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The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

A more exotic figure of medieval cult of St. Thomas, his ideas are also somewhat incomprehensible.

According to story, Gilbert Beckett "takes up cross" and leaves London for Jerusalem, where he is captured by Emir.

Emil's daughter fell in love with Gilbert and after his escape she found her way to a ship bound for England and when she reached kingdom did nothing but say "London" by any means of communication. .

Fortunately, she made it to Gilbert's house, where, surrounded by a curious and bewildered crowd, she was recognized by his servant.

Gilbert's house is said to be in one of the city's most famous and haunted areas, where a hospital dedicated to St. Thomas was built, and she collapsed, and Gilbert's servants carried her to a friendly widow's house nearby.

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

Gilbert went to St. Paul's Cathedral to consult Bishop of London, where six bishops met "to discuss difficult questions concerning Church and State", and Bishop of Chichester foretold her son. The bishops agreed that she should be baptized and that Gilbert should marry her, and she was baptized by six bishops at St. Paul, married Gilbert, and soon after gave birth to Thomas.

While technically a rather simple tale, it has a special meaning to Londoners as it is a continuation of previously unappealing London Christmas Story.

The tale of this exotic princess is often found in twelfth and thirteenth century romances, but it is unusual to be associated with life of a saint.

We must take seriously suggestion that establishment of St. Thomas' Hospital in Akko at his birthplace has given rise to a folk etymological story that explains Middle Eastern place names.

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

London's prominence in history, such as princess's only English word "London", and geographical familiarity with city allows all activities to follow Cheapside-St. Paul axis, recognizing that it is busiest street. , but also hints of a London origin.

The earliest version of this story appears in Life of St. Thomas by Edward Grim, known as Quadrilogus I in The Lives of St. Thomas.

Although circumstances of creation of Quadrilogus I are unknown, earliest surviving version of manuscript dates from mid-13th century.

The hospital appears in all of earliest editions, thus giving endpoint after about 1228, inserting story into life of Edward Grimm, probably about ten years later. Because it is said that hospital has been built.

The mention of a meeting of six bishops and only one of them, Bishop of Chichester, provides a possible chronological context around 1240.

Between 1237 and 1241 a series of noteworthy church councils took place, many of them in St. Paul's Cathedral, at which "difficult questions of church and state" were discussed and violations of church rules were declared by kings. freedom.

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

The Bishop of Chichester at that time was Ralph de Neville, a prominent citizen of London, whose palace was on Chancellors Lane, and was prime minister, like St. Thomas.

Neville was at odds with king's wishes and was deprived of Great Seal in 1236 or 1238 against his wishes, which caused popular disapproval, and Edict prevented Winchester from becoming pope.

He was hailed by reformers as an exemplary minister, elected when Henry III was in minority, "General Counselors of Realm", who sought to permanently introduce custom, as David Carpenter put it: one person came to mind and that was Ralph de Neville.

In this light, Bishop's meeting and Bishop of Chichester's prophecy seem to bring some modern political commentary to a rather ordinary story.

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

Author opined: Ecclesiastical and state affairs ended life of Thomas and clearly paid homage to respected chancellor who predicted birth of his predecessor, in light of these contemporary references, before about 1240. The dates given for record of history seem reasonable.

The story became an important part of Becket's medieval mythology, was translated into popular Middle English prose and poetic legends of fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and depicts a prominent episode in later medieval pageants.

Lawrence Warner demonstrated his vitality in late medieval London, appearing in sermons, he claims, as in Chucer's Lawyer Tales, story itself is said to be directed in business community around Akko St. Thomas.

Thomas's parents, one real, one mythical, became cult objects themselves, and in some later retellings of Nativity story, site of St Thomas' Hospital in Akko was also birthplace of Gilbert Beckett.

In late Middle Ages, Gilbert and his Princess Bride are believed to have been buried in St. Paul's Absolution Cemetery, a chapel founded by Gilbert and later dedicated to his son.

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

In fifteenth century it was center of major civil ceremonies, discussed below, but evidence for antiquity of this faith is lacking, with archaeological finds no earlier than Din Mor. The chapel dedicated to Saint Thomas and Saint Anne was erected in 1420s, and it is likely that absolution cemetery was associated with Saint Thomas's parents at same time church was built.

Also in 1420, coinciding with celebration of anniversary of Canterbury translation, John Carpenter, a London clerk, compiled a London book of customs and ceremonies called Liber albus .

