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on a reel facing to the dexter. The whole of the space below the arcade is occupied by a group of figures of which nine can be seen, and it may be assumed that the whole number was thirteen. The central figure occupies the whole of the chief compartment of the arcade, and represents the Prior seated. The seat is of semi-octagonal form and has a moulded cornice and plinth. The Prior is habited in the ordinary dress of the Austin Canons; he wears both cassock and cloak; the hood of the latter is drawn up and covers the head, while the sides of it fall over the shoulders. He holds with both hands and resting on his knees a shield bearing the arms of the Priory, a lion rampant debruised by a bend. On either side of him kneel a group of Canons, of whom six are to be seen on his left and two on his right, the remainder of the number on his right being on the end of the side slab as explained. These figures are allusive of the Prior and twelve brethren who were originally placed in the Priory on its foundation, thirteen being the smallest number who could occupy a monastic house, being typical of Our Lord and the twelve Apostles. The Canons also wear their cloaks, but their hoods are thrown back and they kneel bareheaded with clasped hands facing the Prior in an attitude of adoration. Their heads are tonsured.
On the right-hand end of this end slab is a sculpture which formed a portion of that on the original north side of the monument. It is seen in elevation on Plate. In a niche rather narrower and longer than those containing the four doctors, but similarly treated to them, is a figure of the Madonna crowned and standing on a pedestal. Above is a shield on which is a large double rose. The adjoining spandril, to the right of the shield, is unfortunately now hidden by the door frame.
Before describing the various figures on the monument in detail, it will be convenient to give a short account of its history as far as known, and its probable date.
No contemporary notice of it seems to exist, but in a letter written probably in the reign of James I., it is stated that "their (the Bruces) sepulchres, and the Lord Falconbridges,
8 Argent, a lion rampant azure, de bruised by a bend gules (Tonge's Visitation of Yorkshire, 1530-Surtees Soc. xli. 24). The family of Tocketts of
Tocketts in the parish of Guisborough bore the same arms (Ibid. p. xxvi), probably because they were subfeudatories of the Priory.
and divers other greate Barons apeare amongste the ruynes," but makes no certain reference to this particular one. It is not until 1661 that we find an undoubted notice of its existence. In that year the second volume of Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum appeared, and amongst other engravings is one by Hollar, which gives a fairly accurate, though somewhat conventional, representation of our subject. It is of great value, as it is the only authority for the royal end now lost. The two sides are given, but not the end in the Priory church. The plate was contributed by the most noble Thomas, Lord Bruce, and Earl of Elgin, as a memorial to his ancestors.9 At that time it seems to have been removed from the Priory church, where it had been very recently, nuperrime existens.
The next notice is found in the note-book of John Warburton, the Herald. 10 It is undated, but as he was in the neighbourhood in the autumn of 1718, it was probably written then. After describing Guisbrough parish church, he proceeds, "Near to the entrance at the west door is an ancient tomb, on which the Churchwardens' seat is fixt, so that no inscription is to be seen, by the sheild represented in the following draught should have belonged to (blank)." Then follows a very rough drawing of the English side of the
Graves, by some strange omission, whilst describing the parish church in his History of Cleveland, makes no reference to it. Ord gives a copy of a drawing of the Scotch side and lost end, made by Mr. William Downing Bruce of Ripon, and lithographed by Mr. J. R. Walbran.12 He also gives a drawing of the effigy of Sir William de Bruce in Pickering Church on the same plate. The drawing is inaccurate and careless, and the letter-press even worse. The last and by far the best account is given in the second volume of Canon Atkinson's unfortunately unfinished History
9" Memoriæ Majorum prænobilis Thomas, Dominus Bruce, Comes Elginia posuit." This person Thomas Bruce, third Lord Kinloss, son of Sir Edward Bruce of Culross, who was created Lord Bruce of Kinloss in 1601, and received Whorlton Castle and Jervaulx Abbey from James I. He was created Earl of Elgin in the Peerage of Scotland in 1633, and in 1641 Baron
Bruce of Whorlton in that of England. He was the ancestor of the Marquesses of Ailesbury, who are Brudenelis in the male line, the present Earl of Elgin being descended from him collaterally.
