Margery Kempe

c.1373-d. AFTER 1433. English mystic. Born at Bishop's Lynn in Norfolk and daughter of its many-times mayor, John Burnham, she married a local official, John Kempe, and they had fourteen children. She is best remembered for her Book of Margery Kempe, a detailed but far from complete account of her life over forty years. She suffered mental disorder, vowed chastity in 1413, and made pilgrimages to Palestine and Europe. Although her autobiography has been criticized as devoid of spiritual understanding, she counted among her advisers and supporters theologians and religious of repute, including Julian of Norwich.* Recipient of visions and revelations, she lived in a period remarkable for lady saints, and in an area which was the scene of preaching and other activities by several distinguished friars of the time.