The earliest surviving reference to the Corpus Christi festival in York is dated 1322, when Archbishop William Melton commended it as „the glorious feast of the most precious sacrament of the flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ‟. In 1408 the York Guild of Corpus Christi was established „as a confraternity of chaplains and lay persons, with the encouragement of the city government, probably to form the focus of the civic Corpus Christi Day procession‟.
This thesis examines the significance of the Virgin Mary in England between the late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century. The primary sources selected indicate the variety of ideas circulating about her during this period. Strictly religious texts such as the Bible and early Christian writings ground Late Medieval beliefs about Mary in their historical context.