I. Aachen to Dover

See also over 150 images in MMK Devotional Images Database, arranged alphabetically 
See also Catholic Encyclopedia (1905-17), despite the date still useful as a first reference 

Aachen Aachen in north-western Germany (in French, called Aix-la-Chapelle), was the capital of Charlemagne's empire in the 9th century.  It became the site of one of the great medieval pilgrimages because of the textile relics obtained by Charlemagne and Ortho III.  The four “Great Relics” include the cloak of the Blessed Virgin, the swaddling clothes of the infant Jesus, the cloth on which St. John the Baptist’s head lay after his beheading, and the loin cloth which Jesus wore on the Cross.  These four relics were shown only once every seven years. 
[II: Chapter 6]  [II: Chapter 7]

Advent In the liturgical year, Advent is the four week period ending on December 25, Christmas Day.  It was a time for penance and reflection. Advent actually opens the liturgical year, appropriately as a time of waiting for the coming of the savior.  The prayers during this time reference the waiting of the Israelites with citations from the prophets such as Isaiah (Is 30:30) "People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations." 
[Chapter 89]

anchorite An anchorite or anchoress was a person who separated him or herself from society in order to devote a life to penance and prayer in solitude.  Anchorites were similar to hermits, but their location was invariably within populated communities, not the desert or forest location of the traditional hermit. They could be members of religious orders but they also could be solitary individuals who chose to live an ascetic life marked by permanent enclosure in a building or part of a building (an anchorage or anchorhold) attached to a religious foundation.  The highly popular guide for the female anchorite, the 13th-century Ancrene Wisse, outlined a liturgical day with a series of prayers, some in the vernacular, more simple than that of the Benedictine rule, and gave many rules for conduct.  Chief among them was scrupulous observation of chastity and limited contact with the outside world.  An example of an anchoress is Julian of Norwich (1342-{1416-1423}) who lived in an anchoritic cell at St. Julian’s church in Norwich. See anchorite's cell attached to the south choir of All Saints Church, King's Lynn. 
Anchoritic Spirituality: Ancrene Wisse and Associated Works, trans. Anne Savage and Nicholas Watson. Paulist Press: Mahwah, NJ, 1991; 
Gilchrist. Roberta. Gender and Material Culture: The Archaeology of Medieval Women. Routledge: London, 1994, see "Anchorages," 177-181. 
Robertson, Elizabeth. Early English Devotional Prose and the Female Audience. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990. 
Warren, Ann. Anchorites and their Patrons in Medieval England. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985. 
[Chapter 5]   [Chapter 11]  [Chapter 16][Chapter 18]   [Chapter 19][Chapter 21] [Chapter 26]  [Chapter 43]  [Chapter 50] [Chapter 69]

angel In many religions, angels are supernatural, spiritual beings. In Christian tradition, angels were created by God to have an immortal nature. The word “angel” comes from the Greek word for “messenger.” Most often in literature, angels act as messengers between God and humankind. Unrelated to matter, they possess intelligence and free will.  Angels occasionally take human form and are often depicted this way in Christian art. According to The Celestial Hierarchies by the 6th-century Pseudo-Dionysius, angels are divided into nine orders and three hierarchies, comprising the nine orders of angels. 
Nine Orders of Angels
Christian legend usually divides angels into nine orders, which are divided into three hierarchies or choirs.  Angels are placed into these ranks based upon their proximity to the throne of God.  Each rank has a particular duty and honor. 
Seraphim:  The highest order of the hierarchy and the closest to God;  angels of Love, Light, and Fire; sing God’s praise continuously; “the Burning Ones,” they often give off an intense light; associated with the color white; have four faces and six wings. 
Cherubim:  The second highest in the hierarchy of angels; name stands for wisdom and according to tradition, they hold the knowledge of God; often assigned the greatest of tasks, for example, the expulsion of man from the Garden of Eden and the Annunciation of Christ's birth.  In Renaissance art they often appear as chubby, winged babies. Invariably they are depicted with four wings. 
Thrones:  The  “wheels” of God, because they act as God’s chariot. Also known as the angels of justice because they carry out the decisions of God with impartiality and humility;  physically, they are described as wheels that give off great light and have four wings and four faces. 
Dominations:  The Guardian angels; regulate the duties of the lower angels; rarely make themselves physically known to mortals, but wear long gowns with golden belts; in the right hand, carry golden staffs and in the left, the seal of God; sometimes hold an orb or scepter. 
Virtues: Perform miracles on earth and are often referred to as “The Brilliant or Shining Ones;” often involved with people struggling with faith; givers of grace and valor; bestow blessings upon the material world and are usually represented in a group.  The angels at the Ascension of Jesus were from the order of Virtues. 
Powers:  The first order of angels; maintain the border between Heaven and Earth; act as guards, constantly looking out for attacks from demons and stopping their efforts to overthrow the world. 
Principalities: Protect religions as well as nations and leaders of the world;  wear soldier’s uniforms.  The angel who helped David slay Goliath is of this order. 
Archangels:  The best known order of angels and the only angels mentioned by name in the Bible (Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael); carry messages of God to humans on earth; act as the leaders in God’s army; guardians of people as well as physical objects. 
Angels:  The last order of Angels; look after individual households and souls; carry messages of God to humankind. 
[Chapter 5]  [Chapter 22]  [Chapter 35]  [Chapter 59]  [Chapter 65]  [Chapter 75]  [Chapter 83]

Articles of Faith  The term “Articles of Faith” was employed in the Middle Ages by theologians such as St. Bernard and Thomas Acquinas to denote key revealed elements of Christian religious doctrine.  Not every aspect of piety would be termed an article of faith, nor has there been universal agreement on what constitutes the essential “truths.” At the very least, however, they include the elements set out in the Apostles' Creed and, during Kempe’s time, the nature and efficacy of the Seven Sacraments.  Kempe was questioned on the Articles of the Faith at Leicester by Richard Rothley, Abbot of Leicester (Ch. 48), at York by John Aclom (Ch. 51), and then by Henry Bowet, the Archbishop of York (Ch. 52); all were convinced of her understanding of the then practiced orthodoxy of the church. 
[Chapter 51]  [Chapter 52]

Arundel Thomas Arundel (1353-1414) was the archbishop of Canterbury, the primate, the ecclesiastical superior for all the English church. Arundel who was named to position of Archbishop of Canterbury in 1397, but was banished by King Richard II in the same year.  He was returned to the office when Henry IV came to power.  Arundel was known for his vigorous prosecution of Lollards and other heretics during his time as Archbishop. 
[Chapter 15]

Assisi Forty miles north of Rome, the town of Assisi was the home of several martyrs, but is best known as the birthplace of St. Francis, one of the most influential leaders of the 14th century.  Assisi claimed to possess three important relics: the Veil of the Virgin Mary, and the remains of St. Francis (both at the Basilica of St. Francis) and the remains of St. Clare, foundress of the cloistered women's movement dedicated to the same ideals as the Franciscans (at the church of St. Clare).  In addition to the these relics, St. Francis had established in Assisi a chapel known as the Portiuncula Chapel, which was itself closed within a 13th century Gothic church.  Since a plenary indulgence was granted to those who kept vigil at this chapel from Vespers of August 1 to Vespers of August 2, many pilgrims were attracted to this site. 
[Chapter 31]

Assumption Because of the sinless nature of the Virgin Mary, it is believed that she alone of the human race received the privilege of bodily assumption into heaven.  Her death, located by tradition to Mt. Sion, was not truly a death, but a sleep and therefore referred to as her "dormition." This was commonly represented in art since the 12th century.  While the apostles gathered around her body, Christ appeared taking her soul.  Then the Virgin was bodily assumed into heaven, to sit next to her son, whose body had already achieved its perfected state through his resurrection.  Thus, the Virgin acts as the model for the human race who are promised the resurrection of the body (Apostles Creed) on the day of the Last Judgment. 
[Chapter 68]  [Chapter 73]

