Lincolnshire Miscellany




Pope Adrian IV
Nicholas Breakspear

Nicholas Breakspear became Pope Adrian IV in 1154 and is the only Englishman to have ever been Pope.

His real claim to fame however is that he was curate (or possibly rector) of Tydd St Mary’s in Lincolnshire. The main details about this English Pope can be found HERE!

Pope Adrian IV, Nicholas Breakspear, 
crowning the Emperor Frederick in 1155

Mulier Fortis has posted some photos from a Solemn Requiem 
Latin Mass for the 850th anniversary of the death of Pope Adrian IV (Nicholas Breakspeare). Go over to her post Requiem For A Pope to see more. The mass took place at Fr. Tim Finnegan's parish. 


The British Library states that The Luttrell Psalter is..... 
...'justifiably considered one of the British Library’s greatest treasures'. 

It was created c. 1320-1340 in Lincolnshire, England, and takes its name from its first owner and patron, Sir Geoffrey Luttrell (1276-1345).  

King David playing the harp, at the beginning of Psalm 1

The Psalms
A Medieval Liturgical Calendar
A Mass Setting
An Antiphon for those who have died
& well known for its 'wild profusion of marginal and hybrid creatures as well as its hundreds of bas-de-page illuminations.  Many of these contain some remarkable and detailed scenes of daily life in the rural medieval England of the 14th century'.

To see the digitised British Library version of the Psalter click HERE

Re-enacted life based on the Luttrell Psalter filmed in Lincolnshire originally commissioned for the previous Luttrell exhibition at the Collection Museum, in Lincoln.



The Heneage Recusant Family Chapel 
at Hainton


Hainton Hall is a manor that has been in the possession of a single family for much of its recorded the history.  The church ofSt Mary, now Anglican, stands in the grounds of Hainton Hall.  The chancel and north chapel contain an unparalleled and virtually unbroken sequence of pre-reformation family monuments dating from the early fourteen hundreds. In the grounds also stands the more recent Catholic Church of 

St. Francis de Sales. 

The earliest Heneage monument are the brasses to John Heneage (died 1435) and his wife Alice on the chapel floor.  John, who is portrayed in civilian dress, was a yeoman and it was he that managed to acquire a share of the manor of Hainton that established the family in Hainton. The family remained recusants, resolutely devoted to the Catholic Faith during the Tudor and Elizabethan period (it is believed until around 1820).

The impressive later sixteenth century monuments at the west end of the chapel, to John Heneage (died 1559) and his sons William died (1610) and George (died 1595) are evidence of this new found wealth. William's monument, showing him and his wives kneeling at prayer has two panels on the top showing the Fall, with Adam and Eve standing next to the Tree of Knowledge and the resurrection of Christ. 

George Heneage is commemorated by a particularly lavish monument, a freestanding tomb chest with a painted alabaster effigy showing him in full armour lying on a rolled-up mat. 

The east end of the chapel has later monuments.  One is a tablet by William Stanton commemorating grandfather, son and grandson, all called George. It is topped by a flaming urn and incorporates garlands and 
skulls and crossbones.  

Next to it is the wall monument to great grandson also called George Heneage (died 1731) by Bertucinni.  His bust, set under a canopy with swags and his wives (both of good recusant families) are commemorated by busts flanking his and separate tablets.   

With such an impressive array of monuments you almost forget about the church itself.  The bottom of the tower is early Norman, but the rest of church is essentially by E J Willson who made all things new sometime between 1847 and 1848.  Willson, who is buried in the churchyard, was a close friend of A W Pugin and the building is Puginian in its archaeological correctness.  

The main body of the church is kept open, but the Heneage chapel is locked. There is plenty of roadside parking. Original post by Rev Allen Barton (Norfolk) on his Lincolnshire Churches blog (here).



(Born at Bolingbroke castle, lincolnshire)

In reality all Kings were Catholic up until the Reformation, but as Henry Bolingbroke is Lincolnshire's only Catholic King the story is worth revisiting for it's Catholic content. 

Henry IV (15 April 1367 – 20 March 1413) was King of England. He was the tenth King of England of the House of Plantagenet and also asserted his grandfather's claim to the title King of France. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, hence his other name, Henry (of) Bolingbroke. His father was John of Gaunt. Henry's mother was Blanche, heiress to the considerable Lancaster estates, and thus he became the first King of England from the Lancaster branch of the Plantagenets.


Henry consulted with Parliament frequently, but was sometimes at odds with the members, especially over ecclesiastical matters. On Arundel's advice, Henry obtained from Parliament the enactment of De heretico comburendo in 1401, which prescribed the burning of heretics. In 1410, parliament suggested confiscating church land. Henry refused to attack the Church that had helped him to power, and the House of Commons had to beg for the bill to be struck off the record.


Significantly, at his coronation, he was anointed with holy oil that had reportedly been given to Becket by the Virgin Mary shortly before his death in 1170; this oil was placed inside a distinct eagle-shaped container of gold. According to one version of the tale, the oil had then passed to Henry's maternal grandfather, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster


According to Holinshed, it was predicted that Henry would die in Jerusalem, and Shakespeare's play repeats this prophecy. Henry took this to mean that he would die on crusade. 

In reality, he died in the Jerusalem Chamber in the abbot's house of Westminster Abbey, on 20 March 1413 during a convocation of Parliament.

Burial & St. Thomas Becket

Despite the example set by most of his recent predecessors, Henry and his second wife, Joan of Navarre, Queen of England, were buried not at Westminster Abbey but at Canterbury Cathedral, on the north side of Trinity Chapel and directly adjacent to the shrine of St Thomas Becket. Becket's cult was then still thriving, as evidenced in the monastic accounts and in literary works such as Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales', and Henry seemed particularly devoted to it, or at least keen to be associated with it.

