Monument of the Month

April 2014
Robert Crane (d. 1500), Chilton (Suffolk)
 One of Suffolk’s best-kept secrets is St Mary’s church, Chilton; now redundant and in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, it is marooned in the middle of fields and usually locked so presents a challenge to visit. Yet it is worth persevering to get in, not least for the fine tombs to the Crane family. This feature focuses on the alabaster tomb monument commemorating Robert Crane (d. 1500) and his wife, Anne Osgard, Lady Arundel (d. 1508), located between the sanctuary and the brick-built Crane chapel on the north side of the church. We know that Robert personally chose how he wanted to be depicted on his monument as his will reveals that he had commissioned the tomb in his lifetime. He specified ‘My body to holy sepultur that is to say in the tombe of alabaster standing in the chauncell of Chylton church’. A date in the early 1490s is confirmed by the fact that the effigies are very similar to two other pairs in East Anglia, at Wethersfield (Essex) to Henry Wentworth (d. 1484) and at Wingfield  to John de la Pole, 2nd duke of Suffolk (d. 1491). This last, which was probably commissioned after his death by his widow, Elizabeth of York (d. ?1503), sister of Edward IV and Richard III, is finer than the other two, but the basic pattern is the same. When his widow made her will in 1508 she asked for burial ‘in the chapel annexed to Chilton Churche by the Grace of Robert Crane sumtyme my husband’. This proves that the Crane chapel was built by her husband in the late fifteenth century, possibly at the same time providing a chantry there; certainly Anne refers to the chantry priest in the extensive plans for her funeral set out in her will.
(Fig. 1)

The effigies of Robert and his wife lie on a high tomb chest decorated with square foliated panels which have shields that are set within foliated lozenge panels. The heraldry on the chest is coloured with modern paint. The arms shown are: south side L-R (1) argent, a fess gules, between three crosses botonny fitchy gules [Crane], impaling azure, an estoile argent; (2) azure, an estoile argent, impaling gules, five bars wavy or; (3) gules, five bars wavy or, impaling azure billetty or, a fess dancetty or.

(Fig. 2)
Robert is shown straight-legged with the hands held in prayer and the feet resting on a unicorn, with the horn originally attached to the head by a dowel. The head, which is bare, rests on a mantled frog-mouthed helm with the crest originally secured by two dowels. The armour consists of standard of mail, vambraces, couters, breastplate, plate skirt, tassets, presumably the lower edge of the hauberk, cuisses, poleyns with large scalloped side-wings and two additional lames above and below, greaves and broad-toed sabatons. Worn over the armour is a tabard, which would originally have been painted with his arms. The remains of the dagger cord is attached to the skirt by a staple.
(Fig. 3)
 Dame Anne is depicted in a cloak over a surcoat ouverte and wears an SS collar. On her head she wears an early version of the gable headdress which remained in fashion into the 1530s. Some of the original polychromy remains on it on the side facing the chapel, revealing an elaborate scrolling pattern in red and providing a tantalising glimpse of how richly such monuments were once painted.
(Fig. 4)
The iconography of Robert’s tomb is all about status and lineage, with no religious imagery. This accords with Robert’s will shows him to be a man of conventional piety. He was concerned for the fate of his soul, but not unusually so. He left 40s to find a good priest to say prayers for his soul so that he might speed his progress through Purgatory. He also provided for masses at various friaries, including at Sudbury, Cambridge, Syon, Shene and the London Charterhouse, and convents at Sudbury, Clare and Bruisyard. More ambitiously he asked for a mass of the Scala Celi at Rome, although oddly he provided only 6s 8d for this; his widow made the same provision but allowing a more generous 40s for it. The original Scala Coeli pardon was attached to an altar at the abbey of Tre Fontane in Rome. To visit the chapel and have a mass celebrated on behalf of an individual after death would give great benefits to the soul, variously described as freeing the soul from the pains of Purgatory at once or swiftly.  Its reputation was international, and from the end of the fourteenth century some Englishmen left bequests for pilgrims to visit the chapel on their behalf. Robert asked that all the friars at nearby Sudbury attend his funeral; each of them would receive 20d in recompense. On that day there were to be doles distributed to the poor of various Suffolk parishes. A personal touch concerning his peity is provided by his bequest ‘to my suster Appulton my Releqwikis aboute my nek’, which must have been holy objects in a little case.
Copyright: Sally Badham. Photos: C.B. Newham. Thanks to Simon Cotton for help with wills.
