Picture Library - Children

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Children on Brasses

Children occur on brasses either in their own right as subjects of commemoration, or as 'weepers' accompanying their parents or (more rarely) other relatives. Especially in the case of medieval weepers, a distinction must be made between children and offspring: figures may appear small, but that does not always indicate age. The small daughter between the parents on the 1509 brass at Hillingdon is apparently an adult responsible for commissioning her parents' monument.

In the case of weepers, one often finds uniformly presented groups of male (on the left) and female offspring that tell us nothing about the age or status of the individuals; the Stokes brass at Ashby St. Ledger is typical of this type. A curious case is that of the row of identical siblings on a brass at Beddington which contains four consecutive Johns, two Williams and two girls named Agnes, suggesting that the earlier namesakes may have died in infancy. Other groups show the weepers decreasing in size according to age, as on the Great Hale incised slab; this also depicts children who died young as shrouded figures. Occasionally one finds weepers with more distinct characteristics: clerical or monastic dress for some children, or loose hair for unmarried daughters. This is shown on the groups of daughters at Dagenham and the sons at Carshalton.

One distinguishing feature is the use of pedestals for children shown on brasses to other family members, as at Stoke Fleming, Cobham and Westminster Abbey. A minute pedestal is also visible in the inlaid and incised slab of Princess Eleanor at Beaulieu Abbey; this is a case of a monument for a young child in her own right, although its large size belies her age. Other brasses dedicated to children include chrysoms (see separate Picture Libary page), infants in cradles (Windsor), boys in school dress (Wraysbury), boys in frock too young to have been 'breeched' yet ( Stowe), but also children in adult-looking costume.

For another unusual brass to a child, click here

Copyright Sophie Oosterwijk

Click the links below for the corresponding thumbnail image. Click any image for an enlarged view. 

Princess Eleanor, d. 1311 aged 5, incised and inlaid slab, Beaulieu, Hampshire


John Corp, d. 1361, and granddaughter Eleynore, d. 1391, Stoke Fleming, Devon


Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, d. 1397, Westminster Abbey


Sir Reginald Braybrook, d. 1404, and two sons, Cobham, Surrey


Phillipa Carreu, d. 1414, Beddington, Surrey


Thomas Stokes, d. 1416, Ashby St Ledger, Northamptonshire


Sir Thomas Urswyk, 1479, Dagenham, Essex


Nicholas Gaynesford, c.1490, Carshalton, Surrey


Lord John le Strange, d. 1509, Hillingdon, Middlesex


John Stonor, d. 1512, Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire


John Temple, d. 1592 aged 2 months , Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Dorothy King, d. 1630, Windsor, Berkshire


Robert Cawdron, d. 1653, incised slab, Great Hale, Lincolnshire





Detail from brass to Phillipa Carreu, d. 1414, Beddington, Surrey

showing her named siblings in a long line



Beaulieu slab



Drawing of inlaid and incised slab to Princess Eleanor, daughter of Edward I from his 2nd marriage, d. 1311 aged 5, Beaulieu, Hampshire






John Corp, d. 1361, and his granddaughter Eleynore, d. 1391, Stoke Fleming, Devon






Westminster Abbey Brass



Drawing of lost brass to Thomas

of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester,

 d. 1397, Westminster Abbey,

featuring both his parents and

siblings, including two brothers

who died in infancy.





Braybrook_brass



Sir Reginald Braybrook, d. 1404, Cobham, Surrey, with his sons Reginald and Robert on pedestals






Thomas Stokes brass



Detail from brass to Thomas Stokes, d. 1416, Ashby St Ledger, Northamptonshire, showing groups of identical children





Dagenham brass



Group of daughters from the brass

 to Sir Thomas Urswyk, 1479, Dagenham, Essex. The first is

 shown as a nun and the next two

 as married ladies. Six smaller

figures with their hair loose

represent unmarried daughters.







A group of sons from the brass to Nicholas Gaynesford, c.1490, Carshalton, Surrey. The eldest is shown as a knight like his father, the next is a priest and the other two are dressed as civilians




Hillingdon brass



Lord John le Strange, d. 1509,

with his wife Jacquette and daughter, Hillingdon, Middlesex







John Stonor in school dress,

 d. 1512, Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire







John Temple,  d. 1592

aged 2 months, Stowe, Bucks




 


Windsor cradle


Dorothy King, d. 1630 aged 8 months, Windsor, Berkshire




 



Great Hale incised slab



Robert Cawdron, d. 1653, incised slab, Great Hale, Lincolnshire.

The living children are ranged behind their parents, while those who died young are shown as shrouded figures lying on the ground.


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Copyright © 2002 Monumental Brass Society (MBS)

Page last updated 04 May 2004