The project has been proceeding nicely these past weeks. Today, whilst searching the internet for information on English friars and pocket bibles, I stumbled across this article:
It reminded me of how lucky I am to participate in unlocking this precious book’s secrets. It was also very neat to see Dr. Gwara’s quote about how books like the Breslauer Bible were used by Dominicans or Franciscans; we now know ours was almost certainly used by Franciscans thanks to the work we did with Dr. Webb at Stanford.
These past weeks, I have spent most days deep in the bowels of the Thomas Cooper Library, shifting through the hefty, red tomes of the Victoria Histories of the Counties of England. Some of the books are old and filled with yellowed paper pages which crack when you turn them, but their information is very rich and detailed. Dr. Gwara sent me a list of potential Samfords/Sandfords in Britain; my job has been to research information about them so as to determine which ones ARE and are NOT likely candidates. In my research, I have relied upon the Victoria Histories extensively, but also upon internet resources as varied as Google maps and local town councils’ histories. Here is an abbreviated example of my notes on three Sandfords/Samfords:
Sandford SZ5481 Hampshire England
o Not recorded in The Historical Gazetter of English Place Names b/c Hampshire isn’t finished
o On an island with no friaries according to Rohrkasten’s map of friaries
o Closest friary is Southampton (founded before 1250), 23 miles away across a channel.
o Victoria County Histories
§ Benedictine Priory of Appledur Combe owned land in Sandford. (v2 231)
§ Sandford had a mill (v v, 175)
Sandford SO8545 Worcestershire England
· There is a settlement of a few houses on the satellite map which could very well be this Sandford today.
§ The nearby Severn Stoke is only 7 miles from Worcester Cathedral; Sandford is therefore less than 7 miles from the nearest city containing a friary, Worcester Friary established prior to 1230. Promising, very promising. It also apparently had a theological library—see citations under vch notes
§ It doesn’t turn up anything on google, indicating that it is not a place of great modern significance
· Doesn’t show up as a Parish, but is present on the map as “Sandford” with what appear to be markings indicating a settlement.
· Is present as a part of the parish of Severn Stoke. It has no sub areas.
· It appears to be on a major road heading south from Worcester
o Victoria County History
· “The parish of Severn Stoke, inclusive of the hamlets of Clifton, Kinnersley and Sandford, has an area of 3,326 acres, about two-thirds of which are devoted to pasture” iv 192-7
· “The village of Severn Stoke lies at the foot of a fairly steep hill, about midway between Worcester and Tewkesbury, on the high road connecting those places. It contains several cross-timbered houses. The church of St. Denis, which stands low near the river bank, is backed by the dark woods of Severn Bank. Near it is the rectory; a little to the north of the village there is a pound.” 192-7
· “mile north, on the Worcester road, is the hamlet of Sandford, where there are brick and tile works on the river bank.” 192-7
I have covered around twenty-five Sandfords in my notes thus far, with eight more to examine, two of which are in Scotland (making them unlikely candidates). Another promising candidate is Sandford-on-Thames, which I will discuss in detail in a future blog post.