Martyrdom of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Beckett

Proof of Henry's deliberate connexion to St Thomas lies partially in the structure of the tomb itself. The wooden panel at the western end of his tomb bears a painting of the martyrdom of Becket, and the tester, or wooden canopy, above the tomb is painted with Henry's personal motto, 'Soverayne', alternated by crowned golden eagles. Likewise, the three large coats of arms that dominate the tester painting are surrounded by collars of SS, a golden eagle enclosed in each tiret. The presence of such eagle motifs points directly to Henry's coronation oil and his ideological association with St Thomas. Sometime after the King's death, an imposing tomb was built for him and his queen. A top the tomb chest lie detailed alabaster effigies of the King and Queen, crowned and dressed in their ceremonial robes.



Abbot of Revesby, Lincolnshire
Abbot of Rievaulx, Yorkshire

Born: 1110 probably at or near Hexham, Northumberland
Died: 12th Janury 1167 at Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire North Riding

 Aelred was one of three sons of Eilaf, priest of St Andrew's at Hexham and himself a son of Eilaf, treasurer of Durham.

Aelred was born in Hexham, Northumbria, in 1110. He spent several years at the court of King David I of Scotland, rising to be Master of the Household before leaving the court to enter the Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx, in Yorkshire, in 1134, at the age of twenty-four. He may have been partially educated by Lawrence of Durham, who sent him a hagiography of Saint Brigid.

In 1143 when William, Earl of Lincoln, founded a new Cistercian abbey upon his estates at Revesby in Lincolnshire, St. Ælred was sent with twelve monks to take possession of the new foundation. During his stay at Revesby he  met St. Gilbert of Sempringham. Aelred became the abbot of a new house of his order at Revesby in Lincolnshire in 1143, and later, abbot of Rievaulx itself in 1147.  

Through his friends and his writings, Aelred became a figure of national importance. Dialogue of the soul is an important work. He was chosen to preach at Westminster Abbey during the translation of St. Edward the Confessor in 1163 and subsequently wrote his well-known life of this man. Other works include a Life of St. Ninian, the Saints of Hexham and Sermons on Isaiah which are often considered his finest.


Bardney Abbey in Lincolnshire, England, was a Benedictine monastery founded in 697 by King Æthelred of Mercia, who was to become the first abbot. The monastery is supposed to have been destroyed during a Danish raid in 869. In 1087 it was refounded as a priory, by Gilbert de Gant, Earl of Lincoln, and it regained status as an abbey in 1115.

In 1537, six of the monks were executed for their role in the Lincolnshire Rising, and Dissolution followed. In the following year the property was granted to Sir Robert Tirwhit. 

He retained the abbot's lodging as a house, and the cloister became a garden, though both later became ruinous along with the remainder of the monastery. Excavations in 1909-14 revealed the layout. This can still be seen, though nothing remains to any height. Some grave slabs and carved stone are preserved in Bardney parish church.


Bede relates that Bardney Abbey (which he called Beardaneu) was greatly loved by Osthryth, queen of Mercia, and in about 679 she sought to move the bones of her uncle, the very pious St Oswald there. However, when the body was brought to the Abbey the monks refused to accept it, because the Abbey was in the Kingdom of Lindsey, and Oswald, when king of Northumbria, had once conquered them. The relics were locked outside, but during the night a beam of light appeared and shone from his bier reaching up into the heavens. The monks declared that it was a miracle and accepted the body, hanging the King's Purple and Gold banner over the tomb. They are also said to have removed the great doors to the Abbey so that such a mistake could not occur again, so if someone said "do you come from Bardney?", it meant that you had left the door open.

As well as the wondrous light, other miracles were associated with the remains of King Oswald. The bones at Bardney were washed before internment and ground into which the water was poured supposedly gained great healing powers. In another tale from Bede a boy with the Ague kept vigil by the tomb and was cured. The King's heads and hands had been separately interred, for he had been dismembered in battle. A fragment of the stake on which his head had been impaled was later used to cure a man in Ireland.

In 909, in response to increased viking raids, Oswald's bones were translated to the new St Oswald's Priory, Gloucester. There is an Irish Catholic Archbishop who holds the title of Abbot of Bardney. He is known as a "Titular Abbot" — one who holds the title of a suppressed or destroyed abbey.


St. Paulinus was a Roman missionary and the first Bishop of York. A member of the Gregorian mission sent in 601 by Pope Gregory I to Christianize the Anglo-Saxons from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism, Paulinus arrived in England by 604 with the second missionary group. After some years spent in Kent, perhaps in 625, Paulinus was consecrated a bishop. He accompanied Æthelburg of Kent, sister of King Eadbald of Kent, on her journey to Northumbria to marry King Edwin of Northumbria, and eventually succeeded in converting Edwin to Christianity. 

Paulinus also converted many of Edwin's subjects and built some churches. One of the women Paulinus baptised was a future saint, Hilda of Whitby. Following Edwin's death in 633, Paulinus and Æthelburg fled Northumbria, leaving behind a member of Paulinus' clergy, James the Deacon. Paulinus returned to Kent, where he became Bishop of Rochester. After his death in 644, Paulinus was venerated as a saint.

At Lincoln, in ancient Lindsey, St. Paulinus built a small church at the insistence of Blaecca, the "praefectus" of the city, whom he had converted. Paulinus was consecrated Archbishop Hon St. Paulinusorius of Canterbury here in AD 628. 

The church was St. Paul's-in-the-Bail, erected in the centre of the ruinous Roman Forum. 

Along with St. James the Deacon, he baptised in the Trent at Littleborough.


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