Brass of the month
January 2005: John Hardman, 1867, Handsworth, Birmingham
For the new year we have a new departure for the brass of the month feature -
The craft of memorial brass design and manufacture was revived during the nineteenth century largely through the efforts of the architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-
Hardman also founded the convent of the Sisters of Mercy at Handsworth, opposite the house where he lived. When he died in 1867, although buried in St. Chad's Cathedral Crypt, he was commemorated by this brass in St. Mary's Convent, which sadly was destroyed in war-
Fortunately a rubbing of the brass exists in the Hardman archive in Birmingham, and the Index of Memorial Brasses records details of the commission as follows:
Date Name Place Description Stone Size
1868 John Hardman St. Mary's Convent Kneeling figure and Black marble 2ft 5ins by
Handsworth, inscription 1ft 6 ins
Hardman is shown kneeling wearing his cantor's cape, with a line of plainchant on the scroll above. There is a similar depiction of him in the bottom left-
If you want to know more about the Hardman family, the Archdiocese of Birmingham has produced a booklet written by Brian Doolan, 2004, 'The Pugins and the Hardmans'. For a detailed account of Pugin's revival of brasses, see 'AWN Pugin and the Revival of Memorial Brasses, Mansell 1991, by David Meara.
Copyright: David Meara.
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Page last updated 01 January 2005