Austin Friar or Augustinian FriarThe Augustinian Friars, formally organized in 1256, traces its roots to the philosopher and theologian St. Augustine of Hippo.  The friars are dedicated to communal living, prayer, study, and solitude.  They expanded throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa during the Middle Ages in the role of missionaries as well.  Members of the Order can be identified by their black tunic tied with a leather cord.  They Friars are distinct from the Augustinian Canons, and older order with a more regular and organized communal life. 
[Chapter 68]

beads (praying of beads) Such beads refer to the use of beads on a knotted string used as a device for keeping count of prayers or the continuous repetition of biblical passages. The practice of counting prayers with pebbles or beads is attested to from Early Christian times.  The modern Rosary, comprising 15 Our Fathers and 150 Hail Marys is a development of this tradition that gained great popularity in the 15th century.  The first confraternity of the rosary was founded in Cologne in 1475.  St. Stephen's in Norwich, mentioned by Kempe in Chapters 17 and 43, contains a brass tomb memorial of 1410 showing a woman with two small pilgrims (with staves) praying their beads at her feet. 
[Chapter 36]  [Chapter 88]

Bethlehem Bethlehem, located 5 miles south west of Jerusalem, is an important pilgrimage site as the place of Christ's birth.  The Gospels recount a census that compelled Joseph and Mary to journey to "the town of David which is called Bethlehem" and while they were there she was delivered of a child. "And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the in." (Luke 2:4-7). 
[Chapter 6]   [Chapter 7] [Chapter 29]  [Chapter 41]

Beverley Beverly is a market town and inland port in the northeast of England, in County Humberside, on the River Hull. Formerly a cloth trade center, Beverly still boasts a considerable trade today. Beverly Minster is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture. The church owes its existence to St. John of Beverly, who founded a community of monks and nuns in the 8th century on the site that would later become the site of the Minster. A shrine to St. John was established in the Minster, and this shrine became a popular site for pilgrimages in the Middle Ages. The choir and double transepts were built early in the 13th century, and the present nave replaced the original Norman nave in the 14th century. Because the chapter was secular, Beverly Minster avoided the Dissolution that fell on the monasteries under Henry VIII. 

Beverley Chapterhouse The Chapterhouse of Beverly, demolished in 1550, was that of the collegiate church (of canons) of St. John the Evangelist at Beverly. Like the Chapterhouse of York Minster, this was where the canons met and discussed business and financial issues.  Beverly also had a cathedral (Minster) which was originally served by a chancellor, nine canons, and seven clerks. Later several chantry priests and minor officials were added to the hierarchy of the Minster. The secular duties were administered by a provost, who was not necessarily a member of the chapter. 
[Chapter 54]

Blood of Hailes The Cistercian Abbey of Hailes in Goucestershire displayed a relic of the Holy Blood.  In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the Pardoner mentions the popular medieval oath "By the Blood of Christ that is in Hayles," the kind of oath that Kempe also condemns.  In the late Middle Ages, the devotion to Christ's Passion made such relics a magnet for pilgrimages.  Westminster Abbey and the chapel of the Holy Blood in Bruges were other sites claiming such devotional treasures. The abbey is now a ruin with only segment of the cloister extant. 
Bibliography: Verey, D. Buildings of England: Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds. Penguin, 1970. 
[Chapter 45]

Bologna Bologna is an ancient Italian city, a former Etruscan town, located at the foot of the Appenines.  Bologna lies 51 miles northeast of Florence on the route across northern Italy.  In the 12th century it was incorporated as a free commune and is the seat of the oldest European University.  Its major church, San Petronio, dates from the 14th century. 
[Chapter 27]

Bonaventura Little is known about St. Bonaventure’s (1221-1274) origins.  He was born in Italy to a humble family, and sources indicate that Bonaventure was probably not his real name.  He became a high ranking member of the religious order known as the Franciscans or Friars Minor which was founded by St. Francis of Assisi. Bonaventure believed that philosophy and religion needed to work together in order for the faithful to understand God.  He stressed the need to perform acts of contemplation to expel sin from the body and become more receptive to God.  His text of the life of Francis of 1260 (Legenda Maior) is a model of eloquence and passion.  He used Francis as a model of how one can reach ecstatic knowledge of God through prayer. 
Bonaventure also  wrote a series of meditations of the Passion and a description of the stages of perfect charity, entitled De Triplici Via.  However, he was not the author of Stimulus Amoris (The Prick of Love), contrary to the belief of many during the Middle Ages. 
Bonaventure. The Soul's Journey into God, The Tree of Life, The Life of St. Francis. Trans. Ewert Counsins. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press. 
[Chapter 58]  [Chapter 62]

