The Saint and the Hanged Man


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A fascinating snapshot of medieval societythis documentary narrated by Rob Brydon uses dramatic reconstructions and original animation to reveal the clash between reason and the supernatural at the heart of the medieval mind. In 1307, the full weight of medieval justice descended on the sleepy town of Hereford. But this court wasn’t summoned to prove innocence or guilt. The man on trial wasn’t a murderer or a criminal. In fact, he wasn’t even alive. This was a holy inquiry, called by the Church to prove whether a dead English bishop was actually a miracle worker and should be made into a saint. His case was based on several alleged miracles, the most notorious being the spectacular resurrection of a hanged man. The man – a Welsh terrorist executed by the state and hanged twice just to make sure-somehow came back to life. A papal court would use all the instruments of legal process – witness statements, forensic evidence, cross-examination – to prove whether it was truly a miracle.