A Woman to Know: Joan of Leeds
|Julia Carpenter||Jul 24, 2019|
She perverted her path of life arrogantly to the way of carnal lust. — Archbishop William Melton
Exhausted with her life as a nun in 14th century England, Joan of Leeds decided to give up the convent life. But she quit in a ... rather dramatic fashion.
According to recently-rediscovered historical records, Archbishop William Melton recorded how one day in 1318 Joan "pretended to be dead, not dreading for the health of her soul, and with the help of numerous of her accomplices, evildoers, with malice afterthought, and CRAFTED A DUMMY IN THE LIKENESS OF HER BODY." (emphasis my own)
The Archbishop goes on:
"[She had] no shame in procuring its burial in a sacred space ... She perverted her path of life arrogantly to the way of carnal lust and away from poverty and obedience. Having broken her vows and discarded the religious habit, she now wanders at large to the notorious peril to her soul and the scandal to all of her order."
Add to your library list:
Leadership in Medieval English Nunneries (Valerie Spear)
Archive shows medieval nun faked her own death (The Guardian)
Archivists to unravel secrets of medieval life up north (The University of York)
The Daily Life of Medieval Nuns (Ancient Origins)
Monasticism in Western Medieval Europe (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Houses of Benedictine Nuns (British History)
Medieval Nun, Burial Space (BBC Radio)
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