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A Priest Administering The Last Rites, In Richard Rolle's 'The Crafte Of Deying'

A Priest Administering The Last Rites, In Richard Rolle's 'The Crafte Of Deying'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1450

Shelfmark: Additional MS 10596

Item number: f.1v

Length: 13.9

Width: 9.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Richard Rolle (c.1300-1349), born at Thornton in Yorkshire, became a hermit at Hampole, a few miles north-west of Doncaster, and remained there until his death. He wrote a number of spiritual works, in Latin and Middle English, including a treatise on the 'Crafte of Deying', concerning how one should prepare oneself for death. This manuscript was owned by at least two late-medieval women from Barking, in Essex. Although smudged, the subject of the only miniature in this manuscript can be made out. In the foreground stands a priest with a tonsure, reading from the book in his hands. The person in his large bed with a rose-coloured cover is rather difficult to see, but his head can just about be seen above the edge of his green and gold pillow. The main text begins '[T]hough bodily deth be most dredful of alle fereful thynges . . .'

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