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showing, though the spurs are gone. A long and sleeveless

1 Avice Marmion, lady of Tanfield, a In australi parte ejusdem cancelli

married Sir John Grey, of Rotherfield, jacet effigies altera cujusdatn militis

about 1336, and was still living in 1371. loricati (Gale).
He died i October, 1359.

194 Richmondshire Churches.

surcoat, suspended from the shoulders, but caught up in folds
at the waist by a buckled girdle, extends almost to the feet,
and enhances the interest of the armour which it partly covers.
A shield without charge is bound to the left arm by two
straps, and the method of attaching the sword by a belt
about the loins is well expressed. The hands are raised in the
attitude of prayer, and the feet supported by a lion.

The last and most magnificent of all the monuments at
Tanfield still remains to be described. This, as we shall pre-
sently show, is the tomb of Sir John Marmion, who died in
1387. It stands isolated at the eastern end of the aisle, and
is surmounted by a fine wrought iron " hearse" the only one
of its kind, it is believed, in England. Unlike the gloomy
canopies which cover the tombs of the kings at St. Denis,
near Paris, this hearse is of light construction, and casts no
appreciable shadow upon the figures which repose beneath
it. A standard at each corner, with a spur to the foot, bears
a pricket with four leaves over a twisted ring and a spike
in the centre. The side rails between the standards are battle-
mented, as is also the high rail in the centre, upon which
three more prickets occur similar to those on the angle stand-
ards. These were for candles, which it was customary to
light on certain occasions. What says the author of the Lay
of the Last Minstrel in his fine description of Melrose Abbey ?

And there the dying lamps did burn
Before thy low and lonely urn.
O, gallant chief of Otterburn !

And thine, dark knight of Liddesdale !
O, fading honours of the dead !
O, high ambition lowly laid !

Upon the tomb of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick
(1439), at Warwick, a brass hearse occurs, but it is less free
and bold in design than the present specimen, consisting,
indeed, of a series of hoops covering and protecting the effigy.
At Tanfield the high tomb itself, which measures 7 ft. X 4 ft.,
is of stone, and the effigies of alabaster, probably obtained from the
quarries of Chellaston, in Derbyshire. The tomb consists of
a moulded base, with plain elevations and a finely-worked
cornice enriched by bosses, ball-flowers, and other ornament.
The position of the figures, those of a knight and his lady,
has been transposed at the restoration of the church in 1859.
The knight was formerly on the left of the lady. He is depicted

7'o face [)ae 194.



~ -


[C. C. Hodges, phot.


To face page 195.


[Paul Biver, phot.

Saint Nicholas, West Tanfteld. 195

in plate armour, the cords of the misericorde being visible
on the right side, while there are traces of a sword on his
left. The feet are supported by a lion finely conceived and
sculptured, and the head rests upon a tilting helmet, which
carries a sheaf of plumes rising out of a crest coronet. This
is similar to the crest of the Mortimers, and occurs on many
seals of members of the House of March. The armour is very
interesting, as armour of this period always is. The Fourteenth
century was essentially a period of transition in its military
character. Chain mail now gradually gave place to plate
armour, although the Fifteenth century was probably well
advanced before the former entirely disappeared. In the
figure before us the body is almost entirely clad in plate,
having articulated elbow pieces and sollerets, with spur straps
ornamented with roses. The head is covered by a pointed
bascinet with jewelled orle and a cinquefoil-cusped jewelled
border. From this an extensive camail or gorget of mail
depends, protecting the throat and neck, and terminating in
a straight edge across the breast ; and there is a short skirt
of mail about the loins. The epaulettes are articulated, and
there are gussets of mail at the armpits. The camail was the
last piece of chain armour to be retained. A comparison
with the effigy in Hornby Church, which is probably that of
Sir John Conyers, who died 1422, shows that the defence of the
head was still at that date very similar. 1 The warrior wears
a corselet, which is a distinct advance upon the knightly
figure at Kirklington (1368), or that of Sir Walter Urswick
at Catterick, c. 1371, in both of which cases the body is pro-
tected by a mail shirt only.

The breast-plate is covered by a close-fitting linen jupon,
scalloped at the skirt, having the heraldic device of the Mar-
mions, vair a fess, expressed upon it in embroidery. A hori-
zontal belt with jewelled squares is worn low down on the
thighs. Encircling the neck is the Lancastrian collar of SS.,
a decoration instituted by Henry IV, of which this is one
of the most perfect examples preserved. Although varying
slightly in different places, the device consisted always of a
series of the letter S, sometimes interlinked and sometimes
merely set in close order as in the present instance ; and the
ends are connected by two buckles and a link which falls
upon the breast, and from which the jewel depended. The

l cf. plate XI at page 51.

