By Danna Piroyansky (auth.)
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Extra info for Martyrs in the Making: Political Martyrdom in Late Medieval England
In August 1323 William de Melton, Archbishop of York, wrote to the Official of the Archdeacon of York, banning the cult and empowering him to suppress its activity there. 20 Yet, the people who made the pilgrimage to Lancaster's tomb were recalcitrant, and their behaviour turned violent. In September the King had to commission an inquiry into the assault and death of two of the servants of Richard de Moseleye (his clerk and 26 Martyrs in the Making Constable of Pontefract), who were sent to Lancaster's tomb in order to prevent praying and oblations-giving there.
The Modus Tenendi Parliamentum, dated to 1321 and linked to Lancaster, was a manifesto for parliamentary reform which would delegate power to the Commons - power they did not have in the period. One of its articles, for example, called for the Commons to be summoned de jure to every parliament. It was designed to draw the 'middling people of the shire' to Lancaster's side, and its author highlighted the authority of the shire knights, the ones who were also to become, as we have seen, Lancaster's posthumous followers.
21 With Edward II's deposition in January 1327 and the political hegemony of Isabella, mother of King Edward III, and Roger Mortimer, her lover, the attitude towards the cult changed. Not only was it no longer officially banned, but royal and ecclesiastical efforts were made to turn Lancaster from a 'popular' to a canonized martyr. The motives for this new approach by the de facto rulers were mainly political. Z3 A third possible reason was Isabella and Mortimer's need to maintain their popularity among the English people.