Shrine of the King, Cradle of the Law

John and Robert launched out early this morning to go sailing so Robert could familiarize my favorite Captain with his sailboats and a bit of the North Sea. The Captain and I will brave it on our own in a few days — or sooner depending upon the wind.

Dorothy and I headed into Bury St. Edmund’s, a lovely town with a rich history.

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The town motto is Sacrarium Regis, Cunabula Legis — Shrine of a king, Cradle of the law.

The town grew up around the powerful Abbey of St. Edmund in the Middle Ages. Edmund was the King of the East Angles who was martyred by invading Danes in 869. Edmund was the patron saint of England until he was replaced by the dragon-slaying George.

In 903, Edmund’s body was enshrined at the Abbey here and for 500 years pilgrims came from all over the world to worship at the shrine.

Legend has it that the barons responsible for the Magna Carta met at the shrine in 1214 to swear an oath that they would force King John to accept their Charter of Liberties — what would later be known as the Magna Carta, paving the way for democracy.

Today, I explored the Abbey Gardens.

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I also dropped in on the tourist center to pick up a map. The Hintons leave for the USA later today and John and I will be on our own to navigate this lovely bit of earth.

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