THE EFFIGY AND TOMB OF SIR HUGH CALVELEY

by
C. Blair, B.A.
(The Armouries, H.M. Tower of London)

In the Calveley monument Bunbury church possesses not only the finest surviving medieval tomb in Cheshire, but also the only one which can be associated with an individual of more than local fame. Born probably between c.1315 and c.1320, the eldest son of David Calveley of Lea, Cheshire, and Joanna his wife, Sir Hugh Calveley was one of the most famous of the many distinguished soldiers produced by the Hundred Years War. A leader of free companies, the greater part of his life was passed in warfare, and his name occurs frequently in contemporary accounts of the campaigns carried on in France, Gascony, Brittany, Flanders and Spain during the second half of the fourteenth century. In the last country he received many honours at the hands of both of the rival claimants to the throne of Castile, while, at home, he was apparently high in favour at Court under Edward III and Richard II, for he was at various times Seneschal of Calais, one of the two Admirals of the English Fleet, Captain of Brest and Governor of the Channel Isles. His connection with Bunbury seems to date only from 1385 when he purchased a moiety of the advowson, but henceforth, until his death on St. George's Day, 1394, he appears to have devoted a good deal of money to the rebuilding on a larger scale, of the parish church. The purpose of this work is clear: in 1387 Sir Hugh received licence to found and endow a college at Bunbury, consisting of a warden, sub-warden, two chaplains and two choristers to say daily prayers for the souls of himself, the king, and of their respective ancestors (1). The focal point of this foundation would be the alabaster tomb and effigy of Sir Hugh himself, which still remain, surrounded by the original iron hearse, in the centre of the chancel of the church.

The monument is in an excellent state of preservation, despite certain minor injuries and restorations, which will be noted later. It is remarkable in having retained a great deal of colour, although this represents only a small proportion of that surviving as recently as 1813. In that year, when C. A. Stothard made drawings of the monument he was able to discover sufficient traces of the original colour scheme to restore it completely on the two engravings of the effigy published in his great work. The Monumental Effigies of Great Britain (2). In the following account therefore, the colours illustrated by Stothard will be noted in heavier type, within brackets, after the description of each portion of the effigy; unless otherwise stated it may be assumed that no colours now survive on that particular portion. Similarly, unless otherwise stated, it may be assumed that any damage mentioned had already taken place by 1813 (3).

The fine large alabaster effigy represents Sir Hugh lying in a recumbent position with his hands raised on his breast in prayer. His legs are stretched straight out and his feet rest on a couchant lion with a long tail; this last is now broken into three pieces, but it appears originally to have been twisted round the sheath of the missing sword. His head is supported by a typical late fourteenth century helm of cylindrical form, having its upper part shaped like a truncated cone; a large portion of the lower edge has been broken off. It is encircled by a coronet, and surmounted by the Calveley crest, a calf's head sable, which still retains a considerable amount of black paint, and from the lower part of which a triangular shaped mantling ending in a tassel formerly hung down the back of the helm; this is now almost entirely broken away. The interior of the helm bears faint traces of having been painted red with vertical black lines, presumably in imitation of a quilted lining. (Lion at the feet, gilt; crest, black; tassel of the mantling, gilt; interior of the helm, red; exterior of the helm coronet and mantling itself not visible on coloured engraving).

On his head Sir Hugh wears a basnet with a finely moulded skull drawn out to a graceful point slightly to the rear of centre, and dropping in a nearly vertical line to the back of the neck. About a third of it is covered by a wide flat band of applied decoration, the upper and lower edges of which have narrow roped borders ornamented by a design of alternate lozenges and rectangles, separated from each other by two studs placed one above the other. The space between these borders is filled by a line of small five-leafed flowers, each having one large stud in the centre, and a slightly smaller one in the middle of every petal, and alternating with similar, but larger flowers which overlap the borders on each side; between the borders and the point where each flower almost touches its neighbour there is a gap, (produced by the curve of the petals), filled by a small lozenge placed in the centre of a rectangle formed by four studs. (Basnet, grey; studs of band, white; rectangles and lozenges, alternately red, green and blue; remainder of the band, gilt). Attached to, the basnet is an aventail of exceptionally fine mail, the links measuring 1/6 in. across, covering the tips of the shoulders, and curving well down over the chest and back.(4) The line of juncture between this and the edge of the basnet is covered by a flat strip with roped edges (5), of which the upper one is continued above the roping in the form of a border fleury, faint traces of red remain on the portion between the roping. (Aventail, grey; portion of strip between the roping, red, the remainder, gilt), Little can be seen of the face, excepting for the eyes, nose, (part of which. has been broken off), mouth and drooping moustache. (Flesh coloured).

The body is covered by a tight-fitting, sleeveless jupon, reaching to immediately below the hips, its lower edge being completed by a narrow hem above a deeply invected border. Carved in relief on both front and back are the canting arms of Calveley, arg., a fesse gules between three calves statant gardant, sable, 2 and 1 (6), of which the charges still retain much of their colour. (Jupon, white, with the exception of the hem and the edge of the border, which are gilt; charges as above). The bulbous chested outline of the jupon indicates the presence of some kind of plate defence beneath; the probable nature of this will be discussed later. Also worn beneath the jupon, and probably under the plate defence; is a mail haubergeon, visible only at the armpits and below the invected border; it has a straight lower edge curving down very slightly in front to form a blunt point over the fork, and showing traces of gilding; this last presumably represents the laton border commonly found on haubergeons at this period (7). (Grey).

