St Theodore, the Virgin Mary and St George (right). Mount Sinai 6th century


Despite the widespread cult of St. George throughout Christendom, few books have been written about him, and still fewer are in print or readily available. Since Heylyn produced his classic Historie of St. George in 1633, no one has written a comprehensive account of the historical and geographical development of the cult and iconography of the Saint throughout the whole of Christendom.

In Search of St. George seeks to satisfy the need for an updated successor to Heylyn’s work. The chapters follow the geographical spread of the cult from its origins in the middle-east. Chapters 1 to 3 deal with the spread of the cult in the Eastern Church, while Chapter 4 deals with the pivotal role of the Crusaders in passing on the cult and iconography of St. George from the Eastern Church to the Western Church. Chapters 5 to 9 chart the spread of the cult through Western Christendom, while Chapter 10 focuses on the history and affairs of the renowned and well documented English Order of Chivalry, the Order of St. George named the Garter.

Each of the chapters dealing with a specific region or nation starts with a brief survey of the growth of the Christian Church in that region or nation, seeking to identify the origins of the cult of St. George within that growth, and continuing with an historical account of its later developments. The final Chapter 11, entitled Why St. George? poses and tries to answer the question as to why the cult of this Saint in particular became so widespread throughout both Eastern and Western Christendom, rivalling in its scope and intensity all but the cult of the Holy Family.

This study has been researched and written by H F (Toby) Rance (1912-1999). He left a typescript together with instructions for illustrations.  The typescript was converted to a digital format by David Rance and has been edited and prepared for publication on the internet by Adrian Rance-McGregor.

June 2016