The Blood of Hales

A phial alleged to contain some of Christ's blood, brought from Palestine by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, and presented to the Cistercian brotherhood at Hales, Gloucestershire. It was in fact purchased by Edmund in Germany in 1270. The relic attracted many pilgrims and from the proceeds the monks rebuilt the abbey. At the dissolution, the Abbot of Hales himself writes to Cromwell, the earl of Essex, and suggests the demolition of the shrine, where the faynyd relycke called the Bloode was exhibited in order, as the abbot says, that it may not mynistre occasyon to any weke person, loking thereupon, to abuse his conscyens therewith! In a subsequent letter from Bishop Latimer to Cromwell the whole trick is laid bare.



  • Hazlitt, W. Carew. (1905). Faith and Folklore. 2 vols. London: Reeves and Turner, p. 1:57.