Church Monuments Society
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MONUMENT OF THE MONTH (like to contribute? Click here for details)
Links to previous Monuments of the Month are at the bottom of this page.
The Monument of the Month will now also be at the beginning of this page so you don’t have to scroll down through a very long list to the latest one. From now on the links will be archived by year. Click here to see previous years monuments.
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WW1 Memorial Tablet, The Tabernacle, Hayes, Cardiff
A memorial tablet to the members of the congregation of the Welsh Tabernacle, the Hayes, Cardiff who fell in WW1 comprises a plain framed lightly veined marble slab bearing an inscription in Welsh and the names of the fallen. This is set in an elaborate frame, the sides of which are pilasters of the heavily veined Pavonazzo marble with Penarth alabaster caps and bases, whilst the broken curved pediment decorated with a wreath and foliage and the base and supporting ornate corbels are all in Penarth alabaster. A plain marble slab beneath the memorial is an additional memorial to those who fell in WW2. A fine piece; Figure 1.
The inscription reads:
ER CÔF ANNWYL
AM Y BODYR IEUANC
HON A RHOISANT EU HEINIOES
DROS EU BRENIN A’U GWLAD
YN Y RHYFEL 1914-
(IN MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED YOUNG BROTHERS FROM THE CHURCH WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR
KING AND COUNTRY IN THE WAR 1914-
OSCAR D. MORRIS
W. BEVAN REES
REGGIE I.V.C. THOMAS
JOHN WYNFORD THOMAS
WILLIAM J. THOMAS
TREVOR N. EVANS
“FFYDDLAWN HYD ANGAU”
(FAITHFUL IN DEATH)
The WW2 tablet reads:-
HEFYD Y RHAI A ABERTHODD
EU BYWYDAU YN
(ALSO THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE IN THE WAR 1939 -
ANTHONY CWYNFRYN EVANS
IOAN WYNN RICHARDS
CECIL JAMES THOMAS
“EU HENWAU'N PERAROGLI SYDD A'U HUN MOR DAWEL YW”
(THEIR NAMES ARE SWEET-
The project started in November 1919 when Greg (Harry Gregory) made scale drawings of the monument, which suggests that the design may not have been Clarke’s. Work on the tablet itself commenced in May 1920 and was completed by late June. The day book records of its construction, which are rather more concise than usual, show that about 332 man hours was spent on the job. S. P. (Sidney Pollard) and Dando, together with unnamed masons with help from unnamed labourers were responsible for construction, with Ellis undertaking the carving and (Henry) Durnell the inscription. Dando and Horsley were responsible for fixing the memorial in place. Sharpening tools was contracted out to B. Jenkins. The only surviving drawing relating to this project is in a very poor state of preservation and is certainly not a scale drawing. It may be a tracing of the original supplied by an architect; Figure 2.
Total day works, materials and sundry expenses came to £71:14:0. F. Lloyd Jones of 105, Crwys Road, Cardiff was billed £100, representing a profit of 40%. A photograph of the completed item taken in Clarke’s workshop has survived; Figure 3. A comparison of Figure 2 and Figure 3 shows that the bottom member of the memorial between the two corbels was originally to be decorated but in the final version this piece was left plain..
A comparison of Figure 1 and Figure 3 shows that in order to fit the WW2 memorial beneath the original, this plain piece of alabaster was removed. Day Book and Bill Book records are appended; Figures 4 and 5.
Thanks to Mike Clarke for access to his archive and Prof. Maddy Gray for help with Welsh translation.
A wapenbord of the Van Harn family of 1587
Just how difficult it can be to identify the original purpose of an early modern heraldic painting taken out of its original context is exemplified by a Dutch heraldic panel or wapenbord from the late sixteenth century (fig. 1) – was it commissioned to hang in a church as a rouwboard (mourning shield), or was it painted to document a marriage, birth, or any other important event in the family whose ancestral arms it depicts?
