Recording and curating relics at Westminster Abbey in the late Middle Ages
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Westminster Abbey’s relics, and objects functionally related to them, were kept in the shrine chapel of St Edward the Confessor, where the kings and queens of England were customarily buried. They constituted a discrete collection, curated by a dedicated monastic officer titled ‘the keeper of St Edward’s shrine and the relics of St Peter’s church’. Inventories of the chapel, made when the office changed hands, survive from 1467, 1479 and 1520. These documents are analysed here for what they reveal of the contents of the collection, monastic interest in it, and the way the relics and related objects were cared for. As an important aspect of the chapel’s spatial configuration, the problem of where precisely the relics were located is also investigated. By examining the routine management of a single, important collection, the article aims to contribute to a more holistic understanding of the cult of relics in the late Middle Ages.
Luxford , J 2019 , ' Recording and curating relics at Westminster Abbey in the late Middle Ages ' , Journal of Medieval History , vol. 45 , no. 2 , pp. 204-230 . https://doi.org/10.1080/03044181.2019.1593626
Journal of Medieval History
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03044181.2019.1593626
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