Thursday, June 28, 2012

Saint Thenew,Scotland's first recorded Rape victim,Battered Woman and Unmarried Mother.

In 2009, during our negotiations with Professor Ian Jones for his apology  from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital  to the mothers for the ill treatment received at the hospital through the 50’s 60’s 70’s and 80’s, we were made aware of a circumstance that befell the mother of St. Mungo, patron Saint of Glasgow.
One of our members bought to our attention the legend of the mother of St. Mungo. Saint Thenew (pronounced by my Glaswegian grandfather as “The Noo”) was betrothed to a man whom she did not wish to marry. Thenew was the daughter of Loth, (by her father) King of the Lothians. She was cast out of her father’s house because of her disobedience to his will, and she became a swineherd.  

Pursued and raped by her rejected suitor, she became pregnant. When her pregnancy became obvious, her father ordered her to be stoned to death. She was thrown from the top of a mountain, but was miraculously saved.

Her father’s anger was not abated, so he ordered her execution. The executioner could not carry out the orders, but put her in a boat without a rudder, and with no oars, and set her adrift in the Firth of Forth.
Shoals of fishes guided her boat to the shore at Culross where she gave birth to Kentigren in 518. She and her son were befriended by St. Serf. Kentigrern was later called “Mungo”.

St.Thenew is “Scotland’s first recorded rape victim, battered woman and unmarried mother”.
The story resonated within in all members of the ALAS Committee, so we unanimously decided to take Thenew, as our patron Saint.

And no, we are not becoming “religious”, we have always been “women of spirit”. We simply take strength from those who have gone before us, who have displayed steadfast strength, and remarkable courage to endure the wrath of paternal displeasure.

St Thenew’s day is 18th July in the Scottish Calendars. We will be thinking of all those in Glasgow who remember St.Mungo’s mother, on her day.

Jan Kashin.
Thanks to our ALAS member.
Story Elspeth King,Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries.

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