Dated 1587, this wapenbord is painted on a single wood panel measuring 42 x 33.5
cm without its later frame. Painted against a dark green background framed in black,
the large heraldic achievement in the centre belongs to the Van Harn family. It is
surrounded by the Van Harn (upper left), Zosius (upper right), Lyster (lower left)
and Vool (lower right) arms, which are identified by inscriptions. This composition
implies that the wapenbord was commissioned for a scion of the Van Harn family whose
paternal ancestors are represented by the arms on the left-
The Van Harn family originated from Rhenen in the province of Utrecht where Gerrit
van Harn Jansz. (d. 1557) is recorded as mayor in 1540. His son Willem (c.1513-
As the wapenbord lacks an inscription that clearly identifies the event it was meant
to commemorate, the only clue apart from the heraldry that might help to determine
its original purpose is the date inscribed on the panel. The fact that Joost van
Harn was appointed as the Count of Culemborg’s personal physician in 1587 does not
seem to explain the commissioning of the wapenbord, but the same year also saw the
death of Joost and Josina’s second child Willem (born 1585), for whose burial at
Culemborg the wapenbord may indeed have been painted. As the early provenance of
the panel is unknown, it is impossible to say if it was produced to hang in the church
where Willem was buried or if the family took it with them as a memento when they
moved from Culemborg to Zwolle in 1589. If the wapenbord remained in the church,
it was probably taken down and passed into private hands at the time of the Batavian
However, the case is not as straightforward as it seems, for there is another wapenbord
of the Van Harn family that cannot be linked with a burial (fig. 3). Although smaller
in size (30 x 27.5 cm), its overall composition is obviously based on the 1587 wapenbord,
which it resembles down to the central Van Harn heraldic achievement and the painted
black frame alongside the outer edge of the panel. Dated 1619, it shows the arms
of the Van Harn (upper left), Graeff (upper right), Zosius (lower left) and Reidt
(lower right) families and therefore must commemorate an event in the lives of Willem
van Harn and his wife Clara, daughter of Johan van de Graeff and Elisabeth van Reidt,
or of one of their children. Willem (1591-
These examples show that early modern wapenbord examples from the Netherlands need and deserve further study to distinguish between the various purposes they were commissioned for.
fig. 1: Wapenbord dated 1587, unknown Dutch painter, panel 42 x 33.5 cm (private collection, Germany).
fig. 3: Wapenbord dated 1619, unknown Dutch painter, panel 30 x 27.5 cm (present whereabouts unknown; formerly in the collection of the Historisch Museum het Burgerweeshuis, Arnhem, The Netherlands).
I wish to thank Dr Sophie Oosterwijk for her kind comments on this note. Furthermore, I’d like to thank Marjolein de Boer, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, for the permission to reproduce Floris van Jutphaes van Wijnstein’s wapenbord, and Marijke Dijkers, Museum Arnhem, for trying to locate the Van Harn wapenbord of 1619.
Otto Schutte: “Een wapenbordje uit de familie Van Harn”, De Nederlandsche Leeuw 118.1-
Van Harn Genealogy (http://www.jecampert.scarlet.nl/vharn.htm; accessed 20 July 2015)
Wapenbord van kapitein jonkheer Floris van Jutphaes van Wijnestein (http://www.beeldbank-
Brecon: cross slab commemorating Lewis Havard (d. 1569)
Members of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies are currently
surveying the Havard Chapel in Brecon Cathedral, with its fine collection of ledgerstones.
Results will be reported in the Newsletter ... meanwhile , here is a taster, another
of those puzzling post-
This magnificent (if rather battered) cross slab commemorates Lewis Havard, a local
landowner who died in 1569. Unfortunately for the student of sixteenth-
Brecon was not of course a cathedral until the twentieth century. The church had been part of the Benedictine priory of St John and was converted to a parish church at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The monuments were pretty comprehensively moved around when George Gilbert Scott restored the building in the 1860s and 1870s, and we can’t be sure that this tomb slab is anywhere like its original location. Even more unfortunately, the panelling completely covers two medieval cross slabs which have been tucked away under the radiators – not the best conservation practice!
There is a drawing of the slab in Theophilus Jones’s History of Brecknockshire which is easier to interpret than the battered original, though if you look at it carefully you will see that the details of the heraldry are different.
The drawing was done by another Welsh antiquarian, the Rev. Thomas Price (better known by his bardic name, Carnhuanawc), who quite possibly made notes on the slab and drew it up afterwards: this might explain the inaccuracies. For example, the original slab has the Havard family’s own arms, the three bulls’ heads, at the upper part of the sinister panel. Instead of this, Carnhuanawc drew another coat of arms sometimes attributed to the Havards, a bull’s head between three mullets.
