Lead, about 1 3/8” height. Hastily made for burial with plague victims of the first great plague of 1348-49. The cross beam centered with trefoil beam terminals, the Jerusalem cross identified with the Crusades, and possibly indicating the deceased had been a Crusader. Known variously as Pestilence, the Great Mortality, the Great Plague or the Black Death, it was bubonic plague which was brought by sea from France. It killed a quarter of the population of London in two years, creating a shortage of burial space and manpower to perform the burials. Over the centuries, many English churchyards have been cleared of old burials to make space for new (the closer to the church entrance the burial, the greater the chance for eternal happiness) and these crosses are occasionally encountered. See the attached images from the Science Museum, London and four related examples of 1348, from Grey Friars Monastery, Newgate Street, London (Wellcome Library, London).
Item ID: B5410

Certificate of Authenticity

All items purchased from The History Gift Store are accompanied by a signed and dated Certificate of Authenticity with the name of the item and its unique item number for future reference.

Certificates are suitable for display with your item, and can easily be mounted in a 8½" x 5½" frame. Our certificates are printed on an acid free 65lb cardstock. This means your certification will not turn yellow or deteriorate over time.


You have questions? We have answers.

We want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase, and we will do anything we can to make sure of it.
If you have any questions, please let us know, and we'll be happy to assist you.