Each rerebrace forms a cap over the shoulder, and consists of four narrow horizontal lames overlapping downwards, the lowest being fastened over the top of the upper cannon of the vambrace. The closed vambraces are of typical late fourteenth century form, with plain cowters, each consisting of a broad central lame, shaped to the point of the elbow, and having a small heart-shaped side-wing on the outside, and three narrow overlapping lames above and below, articulating it to the upper and lower cannons respectively. The upper cannons are tubular, and consist of two gutter-shaped plates held together on the inside of the arm by two straps and buckles, and presumably hinged on the outside, although no hinges are depicted; the inner plate has a semi-circular piece cut out of it at elbow and armpit to allow free movement of the arm. The lower cannons are of the so called "tulip" shape (8), and apparently formed from a single plate as no fastenings or hinges are depicted. Running down the outside of both the upper and lower cannons is a narrow strip of applied decoration identical to the double-roped borders of the ornamental band encircling the basnet, (Rerebraces, cowters and vambraces, grey with red straps; applied strip, gilt with lozenges alternately red, green and blue as on basnet). The gauntlets are of the so-called "hour-glass" (9) type with broad metacarpal plates bossed out over the knuckles, and bell-shaped cuffs, bordered by a line of close-set rivets. The ends of the fingers have been broken off, but enough remains to show that they were covered by small plates with a larger plate, bossed out to a blunt point, over each knuckle. All the plates have narrow borders, indicated by incised lines, which were probably originally gilded, while a narrow applied band encircles each wrist. The palms of the hands, and the insides of the cuffs are painted red to indicate the leather lining gloves. (Grey with red linings).

The thighs are protected by tubular cuisses (10) each fastened on the inside by two straps and buckles, and presumably hinged on the outside, although no hinges are depicted; they have medial ridges and applied strips of decoration identical to those on the vambraces, etc. Each poleyn consists of a central cap with a medial ridge, and a small heart-shaped side-wing on the outside of the knee; to the upper edge is attached a narrow lame which just overlaps the bottom of the cuisse, and to the lower, a single broad lame which just covers the top of the greave in front. Each poleyn is held in place by a double strap, fastened to a large rivet in the centre of the side-wing, and passing behind the knee joint; there is no indication of the rivets which must have held the upper and lower lames to the cuisse and greave respectively. The greaves have medial ridges and are moulded to the shape of the legs; each is made in two halves fastened on the inside of the leg by a single strap and buckle, and having a vertical strip of applied decoration, identical to those on the vambraces, cuisses, etc., running up the outside; this last retains traces of gilding. They are much shorter than those usually found on other contemporary figures, for they reach only to just above the calves; as a result there is a large gap, apparently unprotected, between the lower edge of the cuisse, and the upper edge of the greaves at the back. The sabbatons are pointed, each being composed of seven horizontal lames overlapping towards the toes; Stothard shows the tips of the toes as having been broken off, but since the date of his drawing these have been restored in plaster of paris (11 ), the last three lames of each sabbaton being the ones concerned. The visible edge of each lame, both original and restored, is bordered by a single incised line. (Cuisses and greaves, grey with red straps; applied decoration, as on basnet, etc.; sabbatons, grey with gilt borders).

Fastened to the heels by narrow straps is a pair of plain spurs with straight shanks, and large rowels of sixteen points each, (the left one is missing). The straps have plain tags and are ornamented with a single row of studs, the third from the end being shaped like a rosette, the remainder like five-leafed flowers; the rosette shaped stud perhaps covered some kind of clasp to hold the loose end of the strap in position to prevent it from flapping when the wearer walked. The straps show traces of red paint. (Spurs and straps both completely gilt).

The hips are encircled by a broad bawdric made up of square plaquettes with roped edges and recessed centres, one of which still has traces of red paint. Stothard illustrates one plaquette in colour, and shows it to be gilded with a purple centre; from this it would seem that the plaquettes were coloured alternately red and purple. There is no visible clasp. Attached to the right side by means of a chain looped round the bawdric is a large basilard, of which the pommel, grip and lower third of the sheath have been broken off. The guard is typical of this type of weapon, with its short blunt quillons, tapering towards their tips and curving slightly upwards towards the grip; they are decorated at the bottom by an applied band with an invected upper edge. The upper and centre lockets of the sheath remain; each has an embattled upper edge, a raised centre band ornamented with a line of pellets, and a lower edge cut to a wavy pattern, and pierced at intervals by fleurs de lys. The suspension chain shows traces of gilding, and the sheath of red paint. (Suspension chain, decoration on the quillons, and lockets, gilt; remainder of sheath, red).

