Invisible Saints: The Search for Medieval Wood Sculpture in British Parish Life (Presented at the Tenth Warwick Symposium on Parish Research, 25-27 May 2012)

- Don White

‘History is written by the victors’, or so the idiom goes. Much the same may be said for the dominant narrative of medieval parish wood sculpture in the British Isles, a story that, as some would have it, begins and ends between the 1530s and 1640s. For at least 350 years (and likely much longer) following the implementation of church reforms of the 1280s requiring installation of images of the patronal saints and the Virgin flanking the high altar in every English parish, these works were the most familiar and accessible form of devotional imagery and the immediate material interface between ordinary laymen and -women and their faith.[1] In today’s scholarship, they elide to so many pathetic piles of ash and battered remains in denuded churches. Scholarly attention to written documentation of British medieval wood sculpture fixes upon sweeping sixteenth-century governmental edicts for dismantling and destruction (enforced by episcopal visitors empowered to impose steep fines and issues orders for arrest), the dramatic public defrocking and derogation of cult images, spectacularly stage-managed ‘burnings’ in larger towns and cities and the smash-and-grab predations of Parliamentarian soldiers and iconoclasts the likes of Dowsing and Beccles. At the parish level, vacant niches and a few shattered and scattered revenants are adduced as evidence that the utter devastation of wooden imagery indicated in official and urban records and the writings of self-promoting vandals was the prevailing condition on the ground.

The disappearance of this once ubiquitous aspect of church fabric is singled out again and again as the defining material consequence of the medieval British parish churches’ sixteenth-century and later transformations. As early as 1912 and the publication of Edward Prior and Arthur Gardner’s monumental An Account of Medieval Figure-Sculpture in England (a weighty pictorial chronology of the exterior sculptural programmes of major religious foundations), it was excepted wisdom that the devotional wood sculpture vanished from British churches was, save for a handful of super-rarefied exceptions, lost beyond retrieval.[2] The last century of scholarship recapitulates Prior and Gardner’s assessment, but in increasingly dire language, characterising the post-medieval fate of parish wood sculpture as ‘total destruction’, ‘violent…iconoclastic fervour’, ‘a long holocaust of images’, ‘material genocide’,  the undermining of the ‘whole structure of parish life and custom’, and so on. Estimates of the rate of loss range from Lawrence Stone’s ‘ninety per cent’ of the 1950s, to Phillip Lindley’s more recent, not to mention more depressing, ‘above ninety-nine’.[3]

Indeed, no more than perhaps a dozen examples of medieval parochial wood sculpture, from five centuries, are widely acknowledged in scholarship and recognized as indisputably of British origin: notably, the head and foot of a Romanesque figure of Christ crucified found behind the north wall of the nave at South Cerney (Glos);[4] an early thirteenth-century enthroned Virgin and child purportedly removed from the church to the manor hall at Langham (Essex);[5] a legless late thirteenth-century Christ crucified that tumbled out of a blocked up rood-staircase ‘together with skulls and bones’ during repairs to Kemeys Inferior (Newport, Wales) in 1886 ;[6] a diminutive limbless torso of  a fourteenth-century Christ crucified found under the floor at Mochdre church (Conwy, Wales), along with a late medieval figure of the mourning Virgin that was probably once used as part of the same rood-grouping;[7] a badly insect-damaged group of the Virgin of Pity deposited by a local family at the church in Battlefield (Shrops) in the mid-nineteenth century;[8] a larger than life-sized, early sixteenth-century composition of the reclining Jesse, once part of a dismantled sculptural programme of the Genealogy of Christ, which never appears to have left the church at Abergavenny (Monmouthshire), likely because of its massive bulk,[9] a blackened late medieval bishop extracted from a peat bog in Whithorn (Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland);[10] the scorched and battered carcase of an early sixteenth-century Christ Crucified, used during the nineteenth century as the vestry fire poker at Cartmel Fell (Cumbria).[11] A few other examples (a standing Madonna and Child with no known provenance at the Yorkshire Museum; a collection of fragmentary reliefs of the Passion from an altarpiece or retable at the National Museum of Scotland; a group of statuettes depicting apostles and the Coronation of the Virgin, in the Victoria & Albert Museum, which  were catalogued as English until evidence recently placed them solidly within the atelier of late fourteenth-century Liege image-makers) remain in dispute.[12]

This piteous handful of sculptures appear to owe their preservation in situ or near to their original contexts, largely to incomplete attempts at destruction, haphazard disposal and/or intentional concealment between the mid-sixteenth and -seventeenth centuries. On the one hand, scholars extol the miraculous circumstances of such survivals and tout their exceptional importance as heritage assets. But on the other, extant works are treated in serious scholarship and museum installations as mere objects of curiosity – statistical aberrations, too isolated to submit to detailed analysis or serve as reliable data. And as a result of the doomsday scenarios laid out in the official and urban records that form the bulwark of documentary evidence utilised in the study of British parish wood sculpture, taken together with the fact that the vast majority of churches are indeed empty, scholars and researchers appear convinced of the utter futility of locating other, previously unrecognized examples. But does absence necessarily imply obliteration; and is it acceptable to try to comprehend the medieval parish wood sculpture of the British Isles solely in terms of its subsequent destruction? Certainly documentary evidence abounds that removal of British parish wood sculpture from its original context, even in the thick of sixteenth-century reformation-related changes, did not spell instant annihilation. Importantly, the sculptures themselves proclaim to those who pay attention ‘we are still here’, although not where one might expect them. Scholarship, however, continues to search in the wrong places, instead finding only a few battered remains and immured relics.

