Hardy Bertram McCall.

Richmondshire churches online

. (page 18 of 24)
Online LibraryHardy Bertram McCallRichmondshire churches → online text (page 18 of 24)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


on their two orders. They are furnished, outside, with hood-
moulds, terminating in carved heads. The eastern ends of
both aisles have windows of three foliated lights, the centre
one being taller than the other two, and the spandrils pierced
in a manner suggesting the beginnings of tracery. 1 The western
bay of the nave is occupied by doorways on the north and
south, to which in later times porches have been added. The
north door is flanked by nook shafts, carrying large circular
capitals and a pointed arch, with pretty cusping in the head.
Above the arch is a lofty pediment, having a very acute angle
at its apex ; but the upper portion of the pediment is cut
off by the porch. The south door displays no such enrichment,
but is plain in character, and was probably formed when the
porch was added in the Fifteenth century. It is unusual to
find the principal entrance to a church on the north side,
but in this case the reason is obviously because the village
is on that side, and the River Ure skirts the churchyard on
the south. A string-course, in the form of a plain bead, runs
all round the inside of the aisles immediately below the windows,
and the same string appears to have been at one time carried
round the walls of the chancel. For there are indications of it
upon the eastern responds of both arcades, and it reappears
above the sedilia. The chancel arch and the tower arch are
both of the same period as the nave. Externally, the aisle
walls have a fine base-mould, consisting of a double chamfer,

1 Compare the five-light window at assigns the date c. 1280. These windows

Irthlingl)orough, Northamptonshire, fig- are also very similar to those in the

ured in J. H. Parker's introduction to chancel at Lanchester, which are of the

Gothic Architecture, to which Mr. Parker time of Bishop Bek.



PLATE XL.



To face, page 163.





Holy Trinity, Wensley. 163

with an ashlar course, and a bold projecting bead above. A
string-course is also worked beneath the sills of the windows,
breaking around each buttress. Some good banker marks are
visible in the jambs of the east window of the south aisle.

The Fifteenth century saw many minor changes in the
fabric. The chancel was hitherto covered by a high-pitched
roof, the skew blocks of which (or, rather, small fragments
of them) remain, both on the north and south sides. The
walls were now, however, carried up some six feet, and a new
roof of low pitch provided for the chancel. It has no parapet.
North and south porches were furnished to the entrances ;
and a vestry, with priest's lodging above, was added to the
north side of the chancel. The porches are of plain character,
with gabled roofs of low pitch, and stone benches on either
side within. In the gable head of the north porch a shield
of arms, within a moulded panel, is represented as suspended by a
cord, and exhibits the well-known cognizance of the Scrope family.
The vestry is singular in having no means of ingress from the out-
side. It is entered from the chancel by a plain doorway,
opened out of the older wall ; and it has only one window,
of two semi-circular and trefoil-headed lights. There is a pis-
cina on the south side of the vestry, and a recessed niche,
already alluded to, in its western wall. The priest's chamber
has a window looking east, similar in all respects to that of the
vestry immediately beneath it ; but there is no opening to the
chancel, as at Well, where the priest in his apartment could
keep observation upon the lights before the altar.

The most interesting part of the work done at this period,
however, was the carrying up of the buttresses which embrace
the aisle walls. The lower portions of the buttresses are cer-
tainly co-eval with the walls, and it is probable that they
finished in sloping heads half way up the elevations, very
much as the chancel buttresses do now. It is, however, equally
clear that the upper extremities of the buttresses were con-
structed in the second half of the Fifteenth century ; and this
is demonstrated no less by their architectural character than
by the historical evidence afforded by the armorial devices with
which they are adorned. There are no pinnacles, but the
buttresses, on the other hand, have a very unusual form of
termination. They are finished square, with an embattled
coping, and have in their upper portions shallow niches
covered by ogee heads, each niche containing a sculptured



164 Richmondshire Churches.

shield, depicting the armorial ensigns of one of the many
great families with which the Scropes of Bolton were connected
by marriage. Commencing at the north-west angle and walking
round the church by east and south, the successive shields
are thus :

1. A fesse between 3 leopards' faces, for DE LA POLE.

2. A chief and three chevronels embraced in base, for
FITZHUGH.

3. A bend charged with a label of three points, for SCROPE OF

MASHAM.

