The Journey of the Magi… from Cologne to London

By jackie keily on 29 Dec 2014
Detail from pilgrim badge depicting the three kings.

Detail from pilgrim badge depicting the three kings.

The 6th of January is the feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the visit of the Three Magi, Kings or Wise Men to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem, bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In medieval times this was a very important feast day, as it marked the twelfth day after Christmas and the official end of the Christmas period. This idea lives on in the tradition of taking down Christmas decorations by the 6th. Read the full postRead the full post

Animating Thomas Becket

By meriel jeater on 23 Jun 2014

pilgrim-badge

Some of the highlights of the Museum of London’s medieval collection are the pilgrim souvenirs from Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury. This shrine was the most important in the country in the medieval period and thousands of Londoners would have made the four-day journey to Canterbury Cathedral, bringing back small pewter badges and holy water bottles as proof of their visit. Read the full postRead the full post

We Three Kings of Museum of London Are…

By meriel jeater on 24 Dec 2013

 

Pilgrim badge depicting golden church-shaped box that held the relics of the kings

Pilgrim badge depicting golden church-shaped box that held the relics of the kings


In the medieval period, the relics of some of the major figures of the Christmas story were revered at various holy shrines across the Christian world. Many medieval Londoners would have made arduous, sometimes lengthy and often dangerous journeys to worship at these shrines in the hope of salvation, healing, for thanksgiving or to atone for sins.
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Losing his head: John Schorn – an unofficial saint

By meriel jeater on 9 Jan 2013
Head from scorn badge

Head fragment from a John Schorn Badge

Over the last year I have been cataloguing the Museum of London’s amazing collection of over 700 pilgrim badges and souvenirs (that’s just the badges in the museum’s reserve collection – we have even more in our Archaeological Archive!). Read the full postRead the full post

From the 1st to the 17th century and back again

By other museum staff on 17 Aug 2012

A year on from beginning life as a Project Assistant for Collections Online, Verity Anthony shares the range of work that she has been involved with over the last 12 months. When I started at the Museum my primary responsibilities were the digitisation of the Museum’s Roman samian ware and its collection of 17th century trade tokens. This hasn’t stopped me dabbling my toes in to other archaeological collections though… After a stint working with the trade tokens, I then had the opportunity to help supervise the photography of some of the Museum’s medieval pilgrim souvenirs. Pilgrim badges were purchased […]