What is needed, here, is a concerted effort to track these works beyond parish walls and along their indirect and often surprising paths down to the present. By bringing together documentary evidence of the realities on the ground in local situations with concerted analysis of technical, material, stylistic, iconographic and surface properties (concentrating especially on how surfaces preformed and evolved over time and in unique regional circumstances), it is possible to reunite Britain’s lost parish devotional wood sculptures with the places and parish communities of their origins. Equally important is evidence of securely provenanced examples of sculpted stone, fixed woodwork and manuscript and wall painting, etc. Attributions made through inductive method are, of course, nothing new or controversial in studies of European wood sculpture. Devotional wood sculpture is inherently mobile: relatively lightweight and sometimes designed for use in processions or mystery plays, it was seldom emplaced at elevation and rarely formed part of the fabric of buildings so as to foil dismantling and removal. In the North of France and the Rhine-Meuse region, too, a major portion of a more than 600-year heritage of medieval imagery is now ex situ. And many of the works now in museum collections and confidently attributed to specific regions, workshops, communities, or associated with particular religious foundations entered those institutions carrying little more than vague, nineteenth-century collection histories.[13] Also, much of the Romanesque and early Gothic ivory carving, enamels and small-scale metalwork, attributed without controversy to English workshops, have even murkier histories, which, as in the case of the celebrated twelfth-century ivory altar cross in the Cloisters collection  (linked to Bury St Edmunds, despite its post-war acquisition from a Croatian collector with a dubious reputation for trafficking in stolen art), rarely lead back to Britain.[14]

Thus, it is all the more perplexing that the copious written documentation of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century rescue, concealment, resale, relocation and reuse has failed to propel scholars working on medieval wood sculpture in British contexts to mine institutional and private collections and the works of art market for further survivals. Most glaringly, mid- and later sixteenth-century ordinances concerning parish fabric, whilst increasingly punitive, also display a rising frustration on the part of officials that many pieces of parish imagery were escaping destruction through concealment and expropriation by private sale. The Act of January 1550 imposes fines of up to £4 and even imprisonment for  ‘any person or persons…that now have or hereafter shall have in his, her, or their custody any … images of stone, timber, alabaster, or earth, graven, carved or painted, which heretofore have been taken out of any church or chapel, or yet stand in any church or chapel’ – threats recapitulated in the 1559 Articles of Visitation. Inevitably, some prohibited wood sculptures were caught up in the dragnet, as in North Riding (Yorkshire) where in 1566 visitors learned  of ‘two Imagis called meary and john were hid in a lime kylne[?] …in the churcheyard of Askarth’ parish.[15]

Given the volume and variety of entries in parish accounts that unapologetically  – even flagrantly – record sales of prohibited images, and without much evidence of subsequent fines and harsher penalties, greater numbers of images are likely to have slipped quietly underground. In 1550, for example, the North Cornwall parish of Poughill received 4s from a parishioner for ‘sen georg and ys standyng’, and 16d from another local for miscellaneous  ‘ymagys sold to hym’;  in Somerset, a similar 16d receipt was noted the same year at Ilminster; and Banwell sold ‘yImagys off yRoodlofte (likely a series of apostles housed in niches on the front gallery)’ for 2s. Such apparently successful black-market activity was not limited to rural parishes, whose remote locations allowed them to occasionally operate below the level of episcopal scrutiny: in 1563, the urban parish of St Petrock, literally a stone’s throw from Exeter cathedral, sold two images for 6d.[16]

Nor was resale of parish imagery a practice born out of the financial exigencies of mid- and later sixteenth-century changes. Partial disassembly, modification, relocation or resale and reuse have long been the defining material conditions of parish churches. When the modest North Cornwall market town parish of Stratton built a costly new roodloft in the 1530s, its predecessor was dismantled, bundled into manageable parcels and carried off to the homes of five private buyers (three locals and two from the nearby Devontown of Holsworthy).[17] Although parish images were emphatically sacred – as foci of ritual and direct conduits to holy helpers and intercessors – they, too, were no less insistently and unmistakably material. This was especially true of wood sculptures. They became blackened from the constant nearby burning of tapers and torches, exposure to the elements could cause serious deterioration, and body parts eroded or discoloured through repetitive touching were frequently renewed. Both arms of a late thirteenth-century figure of Christ crucified found in Anglesey (Corpus / Anglesey), in which the slumped attitude of the torso was accomplished through selection of a stock of characteristically dark and wild-grained local welsh timber with a natural radial twist, are late medieval replacements. Many wood sculptures were significantly renewed or replaced because they were beyond repair or had simply become unfashionable; and more often than not, these damaged or obsolete images were sold to offset the costs of the new commissions. Widely known is the perpetually impecunious Exmoor (Devon) parish of Morbath’s attempts to settle their debts to an itinerant painter by offering him the figures of Mary and John the Evangelist from the old rood-grouping, (replaced in 1535-36) in-lieu of his yearly fee for cleaning and retouching the church imagery, but ‘he had not mary & John’. Banwell (Somerset) was more successful, receiving £3 for their old rood grouping in 1530.[18]

