Friday, 23 March 2012

The ghost of St Editha

Baron Robert Marmion looks frightened to death – as well he might. This tableau (in Tamworth Castle’s ‘Haunted Room’) shows him in 1139 after a particularly threatening dream in which Saint Editha appeared to him.
Eh?  Yes, it seems Saint Editha was no wuss, because, despite having been dead some 300 years, she was apparently furious with Baron Robert for having expelled the nuns from a convent she had founded at nearby Polesworth.

In fact, it wasn’t enough for the saintly lady for just to threaten him, as – from out of the dream-world she inhabited -, she also struck him with her staff, which caused his head to bleed. And ache mightily it seems. What a lady!

Baron Robert – as you’d expect – rushed off to find the homeless nuns and made sure they were restored to their previous home in Polesworth.

The confusion to my mind – is that St Editha is now identified with the famous Black Lady ghost which haunts the castle. Surely saints don’t come back? I thought it was only unhappy souls? 
Ah well: no one expects the supernatural to make sense.

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