As well as the Havard arms, the slab has on the dexter side (reading from the top)
the chevron between three arrow-
The heraldry on the slab makes it clear that family and lineage were important to
the Havard family. More intriguing, though, are the cross head and the inscription.
Crosses on tombs are unusual in post-
There is of course nothing in Protestant thinking to preclude a focus on the cross as the emblem of the redemptive sacrifice, but it was increasingly regarded as suspect. Even during the Commonwealth in the mid seventeenth century, though, tombs were explicitly excluded from Parliamentary ordinances for the removal of crucifixes, crosses and other visual imagery in churches. Nevertheless, they were clearly regarded as vulnerable. The memorial to Edward Hunter (d 1646) at Marholm, Northamptonshire, actually has the lines
Noe crucifix you see, noe Frightfull Brand
Of Superstition´s here. Pray let me stand.
More clearly ‘Catholic’ in sentiment is the inscription on Lewis Havard’s tomb. In Latin and in blackletter script, it records his status and date of death and concludes with the traditional prayer ‘cuius anime propitietur Deus’. While not as defiantly Catholic as an outright request for prayer for his soul, this would have been regarded as distinctly suspicious by the church authorities. But was it actual evidence of Catholicism? Some branches of the Havard family were certainly reported as recusants in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Lewis Havard himself died in 1569, before the Papal bull Regnans in Excelsis which finally excommunicated Elizabeth and (among other things) ordered Catholics not to attend the services of the established church. This is the point at which Catholic sympathies are forced into outright recusancy. Lewis Havard, with his cross slab and his family’s concern for his soul, might well have regarded himself as a traditionalist but loyal subject of the Queen. As the NADFAS survey is proving, there were plenty more like him.
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St Bridget's Church, Llansantffraed and St Cynog's Church, Dyfynnog Breconshire
The famous poet Henry Vaughan, “The Silurist”, (1621-
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St Michael's Church, Michaelston super Ely
St Michael's church, Michaelston super Ely is an ancient structure originating in
the 12th or 13th century but was altered substantially in the 1860s by David Vaughan
and the interior was rearranged by F. R. Kempson in 1908. A full history of the church
has been presented by Vile.1 The church has been de-
The ledger to Mary Jackson (d. Jan. 20 1676) at Allesley, Warwickshire, and the grave of William Shakespeare
It is usually supposed that William Shakespeare composed the inscription on his ledger-
Good freind for Ieƒus ƒake forbeare
To digg the duƒt incloƒed here
Bleƒt be the man that ƒpares theƒe ƒtones
And curƒt be he that moues my bones
This is substantially what is now on the stone, the differences possibly because
Dugdale was only precise with heraldry. Most scholars agree that this represents
a fear of consignment to the charnel-
Before Dugdale, the lines are recorded in manuscript by John Weever, perhaps as early
Dobyns reads it as
Good friend, for Jesu sake forbeare
To digg the Dust that lyeth incloased here
Blessed is the man that spareth these stones
Cursed be he yt moveth these bones
while Hall has
Reader, for Iesus's sake forbeare
To dig the dust enclosed here
Blessed be he that Spares these Stones
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
As the gravestone was either repaired or replaced in the mid-
There is another possibility. The great scholar E.K.Chambers reports that the nineteenth-
Epitaphe on a Bakere
For Jesus Christe his sake forbeare
To dig the bones under this biere;
Blessed is he who loues my duste,
But damned be he who moues this cruste!
Chambers says that he 'cannot identify' Halliwell-
Certainly there is at least one other version of Shakespeare's grave inscription.
At the east end of the south aisle of Allesley Church (Warwickshire) is a battered ledger stone. The inscription reads
Here lyeth the Body of Mary
Jackson who Died Jan.y ye 20th 1676 A
D. Good friend for Jesus ƒake forbear
To dig the Dust Inclosed Here.
Bleƒsed be the man that Doth
Prosper These Stones Cursed be
The man that Doth Disturb my
Gaps at the ends of lines are filled in with scrolled decoration.
