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quoted as from Vincent's MSS., p. 40 b:

(1) Vol. i., part ii, appendix, p. 39, Charters and Grants of the early Earls of
Leicester, paraffraph 15.



" 8ciant preseiites et futuri quod Ego Wellysborne filius
comes Symonis de Monteforte unus filiorum domina Alia-
nora filia Johannis Regis Anglise dedi concessi et hac
present! carta mea et concessione Marias ux mei Ricardo
de la Rosehnlles, imum messuagium cum gardino et cum
tilag' et cum aliis pertin. supra Kingshull in parochia de
Hugenden. Hiis testibus, Symone de Hugenden, Galfrido
Tykfer, Ricardo Tere, Willielmo Brand et aliis."

There are two seals appended to this document. The
one represents a man in coif, hauberk and gambeson,
holding a banner of St. George in his right hand, armed
with a sword suspended in front, and carrying a shield on
his left arm, slung by a gigue, and charged with a lion
rampant, double queued, and holding a child in its mouth.
On either side of the figure, on a lozengy ground, is a fleur-
de-Hs. The legend runs : + s wellisbvrne • bellator •


The other seal exhibits a shield within a cusped circle,
sub-cusped at the sides, hanging from a 1)ough of a tree
and charged with the lion rampant, double queued, holding
a child in its mouth, with the legend : wellesbvrne •
DE • la • monteforte. The reverse is a secretum repre-
senting a shield within a casped circle, and charged with
a griffin segreant, a chief chequy,

At paragraj^h IG of Nichols, as above, the following
deed is quoted : —

" Ricardus Dominus de Wellesburne, miles, nuper de
villa de Wellesburne Monteforte, in com' Warwyke Dat'
apud Wellesburne in com' War', anno 1 Edw. II.

To this deed is attached a seal containing a shield
displaying a griffin segreant, a chief chequy, over all a
bendlet dexter, with the legend, s. ricardi de welles-
bvrne militis. All these seals are engraved in Nichols,
(Plate xii, figs. 4, 5, and G).

There is no notice of Richard de Mont fort in any of the
Calendars of Inquisitions or Patent Rolls, but there is
mention in a Close Roll of 49 Henry III. (1264), of a
grant by the king to Richard de Montfort, son of Simon,
Earl of Leicester, of fifteen head of deer in Sherwood
Forest to stock his park, where is not mentioned.

The following entry appears in one of the old parish


registers of Hughenden : "Memorandum, Nov. 1690, y''
in the Isle of the Chancel of Hitchenden Church was a
brass Inscription taken oflP one of the tombs toiies, which
certified y' two children of Richard Wellesbourne of
Kingshall were buried there above three hundred years
agoe, whose names were formerly Montforts as ye Inscrip-
tion specitieth. The brass was stolen away in October,
1690. Witness my hande, John Jenkins, Vicar."

A copy of Vincent's deed in Cotton MSS.,^ has the
following note, signed " W. Camden Clar."

'•' It is thought to be a forged deed by reason of the
false Latin, the character new and the style absurd both
in deed and seal."

Camden was no doubt the earliest writer on heraldry
whose works are of real value, but whatever fores his
remarks may have as regards the wording of this
document, it does not appear that he ever compared
the heraldry of the seals with that on the effigy in the
church. Since the genuineness of tliis remarkable figure
is unquestionable, the joint evidence thus afforded must
have due consideration, and in regard to Camden's scruples,
the remarks of Langley, in his History of Desborough
Hundred, himself no mean authority, are not without
significance. He says : " No one would forge a grant
from persons who did not possess the property granted ;
it at least shows that a son of Simon de Montfort and
his wife Mary possessed lands in this parish, and it is re-
markable that true seals were annexed to the deed."

Making allowance for the inferior work of Nichols'
engravings there is certainly nothing in the style of the
seals which is not of the period to which they pretend to
belong. The only differences in the armorial bearings
are that the griffin on the surcoat of the effigy holds a
child in its paws which that of the secretum does not, and
the lion rampant with a child in its mouth on the shield

' Xic. Charles Collectanea genealogica e appears to be inaccurate. The copy by

CiirtLs et registris cum sigill, delineat, Nicholas Charles varies slightly in the

Julius C vii, Pint, xviii, D. fol. 141. orthography, hwihis drawings of the scids