4. A saltire, for NEVILLE.

5. Three water bougets, two and one, for ROS.

6. A saltire charged with a label of 3 points, impaling 3 fusils,
conjoined in fesse, for NEVILLE of Raby, and MONTACUTE.

7. A saltire, for NEVILLE.

8. Three water bougets, two and one, for ROS.

9. A bend, for SCROPE.

10. A fesse between three roses.

Reference to the Scrope pedigree, at page 169, will serve
to show the genealogical significance of this splendid series of
arms ; and it is interesting to note that the Fitzhugh marriage
is the most recent recorded. There was a papal dispensation
for John, Lord Scrope, to marry Joan Fitzhugh in 1447, when
the bridegroom was but twelve years of age, and the said John
died in 1498. It must have been after his marriage that these
shields were carved. On the other hand, Henry, Lord Scrope,
married Elizabeth Percy, about 1480, and it seems certain that
the arms of the Earls of Northumberland would have been
given a place with the rest if this marriage had already taken
place. The evidence, therefore, points to about 1470 as a
likely date for these fifteenth century alterations and additions.
The tenth shield in the above list a fesse between three roses
has not been identified, nor does it represent the arms of any
family known to have been connected with Wensley. The
shield has, however, been renewed at some period, and it is
probable that the original device was a fesse between three
leopards' faces, for DE LA POLE. If much decayed the leopards'
faces might easily have been mistaken for roses by an eight-
eenth century sculptor. Blanche, daughter of Sir William de la
Pole, was the first wife of the famous Richard, Lord Scrope,
who was Chancellor in 1377, and died in 1403. The aisle walls



PLATE XLI.



To face page 165.




WENSLEY CHOIR STALLS, 1527.



[C. C. Hodges, phot.



Holy Trinity, Wensley. 165

are surmounted by a moulded cornice, enriched with quatre-
foils, masks, and other objects, and carrying a plainly-moulded
parapet. Two fine gargoyles project from the wall head on
the north side, and two on the south.

The tower arch indicates the presence of a western tower
at the close of the Thirteenth century, but it was either entirely
rebuilt or else very extensively altered in the year 1719.' It is
of massive proportions, but poor in design. The western walls
of both aisles underwent some modernising at the same time,
round-headed windows being inserted. Two bells, provided
in 1725, bear respectively the circumscriptions :

1. SURSUM CORDA I : CLAYTON RECTOR 1725

(Lift up your hearts).

2. UT TUBA SIC SONITU DOMINI CONDUCO COHORTES, 1725

(As a trumpet, so I, by my sound, lead the hosts of
the Lord).

These come from the York foundry, and the tenor is the
largest bell in the immediate locality. It measures 43^ inches
in diameter, and weighs 14 cwt.

A third bell, recast in 1847, as an inscription upon it informs
us, is probably a relic of the old tower and of pre- Reformation times.
" The tower," says Whelan, ''contains three bells, but only
one of them is ancient, bearing, in black letter, the inscription :

* jponort Sci $etru"

The magnificent woodwork of the church now falls to be
described. The" rude open benches in the nave and aisles are
very charming, and increased dignity is imparted to the arcades
by the fact that their piers are, in a large measure, unencum-
bered by extensive erections in the way of pews. The chancel-
stalls, which display some very fine carving, were the provision
of the Reverend Henry Richardson, rector of the church, in
1527. There are eight stall-ends, a different animal being
carved beside the poppy head in each case. It may not be
a matter of actual certainty what animals these forms are
intended to represent ; but we make them as follows, starting
at the south-east angle, and reading round : i. A wyvern ; 2. A
bear ; 3. A' leopard, crowned ; 4. A lion ; 5. A dragon ; .6. A
unicorn (?) ; 7. A hare ; 8. A hound, collared and chained. All
are admirably carved ; the hare has been specially praised.
The two stall-ends flanking the principal entrance to the
chancel are further enriched with armorial achievements. That