The material appears to be the local ironstone, the lettering only moderately accomplished,
Allesley is 17 miles from Stratford; possibly both this and Shakespeare’s stone are
examples of a mortuary verse in use in the seventeenth century -
The first claim that Shakespeare wrote and ordered the words to be carved on his
Shakespeare's gravestone is modest. It is not a fine heraldic ledger like those of
A recent televised archaeological survey has suggested that Shakespeare's grave was
disturbed, and that this might have been due to grave-
This is a summary of what we know about Shakespeare's grave and the consequent likelihood of his authorship of the inscription:
1. Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 (MI) and was buried in the Parish Church on
25 April (Church Burial Register), in the chancel (he was one of the lay-
2. In probably the mid-
3. The chancel was repaired 1621-
4. Anne Hathaway was buried on 6 August 1623 on the north side of the chancel, in the space between Shakespeare's stone and the wall. This (assuming that the interments faced east) would put her on her husband's left, the correct position. The monument to Shakespeare was almost certainly in place in 1623 (It is mentioned by Leonard Digges in his commendatory verse to the First Folio).
5.1634 Lieutenant Hammond visits Stratford: he remarks Shakespeare's monument, but
not the floor-
6. 1635 John Hall (Shakespeare's son-
7. 1647 Thomas Nash (Shakespeare's grandson-
8. 1649 Susanna Shakespeare Hall dies: her ledger-
9. In Francis Fane’s earlier Commonplace Book (1619-
11. In a Commonplace Book compiled ca.1655/6 for his son Henry, but with the last
entry 1663 (Folger Library) Fane includes the grave-
12. 1676 The ledger to Mary Jackson at Allesley.
13. At some point after 1673 Robert Dobyns claims that in 1673 he transcribed the epitaphs to Shakespeare and John Coombe, and that the Coombe epitaph (satirical and widely ascribed to Shakespeare) has been razed by the time of writing. This cannot be true, he can only have transcribed the Coombe ‘epitaph’ from a paper attached to the grave, and even this seems unlikely. So he is unreliable.
14. 1693. Mr Dowdall, describes the epitaph on a plain free stone, saying it was
made by Shakespeare 'a little before his death. His informant was the then parish
Clarke 'aboue 80 yrs old’, who also said that grave remained inviolate because of
curse, although his wife and daughters wanted to be buried with him. (The clerk was
probably William Castle, born 1614). Dowdall also includes the claim that Shakespeare
was a butcher’s boy who ran away and joined the stage. Anne Hathaway Shakespeare
and Susanna Shakespeare Hall ARE buried with Shakespeare, although not (judging by
the ledgers, and confirmed by recent the archaeological survey) in the same grave.
Judith Shakespeare Quiney (1583-
15. 1694 William Hall reports the ledger inscription & the tradition that Shakespeare
ordered it to be inscribed. He accepts Shakespeare’s authorship & tries to explain
the bad versification by the fact that Shakespeare was addressing ‘clerks and sextons,
for the most part a very ignorant sort of people.' He says Shakespeare was buried
17 feet deep (this has been recently disproved by a GPR survey). This is almost certainly
too late for any first-
There are four possible conclusions
1. The epitaph was by William Shakespeare and circulated widely after his death in both MS and print and is used accordingly
2. The epitaph is not by Shakespeare but circulated as above and was chosen by him. Allesley in both these cases provides evidence of Shakespeare's early posthumous fame.
3. The epitaph, whether chosen by Shakespeare or not, is commonplace and widespread around the country. In this case biographical speculations based on it collapse.
4. The epitaph has nothing to do with Shakespeare, but marks another person's grave,
and was in place at the time of his interment, somewhere else in the chancel. It
has been assumed to be Shakespeare's because of its proximity both to his wall-
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Ralph of Shrewsbury, Bishop of Bath and Wells (d. 1363)
Wells Cathedral (Somerset)
Fig. 2 One of the earliest surviving alabaster effigies to a member of the higher clergy is that to Ralph of Shrewsbury, Bishop of Bath and Wells (d. 1363), in Wells Cathedral (Somerset) (Fig. 1).Bishop Ralph’s effigy was originally in a place of high honour in the middle of the choir before the high altar in Wells cathedral. However, it was apparently moved out of the choir about 1550 and appears to have been in its present position in the North Choir Aisle at least since the early eighteenth century. The graffiti pattern and dates indicate this. It is very dense on his left side but almost absent on his right side, against the wall (Fig. 2). Apart from this, the effigy is relatively well preserved.
