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Publication details for Dr Mary BrooksBrooks, Mary M., O’Connor, Sonia, Caple, Christopher, Graves, C. Pamela & Quye, Anita (2020). Fragments of Faith: Unpicking Archbishop John Morton's Vestments. The Antiquaries Journal
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0003-5815 (print), 1758-5309 (electronic)
- DOI: 10.1017/S000358152000027X
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
This paper uses evidence from a previously unresearched ecclesiastical textile associated with Archbishop John Morton (c 1420−1500) to generate new insights into the material culture of the Roman Catholic faith before, during and after the penal period in England (c 1558−1829). This composite textile was initially thought to be made up of fragments of a late 1400s cope bearing Morton’s rebus, reconfigured as an altar frontal, which had survived in the house of an important Roman Catholic family. The embroidered motifs include a unique Lily Crucifix. The textile’s complex biography is ‘unpicked’ using physical and textual evidence to understand its changing forms, roles and significance. Analysis of the material and construction, combined with evidence gained through X-radiography, showed the frontal to be composed of parts of a cope and at least one other vestment, with a now missing image of the Annunciation. Mapping the stages of fragmentation, removal and re-modelling demonstrates the transformation of significant mainstream vestments into other forms. The paper illuminates aspects of Morton’s faith and provides new insights into the practices of recusant Roman Catholics.
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