Henry of Saltrey

Life
fl.1150, English monk at Cistercian of Saltrey or Sawtrey in Huntingdonshire; obtained from a friend, Gilbert of Louth [qv], story of Purgatorium Sancti Patricii, included in Matthew Paris’s Chronica Majora, and first printed in Messingham’s Florilegium insulae Sanctorum Hiberniae (1624). ODNB

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Commentary
Shane Leslie, St Patrick's Purgatory [Lough Derg] (1932), ‘Under St. Patrick’: The cave, known as St Patrick’s Purgatory, on an island in Lough Derg, was celebrated in Europe in the Middle Ages as the real entrance to Purgatory. It inspired a number of literary works including Marie de France’s 2,000 word rhyming lay, L’Espurgatoire de Seint Patriz, written c.1190, and based on Henry de Saltrey’s Tractatus de Purgatorio S. Patricii; Florilegium contains a composite tract made of Henry of Saltrey, Matthew of Paris, and Bishop Rothe, the several parts marked as A B and C in the margin, with Messingham and others marked as D. Bibl., Saltrey’s true text printed by John Colgan, in Trias Thaumaturga, whereas Messingham’s composite account is used by Migne in Patrologia, vol. 180.

St. John Drelincourt Seymour, St Patrick's Purgatory (1919), writes: ‘Henry of Saltrey, in Huntingdon[shire], committed the earliest known account of the descent made by a visionary, the Kinght Owen, in 1153, recited to him by a monk named Gilbert. Seymour infers from dates known of Gilbert and other details that Saltrey's account was written down in c.1186.’ (p.19)

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