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Martyrdom of St Thomas Becket
Ramsey Psalter Leaves,
East Anglia or London, England, c.1300-1310AD



Call Number: MS M.0302, fol. 04v
Record ID:256114
Name: Pierpont Morgan Library. Manuscript. M.302.
Title: Fol. 04v, Thomas a` Becket: murdered before High Altar.
Published/Created: East Anglia or London, England, ca. 1300-1310
Description: Miniature, full-page, two registers and miniature, full-page, prefatory : painting, on vellum.

Summary: Upper register:
Thomas a` Becket: murdered before High Altar -- Three soldiers, wearing armor, armed with three swords and two shields, attack Thomas a` Becket, wearing vestments. One soldier strikes head of Thomas. He kneels with hands raised beside draped altar behind which is Chaplain Grim, holding cross-staff in right hand. Lamp above altar hangs from architectural frame.
Scene is flanked by bishop, wearing miter and vestments, possibly Oswald of York, right hand raised, holding model of church in draped left hand, and Apostle Paul, pearled nimbus, holding book in left hand and sword in right hand.
Lower register:
Bishop, possibly Oswald of York, wearing miter and vestments, right hand raised, holding staff in left hand, is seated on bench, feet on ram. Beside him sits tonsured abbot, possibly Ednoth of Ramsey, wearing vestments, holding crozier in right hand and open book with pseudo-inscriptions in left hand on left knee, feet on bull.
They are flanked by Catherine of Alexandria, crowned, pearled nimbus, holding wheel in left hand, and Margaret of Antioch, crowned, pearled nimbus, holding book in draped left hand and cross-staff in right hand, standing on dragon.
All scenes and figures with patterned backgrounds decorated with rosettes and within architectural frame.

Notes: School: English, Fenlands, Ramsey Abbey.
Style: Gothic.
Description based on record created by Index of Christian Art, Princeton University.
Source: Pierpont Morgan Library. MS M.302, fol. 4v.



Referenced as figure 197 in, Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle.
197 ‘Martyrdom of St Thomas Becket’, Ramsey Abbey, East Anglia, c.1300
(Pierpont Morgan Library, Ms. 302, New York, United States)

Here again the basic equipment consists of mail coifs, hauberks with mittens and mail chausses. One figure also appears to have knee-covering poleyns with scalloped edges, while a warrior in the background has a partially obscured round-topped great helm. This man appears to be wielding a double-curved falchion.



Terminology in Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350 - Western Europe and the Crusader States - David Nicolle
Other Medieval illustrations of the Murder of Thomas Becket
Other 14th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers