Church Monuments Society
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Archive of Monuments of the Month May 2014 to September 2015
THE MONUMENTS TO CHARLES LEIGH AND FRANCIS LONGE
AT SPIXWORTH, NORFOLK
Two matching classical wall-
Sacred to the much revered Memory
and deeply lamented Death of
FRANCIS LONGE Esqre
Born April 24th 1748 Married June 25th 1772
second Daughter of
SIR GEORGE DUCKETT Bart
succeeded to his Father in his Estates Feby 26th 1776
DIED JULY 7TH 1812
" The good Man and the Angel! these between
" How thin the barrier! Man but dives in death
" Dives from the sun in fairer day to rise,
" The grave his subterranean road to bliss.
" Tis this makes Christian triumph a command
" Tis this makes joy a duty to the wise."
are deposited the Remains of the said
who died June 26th 1828. Aged 74
The other, placed among other Longe family memorials on the south wall of the chancel is identical in design and reads:
Sacred to the Memory of
GENERAL CHARLES LEIGH
He died August 7th 1815
and lies interred in the family Vault
of the late FRANCIS LONGE Esqre
School fellows at Eton & faithful Friends in riper Years.
They trod the path of Life together
in uniform sentiments of affectionate Regard.
Suavity of Manners and liberal endowments of Mind
engaged the Respect & Esteem of all who knew him.
and the more endearing qualities of his Heart
confirmed the sincere attachment of those nearer Friends
who remain to deplore his loss.
"The dread path once trod
Heaven lifts its everlasting Portals high
and bids the pure in Heart behold their GOD"
The sting of Death is to the living.
These monuments, in the light of the fact that Francis and Catherine Longe had no
children, and that General Leigh (1748-
While Francis Longe came from a line of local lawyers who had turned into gentry by the acquisition of the Spixworth estate, Leigh's background was plantocracy. He had a distinguished military career, culminating in his appointment as Governor of the Isle of Wight, and died in Park Street, London. Although his memorial makes no mention of wife or family. at the time of his death he was survived by a widow, a son, and several grandchildren.
Leigh's wife was Frances Byron, daughter of Vice-
General Leigh's fears about his son's marriage turned out to be justified, because
his son was a gambler who went through his own money as well as Augusta's (one of
General Leigh's objections was to her small fortune, although some her friends seem
to have objected to the Leigh family, which was not aristocratic). By 1815 Byron
had become first famous, with the publication of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812)
and then notorious for his affairs with Lady Caroline Lamb (1812-
There are therefore several possible reasons for the absence of General Leigh's family from his memorial. The dispute over George Leigh and Augusta Byron's marriage may have led to an irreparable family rift, with his wife siding with her son and niece. Lord Byron may by this time have made himself so disreputable that the General had no wish to remind posterity of his connection to the family. Or Catherine Longe, who survived both her husband and the General, may have been happy to inter the friends together, but felt that the Byron connection was best forgotten.
Dr Jean Wilson
Monument of the Month -
The Farnham Monuments:
Myths, Legends and Family Fables (Pt.2)
The sixth monument to Thomas Farnham (d.1574) and Anne Eyre was another incised slab which, according to Nichols, was set in the floor next to the other tombs in the south chapel. This slab is now lost. The seventh monument is the hanging monument (fig.6). Although Nichols ascribes this to another Thomas (d.1666), I believe that the wall monument is in memory of Thomas, younger brother of Francis. There are four reasons for my attribution. The style of clothes is correct for this period and would be old fashioned in 1666. The hanging monument shows the right number of children, four sons and two daughters –the Thomas suggested by Nichols, had two sons and four daughters. Any monument for him would have been placed in the north chapel and the lack of dates on the wall monument might suggest they are already recorded nearby. Although this monument is visually different in style, the inscription continues to play a prominent role and is in a very similar in tenor:
He saieth to rottenes thou art my sire ...
His linadge from a knight his life unstainde
His hand not slack in bountie to the pore
By the 1570s, the south chapel would have been pleasantly cramped with five monuments whilst the north side still had just one. In the 1940s this monument was tentatively attributed to Epiphanius Evesham and since then this ascription has been repeated often, including in Pevsner. However, both White and Bayliss disagree with this attribution and Bayliss has suggested it is the work of a William Hargrave of Bilborough who worked at Wollaton Hall. In 1887, when it was relocated, the inscription was moved from the foot end of the monument to the head end. Although this is the only monument with fully carved figures, it would still have read very like the other four chest tombs, each monument consisting of images in the top two thirds and an inscription in the bottom third. This similarity is now lost and with it the visual clues that relate these monuments to each other.
As a young man, John had been a soldier and then became a pensioner at the court of Elizabeth I. He was rarely in Quorn and sold Nether Hall to Thomas his brother for £80. It was bequeathed back to him when Thomas died (1562). On John’s demise it went to the next brother, Matthew. Although other estates went to the daughters of John and Thomas it seems that it was important to keep the Quorn property in the Farnham name. John’s will makes interesting reading. Not only does he allow 100 Marks for a funeral ‘answerable to my degree’ and an equivalent sum for his monument, he also lists possible places for his burial. His first choice is the ‘north side of St Bartholomew’; his second is in ‘Christ church within Newgate by or near unto my good friends Walter Haddon and Nicholas Beaumont’. We don’t know how much his monument cost, but 100 Marks is about £66 which is a substantial amount to spend on a tomb. On the inscription it was important to let it be known that ‘he descended of an antient house’. He takes his place alongside the rest of the family, but also manages to redress the balance between the north and the south side by commissioning a very large and splendid monument.
John also departs from the sentiments so far expressed in the other inscriptions.
He is neither in ‘rottenes’ like Thomas nor is he extolled for his modest and responsible
lifestyle. He is celebrated both for having lived an exciting life – firstly on the
battlefield ‘for youth the best expense of days’ and then at court ‘where princes
great he truely served ... for good conceit and pleasant wit favord in every place
beloved of the noblest sorte well liked of the rest.’ This post-
So what of the putative Robert de Farnham alabaster relief? (Fig 7) Well it certainly doesn’t date from the fourteenth century, but it could have been created later to commemorate this infamous ancestor. This would beg the question why was it commissioned 200 years after the event and originally placed in the North chapel?
There is neither inscription nor date. Nichols records it as being on the wall next to John’s monument. His sketch of the monument (Fig 8) shows that it had suffered somewhat and suggests it had lost its frame or surrounds. Following its restoration this looks very like a contemporary portrait of John Farnham, and his armour matches the effigy on the monument exactly. The Victorian restorer might have just replaced the original head and parts of the arm and leg. However, they may well have created completely new parts based on the portrait and John’s effigy. (Figs 8 & 9)
Kemp observes that there was a fashion for depictions of scenes in the life of the deceased, which started to occur at the end of the sixteenth century and he includes this relief as an example. This would make it a portrait of John. But, I think it is more complex and that this ambiguity was intentional from its inception. John or the commissioners of this relief were playing on the parallel of both he and Robert being soldiers. John on the cadet side of the family is attaching himself to Robert de Farnham, a common ancestor, perhaps in order to suggest that like Robert, he too had a flamboyant lifestyle and was anything but repentant.
