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Marginal Image Of A Leprous Beggar, In The Evesham Pontifical

Marginal Image Of A Leprous Beggar, In The Evesham Pontifical

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1400

Shelfmark: Lansdowne MS 451

Item number: f.127r

Length: 361

Width: 220

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A Pontifical is a liturgical book containing texts specifically to be used by a pope, archbishop, or bishop, such as for the consecration of bishops and of churches, the coronation of a king; various blessings, for a bell and a new well, for example; and many others. A flyleaf note records that the manuscript had belonged in the Middle Ages to Evesham Abbey, in Worcestershire. This curious image shows a beggar with leprosy (with sores on the face, and missing one hand and one foot), holding a bell, with which to warn others of the affliction. The scroll reads, in English: 'sum good my gentyll mayster for god sake'.

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