Brass of the Month

February 2011 – Agnes & Jane Hopper, 1625, St Cross, Oxford


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Copyright © 2007 Monumental Brass Society (MBS)

Page last updated 04 March 2015

Copyright: Jerome Bertram

Rubbing by Jerome Bertram, autumn 1969

This brass has not been seen for many years, since it was entirely covered by a fixed carpet and a platform for a nave altar some time in the 1970s.  The church is now closed, and in the process of being converted into an archive store for Balliol College.  On a recent visit the brass was covered with protective boarding, while serious restoration work proceeded above it, but it will probably be uncovered and visible again once work is finished.  It is not yet clear to what extent there will be public access to the church, though the sanctuary and the centre of the nave are being preserved as open space.  At present the brass remains in its original location, at the east end of the nave, just below the original chancel step.

It consists of two rectangular plates; on the upper one are two kneeling figures of ladies, one in a veil, the other in a bonnet, before a draped desk with two open books, the date 1625 engraved on the side.  The background is masonry, with two arches over the figures, and two skulls on the stonework between them; they kneel on a tiled floor.   

The inscription in capitals is on the lower plate:

                       HIC IACENT

AGNES HOPPER THOMÆ HOPPERI ME=

DICI: COLL: NOVI QVONDAM SOCII CON=

IVX: QVÆ OBIIT: 30: DIE: OCTOBRIS ANNO  

MDCXXV: ET IANE FILIA EIVS QVÆ OBIIT

DIE: 25: IVNII ANNO: DOMI: MDCXXV  

H(OC) M(ONUMENTUM) P(ARENTI) P(OSUIT)  

           ROBERTVS HOPPER FILIVS.

(Here lie Agnes Hopper, wife of Thomas Hopper, formerly Fellow of New College, who died 30 October 1625, and her daughter Jane, who died 25 June 1625; her son Robert Hopper placed this monument to his parent.)


It is in a slab of black limestone, appropriated with a later incised inscription, “James Yates who died. April xxvi. 1713. Aged 66.”  The brass is of local work, the only figure brass from a small workshop provisionally labelled the “Prideaux” style, because it was much favoured by the family of Bishop Prideaux.  Dr Thomas Hopper, on the other hand, has a brass from the much more elegant engraver Robert Haydock, in New College Chapel (1623).

Figure plate 32 x 52 cm; inscription 22 x 55 cm, slab about 90 cm wide.