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.

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Marian Pilgrimage - Our Lady of Ely

The next station on the Pilgrimage is Ely Cathedral and the statue of Our Lady. 

Before the great Benedictine abbey became home to a new diocese in 1109 it was recognised as a pilgrimage centre not only for the relics of St Etheldreda but also to a statue of the Virgin and Child. Decorated with gold and jewels by the reign of King Cnut (1016-35 ) these adornments were stripped from it to pay fines to King William I after the rebellion of Hereward the Wake. This is recorded by Waterton in his book.

Given the wealth of the medieval Fens and the great revenues of the cathedral and bishopric of Ely I cannot but believe that new gifts came to the statue.

There is more about the tradition and about the glorious, yet wounded, Lady Chapel built in the early fourteenth century in my original post ftom 2020 which can be seen at Our Lady of Ely

May Our Lady of Ely pray for The King and all the Royal Family and for us all

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