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Marketing the shrine: printed pilgrimage souvenirs, guides, and advertising.

Until very recently one could be forgiven for thinking that early printing in England was a predominantly commercial and secular enterprise, with Syon Abbey as the primary, even solitary, religious contributor. This impression has now been corrected by James Clark, who draws together a variety of evidence (some already published but neglected) to demonstrate that "in the early decades of the sixteenth century several monasteries became directly involved in the production and publication of printed books." (1) As he explains, several Benedictine houses owned or seem to have had dominant interests in printing presses. Some of these presses were short-lived. Tavistock and Abingdon Abbey produced barely three books altogether between 1526 and 1534: Vie Book of Comfort and The Confirmation of the Tinners' Charter at Tavistock and a breviary according to local usage at Abingdon. (2) Others survived longer and were comparatively more productive. The second St. Albans press was run by the secular John Herford and aided by the writer-monk Richard Boreman (alias Stevanage), the prior, and the abbot. (3) It printed the St. Albans breviary in 1535, followed by an expanded version of Lydgate's Life of St. Alban and a number of "literary and scholarly editions." (4) At St. Augustine's, Canterbury, a similarly productive relationship developed between the printer, John Mychell, and the monk, Robert Saltwood. As Robert Swanson has recently shown, religious institutions also used the presses to print:
   'confessional letters' or 'letters of confraternity'... printed
   announcements in English (and on paper) of the spiritual
   privileges offered by an institution or its agents ... leaflets
   advertising where a specific indulgence could be obtained
   from specially appointed confessors ... [and] to encourage
   prayers by offering rewards (or incentives) for the recitation. (5)

So it is an apt time to take another look at an area of English religious printing that has been discussed only in passing: printed pilgrimage guides and advertisements. (6)

Peter Stallybrass argues that the history of printing is not so much about the printed book as it is about small printing jobs. (7) Yet one of the frustrations of working on early print is that the smaller and more ephemeral a printed product was, the less likely it was to survive. Cheap octavo pamphlets created from only one or two sheets were simply not valuable enough to encourage careful preservation. For instance, of the many English ballads printed in the sixteenth century, at most "one in ten thousand copies and one in ten editions" survive. (8) This can dramatically slant our understanding of how late-medieval readers experienced print. The texts under discussion here are of particular significance because they allow the circumstances of their reading to be reconstructed more fully than is usually possible. They suggest the location of reading, the motivation, and the consequences. What emerges from this analysis is a clearer image of a common reader in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. (9)

By the fifteenth century, the sale of pilgrimage souvenirs had become central to the pilgrim trade in England and abroad. While the earliest pilgrimage souvenirs were ampullae and badges, the trade had by this point "extended to include alternative expressions of commemorative piety [to badges and vials], such as religious pictures, statuettes of saints, votive figurines, candles and candleholders, as well as secular and heraldic badges, bells, whistles and other knick-knacks, which had nothing directly to do with the shrine concerned." (10) Among the surviving souvenirs, there are several printed examples from late-medieval Continental Europe. For example, at Wienhausen, a sheet of eight uncut woodcuts of the Veronica was discovered in the twentieth century that was clearly intended for distribution there. (11) Similarly, at Einsiedeln there are records of the sale of "many devotional pictures and objects" in 1466 to celebrate the abbey's miraculous dedication. (12) These included three engravings created by Master E.S. of the Madonna in different sizes, "obviously designed to afford prospective purchasers a choice of prices." (13)

Mary Erler suggests that two pieces of ephemera associated with the Brigittine Syon Abbey may be examples of similar pilgrimage souvenirs printed in England. One is an engraving of Continental craftsmanship illustrated by a series of roundels and entitled "Oratio de omnibus sanctisdated around 1500. It carries verses written by a Syon member, Thomas Betson, "a representation of St. Bridget, and ... the engraver has noted the plates origin 'de Syon.'" (14) The other example occurs in Bodleian MS Rawlinson D.403, where there is a woodcut of the Last Judgment (fol. 3r) dated around 1500, which carries the caption "Arma Beate Birgitte: De Syon," with a shield of the Swedish lion partially cut off. This caption, the xylographic "S" on the right of the image, and the iconography suggest a Brigittine origin: the woodcut's "emphasis on death, the open grave, and the salvation of the individual" link it to "actual daily practice at Syon." (15) According to Erler, the emphasis placed on these images' association with Syon suggests that they were "designed and produced in connection with Syon's famous pardons" and were sold to pilgrims as souvenirs. (16)

