Brass of the Month

Copyright © 2012 Monumental Brass Society (MBS)

Page last updated 04 March 2015

Copyright: Jon Bayliss

December 2012 - Sir Andrew Luttrell, 1390, Irnham, Lincolnshire

The brass of Sir Andrew Luttrell lies towards the east end of the north aisle of the church of St Andrew at Irnham in the south-west corner of Lincolnshire. He has a London B effigy in armour. The canopy is no longer complete but the rivet pattern on the original slab, which rests against the nearby north wall, shows that the terminal of the side shafts rose as high as the crocket above the centre of the canopy. His inscription is straightforward:


Hic iacet Andreas Loutt]r]ell miles d[omi]n[u]s de Irnh[a]m qui obijt vjt°

die Septe[m]br[is] a[nn]° d[omi]ni.mill[esim]o.CCC.Nonagesimo. cui[us] a[n]i[m]e p[ro]piciet[ur] deus


[Here lies Andrew Luttrell, knight, lord of Irnham, who died on the 6th

day of September in the year of our Lord a thousand three hundred and ninety, on whose soul God have mercy]


Sir Andrew was seventiy-seven years old when he died. He had been thirty-two when his father, Sir Geoffrey, died in 1345. Sir Geoffrey is now the best-known of the Luttrells, for the Lutrell Psalter was made for him as was the well-carved Easter sepulchre now situated at the east end of the north aisle at Irnham. Sir Andrew was married as a child to Beatrice le Scrope, daughter of the Chief Justice of the King's Bench. Beatrice is shown with Sir Geoffrey and his wife Agnes Sutton on the psalter. In 1340 Sir Andrew was at the siege of Tournai and in 1347 served  in France under of Sir Michael de Poynings and Henry, Earl of Lancaster. In 1355 he was summoned to defend the country against the Scots.  He participated in the Edward III's expedition into France in 1359. He conveyed two manors to Croxton Abbey on 1358 in exchange for the provision of two chaplains to pray for him in his lifetime, his soul after his death and  the soul of his patron, Henry, duke of Lancaster. His will, made in September 1389, requested burial before the rood at Irnham, and Gervase Holles did indeed find his brass in the nave in the seventeenth century. Sir Andrew's brass then had a  shield of the Luttrell arms above it in a north window.


What is less straightforward is the genealogy of the Luttrell family immediately after Sir Andrew. Earlier writers, basing their work on that of Samuel Lodge in his Peerage of Ireland, had two further Sir Andrews following this one, one being a complete invention based on a later marriage by our Sir Andrew. More recent research, published in the entry for his son-in-law, Sir Godfrey Hilton, in the History of Parliament tells a different story: Sir Andrew had two surviving children, Sir Geoffrey and Hawise. Even more recently published research places another Sir Andrew, who married Joan Tallboys and was 26 when his father died, between our Sir Andrew and Geoffrey and Hawise, which seems the most likely scenario given the ages of the latter two. Hawise was twenty-six when her brother died in 1419 and so could not possibly be the daughter of our Sir Andrew. The second Sir Andrew was born the year after our Sir Andrew married Hawise le Despenser by licence on 7 September 1363 in the chapel of Bourne castle and died on 31 December 1397, his son and heir, Geoffrey being thirteen years old then.  

    Sir Geoffrey Luttrell was killed at the siege of Rouen in early in 1419 and left no children, so his sister Hawise succeeded him. She had been married to Sir Thomas Belesby of Beelsby in the north-east corner of Lincolnshire but he died in September 1415 leaving her with a young son, also Thomas. She married Sir Godfrey Hilton by May 1416 and died on 24 March 1422. Her husband spent much of his time both before and after her death fighting in France – he too had been at the siege of Rouen. Sir Godfrey remained preoccupied with the war in France until 1434. In the early 1440s he became a JP in Hampshire, where his second wife had a life interest in the extensive properties of her first husband, before becoming a JP to Lincolnshire in the mid 1440s. Although it has been suggested that the second brass at Irnham is for him, he died in 1459, outliving his stepson Thomas Belesby by thirty years. This brass has figure in armour with his shield, inscription and legs below his knees missing. J P C Kent dated this figure to around 1440 and belonging to the London B style. The arms described by Holles on a brass in the chancel next to the chapel included Belesby and Luttrell they also included Thimelby, Swinford and an unidentified lion rampant. An inscription in glass recorded by Holles at Irnham commemorated Richard Thymelby and his wife Elizabeth with the date 1531, which may be her date of death as Richard died in 1522. Elizabeth Thymelby was the elder daughter and co-heiress of the son of Sir Godfrey Hilton, also Godfrey, coming into possession of the Lutterell lands when her stepmother died in 1495. She was then 40. As the brass is laid in local spine-bearing 'marble' and lacks an indent for the sword hilt, an appropriation seems likely, although it could simply have been relaid. Moreover there is only one shield and the arms reported by Holles are clearly on two shields. Adjoining Sir Andrew's brass are two fragments, each with the indent of a shield, in spine-bearing marble. It seems likely that these indents account for what Holles saw and that the shields were all that remained of a third brass. The second brass had presumably already lost its shield by that time and so was not recorded by him. Its identity must remain a mystery.     

    The brass of Sir Andrew Luttrell was conserved by our late president Dr Cameron in the 1970s. Its handsome new slab has a lot of large shells in the fabric of the stone and is an interesting change from the normal marble slabs.

References

http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/hilton-sir-godfrey-1459

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Magna-Carta-Ancestry-Coloncial-Medieval/dp/0806317590

Lincolnshire Church Notes made by Gervase Holles,  Lincolnshire Record Society (1911)

Brass to an unknown man at Irnham