        Monument of the Month - Contributions Wanted!
This page is designed for the general reader and is intended to feature monuments of all types and all ages: those to the famous and to the unknown, those by famous sculptors and those by unknown local craftsmen, the artistically spendid and the simple but beautiful or curious. So far mostly members of the Council have contributed but contibutions are welcome from everybody - members or non-members of the Society. We would welcome a photograph or two and a short text telling us why the monument interests you: it may be of an ancestor, of someone you admire, something you have discovered or just something you just like or find interesting.
Please send the text as a word document and the photographs as separate jpg files ; please do not send the photographs embedded in the text as I cannot then edit the document. However, it is always useful - but not essential - if an embedded version could be sent as well, as then I can lay out the document as you intended. Please send contributions to . We will feature the monument for a month and it will then be archived.

Some tips on the photographs:
1. It is always polite to ask the vicar or rector of the church for permission to take photographs, stressing they are not for profit or commercial purpose. It is important to confirm when the church is normally open. Don't forget to enclose a stamped addressed envelope for your reply.
2. Cathedrals and some other large churches have a visitors' desk and permission may often be obtained there on the day; sometimes there is a modest cost. Some of these churches do not normally allow photography although permission may be obtained if one writes before hand. To date the only place that I have been refused  is Durham Cathedral. Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral also do not allow photography.
3. Try to carefully remove items that block the view of the monument if you are able. Especially don't leave your camera case in the way as I have on occasions! Or alter the angle of the photograph to minimise this problem.
4. Try to avoid excessive contrast in taking the photographs - dark shadows and bright sunlight. In other words, try to see what the camera sees, not your eyes! Flash can be difficult to use as it creates harsh shadows and burned out highlights; this is especially difficult when a photograph is taken of a subject of some depth when the foreground becomes too bright and the background too dark, because of the rapid falling off of the brightness of the flash with distance.
5. Please send photographs as jpg or gif attachments; do not embed them in the text where they cannot be edited and require a lot of memory space. If you wish I can scan printed photographs if they are sent to me; they will always be returned.
Click on the link below to see earlier Monuments of the Month
January 2010 Thomas Moore (d. 1586) & his widow Marie at Adderbury (Oxfordshire) Sally Badham FSA
February 2010 The so-called ‘Stanley boy’ monument at Elford (Staffordshire) Dr Sophie Oosterwijk  FSA
March 2010 William Shakespeare’s monument, HolyTrinity, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire Dr Adam White PhD
April 2010 The Lovell Tomb at Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire Dr Ellie Pridgeon PhD
May 2010 The chantry of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester 1391-1447 at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban Jane Kelsall
June 2010 Thomas Babington of Dethick (d. 1518) and his wife Edith at Ashover (Derbyshire) Dr Kelcey Wilson-Lee PhD
July 2010 Baptist Noel, Third Viscount Campden (c. 1612-1683) at Exton, Rutland C B Newham
August 2010 Isabelle of Angoulême at Fontevraud Abbey J K Bromilow MInstP
September 2010 The Monument to Thomas Strode at Beaminster, Dorset Dr Clive J Easter PhD
October 2010 The cadaver monument of Guillaume de Harcigny (d. 1393) at  Laon (France) Dr Sophie Oosterwijk FSA
November 2010 The John Donne Monument (d. 1631) by Nicholas Stone in St Paul's Cathedral, London Dr Philip Cottrell
December 2010 Walter Helyon (d. c. 1357) at Much Marcle (Herefordshire) Sally Badham FSA
January 2011 Hungerford, Berkshire Dr Ellie Pridgeon PhD
February 2011 The Schaw Monument Dumfermline Abbey Church Dr Jenny Alexander
March 2011 Two wooden Epitaphien from Königsberg Jerome Bertram