This figure is typical of the standardised military effigy produced, with little variation, by the English alabaster carvers during the last quarter of the 14th and the first decade of the 15th centuries (12). It can in no way be regarded as a portrait, nor can the armour be regarded as a reproduction of one actually worn by Sir Hugh. Like the majority of medieval effigies and brasses it simply represents a type: in this instance a knight, in others a merchant, lady, priest or bishop as the case may be (13). Nevertheless, despite occasional omissions, such as the hinges of the vambraces and greaves here, these monuments depict with remarkable fidelity the armour and costume of a period from which few actual examples have survived. The Calveley effigy is no exception in this respect and it may be of interest, therefore, to discuss briefly the armour worn by Sir Hugh, and in particular the probable nature of those portions concealed by the jupon.

Next to his skin the knight at this period would wear a shirt and a pair of breeches of soft cloth (14). Over this he would don his aketon, a short, thickly quilted jacket, probably with tight wrist-length sleeves designed to take the pressure of the armour and prevent it from chafing the skin (15). The aketon was in turn covered by the haubergeon or hauberk (16), portions of which, as already noted, are visible on the Calveley effigy. This was a mail shirt, sometimes opening all the way down the front like a coat, reaching usually to mid-thigh level, and having loose sleeves hanging to the middle of the forearms. The lower edge was frequently dagged, and sometimes decorated by one or more rows of laton rings, here represented by gilding (17). Over this again was worn a plate defence, of which the commonest form throughout the 14th century was that usually referred to in contemporary English texts simply as the plates, and in modern terminology as the coat of plates (18). It consisted generally of a sleeveless fabric or leather garment reaching to immediately below the waist, and opening variously down the front, one or both sides, or the back, and either lined or covered with a series of overlapping metal lames held to it by means of rivets. The actual details of construction varied considerably, the lames sometimes consisting of horizontal hoops encircling the body, sometimes of smaller plates arranged in rows, or combinations and variations of both. As an alternative to the coat of plates the breastplate, probably accompanied by a backplate, was also in use (19). This was usually globular in shape, although illustrations of examples with medial ridges do occur (20), and either finished at the waist or else was accompanied by a skirt of horizontal overlapping lames. Like the coat of plates the breastplate was frequently covered with fabric or leather, while both were often shaped in at the waist, producing an outline exactly similar to that of the Calveley effigy (21); it is impossible therefore to say definitely which type of plate defence is here represented. Finally the knight would cover his armour with an heraldic garment, known usually as the coat armour, but sometimes as the jupon (22), the latter term being that chiefly used by modern students. This was quilted, embroidered with the wearer's coat of arms, and generally laced either up the front or the back (23). It almost invariably fitted closely to the shape of the defences beneath and reached to immediately below the hips, the lower edge frequently being deeply invected. On English effigies and brasses it is usually depicted without sleeves, but there is a good deal of evidence to show that in addition the jupon equipped with sleeves of varying length was in common use on the Continent (24). It should be noted here that the coat of arms was sometimes shown on the covering of the coat of plates or breastplate, no jupon then being worn, although this does not seem to be the case with the Calveley effigy (25).

The remainder of Sir Hugh's armour calls for little comment. The vambraces and rerebraces are typical of the period and may be compared with actual examples at Churburg (26), New York (27) and Chartres (28). They would be attached by knotted laces to the shoulders of the haubergeon or aketon (29). The legharness which may be compared to examples at New York and Chartres (30), would be worn over short worsted stockings and similarly braced up by laces joining the tops of the cuisses either to the bottom of the aketon or to a girdle beneath (31). The fastenings of the sabbatons are not visible, but in all probability they were hinged vertically below the ankles, corresponding buckles being on the other side, and held to leather under-shoes either by knotted laces at the instep (32), or by straps passing beneath the feet (33). They also may be compared with an actual example at Chartres, the only sabbaton known to survive from the fourteenth century (34). The gauntlets belong to a type worn throughout Western Europe, to the almost complete exclusion of any other, from c.1370-1410 (35). A fair number of these have survived of which perhaps the best known are the gilt laton pair associated with the funeral achievements of Edward, the Black Prince, in Canterbury Cathedral (36). The decorated borders of all the above pieces would probably consist of applied strips of laton ornamented with enamel, although so little armour has survived from this period that it is not possible to be certain. The Chalcis armour in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and armour No. 13 at Churburg (37), both of which date from c. 1390-1400, have applied laton borders, but they are simply engraved, the former with a pointille pattern of conventional scrollwork, and the latter with a talismanic religious text. No surviving piece of medieval armour known to the writer shows the elaborate coloured borders depicted on so many English effigies and the exact construction of these must therefore remain a mystery until more definite evidence is found.

Like the gauntlets the basnet is of a type used throughout Europe at this date, and found depicted on nearly every contemporary military effigy and brass. Hundreds are shown in illuminated MSS. and paintings, where they are almost invariably equipped with an acutely pointed visor pivoting at the sides (38), a feature found only rarely on monuments, probably because it was customary to depict the deceased person with his face uncovered (39). A number of actual specimens have survived, the two finest undoubtedly being those of North Italian origin, from the Trapp family armoury at Schloss Churburg in the Tyrol, of which one still remains at Churburg (40), the other being in the Tower of London Armouries (41). The basnet on the Calveley effigy, however, is unusual for the extremely elaborate band of decoration encircling it. Bands of this type are usually described simply as circles in English medieval texts (42). They appear frequently on monumental effigies, brasses, and illuminations, but they are usually narrower and less flat, and on the whole simpler in design (43). No original example of a circle appears to be extant but some idea of the construction of an elaborate decoration of the type found here may be obtained from the Comptes de l'argenterie (44) of the 14th century French kings where gold, silver and enamel are included amongst the materials used for making the "garnisons" of basnets.