Thanks need to go to:-
Mary Arthur church warden for making the Chapel accessible to me
Sue Templeman of The Quorn Village On-
Dr Julian Litten who answered many silly questions over time, he also prompted me to think about why two second sons have monuments and introduced me to the idea of ‘peripatetic monuments’
Dr Adam White who helped so much with reading the inscriptions and attributing the monuments
Jon Bayliss who confirmed and suggested the attribution of these monuments
Available at Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office.
Commissioning document: 26D53/2751 9 Aug.1585.
Agreement betw. George Shirley of Staunton Harold Esq., and Richard Royley and Gabriel Royley of Burton on Trent, tomb makers.
Commissioning document between Sir George Shirley and Richard & Gabriel Royley for a memorial to Sir Thomas Fermor and his wife at Somerton, Oxon. (1581) transcribed fully in Greenhill, F.A., (1958) The Incised Slabs of Leicestershire and Rutland
Nichols, J., (1800) The History and antiquities of the county of Leicestershire Vol. III pt I [online] http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15407coll6
Badham, S., (2004). “A new feire peyneted stone’: Medieval English Incised Slabs?’ In Church Monuments Vol. XIX
Farnham, G. F. B., (1912) Quorndon Records London Mitchell, Hughes & Clarke ( Facsimile Edition, Miami, Hardpress Publishing)
Farnham, G., & Hamilton Thompson, A (1929). ‘St Bartholomew’s Church Quorndon: Historical Notes & Architectural Notes’ In The Leicestershire Manorial Researches Vol. 16, [Online] https://www.le.ac.uk/lahs/downloads/QuornPagesfromVolume16.pdf (accessed 14.04.2014)
Greenhill, F. A., (1958) The Incised Slabs of Leicestershire & Rutland. Leicestershire Archæological and Historical Society, The Guildhall, Leicester.
Kemp, B., (1981). English Church Monuments. London, Batsford.
Richardson, C., (2013) ‘Make you a cloak of it and weare it for my sake’: Material Culture and Commemoration in Early Modern English Towns’ In Penman, M.,(Ed) Monuments and Monumentality Across medieval and Early Modern Europe Shaun Tyas Donnington
Sherlock, P., (2008). Monuments and Memory in Early Modern England. Aldershot, Ashgate
 The most expensive Royley monument, to Thomas Fermor (d.1580) at Somerton was contracted to cost £40.
 Robert de Farnham went to war to avoid charges for ‘robbing Elena le Rous on Barrow Bridge’. He acquitted himself with such credit he was pardoned and able to return home.
 Kemp ( 1981) p.71
Monument of the Month -
The Farnham Monuments: Myths, Legends and Family Fables (Pt.1)
The Farnham Chapel at St Bartholomew’s, Quorn, is one of the few remaining private chapels within a parish church. It belongs to the Farnham Trust and can only be opened with permission of the trustees.
The Chapel was added to an existing Norman church in 1392 by John de Farnham. There
are no extant medieval monuments. According to a church guide a relief showing a
battle scene is of Robert de Farnham (d.1349) at the Battle of Crecy/Siege of Calais
in 1346; it is certainly not of this date and will be dealt with in more detail below.
Today, the south chapel is crammed full of monuments to the Farnhams dating from
1502 onwards and it is the splendid chest tomb with recumbent effigies of John Farnham
(d.1587) and his wife Dorothy Walwyn (fig.1) that dominates the chapel. Even a Bacon
(c.1775) flanked by two neo-
Fig. 1: John & Dorothy Farnham
During the sixteenth century, the Farnhams engaged in what can only be described
as a flurry of memorialising in three generations. They commissioned nine monuments
Shortly after the death of both the John de Farnham who commissioned the chantry
chapel and his eldest son John Farnham in 1416 (there is a serious shortage of Christian
names in this family), their respective wives seemed to have fallen out and the family
split. The senior side of the family remained in Over Hall, whilst the younger
son Thomas built Nether Hall. In St Bartholomew’s this necessitated two separate
chapels. The Over Hall family used what is now the Farnham Chapel in the south aisle
and the junior Nether Hall family used a chapel in the north aisle. Referring to
Nichols, who recorded the monuments in the mid-
Fig 2: Thomas & Margaret Farnham The first monument is an incised slab which was on a chest to Thomas Farnham (d.1502) and his wife Margaret Kingston (fig.2). We don’t know why Thomas and Margaret decided to commission this monument, but it is worth noting that Margaret’s family had commissioned at least five monuments between 1480 – 1516, all of which had been placed at Rothley (sadly four have been lost). The remaining one shares similarities with Thomas & Margaret’s, especially the uncomfortable position of the hands and may have come from the same local workshop.
There followed at least three commissions from the Royley workshop at Burton upon Trent (2, 3 & 4 on the plan). All are incised slabs and were according to Nichols mounted on chests tombs. Today they are propped up ignominiously in the corner with that of Thomas & Margaret. Although this makes them much easier to read they have sadly lost their authority. Badham describes how such monuments would have been polychromed, gilded and decorated. The chests would have borne heraldic devices and probably weepers/children, much like those still present at Peatling Magna, and would have affected a much greater presence.
The style of the three Royleys draws directly from the first Farnham monument. The four together create a strong sense of continuity, even though one of them would have been originally placed across the way in the North chapel. Margery’s dress is an exact copy of Dorothy’s, and Francis and Robert (father and son both lawyers) also wear the same long gowns.
Robert and Mary William and Dorothy
The inventory of Francis’ household possessions when he died and their value still exists. The list consists of what would seem to us today to be mundane objects, such as towels and kettles. Richardson reminds that this was ‘a period in which there were still comparatively few objects of any kind in circulation’, so a monument was a very important display of wealth. The sum total of Francis’ household possessions was £29. 13s. As Greenhill laments we don’t know how much a Royley incised slab on a chest cost However, we do know that the Shirley monument (c.1585) with recumbent figures at Breedon on the Hill cost £22. This gives us an indicator of the expense involved.
Having the incised slabs lined up on a wall allows us to compare them. What is immediately noticeable is that the three Royley slabs all have exceptionally long inscriptions, the longest to appear in Greenhill’s study. It takes nearly fifty lines to tell us that William is a man of modest means disinterested in worldly goods. This is rather a mixed message, given it appears on an expensive tomb. We are also told that Robert was:
A gentyll man.
agodly welthye lyfe he ledde.
greate pacience he poseste...
his tenants he ded not oppresse.
nor of his neghborys non.
In haramefull sorte he dyd transgresse.
It is important to these three Farnhams that they are seen to be modest, upright and fair and their monuments bear witness to this. The Royley slabs stress continuity; on their original chests they would have had more presence, but would not have been excessively showy. Although these memorials straddle the Reformation the marginal inscriptions all show a concern about the transit of their souls through purgatory.
The fifth monument commissioned for a Farnham during this period is not at Quorn but at Stoughton and is from Richard Parker’s workshop. Although Thomas was a second son, he was important to the Farnham family. As Chancellor of the Exchequer under Edward VI and Mary, he was instrumental in securing the Farnham Chapel by buying it from the crown in 1553. So it is interesting that he is not at Quorn, but therein lies another story. He was the younger brother of John and we shall come back to their relationship later.
