Brass of the Month
February 2007: St Nicholas at Wade M.S.I, Valentine Edvarod, 1574
February's brass of the month is from St Nicholas at Wade in Kent.
This brass lies in the north chapel of the church of St Nicholas at St Nicholas at Wade, on the Isle of Thanet in Kent. What immediately strikes one is the very odd placing of the main figures above the inscription. The first clue as to the reason for this is to be found in the inscription which reads:
Here lyeth buried ye Bodyes of Valontyne Edvarod Gentylman who had too
wifes Agnes and Joane by Agnes he had iiii sonnes & too daughters and also
by Joane his second wyfe iii sonnes & vi Daughters which Valontyne decessed
the xxv daye of February in the yere of our lorde God MCCCCC lix: after whose
desese the sayde Joane maryede wth Thomas Parramore and by him hade a
sonne and a Daughter; and the sayde Joane Decessed the fyfthe day of Aprill in
the yere of or Lorde God MCCCCC lxxiiii, whose soules God hathe take to his mercy
So we have one husband, who died in 1559, who had two wives, and one wife, who died in 1574, who had two husbands. The second clue is on the slab where a small indent is to be seen between the heads of the figure of the woman and man on the right-
We therefore have a palimpsest brass by adaptation. This was confirmed when the late Dr Keith Cameron lifted the brasses in 1965. His photograph shows the original indent for Valontyne Edvarod and his two wives and the new indents for Joane and Thomas. We therefore have Edvarod’s brass of 1559 adapted in 1574 by Parramore when his wife died. He added his own figure and a new, longer, inscription. The size of the original inscription can also be seen in the photograph. Thomas, however, did not add the two children he had had with Joane.
The brass was found to be doubly palimpsest with the discovery of engraving on the reverse of the figure of Valontyne, hardly surprising as it comprises three parts joined together, each with a different patination. All three parts come from the same brass to a man in armour of c. 1395. Both groups of children are palimpsest and they are conjoining pieces of a kneeling civilian with a pouch and rosary hanging from his belt. This can be dated to c. 1500. All the palimpsest work on the reverse is English, so this is probably Dissolution spoil.
Copyright: Les Smith
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Page last updated 01 February 2007