10 Lansdowne MSS. Brit. Mus. No. 892, fo. 55b.
11 Carlisle, 1808, p. 419.
12 History of Cleveland. 1846, p. 199.
of Cleveland (pp. 29-35). By his kind permission, use has been made in many places of his description.
Dugdale's words, nuperrime existens, can only mean that when the drawing he engraves was made, the monument was not in the Priory church. Then where was it? The condition of the two side slabs, as compared with the remaining end slab, shows that the former have never been exposed to the weather to any appreciable extent, while the latter has suffered a good deal of weathering. The only explanation of this, and it is confirmed by Warburton, is that the side slabs have been in the parish church for two centuries or more, and we must therefore conclude that soon after the dissolution the monument was moved out of the Priory church into the parish church, a distance of but a few yards, as the two buildings stand close together side by side, the parish church being on the north side of the nave of the conventual church, the western ends of the two being very nearly in a line with each other. Its position after the removal was, there can be little doubt, the south-west portion of the chancel, in fact where the base slab now lies in the floor. The great size of the monument would render it a great inconvenience in the chancel, and it is easy to understand that when the time came that churchwardens and squires liked to make the parish churches comfortable with pews, panellings and ceilings, such relics as the Brus cenotaph had to give way. We may infer that it was about the earlier part of the last century that Guisbrough Church had its turn for being degraded into a condition of coziness. It was about the year 1754, that John Burdon, Esquire, was spending large sums of money in laying out the park and grounds at Hardwick, near Sedgefield, in the county of Durham. He made a lake of forty acres extent, formed a terrace and erected several ornamental buildings on a most sumptuous scale. In one portion of the park a sham ruin was placed representing, no doubt correctly enough to the uneducated eyes of the period, the gateway of a medieval castle. It is furnished with a turret containing a stone newel stair, by which the roof can be reached. According to the fashion of the time, real ruins were robbed and mutilated to make sham ones, and Guisbrough Priory was laid under contribution to supply Hardwick with Gothic details. The connection between the owners of the two places is sufficient to
account for this.13 The landscape gardening mania of the time reduced the ruins of Guisbrough Priory from the condition in which they appear in the plate in the first edition of the Monasticon to their present state. The notion was to make a neater and more imposing ruin as a feature of the landscape than uneven walls and mounds of fallen rubbish afforded, hence all was cleared away except the largest fragment, in this case the east wall of the church. The cruellest wrong, however, was that even this was mutilated by cutting away all that remained below the great east window, so that the window arch became a great open arch, beneath which we can well imagine the gorgeously dressed owner of the time proudly strutting and ignorantly descanting to some fair lady, with a wave of his gold-headed cane, on the grandeur and beauty of the building which he had so nearly annihilated. We have by this lamentable process lost the beautiful wall arcade under the east window with its sill, and all traces of the altar which stood there While this havoc was being played in the Priory, the parish church was being "beautified,"14 and the Brus monument came down, the side slabs were fixed in the porch, the covering slab made the top of the communion table, and the ends removed. That, with the Prior and Canons, went to Hardwick, along with a great quantity of beautiful details, and was put into the sham ruin, where Hutchinson and Surtees saw it, both supposing the Prior to be the Virgin Mary, being deceived by his costume. It is quite possible that the King end went there as well, and though not now visible, it may be lying buried beneath the sod in the park. The ruin is a slightlybuilt structure, and a square recess in one wall from which a stone has fallen may be the erstwhile home of the lost end of the monument. The other details at Hardwick are well worthy of study. They include a number of beautiful cir
13 "John Burdon, Esq. (son of Nicholas and grandson of Thomas Burdon, who is said to have come from Nottinghamshire), was born at South Shields, the youngest of eighteen children. His eldest sister married Edward Fairless of Monkton. Another sister married James Finney, Esq. of Durham, who had an only child Mary, married to William Chaloner, of Guisbrough Abbey, E-q., to whose daughter, Mary, wife of General Hale, and to her family, Mr. Burdon left
the bulk of his property. Thomas Burdon, Esq., brother of John Burdon, had a daughter Sarah, married first to William Swinburne, Esq., secondly to Sir James Riddell, Bart., and died S. P." (Surtees' History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, vol. iii., p. 34, note).
14To beautify" in an ecclesiastical sense meant in the last century to disfigure, just as to restore means nowadays in the same sense to destroy.