The hip-belt, probably constructed of plaques of enamelled metal, seems to have been one of the badges of rank and is to be found on nearly every knightly monument of the period (45). The dagger, however, is more unusual. The hilt would originally have been shaped rather like a Roman capital letter "I" with the ends of the two horizontal strokes joined down each side by a concave curve, and is of the type always found on the dagger usually identified by modern students with the basilard, a term, apparently referring to a sword or dagger, found frequently in English medieval texts, although the identification is by no means certain (46). This seems to have been worn almost exclusively with civilian dress and it is therefore of particular interest to find one associated with a military effigy. No record exists of the appearance of the sword but there can be little doubt that it was a long cross-hilted weapon, with a circular or hexagonal pommel, drooping quillons of medium length, and a two edged tapering blade, of a type similar to that on the effigy of Edward the Black Prince (ob. 1376) in Canterbury Cathedral (47).

It remains only to deal with the great helm supporting the head. This type of headpiece was designed originally to be worn over the basnet, hence the quilted lining, but by the end of the 14th century it had been relegated to the tournament, the visored basnet being used almost exclusively in war (48). A number of actual examples have survived both in England and on the Continent, of which the best known is that of Edward, the Black Prince, hanging with the other achievements already mentioned, over his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral. This still retains its original crest, a lion statant made of moulded leather covered with gilt gesso, and formerly held in place by knotted laces passing through holes in the crown of the helm. It seems very probable that the calf's head crest of Calveley shown on the helm here would be constructed in a similar manner.

The TOMB-CHEST is a fine example of its period. It is made of slabs of alabaster, and has thirteen niches down each side, and five at each end, (thirty-six in all), each one being surmounted by an ogee shaped canopy, elaborately crocketted. A drawing made at the end of the seventeenth century by the antiquary Thomas Dingley shows weepers in the niches round the tomb (50). None of these now survives and the drawing is unfortunately too poor for them to be identified clearly. Immediately beneath each niche is a delightful little lion mask with projecting tongue, while between the heads of the canopies are small, heater-shaped shields, some of which bear traces of the red field of the arms of Knolles, and others of the red fesse of Calveley. We know from Lyson's Cheshire (51) that they were in fact originally painted alternately with these arms. On the underside of the moulding running round the edge of the slab forming the top of the tomb-chest are traces of green paint.

The whole tomb is surrounded by a HEARSE of wrought iron, one of the very few surviving in this country. It consists of six standards, fixed into the ground at intervals, and supporting two horizontal bars on a level with the top of the tomb; these in their turn support a series of spiked uprights, some showing signs of gilding, which were probably equipped originally with prickets for the candles used in the services of the dead (52).

Our knowledge of the actual centres where English medieval monuments were made is based almost entirely on stylistic and geological evidence, and is therefore somewhat limited. More, however, is known about the workers in alabaster than about those of any other school (53), and it can be said with a fair degree of certainty that the majority of medieval alabaster effigies in this country came from one or other of two main centres: London, and the Midlands (54). The chief medieval English sources of alabaster were undoubtedly the quarries situated in the area of Tutbury, Staffs., and Chellaston, Derbyshire, and it is interesting to note in view of this that the earliest recorded alabaster effigy, (c. 1300), is in Hanbury church, Staffs. (55). This last, however, is an isolated example of local work, and the real beginnings of the alabaster trade are to be found in a group of royal tombs erected during the first half of the reign of Edward III. All these were apparently made in London (56), the stone being sent up from the Midlands, as for example in 1374 when John of Gaunt instructed his agent at Tutbury to send six cart loads of alabaster for the construction of a tomb for his wife Blanche who had just died, (and presumably for himself) (57). Most of the alabasters down to c. 1370 may perhaps be ascribed to the London centre, but round about this date another group of monuments of a different style begin to appear, and it seems fairly certain that these were produced in the area of the quarries themselves. As early as 1367 Peter the mason of Nottingham was paid £166 13s. 4d. for making an alabaster "tabula" or reredos for the Chapel of the Order of the Garter at Windsor (58), and it is likely that his workshop also produced effigies. Certainly by 1418 effigies were being produced in large numbers in the area of the quarries. In that year one of the few surviving contracts of this type was made between the executors of Ralph Greene Esq., on the one part, and Thomas Prentys and Robert Sutton of Chellaston, Derbyshire, "kervers", on the other, in which the latter undertook, for the sum of £40, to set up an alabaster tomb, bearing two effigies in the church at Lowick, Northants. This tomb is still in existence and from it a number of other examples of the work of Prentys and Sutton have been identified (59). To what extent the Chellaston alabaster workers held a monopoly of the trade, once their reputation was established is not known. Probably the majority of alabaster monuments produced between c. 1370 and the Reformation were made on the site of the quarries, although a certain amount of work seems always to have been done in London. In 1421/22, for example, one "Robert Broun Kervor" was working "en Savoy dehors le temple barr deins le counte de Midd", for in that year he contracted to make an alabaster tomb and effigy to be erected in Bisham Priory, although unfortunately these no longer survive (60). The provenance of the Calveley tomb cannot of course be established with certainty, although as Bunbury is a good deal nearer to Chellaston than to London it seems likely that it was made at the former centre, possibly by Prentys and Sutton or their predecessors. In view of Sir Hugh's connection with the court, however, it is of course always possible that he had his tomb made in London.