Bowet, Henry The Archbishop of York from 1407-1423 was Henry Bowet. Bowet’s activist role in investigations of Lollardy is indicated by a 1411 commission to inquire into “insurrections, rebellions and Lollardy” in South Wales and by his investigation of John Taillour in 1421. See Anne Hudson. The Premature Reformation: Wycliffite Texts and Lollard History. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 34, 126. 

brewing  Brewing was the essential and widely practiced commercial industry of making ale and preserving grain.  In many communities commercial brewing was so widespread that many of the households brewed ale for both their own consumption and for sale to others.  Most women learned to brew as a part of their domestic routine. Brewing remained an important aspect of women’s work throughout the Middle Ages. 
[Chapter 2]

Bridlington Bridlington is on the North Sea, about 30 miles north east of York. It has an excellent harbor. Bridlington Priory was founded for Augustinian Canons about 1110 by Walter de Gant. It became one of the wealthiest monastic houses in Yorkshire.  The "good prior" mentioned by Kempe is John of Thwing, canonized in 1401.  His tomb rapidly became a place of pilgrimage, visited by Henry V.  At its height, when Kempe visited, the church was as large as that of Beverley Minster.  Almost all of the priory's buildings were pulled down following the Dissolution of 1537.  What remains is the 13th -century nave of the church converted into a parish church and the gatehouse, or bayle, dating to 1388. 
[Chapter 11]  [Chapter 52] [Chapter 53]

Bristol Bristol is a city in southwest England, 118 miles west of London.  Situated in the protected waters of the Bristol Channel, it was a place of commerce from early times and site of departure by ship for Margery Kempe's voyage to Santiago de Compostela in 1417.  Bristol was incorporated as a city in 1155 and was active in medieval trade. The diocese of Bristol was founded in 1133, when Robert Fitzharding established an abbey church of Augustinian Canons (White Friars). The abbey church thereafter served as a cathedral. The nave was originally Norman, but it no longer exists as such. The chancel, which still exists, is early 14th century and the transepts date from the late 15th century. The cathedral was plundered in 1539 and was almost demolished, but Henry VIII stopped the demolition.  He chose the diocese of Bristol to be one of his six bishoprics. 
[Chapter 37]  [Chapter 44]  [Chapter 45]

burgess A burgess was  a member of a medieval town inhabited by free commoners.  In contrast, peasants (persons living in the countryside) were attached to the land that was actually owned by the lord of the manor. 
[Chapter 22]  [Chapter 84]  [II: Chapter 1]

Caister, Richard, see Vicar of St. Stephen's, Norwich

Calais Calais is a seaport in France and about 22 miles across the English channel from Dover.  It was, and still is, one of the principle ports linking England and France.  In the Middle Ages, the city was fortified in the 13th century by the count of Boulogne.  Calais was besieged by King Edward III in 1346 for a year.  Its citizens were reduced by starvation (Rodin's famous statue of the Burghers of Calais relates to this incident).  Queen Philippa's intercession spared the citizens the King's wrath.  The city continued under English rule for two centuries.  Thus, when Margery Kempe passed through Calais in 1435, she was already on English soil. 
[II: Chapter 7]  [II: Chapter 8]

Calvary Christ was lead to Mount Calvary, or Golgotha, as he carried his cross upon his back.  Normally, executed criminals were tied to the cross, but Christ was nailed through his hands and feet.  Over his head was placed a placard on which was written wrote the charge against him: “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" (INRI: Iesu Nazareth Rex Iudeorum). Then the cross was lifted up and fixed in the ground, exposing Christ in his last agony.  People who passed by continued to mock him, shouting, "He saved other: he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel! Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him" (Mt. 27:42).  According to the Gospel, from noon until 3:00 there was an eclipse of the sun.  Then Jesus died, calling our, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mt. 27:46). 
[Chapter 29]

candle Altar decoration and processions with candles were invariably a part of solemn devotional moments. Margery Kempe also speaks of celebrating the feast of Corpus Christi when a “solemn procession with many candles and great solemnity (that) went through the town (Ch. 45).  Candles were expensive and major objects of donor piety, the giving of candles often being commemorated in church records.  The number of candles used marked the great or lesser solemnity of a mass in official accounts. For example, the merchant guild of Bridgewater in 1393 stipulated that their chantry priest (one saying special prayers at a designated altar or chapel within a church) should provide Two torches which are to burn and illuminate every day during the elevation of Christ's body in the mass for the Blessed Virgin in the said choir, weighing 16 lb; see Rubin, Miri. Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, 60-62. 
[Chapter 28]  [Chapter 82]