These simple printed pilgrimage souvenirs may have functioned in a similar manner to the more substantial badges and flasks sold at pilgrimage sites, which have survived in greater number. Badges and vials of holy water reminded the visitor of where they had been but also carried spiritual benefits with them. Pilgrims would take flasks of holy water home to ill family members unable to travel or give them to a local church so that others might benefit from their journey. (17) Badges could also carry an implicit indulgence. As Swanson argues, indulgences could be very fluid and easily transposed from one context to another, and the images or prayers associated with them could carry an implicit indulgence even when not specifically mentioned:
   The images were widely adaptable and adapted. Although
   not always accompanied by a full pardon statement, when
   depicted on an altarpiece or elsewhere the image might still
   be presumed to convey indulgence in exchange for the required
   devotions. [For instance,] Christ as Man of Sorrows
   ... and the mass of St Gregory were used on tomb-brasses,
   appropriating the pardon to solicit prayers for the dead. (18)

Since one of the Syon indulgences promised two hundred days of pardon for saying a Pater Noster and an Ave in front of an image of St. Bridget, it is possible that pilgrimage badges that bore an image of St. Bridget were meant, or believed, to grant the same benefits. Even if they did not carry an indulgence with them, some pilgrims treated pilgrimage badges as if they had talismanic powers. Pilgrim badges might be fixed to walls, on beds, or in animal sheds to ward off harm to the inhabitants, whether animal or human. (19) In like manner, pilgrimage souvenirs that emphasized imagery may have had both a basic memorial function and carried the promise of indulgence or other spiritual benefits.

However, it is probable that there were other types of printed pilgrimage souvenir that made greater use of text and were more complex than single-sheet woodcuts or engravings. I argue elsewhere, for instance, that the cheap octavo editions of texts written by the Brigittine brothers may have been sold to literate visitors to the abbey. (20) Discussing Caxton's Life of St. Winifred (1485, STC 25853), M. J. C. Lowry observes that "it is likely enough that copies of the printed version will have been offered for sale to pilgrims at Holywell." (21) These hypotheses are given support by one surviving example of a printed souvenir: Richard Pynson's The Shrine at Walsingham. (22) The Shrine survives in a single copy in the Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge, and was intended as a guide for those visiting the shrine; to satisfy those "lettred" pilgrims gathered to pray who "wyll haue more intellygence of the fundacyon of this chapell here" (129). Consequently, the eight-leaf quarto is addressed to readers as though they stood in front of or inside the chapel itself:
   Of this chapell se here the fundacyon,
   Bylded the yere of Crystes incarnacyon,
   A thousande complete syxty and one,
   The tyme of sent Edward kyng of this region. (125)

There are insistent references to the building as "this chapell" and "here," as well as commands to "se" or "beholde and se," which emphasize its physical closeness to the reader (125). The reader is also addressed as one of those who "visyte thys hir [Our Lady's] habytacle" (128), and the text ends with a prayer for those that "deuoutly visyte in this place" (130). Although the pamphlet might serve a reader undertaking an imaginary pilgrimage, beholding the site in his or her mind's eye, it seems clear that its initial function was as a more prosaic guide to those visiting the shrine.

The pamphlet served an additional function by attesting to the holiness of the shrine. The writer takes care to include specific details that give an air of veracity to the shrine's legend. He gives the year of foundation as precisely 1061 and refers to chronicle records of pilgrimage for "foure hundreth yere 7 more" (128). He names as "Rychold" the "noble wydowe" who received the miraculous command to build a replica of the "place where gabryel ... grette" Mary (125). He guarantees the likeness between the structure in Nazareth and that in "walsyngham," not only in terms of "length and brede," which Rychold "in mynde well ... marked" (126), but in all its details, since "oure blyssed lady with ... aungellys handys" built it (127). Finally, he recommends the shrine's miraculous powers as truly comprehensive:
   Many seke ben here cured by our ladyes myghte
   Dede agayne reuyued of this is no dought
   Lame made hole and blynde restored to syghte
   Maryners vexed with tempest safe to porte brought
   Defe / wounded 7 lunatyke that hyder haue sought
   And also lepers here recoured haue be
   By oure ladyes grace of their infyrmyte

   Folke that of fendys haue had acombraunce
   And of wycked sprytes also moche vexacyon
   Haue here be delyuered from euery such chaunce
   And soules greatly vexed with gostely temptacion.

Although the reader is told that there is another chapel "of saynt laurence" (127) nearby that marks Reynold's initial, aborted attempt to build the shrine, no other sites are mentioned. Instead, the reader is informed that this shrine is the "chyef solace agaynst all tribulacyon," be it "bodely or goostly" (129), and is implicitly discouraged from seeking rival sites, securing all offerings for Walsingham.