April 2011  Abbot Adam of Carmarthen, Neath Abbey South Wales Dr Rhianydd Biebrach Ph D
May 2011 Sir John Newdigate, 1610, Harefield, Middlesex Jon Bayliss
June 2011  The joint tomb of João I of Portugal (d.1433) and his queen, Philippa of Lancaster (d. 1415) Founder’s Chapel, monastery of Our Lady of Victory, in Batalha, Portugal  Joana Ramôa
Photographs by  José Custódio Vieira da Silva
July 2011 Today and not tomorrow’ Doctor James Vaulx and his two wives Editha and Philip   St Mary’s Church, Meysey Hampton Joan and Robert Tucker
August 2011 The Bourchier Monuments in St Andrew’s Church, Halstead (Essex) Mark Duffy
September 2011 Two Monuments in Bedfordshire Cameron Newham
October 2011 Floor slab of Joost Corneliszoon van Lodensteyn, burgomaster of Delft (d. 31 April 1660), his wife Maria van Voorburch, and their descendants, Oude Kerk (Old Church), Delft (Netherlands), Belgian hardstone, 223 x 136 cm. Dr Sophie Oosterwijk  FSA
November 2011  Berengaria of Nevarre, Queen of Richard the Lionheart in L'Épau Abbey J K Bromilow MInstP
December 2011  The Watton Monument at Addington, Kent Dr Clive Easter
January 2012  The monument of Lady Margaret  Grey (d. 1330) at Cogges  Oxfordshire Sally Badham
February 2012 The Effigy of Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, at Inchmaholme Priory, Scotland Mark Downing FSA
March 2012  Thomas Walwyn (d. 1415) and his Wife  at Much Marcle (Herefordshire)   Sally Badham 
April 2012  Lady Barbara de Mauley, St Nicholas, Hatherop   Joan and Robert Tucker  
May 2012 The tomb of John Marshall in Llandaff Cathedral Dr Madeleine Gray PhD FRHistS
June 2012 The double tomb monument to Reinoud III van Brederode (d. 1556) and Philippote van der Marck (d. 1537) in Vianen (Netherlands) Trudi Brink
July 2012 Lowsley Family Tomb, Hampstead
Norris, Berkshire
Dr Andrew Sargent
August 2012 Oliver Cromwell's Coffin Plate J K Bromilow MInstP
September 2012 A Monument in Holy Trinity Church Hull Sally Badham FSA
October 2012 East Worldham (Hampshire) Sally Badham FSA
November 2012 Floor slab of Cornelis Pietersze (d. 1532) and his wife Jozijne van Domburch (d. 1557), Sint-Maartenskerk, Sint Maartensdijk (province of Zeeland, Netherlands), Belgian hardstone, 254 x 141 cm. Dr Sophie Oosterwijk  FSA and Kees Knulst BA
December 2012 An exercise in white marble and whitewashing: Cenotaph of Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam (d. 13 June 1665), by Bartholomeus Eggers, situated in the choir of the Jacobskerk, The Hague (Netherlands), white, red and black marble and wood. Dr Sophie Oosterwijk  FSA
January 2013 Martin Kistenmaker and his Parents
Heiligenkreuz, Rostock
Jerome Bertram
February 2013 The monument to Archbishop James Sharp (d.1679) in Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews (Fife) Phoebe Armstrong
March 2013 The Monument at Sheriff Hutton (Yorkshire).
Is this the tomb of Richard III’s son?
Dr Jane Crease
April 2013 Zacharias Johannes Szolc, 1682, and Stanisław Bużenski, 1697 Frombork Cathedral, Poland Jerome Bertram
May 2013 The monument to Dr Thomas Turner, died 1714. Stowe-Nine-Churches, Northamptonshire  Dr Clive J Easter FSA  
June 2013 'Left for dead' Major Thomas Price Robert Tucker
July 2013 An unusual saint: Floor slab of Jacopmine Huyghendochter, wife of Foert Christiaenszoon (d. 1553), Sint-Maartenskerk, Wemeldinge (province of Zeeland, Netherlands), Belgian hardstone, 185 x 114 cm Dr Sophie Oosterwijk  FSA
August 2013 Thomas and Mary Acton, erected 1581, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire Jon Bayliss
September 2013 Cholmondeley Monument, St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London  Dr George Roberts
October 2013 Revd Theophilus Pickering (d. 1710) and John Dryden, Poet Laureate (d. 1700), Titchmarsh (Northamptonshire) Sally Badham FSA
November 2013 Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, 12th Baron de Ros of Helmsley (c.1492 – 1543) Bottesford, St Mary (Leicestershire)   Edward Higgins MA BSc (Hons)
December 2013 Maria Rebekka Schlegel, 1736, Stadtmuseum, Meissen, Germany Jon Bayliss
January 2014
Lady Elizabeth Clinton (d. 11 September 1423) Haversham (Buckinghamshire)
 Sally Badham
February 2014 LUGENS MŒRENSQUE -1 Moira Ackers
March 2014 A son’s delayed memorial to his dead mother: The tomb of Catharine of Bourbon, Duchess of Guelders (d. 1469), Stevenskerk, Nijmegen (Netherlands). Sophie Oosterwijk and Trudi Brink