Church Monuments Society

The Journal


Volume XXVII

In this volume

Nigel Saul The early fifteenth-century monument of a serjeant-at-law in Flamstead church (Hertfordshire)
Attention is drawing to a hitherto unidentified monument at Flamstead (Hertfordshire) to a serjeant-at-law and his wife, datable to the early fifteenth century. It is suggested that the serjeant commemorated is one Thomas Frisby, who had connections with the earls of Warwick, the lords of the manor of Flamstead. The monument is of Totternhoe stone, and stylistic connections are made with two other fifteenth-century monuments, at Little Munden and Bennington, both in the same county.

Matthew Ward  The tomb of ‘The Butcher’? The Tiptoft monument in the presbytery of Ely Cathedral
The tomb traditionally identified as that of John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester (ex. 1470), located in the presbytery of Ely Cathedral, has hitherto received scant scholarly attention. The monument has been restored on several occasions, so much that it is difficult to ascertain which aspects of the tomb and canopy are original, or remain true to their original forms. It may also have been misidentified over the centuries. This essay offers the first detailed examination of the tomb and its historical background. It attempts to contextualise the various repairs undertaken, and also suggests the monuments may have been intended to commemorated Worcester’s father, John Lord Tiptoft (d. 1443).

Michael Carter ‘hys…days here lyven was’ – The monument of Abbot Robert Chamber at Holm Cultram (Cumbria)
The most remarkable surviving monument of an English Cistercian abbot is that of Abbot Robert Chamber (1507-c.1530) at Holm Cultram Abbey (Cumbria, formerly Cumberland). It is preserved inside a modern vestry at the abbey and consists of three sides of a chest tomb, which are sculptured in low relief with images of mourning monks and the abbot. Unusually for the monument of a high-ranking cleric, the epitaph is in English. This article discusses the monument within the context of Cistercian commemorative practices and relates aspects of the tomb’s iconography to the status of Abbot Chamber. Explanations for the use of English in the inscription are also discussed, as is the likely location of the monument.

Helen E. Lunnon ‘I will have one porch of stone … over my grave’ – Medieval parish church porches and their function as tomb canopies.
The use of church porches as appropriate places for Christian burial is grounded in the early Church ruling prohibiting internal interments. Textural sources dating back to Bede’s ‘Ecclesiastical History’ provides evidence  of the relation between porticus and decent burial, and the custom continued throughout the medieval period. This paper is primarily concerned with the adoption of this practice in the late medieval parish, with emphasis being placed on instances where porches were commissioned specifically as grave covers. Consequently, this paper explores the impact this function had on the architecture of porches built for this purpose, particularly in East Anglia, and identifies key characteristics of the building which demonstrate how they align with attributes of other types of medieval church monuments.

Sophie Oosterwijk The story of Bianca Rubea – An emblem of wifely devotion, or death by tomb slab.
A curious etching by the Dutch engraver Jan Luyken or his son Caspar has wrongly attracted the interest of vampyrologists. It actually illustrates the emblematic story of the virtuous ‘Bianca Rubea’, better known as Bianca de’ Rossi or Bianca da Bassano, who chose to commit suicide by crushing herself to death underneath her late husband’s tomb slab. Although the depicted scene is both anachronistic and implausible, it raises interesting questions about the custom of intramural burial beneath church floors, about the (re)positioning of the slabs or ledgerstones covering these graves, and about the use of pictorial sources as historical evidence.

Shorter Articles

Jerome Bertram The Cadavers of Tallinn

C B Newham The Turner monument in Therfield church (Hertfordshire)

Jon Bayliss A discovery at Salisbury Cathedral

James Stevens Curl Gaffin in Ireland: The Pottinger Memorial

Review Articles

Tanja Müller-Jonak Englische Grabdenkmäler des Mittelalters, 1250-1500 (Petersberg), Michael Imhof Verlag, 2010), 280 pp., 407 b/w illustrations. ISBN 978-3-86568-602-2

Robert Tittler Portraits, painters, and publics in provincial England 1540-1640 (Oxford, 2012), 202 pp., 26 b/w illustrations. ISBN 978-0-19-958560-1

Charles Alfred Stothard The Monumental Effigies of Great Britain: selected from our Cathedrals and Churches, for the purpose of bringing together, and preserving correct representations of the best historical illustrations extant, from the Normal Conquest to the reign of Henry the Eight (Godmanchester, Ken Trotman Publishing 2011) 112pp + index & advertisement, 144 plates. No ISBN

Book Reviews

John Crook English medieval shrines (Woodbridge, The Boydell Press, 2011) xxiv + 342 pp., 54 b/w figs and plates. ISBN 9781843836827.

Joel T. Rosenthal Margaret Paston’s piety, The New Middle Ages (Basingstoke, Palgrave, Macmillan, 2010) xxi + 217 pp., 10 b/w illustrations. ISBN 978-0-230-62207-4

Marie-Hélène Rousseau Saving the souls of medieval London. Perpetual chantries at St Paul’s Cathedral, c. 1200-1548 (Farnham, Ashgate, 2011) xiv + 242 pp., 3 b/w illustrations. ISBN 978-1-4094-0581-8

Sophie Oosterwijk and Stefanie Knöll (eds) Mixed metaphors: the Danse Macabre in medieval and early modern Europe (Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011) xxiii + 449 pp., 116 b/w figs., 16 colour pls. ISBN 1-4438-2900-5

Wolf de Weijert, Kim Ragetli, Arnoud-Jan Bijstervelt and Jeanette van Arenthals (eds) Living memoria: studies in medieval and early modern memorial culture in honour of Truus van Beuren (Hilversum, Verloren, 2011) 432 pp., many illustrations including 31 colour plates. ISBN 978-90-8704-272-1)

Paul Binski and Elizabeth A. New (eds) Patrons and professionals in the Middle Ages, Harlaxton Medieval Studies, 22 (Donington, Shaun Tyas, 2012), xviii + 430 illustrations (mostly colour) ISBN 978-1-907730-12-2

Marilyn Yurdan, Oxfordshire graves and gravestones (Stroud, The History Press, 2010) 128 pp., 96 b/w illustrations. ISBN 978-0-7524-5257-9
Peter Hill A History of death and burial in Northamptonshire (Stroud, Amberley, 2011) 160 pp., 46 b/w illustrations. ISBN 978-1-4456-0462-6

Paul Koudounaris The empire of Death: a cultural history of ossuaries and charnel houses (London, Thames & Hudson, 2011) 224 pps., 290 colour and 131 duotone plates. ISBN 978-0-500-251782

Christine Reynolds (ed.) with an introduction by Richard Halsey Surveyors of the fabric of Westminster Abbey, 1827-1906: reports and letters. (Woodbridge, Boydell, 2011), xxv + 218 pps., ISBN 978-1-84383-6575

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