Church Monuments Society

The Journal



Wide-ranging: medieval graffiti monuments, Elizabethan cadaver tombs, military memorials ...


Memory made solid: Informal church monuments and graffiti MATTHEW J. CHAMPION

Whilst the study of church monuments is an extensive field, there is one area of study

that has until recently seen relatively little scholarly attention, being the study of informal

commemorative inscriptions recorded in graffiti. The recent establishment of large scale

volunteer-led church graffiti surveys has documented numerous examples of these informal

memorials across the whole of the UK, creating a new, and previously almost unknown,

corpus of material for study. This article highlights a small selection of these recent

discoveries, and offers some interpretation as to the motivation behind their creation.


The tomb of Jacques de Lalaing: Reputation, identity, and family status ANN ADAMS

In 1453, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, greatly mourned the death of Jacques de

Lalaing, one of the most renowned knights of the fifteenth century. Jacques’ death has

resonated to the present day primarily because of a chivalric biography. All that remains of

his tomb, formerly in the church of Sainte-Aldegonde, Lalaing (Nord, France), are the head

and shoulders of the effigy in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Valenciennes (Nord, France). A

drawing in the Chifflet collection at Besançon (Doubs, France) documents its appearance in

the late sixteenth/early seventeenth century. Comparison with other fifteenth-century tombs

appears to suggest that this may not represent the original appearance, but first impressions

are challenged by the inclusion of evidence from Jacques’ life and the tombs of close family

members. These tombs also demonstrate the growing importance of membership of the

Order of the Golden Fleece as an indicator of social status and family cohesion.


Two Elizabethan cadaver tombs in the West Midlands ELIZABETH NORTON

Although cadaver tombs were a popular form of church monument in England from

the early fifteenth century, Elizabethan examples are rare and little studied. This article

examines two late sixteenth-century cadaver tombs produced for members of the Blount

family: the tomb of Sir Thomas Blount (d.1562) at Mamble, Worcestershire and that of Sir

George Blount (d.1581) at Kinlet, Shropshire. Both men were Catholics in a period when

Catholic worship was proscribed. It is argued here that the ambiguity of the cadaver tomb

form potentially allowed both tombs to make statements about the occupants’ Catholic faith

and to solicit intercessory prayers.

A Florentine monument at West Dereham, Norfolk and its patron JULIAN LITTEN

A chance invitation from Sir Isaac Newton led to the commissioning of a vertical armorial

ledgerstone at West Dereham, Norfolk and a large funerary monument in the Chapel of

the Venerable English College, Rome, both being a collaboration of Ferdinando Fuga and

Filippo Della Valle. Sir Thomas Dereham (d.1739), an extraordinary aesthete educated in

Tuscany and affiliated to the Jacobite Court in Rome, an enigmatic individual, spy and

informant to Pope Clement XII, is the link between these two works of art.


A crusading ‘captain in khaki’: Sir Thomas Brock’s monument to Charles Grant Seely at Gatcombe (Isle of Wight) OLIVER D. HARRIS

An effigial cenotaph at Gatcombe (Isle of Wight) commemorates Captain Charles Grant

Seely, killed in action at the Second Battle of Gaza in 1917. It is the last completed work

of the eminent (but now neglected) sculptor Sir Thomas Brock, and was unveiled in 1922.

This article examines the circumstances of its design and execution, with a focus on the

symbolism – in particular the effigy’s cross-legged attitude – by which Brock sought to

represent Seely as a latter-day crusader. It also investigates the monument’s defacement in

1927, seemingly in an act of protest against its grandiosity.

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