In many ways this pamphlet bears comparison to the tabulae that were erected by monastic foundations in the late fifteenth century to encourage the devotion of visitors. In fact, it is probable that at least part of The Shrine at Walsingham text was copied directly from a board erected at Walsingham, since the writer refers to it as "this table," a word not usually used to describe printed works. (23) In Christ Church, Canterbury, there were tabulae fixed to the choir columns that commemorated illustrious members of the foundation and emphasized its age and status, and at Durham, tabulae on the nave walls rebuked critics of the order: "Even smaller, poorer houses made use of tabulae-, the epitaphs and other historical notes which William Worcester recorded during visits to Bury, Tavistock and Tintern seem to have been copied from boards erected in the abbey churches." (24) Like these tabulae, The Shrine at Walsingham emphasizes the "antiquity" of the site, refers to other texts ("chronyclers") that support the shrine's claims, and lists the miracles associated with it. Perhaps the similarities between tabulae and books encouraged the pamphlet's production in the first place. We know, for instance, that the Glastonbury "magna tabula ... resembled an oversize book, consisting of three large wooden boards hinged together along their length ... covered with vellum." (25) By selling replica paper tabulae as guides and souvenirs, those administering the shrine could increase its standing in the minds of both visitors and later readers, as well as raise revenues. Although I have been able to discover only one clear example of a surviving pilgrimage guide to an English shrine--unfortunately short octavo paper pamphlets are particularly vulnerable to destruction--other religious texts may have been originally designed to be sold to visitors.

Religious institutions certainly used the printing presses to draw pilgrims to their shrines. There are several surviving examples of pamphlets that deliberately raise the profile of a particular shrine but speak to a distant reader rather than one already present at the site. One example is the ten-leaf quarto Diverse Miracles in Hailes, printed by Pynson around 1515. (26) Whereas The Shrine at Walsingham makes much of the chapel being in front of the reader, the writer of this pamphlet focuses on a reader he imagines is a day's ride from Hailes: "Who-so wylle pedyre go or ryde, / This day per he may it se" (11. 23-24).

Hailes is "there," not "here." Richard III's son Edmund "bygyd a chapelle per fayre" (1.350), "per may no-man pere-of [miracles] say nay, / For pai bene all day so plentwous" (1. 372). Indeed:
   Dede bodys be pere raysyd to lywe,
   pe defe pare take per heryng a-ryght,
   pe lame men go pens full blythe,
   pe blynd takyn pare per hee-syght. (11. 373-376)

Accordingly, the writer focuses on encouraging the potential pilgrim by recounting not only the history of the holy blood at Hailes but the miracles that had been seen there and even the convenient provision of a "penytancere ... all-way redy" (1. 394) should they arrive in an unshriven state.

Intriguingly, this is all underpinned by the writer's determination to confront "pe here ofte in dowte / Of pe precius blode pat in Hailes is" (11.25-26). This suggests the writer may have been aware of continuing Wycliffite criticism of pilgrimage and shrines, such as that voiced by Isabel Dorte of East Hendred in Berkshire in 1491, who admitted that she had spoken "ayenst worshipping of ymagies of seynts and pilgramage doyng, shewing that no man shuld wourship no stokkes nor stonys." (27) However, interest by the writer of Diverse Miracles in Hailes in tackling doubt seems to have been motivated not by heresy but by the greater credulity apparently given to foreign shrines compared to domestic shrines. He questions, "Qwy es it more agayns manys wytte / To lewe pat Crystis blode es in Hayle, pan on pe circumsicione pat at Rome 3ytte?" (11.17-19)

Another example is the ten-leaf quarto Life of Joseph of Armathia (1520, STC 14807), also printed by Pynson, which begins by recounting the life of St. Joseph before focusing on Glastonbury on the fifth folio. (28) It seems likely that the writer intended to attract the interest of the reader by providing the saint's life and then draw him or her to Glastonbury by detailing the marvels awaiting at "pe holyest erth of england" (48). For instance, the writer explains that Joseph created an image of Our Lady at the command of an angel, "And that same ymage is yet at Glastenbury / In the same churche; there ye may it se" (43), along with his body, while outside there is a "walnot tree" that only "spredeth his leaves" on St. Barnaby's day (48) and hawthorns that "do burge and bere grene leaues at Christmas / As fresshe as other in May" (49).

