Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Runaway Nun

William de Melton [Archbishop of York] to the Dean of Beverly greetings. A scandalous rumor has reached us saying that Joan of Leeds, a nun at the Cloister of St. Clements in York, has impudently cast aside the propriety of religion and the modesty of her sex out of a malicious mind. . . Simulating a bodily illness, she pretended to be dead, not dreading for the health of her soul, and with the help of numerous of her accomplices, evildoers, with malice aforethought, crafted a dummy in the likeness of her body in order to mislead the devoted faithful and she had no shame in procuring its burial in a sacred space amongst the religious of that place and, in a cunning, nefarious manner … having turned her back on decency and the good of religion, seduced by indecency, she involved herself irreverently and perverted her path of life arrogantly to the way of carnal lust and away from poverty and obedience, and, having broken her vows and discarded the religious habit, she now wanders at large to the notorious peril to her soul and to the scandal of all of her order. Therefore let her and her known accomplices be excommunicated etc.

--18 August 1318

From the Registers of the Archbishop of York, via The History Blog


G. Verloren said...

Ahh, classic religious commentary, where every other word is remarking upon the evil, wicked ways of others. Methinks the lady doth protest too much!

It's like listening to a little kid try to taunt another kid or get them in trouble, really laying it on thick, in the most obvious and jejune ways. I marvel that anyone could ever even pretend to take it seriously, much less actually do so.

Shadow said...

Well, now I know where Hugo go the idea for the nun's fake burial (Les Miserables), when she was really buried under the Altar.