02-21-2015, 02:48 PM #1
Graffiti from the time of the plague
Graffiti often plagues gowns and cities, but The (UK) Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey is discovering a wealth of church graffiti, from the time of the plague (bubonic, that devastated Europe in the 1300s and 1500s).
Spokesman Matt Champion says the ancient graffiti project is important because most official church plaques and memorials celebrate the elite; whereas the poignant scribbles and scratches hidden under decades of whitewash mark the deaths of victims who were poor and didn't get the chance of a proper burial. Plague victims were often buried in unmarked, mass graves, while their families were quarantined in their homes.
A recent, touching find is the names of three females; Cateryn, Jane and Amee Maddyngley, inscribed on stonework in Kingston parish church. It's thought they were child plague victims whose deaths passed completely unmarked officially, as there's no mention of them in church records.
At least 60 per cent of the churches surveyed so far have graffiti, with some having as many as 500 pieces.
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