We have n(jt been able to find the deed ajjpear ta have been exactly followed by

quoted by Nichols among Vincent's MSS. Nichols' engi-aver.
at the College of Arms ; the reference


oftlie effigy is contained within an orle of crosses, trefflees
fitclieos, which does not appear upon eithei' of the seals.
The effigy being of course of a later date than the deed,
these charges may have been subsequently assumed. It
is not so easy to explain tlie non-appearance of the child
in the griffin's paws in the seal to the deed dated 1
Edward II. The authenticity of this seal has, however,
never been questioned, and it will be shown that this
singular addition occurs in every sculptured example of
this coat exhibited on and about the effigies in the church.
It would seem that Langley cannot have compared the
'' true seals " with the effigy, because he says it represents
Henry de Montfort, a Knight Templar, which he was not,
and who certainly belonged to the family of the Montforts
of Beaudesert who bore arms Bendy of ten or and az.
With some inconsistency he goes on to say that the
posterity of Richard, son of Simon de Montfort, are said to
have assumed the name of Wellesborne, and to have
lived at Wreck Hall in Hughenden.

Stothard says that RichaTd, fifth and youngest son of
Simon de Montfort, did not fly the country aftei' the battle
of Evesham, but retired to Hughenden and assumed the
name of Wellesborne. He confidently appropriates the
ofiigy to this j^ersonage, and adds that the faulty Latin of
Vincent's deed is "perhaps no proof of its l)eing fictitious."

Lipscom])e gets over the difficulty of the number of
Simon de Montforts sons by considering that Almeric and
Kichard were the same person ; and we accordingly find
tliat Almeric was banished after the battle of Evesham,
that he returned to Englaud, probably after having been
to the Holy Land — for A\^hicli there is not the slightest
evidence — and assuming the name and arms of Welles-
boiiie, lived at Hughenden.

Dugdale implies that Almeric died in Italy ; and the
one point in favour of his claim to be the founder of the
family which continued at Hughenden until the time of
Henry VI, is the peculiarity of the armorial bearings, the
child in the lion's mouth. This has a certain foreign
a])pearance, calling to mind the arms of the Visconti of
Milan — a serpent with a female child in its mouth — so
admii-al)ly exemplified in the fine equestrian statue of
Bcrnabo Visconti, in the church of St. Giovanni in Conca,


in Milan, who died in 1385 ; tins resemblance, however,
may well be fortuitous.

Now, su])posing for a moment that the deed is fictitious,
we still lia\e the Close Tioll entry, showing not only that
Simon de Montfort had a son Kichard, whose existence
Dugdale ignores, but that he was in favour with the king
at a time when his father and brothers were in open Avar
against the crown, for the year before the battle of Eve-
sham fifteen head of deer were granted to him from a
royal forest. Whether he at once settled quietly at
Hughenden, or was one of the 120 knights — the cnice
signati — who received the cross at the hands of Ottoboni
at Northampton in 12G8, Avith the view of accompanying-
Prince Edward to the Holy Land, in 1270, it is needless
to speculate much. The cross-legged attitude of the
efHgy is of course of itself no proof of such a voyage
having been taken, 1)ut the intention may possibly be
thus signified, and the addition of the crescent, thrice
repeated at the feet, has appeared to certain authors to
lend some colour to the belief

If, on the other hand, we ]Dut faith in the deed and
seals, we have to consider why the grantor used a secretum
with the arms of Wellesburne. Langley thinks that the
subject of the effigy took the name and arms of Welles-
borne, from a place in Warwickshire belonging to the
Montforts of Beldesert, called by Dugdale " Wellesborne
Montfort." This is reasonable enough as far as it goes,
and is corroborated by the heraldry of the effigy, but there
does not appear to be the same confirmatory evidence to
support him in his conjecture that Richard de Montfort
married a Bishopsden, of wdiich family one of the coats
was. Bendy of six arg. and sa. a canton erm. — for it will
be noticed that Bendy of ten, a canton, occ\n*s only upon
the scabbard of the sword, and it is unhkely that the
arms of the Avife Avould be placed in such a minor position.

Again, we may utterly ignore both the deed and the
secretum, and we still have the authentic evidence of the
effigy, which exhibits on the surcote the arms of Welles-
borne. The not uni'easonable inference to be draAvn from
this is, that R-i chard de Montfort married a Wellesborne
heiress, Avho brought him lands there and jirobably the
property in Hughenden. As regards this property Ave


may for the moment recall the wordmg of the deed,
where the consent of the wife was thought necessary.

It will be furfcher shown that the coat of Bishopsden
occurs only upon minor shields in connection with the
effigies in the church, while the arms of Montfort of
Beldesert ai'e quartered with those of Wellesborne wpon
the principal shield of an effigy of an early period, pro-
bably of liichard's son ; upon the jupon of a later effigy,
and upon the shield of a figure of a still more recent date.

