Contemporary With Its 1000 Year Celebration, a Discovery from the Great Library and Scriptorium at Bury St. Edmund’s

Contemporary with the a year of celebrations to mark 1,000 years since the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds by King Canute, Raab announced the discovery of a surviving manuscript from the Scriptorium.

The site of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, located about 75 miles northwest of London in Suffolk, had been used for Christian religious worship since the 7th century. The area gained importance when, in the 10th century, it received the relics of the Anglo-Saxon King Edmund I. King Canute granted the lands to the monks who were charged with guarding the relics in the 11th century, and by the end of that century, the cult of St Edmund— those who venerated the saint— greatly enriched the new-found Abbey. During the 12th century, the Abbey was enlarged, becoming one of the largest in England.

The Abbey housed a well-known scriptorium, a center of thought and scholarship in England during the late Middle Ages, in which the monks produced luxurious manuscripts to be studied in the Abbey or loaned out to other religious establishments.

The leaf discovered and for sale at Raab is from St. Augustine’s City of God, and almost certainly formed part of the library of Nicholas Bacon, Keeper of the Seal of Queen Elizabeth I and father to Francis Bacon, who may have inherited it.

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