Leper Knights: The Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem in England, C. 1150-1544

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Boydell Press, 2004 - History - 320 pages
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One of the most unusual contributions to the crusading era was the idea of the leper knight - a response to the scourge of leprosy and the shortage of fighting men which beset the Latin kingdom in the twelfth century. The Order of St Lazarus, which saw the idea become a reality, founded establishments across Western Europe to provide essential support for its hospitaller and military vocations. This book explores the important contribution of the English branch of the order, which by 1300 managed a considerable estate from its chief preceptory at Burton Lazars in Leicestershire. Time proved the English Lazarites to be both tough and tenacious, if not always preoccupied with the care of lepers: following the fall of Acre in 1291 they endured a period of bitter internal conflict, only to emerge reformed and reinvigorated in the fifteenth century. Though these late medieval knights were very different from their twelfth-century predecessors, some ideologies lingered on, though subtly readapted to the requirements of a new age, until the order was finally suppressed by Henry VIII in 1544. The modern refoundation of the order, a charitable institution, dates from 1962. The book uses both documentary and archaeological evidence to provide the first ever account of this little-understood crusading order. DAVID MARCOMBE is Director of the Centre for Local History, University of Nottingham.
  

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Contents

Lepers and knights
1
Chapter
10
The chapel at Grattemont Trevor Clayton
26
Lands and Patrons
32
Memorial of Thomas Mowbray duke of Norfolk Archaeologia
41
Seal of St Giless Hospital Holborn By permission of the British
52
Effigy of Roger Beler Trevor Clayton
62
Crusading Crisis and Revival
66
Care and community
135
Leper sculpture Angel Choir Lincoln Cathedral Trevor Clayton
139
Sir Richard Sutton Reproduced by kind permission of
165
Privileges pardons and parishes
175
Westwade bridgechapel Norfolk Norfolk Record Office
179
Seal of the confraternity of St Lazarus By permission of the
192
All Saints Lowesby Trevor Clayton
210
Dissolution and Dispersal
215

A brother of St Lazarus Trevor Clayton
70
Piscina and sedilia Chaddesden church Trevor Clayton
79
Reconstruction of Perpendicular columns Bernard Martin
94
Land and Livelihood
101
Choseley Manor Norfolk David Marcombe
104
Stone cistern on Harehope Moor Northumberland
126
Memorial of Sir Thomas Legh By permission of the British
232
Conclusion
247
Letters of Confraternity and Indulgence
256
Bibliography
265
Index
291
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

David Marcombe is Director of the Centre for Local History, University of Nottingham.

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