Canterbury Canterbury (Kent) is located 55 miles south west of London and 16 miles inland from the port of Dover. The city was a Roman town and still bears traces of its Roman road plan. St. Augustine of Canterbury brought Christianity in 597, soon converting Ethelbert, King of Kent. Canterbury's fortunes were even more enhanced by the acquisition of a national saint, Thomas Becket, who was murdered in the cathedral by knights of Henry II in 1170.  Soon miracles attracted pilgrims, attested to by Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.  The archbishop of Canterbury, by Kempe's time, was the acknowledged Primate, or ecclesiastical superior, of all England.  He resided for a major portion of the year at Lambeth palace in London, there more accessible to the monarch.  It is at Lambeth that Kempe went to receive a dispensation for frequent communion and entrance to normally reserved clerical spaces. 
The Cathedral is one of the most impressive religious edifices of the Middle Ages, the choir and transept built in the Early English style from 1175 through 1220.  The cathedral's easternmost portion, the Trinity Chapel, housed a series of 12 windows, illustrating the miracles of St. Thomas. The glass formed a color-drenched backdrop for Becket's jeweled shrine in the center.  This carefully calculated experience was the goal of the pilgrim, and undoubtedly an itinerary undertaken by Margery Kempe.  The nave was reconstructed in the later 15th century, so that Kempe, like Chaucer, would have experienced the narrow Norman nave built by abbot Lanfranc from 1071-78 that had not been damaged by the fire of 1174.  In 1539 Henry VIII dissolved the Benedictine monastery and dismantled Becket's shrine. 
[Chapter 13]   [Chapter 15] [Chapter 55] [II: Chapter 8]

Cawood Cawood was the site of the palace of the archbishops of York, located 9 miles south of York Minster. Today none of the structures that Kempe would have seen are extant.  Kempe visited Henry Bowet, Archbishop of York during the time of her visit, in Cawood where he accused her of being a heretic.  See the palace and chapel of the bishop of Lincoln for a comparison. MMK: Lincoln
[Chapter 54]

chalice The chalice was a vessel used for the celebration of the Eucharist.  Wine mixed with a little water was poured into it and when the priest said the words of consecration, "This is my body," the faithful believed that Christ was actually present, mystically.  The wine became Christ's blood (as the bread became Christ's body).  The chalice as well as the bread was held up for the faithful to see.  Given the importance of the ritual, a chalice was invariably one of the most richly decorated objects in the church treasury, usually of gold and of semi precious stones and with imagery related to the Eucharist. 
[Chapter 20]

Chapel-in-the-Fields, Norwich The church known as the Chapel-in-the-Fields was founded in 1248 as a hospital and chapel dependent on the parish of St. Stephen's in Norwich.  It was dedicated to the Virgin but called its familiar name because of its location in the field southwest of the city.  It developed into an important collegiate church with a dean, chaplains, and chantry priests, all founded by individual donors. 
[Chapter 43]