 The seventh, recorded by Nichols, was according to Greenhill broken and disappeared in 1887. An eighth attributed to Richard Parker is at Stoughton, Leicestershire.
 see below
 Over Hall later became Quorn House
 Nether Hall later became Quorn Hall
 Badham (2004) p.20
 Farnham (1912) p. 219
 Richardson (2013) p.68
 Shirley contract 1585
...to be completed
Monument of the Month -
Edward, the Black Prince, d. 1376,
Canterbury Cathedral, Kent
Perhaps the most prestigious type of tomb monument created in the medieval period
was the gilt cast copper-
The manner of the monument was specified by Edward in his will; he asked for ‘unymaged’overeignelevezde
latounsuzorrezsoitmysen memorial de nous, tout armez de fier de guerre de nous armezquartillez
et le viagemei’. Although commissioned by his son Richard II, the effigy follows
closely Edward’s specification. The beautifully executed and finely detailed cast
Like the two monuments at Westminster, the chamfer of the tomb-
Who so thou be that passes by, where these corpse entombed lie: understand what I shall say as at this time speak I may. Such as thou art, so once was I, such as I am, such shalt thou be. I little thought on the hour of death so long as I enjoyed breath. Great riches here did I possess whereof I made great nobleness. I had gold, silver, wardrobes and great treasure, horses, houses, land. But now a poor caitiff am I, deep in the ground lo here I lie. My great beauty is all quite gone, my flesh is wasted to the bone. My house narrow and throng, nothing but truth comes from my tongue. And if you should see me this day, I do not think that you would say that I had never been a man, so altered now I am. For God’s sake pray to the heavenly king that he my soul to heaven would bring. All they that pray and make accord for me unto my God and Lord: God place them in his Paradise wherein no wretched caitiff lies.
The contrast between these modest, almost Lollard-
There are no contracts for this tomb, which was probably made shortly after Prince
Edward’s death in 1376. There is no documentary evidence naming the craftsmen involved,
but Henry Yevele and John Orchard are regarded as the most likely candidates. The
Black Prince’s Purbeck-
Copyright: Sally Badham MBE, FSA
Photos: Tim Sutton
Monument of the Month -
An Effigy in the Porch of Beaumaris Church
The iconic stone effigy in the porch of Beaumaris church has traditionally been understood
to depict Siwan, wife of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, who died in 1237. Illegitimate daughter
of King John of England, wife of one of the greatest rulers of north Wales, she is
a key figure in both Welsh history and historical fiction. Perhaps regrettably, the
fiction has focussed around her mid-
It caused some consternation, therefore, when Brian and Moira Gittos pointed out
(in a paper at the Church Monuments Society’s Welsh symposium in Cardiff in the summer
of 2012, subsequently published in Archaeologia Cambrensis) that the style of the
The tradition that the carving depicts Siwan is widespread but cannot be traced beyond
the beginning of the nineteenth century. It probably goes back to that well-
So who is it? The head-
There are other candidates. Of these, probably the most likely is Llywelyn’s mother
Senana. One of the most shadowy figures of a sparsely-
It was therefore exciting to read, in Andy Abram’s chapter on monastic burial in Burton and Stober’s Monastic Wales, that Senana was buried at Llanfaes. Abram went on to suggest, on the basis that Senana as well as Siwan and Eleanor was buried there, that Llanfaes may have been deliberately designed by the rulers of Gwynedd as a mausoleum for the women of the royal house, but that it may also have been chosen by the royal women themselves as a burial place deliberately set apart from the male dynastic burial place at Aberconwy.
Abram referenced Gwenyth Richards’ Sydney Ph D thesis, ‘From footnotes to narrative: Welsh noblewomen in the thirteenth century’. The thesis added a date of 1263 for Senana’s death: but crucially the only evidence cited for either the death or the burial was a Gwynedd County Council tourist leaflet, ‘Princes of Gwynedd: The Môn Trail’, published in 1996. The leaflet, it transpired, was based on a book, The Princes of Gwynedd: Courts, Castles and Churches: and the information about Senana’s death and burial actually came from Ellis Peters’ novel The Dragon at Noonday, part of the Brothers of Gwynedd series. The Princes of Gwynedd book makes the source clear, but it seems that whoever used the book as material for the production of tourist trail leaflets failed to realise that Edith Pargeter’s work was fiction.
It is still possible that Senana was buried at Llanfaes. The date of 1263 would still be rather early for the Beaumaris effigy, but it could be a retrospective memorial, commissioned by Llywelyn or even by Dafydd. Alternatively, although she vanishes from the record after the 1250s, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, especially in a period when women in general are so sparsely documented. It is possible that she lived on until the 1270s and was then buried at Llanfaes. However, this must remain pure conjecture.
The debate over the identity of the effigy has been sharpened by the latest development in the afterlife of the monument. Even when the effigy was thought to be Princess Siwan, it was of obvious interest to those involved in the commemoration of a key period in Welsh history. The Princess Gwenllian Society has raised funds to commission virtual replicas of the Beaumaris effigy and the coffin at Llanrwst traditionally said to be that of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth: the current plan is that these will be part of an installation in Bangor Cathedral but that they will also be accessible on the internet. The current evidence suggests that the effigy most probably commemorates Eleanor de Montfort, but that it could be Senana: that is what will appear on the interpretative material for the exhibition.
The process by which this provisional conclusion has been reached is an instructive one. It warns us that we need to look at historical artefacts carefully, that antiquarian literature can be illuminating but can also cloud the picture, and that the academic practice of recording, checking and verifying references is not pettifogging nitpicking but crucial to sound research. Above all, the Beaumaris effigy reminds us of the need to look and to think for ourselves.
(A fuller version of this account with references will appear in the forthcoming Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society)
Dr Madelaine Gray PhD
Monument of the Month -
Monument to William Villiers died 1643
Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford contains a number of mural monuments commemorating victims of the Civil War. Many of these monuments were erected after the Restoration and that is the case with the monument at the east end of the south aisle. This large and imposing monument commemorates William Villiers, 2nd Viscount Grandison who died of wounds received at the battle of Bristol, 1643 aged 30. He was the son of Edward and Barbara Villiers.
William’s portrait can be seen at Lydiard House, Lydiard Tregoze and shows him wearing a slashed black doublet with a white undershirt and an elaborate lace collar, tight under his chin and falling over the shoulders. The hair is worn long as was the fashion of the time and there is a wispy moustache. The painting dates to c1640 and is said to be of the school of Anthony van Dyke. An inscription on the top right of the canvas reads
William Villiers Ld Grandison
Son to Sir Edwd Villiers
Father to Barbara first
Duchess of Cleveland
Barbara was born on 27th November 1640 in the parish of St Margaret’s, Westminster, the only child of William and his wife Mary Bayning and so was only 2 years old at her father’s death. A painting of Sir Walter St John, died 1708 also at Lydiard House is inscribed
Sr Walter St John Bart
of Lydiard Tregoze
on the top left corner of the canvas in the same cursive script as the William Villiers painting. It is reasonable to conclude that the inscriptions were all added at the same time, possibly after 1708.
The Villiers monument consists of a tall pedestal with an oval Latin inscription
on the front. Above a gadrooned lid is a smaller plinth upon which rests a garlanded
funeral urn, again with a gadrooned lid and a simple finial. Behind the upper section
is a display of arms, armour and military accoutrements. It is made of lightly veined
The monument is one of a number that follow the same overall style but this example
is the only one known to display trophies of arms. All the leading metropolitan sculptors
of the period produced monuments in this style and one example is known – that to
Brigit Higgons died 1691 at Cadeleigh, Devon -
Jasper Latham (1636-
Latham is actually only positively identified with four monuments, of which the Villiers piece is one. However, he is thought to have been responsible for a quite a number of others and it is possible that the apprentices he is known to have employed might have been responsible for the majority of them, Latham having designed then originally.