Juliana, a daughter of Henry de Montfort of Beldesert,
(also called Peter,) was married to William cle Bishopsden,
who was enfeoffed by Henry with lands in Wellesborne ;
it is an open question whether Richard's wife was not also
a daughter of Henry de Montfort, and thus possessed of
property in Wellesborne and elsewhere. It is not easy
otherwise to account for the appearance of the Beldesert
Montfort coat in so conspicuous a manner on the later
effigies, for it represents quite a different family. Against
this theory it may be urged that the Beldesert Montfort
coat does not aj)pear at all on the effigy of Bichard, where
it might be expected. The date of the figure would partly
account for this omission, marshalling by quartering being-
then quite in its infancy, and the arms of Wellesborne
alone would have the preference as representing the

As regards the differences exhibited in the heraldry of
the effigies, taking the deed of 1 Edward II, quoted by
Nichols, we find on the seal the coat of Wellesborne
without the child, and differenced with a bendlet dexter,
like that of Henry of Lancaster (the arms of England
differenced in the same way). On applying this to the
effigy, which probably represents this second Bichard, we
find a quartered shield exhibiting — 1, Montfort (much
defaced) ; 2, Montfort of Beldesert ; 3, defaced ; 4, Welles-
borne without the bendlet. On the effigy of the end of
the fourteenth century Ave have Wellesborne without the
bendlet, and Wellesborne without the chief ; coming later
still, an effigy apparently of the time of Henry Y, exhibits
a cpiartered sliield of Montfort with the child, Montfort of
Beldesert, and Wellesborne, difterenced with an inescut-
cheon; lastly an effigy of the time of Henry VI pi-esents a
shield with the arms of Wellesborne, ditl'erenced with a


bendlet, which is again differenced with three crosses,
pattees fitchees.' As regards the differences of the Mont-
fort coat, the orle of crosses trefflees fitchees appears only
on the shield of the earliest effigy. The lion of Montfort
is invariably shown with the child in its mouth, and the
child in the Wellesborne griffin's paws is similarly a con-
stant feature. The crescent occurring upon the slabs of
three of these effigies is very noticeable. It was no doubt
originally assumed us a badge with some significant

Thus, we have at Hughenden, in addition to the histor-
ical points which are involved, a most interesting display
of heraldry, heraldic differences and de\dces ; and it is
probable that no five effigies in any parish church in the
kingdom exhibit such valuable illustrations of cadency.
Since these authentic memorials have suffered not a little
from the inaccurate descriptions of historians, and the
careless work of engravers ; and, as Weever says, " such
is the despight not so much of time, as of malevolent
peoj)le, to all antiquities, especially of this kind," - it may
be well to place on record the information which is still
affi)rded, both as regards the heraldry and the costume of
the fio-ures.

These sepulchral monuments appear to have remained
undisturbed until 1818, when they were "cleaned" and
placed much in the positions they now occupy by the late
Mr. N orris.

" What call imknown, wliat charms presume,
To break the quiet of the tomb ?
AVho is he with voice unblessed,
That calls me from the bed of rest ?

Taking them in chronological order. No. I is the effigy
attributed to Richard Wellesborne de Montfort It lay,
in the time of Langley, under an arched recess in the
north wall of the chapel. Mr. Norris placed it on a new
tomb in the midst of the chapel, where it now remains.

The figure represents a man in the usual military
costume of the end of the thirteenth century, viz.: in a coif,

^ One of eight .sldelds of arms, painted with three crosses pattees fitchees, which

on paper and fixed on the cap of a shaft are each again diflerenced with an ermine

supporting the arcade that divitles the spot. These shields were apparently jmt

chapel from the chancel, exhibits the coat up by Mr. Norris.
of Wellesborne ^^'ith the dexter bendlet - Ancient Funeral Monuments, p. 661.


hauberk and cliaiisses of mail, a gambeson, and a surcote,
confined at the waist by a cinguhim. On the forehead,
the coif is arranged in a most unusual way. An oblong
opening is shown over the temples, closed on the right
side by a lace threaded at intervals through a band of
mail of two rows, with the links set in the same direction,
like the mail on the effigy of Peter, Earl of Richmond, in
the church of Aquabella, in Savoy, who died in 1267.
The lower edge of the lining of the coif is shown, and the
object of this contrivance was to enable the wearer to put
off the coif when he chose. The lace being unfastened,
this hood would fall backwards upon the shoulders, in the
same manner as we see it represented in the effigy of a
De Ros, in the Temple Church ; in that of Brian Fitz Alan,
at Bedale, and in the effigy of Robert, son of St. Louis,
formerly in the church of the Jacobins, at Paris. This
arrangement answered the same purpose as that shown in
a different manner in a knightly figure at Pershore.