chaste marriage  Kempe is determined, after 14 children, to enter into the category of chaste wife - maintaining the lawful bond of marriage but vowing not to exercise sexual relations.  She bargains with her husband: she pays his debts, he grants that they live chastely.  Virginal marriage was not an unusual status, and of considerably more advantage to the wife.  The status of a layman within civic and church organization was not appreciably changed, but a woman was accorded greater respect and social autonomy.  Widows were, in general, more advantaged than wives. In the late 13th century, Jacobus deVoragine compiled the Golden Legend, a collection of saints' lives ordered according to the liturgical calendar.  He also recorded rituals such as the Greater Litany on the feast of St. Mark (April 25) and the lesser Litany, also in the spring, celebrated in the three days before the feast of the Ascension.  He describes processions for both; for the Greater, he speaks of seven ranks of participants: first the clergy, then the monks, then religious, nuns, then children, then the laymen, then widows and virgins, finally married women.  This ranking gives some indication of the problematic position of the married woman that persisted even in Margery Kempe's time. Well-documented examples of virginal couples in the 14th-century can be found in "The Virginal Marriage of Elzéar and Delphine" and "A Holy Woman During the Hundred Years' War: Jeane-Marie of Maillé” in André Vauchez. The Laity in the Middle Ages: Religious Beliefs and Devotional Practices. Ed. Daniel E. Bornstein, trans. Margery J. Schneider. University of Notre Dame Press: South Bend, Indiana, 1993. 
[Chapter 9]   [Chapter 11]  [Chapter 15] [Chapter 76]

choir The choir is the area of the church reserved for the clergy or religious for their communal prayer. During Margery Kempe's time the public areas of a church, the nave, was named the "church."  The areas used by the clergy are specifically called a choir or a chapel.  Kempe's access to the choir was obtained by a special dispensation by the bishop. 
[Chapter 70]  [Chapter 85]

Christmas Christmas is the feast commemorating the birth of Christ. It is fixed in the liturgical year as December 25 and is preceded by four week of fast called Advent. The Gospels recount a census that compelled Joseph and Mary to journey to "the town of David which is called Bethlehem" and while they were there she was delivered of a child. "And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the in." (Luke 2:4-7).  The birth was heralded by angels who announced to Jewish shepherds that their Messiah had come.  Later, wise men from the east, gentiles, arrived to acknowledge Christ's birth.  In the Middle Ages, Christmas was not an extremely important feast; it was far less solemnly celebrated than Easter.  For Kempe, however, with her frequent references to Christ and a child, and her imagining that she was present as a handmaiden to the Virgin, the moment had particular resonance. 
[Chapter 37]  [Chapter 89]

Cobham’s daughter Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, was the leader of Lollard opposition in the 1410s.  Kempe' was being called a follower of Oldcastle, and thus a heretic.  See Lollard and contemporary description of Oldcaste's death. 

"Confiteor" Confiteor is the ritual prayer of contrition  The world confiteor literally means "to confess."  The Confiteor is a prayer of open confession and a plea for forgiveness, a part of the Mass and traditionally used as a preparation for the sacrament of Penance.  The first line begins, "I confess to almighty God. . ." 
[Chapter 32]

confession (see sacrament of penance)

confessor  A confessor is a priest with the faculties to hear confessions and dispense the sacrament of penance. Often people went to the same confessor repeatedly for ongoing spiritual advice.  Kempe clearly follows that practice. In the late Middle Ages, frequent confession, even two a three times a day, was a goal of the intensely spiritual.  St. Bridgit of Sweden was known for confessions this frequent. Margery Kempe refers to her own frequent confessions. The pressure to defend orthodox behavior must also have been a factor; by constant references to the clergy who guided her, Kempe presents a view of her docile submission to clerical authority. Often the confessor would command a specific penance, such as fasting, the saying of prayers, giving of alms, or even travel to a specific pilgrimage site. 
[Chapter 1]   [Chapter 4] [Chapter 13]  [Chapter 18] [Chapter 19] [Chapter 21]  [Chapter 34] [Chapter 36]
[Chapter 37]  [Chapter 40] [Chapter 42] [Chapter 48]  [Chapter 53] [Chapter 63]  [Chapter 66]
[Chapter 67]  [Chapter 69] [Chapter 70] [Chapter 83]  [Chapter 88] [II: Chapter 2]  [II: Chapter 10]

Constance Constance (Konstanz) is a port in southern Germany on Lake Constance.  It was known since late Roman times and was reputedly founded by the Emperor Constantius Clorus (c. 300 A.D.)  It was a powerful city in the medieval era with churches dating from the 11th century.  A merchant hall, the Kaufhaus, was the site of the Council of Constance of 1414-18 where papal authority was confirmed through the deposition of three antipopes.  In particular proto-Protestant doctrines espoused by Jan Huss, Jerome of Prague, and John Wycliffe of Oxford, whose ideas led to the Lollard movement in England, were condemned.  Margery Kempe passed through Constance in the winter of 1413-14, just as the Council delegates were arriving. 
[Chapter 26]  [Chapter 27]