One question only remains for discussion: Is Sir Hugh actually buried at Bunbury or not? Nothing is known about his death or burial, and it has been suggested (61) that both took place abroad, the monument at Bunbury representing nothing more than a memorial, possibly erected by Calveley's old comrade Sir Robert Knollys, whose arms appear upon it. Certainly when the vault beneath the tomb was opened on 25th April, 1848, the only bones found were quite clearly those of Dame Mary Calveley (ob. 1705), and of her husband, another Sir Hugh Calveley (ob. 1648) (62). It seems unreasonable to assume from this, however, that the fourteenth-century Sir Hugh was never buried in the tomb prepared for him. Many alterations have taken place at Bunbury since 1394, and it is more than likely that during one of these the tomb was disturbed and the bones beneath it were removed. The writer has been unable to examine the vault mentioned above, but in view of the fact that the normal medieval procedure seems to have been to bury the body in a shallow grave beneath the tomb-chest, and not in a vault, it seems probable that it was made in 1648 for Dame Mary and her husband. If this were the case, and an examination of the vault would probably provide the answer, the absence of the first Sir Hugh's remains is quite clearly explained. There is, of course, no definite proof that Sir Hugh was ever buried at Bunbury but in view of the complete absence of evidence to the contrary, and of the fact that, by his founding of a college of priests at Bunbury, he clearly indicated his intention of having his body buried there, it seems reasonable to assume that his wishes were in fact carried out.

DIMENSIONS

Tomb Chest 8 ft. 10.5 ins. by 3 ft. 1 in. 2 ft. 6.75 ins. above present floor level.
Effigy 7 ft, 4.5 ins. by 2 ft. 0.5 in. Maximum height 1 ft. 11 ins.
Hearse 9 ft. by 3 ft. 6 ins. Height at corners 4 ft. 9 ins., and 11.5 ins. above upper horizontal. Distance between horizontals 8.25 ins. Iron work: Corner 1 in. square; Horizontals 1 3/8 in. by 0.5 in.; Intemediates 9/16th ins. square.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS NOT EXPLAINED IN THE TEXT.

Aventail A tippet of mail attached to, the basnet to protect the throat and neck, and failing to the shoulders. It is sometimes referred to by the French term camail, although this was less common than aventail in English medieval texts.
Basnet A light helmet with a pointed apex, used chiefly in the XIVth and early XVth centuries. Often equipped with an acutely pointed visor. (See note 38).
Bawdric A wide belt.
Cannon of the vambrace See vambrace.
Cowter Defence for the elbow.
Cuisse Defence for the thigh.
Greave Defence for the leg. Often called jamber in English texts of the XIVth century.
Helm Large headpiece covering the entire head and face and reaching to the shoulders. Often worn over the basnet. (See note 48).
Locket Metal band encircling the sheath of a sword or dagger, often having suspension rings attached thereto.
Mail Flexible armour made of interlinked rings, each of which are riveted in most European specimens. The term chain-mail is a modern pleonasm, while the use of mail as a term for all armour is a literary affectation dating apparently from the Gothic revival of the 18th century.
Mantling Cloth trapping hanging from below the crest, and usually covering the back of the helm.
Poleyn Defence for the knee.
Rerebrace Armour for the shoulder and upper arm. The term was superceded by Pauldron in the second half of the 15th century. Many modern writers use it incorrectly to describe the whole of the armour for the upper arm, excluding the shoulder.
Sabbaton Laminated defence for the foot.
Side wing Modern term used for the fan-shaped wing often attached to the side of the poleyn or cowter. The term fan-plate is sometimes used instead.
Vambrace Defence for the whole of the arm, excluding the shoulder, but including the elbow, although medieval writers sometimes refer to the defence for the latter separately, as cowter (q.v.). For convenience it has recently become the practice to divide the vambrace into upper-cannon, above the elbow, lower-cannon, below the elbow and cowter. XIXth century writers incorrectly confine the term to the lower-cannon only.