In this opening is shown the cerveliere or scull cap of
iron. Joinville in his Memoirs, speaking of St, Louis, says,
" he raised the helmet from his head, on which I gave
him my chapelle de fer, which was much lighter."^ The
gambeson, here represented in the usual manner, calls for
no special remark ; it was a hot substantial garment,
padded with cotton or tow, and quilted, as in this example,
in parallel lines. The knight wears a ponderous broad-
bladed sword with seven shields on the scabbard, viz : —
1, defaced ; 2, bendy of ten, a canton, Bishopsden ; 3, a
chevron, Stafford (?) ; 4, a cross, Bigod, Earl of Norfolk (?) ;
5, chequy, Warrenne (?) ; 6, quarterly, Mandeville, Earl
of Essex (?) ; 7, a pale, Grantmesnil (?). Li his right
hand he grasps a dagger, slung from the cingulum by a
thin cord. The figure is considered by Meyrick to exhibit
the earliest example of a dagger worn with the sword.
lie puts the date as about 1275.

In the Statutes of William the Lion, King of Scotland,
(1165 — 1214) a knight is thus spoken of: — " Habeat
equiun, habergeon, capitium e ferro, ensem et cutellum,
qui dicitur dagger.-' Again, St. Gelais, in his Viridario
Honoris, says, " a son coste chascun la courte dague,''

^ Meyriclcs Ancioit Armour, v. i, p. 102.
2 Meyrick, v. 1, p. 130.

Efflgy in Hiighenden Church


and, with regard to the sword, " K leiir coste I'espee
loiigue et large.'"'

( )ii the dexter side of tlie liead of tlie oHigv is a coat,
Ijendy often, a chief, Betun {'.). - The principal shield is
of large size, as in all early effigies, and is charged with
the folio win o- arms : — Within an orle of crosses trefflees
fitches, a lion rampant double queued, preying on a child.
Three crescents are sculptured on a block at the feet.
The effigy is executed in a light red stone, and represents
a powerful and life-like figure. There is no departure
from the usual manner of representing the deceased at
this period, but there is an amount of repose and vigour
about the statue which is extremely striking, and we may
justly admire the dignity which it presents.

No. II rej^resents a figure in low relief, carved in
Purbeck marble upon a greatly disintegrated slab, narrow-
ing to the feet, and probably originally placed level with
the pavement as the lid of a coffin. It is now placed
upon a low modern tomb in the arched recess from which
the effigy No. I was ejected by Mr. Norris.

A man is here shown in a plain coif and chausses, and
a " cote gamboisiee." Meyrick tells us^ that these gam-
boised coats were made more ornamental than ordinary
gambesons, and this is confirmed by the present example
which has a collar ornamented with roundels, similar
decorations occurring on the lower edge of the skirt. It
is perhaps a unique instance of the representation of
such a garment on a military effigy. Upon the body is a
larofe shield coverino- the arms of the figfure and exhibitinsf
the coats of Montfort with the child, Montfort of Beldesert,
and Welllesborne ; the third quarter was entirely defaced
in Langley's time (before 1798). The knight holds up
in his riofht hand a naked sword and in his left a stafi
with a cross on the top. In front of the right leg is a
second sword, not suspended in any way, and piercing
the neck of a mutilated lion. Lipscombe compares this
beast to an owl, and his engraver has turned it into
a cherub. On the slab, at the dexter side of the
face, are two small shields, one charged with a chevron,

' Vol. i, p. 139. say whether charges nr pale.s are

- The bends being onlj' just out of intended,

the vertical direction it is impossible to ^ Vol. i, p. 139.




the other showing bendy. On the sinister side are two
simihxr shields, the one wdth a cross, the other with a
saltire. On the breast is a heart, and close hj it a small
shield entirely defaced.

