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Medieval Wall Painting
in the
English Parish Church

Shorthampton, Oxfordshire (†Oxford) C.14

Archbishop, perhaps St Thomas Becket

I have tried to find some kind of confirmation that this is indeed Thomas of Canterbury (Thomas Becket), but without success. That said, Thomas was and remained thoughout the Middle Ages so popular that it is not really surprising to find him painted on the wall of a church with which he had absolutely no connection.

Archbishop, perhaps St Thomas Becket, Shorthampton

He is probably raising his right hand in blessing here, although the detail is unclear. His archiepiscopal robes are lavish, and he holds a faily clear pastoral staff. Beyond the archbishop on the right, and outside the reddish background to his figure, I think I can see something which may be the arm and crooked elbow of one of his four assassins, but this may be wishful thinking.

The obscure saint Zita is also painted in the church, and another now-obscure woman saint, Frideswide, patron of Oxford and far from obscure in her day is also there. She will be in these pages soon.

Website for Shorthampton All Saints