Medieval Celebrity

Tomb of St Thomas Cantilupe - Hereford Cathedral

Bishop Thomas Cantilupe brought about a spiritual renewal of piety in the Cathedral and Palace (Later canonised as St Thomas of Hereford, a second saint in England after Thomas a Becket). He died returning from Italy to visit the Pope asking to be reconciled with the Archbishop of Canterbury who had excommunicated him. The story's hero is Thomas’ successor, his chaplain, Bishop Richard Swinefield, who worked hard for Cantilupe’s canonisation, which happened after extensive investigation, his work is rewarded in 1320.  The coat of arms for the bishops' of Hereford changes to Cantilupe’s own.

Records of the bishop’s household include 40 names, including Ralph, clerk to the Bishop’s Chapel, earning 6 shillings and 8 pence a year. The food ordered included 118 flitches of bacon, 27 cheeses, 70 hens, and 29,130 herrings!

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