196 Richmondshire Churches.

origin or meaning of the SS has been the subject of much
debate. Mr. Skeat has demonstrated 1 that Henry IV, before
he was king, was in the habit of wearing robes richly orna-
mented with representations in silver gilt of his favourite flower,
which was either the forget-me-not or the germander speedwell
(veronica chamaedrys), which is still called in this district
" Remember-me," but which in the Fourteenth century was
denominated by the quaint name Soveine vous de moy. In
1391-2, Henry Goldbeter was paid for 320 flowers of Soveine
vous de moy of silver-gilt, "pro i slop [robe] domini" ; and
in 1397-8, Herman Goldsmith provides a collar "cum esses et
floribus de souveigne vous de moy pendentibus et amaill,"
i.e. enamelled. 2 These flowers, then, were interspersed on the
collar with esses, or gilt letters formed like an S, the initial
letter of the name of the flower. John Beaufort, first Duke
of Somerset, and his Duchess were buried at Wimborne Minster, 3
and each of them is represented as wearing the collar of SS.
Their figures occur also in stained glass in the east window
of Landbeach Church, co. Cambridge, with the words SOUVENT
ME SOUVIENT beneath. The same words became the motto of
Christ's College, Cambridge, founded by their daughter Margaret,
Countess of Richmond, in 1505 ; and they appear upon her portrait
in the College Chapel. In Latin spelling it becomes Subinde
mihi subvenit, " It often occurs to me" a motto the sense
of which is incomplete by itself ; there is an evident allusion
to some other well-known motto. Synthetically, both meanings
become clear. REMEMBER ME was proclaimed by the emblems
of the King ; and his collared knights responded by their SS
decoration : I OFTEN REMEMBER.

The lady by the knight's side is habited in a closely-fitting
costume, slightly decollete^ so as to expose the upper part of
the chest, but with sleeves extending to the wrists, and ter-
minating in points. She wears a long mantle with fermails
united by two twisted cords, not hanging down, but simply across,
and not looped or tied. The headdress is a plain cap with
veil below, and the head reposes upon crossed cushions which
are supported by an angel on either side. The feet, which
have long pointed slippers, rest upon a hound. The kirtle is
enriched with the armorial ensigns of the Marmion and St.

1 Chrisfs Coll. Cambs. Mag., vol. xx, afterwards Henry IV. Camden Society,

1905. pp. 101, 163, and 342.

a Expeditions to Prussia and the Holy u t i- , r> , z.

Land Lde by Henry, Earl of Derby, * Hut <*m's DorMlure, m, aia.

To face page igo.



[C. C. Hodges, phot.

Saint Nicholas, West Tanfteld. 197

Quintin families impaled. On the dexter, the device represents
the vairy coat of Marmion, whilst the sinister side of the
skirt is ornamented with three chevronels, the chief vair being
depicted upon the breast, for St. Quintin.

These effigies are without question those of Sir John Marmion,
who died without issue in 1386-7, and Elizabeth, daughter
and co-heir of Herbert St. Quintin, his wife, who survived
until 1400. John was the elder son of John Grey of Rother-
field, who assumed for his heirs the surname and arms of
Marmion upon his marriage, in 1335, with Avice Marmion,
of Tanfield. Sir John Marmion succeeded his father in 1359 ;
and at Easter, 1386, he proceeded to Spain in attendance
upon John of Gaunt, who went to claim the Spanish throne
in right of his wife, Constance of Castille and Leon. The
expedition failed, and John of Gaunt returned to England
in November, isSg. 1 The knight of Tanfield died abroad
within a year of his leaving England. An inquisitio post
mortem was taken igth July, 1387, in which it is said that
John Marmyun, chevaler, and Elizabeth, his wife, held the
manor of Frome St. Quintin, and others of Edmund Mortimer,
Earl of March ; that they had a fine thereof in Easter term,
44 Edward III (1370-1) ; that John died on Monday in the
first week of Lent last (25 February, 1386-7), Elizabeth sur-
viving him ; and that Elizabeth Grey, daughter of Robert
Grey, 2 chivaler, brother of John, is his next heir, and is aged
twenty-one years and more. 3 It does not appear whether the
last of the Marmions was brought to Tanfield for interment,
or whether the monument is commemorative only.