Dr Clive J Easter FSA
Monument of the Month -
A medieval miniature adult?
An unidentified female miniature effigy at St Giles’s church, Coberley (Gloucestershire)
The small village of Coberley is situated not far from Cheltenham. Access to the
parish church is through an arched doorway and across a private farmyard. The church
houses a number of interesting monuments, including a small wall memorial depicting
When viewing the large double monument of Sir Giles’s son Sir Thomas I de Berkeley
(1289–1365) and his wife Joan, visitors may be forgiven for assuming the diminutive
tomb alongside it is to commemorate the couple’s unnamed daughter (Fig. 1 and 3).
This is how it has often been incorrectly described in guidebooks in the past and
perhaps still today. True, there is nothing child-
Yet this rather sentimental reading of the monument must make way for a perhaps less palatable one, for this miniature effigy probably commemorates not a child but an adult – or at least the heart of an adult. If we study the effigy closely (Fig. 4), it becomes evident that the figure does not have her hands raised in the conventional attitude of prayer. Instead she holds a glove in the left hand and with the right hand she reaches into her bodice, thereby indicating the heart that was removed from her body after death and buried separately on this spot. In 1931 Ida Roper already hinted at this possibility when she wrote that ‘no decided opinion has been formed by antiquaries concerning the meaning of this and similar diminutive effigies – whether they represent children or adults, or are placed over the heart buried beneath’.
The medieval custom of burying the heart – and sometimes also the flesh and the viscera – of the deceased was originally intended for people who died far away from their preferred burial site. In order to preserve the corpse for transport the body was embalmed by removing the internal organs (evisceration) and burying these separately. Sometimes just the bones were preserved by boiling the body, a process known as excarnation. An early example is that of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (b. 1122 – d. 1190), who drowned in the Göksu (then Saleph) River on the Third Crusade: the plan was to bury him in Jerusalem, but when efforts to preserve his corpse in vinegar proved unsuccessful it was decided to bury his flesh in Antioch, his bones in Tyre and his heart and internal organs in Tarsus
A famous English example is that of Queen Eleanor of Castile (b. 1240 – d. 1291),
who underwent triple burial after her death in the village of Harby outside Lincoln.
Her husband Edward I had her viscera buried in Lincoln Cathedral, her heart in the
Dominican convent of Blackfriars in London and her body in Westminster Abbey, where
her gilt copper-
Division of the corpse actually became a matter of prestige among royalty and the aristocracy across Europe, irrespective of where the deceased had died. It allowed people to show their allegiance to a particular church or order, while there was the additional benefit of prayers to be said for their souls in different locations. For example, Robert the Bruce (b. 1274 – d. 1329) was buried in Dunfermline Abbey, but he had wished his heart to be buried in the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in token of his vow to undertake a crusade against the Saracens. When Sir James Douglas, to whom the heart had been entrusted, was killed in battle fighting the Moorish kings of Granada, the silver casket was recovered and interred at Melrose Abbey (Roxburghshire). Although the church frowned on bodily division and papal degrees forebade the practice, it was possible to obtain dispensation. The custom continued in modern times, for example among the Habsburgs in Vienna.
The Berkeley family seem to have been particularly keen on division of the corpse.
Apart from Sir Giles’s heart memorial in Coberley, three more miniature effigies
can still be found on the window sills of the nave of St Mary’s church next to the
family seat of Berkeley Castle, of which two were probably holding hearts: these,
too, have frequently been mistaken for child effigies and one may compare the famous
case of the so-
Fig 1. Unidentified female miniature tomb alongside the double monument to Thomas Berkeley (d. 1365 and his first wife in St Giles’s church, Coberley (Gloucestershire). (Photo: Cameron Newham)
Fig 2. Wall memorial commemorating the heart burial of Sir Giles Berkeley (d. 1294) in St Giles’s church, Coberley (Gloucestershire). (Photo: Tim Sutton)
Fig 3. Miniature female effigy alongside the double tomb monument to Sir Thomas I de Berkeley (d. 1365) and his wife Joan in St Giles’s church, Coberley (Gloucestershire). (Photo: Cameron Newham)
Fig 4. Fourteenth-
● Bradford, Charles Angell, Heart burial (London, 1933).
● Oosterwijk, Sophie, ‘“A swithe feire graue”. The appearance of children on medieval
tomb monuments’, in Richard Eales and Shaun Tyas (eds), Family and dynasty in the
Middle Ages (1997 Harlaxton Symposium Proceedings), Harlaxton Medieval Studies, 9
(Donington, 2003), pp. 172-
● Roper, Ida M., The monumental effigies of Gloucester and Bristol (Gloucester, 1931),
● Warntjes, Immo, ‘Programmatic double burial (body and heart) of the European high
Monument of the Month -
Llancarfan and Carisbrooke: some thoughts on a seventeenth-
The recent discoveries of medieval wall paintings at Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan
have produced excitement on an international scale. Strangely, the church has no
medieval monuments, not even a humble cross slab: but it does have a post-
If medieval cross slabs are the unsung heroes of the commemorative industry, post-
Most of these slabs have simple inscriptions with the details of the individuals commemorated. Several have evidence of recutting. The Llancarfan stone has obviously been reused. At the top it says
HERE LYETH THE BO
DY OF ROBERT
But underneath is
and a final date which looks like 169... (the last number I cannot decipher).
What makes the Llancarfan slab so interesting is that it has a few lines of verse:
[MY HOPE] ON CHRIST
[IS FI]XED SURE
WAS MY WOUNDS
TO CURE W R
This little poem is intriguing, to say the least. The Victoria & Albert Museum has
My hope shall never be confounded,
Because on Christ my hope is grounded,
My hope on Christ is rested sure,
Who wounded was my wounds to cure ;
Grieve not when friends and kinsfolk die,
They gain by death eternity
Thomas Urquhart died in 1633. So the poem predates Charles’s stay at Carisbrooke – but he could have come across it somewhere and felt that it expressed his own feelings in captivity.
Wales was predominantly Royalist in the Civil War, and conservative in sympathies after the Restoration. Whether WR (whoever he was – or whoever she was, for that matter) knew about the poem’s connection with Charles I we will never know.
The line about Christ’s wounds has a very medieval feel to it. Depiction of the Arma
Christi, the Instruments of the Passion and the disembodied Five Wounds, was common
enough on later medieval tombs. But like the cross this does not necessarily mean
that Robert David or the mysterious WR was a Catholic. The wounds also figure in
Those dear tokens of His passion
Still His dazzling body bears,
Cause of endless exultation
To His ransomed worshipers.
With what rapture, with what rapture
Gaze we on those glorious scars!
You find the same ideas in Welsh hymns. The great William Williams Pantycelyn, writer
of ‘Guide me, O thou Great Redeemer’, had a wonderful image of making his nest in
the wounds. So our two seventeenth-
We know nothing else about them, or why they are commemorated by the same stone. It is just possible in spite of the long time between them that ‘W R’ was Robert David’s son and had taken his father’s Christian name as his surname. In the seventeenth century Welsh people were just moving over from the old patronymic form of names (William ap Robert ap David ...) to the English style of surnames. But there is a crossover period during which their names look like surnames but change with each generation – so David Edwards’s son could be Robert David, Robert David’s son could be William Robert, and so on.