NOTES

1 All biographical details are taken from the following sources: Daniel and Samuel Lysons: Magna Brittania, Vol. II, Pt. II, Cheshire (London, 1810), pp. 542-545; G. Ormerod: History of Cheshire (Helsby's Edition, London, 1882), Vol. II, pp. 766-8; Dictionary of National Biography, Vol, 3, pp, 714-715; J. C. Bridge: Two Cheshire Soldiers of Fortune in the XIV Century. Sir Hugh Calveley. "Journal of the Chester and North Wales Archaeological Society", N.S. Vol. XIV (1908), pp. 112-165.
2 London, 1817-1832. Pls. 98 and 99.
3 According to Stothard "the feet, sword, fingers and part of his crest had been pounded and given in powders to cattle", alabaster being "a sovereign remedy for the rot in sheep, and other disorders of that nature". Letter to Alfred Kempe Esq. Written from Bunbury Sept. 14, 1813. Mrs. Charles Stothard: Memoirs of the late Charles Alfred Stothard. (London, 1823), p. 108.
4 John Hewitt implies that these links are the smallest he had ever seen on any effigy. Ancient Armour and Weapons in Europe, Vol. II, (London, 1860), p. 109.
5 The band conceals the attachment of the aventail. The latter would be fastened by its upper edge to a leather or metal strip, pierced with holes fitting over staples running round the edge of the basnet; a cord or a leather thong was then passed through the staples, so holding the aventail securely in position. See G. F. Laking: A Record of European Armour and Arms. (London, 1920-22), Vol. 1, p. 149, and p. 246, Fig. 289.
6 The calves in the coat of arms probably gave rise to the local tradition that Sir Hugh ate a calf and a sheep daily. See Cheshire Sheaf, Vol. II (Chester 1883), p. 141, and Bridge, op. cit., pp. 160-161.
7 See below Note 18.
8 A modern term coined to describe the type of vambrace narrowing suddenly at the wrist.
9 A term, first used by the late Sir Guy Laking, to describe the type of gauntlet, used almost universally from c. 1350-1420, on which "the cuff and metacarpal guard bell out from the wrist". Laking, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 207.
10 This appears to be an error on the part of the sculptor. Cuisses at this period normally protected the fronts and outsides of the thighs only. If they completely enclosed them, as would appear to be the case here, it is difficult to see how the wearer could sit his horse comfortably.
11 See J. C. Bridge, op. cit., p. 164, footnote 92.
12 On this subject see Arthur Gardner: Alabaster Tombs (Cambridge, 1940). Compare especially with effigies in other Cheshire churches at Over Peover, Barthomley and Acton.
13 The close similarity between many medieval brasses and effigies clearly indicates that they were made to a stock pattern, and only very occasionally can it be said of a figure dating from before the sixteenth century that there has been some attempt at portraiture. The effigy of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (ob. 1439), in St. Mary's church, Warwick, has a face full of individuality and character which bears every indication of being a portrait. Even here, however, we cannot be certain of this, for not only was the effigy not made until some thirteen years after the Earl's death, but the contract for its making does not specify a portrait, only "an image of a man armed . . . . . according to pattern" (See E H. Crossley: English Church Monuments, London, 1921, pp. 30-31). It is of course always possible, however, that the head was modelled from a death mask, a process which was certainly known in France as early as 1422 (See E. Benkard: Undying Faces, (trans. by M. M. Green, London, 1929), p. 21). It seems fairly certain that, some at least, of the Royal effigies in Westminster Abbey are portraits on the grounds of their character and individuality. This applies particularly to those of Edward III, and Richard II. The figure of the latter certainly bears a very definite resemblance to his contemporary portraits preserved at Westminster Abbey, and on the Wilton Diptych in the National Gallery, London, although its features are somewhat idealised. It is interesting in this connection to note that the contract for the effigies of Richard and his first wife requires them to be "the counterfeit" of the king and queen, a term certainly implying portraiture. (See Prior and Gardner: Medieval Figure-Sculpture in England. Cambridge, 1912, p. 683).

