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Re: VMs: Edward Kelly's dead Catholic bishop...?
I may have found the missing link...
Glastonbury Abbey itself:-
(Catholic) History of Glastonbury Abbey:-
Practically all the rest is level with the ground, but mention must
be made of the library, of which Leland, who saw it in Abbot
Whiting's time, declares that no sooner was he over the
threshold but he was struck with astonishment at the sight
of so many remains of antiquity; in truth he believed it had
scarce an equal in all Britain.
A list of all the Abbots of Glastonbury:-
The Blessed Richard Whiting (executed 1539 by Cromwell) was the last Abbot:-
But perhaps Richard Bere (the previous abbot) could be our smoking gun,
linking Glastonbury with Italy, at just about the right time:-
The last Abbot but one, Richard Bere (1493-1524), made
important additions. He vaulted the central tower, and to
support the extra weight put in St Andrew's Cross arches
(such as we see at Wells) into the two transept arches.
He also built a large chapel to King Edgar (regarded as
a saint at Glastonbury) at the east end of the church.
The foundations of it were discovered by Mr Bligh Bond
Further, after a pilgrimage to Italy, Abbot Bere built a chapel
to Our Lady of Loretto on the north side, west of the transept.
The sketch plan, made before the foundations of these
buildings were uncovered, does not show them.
Had Henry VIII retained any of the interest in literature which,
as a young through man, he seems to have possessed, he
would have given orders that the whole library of Glastonbury
should be transferred to one of his palaces. We have a
catalogue of that library, made in the thirteenth century,
and it shows that the Abbey then owned a number of books
so antiquated in script that the monks of the day could not
GC has always asked me by what mechanism a Northern Italian manuscript
could have ended up in the hands of a dead English Catholic bishop. Well...
the facts here seem to suggest one possible scenario:-
Abbot Bere, the head of one of the richest abbeys in England - which had a
huge library, with many unreadable antique documents even two centuries
before - goes on a moving pilgrimage to Italy. While there, he gets offered
a strange unreadable manuscript - which he buys on behalf of the Abbey, and
takes back to Glastonbury.
However, I'd need to know rather more about Abbot Bere before I even begin
to speculate on why it (allegedly) ended up in his grave! :-) But his
travels are extremely likely to have been recorded in the Glastonbury court
and compotus rolls, so this may be a very fruitful area for someone to
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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