« ForrigeFortsett »
years 1093 and 1100. In Domesday Book we find the entry "here are two churches and two priests”; and traces of Saxon work are yet to be found on the east side of the present tower. Near the font is a brickedup doorway, which is traditionally called the “Ale Door," and seems to have been connected with the custom of raising money for church expenses by providing a feast (usually at Whitsuntide), and crediting any surplus to the funds of the Church. Church Ales were held until the outbreak of the Civil War. The Parish Registers are highly interesting, and consist of thirty-three volumes, commencing in the year 1559; and the Charter of Philip and Mary is an excellent example of engrossing. This charter constituted the Vicar and Church wardens a Corporation, and settled on them certain lands which had been left in the reign of Henry VIII to found a chantry, and had passed to the Crown under a statute of Edward VI. The original gift had been for a term of years, with a direction that the trustees were to purchase the King's licence to found a chantry in perpetuity; but this they neglected to do, and at the end of the term it was held that the Charter of Philip and Mary granted the term only and not the fee, the latter remaining in the heirs of the original foundress. A noteworthy point in the construction of the walls of the church is the fact that a large number of incised slabs have been used as material without having been re-worked.
The evening meeting was attended by Councillor Sambourne Cooke and the Under-Sheriff, Mr. J. A. H. Green, and the Mayor's and Sheriff's maces and chains were exhibited and described by Mr. Green. The Photographic Society also very kindly exhibited photographs dealing with Old Nottingham, particularly with the traces of the old walls and ditches, found during the course of sundry excavations in and about the city. A paper was also read by Mr. J. G. N. Clift, Hon. Secretary, on “The Walls of Nottingham," illustrated by diagrams showing the general trend in the development of the city and its defensive works of the various periods.
TUESDAY, JULY 31st, 1906.
Leaving Nottingham, the party travelled to Bottesford Church, which was very kindly shown by Canon Jackson. Mr. George Fellows then read a paper on the monumental tombs of the Roos and Manners families, which form a fine series in alabaster. The abundance of this material in the neighbourhood is the reason why we find so many tombs and effigies carved in alabaster. Nottingham itself was long famed for its carvers, whose work may be found in every part of England, and references to this once-flourishing industry occur in the Records of the city. Chellaston was the largest source of supply; and in June, 1506, one William Walsh, of Chellaston, sued John Nicholson for the cartage of a quantity of alabaster from Chellaston to Nottingham. His charge-one shilling and sixpence-does not seem extortionate, as the distance was twenty miles ; but he was non-suited.
Many of the tombs were not originally erected in this church, but were conveyed here and re-erected by the first Earl of Rutland in 1543. Some came from Belvoir Priory, and others from Croxted Abbey. The first effigy to be noticed is a small figure in Purbeck marble, in hauberk and coif of mail; from the shape of the shield and the sleeveless surcoat, it may be ascribed to the end of the thirteenth century. Its origin is doubtful, and it has been variously identified as William d'Albini the third, Robert de Todeni, and Robert Lord Roos, of Croxton Abbey. The choice rests between the first and last of these, and the latter seems the more probable. If we take into consideration a tablet to Lord Roos, dated 1285, in the north wall of the chancel, and read the two together, we seem to be on fairly safe ground. This tablet, no doubt, cannot be earlier than the fifteenth century, but it may have replaced the original.
By the south wall of the Sanctuary is the tomb of Sir William de Roos, K.G., who died in 1414. He wears a conical bascinet, a camail of mail, jupon, and the collar of SS. The Garter is shown below the left knee, and on the front of the bascinet is the inscription “I. H. C. Nazere," and on the sword-hilt “I. H. S.” On the other side of the chancel is the tomb of his son John, killed at the battle of Beauge in 1421. Here the camail has disappeared, and the bascinet is less conical ; the SS. collar has the letters reversed, and there is both a diagonal and a horizontal sword-belt.
The tomb of Thomas, first Earl of Rutland, is the next in order, and he is shown with his second wife, Eleanor, daughter of Sir William Paston. Henry VIII installed him as a Knight of the Garter, and created him Earl of Rutland in 1525. He died on September 20th, 1543, and wears over his armour the robe and chain of a K.G., the George and Rose depending from his collar, and the Garter being shown below the knee. The date of the death of the Countess is not filled in, and she was interred at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch. On the base of the monument are shown the members of his family, all in different attitudes, and the eldest son, at a prayer-desk, is represented at the west end. Richard Parker was the carver, and records show that he was paid two sums, amounting together to £20, for the work.
The next tomb is that of Henry, second Earl of Rutland and fourteenth Baron Roos, and his Countess, Margaret, daughter of Ralph Neville, fourth Earl of Westmoreland. His two sons and his daughter are seen kneeling on the top of the tester, which forms the cover of the tomb. The elder son is in plate-armour; while the younger, who was Rector of Helmsley, is shown as a priest. The inscription records that the Earl was “President of Her Majesties Counsayle of the Northe," and the date of his death is given as September 17th, 1563. He is represented in what is termed a "suit of splints," or "splintered armour"; and it may be noted that this style of armour was in use in Spain during the second half of the sixteenth century. A structure bearing shields of arms in grand quarters surmounts the tester, and on its summit is the Manners crest-a peacock in its pride.
The tomb of the third Earl, on the south wall of the chancel, and that of his brother, across the chancel, were both carved by Garrett Johnson, who was probably identical with Gerard Janssen, an immigrant from Amsterdam. He was paid £100 for each tomb. This Earl was survived only by a daughter, and the title and estates fell to his brother John, whose tomb is next in order of date. Both these tombs were erected by the widow of John, the fourth Earl, in 1591. The tombs of the fifth and sixth Earls are here also, and that of the latter is interesting, as it records that the children of his second wife “dyed in their infancy by wicked practice and sorcerye.” They had been dead five years when Joan Flower and her two daughters, who lived in the neighbourhood, were committed to prison on the charge of causing their deaths. Joan Flower died in agony on her way to prison, and the daughters were executed at Lincoln in 1618. The seventh and eighth Earls have tombs of the prevailing fashion of their day, but they are not particularly interesting. There is a most beautiful brass to Henry de Codyngton, Rector of Bottesford, who died in 1404, and another, rather mutilated, to John Freeman, Rector in 1420.
The Church has a magnificent fifteenth-century crocketted spire of. delightful proportions. Numerous fragments of Early English moulding are to be found built into the walls, and a prolonged study of these would be interesting. Staunton Church, a few miles away, was visited by some of the members, although not included in the programme; and after the return to Nottingham an excursion was organised by some of the party to visit Lenton Church, and thence on to Clifton. The earliest portions of the latter building are Transitional work of about 1150. There is a fine open timber roof, built in 1503 by Robert Yole, which well repays study, and several monuments to the Clifton family, including two fine brasses to Sir Robert Clifton (1478) and Sir Gervase, his son (1491). After inspecting the Church, the members of the party were hospitably entertained by Colonel and Mrs. Bruce, at the Hall, where they inspected the numerous treasures of the place with much interest,