166 Richmondshire Churches.

shown in Plate XLI displays the quartered shield of Scrope and
Tiptoft, supported by two eagles, with a helmet above carrying
the crest, a plume of ostrich feathers issuing out of a ducal
coronet. The corresponding stall-end on the south has a shield
emblazoned with the arms of Scrope and Tiptoft quarterly,
impaling Dacre and Vaux quarterly. In the lower panel the
letters ~fs ^Bi appear, the initials of Henry Richardson, rector. 1
A series of shields occurs on the front of the stalls, each of
which bears one or more letters of the inscription that runs
round : HENRICUS RICHERDSON HUJUS ECCLIE RECTOR HOS FECIT

SUPTUS D'NI MCCCCC XX VII SOLI DEO HONOR ET GLORIA. The

chancel-stalls are now arranged in the manner usual in cathedral
churches, returned against the eastern face of the rood-screen ;
but they were until recently fitted up as enclosed pews, in
which condition they appear in Plate XLI.

The chancel-screen is a pleasing example of fifteenth century
carved woodwork, and the necessary restoration of portions
which have perished has been skilfully and judiciously done.

The eastern bay of the north aisle was probably the site of
a chapel for the chantry of the Blessed Virgin, founded by
Richard, Lord Scrope, in 1398, to be furnished by the abbot
of Easby with a priest to say mass there daily, for the soul
of the founder and all Christian souls. After the Dissolution,
it was appropriated, as chantry chapels so often were, as a
family pew for the occupants of Bolton Castle and Hall. It
is enclosed by a splendid parclose screen, which is, however,
somewhat patched, and shows quite plainly that it was not
originally made for the position it now occupies. We are, of
course, speaking now of the Gothic screen-work only, which
forms the back part of the pew* leaving the front, which is
carried out in a very pure classical manner, for after-con-
sideration. There is much probability in the tradition that these
screens were brought from St. Agatha's Abbey, after the surrender
of that house, 1535. ? The abbey of St. Agatha was actually
founded at Easby by Roald, constable of Richmond Castle, in 1154 ;

1 These stall-ends have been confused stalls are one work, carried out at the

with other woodwork brought hither from date carved upon it namely 1527.
Easby Abbey at the Dissolution; and a 2 "The frame of a quyer of wood

date in the Fifteenth century has been brought from St. Aggas Monastery, as

assigned to them. The Dacre alliance they say " (Dodsworth, 1622). John, Lord

took place, however, only about 1505, Scrope, who took part in the " Pilgrimage

and the initials of the rector of Wensley of Grace," and died in 1549, is credited

make it clear that the whole of these with having conveyed the woodwork

hither from Easby.



PLATE XLIi.



To face page 167.




WENSLEY SCREEN WORK, C. I?jlO.



[C. C Hodges, phut.



Holy Trinity, Wensley. 167

but the canons came to acknowledge the Scropes as their
principal patrons from a very early period. Henry le Scrope,
Chief Justice in 1317, made large additions to the abbey, and
was so great a benefactor that he has been erroneously styled
its founder. The patronage belonged to the Scropes since before
1333 and until the Dissolution, and within the abbey's sacred pre-
cincts many of the Lords Scrope were buried.

The evidence of heraldry makes it quite clear that the
screens were provided by Henry, Lord Scrope, who succeeded
his father in 1506, and died in 1533 ; and it must have been
very much nearer to the former than to the latter date
probably not after 1510. The inscriptions are damaged, and
some of the shields of arms have been lost since Roger Dods-
worth made his careful notes of them, 18 October, 1622 ; but
we shall give the former in the more complete form in which
he has recorded them. On the cornice of what is now the
western face of the pew, the names of Lord Scrope's father and
mother appear in gothic capitals :

HERE LYETH HENRY SCROPE KNIGHT THE THIRDE OF THAT NAME AND
RIGHT LORDE SCROPE OF BOLTON AND ELIZABETH HIS WIEF DOUGHTER

The cornice running round the north and east walls gives
the names of Lord Scrope himself and of his second wife :

