Intercessors: Folk Saints or notable Pious Individuals

A death’s head on the 17th century Rampston memorial inserted into the wall of the 13th century Sanctuary at St Clement’s church, Sandwich, Kent. Below the carving can be seen the letter ‘H’ which is just one of a plethora of names, dates and initials that have been cut or scratched into the alabaster. It has been suggested that these additions may represent ‘informal’ memorials for those too poor for a headstone or grand memorial of their own (Champion 2015). Then there is the possibility that the piety and standing of one Frances Rampston may have raised her to the level of a ‘folk-saint’ who may have been viewed as a potential ‘intercessor’ for those seeking spiritual succour. Her monument and its location – high up on the wall within the ‘holy of holies’ would have only added to her gravitas and standing within the lay community.

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