Brass of the Month

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Page last updated 04 March 2015

June 2014 - Lucas Goodyere, 1547, Aldenham, Hertfordshire      


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Copyright: Jon Bayliss

This month's brass has a figure in a shroud on both sides: the inscription plate is made from an earlier brass plate depicting a shrouded figure.

The family of Goodyere was much in evidence in southern Hertfordshire: brasses survive at Aldenham and nearby Monken Hadley (formerly in Middlesex) but it is not clear how Lucas Goodyere fits into the family. The inscription mentions her infant son Edmond but not her husband. The inscription reads:

   Here under this marble stone, lyeth lucas Goodyere

   deptyd and gone, yt pleasyd the lord God in Octobre

   the xth day, She beyng in Chyld bed decessyd wythout

   naye, and Edmond her lytle Sonne lyeth hir by,

   [On whose Sowlys Jesu have mercy.   1547.]

The last line has been cut off, presumably in the 1640s to remove 'superstitious' words  but the inscription had already been recorded by John Weever.

    John Goodyere, who died in 1504 and has a brass at Hadley, had three surviving sons. Aldenham was among the churches to which he left 3s 4d each in his will. His eldest son, John, who died in 1513, was also survived by three sons. The eldest. Thomas, died in 1518 and is commemorated by a brass at Hadley. Thomas's son Francis, in his will of 1546, asked his younger son Thomas to let William Staunford and his heirs have the manor of Hadley. Francis had bought monastic property in Warwickshire and this branch of the family was thenceforward associated with that area. However, Francis's uncle Henry, an alderman of London, remained in the area, and his son and heir, William was born around 1520. A Richard Goodyere of Aldenham, gent, was the defendant in two cases in the Court of Common Pleas in 1544. Robert Hutchinson and Bryan Egan discovered that the same man acquired a messuage and lands in Aldenham in 1543/4 and sold them in 1549/50. They suggested he was possibly Lucas's husband.

    Lucas Goodyere's brass belongs to the Fermour subgroup of the London G style. The Fernour style was the subject of John Page-Phillips's thesis Monumental Brasses: A Sixteenth-Century Workshop in the late 1950s and has since been further studied in History Writ in Brass – the Fermer Workshop by Robert Hutchinson and Bryan Egan. Most of the brasses belonging to the group that have had their reverses examined are made of reused material (palimpsests), and most of those reverses whose origins can be determined come from the London area. The dates of death of the top sides run from 1548 to 1555, the one example of the latter date being not on the brass but an alabaster panel with a Roman capital script. The will of William Raynton, citizen & marbler, of the parish of St Alban, Wood Street, was made on 11 March 1555/6 and proved on 22 April 1556. It includes the following bequest: ‘to Chr(ist)ofer Grigge iiij Stones of m(ar)ble ij at his own howse and ij in poules churche yarde’ As Grigge made a brass in the Lytkott style which succeeded Fermour (April 2011), it seems likely that Raynton made the Fermour brasses.

    The reverse of the shrouded effigy is made of two pieces, one of them a fragment of an inscription of three lines:

 [H]ic jacet Isabella Lynde . . .

 Armigeri que obiit xx . . .

 Millmo C C C C lviii . . .

The other piece has some lines of drapery of a similar date. Intriguingly the will of Robert Large, citizen and mercer of London, made in 1441 has a bequest to an Isabella Lynde of 40 shillings. This section of the will deals with bequests to apprentices (who include William Caxton) and servants but Isabella Lynde is not so titled. The reverse of the inscription is part of a shrouded male figure of about 1510.


John Page-Phillips, Monumental Brassess: A Sixteenth Century Workshop (1999)

Robert Hutchinson and Bryan Egan, ‘History Writ in Brass – the Fermer Workshop’, Transactions of the Monumental Brass Society, vol 15, part 2 (1993) -vol 17, part 1 (2007), especially vol 15, part 3 (1993), pp 266-268.

Trevor Cooper, ed, The Journal of William Dowsing  (2001)