Bishop Ralph is shown lying recumbent, with his head supported by a pair of pillows and his hands held in prayer. The carving is very well executed and the head of his staff, which is broken off, was originally fully undercut. His most curious feature is his mitre, which is shown hinged at both sides and secured by pins (Fig. 3). The effigy was evidently used as a model for that of Bishop Harewell (d. 1386), which is also alabaster and again has a hinged mitre. A special difference is at Harewell’s feet where the two collared dogs shown with Bishop Ralph are replaced by two hares, as a pun on Harewell’s name.
Previously Chancellor of Oxford University 1328-
However, Ralph’s principal benefactions at Wells were in support of the minor clergy.He
founded the college of vicars, procuring license of incorporation for them, building
them dwellings, a chapel, and hall, in ‘the vicars close,’ that they might live together;
providing them with an endowment separate from the capitular estates, and drawing
up rules for their conduct. The close survives (Fig. 4). At Wells Cathedral is a
commemorative panel painting, dating from the later-
Copyright: Sally Badham Photos 1-
Click on the date below to go to that monument of the month
April 2013 Zacharias Johannes Szolc, 1682, and Stanisław Bużenski, 1697 Frombork Cathedral, Poland Jerome Bertram
May 2013 The monument to Dr Thomas Turner, died 1714. Stowe-
June 2013 'Left for dead' Major Thomas Price Robert Tucker
July 2013 An unusual saint: Floor slab of Jacopmine Huyghendochter, wife of Foert
Christiaenszoon (d. 1553), Sint-
August 2013 Thomas and Mary Acton, erected 1581, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire Jon Bayliss
September 2013 Cholmondeley Monument, St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London Dr George Roberts
October 2013 Revd Theophilus Pickering (d. 1710) and John Dryden, Poet Laureate (d. 1700), Titchmarsh (Northamptonshire) Sally Badham FSA
November 2013 Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, 12th Baron de Ros of Helmsley (c.1492 – 1543) Bottesford, St Mary (Leicestershire) Edward Higgins MA BSc (Hons)
December 2013 Maria Rebekka Schlegel, 1736, Stadtmuseum, Meissen, Germany Jon Bayliss
January 2014 Lady Elizabeth Clinton (d. 11 September 1423) Haversham (Buckinghamshire)
February 2014 LUGENS MŒRENSQUE Moira Ackers
March 2014 A son’s delayed memorial to his dead mother: The tomb of Catharine of Bourbon, Duchess of Guelders (d. 1469), Stevenskerk, Nijmegen (Netherlands). Sophie Oosterwijk and Trudi Brink
April 2014 Robert Crane (d. 1500), Chilton (Suffolk) Sally Badham
May 2014 A monument with a story. Double monument said to commemorate Lady Constantia and her son John, St Leonard’s church, Scarcliffe (Derbyshire). Sophie Oosterwijk and Sally Badham
June 2014 A military effigy
St James's Church, Iddesleigh, Devon John K Bromilow MInstP
July 2014 Brecon Cathedral: a post-
August 2014 The monument to Lady Wolryche, 1678: the Lady with the Lute Dr Clive J Easter FSA
September 2014 Row On Row (1) Robert Tucker
October 2014 A Fool’s Monument? The Tomb Slab of Hans Has at Wertheim, Germany Dr Martin Spies
November 2014 A Ledgerstone at Aldenham, Hertfordshire Dr Jean Wilson
December 2014 Heaven under our feet: the Laleston triple cross Dr Madelaine Gray PhD
January 2015 Llancarfan and Carisbrooke: some thoughts on a seventeenth-
February 2015 A medieval miniature adult? An unidentified female miniature effigy at St Giles’s church, Coberley (Gloucestershire) Sophie Oosterwijk
March 2015 Monument to William Villiers died 1643 Dr Clive J Easter FSA
April 2015 An Effigy in the Porch of Beaumaris Church Dr Madelaine Gray PhD
May 2015 Edward, the Black Prince, d. 1376, Canterbury Cathedral, Kent Sally Badham MBE, FSA
June 2015 The Farnham Monuments: Myths, Legends and Family Fables (Pt.1) Moira Ackers
July 2015 The Farnham Monuments: Myths, Legends and Family Fables (Pt.2) Moira Ackers
August 2015 The monuments to Charles Leigh and Francis Longe at Spixworth, Norfolk Dr Jean Wilson