(ORDO NEWS) — Archivists at Westminster Abbey have modeled the ruined chapel of Erasmus, the gutted Italian saint whose cult was created by England’s “White Queen” Elizabeth Woodville.
In the 15th century, the “White Queen” of England, Elizabeth Woodville, wife of the founder of the York dynasty, Edward IV, worshiped St. Erasmus, for which a chapel was built.
It was demolished in 1502 and little is known of its role. The archivists at Westminster Abbey conducted an extensive analysis of all the documents available to date.
This made it possible to reconstruct the chapel and its decoration in the 15th century, and also showed the significant role of the cult of Erasmus during the reign of Elizabeth and her husband Edward IV.
According to the documents, the “White Queen” was to be buried in the chapel.
Apparently, these plans were disturbed by something, since in the end Elizabeth was buried next to her husband at Windsor, in the chapel of St. George, which Edward IV began to build in 1475.
The chapel of St. Erasmus also houses the burial of eight-year-old Anna Mowbray, the infant bride of Elizabeth’s son Richard, Duke of York. This may mean that the queen intended to turn the chapel into a royal tomb.
St. Erasmus’ Chapel was demolished in 1502, after the death of Elizabeth Woodville. This happened on the orders of Henry VII, who was married to the daughter of Elizabeth Woodville, Elizabeth of York.
The Chapel of Our Lady, which replaced the Erasmus Chapel, has a statue of Saint Erasmus that the study authors say could be a tribute to Elizabeth Woodville.
According to legend, Saint Erasmus was killed by wrapping his insides on a winch. The authors suggested that the saint’s tooth was kept in the chapel.
Today, from the lost chapel of St. Erasmus, only a skillfully carved frame of mineral alabaster remains, which framed the altar of the chapel.
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