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An Account Of Saints Wulfhad And Ruffin, Sons Of King Wulfhere, Supposed Founder Of Peterborough Abbey, In The Chronicle And Cartulary Of Peterborough Abbey

An Account Of Saints Wulfhad And Ruffin, Sons Of King Wulfhere, Supposed Founder Of Peterborough Abbey, In The Chronicle And Cartulary Of Peterborough Abbey

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1325

Shelfmark: Additional MS 39758

Item number: f.8r

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Walter de Whittlesey--who presumably came from Whittlesey, just a few miles east of Peterborough--was a monk, scribe, and probably also an illuminator, of Peterborough Abbey. He compiled and wrote out most of this manuscript. King Wulfhere is named in a foundation charter of Peterborough Abbey, dated 664, but it is a 12th-century forgery. (It was not uncommon in the Middle Ages for religious institutions which wanted to prove some aspect of their rights or history, to 'invent' the necessary proof.) The only recorded mention of saints Wulfhad And Ruffin occurs in a legend which was presumably invented to explain why the pagan king Wulfhere founded an abbey at what is now Peterborough. According to this legend, Wulfhere murdered his sons for their Christian faith, and then, filled with remorse, founded a number of monasteries.

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