Most important, the writer emphasizes that miracles were still being granted there and attests to them by providing very detailed descriptions, full of local detail, of those that occurred in 1502, the "xviii. yere of henry our kyng" (44). "In doltyng parysshe," ten miles away, two young women were saved from the pestilence after praying to St. Joseph and in gratitude "brought theyr offryng / On Symone day 7 Jude vnto Glastenbury" (44). The "wyfe of Thomas Roke," who lived in Banwell, nineteen miles away, attempted to kill herself by slashing her neck "with hyr husbandes knyues," but was saved from death by his prayer to St. Joseph, who caused the wound to knit back together. They came in thanks on the "ix. day of apryl" to offer the knife "vp all blody" (45). Other benefactors of St. Josephs intervention included "John Lyght gentylman / Dwellynge besyde Ilchester"; "Robert Browne of yeuell [Yeovil] that at ylchester was prysoner"; "John popes wyfe of contone [Compton]"; "yonge waiter sergaunt dwellynge in Pylton"; "Alys wyfe to Walter benet dwellyng in welles"; and "John Abyngdons wyfe of welles" (45-46).

The writer provides names, dwelling places, and dates in order to give credibility to these claims, but he also takes care to provide a model of behavior for visitors that would benefit Glastonbury. Almost every miracle account is accompanied by the assertion that the petitioner "promysed ... offrynge" or "vowed her offryng" (46) and--lest the reader think that the promise alone was sufficient--that this offering was promised "truly" or "deuoutly" (44-46) and later fulfilled. The advice is quite apparent: pray to St. Joseph even from afar, sincerely promise to make an offer at Glastonbury, and your prayer will be answered.

Another longer fife printed by Pynson, The Life and History of Saynt Werburge (1521, STC 3507), seems to have been adapted in a similar fashion to benefit a foundation financially. (29) Written by Henry Bradshaw, a Benedictine monk of Chester, the fife celebrates the abbey's "holy patronesse" (1.132):
   In the abbay of Chestre / she is shryned rychely,
   Pryores and lady / of that holy place,
   The chyef protectryce / of the sayd monastery
   Longe before the conquest / by deuyne grace;
   Protectryce of the Cytee / she is and euer was. (11.

Bradshaw writes in a more self-consciously literary style than the other writers discussed so far, beginning in aureate style with a discussion of the unsteadfastness of the world and including references to specific "auctours ... the true legende / and the venerable Bede, / Mayster Alfrydus / and Wyllyam Maluysburye, / Gyrarde / Polycronycon / and other mo" (11.127-130). He spends the first part of the text focusing on the life of St. Werburge before going on in the second part to look at her miraculous influence at Chester on both the abbey and the city. He concludes with a lengthy exhortation to the reader, who is addressed as one of the "lordes, barons ... rulers of the country" (1. 1794), to "be neuer vnkynde" to the monastery (1. 1761), a refrain repeated at the end of each verse. What this means is gradually revealed as Bradshaw recalls how "predecessours and fore-fathers redy were / To gyue for their soule-helth by singular grace / Parcell of their landes and possessions mere" (11. 1762-1795). The reader is encouraged not only to be similarly generous but to remember "the place hath speciall franches and liberte" (1. 1778), including "fre passage" for their tenants and servants (1. 1781); and "that no marchaundise shulde be bought ne solde / Enduryng the faire-dayes ... But afore thabbay-gate" (11. 1790-1792).

Like The Life of Joseph of Armathia, Bradshaw's text works to raise the profile of a monastic foundation, but whereas the former is aimed at those who could perhaps afford only a cheap quarto of a few pages, this is aimed at a wealthier readership that could afford a text that ran to just over one hundred pages. The relationship between the foundation and the reader is also envisioned differently in the two: The Life of Joseph of Armathia appears designed to appeal to those nearby and to a wider audience of potential one-off pilgrims, whereas The Life and History of Saynt Werburge makes much more of the close and long-standing connections between the city of Chester and the abbey. In line with this, the writer of The Life of Joseph expects offerings from his readers to be quite low--he does not seem to have been offended by the gift of a husband's knife--while the offerings Bradshaw writes of are more substantial "landes and possessions"; the reader's kindness to the monastery is still envisioned as a response to the intercessionary powers of the saint, but as a response of longer duration and commitment.

Clark convincingly argues that during the fifteenth century, "monasteries ... made sustained efforts [to] rebuild their relationship with the laity on a local level, adapting their form of life and worship and even their buildings to attract the devotions and benefactions of those outside," and these printed works have to be seen as a continuation of that activity. (30) As discussed above, tabulae were erected at monastic sites, such as Glastonbury and Christ Church, Canterbury, advertising their history and significance; "new statues and images of their patronal saints and founders were incorporated into monastic buildings, reminding the laity of their importance as shrines of great antiquity and sanctity," such as the large statue of St. Guthlac commissioned in the early fifteenth century for Crowland; (31) and relics were made more accessible to visitors, as at Bury, Durham and St. Albans, where "some relics, prized vestments and other objects [were placed] in their almonries." (32) To the same end, "communities also sought renewed recognition for their shrines through the compilation and circulation of new lives of their saints and collections of miracle stories associated with them." (33) These printed texts are an extension of these activities. They actively supported their target foundations, increasing their reputation and cult in much the same way as advertisements of indulgences and fraternal privileges did.

