Master Adelard (Ailardus)

Waltham Abbey
Waltham Abbey - Photo ©
Mark Ynys-Mon
12 May 2002

Adelard, a native of Liege and student at Utrecht, was both a teacher and a physician. He journeyed to England at the request of the German emperor Henry III, after learning that Harold's physicians were unable to cure him of a mysterious paralysis. Adelard found that the paralysis that had afflicted Harold was also beyond his own skills and so recommended to Harold that he pray before the holy rood at Waltham. Harold's prayers were answered and he was cured of the paralysis. Out of gratitude Harold created a new foundation, the college of the Holy Cross, placing Adelard at its head.

Harold's body is said to be buried here at Waltham Abbey. Two stones just to the east of the present building mark the spot.

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