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Treasures

The Treasury The Crypt Treasury is open Monday to Saturday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm and Sunday 12.30 pm to 3.00 pm. 

 


‘The Great and the Good’ - A Seventeenth Century Mystery

The present exhibition in the Treasury is of fine seventeenth century engravings from books which were all given on 1 January 1631. In all 85 books were given by 37 prominent local men and women. The mystery is what prompted them to give books on the same day.

Was it just because Edmund Calamy, the lecturer at St Mary’s, who later became a popular preacher in London, inspired them to update the existing library which had been founded back in 1595?

Was there a political motive? Bury had only recently gained its charter and corporation and, being a very Protestant town, the councillors could have been concerned how they would be affected by the reactionary policies of Charles I, who had just established his personal rule, and the religious policies of William Laud. 17 councillors gave books, and there were many by Catholic authors. Were they trying to appease the powers that be?

   

For further information see Libraries/Ancient Library.


Of particular note in the Cathedral itself is the sculpture of the Crucified Christ by Dame Elisabeth Frink, the statue of the Madonna and Child by Leonard Goff, the Martyrdom of St Edmund: a painting by Brian Whelan, the tapestry depicting the visit of King Henry VI to the Shrine of St Edmund, and the gold and silver candlesticks and cross on the High Altar.