Corpus Christi Corpus Christi is a feast day that was first established in the diocese of Liège, Belgium, in 1246 in response to increasing interest in the Eucharist typified by the visions of Juliana of Cornillon (c. 1193-1258).  Pope Urban IV (James Pantaleon, a native of Troyes who lived some time in Liège) asked Thomas Aquinas to write the liturgy for the feast.  The definition of the Eucharist and its aid to faithful and condemnation of sinners is explained in one of Thomas's hymns Laude syon

Through his flesh as food abideth
And his blood as drink –
He hideth undivided under each. 
Who eateth can never break the body, rend or sever. 
Christ our entire hearts can fill. 
Thousands eat the bread of heaven
Y et as much to one is given:
Christ though eaten, bideth still.
Good and bad they come to greet him,
Unto life the former eat him
And the latter unto death.
Those find death and those find heaven.
See, from the same life-seed given
How the harvest differeth.
Corpus Christi became a universal Christian feast in 1317. Celebrating the sacramental body and blood of Jesus Christ, the feast day typically involves eucharistic processions.  This was a highly popular late medieval feast; its focus was the Passion and redemptive act of Christ and it brought all of a town together for communal activities. Margery Kempe speaks of a “solemn procession with many candles and great solemnity (that) went through the town" (MK Ch. 45).  Often dramatic performances were associated with it, such as the “interlude” paid for by the city of Lynn in 1384 for the embellishment of the feast. 
Duffy, Eamon. The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England 1400-1580. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992, 43-44, 12, 92, 101. 
Kolve, V. A. The Play Called Corpus Christi. Stanford, 1966. 
Rubin, Miri. "Corpus Christi: Fraternities and Late Medieval Piety." Studies in Church History 23 (1986): 97-110. Rubin, Miri. Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, esp. 164-204 for establishment of the feast.  Catholic Encyclopedia Online
[Chapter 2]  [Chapter 45] [II: Chapter 5][II: Chapter 6]

Danzig Danzig (now known as Gdansk; Kempe called it Danske in Duchelond) Danzig is a port on the Baltic Sea, at the mouth of the Vistla river in Poland.  It was first mentioned in the 10th century as the Polish city of Gdansk. It joined the Hanseatic League in the 13th century and was conquered by the Teutonic Knights in 1308.  Its vital position made it a prize for power plays in the Baltic, and it was successively independent, Russian, French, Polish, and German, and lastly Polish again, as the times changed.  Blessed Dorothea of Montau (1347-1394) had lived as a recluse in Danzig before being transferred at the request of the Teutonic Knights to their cathedral of Marienwerden two years before her death.  Her life paralleled somewhat Margery Kempe's.  She was married at the age of 17 and bore her husband eight children, only one of whom survived, later entering a Bridgettine convent.  Dorothea received permission to live as a recluse (an anchoress) and became renowned for her sanctity.  She was highly honored by the order of Teutonic Knights who exercised great control in the area.  It has been suggested that Kempe was aware of Dorothea's life as a model for her own construction of sanctity; Kempe's text, however, does not give explicit reference to Dorothea. 
[II: Chapter 4]

devil  The devil, also known Satan, was believed to be a fallen angel, the prince of evil spirits (lesser devils). According to Christian Scriptures Christ was tempted by the devil in an attempt to stop his mission of saving the world (Matt. 4:1-11). 
[Chapter 1]  [Chapter 4]  [Chapter 5]  [Chapter 13]  [Chapter 18]  [Chapter 27]  [Chapter 59]  [Chapter 67]
[Chapter 75]  [Chapter 78]  [Chapter 84]  [II: Chapter 9]  [II: Chapter 10]

Dover Dover is a port in the easternmost section of Kent, 22 miles across the channel from the French port of Calais. In the Middle Ages, Dover was fortified and the remains of Dover Castle, which occupies a commanding position on the cliff walks, show both Saxon and Norman (11-12th century) construction. 
[II: Chapter 8]

to "Duke of Bedford to Lammas Day..."