Earlier this year a documentary was shown on Yesterday TV about the St Bees Man.

St Bees is a remote location.  Perhaps that is why the story of the well-preserved body in a lead coffin/casket is not better-known.

The body was found during an archaeological dig in 1981.  Its discovery raised a large number of questions.  Some of these now seem to have been answered to some extent.

There is enough information, which has not been used in the first documentary, for a second programme to be considered.

It is strange that it often happens, that a subject (medieval knights in this case) is brought to someone’s attention and soon afterwards other similar, but not directly related articles, books or whatever are noticed treating a similar topic.

In this case, St Bees Man having been publicised on TV, I discovered a blog post about skeletons in Hereford Cathedral.

Shortly after that I found a second hand book entitled The Riddle and the Knight: In search of Sir John Mandeville by Giles Milton.  I mentioned it in an earlier post.  One thing which amazes me is how much travelling some people managed to do in medieval times.  They had to walk, ride horses or travel over water – unless they were carried or could ride in a horse-drawn vehicle, such as a cart.  There were no metalled roads, no motor vehicles, no trains and certainly nothing to fly in.  SatNav or Geolocation is a very recent invention.  Early maps were sometimes incorrect and/or incomplete.  Yet people managed to travel to distant parts of the world and return years later to tell the tale.  (Or had friends, who were prepared to go to considerable pains to bring the body back.)  This book mentioned a man by the name of Prester John.

Not long after I read the book, there was a radio programme “In Search of Prester John”.  Unfortunately I did not remember to listen to it at the time.  In the UK programmes from the BBC are available for catch-up via the i-player for a limited time.  I can’t remember whether I listened or not.

This post has been languishing in my ideas folder since July!  History is not my speciality, but I read fairly widely.  Publishing it this week allows me more time to research another idea I have for a post, which is also inspired by someone I heard of in one context cropping up soon after in another.

Do you find that once you have heard about something, related topics catch your attention soon afterwards?


5 thoughts on “Knights

  1. Yes it is funny how that happens. I’ve noticed it and once you hear of one topic you hear or see something related. Also, I can be reading something and if the tv is on, I read a word and the same word is spoken on the tv. Weird…:)

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  2. Many times something has caught my attention and then continues to crop up. It might be days or even years between these notations, but some things just stay with me once I’ve started becoming interested in them.


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