Brass of the Month
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Page last updated 04 March 2015
January 2012 – Thomas Tyard, 1505/6, & Philip Tenison, 1660/1, Bawburgh, Norfolk
We begin the year with two brasses, both set in the same slab in the church of Bawburgh, not far from Norwich.
Thomas Tyard, as his inscription tells us, was a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and sometime vicar of this church. He was a fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1478 and became vicar of Bawburgh in 1493. He spent the years between 1484 and 1492 in King's Lynn. In 1484 he was appointed master of the charnel house at Lynn, an establishment also known as the Old Chantry, which was part of St Margaret's church. There are Lynn deeds of 1489 and 1492 naming Tyard, the latter calling him bachelor of theology. In his will of 1501 Adam Outlaw, who is commemorated by a Norwich-
Philip Tenison lived in much less settled times from a religious point of view. He was baptised on 26 April 1612 at Downham in Cambridgeshire, where his father was the rector. Like Tyard, he studied at Cambridge but at Trinity College, where he is recorded in 1631. He was vicar of Barton, Cambridgeshire from 1637 to 1641 and then of Wethersfield in Essex in 1642. At some point he married Anne Mileham, sister of Sir Thomas Brownes's wife Dorothea. In late 1646, as the Parlimentary archives reveal, an application was made for an order for Dr Aylett to institute and induct him to the rectory of Hethersett in Norfolk. It was a living from which he was ejected during the period of Parliamentary rule. He then set up a school at Bawburgh, a few miles north of Hethersett. His fortunes changed for the better with the Restoration. He was presented as Archdeacon of Norfolk by the king and installed on 24 August 1660. Around the same time he was instituted as rector of Foulsham, Norfolk. Many years later, Thomas Tenison, Archbishop of Canterbury, noted in a letter to Queen Anne that Foulsham was given 'to my uncle, Dr. Philip Tenison, Archdeacon of Norfolk, with regard to his great sufferings in the late evil times; and was look'd upon as worth £120 per annum; a value very high and rare in that County.' In December 1660 Philip Tenison was granted arms by Sir Edward Walker, Garter King of Arms (Sable a fess embattled argent in chief three doves of the last), but only enjoyed them for six weeks, for he died on 15 January 1660/1.
Turning to the brasses themselves, they are both of Norwich workmanship and both show their subjects in shrouds but the treatment is otherwise very different. Tyard's is the product of the very short-
Rosemary Horrox, ed, Fifteenth-
'Archdeacons: Norfolk', Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-
Sir Henry Ellis, Original letters illustrative of English history, 3rd series, vol 4 (1846), 331-
Robert Halliday, ‘St. Walstan of Bawburgh’, Norfolk Archaeology, 44 (2003), 316-
Copyright: Jon Bayliss