2 December 2023

Slaves and Togas

 So there I was, in the CODRINGTON LIBRARY, peering down at a Renaissancevolume, the Lumen Animae by Matthias Farinator. Not that I had theleast interest in that: I was more taken by its owner.

But I am jumping ahead rather. Why should I be in the splendid CODRINGTON LIBRARY of All Souls College? My quarry was Master Patrick Holyborton, Rector of Lifton in the Diocese of Exeter, whom I was researching and who had owned the book. You (and I) would probably spell his name Haliburton. And why am writing about him now, decades later?

two or three weeks ago, the Saturday Times Newspaper suggested some jolly, autumnal, walks; and it caught my eye that one such walk was Gullane and Dirleton, East Lothian. And Dirleton was the seat, centuries ago, of a minor boble family, the Haliburtons of Dirleton. Andso Dirleton was where Master Patrick came from! And I had never been there!

Well, I'm too old and ill now. But things stick with one. Master Patrick was a follower of the Ninth Earl of Douglas, who had to flee to England after his defeat by James II of Scots. After an advantageous marriage to an English heiress, Douglas found himself in the upper circles of Yorkist England, and was able to reward adherents ... such as Haliburton. And the volume (one of only two identified volumes from Haliburton's library) revealed that he had been Archdeacon of Totnes. This was new information: the records of the Diocese are rather lacunose at this point. The next Archdeacon was collated in 1491 ... so what happened to Master Patrick, who seems to go absent about thenfrom the Chapter records?

Here I had another spot of luck. An Exeter Cathedral inventory survives of 1506: and it lists "two sudaria of violet or purple colour, of the gift of Patrick Holyborton, which he brought (portavit) from the Holy Land Jerusalem". [I think sudaria means humeral veils.]

So that's where he was during the missing year.

And here was I, musing occasionally on the statue of SIR CHRISTOPHER CODDRINGTON, who was presiding over the whole splendid architectural extravaganza dressed like a member of the Roman elite.

CODRINGTON ... I don't think I 've mentioned this ... is currently under a bit of a shadow. His fortune was, we are informed, based on the Slave Trade. I'm not sure if his library still bears his name. Or, if it does, how much longer it will be allowed to do so. If you go to admire is Library, I hope you you will keep mentioning his name ...

BTW: It's only a (slightly long) Stone's throw to the Oriel statue of Rhodes, and his Chronogram.

3 comments:

Protasius said...

Sudarium refers most probably to the vestment typically called maniple today; over the course of time, it has also been called mappula (the name used in the Ordines Romani I and III), fano, and in rare instances mantile, manuale, and sestace. Sudarium is for instance the name used by Amalarius of Metz in his liturgical commentary in the Carolingian period.

√Čamonn said...

Most dictionaries (L&S, OLD, Niermeyer) give sudarium as a handkerchief or sweat-cloth, i.e. the ancestor of a maniple. Blaise gives three possibilities, a handkerchief or a maniple or a veil. For the latter, he offers an example "calix involutus sudario" drawn from Amalarius of Metz' Liber Officialis - presumably this means a humeral veil, if the chalice veil is a later development?

John F H H said...

I've always associated sudarium with sweat-cloth, regarding it as the origin of the amice rather than the maniple.

For the maniple, is it too anachronistic to compare it to the waiters towel on the left arm? It is is also the distinctive vestment of subdeacons, symbol of service.
The maniple of 'tears and sorrow' does suggest something for wiping away sweat and tears.