England, The Dowry of Mary
There is a tradition that the title ‘Dowry of Mary’ goes back to St Edward the Confessor (1042 – 1066). There is no doubt, about the deep devotion to Our Lady that existed in medieval England, and the fame of Walsingham and other medieval English Shrines of Our Lady are a strong testimony to this devotion.
The first documentary evidence for the title was found in a painting which used to hang in the Hospice of St Thomas, which was the English Hospice for pilgrims in Rome, now the Venerable English College. It showed King Richard II (r. 1377-1399) and his consort Anne of Bohemia at Westminster Abbey on the feast of Corpus Christi in 1381. They are praying at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pewe, offering England to Our Lady as Her Dowry. He holds a parchment with a Latin inscription: ‘Dos tua pia haec est, quare leges, Maria’ – This is your dowry, O pious Virgin.