Source Three: King Edward gives a ring to St John the Evangelist in disguise

It is said that on a journey back from mass on the feast day of St John the Evangelist, King Edward was stopped by a beggar asking for Alms, or money for the poor. The King who had no money on him, took a ring from his finger and gave it to the man.Some time later, two pilgrims in Jerusalem met an old man who asked them to return the ring that he had been given by the king. He told them that in six months, the King would come to live with him. When the pilgrims asked who he was, the man replied ‘St John the Evangelist.’ Supposedly, this happened six months before King Edward died.


  • Compare the two figures in this image. Do they seem rich or poor?
  • Why would the character of St John the Evangelist approach Edward in disguise? What is his purpose in approaching the King?
  • The ring is said to have been returned to Edward many years later by pilgrims. What does this show about the rest of Edward’s reign?