They were probably yeoman farmers somewhere in the parish. Llancarfan had no resident
great landowners: much of the land in the parish belonged either to the diocese of
Gloucester or to Jesus College, Oxford. It was the lack of money in the parish which
enabled the wall paintings to survive under their coats of lime wash: there was no-
University of South Wales
Monument of the Month -
Heaven under our feet: the Laleston triple cross
Cross slabs are the unsung heroes of the medieval monument industry. Lawrence Butler and Colin Gresham taught us to look at them, and more recently Peter Ryder and Aleksandra McClain have done sterling work in elucidating them, but there is still much more to learn.
Part of the problem is that they are usually set in the church floor, and very vulnerable
to damage and erosion. This triple cross slab at Laleston, just west of Bridgend
in the western Vale of Glamorgan, is so worn as to be almost indecipherable, and
partly hidden by the twentieth-
Fortunately, it was drawn by the antiquarian T. H. Thomas and the church architect John Rodger in the early years of the twentieth century, and it is really from their drawings that we can appreciate its significance.
The slab has a very distinctive design with a plain central cross flanked by two
others, all branching out from a stepped calvary plinth. Thomas and Rodger also drew
a very similar slab at Llangynwyd, a few miles north of Laleston, and a triple cross
slab with a slightly different design in the ruins of Margam Abbey, a little way
to the west. There are plenty of incised slabs with miniature crosses as part of
the decoration, but the subsidiary crosses on these three slabs are clearly intended
What could link these crosses? They are almost certainly medieval, judging from the style of the crosses, the location of the Margam one and the absence of inscriptions (the lettering on the Laleston cross is almost certainly a later addition). The one thing which links these three sites in the Middle Ages is the pilgrimage to the Holy Rood of Llangynwyd. The church at Llangynwyd belonged to the monks of Margam, and Laleston sits on one of the major pilgrimage routes to the shrine, the Ffordd y Gyfraith.
This raises the intriguing possibility that the Laleston slab and the other two triple cross slabs reflect the design of the Llangynwyd rood. Depiction of the thieves is unusual in the Welsh visual tradition. However, the thieves do appear in the Welsh mystery play of the Crucifixion. More to the point, several Welsh poets wrote in praise of the Holy Rood of Llangynwyd. Christine James of Swansea University (the current Archdruid of Wales) has made a detailed study of these poems and points out that two of them make reference to the thieves.
There are other reasons why depiction of the thieves would be appropriate for a tomb.
Late medieval spirituality had a strong focus on the need to prepare for a good death.
Books on preparation for death were among the earliest best-
We also need to think about the decorations above the cross. As well as the three
So much cosmic significance from one cross slab, so battered and worn that no-
Dr Madelaine Gray PhD
Monument of the Month -
A Ledgerstone at Aldenham, Hertfordshire
Towards the east end of the north nave aisle of the church of St John the Baptist,
Aldenham, Hertfordshire, is a worn ledgerstone. It has the incised outline of a shrouded
figure, the shroud knotted at the head and feet, with the outline of the legs clearly
depicted. The figure's bare right arm protrudes and points downwards, and two lines
crossing from top sinister to middle dexter of the shroud suggest that the shroud
originally revealed the face as well as the right arm and shoulder, but these must
have been worn away. A speech-
The upper inscription reads, in Roman capitals:
HERE LYETH THE BODY OF IOHN
ROBINSON YE ONELY SON OF IOHN
ROBINSON OF ALDENHAM WOOD
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE MAY
THE 3D 1674 AND IN YE FOVRE
AND TWENTIETH YEARE OF HIS AGE
Below the figure are three inscriptions, the first in italics:
Death parts the dearest lovers for a while
And makes them mourne that onely vsed to smile
But after death ovr vnmixt love shall tye
Eternall knotts betwixte my deare and I
The second reads, in large italic capitals:
The third reads, in lower-
I Sarah Smith whom thou didst loue alone.
For thy dear loue haue layd this marble Stone.
Clearly the shrouded figure represents the shrouded body of John Robinson, and the ledger was commissioned by his surviving lover, Sarah Smith.
We know a certain amount about the persons involved in this act of commemoration. Both appear to come from prosperous yeoman families in that part of the parish known as Aldenham Wood. John Robinson's mother had died before him, and from the evidence of his father's will of 1675 his only surviving sibling was a sister, married with a family. The slab is mentioned in early guidebooks, but its verses are inaccurately transcribed and the shrouded figure is usually misidentified as Sarah Smith.
The iconography of the incised slab is complex and raises speculation about who devised
it. Each section of text is distinguished by its font. The formal biographical information
which heads the slab is in formal Roman capitals; the epitaph, a formal genre despite
its personal declaration of enduring love, is in italics – another formal font –
and the personal declaration of responsibility for placing the stone is in lower-
This leaves the shrouded figure, with its speech-
In its outline the shrouded figure of John Robinson seems to resemble that of Henry Butler (d.1647) at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. The position is reversed and Robinson's legs are positioned differently and enclosed in the shroud, but the draping of the fabric over the upper body, leaving the face clear, is similar. Butler's monument (ascribed to Burman) has been linked to that of William Curle at Hatfield by Nicholas Stone: are there other comparanda?
What the designer of the Robinson monument has done is to combine the latest form
of the supine shrouded figure with the speech-
As Peter Sherlock points out, the words on the speech-
There may be another theme here: John Robinson speaks to Sarah Smith from the grave.
This is a common motif in ballads, the best-
So make yourself content, my love
Till death calls you away.
The monument combines a group of tropes – the shroud monument, the speech-
Sarah Smith's devotion did not go unrecognised. When John Robinson Sr died the year
after his son he included her in his will, leaving her five pounds, the same amount
that he left his wife over and above her pre-
Suggestions for further reading:
Peter Sherlock, Monuments and memory in Early Modern England (Aldershot, 2008)
For more information about ledgerstones and how to help preserve and record them, see the Ledgerstone Survey of England and Wales <http://www.lsew.org.uk/>
Monument of the Month -
A Fool’s Monument?
