Sunday, 17 July 2011
Knights of St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne
Normally when we are travelling up to Sheffield or back, and we stop in Ashbourne, it is merely to stretch our legs but on a recent occasion we had a look around the antique shops (of which there are several) and the owner of one recommended we explore the interior of St Oswald's Church nearby. She mentioned the tomb of a little girl, which was executed in marble, and so finely worked that the limbs felt like touching skin, the dress like silk and the sash like velvet . . .
What she didn't mention was that there were the tombs and marble effigies of the Co(c)kayne family, some dating back to the early 15th century. Sadly their noses are somewhat defaced . . .
I feel this was a somewhat unflattering effigy, as she looks very pudding-faced! Perhaps she was a little chubby in life. . . Mind you, the effigies were done by a company who were "inexpensive and popular", so you obviously got what you paid for!
A little lion roars at his feet.
As you can see, noses (and chins!) were popular for being a prime subject to be defaced. I fear the subsequent rhinoplasty was not a total success . . .
This is the little girl - Penelope Boothby - I mentioned earlier. This beautiful life-size memorial did little to ease her parents' heartbreak following her death on 19th March 1791. She was their only child. Her mother subsequently left Derbyshire for her Hampshire home, and then on to Dover where she spent her remaining years and had taken her maiden name again. HERE is a link to a Wikipedia article about Sir Brooke Boothby, 6th Baronet and grieving father.
This is so well done I'm sure you would recognize him if you had met him. Perhaps his rather fierce demenour belied a kindly heart.
Without his nose, this could almost have been the model for Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter books.
In life, St Oswald was King Oswald, the Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria from 633 to 642 and he encouraged Celtic missionaries to spread Christianity in his kingdom. His father, King Aethelfrith, had controlled the Northumbrian kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira, but his brother acceded to the thrown on his death and his sons Oswald and Oswiu fled to Iona, where they became adherents of the Christian faith. Oswald was subsequently killed in battle by King Penda, probably near Oswestry in Shropshire and venerated as a martyr, and was subsequently canonised.