On this subject generally see ibid. pp. 545-6, 619-20 and 681-2; also A. Hartshorne: Portraiture in Recumbent Effigies, and Ancient Schools of Sculpture in England. (London, 1899).
14 A good account of the arming of a knight at a slightly earlier period than this is given in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, "TheRime of Sire Thopas", verses 24 and 25.
15 See illustration of an aketon taken from a late fourteenth century French MS. given by E. Voillet-le-Duc: Dictionnaire Raisonne du Mobilier Francais, Vol. V (Paris, 1874), p. 443. See also F. H. Cripps-Day: Fragmenta Armamentaria, Vol. V, "The Past is Never Dead" (Frome, 1941), p. 118.
16 The difference between these two terms is by no, means clear, The most likely solution seems to be that a haubergeon was a smaller and possibly lighter version of the hauberk. This view is supported by the fact that in the fifteenth century English translation of the earlier French Arthurian romance Merlin (Early English Text Society. London, 1899), mail shirts are always referred to as hauberks excepting on one occasion. This is when Sir Gawain, going to a feasting " . . . . . did on an habergon of double maille under his robes . . . . . for he douted euer that debate sholde a-rise amonge his felowes. . . . . . ". (Vol. 11, p. 454). This use of the term would seem to indicate fairly clearly that a haurbegeon, as it could be worn under the clothes, was smaller than a hauberk, although, in view of the fact that it was made of double mail, it was probably no lighter, at least on this occasion.
17 Compare with the fine hauberk from the Noel Paton collection now in the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh. (C. A. De Cosson: Helmets and Mail, London, 1881, p. 574, and fig. 178; Laking, op. cit., Vol. II pp. 176-78), also examples in the Trapp family armoury at Schloss Churburg in the Tyrol (O. Graf Trapp and J. G. Mann: The Armoury of the Castle of Churburg, London, 1929. Nos. 1-5).
18 On this subject see Bengt Thordeman: Armour from the Battle of Wisby, Stockholm, 1939.Vol. 1, pp. 285-328; also Cripps-Day, op. cit. pp, 126-133.
19 See Thordeman. op. cit. pp. 308-322. A good illustration of a breastplate of this date occurs on the Resurrection scene painted on Bishop Despenser's retable in Norwich Cathedral (T. Borenius and E. W. Tristram: English Medieval Painting, Paris, 1927, p. 39). The earliest English illustration of a solid backplate, apparently entirely separate from the breastplate, known to the writer occurs on the brass of John Ruggewyn (ob, 1412) at Standon, Herts. (F. M. Kelly and R. Schwabe: A Short History of Costume and Armour. London, 1931, Pl. XXIX, i). The will of William de Norton of Tanfield, Yorks., made in 1405, does, however contain a reference to a breastplate with a "rere-doos", the latter presumably being some kind of backplate. (Surtees Society Publications, Vol. XXV: The Fabric Rolls of York Minster, Durham 1859, p.9, note 1).
20 See the fabric-covered example depicted on the effigy of John Montacute, 3d, Earl of Salisbury (ob. 1400) in Salisbury Cathedral. Stothard, op. cit. Pl. 94). An earlier example which appears to have escaped notice occurs on an effigy of c. 1340 on the S. side of the parish church, Abergavenny, Mon.
21 See, for example armour number 13 at Churburg (Trapp and Mann, op. cit.) and the composite armour from Chalcis now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (C.O. von Kienbusch and S. V. Grancsay: The Bashford Dean Collection of Arms and Armor. Portland, Maine, 1933, pp. 51-55).
22 Chaucer, for example, uses both terms in the Canterbury Tales (Knight's Tale, 1.76 and 2123; Rime of Sire Thopas, v. 25.).
23 The only surviving English example, that of Edward the Black Prince hanging over his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral, appears originally to have opened down the front. See Sir J. G. Mann: The Funeral Achievements of Edward the Black Prince (Second edn. London 1950) pp. 6-7.
24 See, for example, the specimen made for a boy formerly in the cathedral, and now in the museum, at Chartres. (Cripps-Day, op, cit. pp. 115-12 1 ).
25 See, for example, the Montacute effigy referred to in Note 20.
26 Trapp and Mann, op. cit. No. 13.
27 Kienbusch and Grancsay, op. cit. pp, 53, and 154-157.
28 Cripps-Day, op. cit. pp. 107-112.
29 See the composite armour from Chalcis at New York referred to in Note 21.
30 Kienbusch and Grancsay, op. cit., p. 54; Cripps-Day, op, cit. pp. 98- 107.
31 See, for example, the English metrical romance of c. 1370 Gawaine and the Green Knight (Sir F. Madden: Syr Gawayne; a Collection of Ancient Romance Poems. London, 1839), lines 578-9, viz:

Queme quyssewes the, that coyntlych closed
His thik thrawen thyzez wt. thwonges to-tached.
32 The two holes for the laces may be seen on the 14th century sabbaton at Chartres (See below note 34). Compare also the mid-15th century account of "How a man schall be armyd at his ese" (Viscount Dillon: Ordinances of Chivalry belonging to Lord Hastings, "Archaeologia", Vol. 57) where it says (p. 43) "………ye muste sette on Sabatones and tye hem up on the shoo with smale poyntis".
33 See for example those depicted on the later effigy of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (ob. 1439), erected c. 1453.
34 F. H. Cripps-Day, op. cit., pp. 95-98.
35 On this subject see Sir J. G. Mann: Fourteenth Century Gauntlets, "TheConnoisseur", Vol. CVIII, August, 1941, pp, 69-73.
36 See Sir J. G. Mann: The Funeral Achievements, etc., pp. 8-9.
37 See Note 21 above.
38 On this subject see F. M. Kelly: A XIVth Century Helmet-the Hounskull; "TheConnoisseur", Vol. XCIV, June, 1934, pp. 364-366; also Sir J, G. Mann: The Visor of a Fourteenth Century bascinet from Pevensey Castle. "The Antiquaries Journal", Vol. XVI, October, 1936, pp. 412-419.