The Tomb Slab of Hans Has at Wertheim, Germany
The town of Wertheim, which is located about 40 kilometers to the west of Würzburg
on the confluence of the rivers Main and Tauber in Baden-
Fig. 1: Tomb Slab of Hans Has, Kilianskapelle Wertheim (Photo by Gertrud K.: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gertrudk /9362339849)
Measuring 182 by 102 centimeters, the sandstone slab shows Has’s less than lifesize
effigy, which is carved in high relief and retains some of its original paint. Standing
on a dog, he wears a robe that is partly buttoned down his chest, belted at the waist,
and ends in what appears to be a broad ornamental border covering his knees and thus
most of his hosed legs, which are stuck in heavy thigh boots; the ample sleeves are
gathered at the wrists and reveal the cuffs of his shirt, which can also be seen
on his upper chest where some of the buttons are left open. What marks this outfit
as a fool’s or jester’s costume, however, is the pocket in the righthand sleeve with
its two rather damaged flutes and of course the hood emerging from the robe’s collar
with its two ass’s ears with bells and a coxcomb down the centre. This style of
fool’s attire is typical for the time around 1500 as a number of Netherlandish paintings
of laughing fools show, which in their turn inspired Heinrich Vogtherr the Younger’s
woodcut of a fool of c. 1540 (fig. 2). Unlike these merry fools, however, the
finely sculpted face of Hans Has looks worried, if not downright distressed: his
brow is furrowed, his crudely repainted wide-
Fig. 2: Heinrich Vogtherr the Younger: Der Schalksnarr. Woodcut, c. 1540 (Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig: http://www.europeana.eu/portal/record/08547/sgml_eu _php_obj_z0057408.html)
The effigy is framed by an insciption which reads: “Anno / d[omi]ni / mo / cccco / lxxx / xi / jar / an aller / sellen / tag / starb / hans / has / geborn / von / remling / reuter / hans ge[ann]nt / der / gewesen / ist / ein / getrewer / diner / der / herschaft / d[em] / g[ott] / g[nade]” (In the year of the Lord 1491 on All Souls’ Day died Hans Has, born at Remlingen, called Hans the rider, who was a faithful servant of the sovereignty, on whom God may have mercy). Archival records confirm that Hans Has, whose parents are unkown, was born in the nearby village of Remlingen into a family with connections to the county’s administration. It is uncertain when Has entered the counts’ employ, but it is assumed that he may already have worked for count Georg I (+1454), the father of Has’s master of many years, count Johann III (+1497). Interestingly, the slab’s inscription does not identify him as court jester but as “reuter” (i.e. a rider running errands and acting as messenger for his master). This is corroborated by other sources which furthermore identify Has as a juryman and judge in Dertingen, a village about halfway between his birthplace and Wertheim. Again, there is no hint whatsoever that he might also have been employed as court jester.
In his article on a tomb slab featuring, among other things, an ass playing a bagpipe,
Heimo Reintzer has convincigly refuted the assumption that because of his attire
Hans Has must have been a jester even though he is not identified as such in the
slab’s inscription and the archival records. Instead, Reintzer argues that depictions
of animals making music and ass-
Though in the end Hans Has was in all likelyhood not a jester in real life, his exceptional
tomb slab just across the street from the magnificent monuments of the counts of
Wertheim and Löwenstein in the Stiftskirche deserves more attention than it has hitherto
garnerd. Late medieval and early modern monuments with depictions of the deceased
in jester’s or fool’s attire are extremely rare, and the one dedicated to the memory
of Hans Has is one of the earliest, if not the earliest. Later examples, this time
of real jesters, include the memorial for the famous fourteenth-
 For an amply illustrated introduction to the most important monuments, cf. Jörg
Paczkowski (2012). Die evangelische Stiftskirche zu Wertheim. Gerchsheim: Kunstschätzeverlag.
 So far, Hans Has’s monument has received surprisingly little scholarly attention;
cf. especially Ernst Cucuel, Hermann Eckert (1942). Die Inschriften des badischen
 The description of the effigy loosely follows Vollhardt, p. 5. Vollhardt also suggests that the curious object to the left of the head is a jester’s cup.
 Cf. e.g. the painting tentatively attributed to Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen of c. 1500 in the collection of the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA: http://mobius.wellesley.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=all&f=&s=Laughing+Fool+Oostsanen&recor d=0 (accessed 6 August 2014).
 Cucuel/Eckert and Vollhardt identify the rosary as a ring of bells but the comparison with some of the other nearly contemporary slabs in the Kilianskapelle of citizens and clerics with rosaries suggests that Hans also holds a rosary as a sign of his piety.
 My translation. Transcription based on Cucuel/Eckert. Vollhardt’s transcription (ibid.) is incomplete.
 All biographical information is based on Huhn, p. 30.
 Cf. Heimo Reinitzer (1980). “Asinus ad tibiam. Zur Ikonographie einer Hamburger
Grabplatte.” Litteratura Laicorum: Beiträge zur christlichen Kunst, ed. idem. Vestigia
Bibliae: Jahrbuch des Deutschen Bibel-
 For the Eulenspiegel memorial, cf. Vollhardt, p. 5f.; for Gerl’s monument, cf.
Lutz S. Malke, ed. (2001). Narren. Porträts, Feste, Sinnbilder, Schwankbücher und
Spielkarten aus dem 15. bis 17. Jahrhundert. Leipzig: Faber & Faber, pp. 28 (fig.
30), 64. Cf. also Vincent Mayr (1975). “Zur Darstellung des Narren auf Grabsteinen.”
Ars Bavarica. Archivalisches Jahrbuch für Bauforschung und Kunstgeschichte in Bayern
3. pp. 21-
Dr Martin Spies
Monument of the Month -
Row On Row (1)
Historic Tewkesbury Abbey draws thousands of visitors each year to marvel
at its rich architecture and outstanding monuments. The Abbey, now the parish church
of St Mary, has possibly the largest and most impressive Romanesque tower in England.
The West front is one of the finest original Norman examples now existing. The
chancel has superb 14C stained glass and throughout the Abbey there are magnificent
vaults, many of the lierne style with interesting bosses. There are three chantry
chapels of the stone-
Although surrounded by such competing attractions it is noticeable that visitors who wander down the south aisle of the nave invariably stop at the simplest monument in the Abbey.
This is the wooden battlefield cross of Gunner Walter Roberts who was killed in action July 2nd, 1918, while serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery, and is buried in the Canada Farm Cemetery, Ieper (Ypres), Belgium. It was placed in Tewkesbury Abbey by his widow on the fifth anniversary of his death.
A few miles from Tewkesbury, but still in Gloucestershire, another wooden cross can be found in St Peter's Church, Stanway. This is even simpler than that of Gunner Roberts. It commemorates 2/Lieutenant Hon Ivo Charteris (an initial 'J' is wrongly given on the cross) fourth son of the 11th Earl of Weymss. He was killed in action at Loos on October 17th, 1915, while serving with the Grenadier Guards and is buried at Sailly Labourse. An elder bother, Hugo Lord Elcho, was subsequently killed in action on April 23rd, 1916, in the Katia Desert, Sinai. Their names are included on the war memorial in the church, cut into the splays of the C16 chancel window, with lettering by Eric Gill.
Gunner Walter Roberts 2/Lt Hon Ivo Charteris
In death no distinction was made to military or social rank in the form of the wooden cross, a policy that was deliberately continued with the permanent grave stones which were all of the same dimensions (2'6''x1'6''x3''). The manufacture of the crosses appears eventually to have devolved to the battalion's carpenters, so variations can be found although they all followed a basic form.
Examples of crosses being made in the field on an ad hoc basis are known. Amongst others, siblings, acquaintances, members of the Grave Registration Commission and estate workers are known to have manufactured crosses. The identifying of the graves was important to the relatives of the soldiers and for the morale of the troops. Initially it had been hoped to repatriate all the bodies but the sheer number and cost rendered this impractical. A few bodies were brought home privately by families with the means to do this. However, it was quickly realised that only wealthy families would be able to do so. The practice of repatriation was explicitly banned in 1915
Gloucester Cathedral contains an impressive monument, on the north side of
the nave, to Sir Fabian Ware. Such was the regard in which he was held that the
monument was paid for by public subscription. A smaller stone inscribed 'In memoriam
Fabian Ware 1869-
Having had a career in education and as an editor of a newspaper, Fabian Ware was 45 when the Great War broke out. He attempted to volunteer but was considered too old to fight and instead joined the Red Cross. A fluent French speaker, he arrived in France in September 1914 to command a mobile Red Cross ambulance unit. He soon realised that there was no official body with the responsibility to record and care for the graves of the soldiers. Therefore his unit began recording and caring for all the graves they could find. The Army quickly recognised the importance of this work and he and his organisation were transferred from the Red Cross to the Army in 1915 as the Graves Registration Commission. Ware was given the local rank of major. By 1918 some 587,000 graves had been identified, while a further 559,000 were registered as having no known grave.