Yet if this is clear, it is harder to determine how and where they were sold. I suggest above that ones like The Shrine at Walsingham would have been suitable as pilgrimage souvenirs available at the sites. But texts like The Life of Joseph of Armathia seem to have been intended for a wider audience and cannot have been sold only at the relevant foundation if they were to attract new pilgrims. Perhaps they were sold, like saints' lives, through the printer or by stationers. In this respect, it may be significant that the printed lives of St. Joseph and St. Werburge carry full imprints, unlike Pynson's The Shrine at Walsingham, which just bears the printer's device:

[paragraph] Imprinted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of the George / by Richard Pynson printer vnto the kinges noble grace Anno, domini. M.CCCCC. .xx. (Life of St. Joseph of Armathia)

In this way, potential customers who had seen the work would know where to purchase their own copy. But there is an alternative. Swanson speculates that printed indulgences would have been commissioned by "regional agents, or those in closest proximity to the London printshops ... [who] then took them out on their own rounds or supplied them to subsidiary pardoners." (34) Perhaps pamphlets such as The Life were commissioned and circulated by the same means, with the institutions gaining the donations of new pilgrims and the regional agents and their pardoners the profit on the pamphlets themselves. Since regional agents and their pardoners often combined "their pardon selling with small- (or even large-) scale peddling," it is not hard to imagine that they could have sold such texts alongside indulgences. (35)

Moreover, since "such men were pardoners first of all, rather than agents of a particular institution," (36) and sometimes acted "for several bodies, not only consecutively, but concurrently," (37) this may explain why there are similarities between the texts under discussion. For instance, although Glastonbury and Walsingham are just shy of three hundred miles apart, and were Benedictine and Augustinian respectively, there are a number of close verbal parallels between their texts which are clearly seen when placed side by side:
   The Life of St. Joseph of Armathia
   And syth god there hath shewed many a myralcyl
   I lacke tyme & season all to expresse;
   But yet all that do vysyte that holy habytakyll,
   It is euer lyke newe to them that call in distresse.
   Four C. yere ago / the boke bereth wytnes....

   Many be there holpen through our lordes myght;
   A chylde of welles raysed fro deth without dout.
   Lame ar there heled, the blynde restored to sight....

   ye pylgrymes all, gyue your attendaunce
   Saynt ioseph there to serue with humble affectyon,
   At Glastenbury for to do hym reuerence;
   Lyft vp your hertes with goosdy deuocyon,
   Therwith conceyuyng this brefe compylacyon;
   Though it halte in meter of eloquence,
   All thyng is sayd vnder correctyon,
   And wryten to do holy Ioseph reuerence.
   ye lettred that wyll haue more intellygence
   Of the fyrst foundacyon of Ioseph there,
   The olde bokes of Glastenbury shall you ensence,
   More plainly to vnderstande this forsayd matere.
   To you shall declare the hole cronycle clere,
   Wryten full truly with a notable processe.
   Make ye no doute, nor be not in fere,
   As olde derkes therof bereth wytnesse.

   The Shrine at Walsingham
   And syth here Our Lady hath shewyd many myracle
   Innumerable, nowe here for to expresse
   To suche as visyte thys hir habytacle,
   Euer lyke newe to them that call hir in dystresse;
   Four hundreth yere and more, the cronacle to witness....

   Many seke ben here cured by Our Ladyes myghte,
   Dede agayne reuyed, of this is no dought,
   Lame made hole and blynde restored to syghte.

   Therfore euery pylgryme gyue your attendaunce
   Our Lady here to serue with humble affeccyon,
   Your sylfe ye applye to do hir plesaunce,
   Remembrynge the great ioye of his Annunciacion,
   Therwyth conceuynge this bryef compylacyon,
   Though it halte in meter and eloquence,
   It is here wryten to do hyr reuerence.

   All lettred that wyll haue more intellygence
   Of the fundacyon of this chapell here,
   If you wyll aske kokes shall you encence
   More clerely to understande this forsayd matere;
   To you shall declare the cronyclere
   All cyrcymstaunce by a noble processe
   Howe olde cronyclers of thys bere wytnesse.