HERE LYETH HENRY SCROPE KNYGHT THE VII OF THAT NAYME
THE IX LORDE OF BOLTON ANDE MABELL HIS WYEFE DOUGHTER
TO THE LORDE DAKERS DE GRAYSTOCK. 1

On the same sides the compartments between the stiles
(or stanchions, as Dodsworth terms them) are occupied by
armorial shields, each charged with a bend for Scrope ; and
the lettering on the centre rail records an apocryphal pedigree
of the earlier generations of the family. According to this
it would seem that Phylip was the great-grandson of Henry,
and was father of Henry the second, who was father of William,
who was father of Henry the third. This third Henry was Chief
Justice Scrope in 1317, and his supposed ancestry receives some
confirmation from the evidence given by Simon, the rector, in

1 It has been found difficult to reconcile Scrope of Bolton. The founder himself

these two statements, but the explanation was seventh Lord SCROPE counting from

will be seen to be simple on referring to Richard the first baron, but he was ninth

the pedigree at page 169. The founder's Lord of Bolton, because Richard had

father was third of the name of HENRY, succeeded his elder brother William, and

reckoning from Chief Justice Scrope, who William had succeeded his father,
died in 1336 ; and he was the right Lord



168 Richmondshire Churches.

1386 (See page 173). The remaining divisions recorded the historical
pedigree, and the panels were embellished with magnificently
carved shields of arms, the name of the bearer being cut on
the rail above. Of these shields and inscriptions, six are intact,
and four, which were mentioned in 1622, are now missing. They
are arranged in chronological order :

1. The first is on the east wall, but is covered up by the wood
lining of Lord Bolton's pew. It can, however, just be seen on
the old abbey screen behind the lining. The shield displays a bend,
for Scrope, impaling a fesse between two chevrons, for Fitzwalter,
with the inscription : fymrg tfye fgrst tije forlt lorti strop. These
are the arms of Chief Justice Henry le Scrope, who died in 1336,
the same who is styled Henry the third in the traditional pedigree.

2. NOW MISSING. Scrope, impaling three water bougets,
for Ros, with the inscription : inglltam scrop. William married
Cecily Ros, and died s.p. 17 Nov., 1344.

3. NOW MISSING. Scrope, impaling a fesse between three
leopards' faces, for De la Pole, iSUdjart tfje first 0f ge name. Lord
Chancellor Scrope married Blanche, daughter of Sir William de
la Pole.

4. NOW MISSING. Scrope, impaling a saltire engrailed, for
Tip toft, 1&0jjEr tfye furst. He married Margaret, daughter and coheir
of Robert, Lord Tiptoft.

5. NOW MISSING. Scrope and Tiptoft quarterly, impaling
a saltire, for Neville, &gdjarb scrap tfyt aeconli. He married
Margaret, daughter of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland.

NOW ON THE WESTERN FACE OF THE SCREEN:

6. Scrope and Tiptoft quarterly, impaling a bend with a label
of three points, for Scrope of Masham, fjottrg tfje scrounge (Plate
XLIII. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John, 4th Lord Scrope
of Masham.

7. Scrope and Tiptoft quarterly, within the garter, for John,
Lord Scrope, K.G., who died 1498 (Plate XLIII).

8. Scrope and Tiptoft quarterly, impaling quarterly i and 4
A chief, 3 chevronels embraced, for Fitzhugh. 2 and 3 Vair a fesse,
for Marmion, JH)0n scrap ge fgrst. Also John, Lord Scrope, K.G.,
impaling the arms of Joan Fitzhugh, his wife, whose mother was
Elizabeth Marmion, of Tanfield (Plate XLIV).

9. Scrope and Tiptoft quarterly, impaling quarterly i and 4
a lion rampant, for Percy. 2 and 3 three pikes or lucies hauriant,



To face page 168.



PLATE XLIII.




To face page 168.



PLATE XLIV.




169



PEDIGREE OF SCROPE.



