nicholas Stanford-on-Avon - all very well worth visiting, and none of them as well known as they should be.

No comments: