Of course I second Fr Hugh Clarke's plea for restraint (July 19), I would think that my own statement to the effect that "the precise details" of the legend of St Simon Stock need to be received "with some reserve" is a perfectly accurate, fairminded, and restrained comment.
I do not understand my learn'ed confrere's distinction between "scholars" and "real scholars". However, I claim to be neither one nor the other; merely, I hope, a conscientious student. For this very reason I have already named the principal modern historians in the field: Benedict Zimmerman, F.-X. Xiberta, and Keith Egan: all of them Carmelites.
Perhaps one should add the name of Fr Herbert Thurston, S.J., though some might think him over-sceptical by temperament. Of these the most recent writer is Fr Egan, a professional historian and a graduate of Cambridge University. His findings are easily accessible, and are supported by a very full bibliography, and references to his sources. (Carmelus, No. 19, 1972). In my first letter (July 5) my purpose was simply to enter a strong caveat against attempts, or connivance at attempts, to locate the Vision of St Simon Stock at a place never mentioned in this connection before 1949. It is perfectly well known, or was until recently, that tradition assigns Cambridge as the place.
So much so that when the Carmelite Order conceived the idea of celebrating the seventh centenary of the vision it was suggested that the celebrations should take the form of some kind of Carmelite Congress to be held at Queen's College, Cambridge: which is built on the site of the second of our old Cambridge friaries.
This project had the sanction of the then Bishop of Northampton and of the Master and Fellows of Queen's College. Most unfortunately, the authorities then guiding the destinies of our Order in this country changed their mind and turned the offer down.
Fr Brocard Sewell, 0. Carm, Whitefriars School, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.