If the commissioning of such texts, from writing through to printing, was undertaken by regional agents, then it is likely they would have gone about it in as efficient manner as possible, adapting preexisting texts to new institutions. This would explain the similarities noted. In this case, I would posit that The Shrine was an early experiment in adapting the tabula at Walsingham for print as a souvenir for pilgrims there at the end of the sixteenth century, and that at some point over the next couple of decades, it was used as a model for The Life, but this time with the focus on potential rather than existing pilgrims.

Another question that these texts raise is: Why are they all printed by Pynson? It may be that this is just the result of the vagaries of survival, but it also seems to be further evidence of the business relationships Pynson enjoyed with several religious institutions and his willingness to undertake little printing jobs for them. As Stallybrass argues, Pynson "undertook job printing for all sorts of ... institutions," including the printing of indulgences for the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Colchester, the Augustinians, the papal commissioners, the Trinitarian Order, the Monastery of the Crutched Friars in London, and the Monastery of the Blessed Virgin of Strata Marcella in Montgomeryshire. (38) To these, Swanson adds St. George's Chapel, Windsor, which commissioned the printing of a papal bull, as well as the Santo Spirito Hospital in Rome and the Boston Guild of Our Lady, for which Pynson printed regularly. (39) Indeed, in the early 1520s:
   Pynson printed annually for the guild: confessional letters,
   publicity documents ... and "jubilees."... If Pynson did
   print everything [himself], then in 1524 to 1525 he would
   have produced seven thousand each of parchment letters
   and great briefs, and five thousand jubilees, receiving just
   over twenty-six pounds sterling. (40)

Although there is evidence that other printers undertook job printing for religious institutions, they do not seem to have done so on the same scale as Pynson and not until later in the sixteenth century. (41) Pynson seems to have exploited this market at an early stage, and it seems probable that this led to his being commissioned to print The Shrine at Walsingham, Diverse Miracles at Hailes, and The Life of St. Joseph of Arimathea.

Swanson points out "that so little [indulgence] material survives, and that that little can rarely be fully contextualized, is a real challenge to scholars seeking to place and assess this material in context." (42) The same can certainly be said for printed pilgrimage guides, souvenirs, and publicity. Yet, while few of these texts survive, those that do vividly suggest the dynamic situations in which they were meant to be read and the behaviors they were supposed to encourage. Though they draw on saints' fives, these texts do not encourage spiritual reformation so much as physical pilgrimage and offering. The examples discussed here are not texts for meditation or for imaginary pilgrimage but spurs to practical action: "see here," "travel here," "offer here," they exhort their readers.

University of Cambridge


Primary Sources

Life of St. Winifred. 1485. STC 25853.

The Shrine at Walsingham. 1496. STC 25001.

Diverse Miracles in Hailes. 1515. STC 12973.5.

The Life of Joseph of Armathia. 1520. STC 14807.

Bradshaw, Henry. The Life and History of Saynt Werburge. 1521. STC 3507.

The Book of Comfort. 1526. STC 3200.

Portiroium (breviary). 1528. STC 15792.

The Confirmation of the Tinners' Charter. 1534. STC 6795.6.

Life of St. Alban. 1534. STC 256.

A breviary (begins a1r, De aduentu). 1535. STC 15793.5

Secondary Sources

Bagnoli, Martina, et al. Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe. London: British Museum Press, 2011.

Clark, James G. "Print and Pre-Reformation Religion: The Benedictines and the Press, c. 1470-c. 1550." In The Uses of Script and Print, 1300-1700, ed. Julia Crick and Alexandra Walsham. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004, 71-94.

--. "Reformation and Reaction at St. Albans Abbey, 1530-58." English Historical Review 115 (2000): 297-328.

--. "Selling the Holy Places: Monastic Efforts to Win Back the People in Fifteenth-century England." In Social Attitudes and Political Structures in the Fifteenth Century, ed. Tim Thornton. Thrupp, UK: Sutton Publishing, 2000, 13-32.

da Costa, Alexandra, Reforming Printing: Syon Abbey's Defence of Orthodoxy 1525-1534. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Dickinson, John C., ed. The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1956.

Driver, Martha. "Nuns as Patrons, Artists, Readers: Bridgettine Woodcuts in Printed Books." In Art into Life: Collected Papers from the Kresge Art Museum Medieval Symposia, ed. Carol G. Fisher and Kathleen L. Scott. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1995, 236-267.

Duffy, Eamon. The Stripping of the Altars. London: Yale University Press, 2005.

Erler, Mary. "Pasted-in Embellishments in English Manuscripts and Printed Books, c. 1480-1533." The Library 6th ser., 14(1992): 185-206.

