Son was 40 yesterday and it's a good job we didn't name him after his Saint's day because according to my book Cattern Cakes and Lace by Julia Jones and Barbara Deer October 17th is St Audrey's day, the day her remains were moved from a common cemetery to a special marble coffin within the church. The Chambers Book of Days agrees with the date (BUT other sources say her real feast day is 23rd June. Depends if I'm following the calendar from England or Rome!)
St Audrey was also known as Saint Etheldreda and was the daughter of a king of East Anglia. She was known for her piety and good works and she founded a convent and church in Ely where the cathedral was later built. She became abbess of the convent and died from a tumour of the neck in 679. From my Saint's Days book I found Bede says that when her body was exhumed and the coffin opened 16 years later the tumour had healed so she became the patron saint of those with neck and throat ailments.
According to Cattern Cakes and Lace and Chambers book of Days........In Medieval times a fair was held in Ely on the 17th of October where things like necklaces, silk ribbons and cheap lace were sold. The cheap bobbin lace was known as St Audrey's lace which was shortened to "t'awdry laces" Later it was cheap imitations of these ornaments that gave rise to the use of 'tawdry' to describe anything that is showy but without quality.
|Scenes from the life of St Etheldreda, 15th century altarpiece|
We celebrated son's 40th with a family get together at their house. I always used to think that people who had children who were 40 must be really old - now I have two who are 40+ I've changed my mind!