It has become customary in recent years for armour students to refer to this type of basnet, fitted with an acutely pointed visor, as a hounskull, on the grounds that it was a contemporary slang word derived from the German term for such a helmet, hundsgugel (See Wendelin Boeheim: Handbuch der Waffenkunde. Leipzig, 1890, p. 35). There seems, however, to be very little evidence for the general use of this word in England, where these basnets seem normally to have been described simply as basnets with visors, or the Latin or French equivalents for this. The only example of the use of the word hounskull in an English medieval text known to the writer occurs in a contemporary satirical poem on the defeat of the Flemings before Calais in 1436, contained in a MS in the library of Lambeth Palace. (Published by B. Williams in Archaeologia, Vol XXXIII, 1849, pp, 129-132). In this the Flemings are described as wearing ".....habirgeons and hounscales, and rusti kettill hattes". (line 9), but, in view of the fact that the poem is a satirical one, the use of the word here may simply be in mockery of the Flemings who very probably used hundsgugel themselves; it certainly does not constitute very strong evidence for its general use by the English soldiery.
39 There are a number of effigies where the pivots of the detachable visor are depicted, however, e.g. Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire, and Tunstall, Lancs.
40 Associated with armour No. 13 referred to, in note 21 above.
41 Sir J. G. Mann: New Exhibits at the Tower Armouries. "Country Life", March 28, 1947, p. 557.
42 On this subject see Cripps-Day, op. cit. p. 64.
43 See, for example, those on contemporary effigies at Staindrop, Durham; Nuttall, Notts and Elford, Staffs. (Gardner, op. cit. Figs. 93, 142 and 149).
44 See L. Douet-D'Arcq: Comptes de l'Argenterie des Rois de France au XIVe siecle (Paris, 1851), passim.
45 See, for example, the effigies mentioned in Note 43 above.
46 See Laking, op. cit. Vol. Ill, pp. 8 et seq.; also London Museum: Medieval Catalogue, (London, 1940), pp. 48-50.
47 Stothard. op. cit. Pl. 85.
48 On this subject see Charles Buttin: Le Tombeau d'Ulrich de Werdt. "Archives Alsaciennes d'Histoire de l'Art". IVeme annee. Strasbourg, 1925); pp. 47-57; also, by the same writer, Le Gisant d'Ulrich de Werdt. Ibid. VIIeme annee (1928), pp. 35-40
49 Mann: The Funeral Achievements, etc., pp. 4-5.
50 Thomas Dingley: History from Marble. Published in facsimile by the Camden Society. O.S. Vols. 94 and 97 (London, 1867-8). See Vol. 97, p. cccxcv. This MS. shows a black-letter inscription round the edge of the tomb-chest, reading "Here lyeth buried the bodye of Sr Hugh Calveley Knt whiche died in the yere of oure Lorde God MCCCCCLVIII in the last yere of the raigne of Quene Marie. Blessed are all they that fere the Lord and walk in his wayes. Psal. cxxviii". It seems fairly clear that Dingley copied this inscription from some other tomb, since destroyed. It is, of course conceivable that some later Sir Hugh Calveley appropriated his ancestors tomb to his own use, but this seems unlikely, particularly in view of the fact that the edge of the tomb now bears no trace of an inscription.
51 Op. cit., p. 544. Lyson states that he obtained his information from the Randle Holme MS. in the British Museum, (Harl. MSS. 2151), but the present writer has been unable to trace it therein. (See also Ormerod op. cit., 1819 edn,, p. 142). Dingley (loc. cit.) seems to show a variety of coats of arms, but his drawing is too inaccurate to be regarded seriously. There is, however, a tradition, apparently without foundation, that Calveley married a queen of Aragon, her arms being quartered on his tomb. See Lyson, op. cit., p. 544-5 and Bridge, op. cit. p. 160. On the probable reasons for the presence of the arms of Knollys on the tomb see ibid. pp. 161 and 165.
52 On the subject of hearses generally see Edward Peacock: Hearse. "OldChurch Gleanings" (Ed. W. Andrews. Hull, 1896), pp. 209-223.

The only other example made of wrought-iron known to the writer is that, dating from the early 14th century, at Tanfield, Nr. Ripon, Yorks,
53 See Gardner op. cit. passim for most of the information contained in the following paragraph.
54 There is also some evidence for the presence of workers in alabaster at York and Lincoln. See Sir W. St. John Hope: Catalogue of Exhibition of Alabaster. 26 May -30 June, 1910. (Society of Antiquaries. London, 1913), p. 3.
55 Gardner, op. cit. Fig. 117.
56 See Prior and Gardner. op. cit, pp. 672-676.
57 Gardner, op. cit. p. 3,
58 St. John Hope, loc. cit. Note 54.
59 See F. H. Crossley: English Church Monuments, (London, 1921), pp. 30, 34, 102 and 138; also Gardner, op. cit. pp. 4-6 and Figs 5, 19 and 180.
60 See The Antiquaries journal, Jan.-April, 1949. pp. 89 et seq.
61 Bridge, op. cit., pp. 161 and 164.
62 See Journal of Chester and N. Wales Arch. Soc., Vol. 1 (1849-55), p. 125, quoting letter from J. Fenna who was responsible for opening the vault. See also Bridge, op.cit, pp. 162-4

 

 

 Effigy of Sir Hugh Calveley. After drawing made by C. A. Stothard dated Jan-Sept 1813


The Photographs illustrating this Paper are by Fred H. Crossley and grateful thanks are also extended to Brian Vesey-Fitzgeraid, General Editor of the County Books and to the Publishers, Robert Hale, Ltd., for the loan of the block illustrating the tomb chest.