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.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Our Lady of Walsingham

The Latin Mass Society virtual Pilgrimage to Walsingham seems a good point at which to post something about the recent reports that what may, indeed may well, indeed what really could be the original statue from the medieval Shrine has survived and is now safely ensconced in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

There has I know been the suggestion - more likely the hope - that the statue had somehow survived, but I have hitherto been of the opinion that this was wishful thinking. Now there appears to be a good reason to
believe that it did survive.

There have been a series of online reports about what has been known since the 1920s as the Langham Madonna, and each adds important detail to the narrative, so it is worth looking at each one,

The Catholic Herald article can be read at 

Was the original Walsingham statue really destroyed – or is it in the V&A?, and this was followed by The Church Times with

Marian statue may be medieval.

The website Living Church has an illustrated article at Original Our Lady of Walsingham Statue May Be in London’s V & A

One of the proponents of the identification of the statue as being the original from Walsingham, Dr Francis Young, has a post on his blog at Our Lady of Walsingham? The Mystery of the Langham Madonna

The Supremacy and Survival  website has more detail about the destruction of the Shrine and the Walsingham Martyrs at Cromwell's Bonfire and Our Lady of Walsingham.  Frank Beswick on Wizzley.com attempts an interpretation of what happened in Walsingham in 1537 at The Mystery of the Langham Madonna

The statue is also considered on the website of 


The Eastern Daily Press website report includes good illustrations of Walsingham today in  Have researchers cracked the 500-year mystery behind a sacred Norfolk symbol?

The Centre for Marian Studies reports on the suggested identification at DID THE STATUE OF OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM ESCAPE BURNING?

If this really is the statue we have hitherto known only from the seal of the medieval Priory, or even if it is a medieval copy of it, then is it not fortuitous that it has been identified in the year of the rededication of England as Our Lady’s Dowry? Also, even if it is confined to a museum, it is literally next door to the London Oratory.

Our Lady of Walsingham Pray for us

No comments: