•  Margery Kempe at Ely

    The city of Ely is mentioned only once (Ch. 55) in a chapter describing Margery Kempe's travels from London back to Lynn.  She had journeyed to London to obtain the Archbishop of Canterbury's letter that approved her and her husband's chaste marriage and granted her dispensation for frequent reception of the Eucharist.  She mentions that three miles outside of Ely she and her husband John were stopped by "a man" who intended to imprison the pair, but after reading the letter "spoke handsomely and kindly to them," allowing them to progress towards the city.  Although Margery does not mention Ely at length, it would be uncharacteristic if she did not visit the cathedral, especially the Lady Chapel, which was a lavish separate building.  Many of the buildings at Ely, especially Prior Cruden's Chapel, give some sense of the luxury of prominent ecclesiastics, and the private spaces often referred to in The Book of Margery Kempe.