The Monumental Church Brasses of Thurrock


 

ORSETT, ST GILES AND ALL SAINTS

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Thurrock Church Brasses

There are three brasses in Orsett Church, two of which are no longer complete. On the south wall of the north chancel is the figure of a man kneeling, 23cms high. He is in Tudor costume (Fig 3) and the brass clearly shows his fur-lined gown worn over a tunic. His hair is fairly long with a fringe and his shoes have very broad toes. There is a mouth-scroll above him which reads: "Holy Trinyte, one God have mercy on (me)". The last word is missing. Above this is an indent, shaped like an inverted shield which may have contained a representation of the Holy Trinity. There is no inscription beneath the figure, only an indent 44 cms x 12 cms.

Palin dates the brass as c.1520 and suggests that it may be 'Thomas Hotofte, who founded a chantry in this church'.

The next brass, which lies on the chancel floor, depicts the children of Thomas and Jane Latham (fig 4). The effigies of the parents have long been lost but the inscription, 71cm x 6cm., which is placed beneath the son and two daughters, reads: "Pray for the soules of Thomas Latham & Jane his wife which Thomas deceased the XIV day of November in the year of oure Lord God An. 1485 on Whos soules Jesu have mercy".

The son, 19cms high, wears a long simple gown but the girls, 18.5cms high, are more elaborately attired in low-necked dresses with tight-fitting sleeves and turned back cuffs. They are wearing the unusual butterfly head-dress which was popular at this period but is not often depicted on monumental brasses.

The third brass is on the north wall of the chancel and is in memory of Robert King, 1584, who from the inscription seems to have been a parson and healer. The brass (Fig5) consists of a shield emblazoned with five escallops between two chevronels. Beneath the shield, which is 15cms x 13cms, is a rectangular plaque 42cm x 31.5 cms, which reads.
'IN OBITUM ROBERTI KINGE EPITAPHIUM TER PASTOR VERBO VITA, VICTUQ REFECIT VERBO ANIMAS OVIUM CORPORA DEINDE GIBIS EXEMPLAR VITA VIVA ET PIETATIS IMAGO, TRANSIT E VIVIS, MORS MELIORA DEDIT'.

A verse in English follows;
'Three wayes he fedde Christe's flocke, theyr soules
By lyfe and preachinge pure.
Theyr bodyes weake he did refresh
And lymmes full sore did cure
In few yeares he muche good pformed
And so to death resigned
This weary lyfe and nowe in heaven
A place of love doth finde.
Here lyeth Robert Kinge somtyme person
of this Churche who deceased the 3
of Novemb 1584. aetatis sue 47.

Translation of the Latin.
An epitaph on the death of Robert Kinge.
A threefold pastor, by word, by his life and by giving of food, he refreshed his flock; by his preaching he refreshed the souls of his sheep and by giving food their bodies, and the living image of his piety restored a model of living. He has passed from the living; death has given him better things.

Palin tells us that Robert King MA, became rector of Orsett in 1579 and was also appointed by Bishop Aylmer as Vicar of Dunmow and commissary for the archdeaconries of Colchester and Essex. He was obviously well liked in Orsett and much appreciated during the five years in which he served as Rector.

Other Orsett brasses


Fig. 3


Fig. 4


Fig. 5

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