Inward Purity and Outward Splendour

July 2001
40 black and white, 8 line illustrations
352 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in the History of Medieval Religion
ISBN: 9780851158204
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

Inward Purity and Outward Splendour

Death and Remembrance in the Deanery of Dunwich, Suffolk, 1370-1547

Judith Middleton-Stewart

A record of material and spiritual gifts to churches, compiled from 3000 wills made over 180 years.
Reads like a medieval detective story. A splendid book... should be treated as a companion volume to The Stripping of the Altars. JULIAN LITTEN, CHURCH TIMES

In the late medieval churches of the former deanery of Dunwich there are many features which were provided by testamentary gifts; this study of three thousand wills from fifty-two Suffolk parishes, written between 1370 and 1547, records such material and spiritual bequests. Many purchased prayer (the prayers of the poor being particularly sought), vital for the swift passage of the soul through Purgatory; other testators left instructions for the acquisition of liturgical books, church plate and embroidered vestments. Gifts and outright donations also provided stained glass, seven-sacrament fonts and rood-screens which have survived. The wills give no hint of the destruction that was to come - a medieval chancel with vacant niches and whitewashed walls says more than the wills are prepared to tell - but the pennies and shillings which had helped towards building expenses in this coastal district of East Anglia produced at least two of the finest parish churches in the country within a few decades of the Reformation.

The late JUDITH MIDDLETON-STEWART was a tutor for the Board of Continuing Education for the universities of Cambridge and East Anglia.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781846150920), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


All in all this is a remarkable as well as a beautiful book. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW [Colin Richmond]
Offers a wealth of riches for scholars interested in East Anglian devotional practice. SIXTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL

Also by Author

Also in Series