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NOTES & QUERIES

Any queries about any aspects of church monuments - and the reply if possible - will posted here for about six months. If you would rather not have your queries name or either posted please let me know and a private reply only will be given.

The photograph shows the tomb of Anthony Forster (ob. 1572), of Walter Scott's Kenilworth fame, and his wife Ann (ob 1599), in the chancel of St Michael's Church, Cumnor, Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire). Dr Impey of English Heritage would be very interested in any views or advice on the following:

1. Could this have been made for or by Forster in or around 1572, or it likely to be early, made in preparation for his decease? (if the latter it can't really be before 1558 when he came to Cumnor)

2. The inscription is clear that Ann Forster is buried in or near it. Given the style of the thing, which I take to be more or less inconceivable in or after 1599, is it probably that the inscription which tells us about Forster (the same piece of metal in the same hand) was prepared after Forster's death but well before hers?

3. The tomb is fairly standard late-medieval type, as far as I know. Mixing up Renaissance detail with gothic is a normal mid 16th century thing, I suppose, but I would be very interested to know of any other examples of this type of gothic tombs with this sort of detailing.

4. Other examples of the pure gothic version.

It is structurally all of a piece (not adapted) and certainly made new for Forster, as his badges appear all over it.


Any help would be gratefully received and acknowledged, in an eventual publication on the Medieval and Tudor Cumnor Place.


Dr Impey may be contacted:


Dr Edward Impey

Director of Research and Standards

English Heritage

1 Waterhouse Square

138-142 Holborn

London EC1N 2ST

tel: 020 7973 3313

fax: 020 7973 3546

e-mail: Edward.Impey@english-heritage.org.uk



Sir Thomas Vincent at Stoke D'Abernon, Surrey

Q. What is the curious object held in the left hand of Sir Thomas's effigy on this monument?

A. One thought is that it may represent some office held held but, unfortunately neither the inscription on the monument nor his biography on the History of Parliament website mentions his holding any office which might explain it. It probably is not a tightly rolled scroll unless it's been damaged at both ends. The most likely explanation at the moment is that it is the hilt of a broken sword which has been  'tidied up' and heavily gilded in restoration. However the angle seems wrong for a sword and it is difficult to determine exactly what the various lumps represent. On balance it is probably the remains of a sword which has been obscured by restoration. Effigies of this type do hold swords in this manner.

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