Carved Oak Chimney Beams

HOUSE IN MARKET STREET, LAVENHAM, SUFFOLK.

Late fifteenth century. Miss Priest Peck.

HOUSE IN MARKET STREET, LAVENHAM, SUFFOLK.

Late fifteenth century. Miss Priest Peck.

STOKE-BY-NAYLAND, SUFFOLK.

Early sixteenth century.

STOKE-BY-NAYLAND, SUFFOLK.

Early sixteenth century.

PAYCOCKES, COGGESHALL, ESSEX.

Early sixteenth century (about 1500).

Initials T.P. carved on shield. Xoel Buxton, Esq.

PAYCOCKES, COGGESHALL, ESSEX.

Early sixteenth century (about 1500).

Initials T.P. carved on shield. Xoel Buxton, Esq.

between three mullets (or spur rowels) of Blackett.1 In the panel of the lower tier in Fig. 27S is the pomegranate of Aragon, repeated twice, and alternating with the Tudor rose. This heraldry would have been utterly false if the panellings had been made for Robert Fuller. The Abbey fell into the clutches of Henry VIII at the Dissolution, and its first purchaser (at a bargain price, we may be sure, as the monastic possessions were disposed of by Henry for any sum they would realise at a forced sale) may have been the Blackett whose arms appear. The royal cognisances were, possibly, the expression of the family's gratitude for a good bargain driven with the royal vendor.

1 The mullet has five straight points in English heraldry and six in French. It is the filial distinction of a third son. The estoile has six wavy points.

We shall see, in the next example, another instance of the same commemoration of an advantageous purchase.

Henn divorced Catherine in 1533, three years before the dissolution of the great monasteries began, and her cognisance of the pomegranate would hardly have been introduced later, but Wolsey had fallen in 1529, and by one of the meanest tricks of which a king has ever availed himself, the estates of the clergy were held to be forfeited, by reason of the acknowledgment, by the Church, of Wolsey's legatine authority, although this had been used with the express sanction of the King. It may have been on this pretext, and at this date, that Waltham was seized upon, in lieu of the fines and subsidies by which the Church extricated itself from the royal clutches. If this theory be admitted, we have a probable date between 1529 and 1533 for this Waltham panelling.

Shortly after the dissolution had commenced, in earnest, and monastic property was being surrendered on a wholesale scale, we find Sir Anthony Denny in possession of the Abbey, but on the panelling his arms do not figure anywhere, and there is a

OAK MANTEL FORMERLY IN THE OAK PARLOUR AT PARNHAM PARK, BEAMINSTER.

OAK MANTEL FORMERLY IN THE OAK PARLOUR AT PARNHAM PARK, BEAMINSTER.

(Afterwards removed to the Hall). Early sixteenth century.

strong probability that it was there when he acquired Waltham, possibly by purchase, from Blackett. His son, Sir Edward Denny, partially rebuilt the Abbey, which had fallen into a somewhat ruinous state, in the latter years of the reign of Elizabeth. It appears to have been again rebuilt in 1725, and pulled down in 1760, when these panellings were removed to the house in the town, before referred to.

From Beckingham Hall, in Essex, comes the elaborate panelling shown in Fig. 2S2

Fig. 298

TATTERSHALL CASTLE, LINCOLNSHIRE.

Fig. 298

TATTERSHALL CASTLE, LINCOLNSHIRE.

Lord Treasurer Cromwell's chimney-piece on the ground floor. Date about 1424.

26 x

Fig. 299. PLASTER PANEL.

Late-sixteenth-century type.

Fig. 299. PLASTER PANEL.

Late-sixteenth-century type.

Morant, in his " History of Essex," \ ol. I, p. 390, refers to Tolleshunt Beckingham, which is, obviously, the same house. This, in the reign of King Stephen, was the property of Geffrey de Tregoz, lord of the next parish of Tolleshunt Tregoz, or Darcy, and was given by him to Coggeshall Abbey. It figures in the inventory taken at the dissolution of the Abbey's possessions 5th February, 153S. In Domesday it is referred to as owned by Robert son of Corbutio, a tenant-in-chief in the three eastern counties, " which was held by Sercar as a maner and as 1 hide, is held of R(obert) by Mauger (Malgerus)." It is from this Mauger that the name Tolleshunt Major derives.

In 153S Henry YIII granted the manor to Sir Thomas Seymour, brother of the Duke of Somerset (a statesman whose ambitions brought him to the headsman's block), but Seymour exchanged it with the King after a few years. In 1543 it was granted to Stephen Beckingham and his wife, Anne, and the heirs of Stephen, by the name of Tolleshunt Major, or Tolleshunt Grange. Stephen Beckingham died in 155S and was buried in the church. Royal grants being usually slow of completion, especially at that period, it is probable that the date 1546, carved in two places on this panel, records the actual year when Beckingham took possession.1 The royal arms of Henry YIII, a quarterly shield on the first and fourth, azure, three fieurs-de-lys in pale, or, on the second and

1 Hence, possibly, the two inscriptions, " Ingratitude is Death " and " He giveth Cirace to the Humble," which appear on the panelling.

third, gules, three lions passant, in pale, or, crested with a six-barred helmet, affrontée, and as supporters a crowned lion and a winged wyvern, may have been designed with the panels at one of the periods when the house was in Henry's hands, in which case, the carved date would ha've been added some eight years later, marking the year when

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