« הקודםהמשך »
brochius, speaks of the elegans sacellum, erected by the Capuchin Fathers, in which this effigy was displayed to public veneration : and be adds, that this sacred image was to be seen in many other places of the kingdom, and
that he himself had seen it in many churches in Germany under the name of St. Kummernis.
A writer in Notes and Queries' states that a sixteenthcentury figure of St. Uncumber is still to be seen in St. Etienne's church at Beauvais, near the west end of the south wall. It is described in Joanne's Géographie de
i Notes and Queries, series viis, vol. x, p. 78.
l'Oise, p. 44, as une Sainte Wilgeforte ou Milforte (vierge crucifiée et representée avec une barbe épaisse) qui parait n'être chose q'un crucifix du XIIe siècle."
And here may well be introduced Father Cahier's very curious theory about the effigy of the saint. It is worth while to reproduce his own words.
"Pour moi je penche à croire que cette couronne, cette barbe, cette robe et cette croix qui ont été prises pour les insignes d'une princesse miraculée, ne sont q’un détournement de la piété envers le célèbre crucifix de Lucques. On sait que la dévotion à cette image de Jésus-Christ crucifié était fort répandue au XIIe siècle ; si bien que le roi d'Angleterre Guillaume le Roux, jurait volontiers par le saint Voult de Lucques, Or ce fameux crucifix, comme plusieurs autres de ces temps-là, est entièrement vêtu et couronné. A distance de temps et de lieu, le long vêtement aura fait penser à une femme, et la barbe lui aura valu la qualification de Vierge forte. Ajoutons que le crucifix de Lucques ayant été chaussé en argent pour obvier à la détérioration que ses pieds pouvaient subir sous les baisers des nombreux pèlerins, cette circonstance nouvelle aura tourné encore à la plus grande gloire de sainte Wilgeforte. On a dit qu’un pauvre ménétrier étant venu jouer un air devant la statue de la sainte, en avait été récompensé par une de ses riches pantoutles. Ce prodige, prêté aussi à un pèlerinage de la trèssainte Vierge, a tout l'air d'être né au sanctuaire du Santo Volto di Lucca, d'où il aura fait son chemin à travers les pays slaves et germaniques."
Certainly the Lucca crucifix supplied William Rufus with his favourite oath. Mr. Freeman relates a highly characteristic example of the Red King's use of it.
“We must picture to ourselves the Royal headquarters, between the height of Avranches and the sands of Saint Michael's Bay. The King goes forth from his tent, and mounts the horse which he had that morning bought for fifteen marks of silver. He sees the enemy at a distance riding proudly towards him. Alone, waiting for no comrade, borne on both by eagerness of the fray and by the belief that no one would dare to withstand a King face to face, he gallops forward and charges the advancing party. The newlybought horse is killed; the King falls under him ; he is ignominiously dragged along by the foot, but the strength of his chainarmour saves him from any actual wound. By this time, the knight who had unhoised him has his hand on the hilt of his
1 Caractéristiques, pp. 121, 122.
sword, ready to deal a deadly blow. William, frightened by the extremity of his danger, cries out, 'Hold, rascal: I am the King of England !'-—' Tolle, nebulo, Rex Angliæ sum !’l The words had that kind of magic effect which is so often wrought by the personal presence of royalty .. .. The soldiers of Henry tremble at the thought of what they were so near doing ; with all worship they raise the King from the ground, and bring him another horse. William springs unaided on his back ; he casts a keen glance on the band around him, and asks, 'Who unborsed me?'. As they were muttering one to another, the daring man who had done the deed came forward and said, ‘I, who took you not for a King but for a Knight.' A bold answer was never displeasing to Rufus. He looked approval, and said, “By the Face of Lucca,” you shall be mine. Your name shall be written in my book, and you shall . receive the reward of good service”.
Some interesting particulars about the cultus of St. Uncumber are given in Miss Eckenstein's Women under Monasteries :
“The image of her which is preserved in North Holland is said to have come floating down the river. At Regensburg, in Bavaria, an image is preserved which is said to have been cast into the water at Neufarn. It was carried down by the river and thrown on the bank, and the Bishop fetched it to Regensburg on a car drawn by oxen. In the Tyrol the image of the Saint is sometimes hung in the chief bedroom of the house in order to secure a fruitful marriage; but often, too, it is hung in chapel and cloister in order to protect the dead. Images of the Saint are preserved and venerated in a great number of churches in Bavaria and the Tyrol, but the ideas popularly associated with them have raised feelings in the church against their cult. We hear that a Franciscan friar, in the beginning of this century, destroyed one of the images, and that the Bishop of Augsburg, in 1883, attempted in one instance to do away with the image and the veneration of the saint, but refrained from carrying out his intention, being afraid of the anger of the people."
