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Pilgrim Badges

Pilgrim badges were sold in the medieval period as souvenirs of pilgrimage. All of the badges below are accurate copies of surviving pewter artefacts. For information on the history of pilgrim badges please refer to the ‘History’ section of the website. Devotional badges are also included in this section.

P42-St Etheldreda
P42-St Etheldreda

P42-St Etheldreda

Etheldreda (or Audrey), was Abbess of the convent she had founded at Ely in the 7th century on the site now occupied by Ely Cathedral. Pilgrimage to her shrine was popular throughout the 14th and 15th centuries and fairs were held on her feast days. At these fairs cheap trinkets, known as ‘tawdry wares’ were sold - the word tawdry being a contraction of St Audrey. This pilgrim badge shows Etheldreda holding a book and Abbess’s crosier from which hang a pair of fetters. The latter alluding to a popular miracle where Etheldreda delivered a man from a London jail.

Original found in London.

14th - 15th century.

28x62mm Depicting a crowned St Etheldreda holding a bible, crosier and fetters.
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