Heale, Martin. "Training in Superstition? Monasteries and Popular Religion in Late Medieval and Reformation England." Journal of Ecclesiastical History 58 (2007): 417-439.

Hoffman, Edith W. "Some Engravings Executed by the Master E.S. for the Benedictine Abbey at Einsiedeln." Art Bulletin 43 (1961): 231-237.

Horstmann, Carl. Altenglische legenden. Heilbronn, Germany: Verlag von Gebr. Henninger, 1878.

--. The Life of Saint Werburge of Chester by Henry Bradshaw. Early English Text Society, o.s. 88. London: Early English Text Society, 1887.

Lowry, M.J. C. "Caxton, St. Winifred and the Lady Margaret Beaufort." The Library 6th ser., 5 (1983): 101-117.

Morris, Colin, and Peter Roberts. Pilgrimage: The English Experience from Becket to Bunyan. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Oates, John C. T. "Richard Pynson and the Holy Blood of Hayles." The Library 5th ser., 15 (1958): 269-77.

Raymond, Joad, ed., The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, Volume One: Cheap Print in Britain and Ireland to 1660. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Skeat, Walter W., ed. Joseph of Arimathie: Otherwise Called The Romance of the Seint Graal or Holy Grail. Early English Text Society, o.s. 44. London: Early English Text Society, 1871.

Spencer, Brian. Medieval Pilgrim Badges: Some General Observations Illustrated Mainly from English Sources. Rotterdam: Museum of London, 1968.

--Medieval Finds from Excavations in London 7: Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges. London: Museum of London, 1998.

Stallybrass, Peter. '"Little Jobs': Broadsides and the Printing Revolution." In Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, ed. Sabrina Baron et al. Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007, 315-341.

Swanson, Robert N. "Printing for Purgatory: Indulgences and Related Documents in England, 1476 to 1536." Journal of the Early Book Society 14(2011): 115-144.

--. Indulgences in Late Medieval England: Passports to Paradise? Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Watt, Tessa. Cheap Print and Popular Piety 1550-1640. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Webb, Diana. Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in the Medieval West. London: I. B. Tauris & Co., 1999.


(1.) James G. Clark, "Print and Pre-Reformation Religion: The Benedictines and the Press, c. 1470-c. 1550," in The Uses of Script and Print, 1300-1700, ed. Julia Crick and Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 75. See also James G. Clark, "Reformation and Reaction at St. Albans Abbey, 1530-58," English Historical Review 115 (2000): 297-328.

(2.) The Book of Comfort (1526, STC 3200); The Confirmation of the Tinners' Charter (1534, STC 6795.6); and a breviary (1528, STC 15792). The Tavistock press seems to have ceased production when Thomas Richards became prior of Totnes, reviving only once to print The Confirmation.

(3.) Clark, "Print," 87. Clark argues:
   It is likely that the [first] press that operated at St. Albans
   intermittently between 1479 and 1486 was connected in some way with
   the monks of the abbey ... in an old, entrenched monastic borough
   like St. Albans, where the abbot and convent still dominated the
   economic and social life of the community, and where even the
   manorial court was still held within the abbey walls, it is
   scarcely credible that the monks knew nothing of the printer and
   his work.... If the printer were the schoolmaster then he would
   have found himself ex officio under the jurisdiction of the abbot
   and convent (82-83).

This is because one school was attached to the almonry and the other was subject to the Almoner, while the Master himself was appointed by the abbot and convent and accommodated within the monastic precinct.

(4.) Clark, "Print," 83. STC 15793.5 and STC 256 respectively.

(5.) Robert N. Swanson, "Printing for Purgatory: Indulgences and Related Documents in England, 1476 to 1536," Journal of the Early Book Society 14 (2011): 116-117.

(6.) Eamon Duffy's brief remark is illustrative of the kind of treatment printed texts associated with English pilgrimages have received: "a series of individual saints lives [were printed in the early sixteenth century], some of them, like the life of St. Werburge, St. Thomas, or Joseph of Arimathea, designed to promote pilgrimage to particular shrines." Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars (London: Yale University Press, 2005), 79. Colin Morris and Peter Roberts treat the matter at a little more length but do not investigate the differences between such texts or the practicalities of their production and circulation; Colin Morris and Peter Roberts, Pilgrimage: The English Experience from Becket to Bunyan (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 166-168.

(7.) Peter Stallybrass, '"Little Jobs': Broadsides and the Printing Revolution," in Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, ed. Sabrina Baron et al. (Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007), 317.

(8.) Stallybrass, "Little Jobs," 318.

