History of St Bartholomew's f.51r
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
One of the oldest churches in London, St Bartholomew's church and priory of Augustinian canons were founded by Rahere in 1123 in West Smithfield. Following the order's tradition of giving hospitality to travellers and tending the sick, the brothers of St Bartholomew's provided an important hospital in medieval London. This manuscript contains a collection of documents, in Latin and Middle English, on its foundation and history.
The history of the priory, like nearly all such medieval histories of monasteries, promotes the saintliness of its founder and the efficacious concern of its patron saint. Miracle stories formed an essential part of their public relations campaigns, waged to bring the support of the devout. On this page, St Bartholomew helps Rahere to deal with a thief who has stolen a valuable hymn book (antiphoner) from the priory.