There are stories that are discovered by accident. For example the story of the lustful nun who faked her death. Medieval historians from York University found it. Her name was Joan of Leeds. She was a 14th century nun who faked her own death to escape her monastery. It is mentioned in the popular “The Washington Post”.
The story was revealed through a small note in Latin. It was between several volumes of the time. They recorded the business of the Religious of York between 1304 and 1405. The note was written by Archbishop William Melton in 1318 and requested the nun to return to St. Clement Monastery. “Warn Joan of Leeds, nun of St. Clement of York, that she must return home.”
The message emphasized that a Benedictine nun had fallen on “the path of carnal lust”. He “carelessly” ignored his religious commitment. The escape plan was spectacular.
The bishop tells. “With the help of many accomplices and criminals, he maliciously created a mannequin after his body.” So “he deceived the faithful devotees”.
“He had the shamelessness to seek his false burial in a holy place.” The nun adds that “the nun” perverted her way in an arrogant way. He changed it to “carnal lust, far from poverty and obedience”. In addition, “despite the danger to his soul and the scandal, he wanders outside.”
The lustful nun who faked her death was discovered. It caused quite a stir. At that moment the archbishop asked for his return. He was outraged by such “cunning and perverted” behavior.
It is not known whether the stubborn nun was returned to the monastery or not. Sarah Rees Jones, a researcher on the project, says it will be almost impossible to find out.
“It’s very frustrating. We don’t know what happened to her. There are quite a few cases of monks and nuns who have left their monastery, ”he explains.
This curious scandal of the time was discovered during the project to digitize the records. They belong to William Melton, Archbishop of York from 1317 to 1340. Documents illuminating the lives of several Benedictine women. What other secrets will be hidden in these documents?