New display on York Saint at Bar Convent to showcase never seen before material
Discover new research on Saint Margaret Clitherow, the Pearl of York, and the mystery behind how the Bar Convent became custodians of her relic in new display.
Using unseen documents from the Bar Convent’s archives, students from York St John University have been investigating the unsolved questions: How did the relic come into possession of the convent? When was it brought here? Why is it here?
Relics are physical objects which have a direct association with the saints or with Christ.
The new display will coincide and mark the anniversary of Saint Margaret Clitherow’s death (25 March 1586) and International Women’s Day (8 March).
Margaret Clitherow: The Pearl of York will be on display at the Bar Convent until 1 July 2023.
Special collections manager, Dr Hannah Thomas, said “Saint Margaret Clitherow, also known as ‘The Pearl of York’, is one of the most significant martyrs, particularly in terms of the nature of her execution. Her death was seen as so brutal by her contemporaries that Queen Elizabeth I is said to have written to the city officials to condemn their actions, and a sentence of this nature was never passed again as punishment for Catholics in this country.
“We receive many questions from visitors about why Saint Margaret Clitherow’s relic is housed at the convent, and how it came to be here.”
Second year York St John University history students Jessica Diamond, Benjamin Stringer and Mia Skinner were given access to the Bar Convent’s archives and have carried out research into these questions for the first time.
On display will be material that has never been made public before — including a pocket-sized engraving depicting her execution, several books about martyrs compiled by the English Catholic community, and a very rare handwritten biography of Margaret Clitherow.
This temporary display is within the Bar Convent’s permanent exhibition with new interpretation also in the Chapel alongside the relic.
The display is included in admission to the exhibition.
Find out more at the Bar Convent website.