He subsequently realised that something needed to be done to establish permanent
cemeteries after the war in order to create lasting memorials to the fallen soldiers.
Through his tireless efforts the Imperial War Graves Commission was formed on the
21st of May, 1917, fronted by the Prince of Wales with Ware as the Vice-
Gloucester Cathedral Amberley churchyard
Anyone who visits the CWGC cemeteries in Northern France and Belgium cannot but be moved by their dignified and immaculate appearance and saddened by the carnage occasioned by the Great War. A similar sense of the sacrifice and loss can be experienced here by finding, proudly displayed in a local church, one of the wooden crosses. During the war it was official policy to allow only the erection of wooden crosses rather than iron because of their lighter weight which made transportation easier in the field and also they could be readily replaced if damaged by enemy action. When the permanent cemeteries were created it was planned to have all the crosses pointing east. This would satisfy both religious and military conventions. When the crosses were replaced by the distinctive permanent Portland or Hopton Wood stone grave stones the wooden ones were made available to relatives. Relatives could either travel to the battlefields to collect the wooden crosses or pay to have them shipped to England. For many relatives they were the only memorial easily available to them. These crosses became an important part of local remembrance and still exert a strong emotional appeal today. A compilation of the location of First World War crosses used to be available on the internet but has now been removed. It listed over 230 different sites in the UK. Gloucestershire alone had some 14 site entries.
With 2014 being the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War it
is fitting to recall the final lines of 'The Cross of Wood' by the Gloucestershire
poet Lieutenant Cyril Winterbothan.(5) Serving with the 1st/5th Gloucestershire
regiment he was killed in action on August 27th , 1916, near Ovillers-
'Rest you content; more honourable far
Than all the Orders is the Cross of Wood'
1. Taken from the first verse of in Flanders Fields by the Canadian poet Major John McCrae.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
2. The Buildings Of England, Gloucestershire 2: The Vale And The
Forest of Dean, David Verey and Alan Brooks, Yale University Press, London, 2009,
4. Empires of the Dead, David Crane, Harper Collins, 2013.
5. The Cross of Wood published in The Muse in Arms, editor E B Osborne, 1918. The 'Wooden Cross' was submitted to the regimental trench newspaper the '5th Gloster' the day before Lieutenant Winterbothan was killed
Monument of the Month -
The monument to Lady Wolryche, 1678:
the Lady with the Lute
St Andrew’s church in the Shropshire village of Quatt stands on a small hill just outside the village. At first glance the church appears Georgian and much of the building dates from the 1760s but other features suggest a late Saxon origin. Entering via the porch at the west end, Lady Wolryche’s monument is positioned on the north wall to the left of two large table tombs commemorating Francis Wolryche (II) died 1689 and Sir Thomas Wolryche died 1668. Sir Thomas was knighted by Charles I in July 1641 and created first Baron Wolryche later that same year. During the civil war he raised troops for the Royalist cause and was later appointed governor of Bridgenorth Castle.
Sir Thomas’ son, Sir Francis was declared insane and his fifth son, John, took over
the estate and engaged Smith of Warwick as the architect to build the Dower House,
a remarkable building, which occupies a site immediately opposite the church. This
Lady Mary’s monument consists of a plain base with a moulded black marble top on
which the effigy of Lady Mary reclines. Her upper body rests against a tassled cushion,
her head supported by the right arm while her left hand holds a lute. She is dressed
in a very revealing and low cut flowing gown while her hair falls in ringlets around
her shoulders. Rising behind the effigy is a pair of candy-
She was an accomplished singer and musician – hence the lute – and this is the only monument of the period to show a musical instrument.
Clearly a high quality monument and sculpted by a master craftsman, the obvious question is, who made it? The pose of the figure, while not uncommon at this time, perhaps owes something to the innovations brought about by John Bushnell, but Lady Wolryche is clearly not Bushnell’s work. Lady Mary’s monument bears some similarity of execution to that of Thomas Vyner, erected 1673 originally at London, St Mary Woolnoth and now at Gauntby, Lincs. While the Vyner monument has very bold acanthus volutes with winged cherub heads either side of the inscription panel on the base, the effigy has a broadly similar treatment to that of Lady Mary. Also related to these monuments is that in the chapel of St John’s College Oxford to Richard Baylie, 1667. Here the extended left leg follows a broadly similar style to that of Lady Mary although the angle of the raised right knee is much sharper. None of the architectural features appear to equate with one another but it is in the finer details that similarities begin to emerge, especially in the treatment of the edge of the mat on which the effigies lie.
These monuments all share a possible common origin – the workshop of Jasper Latham. Latham actually signs or can be directly related to only four monuments but, as a leading sculptor and mason contractor who worked under Wren following the Great Fire of London in 1666, he must have had a very large practice. The records of the Mason’s Company list several of Latham’s apprentices and it is reasonable to assume that many of the monuments attributed to Latham were actually produced by the apprentices and journeymen under Latham’s direction. By stylistic analysis it is reasonable to attribute Lady Wolryche’s monument to Latham’s workshop.
Dr Clive J Easter FSA
Monument of the Month -
Brecon Cathedral: a post-
Half hidden by the carpet in the St Keyne’s Chapel in Brecon Cathedral, tucked under
the heating pipes on the north wall, is a seventeenth-
The stone commemorates a Richard John William who married Gwladis daughter of Phillip
Price and died in the 1620s. The names of their children have all but disappeared.
There is replacement stonework in a central panel, probably where the slab has been
damaged by reuse. But the key features are plain to see. The first is that the stone
has an ornate cross head. Crosses on memorials after the Reformation are extremely
rare in England, but in south-
The crosses on post-
The second significant feature on the Brecon stone is the IHS trigram at the centre of the cross head. The IHS trigram is common enough on later medieval stones, reflecting the increased popularity of the cult of the Holy Name of Jesus. But all the medieval examples are in blackletter script. On this stone, the trigram is in square capitals, in the form popularised by Ignatius Loyola as the visual identity of his new order the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.
The Brecon ledger stone is clearly not that of a Jesuit: but did it commemorate a
Jesuit sympathiser? IHS emblems are not as common in post-
The stone in the St Keyne’s Chapel is if anything even more conspicuously loyalist.
Much of the text has spalled off but you can clearly see, under the cross head, the
words ‘Honor the King’ – the second part of the motto ‘Fear God, Honour the King’.
Most of the text on the stone is in false-
It is particularly unfortunate that the final digit of the date is missing. The memorial dates from some time in the 1620s: and we do know that from 1621 to 1627 the bishop of St David’s (the medieval diocese covering Brecon) was none other than William Laud. He was already one of the leaders of the ‘Arminian’ group in the Church of England (though his theology was never explicitly Arminian) and of course went on to serve as Charles I’s Archbishop of Canterbury and to be executed in 1645. If the memorial dates from his period at St David’s, it could be evidence for his encouragement of ceremonialism, visual ornamentation and the ‘beauty of holiness’ combined with loyalty to the Crown and the Royal Supremacy.