The same writer gives, with some little variation, the story of the musician who is represented as kneeling at the feet of the miraculous image. According to this
1 William of Malmesbury, iv, 309.
? On this particular oath, see also Appendix G in Mr. Freeman's book.
3 Lina Eckenstein, Women under Monasteries, p. 37, referring to Sloet. De heilige Ontkommer of Wilgeforthis, 1884, pp. 31, 33, 36, 42, etc,
version, the musician was sitting “at the foot of the image, and was playing on his fiddle, when the crucified saint suddenly awoke to life, drew off a slipper and flung it to him. He took it away with him, but he was accused of having stolen it, and was condemned to death. His accusers, however, acceded to his request to come with him into the presence of the holy image, to which he appealed. Again the crucified saint awoke to life, and drew off her second slipper, and flung it to the fiddler, whose innocence was thereby vindicated, and he was set
In this story the slippers were of gold; at St. Paul's Cathedral they were of silver.
Miss Eckenstein further observes that not only is the saint depicted as heavily bearded, but that also, in some instances, her body is represented as covered with long, shaggy fúr.
That a Crucifix figure should have silver shoes seems not to have been peculiar to Lucca. England itself can supply an example.
In 1511, Archbishop Warham entered upon a Visitation of his diocese, the details of which are duly recorded in the Archiepiscopal Register. The items of this most interesting Visitation, both the comperta and the consequent acta, were printed by Dr. Maitland in a series of articles distributed over four volumes of the British Magazine. Here is an illustration of this curious adornment :
Ecclesia de Cheslet vel Chiftelet [sic]. “ Item. William Hersyng willed in his last will a pair of shoes of silver of xxvi.s. viii.d. to be left to the Roode of Chisteley, and also a sene of Barley, the which Robert Nett withdraweth.
"[Robert Notte [sic], a brother of the Hospital of S. Bartholomew, Sandwich, appeared, and said that he was not bound to furnish the silver shoes for the Crucifix, because the house assigned to furnish them could not be sold: and that he was not bound to pay a quarter of barley, but that if it could be proved that he was bound he would do it. The Cburchwardens of the said Church exhibited a charter concerning the grant of the barley, and said that they would buy the house to enable him to pay the legacy ; Robert Nott was enjoined to find the pair of shoes and pay the quarter of barley before Michaelmas, under pain of excommunication).”1
1 Women under Monasteries, p. 36.
2 British Magazine, vols. 29, 30, 31, 32; published in 1846 and 1847. It is much to be regretted that so important a contribution should have been broken up into a series of separate papers,
The parish here called Cheslet, Chiftelet [? Chistelet], or Chisteley, is doubtless the parish of Chislett, in East Kent, six miles north-east of Canterbury, on an affluent of the river Stour.
The author of an article in the Revue Britannique? speaks of the cult of St. Uncumber as “Une bizarre superstition, qui fut mise autrefois sous le patronage de Saint Paul de Londres.” The cult was not restricted to London.
In the church of St. Mary-le-Port, at Bristol, was a chapel dedicated to her, and in an ancient deed she is is called “Saint Wilgefort, or Mayden Uncomb.”3
At Norwich her effigy is found at the church of St. Peter de Parmentergate. In an article on the Goods and Accounts of Norwich Churches, by Henry Harrod, F.S.A., printed in the Norfolk Årchæology,“ is an inventory of church goods belonging to that church, taken in the second year of Edward VI. Amongst the goods are :
* Item, two of maide Uncumbres best Cotes & an orfreys of green damaske . . . xvj.d.
Item, a Cote of Maide Uncumber of redde silk & an olde Clothe of owre Lady . . . xiv.d.”
And amongst other bequests to certain lights in the church of St. Giles in the same city, one John Hyrnynge in 1504 left.5
“ To seynt Vnckumber light . . . xij.d.”
In a very interesting paper by Mr. J. T. Micklethwaite, entitled, Notes on the Imagery of Henry the Seventh's Chapel, Westminster, it is pointed out that a statue of St. Wilgefort is still to be seen in the Chapel. It stands
British Mayazine, vol. xxix, pp. 396, 397.