Sir HENRY LE SCROPE, = MARGARET, dau. of= MARGARET, dau. of



Chief Justice 1317 ;
d. 1336, bur. Easby



Robert, Lord Ros Lord Fitzwalter



Sir WILLIAM, = CECILY Ros
d. 1344, set. 24;
bur. at Easby



I

RICHARD, 1st Lord Scrope ; = BLANCHE, dau. of
Lord Chancellor 1378-9 ; Sir Wm. de la

d. 1403, ret. 66 ; Pole, of Hull

bur. at Easby



WILLIAM, K.G.,
Earl of Wiltshire ;
beheaded 1399



ROGER, Lord Scrope, = MAROARET, dau. of Robert



d. 3 Dec., 1403,
ret. 31



Lord Tiptoft ; remar.
John Nicandser



RICHARD, Lord Scrope ; at Agincourt 1415 ; = MARGARET, dau. of Ralph Neville,



at Rouen 1419. Died there 1420, xt. 27



1st Earl of Westmorland ; d. 1463



1

HENRY, Lord Scrope ; =
summoned 1441-1459 ;
d. 1459, set. 42


= EI.I/ABETH, dau. of John,
4th Lord Scrope,
of Masham


!
RICHARD SCROPE, rector of
Wensley and Bishop of
Carlisle ; d. 1468



(OHN, Lord Scrope, =JOAN, dau. of Wm., RICHARD, RALPH (Rev.), ROBERT



K.G.,d. 1498, set. 63



Lord Fitzhugh



d. 1485



d. 1516



d. 1500



HENRY, Lord Scrope, = ELIZABETH, dau of Henry Percy,
deceased in 1506 3rd Earl of Northumberland



HENRY, Lord Scrope
at Flodden 1513 ;


(0

;=ALICE, dau. of=
Lord Scrope,
of Masham ;


(2)

= MABEL, dau. of
Thos., Lord
Dacre of


1
JOHN
a quo


of Spennithorne,
Scrope of Danby




d. 1501


Gilsland




I


i
JOHN, Lord Scrope ; =
summoned 1533 ;
d. 1549


=CATHEKINE, dau. of Henry,
Earl of Cumberland ;
d. 1598


1
HENRY,
d. 1525 ;
M.I.


1
RICHARD,
d. 1525;
M.I.



HENRY, Lord Scrope, Warden of the West=MARG.\RET, sister to Thos.,
Marches; d. 1591 or 1592 I Duke of Norfolk ; 2nd wife



THOMAS, Lord Scrope, K.G., = PHILADELPHIA, dau. of



Warden of the Marches ;
d. 1609



Henry, Lord Hunsdon



EMANUEL, Lord Scrope, = EI.I/ABETH, dau. of John,
Earl of Sunderland 4th Earl of Rutland



170 Richmondshire Churches.

for Lucy. Henry, Lord Scrope, married Elizabeth, daughter of
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland (Plate XLI V) .

10. Scrope and Tiptoft quarterly, impaling quarterly of six :
i. Dacre ; 2. Greystock ; 3. Greystock ancient ; 4. Boteler, of
Wem ; 5. Morvile ; 6. Vaux 1 : for Dacre. Henry, Lord Scrope,
and Mabel Dacre, his second wife.

The same extensive coat, with the addition of supporters, is
repeated on what was formerly the door of the enclosure (Ostiuni
ejusdem clausurae. Dodsworth), but is now inside the pew, against
the north wall (Plate XLV).

The southern front of the pew, dividing it from the nave,
is of the Renaissance style, of the period of James I ; and it is
worked in red pine. Although forming a very strongly-marked
contrast with the Gothic work brought from Easby, the character
of this south front is very good, the design being purely classi-
cal, and not too heavy and cumbersome a fault which must
often be laid to the charge of the Renaissance architects.

A curious aumbry or wooden cupboard, with almsbox attached
preserved near the north door of the church, appears to be a work
of about the year 1400. This is of great interest and considerable
rarity. Aumbrys, or Almeries, as they are sometimes called, were
more commonly formed by niches recessed in the walls of the
chancel, enclosed by oaken doors. Their use was to afford a safe
keeping-place for the holy vessels ; but a recent writer in the
ArchcBologia says they were also receptacles for relics. " In parish
churches which possessed relics," he tells us, " we meet with such
receptacles as the small wall lockers, so often found north of the
altar, for the custody of its ornaments ; or a cupboard with its
appendent money-box, as is preserved at Wensley in Yorkshire."'