It is probable that these two figures, admirable though
they are in all other respects, are not true portraits of the
personages they represent. The faces, it will be observed, are
totally without expression ; and with very rare exceptions, true
face portraiture cannot be looked for in any effigy much earlier
than the year 1500. Even upon the coinage of the realm

1 Historia Anglicana Thomce Waiting- have had their arms displayed upon his
ham, ii, 143 and 193. effigy. He married Laura St. Quintin,

2 The monument has been wrongly sister of his brother s wife, and died
attributed to this Robert Grey, appa- young. His widow afterwards became
rently on the ground that his daughter the second wife of Sir John St. Quintin
Elizabeth ultimately succeeded, and be- of Brandsburton, and dying 1^1369 was
came Elizabeth Marmion, by whose buried in Brandsburton Church. ( Yorks.
marriage the manor was carried to the Archaol. Journal, xii, 205, and xx, 98.)
FitzHughsof Ravensworth. It is evident, * Chancery Inquisitions p. m., toth
however, that Robert never bore the Ri( j^ No 26

name of Marmion at all, and would not


Richmondshire Churches.

the bust of the successive sovereigns was represented in a purely
conventional manner until the igih of Henry VII (1503-4).
In the original contract for the monument of Richard Beauchamp,
Earl of Warwick 1439, already referred to, whilst the details of
the armour and the heraldic insignia and ornaments are des-
cribed with great particularity and precision, it is remarkable
that the effigy itself is speci-
fied only in the vague and
indefinite terms " the image of
a man armed." There is no
provision even that it should
be an image of the Earl.
But seventy years later,
Henry VII, when providing
in his will (1509) for effigies
of himself and his late
Queen, Elizabeth of York,
speaks of "an image of our
figure and another of hers."

A small but well-preserved
brass on the floor of the chan-
cel commemorates Thomas
Sutton, rector of Tanfield, and
Canon of West Chester, who
died about 1492. The eccle-
siastic is depicted in cassock,
surplice, almuce, and cope, with
the following inscription in
rough Latin elegiacs :


The meaning of the last line is somewhat obscure. Perhaps
" "Norton" was intended to play up " Sutton" north town and
south town. There must be some lost allusion. As it stands,
however, the inscription reads :

" While he lived, rector of Tanfield, by name Thomas
Sutton. Here lies a graduate and Master of Arts and also
Canon of West Chester. So Norton is victorious, pour forth
your vows, I pray."

Saint Nicholas, West Tan field. 199

Thomas Sutton was appointed Canon of the collegiate church
of St. John the Baptist, Chester, 26 October, 1458, and resigned
in 1489, his successor being appointed on 15 May in that year. 1

Tanfield was at one time scarcely more celebrated for its stone
monuments than for its memorials in stained glass. " Here,"
says Dr. Whitaker, " beneath magnificent tombs, repose a long
series of the Marmions and Grays of Rotherfield ; while their
kneeling figures and armorial blazonings, in the vivid colouring
of painted glass, once gleamed, and in some degree continue
to gleam, on the places of their interment. The arts of the
times, in sculpture and in staining, could not go beyond what
is here displayed."' 2 This was written in 1822. At the present
time it is impossible to give so glowing a description of the

A note in 1851 refers to the arms of England with a label
azure, then in the east window of the chancel, and adds, " there
is also much old glass but sadly destroyed in other windows."
What ancient glass now remains has been collected into the
most easterly of the windows of the north aisle wall. It is
partly of the Fourteenth and partly of the Fifteenth century,
though in some degree made up with modern restoration. The
central figure of the Blessed Virgin is surrounded by those of saints
and angels, and other objects. In the first light a figure,
probably intended to represent St. Gregory, has over it a saint
with scallop shell and staff, no doubt intended for St. James.
In the third light a crucifixion occurs below a figure of St.
John the Baptist with the Agnus Dei. In the traceried head
are two saints with the names of SS. Ambrose and William,
Michael weigning souls, the Angel of the seven seals with open
book ; whilst figures of the sun and moon occur in the angel-
lights. 3 These are of the Fifteenth century. The borders are
composed of crowns, bees, and black eagles. More interesting,
however, historically, are the three shields of arms which occupy
the lower panel of each light. These are :

1. Vair a fess argent for Marmion.

2. England, with a label of three points azure for John of

Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

3. Argent three chevronels, gules, a chief vair for St. Quintin.

i Ormerod's Cheshire, 2nd ed., i, 310. called angel-lights. It is probably only

Hhtory of Richmondshire, ii, 169- a corruption of the word 'angle-l.ghts,

The outer upper lights in a perpen- as they are nearly tnangu.ar.
dicular window, next the springing, are

200 Richmondshire Churches.

The tower contains six bells. The first three are modern,
having been cast by John Warner & Sons, London, 1873.
The fourth has the inscription GLORIA IN ALTISSIMIS DEO, 1685,
with the founder's mark S.S. EBOR. A bell with the same legend
and founder's mark occurs at Thornton Watlass, with the date
1694. No. 5 has the inscription BEATVS EST POPVLVS QVI EXAV-
DIVNT CLANGOREM, 1724 (Blessed is the people who hear the
sound). The tenor or funeral bell was recast in 1873, but
has the former inscription repeated upon it, namely ANTE


hexameter verse, as bell inscriptions so often are ; it might
be imitated thus :

Before ye come to lie in ground
Repent ye at my mournful sound.