However, this ledger stone is clearly in the tradition of the other memorials of
More about the cross slabs of south-
Maddy Gray and Rhianydd Biebrach are planning to organise either a study day or an
excursion to Brecon to look at the medieval and post-
Dr Maddy Gray PhD
Monument of the Month -
A military effigy
St James's Church, Iddesleigh, Devon
We are very fortunate in England in that a large number of medieval effigies have survived, often in an excellent state of preservation, despite destruction and loss during religious upheavals, unfortunate restorations or just the ravages of time. They may be found in medieval churches, of course, often in small and isolated ones, this isolation possibly limiting active destruction, but may be also found in modern churches, where they may have been preserved from an earlier church, moved from a nearby church or found buried during excavations and restorations
I have included this effigy in the Monument of the Month series not because it is
particularly notable but rather because it is a walk down the road from where I presently
live. Iddesleigh is a small village with the church, a rather fine pub and a few
houses, all of which may well be missed as you pass through on narrow road which
almost serves as a by-
St James's originates from the 13th century but is mainly 15th century; it was partly rebuilt in 1720 and restored in the early 19th. The effigy is tucked away and easily missed, being under a low arch in the north wall of the north aisle, behind the organ in what, although Pevsner calls it a chapel, is more a broom cupboard for cleaning materials. It clearly does not belong under this later recess but the original position can not now be ascertained.
The effigy is of a military figure, of oolithic limestone -
The figure lies recumbent and with crossed legs -
He wears a knee length mail shirt (hauberk) with long sleeves with attached gauntlets. A narrow strap passes around each wrist to hold these in position. His head is covered by a separate mail hood (coif) and this is tightened by a strap which can be seen above the forehead, A flap of this coif (the ventail) can also be seen to be fastened to this strap on the right hand side; presumably the neck was open in order to put on the coif, which was then closed by folding and tying this ventail to the other side of the coif. Above this coif can be seen the swelling of a padded arming cap which would have supported the great helm. He wears mail stockings and again narrow straps can be seen, which also appear to join with pads, possibly made of leather, protecting the knees . The mail is represented by parallel rows of C's with the C's being reversed in alternate rows; because of the state of wear this is not obvious in many places.
His shield, which shows no heraldry, is held by a belt across his right shoulder and his sword with one across his hip; the buckles for both of these belts can clearly be seen. There is also a thin belt around his waiste hold the surcost in position. Prick spurs are shown strapped to his feet. Over his armour he wears a surcoat reaching to mid calf; this falls open at the front showing the underlying armour.
Who does this effigy represent? As stated there is no heraldry carved on the shield
and, if it were painted it has long gone. Neither is there any inscription. However
John K Bromilow MInstP
Monument of the Month -
A monument with a story
Double monument said to commemorate Lady Constantia and her son John, St Leonard’s church, Scarcliffe (Derbyshire)
The monument of Lady Constantia and her infant son John in the Derbyshire village of Scarcliffe was conserved in 2007 with financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Council for the Care of Churches. Moved several times inside the church during its history, it is nowadays placed on a new stone plinth alongside the north wall of the nave. It was previously recorded by Charles Stothard and Richard Gough. Scarcliffe is proud of its monument, which is unusual but probably not quite what it seems.
Fig 1. Etching by Basire published in Gough's Sepulchral Monuments 1796
Fig 2. Etching by B. Howlett from a drawing by Charles Stothard, published in the latter's Monumental Effigies 1827
The magnesian limestone monument is curiously flat and archaic in style, but hard to date. It shows a recumbent female effigy with an inexpressive face and plaited hair. She wears a long gown and a cloak fastened with a decorated cord that she clasps in her right hand – a common motif on medieval figure sculpture. The drapery is rather clumsily executed. (Fig 3) A grinning lion supports her crowned head (Fig 4) while her feet rest on what appears to be a crouching dog. (Fig 5) The latter’s head and right front leg are timber replacements of a later date. The effigy is broken across the lower legs
Figs 4 and 5
On her left arm Constantia carries a little boy, whose feet are placed on a stiff-
Hic sv[b hvmo strata m]vlier iacet intvmvlata, Constans et grata, Constancia ivre vocata, Cvm genitrice data proles reqviescit hvmata. Qvanqvam pecc[ata capiti ei]us sint cvmvlata, Crimine pvrgata cvm prole Iohanne beata Vivat, prefata sanctorvm sede locata. Amen
(Here placed beneath this earth a woman lies buried. Constant and gracious, she was rightly called Constance. The child she was given lies buried with its mother. Although sins accumulated to her person, may she live, purged from crime, blessed with her child John, located in the aforesaid seat of the saints. Amen.)
Fig 6.& 7
Apart from the names Constantia and John, the text mentions no family name or patronym
nor even a date of death. Lombardic lettering can be difficult to date stylistically
and there is no heraldry to help us identify the mother and her child or date the
tomb. Nikolaus Pevsner ignored the tomb in his 1953 Derbyshire volume, but the 1979
edition describes it as a ‘beautiful C13 effigy of a woman (probably Constantia de
Frecheville † 1175)’. Constantia is an unusual name at this time, but the reputed
link with the de Frecheville family cannot be substantiated nor her death in 1175.
Stothard dated the monument as thirteenth-
In 1710 the Derby herald-
The story reads like a folk tale. Yet despite the absence of contemporary records
relating to a lady named Constantia, a new church guide proposes a twelfth-
The monument that we see in Scarcliffe today is unlikely to date from the twelfth century, before the period when effigies to the laity are known in England. In fact, it is probably not medieval at all: its condition is too good for such an early date, various aspects suggest different dates, and the iconography suggests heavy borrowing from typical medieval sculpture – most notably the Madonna and Child – in order to create a medieval pastiche. Crucial is the account of 1710 by Bassano, who recorded the moment as being ‘fine but very Antient’ and described the crown or coronet as ‘mostly broken off’. More importantly, he added that he ‘could not Read ye Scroyle’. This is curious, for even in the present broken state of the banderole the inscription is not difficult to read and certainly should not have been so for an antiquary. However, did Bassano describe the same monument that we still see in the church today, or was he looking at an earlier monument than the one we see today?
There may well have been a medieval monument at Scarcliffe that inspired a local
legend but became so battered over time that a replacement was needed to keep the
tale alive. A similar case is the so-
SOPHIE OOSTERWIJK AND SALLY BADHAM, with photos by TIM SUTTON
● Sophie Oosterwijk, ‘“A swithe feire graue”. The appearance of children on medieval
tomb monuments’, in Richard Eales and Shaun Tyas (eds), Family and dynasty in the
Middle Ages (1997 Harlaxton Symposium Proceedings) Harlaxton Medieval Studies, 9
(Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2003), 172-
● Sophie Oosterwijk, ‘Madonnas, mothers, mites, and the macabre: three examples of
● Sophie Oosterwijk, ‘Deceptive appearances. The presentation of children on medieval
tombs’, Ecclesiology Today, 42 (2010 – theme issue on church monuments edited by
Sally Badham), 43-
● Trevor Skirrey, ‘The legendary Lady Constantia of Scarcliffe’ (Tony Bell, 2008),