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Acts of Thomas Goldstone, in a Martyrology

Acts of Thomas Goldstone, in a Martyrology

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1520

Shelfmark: Arundel MS 68

Item number: f.65r

Length: 35.9

Width: 23

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

Monasteries had special services everyday in which the dead of the community were commemorated. It took place in the chapterhouse after morning prayers or mass and consisted of reading aloud in turns a chapter from the rule followed by the community, the names of saints whose feasts would be commemorated on the following day and reading of the names of the deceased of the community and names of important friends who had given them support. The lists of names of saints and of the dead along with a calendar and other texts important to the monastery, such as its rule, were collected in a book called a 'martyrology.' A very old, large and important community such as the priory of Christ Church, Canterbury, would have a massive list and collection of texts important to it. This martyrology of Christ Church records names and events from the 14th to 16th centuries.

An important person such as Thomas Goldstone would be extensively commemorated in the martyrology. Goldstone was the prior (equivalent of abbot) of Christ Church in the early sixteenth century. His 'acts' (biography) are recorded for reading on the anniversary of his death. The first letter of the biography bears his heraldry, a 'goldstone' under his initials. A bishop's mitre appears in the margin. The acts of Thomas Goldstone would be read in a service for his soul.

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