His description of annual mayoral swearing-in ceremony clearly demonstrates primacy of St. After new mayor is sworn in, new mayor will host a feast in his house.

The mayor in his uniform and aldermen will then assemble at St. Thomas' Hospital in Acre before proceeding to St. Paul's Cathedral, where in nave of cathedral they will pray to Bishop William (1051-1075), who is said to have celebrated the City was free.

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

Then they went to cemetery "where bodies of St. Thomas's parents lay" and prayed, and then returned to Cheapside, and if it got dark, each of them paid a penny at St. Thomas' Hospital before retiring.

Similar religious processions take place on All Saints Day (November 1), in Church of St. Stephen (December 26) and St. John Theologian (December 27), who after holiday gather in hospital, hear Vespers in St. Paul's Church. and returned to hospital.

On feast of Holy Innocents (December 28, day before martyrdom of St. Thomas), Circumcision (January 1), Epiphany (January 6) and Purification (February 2), mayor celebrated vespers in hospital. with city council members.

Much of this can be identified from earlier known civil ceremonies, beginning in late thirteenth century, Cheapside stands out as a processional route, although Carpenter was first to explicitly identify role of St. Thomas' Hospital in Acre.

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

The importance of fatherhood of Saint Thomas is also emphasized, as evidenced by popularity of story of Nativity of Thomas from middle of thirteenth century. Gilbert's role as sheriff is not mentioned, but would add to mayoral contest.

As Caroline Barron said, mayoral inauguration on October 29 was "the most important moment of civil year, which whole city reveled in" and accompanied entire 15th century with a "Carnival atmosphere".

St. Thomas and his family are at center of it all. Aside from main city hall building, concentration of civic activity after Christmas is particularly notable, with mayor and councilors putting on their uniforms and visiting city's patron saint five times during Christmas celebrations at birthplace.

Amy Appleford is celebrating St. Thomas's Day, but we will definitely see birth of Christ along with saints of city where he was born and where he is. own birth and martyrdom.

In fifteenth-century urban rites, we can see that London-centered cult figure was site of "resurrection" of saint, as William Fitzstephan wrote two and a half centuries earlier.

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

However, we should be wary of fifteenth-century rituals just because they appear to be fully developed. Historians are accustomed to considering Carpenter's words about these rituals as "ancient", but in his account many of them were recorded for first time.

Of course, Carpenter is able to establish new cult associations in city, but even if his compilation reflects a modern idea of ​​\u200b\u200b"ancient", it itself can be modern.

Anne Sutton considers John Neal's reign to be a defining period in history of hospital, especially because of his association with Earl of Ormond and John Carpenter's relationship.

However, Neil clearly made his mark before he became a Master, and almost certainly influenced notion of central role of hospitals in civil ceremonies before becoming a Master.

Amy Appleford believes that dispute between city and St. Paul's Cathedral over access to cathedral grounds was result of Carpenter commissioning Dance of Dead series for an absolution burial in the early 1430s. key factor.

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

We might consider including graves of St. Thomas' parents in this year's main civic ceremonies as another early strategy in this competition.

For that matter, Liber albus is earliest description of Gilbert Beckett and his wife buried in Cemetery of Absolution.

While this place is mentioned in many early wills, none of them refers to parents of St. Thomas - a glaring omission.

It should not be overlooked that this is a relatively new aspect of cult, and once again shows how Londoners have adapted their patron saint to new environment.

Gilbert Becket's son, Thomas, found his chance in developing but unstable London of the mid-twelfth century.

He comes from a middle-class family with ample wealth and civic pride, and to them he was "Lux Londoniarum".

The most exotic princess in British history: what happened to her?

In construction of London's first stone bridge, nascent city community found a saint and a unifying project: St. Thomas Hospital in Acre, founded on birthplace of martyr, and erected at its gates Great Pipeline, which creates an axis of civic procession between St. Paul and St. Thomas, two patrons of city.

St. Thomas defended city and townspeople again flocked to his Canterbury sanctuary, London created its own iconic tales, notably birth story of Gilbert and Emil's daughter, and reinvented popular saint's connection to keep memory of Thomas alive. .

In 1420s, around time of Jubilee of Saint Thomas, London has been ingenious for a long time in adapting cult of Thomas in role of Thomas as patron of city. This is well represented in overview importance of London and London as city of his birth, brought together in most important civil ceremonies of year.

While remains of Saint Thomas may be kept in Canterbury, there is a vibrant, thriving and creative cult in heart of city where he was born.


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