Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Four Generations Of Mordaunts

The Mordaunts got into the habit of running the country in the late 15th century- and never saw any good reason to stop. At the same time they started filling All Saints, Turvey- in Bedfordshire- with monuments to their own magnificence. In later generations they became Earls of Peterborough- but that's outside our present remit.

Here are four generations of them, we'll count back; that way we save the best to last.

Lewis, Lord Mordaunt, the third baron, died in 1601. He was one of the judges at the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, deplored the verdict and took a prominent role in her funeral. His tomb is a big, chunky catafalque type thing up against the west wall, with a rather splendid rendering of his coat of arms above it.

His father, John, the second baron, was one of Mary Tudor's privy counsellors. His tomb looks like a huge four poster bed. He lies between his two wives but on a higher level. Frankly speaking, it's an abomination.

The first baron, was a judge at the trial of Anne Boleyn. His renaissance style tomb, which flanks the high altar, looks great from a distance but the effigies it shelters are downright grotesque.

John Mordaunt, the first of the significant Mordaunts, was a country squire made good. He did a little soldiering in his youth but made his fortune as a fixer in the service of that king of fixers- Henry VII. He died in 1505. His tomb portrays him in the good old style- as a paladin in full plate armour with his beauteous lady by his side- both of them, of course, exceedingly pious. Her name was Edith Latymer- and she was an heiress. She doesn't actually lie beside him in the grave because after his death she went off and married somebody else. They were of the generation that kicked the departing Age of Chivalry in the backside. But never mind that. Let's pretend.

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