Perhaps the finest example of a monumental brass in any
parish church in England is to be found on the chancel
floor at Wensley. It is of the Flemish school, and of the best
period, namely the third quarter of the Fourteenth century ;
but it differs from foreign brasses in general, in that the figure
stands alone, and is not surmounted by a canopy. 3 The priest
is vested for mass, in alb, stole, chasuble, amice, and maniple ;
and his head rests on a richly-diapered cushion, supported by

1 The author has gone fully into the siders that the brass was not actually
elucidation of this quartered coat in the made in Flanders, but in England. There
Yorkshire Archaologica I Journal, xx,47o. has been a tendency to call everything

i A 4 /.- i Flemish which was influenced by the art

Archeology lx, 412, 413- of Flanders . See remarks on t j e Wath

8 Mr. Wm. Home, of Leyburn, con- chest, at page 143.



To face page 170.



PLATE XI -V.




Holy Trinity, Wensley.



171



angels on either side. The hands are crossed in the front of the
person, and a chalice is depicted
upon the breast. The feet, which
are covered with pointed slippers,
rest upon two small dogs, back
to back. The brass has been
often engraved, e.g. in Whitaker's
Richmondshire, i, 373 ; Waller's
Series of Monumental Brasses ;
Rev. C. Boutell's Monumental
Brasses, p. 20; Transactions of the
Camb. Univ. Association of Brass
Collectors, x, 24 ; R. A. S. Mac-
alister's Ecclesiastical Vestments ;
F. W. Fairholt's Costume in
England ; Planches Cyclopedia
of Costume, i, 9 ; and, lastly, in
Mr. Mill Stephenson's Monumental
Brasses in the North Riding. 1 We
are indebted to Mr. Stephenson's
careful description for most of
the foregoing account of the brass ;
and to the Archaeological Society
for permission to reproduce the
block taken from his rubbing. The
figure was originally enclosed with-
in a marginal circumscription with
figures, probably symbols of the
evangelists, at the four coiners.
These have, however, long been
lost ; and the identification of
this brass is due to the will
of a subsequent rector, Oswald
Dykes, who died 5 December,
1607. By his will, which is
dated 7 November in that
year, and was proved at York
2 February following, he de-
sires "to be buried in the quier
of Wenslow, under the stone
\vher Sir Symo'nd Wenslow was




BRASS OF SIR SIMON WENSLEY.
(About one-tenth full size.)



1 Yorkshire Archaological /ournal, xvii, 334.



172 Richmondshire Churches.

buried, yf yt please God soe to provide the same." It^is
fair to assume that, in 1607, the inscription was intact, or that
other means existed of identifying this as the "stone" in ques-
tion. 1 A smaller brass, let in to the same slab, bears the
inscription :

OSVALDVS DYKES IACEO HIC RECTOR HVIVS
ECCLESLE XX ANNOS REDDIDI ANIMAM|&
5 DECEMB. 1607. NON MORIAR SED
VIVAM, ET NARRABO OPERA DOMINI.

Simon de Wensley, as Mr. Raine tells us, 2 was a man of
eminence in character and position ; and, as we shall presently
notice, he was instituted to the rectory of Wensley 29 Septem-
ber, 1361. He occupied the benefice for more than thirty years ;
and it may seem, at first sight, singular that a brass, which,
from the character of its design and workmanship, can scarcely
be later than 1375, should commemorate one who survived
until the year 1394. But it was by no means an uncommon
thing for a man to provide his own memorial during his life-
time ; and it is noteworthy that, when dates in the inscription
have been left blank, these were rarely completed by the
descendants. A case in point is the brass of Christopher Conyers
at Hornby Church (see page 53). Abbot de la Mare, of St.
Albans (1340^1396), purchased two brasses in Flanders, at a
cost of 14, sometime between 1360 and 1380, one for his
predecessor and one for himself. 3 So that here were two
brasses, turned out of the same workshop at the same time,


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 20 21 22 23 24

Online LibraryHardy Bertram McCallRichmondshire churches → online text (page 18 of 24)