(9.) Though studies of cheap print in the late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century are limited, there is significant research into cheap print after 1530, e.g., Joad Raymond, ed., The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, Volume One: Cheap Print in Britain and Ireland to 1660 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011); and Tessa Watt, Cheap Print and Popular Piety 1550-1640 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

(10.) Brian Spencer, Medieval Finds from Excavations in London 7: Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges (London: Museum of London, 1998), 5.

(11.) Diana Webb, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in the Medieval West (London: I. B. Tauris & Co., 1999), 128.

(12.) Edith W. Hoffman, "Some Engravings Executed by the Master E.S. For the Benedictine Abbey at Einsiedeln," Art Bulletin 43 (1961): 232.

(13.) Ibid., 232.

(14.) Mary Erler, "Pasted-in Embellishments in English Manuscripts and Printed Books, C.1480-1533," The Library, 6th ser., 14 (1992): 193.

(15.) Martha Driver, "Nuns as Patrons, Artists, Readers: Bridgettine Woodcuts in Printed Books," in Art into Life: Collected Papers from the Kresge Art Museum Medieval Symposia, ed. Carol G. Fisher and Kathleen L. Scott (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1995), 239-240.

(16.) Erler, "Pasted-in Embellishments," 193.

(17.) Martina Bagnoli, et al., Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe (London: British Museum Press, 2011), 24.

(18.) Robert N. Swanson, Indulgences in Late Medieval England: Passports to Paradise? (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 259.

(19.) Brian Spencer, Medieval Pilgrim Badges: Some General Observations Illustrated Mainly from English Sources (Rotterdam: Museum of London, 1968), 144.

(20.) Alexandra da Costa, Reforming Printing: Syon Abbeys Defence of Orthodoxy 1S2S-1S34 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 47-49.

(21.) M. J. C. Lowry, "Caxton, St. Winifred and the Lady Margaret Beaufort," The Library 6th ser., 5 (1983): 115.

(22.) 1496, STC 25001. There is a modern edition from which all quotations are drawn here for ease of reference, as the original is unpaginated and unfoliated: John C. Dickinson, ed., The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1956).

(23.) The first stanza ends with: "Of this hir chapell ye may se the fundacyon / If ye wyll this table ouerse and rede / Howe by myracle it was founded in dede."

(24.) James G. Clark, "Selling the Holy Places: Monastic Efforts to Win Back the People in Fifteenth-Century England," in Social Attitudes and Political Structures in the Fifteenth Century, ed. Tim Thornton (Thrupp, UK: Sutton Publishing, 2000), 22-23.

(25.) Ibid., 23.

(26.) STC 12973.5. For a full bibliographic description, see John C. T. Oates, "Richard Pynson and the Holy Blood of Hayles," The Library 5th ser., 15 (1958). There is a modern edition from which all quotations are drawn here, as the surviving copy is badly damaged: Carl Horstmann, Altenglische Legenden (Heilbronn, Germany: Verlag von Gebr. Henninger, 1878).

(27.) Quoted in Webb, Pilgrims, 232.

(28.) There is a modern edition from which all quotations are drawn here for ease of reference: Walter W. Skeat, ed., Joseph of Arimathie: Otherwise Called The Romance of the Seint Graal or Holy Grail, EETS, o.s. 44 (London: Early English Text Society, 1871).

(29.) Henry Bradshaw, The Life of Saint Werburge of Chester by Henry Bradshaw, ed. Carl Horstmann, EETS, o.s. 88 (London: Early English Text Society, 1887). Line numbers are from this edition.

(30.) Clark, "Selling the Holy Places," 15.

(31.) Ibid., 23-24.

(32.) Ibid., 25.

(33.) Ibid., 26-27. See also Martin Heale, "Training in Superstition? Monasteries and Popular Religion in Late Medieval and Reformation England," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 58 (2007).

(34.) Swanson, "Printing," 124. See also Swanson, Indulgences, 207-211.

(35.) Swanson, "Printing," 209-210.

(36.) Swanson, Indulgences, 209.

(37.) Swanson, Indulgences, 210.

(38.) Stallybrass, "Little Jobs," 325.

(39.) Swanson, "Printing," 126.

(40.) Ibid., 127.

(41.) Swanson cites the accounts of the Rounceval Guild of Charing Cross, which "mention batches of 'briefs'--publicity documents--purchased from Wynkyn de Worde at eight pence per hundred, and later indulgence letters from Richard Copeland at eighteen pence per hundred"; Ibid., 126.

(42.) Ibid., 131.
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Author:da Costa, Alexandra
Publication:The Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and Printing History
Article Type:Essay
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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