Child death, grief, and the community in high and late Medieval England
"William of Canterbury, one of the authors of the Thomas Becket miracle collection, reports in a twelfth-century miracle that an eight-year-old boy named Phillip was looking at rocks by a lake located in the county of Cheshire, when he slipped and was overtaken by the water (aquis obrutus est). When he did not return home, his father, Hugh Scot, searched for him everywhere in the village and found his body submerged in the lake. Hugh was sighing and groaning (suspiriis et gemitu) after extracting him from the water, and when Phillip's mother heard about his death, she indulged in tears and wailing (lacrymis indulget et plactui).1 Rather than preparing the boy's corpse for a funeral, his parents attempted to revive him by suspending him by his feet in order to drain the liquid from his body, and when that did not work, by giving him holy water associated with Thomas Becket (aqua sancti Thomoe). According to William of Canterbury, because of the devotion of the parents (devotio parentum) and divine intervention, Phillip began to show signs of life, making his father leap forth (exsiliente) from his seat with excitement." -- Introduction
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