No. Ill is an effigy in the well known military costume
of the time of the Black Prince, consisting of a bascinet,
camail, and jupon, a skirt of mail and the usual defenses
of plate for the arms and legs, the latter resting upon a
lion with a shield on its chest, charged with the arms of
Wellesborne. The original fore -arms and gauntlets had
been broken away before the time of Langley and rudely
re -carved, partly out of the upper portion of the body.
On the jupon, below the waist, are the arms of Montfort
of Beldesert, Wellesborne without the chief, and Montfort
with the child. On the breast below the camail is a heart.
The head reposes upon two couchant griffins, much
mutilated, and each holding a child within its outstretched
paws. On the slab at either side of the camail are shields
bearing the arms of Montfort with the child. Opposite
the waist on the dexter side is a shield with bendy of four,
a canton sinister, and on the other side bendy of six.
Opposite the legs, on the dexter and
sinister sides are very peculiar cres-
cents containing lions' faces. Opposite
the heels, on shields, are the arms of
Wellesborne, on the dexter side and
on the sinister, the same bearing with-
^ out the chief. The effigy is carved in
limestone, and now lies on the sill of
tlie east window of the chapel.

No. IV is the effigy of a man of the
time of Henry VI. This represents a
bare-headed fioure wearino- a close
Quarter Full Size. garment witli a collar, and skirts in
vertical fokls. It is much abraded and no armoiir is
visible. He holds up a sv^'ord in his right hand and on
his breast is a shield quartering : — 1, Montfort wdth the
child ; 2 and 3, Montfort of Beldesert ; 4, Wellesborne.
Above the head on the slab are two shields with the
charges entirely defliced and between them a crescent.
The feet are clear of a greyhound courant. It is carved


ill limestone, and is now reared up against the wall on the
north side of the east window of the chapel.

No. V represents a man in a costume of a slightly later
date than No. IV. Tt is similarly carved in limestone, in
low relief, and formerly lay on the floor of the chancel. It
is now placed in a vertical position against the wall, on
the south side of the east window of the chapel. Here
we have a knight wearing a helm for the combat a
Voutvance, with a single cleft, and perforations for breath-
ing in the upper part. On his body he has a shield with
the coat of Wellesborne, debruised by a bendlet dexter,
charged with three crosses, pattees fitchees. He wears
tassets reaching to the middle of the thighs and a skirt
of ring mail. In his upraised right hand he carries
a mace or masuel, perhaps the only instance of such
a weapon occurring upon a monumental efligy in this
country. It reminds us of the martel or horseman's
hammer, borne by a figure of an earlier period, at
Great Malvern. The example at Hughenden is no
doubt a mace for the tournament of which the herald in
Chaucer's Knight's Tale thus speaks :

" CtocI speed you goth and layeth on fast,
With swords and long mases tighten your fill." i

It was the special weapon of the sergeant -at-arms, and
as such is represented in an incised figure now in the
church of St. Denis. On the dexter side of the slab,
which is 6 ft. 3 in. long, 2 ft. 1 in. wide, and 9 in. thick,
the following arms are sculptured upon shields : — 1 , a
saltire and a cross, pattee grady ; 2. a cross of St. George,
and an inescutcheon ; 3, on a chief three pellets ; 4,
Montfort of Beldesert ; 5, a chevron, between three
crosses pattees, Berkeley (?) ; 6, bendy of 10, a chief
chequy ; a coat of Wellesboiuiie (?). On the sinister side
are these coats : — 7 as 3, 8 as 2, 9 as 4, 10 as 1, 11 as 5.
The efiigy probably represents John Wellesborne, whose
name occurs among the gentry of the county in 1 2 Henry
VI. (1433), and who was Member for V/ycombe in several
sessions during that reign. The costume is of the latter
part of the time of Henry VI.

Upon a high tomb, in an arched recess in the south

1 Edit. 1597.


wall of the chapel, is a ghastly representation of a full
sized corpse, stretched upon a winding sheet or shroud,
which partly envelops it. The sternum or breast bone is
hollowed out in the shape of " a mystic oval," containing
a little figure, with the hands elevated. This represents
the departed S(nil, and may be compared with a similar
object in the hands of a knight of the fifteenth century
in the church of Minster, Isle of Shejjpey ; ' On the
breast are eight incised crosses.

The figure shows considerable power of sculpture and
knowledge of anatomy, and is of a kind not unusually
found in most cathedral churches. Here, as elsewhere,
the foolish legend is attached that the deceased en-
deavoured to fast for forty days. These repulsive
memorials were no doubt intended to convey a salutary
lesson to the living, and are striking instances of the
terrors with which death was associated in the minds of
our forefathers.- We happily live in a more rational age,
and "the lively picture of death" merely appears at the
present day as a strange ensample of the religious teaching
of the fifteenth century.

It is a matter for congratulation that these valuable
memorials of an ancient family are now under the en-
lightened protection of the noble owner of Hughenden ;
and that, in this instance at least, we cannot say with

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