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It is much to be desired that as soon as a favourable opportunity occurs the now scattered portions of this most interesting memorial may be brought together and set up in a suitable part of the church, but there should be no attempt to restore the missing parts except by plain stonework, and no cleaning or scraping of the carved work.75
PEDIGREE OF THE FAMILY OF BRUS OF SKELTON AND
ROBERT DE BRUS, came to England after 1086-7. Founded Agnes Paynel.
EXPLANATION OF THE PLATES.
END ELEVATION AND PLAN OF THE MONUMENT.
The upper figure represents the east end of the monument as it originally stood. It gives the details of the carving of the slab now in the priory ruins, and shows the form and dimensions of the two slabs in the chancel of the parish church.
The lower figure is a plan of the monument shown as if cut through the figures of the knights. This plan has been given chiefly to show how the various slabs forming the sides and ends were cut and fitted together, and to make clearer the account of the various parts and details. The lost end, which faced the west, is shown by dotted shading. It will be seen that this was the smallest of the four slabs, and was fitted in between the two side slabs, instead of overlapping one of them as the east end did.
ELEVATION A. ON PLAN.
This plate shows the side slab now fixed on the south side of the porch of the parish church, and which was formerly the north side of the cenotaph. It shows the present condition of the stone with the end, now at the west, broken away, whereby the upper portion, including the head and body of one of the knights, is gone, and along with it the spandril in the upper angle of the slab. The Dugdale plate shows that this spandril, like the one in the same position at the other end of the slab, was occupied with the cock and reel rebus, so that this device occurred no less than five times on the monument. At the left hand end of the plate is seen the edge of the end slab now in the priory ruins, and its original position with reference to the side is made clear. In its present position the end of the side slab at this point is unfortunately covered up by a door frame so that it cannot be examined, and the cock and reel device is hidden. The various figures and emblems have been described, but it will be seen that the drawing is shaded to show the depth of the various niches, and the sunk panelling at the back of this is delineated. The upper and lower slabs are shown in their original positions,
ELEVATION B. ON PLAN.
This plate shows again the monument completed, and its southern side, as it was originally placed, with the side slab now fixed to the north side of the porch. This is in one piece from end to end, and is in much more perfect condition than the corresponding slab on the other side. A large chip near the middle has however deprived us of one of the emblems of the passion, and a piece is broken away from the lower part of the end which originally joined up to the west, or the king end. This end is covered by modern panelling and is so embedded in the wall of
the church that it was impossible to get a drawing of it. This portion and the opposite end of the same slab are the only existing parts of the monument not shown on the drawings.. They were however quite inaccessible, and can only be seen by the removal of the slabs from their present position. By the removal of a board and the insertion of a candle into the space which was behind that board, a portion of the upper angle of the west end of the slab can be seen. This is ornamented with some very good sunk tracery of a design somewhat earlier in character than that at the backs of the main niches. There was no chance of seeing if any portion of the shields or figures shown on the Dugdale plate of this end were cut on the ends of the side slabs. The moulding beneath the niches on this side is a close guilloche or cable, instead of a plain bead as in other corresponding places.
VIEW OF THE MONUMENT FROM THE SOUTH-WEST AS IT ORIGINALLY STOOD IN THE PRIORY CHURCH.
This is a facsimile reproduction of a portion of a copper-plate engraving in the second volume of the first edition of Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum, published in 1661: the whole plate contains three figures. First, the arms of Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin, with the words Memoria Majorum prænobilis THOMAS dominus BRUCE comes Elgince posuit. Then the figure here reproduced, and below it an elevation of the original north side of the monument, which, however, shows nothing that does not exist except the cock and reel device at the broken end of the slab. The chief inaccuracy of this latter figure, in fact of the whole plate, is that the statuette of the virgin and child with the Tudor rose over it, is conspicuous by its absence, and its place is filled by a cock and reel. So serious an error as this materially discounts the whole plate, and other inaccuracies show that we must only rely upon it in a general way. Its chief value is that it enables us to say positively what was the original position of the various parts of the monument now remaining, what was on the west or lost end, and that the slab now in use as an altar stone was the top slab. It will be seen that some of the emblems are correctly shown, while others are recklessly repeated, as are the chalices all along the south side, whereas in fact there is only one chalice amongst other emblems, as seen in Plate III. Again the backgrounds of the larger niches are shown as tiled floors in perspective, a very common form of backing up figures in medieval glass and wall paintings, but not in sculpture. The sunk tracery of the monument is a very different thing to this.
PHOTOGRAPH OF A PORTION OF ELEVATION A. ON PLAN.
This is a reproduction of a "direct" photograph specially made for this paper by the writer of these notes. It shows the second from the left of the larger niches, with the two adjoining small ones containing St. Ambrose and St. Jerome. It gives, better than a drawing, the character and appearance of the carving.