John Schorn: the Rector Who Conjured the Devil Into A Boot

Hosted by the London Fortean Society

Venue: The Bell,  50 Middlesex Street E1 7EX (Tubes: Liverpool Street, Aldgate, Aldgate East)

Date: 28th February 2023

Time: 7.30 for 8pm

Tickets: £5/£3

This is the story of one of England’s “folk saints” to whom many miracles were attributed. In the 14th century his shrine became the third most popular after Canterbury and Walsingham yet, mysteriously, he remained uncanonised.

“Master”, “Maister” or “Sir” John Schorn(e), Rector of North Marston, Bucks, was reputed to have miraculous powers of healing sickness. He is said to have struck the ground with his staff and a spring gushed forth; the water was excellent for curing the “ague” (malaria) and gout. Medieval drawings and wall paintings show him carrying a boot containing a small devil which he made appear and disappear as symbol of his power – supposedly the origin of Jack-in-the-Box.

Following his death, the little church of North Marston became a place of pilgrimage. A number of wayside Inns held the name The Boot as pilgrims made their way to and from North Marston on their way to Canterbury.

An Illustrated Talk by Wayne Perkins


Main image: Pilgrim badge courtesy of Lionheart Replicas.,%20Windsor.html

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