York Cathedral

Margery Kempe at York

York was one of the most powerful cities in England. The Archbishop of York occupied the most prestigious place in the clerical hierarchy of England, second only to the archbishop of Canterbury so that it is understandable that Margery Kempe would made several visits to York Minster.  She mention early in her account (Ch. 10-11) that she and her husband, who still did not agree to a chaste marriage, went to York; on the return trip he gave her his ascent. The major event concerning the site of York involves Margery's later accusation of heresy in 1517 (Ch. 50-52), after her return from Jerusalem.  She speaks of visiting an anchoress, who earlier had supported her, but who now would not receive her.  She describes many of the ecclesiastics, a canon, one of the chantry priests at the Bishop's tomb, and also her interview in the Minster's Chapter House.  She also describes the archbishop's palace and chapel at Cawood (now destroyed), slightly south of the city where she was interviewed and gave credible answers to all charges.