The holy vessels include a chalice with the London marks
and the date letter for the year 1637-8. The flagon was
made by John Langlands and John Robertson of Newcastle
in 1783, and has an epigrammatic inscription recording the
fact that it was purchased by the Reverend Charles Francis
(who was rector of the church from 1774 to 1780), as a last
pledge which John Glanvil of the county of Cornwall gave to
his friend when dying, who now, as in duty bound, offers
this flagon amongst the holy things of the Church of West
Tanfield, in the year 1783. On the reverse side of the flagon
is an heraldic device clearly the work of Bewick, depicting
two shields of arms depending from a tree those of Glanvil
of Launceston in the county of Cornwall and Francis of county
Derby. A small salver, which has evidently been a secular
vessel, but given for use as a paten, was made by John Lang-
lands, junior, of Newcastle, about 1800. A modern paten is
inscribed to the memory of Francis Earle, rector of the church
from 1873 to 1905.

The parish registers are disappointingly late, commencing
only, for baptisms, weddings and funerals, in 1653. They
appear, however, to be complete and in good condition since
that time, except that there are no burials between 26 May,
1682, and 16 September, 1684.

"Several chantries were founded in this church by members
of the Marmion family. The oldest was endowed by Avice
Marmion with certain lands and houses in Tanfield and Noster-
field, which she granted to God and to the altar of the Blessed

To face page 200.


[C. C. Hodges, phot.



Saint Nicholas, West Tanfield. 201

Virgin in the church of St. Nicholas, of West Tanfield, and -
to Ranulf, son of Gernegan, the chaplain serving God there.
This was confirmed by John, Earl of Richmond, at London,
on Friday before the feast of the Blessed Apostles Symon
and Jude (October 24), 1281. *

This benefactress, who must have been over eighty years
of age, was the daughter and heir of Gernegan, son of Hugh,
who died in the 2nd of John (1200-1), leaving her an infant.
She then came into the custody of Robert Vipont, and in
the i6th of John (1215-6) married Robert Marmion, a younger
half brother of the 4th Lord Marmion of Tarn worth, who gave
350 marks and 5 palfreys to the king for leave to marry the
heiress. The intent was to pray for the souls of the founder and
her ancestors and children, and of all the faithful deceased ;
and this was still observed and kept in 1548. William Gill
was at that time incumbent, and was aged 76.

On 10 March, 1413, Henry FitzHugh had licence to augment
the ancient chantry of the Blessed Mary in the parish church
of St. Nicholas, West Tanfield, to pray for the soul of the
said Henry and his father and mother. 2

The next chantry was founded by Maud Marmion, a daughter
of John, Lord Furnival, and widow of Sir John Marmion of
Tanfield, who died in 1335. By a deed dated at Tanfield
7 April, 1343, she makes conveyance of chantries at West Tanfield
and Little Langton, and of the hospital of St. Giles, near
Catterick. The foundress died about 1360, and licence in
mortmain was granted 20 February, 1361-2, to Robert, parson
of Kirklington, and others, to endow a new chantry in the
church of Tanfield for the souls of John Marmyon and Maud,
his wife, and their heirs, according to the ordinance made in
that behalf.

Two years later, namely on 28 February, 1363-4, the
same trustees had licence to found yet another chantry, with
a warden and three chaplains, in the church of West Tanfield,
according to the ordinance of Avice, widow of John Grey, of
Rotherfield, and to endow it with lands and tenements in West
Tanfield and Carthorpe.

At the period of the dissolution of the chantries in Henry
VIII's time, these three were all called Maud Marmion's chan-
tries. " A house buylded aioyned to the churchyarde" accom-

i The original confirmation is in the a Pat. Rolls, 14 Hen. IV, p. i, ra. 4 ;

possession of Thos. Arton, Esq. ^orks. Chantry Surveys.

202 Richmondshire Churches.

modated three priests (one master, and two brethren), who
were bound to be "resydaunte at meate drynke and lodging,"
and to pray for the founder, and all Christian souls, and to
help to do Divine service in the church, as appeared by deed
dated 2 December, 1367.

The church is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and is mentioned by
that name in a grant by Avice Marmion, in 1281.

