Madness and St Barthlomew

Slowly making my way through my book on the history of Bartholomew Fair, have stumbled upon the folllowing instances of madness, listed as some of the miracles attributed to St Bartholomew.

“A young courtier, Robert, on the way from Northampton to London, slept in a wood. In dreams the enemy came to him, sat at his head in the shape of a fair woman, and, before departing, put a little bird into his mouth. He awoke mad, and ran about the country until he was caught and brought to London. Him the Saint [ie Barthomew] cured.

A certain knight, Radulf, of the household of William  de Montfichet, became mad on his way from Essex to London, slid down from his horse, rent his clothes, scattered abroad his money, and threw stones at those he met. He wanderd in woods and aobut hills, was dangerous in crowds, and, adfter he had been captured, withstood violently those who conveyed him to the church of St Bartholomew, in which, after he had dwelt two nights, he was restored to his whole mind again.

Wymund, who rued St Martin’s church, situate in the corner of the way that leads to Westminster, and dean of neighbouring churches, was beyond equity given to voluptuous life; but he trained virtuously his illegitimate daughter, who trod all things carnal under-foot. Then the Serpent transformed himself into the likeness of a fair young man, adorned with precious ornaments, as one who was a gentleman of the king;s blood, and suddenly slid into her chamber. He talked with her in vain. when the nurse came she heard the talking, but saw only the maid. The Serpent reappeared again and again, with increased beauty, and offering increased temptation; at last, being still discomfited, he smote that maiden, and deprived her of her wit. A great crowd gathered where she fall; when she could speak , she explained what had happened, and was borne on a carpet to the church of St Bartholomew. The Serpent was by her side, and said: “Whither art thou borne? Trowest thou that the Apostle shall deliver thee from my hands?” At the church door he redoubled his temptations; but, as she resisted him still, she was tormented more than ever. By the saint she was delivered from the fiend, and this feat also “was published everywhere to his praise.”

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