Church Monuments Society

The Journal

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Volume XXXIV

The current volume, 2019, is wide-ranging: Sally Badham on heart and entrail monuments, Nigel Saul's further thoughts on the monument of a serjeant-at-law, T. P. Connor on the politics of 17th century commemoration, James Stevens Curl on the stunning kirkyard at St Michael's Dumfries.
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CM34 (2019) Abstracts


Divided in Death: The iconography of English medieval heart and entrails monuments



Memorials marking heart and entrails burials have received little previous attention in the literature on monuments. This is the first attempt to compile a corpus of the surviving medieval examples in England, although it cannot be regarded as definitive. While both heart and entrails monuments are addressed, the vast majority appear to have been recorded as heart burials. To some extent the apparent lack of entrails monuments in England may be deceptive as there is some documentary evidence of entrails having been buried together with hearts. Moreover, neither type of burial was necessarily marked by a monument. The main focus is an examination of the variety of iconographic types. Most of the firmly identifiable heart and entrails memorials were set in the walls of churches, especially in chancels. Some other types might have been used for full corpse burials as well as divided burials. Only those that have inscriptions can be classified with complete certainty as being heart or entrails memorials; it is impossible to overstate the need for caution in interpreting the remainder.




New findings at the parish church of St Mary, Witney (Oxfordshire): The fourteenth-century north transept and monument NICOLA LOWE


The north transept at Witney (Oxfordshire) contains an early fourteenth-century tomb monument. Comprising a pair of side-by-side canopied recesses, it occupies almost the entire width of the north wall and sits some two metres above ground level. It contains two stone effigies, male and female. The male wears legal costume and has his foot on a wool-sack, a rare, if not unique combination of attributes. It is argued here that this unusual monument belongs to the upper chapel of a long-dismantled charnel house, that is, a two-storey structure originally composed of chantry chapel above and semi-subterranean bone chamber below, and that the effigies represent John de Croxford, an Oxfordshire lawyer and collector of the wool subsidy, and his wife Elizabeth.


The sculptor of the monument of a serjeant-at-law at Flamstead (Hertfordshire): A further sequel NIGEL SAUL


Earlier articles have identified the work of a tomb sculptor, based at or near the Totternhoe quarries in Bedfordshire, who executed the monument of a serjeant-at-law and his wife at Flamstead (Hertfordshire) before shifting his operations to Cambridgeshire, where he produced monuments for the local gentry and then, in his last years, returning to Totternhoe to resume work there. Subsequent searches have identified three more monuments by the same sculptor, two of them in churches some way from both his Totternhoe and Cambridgeshire bases. It is suggested that these latest discoveries raise questions about the working of the market in tomb sculpture in late medieval England.





The Puritan as Whig: The monument to Denzil Holles in St Peter’s church, Dorchester (Dorset) T.P. CONNOR


The monument to Denzil Holles, Lord Holles of Ifield (1598–1680), in St Peter’s church, Dorchester (Dorset), was set up in 1699, nineteen years after his death. Apart from its location in that church it bears no relation to the monument described in his will. Instead, it was erected by his great-nephew as part of a successful attempt to reassert the political influence of the Whig interest in that borough and the formerly staunch Puritan is now presented as a Whig. The inscription carefully selects the events of Holles’s career to imply opposition to royal policy in a controversy raging long after his death and the monument is linked with a vigorous pamphlet campaign at Westminster. This context allows the monument to be seen as an early example of the general development towards the erection of purely secular commemorative sculpture in public places.








St Michael’s Kirkyard, Dumfries JAMES STEVENS CURL


The burial ground attached to St Michael’s and South parish church, Dumfries, in south-west Scotland, has existed as a place of interment for at least a millennium. Of extraordinarily high density – it contains not less than eighty-thousand burials – it is embellished with an amazing array of funerary monuments and tombstones, some of superb architectural quality, and many of astonishing size and grandeur considering the relatively small area it occupies. It also houses the handsome Classical mausoleum of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns (1759–96), virtually a contemporary of his fellow-Freemason, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91). In terms of its scale and architectural character, St Michael’s Kirkyard is unique among provincial churchyards within the United Kingdom: this paper describes its historical importance and aesthetic qualities, illustrating some of its finest monuments, and drawing on a remarkable cache of original architectural drawings by Walter Newall (1780–1863) held by the Dumfries and Galloway Archive Service, Ewart Library, in Dumfries itself.



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