West Tanfield is a rectory with cure of souls, in the Arch-
deaconry of Richmond and Diocese of Ripon. The rector was,
in 1254, made a P af ty to the agreement about mortuaries. (See
p. I2.) In the taxation made by order of Pope Nicholas IV
in 1291 it is valued at 13 6s. 8d.', in the Nova Taxatio the value
is 6 135. 4^. only. The following are notices of some of the
clergy :

1350 JOHN CARTHORP, rector of Tanfield in the diocese of
York, had an indult from Clement VI in the ninth
year of his pontificate, allowing him to appoint con-
fessors who should give him, being penitent, plenary
absolution in the hour of death, with the usual safe-
guards, IV Nonas Novembris (2nd Nov.), 1350.'
In 1365-6 an inquest was taken as to what damage
it would be to any if Alice de Cestria and John de
Cestria, chaplain, give to John de Carthorp, parson of
the church of West Tanfeld, 2 messuages and 28 acres
of land in West Tanfeld, Thornburgh, and Bynschowe,
to him and his successors in the parsonage of the said
church.' John de Carthorp was still parson of the
church of Tanfelde on Tuesday after St. Edmund,
the king and martyr, 42 Edward III (21 November,
1368), when he granted to Joan, widow of Brian
Normanville, certain lands at Cold Coniston, in the
parish of Gargrave. 3

c. 1390 JOHN BELLERBY. The rectory is stated to have been
vacant by his death, in September, 1392. (Torres' MS.}

1392 RICHARD DE QUENTON, instituted nth September, 1392,
on the presentation of Elizabeth Marmion, the benefice
being vacant by the death of John Bellerby, the last
incumbent. Preferred to the rectory of Wath, 6 Sep-
tember, 1395, when he is styled Ric. Barret de Qwynton
(Torre's MS.).

1 Cal. Papal Letters. * Vorks. Arch. Society, Record Series,

* Inq. ad q. d., 39th Edw. Ill, No. 22. xxxix, 195.

Saint Nicholas, West Tanfield. 203

J 395 WILLIAM DE NORTON, brother of Sir Richard Norton,
of Norton Conyers, Justice of the King's Bench,
instituted to Tanfield, 3 September, 1395, on the
presentation of Elizabeth Marmion, and held other
preferment in Richmondshire. Had been concerned
in 1371 in expenses for the purchase of big timbers
and sawing the same for the repairs of Topcliffe
Church. Made his will 1405, desiring to be buried in
the Chapel of St. John in Wath Church. To his brother,
Sir Richard, he leaves a silver cup with a cover, a
breast-plate with a "rerodos," a pair of "rerebraces,"
and a pair of "sabatons" ; his horse " Lyard," his porti-
phory, and his best seal. To John, son of his aunt
at Thirsk, chaplain, his book called Dubia S acres
Scriptures, and a little book beginning Quid est pecunia.
To John de Norton three books of Justinian's Codex
and Digest. To Roger Crome the younger a bow with
twelve arrows "de pakok." " The whole vestment
which I have made to be given to Tanfield Church,
to the honour of God and Saint Nicholas. An honest
chaplain to celebrate for me in the Chapel of Saint
Cuthbert at Norton" (Torre's MS.; York Fabric Rolls,
p. 9).

1406 HUGH DE LINCOLN, rector of the church of Tanfeld,
and others, had a grant of certain lands, rents, and
services from Henry FitzHugh, Lord of Ravenswath,
to the intent that they might resign the same to the
king, who should regrant them to the abbess and
convent of St. Saviour's Syon, when it should be
founded. The deed is witnessed by Thomas Langley
when dean of York, which fixes its date between 1402
and 1406. Also by William Cawode, Canon of Ripon
(1406), Richard Norton, etc. The demise was not,
however, completed until 1444, when all the parties
are spoken of as deceased (Cat. Pat. Rolls, 22 Hen. VI).

1412 THOMAS DARCY. An inquest ad quod damnum if licence
should be given to Henry FitzHugh, knight, to give
to Thomas Darcy, chaplain, one messuage and certain
lands in Westanfeld to celebrate divine service in the
Church of Saint Nicholas of Westanfeld (Inq. ad q. d.,
14 Henry IV, No. 14). This may have been a chantry

204 Richmondshire Churches.

1419 PETER DE WALTON, rector, by his will dated 15 Sep-
tember, 1419, bequeathed his body to be buried beneath
the chancel of the church of West Tanfield (Whitaker's
Richmondshire ii, 117).

1420 WILLIAM CRAYKE, presented by the attorney of Sir
Henry FitzHugh, and instituted 14 January, 1419-20,

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