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Page last updated 04 March 2015
An unrecorded rebus in Ash Church
Research is now underway for the forthcoming County Series volume, The Monumental Brasses of Kent by William Lack, H. Martin Stuchfield and Philip Whittemore. After several forays into the county it is already becoming apparent that there are many errors, omissions and discrepancies between Mill Stephenson’s List of Monumental Brasses in the British Isles (published in 1926 with an appendix 1938) and our current findings.
On a recent visit to Ash-
Fig . 1 Inscription -
Fig. 2 Inscription rubbing
The inscription is engraved on a fillet measuring 63 x 546 mm. Immediately abutting either end are plates incised with the Ash trees. These do not match in size, the dexter (left) being 67 x 43 mm and the sinister (right) 66 x 40 mm. This arrangement is most interesting for its unusual shape, design and wording. It offers a pleasing effect. Floral and other forms of decoration often appear on fillet inscriptions between the words, or to fill in blank spaces, but these two delightful Ash trees deserve attention.
The inscription (contractions in italics) reads as follows:
Ies[us] nazaren[us] rex iudeor[um] Hic iacet Reginaldus de/
Aſſhe & Alicia uxor eius quor[um] a[n]i[m]ab[us] p[ro]picietur deus.
This inscription is noteworthy for its unusually pious preface I.N.R.I. which represents [translated] Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.
It is interesting that Thorpe’s Registrum Roffense also fails to record this brass, which lies at the east end of the nave in a prominent position, so negligence would seem the most obvious reason for its omission. It is also likely that Mill Stephenson himself had not seen this brass, but was working from secondary information -
Rubbing by Janet Whitham on 28 September 2009
Photographs by H. Martin Stuchfield
Fig. 3 Dexter plate
Fig. 4 Dexter plate rubbing
Fig. 5 Sinister plate
Fig. 6 Sinister plate rubbing
Copyright: Martin Stuchfield & Janet Whitham