3 September 2018

unchaste glamour pusses

What an important saint he was, S Hugh Bishop of Lincoln (c1135-1200; within which diocese medieval Oxford lay); who certainly consecrated the church of S Giles in this city in 1200. On the occasion of this visit to Oxford, he instituted the Giler*, still the largest fair in England, which, beginning today, occupies the whole of the broad thoroughfare called S Giles' Street, North of the North Gate.

S Hugh is best known among the narrators of 'romantic' tales because he noticed that the body of Henry II's paelex [the word used in the old rite Mattins readings for S Hugh's feast] Rosamund Clifford, had been buried in the sanctuary of Godstow Priory and that her resting place had become something of a flower-covered popular shrine (this mob adulation post mortem of an unchaste royal glamour-puss is curiously redolent of the bizarre cultus of Diana Spencer). Accordingly, he ordered that she should be removed and reburied outside in loco profano**.

Happy times ... when ecclesiastics were willing to mark their disapproval of the public adultery of kings and magnates. Nowadays, who cares any more if a 'royal' goes through a form of marriage with his paelex? An Archbishop of Canterbury might even grace such an event with his presence. And who can blame him, given the compliance of Dr Cranmer in every royal whimsy?

The 'romantic' can still visit the ruins of Godstow Priory, opposite the Trout, a favourite undergraduate pub in our days but now unhappily devoid of either 'character' or 'romance'.

*Giles = Giler; traditional Oxford slang. Cf. Proctor = Progger; Breakfast = Brekker; Queens = Quaggers; Jesus College = Jaggers; etc.. Soccer (for AsSOCiation Football) and Rugger survive nationally.

** I wonder if S Hugh wrote Latin Elegiacs? Some phrases survive of an inscription in that metre incised upon her tomb, which I will very loosely paraphrase in English: "Rosa munda is supposed to mean clean rose, but this specimen was distinctly filthy. She used to have a very nice smell, but now she just ... smells".

Dorothy Leigh Sayers was a learned lady ... I wonder if she had a reason for giving the name Rosamund (interpreted by Sayers as rosa mundi) to the sexually unwholesome murderee in Thrones, Dominations?


Little Black Sambo said...


Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. Your readers might enjoy reading this report of when Claudia Cardinale, wearing a mini skirt, met Pope Paul Vi inside St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Also in attendance was Gina Lollobrigida and America's "Batman," Adam West.

It was less than a week after this meeting that Pope Paul VI went to Fatima and refused Sister Lucy's request for a private meeting.

One imagines it was a failure to read the signs of the times when the Popes thought it groovy to open the Church to the world without realising that if you invite the world into the Church, the Prince of the world would be tagging along and a Pope would later be constrained to lament the fact that somehow Satan had slipped into the Vatican.


O, yes, ABS forgot to note that Pope Blessed Paul Vi is on schedule to be Canonised in aOctober and ABS is sure the recent revelations have aught to do with the Holy Ghost not wanting to be mocked...


Richard Ashton said...

Wagger pagger bagger = waste paper bin, so my mother told me her father said.

vetusta ecclesia said...

100% with you as regards the Trout then and now!!

motuproprio said...

O tempora o mores!