During the initial downing of parish images in the late 1540s and early 1550s, some devotional images (most of them probably wood) were not sold, but instead entrusted to individual households for safekeeping, as at Morebath where parishioner John Willis was paid in 1557 for keeping the aforementioned replacement figures of Mary and John.[19] The evening of Queen Mary’s official entry into the city of London, one observer reported images of saints and the Virgin were brought out from concealment and displayed in the windows of people’s homes. By the time the 1559 Articles of Visitation took effect, some of these survivors had been destroyed, others were sold off, but a few returned to hiding, accompanied by other images newly made to replace recent losses and comply with Marian restoration statutes. In some instances, these later preservation efforts were motivated by genuinely traditional sentiments: in his characteristically lachrymose tone, Long Melford’s Roger Martin recorded in the 1580s or 90s that in his custody was a set of reredos depicting the crucifixion ‘in my house, decayed and the same I hope my heirs will repair and restore again, one day’.[20] Images were no doubt also kept out of pure parish pragmatism – to obviate the expense of new construction that would come with yet another reversal of religious fortunes.

It is clear that many of the wood sculptures and other images sold by parishes were also purchased and retained by local people. Some inevitably continued in their former, devotional roles, as at Glengarry in the Scottish Highlands where one Donald MacAngus was changed around 1600 with worshiping what was probably a wooden image of St Corngan.[21] Others were likely acquired because of aesthetic appreciation or as heirlooms of past generations of individuals and sub-parochial groups who commissioned and, year after year, raised funds for the maintenance, painting and repainting of the sculptures or had their names, coats-of-arms or occupational embalms prominently carved or painted on or around them. Of course some private owners had different uses in mind, as appears to have occurred in Bristol where, in the 1560s, it was reported that townsfolk gave the smaller images to their children as toys, perhaps not irreverently but instead out of a desire that apotaropaic benefit would accrue to their children through continual physical contact with the images.[22] An extensively handled seventeen-inch figure of the hirsute Mary Magdalen found in Suffolk (Mary Magdalen / Suffolk), its deeply patinated surface more resembling the arm of a well-used oak chair, likely served such a purpose.

Whatever the motives of the purchaser, the result was akin to the process of domestication – the integration of medieval parish wood sculpture into household material cultures. This shift in context and situation had an unmistakably tangible effect. The threat of harsh fines or arrest that forced images underground, combined with loss of the financial support provided by parish fundraising apparatus, rendered regular renewal of fragile and costly polychrome and gilding either too conspicuous or no longer economically feasible. When this ‘church’ finish deteriorated, medieval wood sculptures privately owned in Britain developed surfaces that, as on the well-loved Magdelen, were closer to those of domestic furniture or woodwork. Whereas on the Continent, sculptures were either stripped to bright wood according to fashion or, if still in devotional use, repainted into the twentieth century.

Two stocky mid-fifteenth-century figures of Apostles (probably Sts Peter and Andrew) found in the 1960s in the loft of a Bakewell (Derbyshire) barn (St Andrew / BakewellSt Peter / Bakewell, are coated with several layers of the type of ochre paint often applied to domestic woodwork in the eighteenth-century. Both exhibit careful repairs (the forearms, hands and feet of St Peter and some of St Andrew’s fingertips and what remains of his attribute) pre-date the lower layers of this paint, indicating that the figures continued in use in some capacity during these later generations of surface work. Similar drab paint appears on a fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century Christ crucified  (Corpus / Rotherfield) recently recovered from the House known as ‘Rotherhurst’(Rotherfield, East Sussex). A bust of God the Father (God the Father / Great Corby) found at Corby Castle (Cumbria) , and likely originally part of the patronal image from the adjacent parish church of Holy Trinity, Wetheral   – from the same workshop as figures representing three ranks of early sixteenth-century gentry removed from Naworth Castle some eight miles away  – shows the glassine, deep red surface that develops from a beeswax-linseed oil mixture popularly applied to oak furniture in the North Country.

As time passed, faith lapsed, memory faded and the controversy surrounding medieval imagery receded, domesticated parish wood sculptures emerged from hiding. Nineteenth-century Cornwall Chronicler Joseph Polsue reported that, in what may have been a survival of the late medieval practice of affixing a devotional woodcut or indulgence to the lintel as a ward against harm to hearth and home ‘carved figures …were to be seen as chimney ornaments in the houses of some of the parishioners’ in St Buryan parish.[23] Later, wood sculptures were inevitably discarded or sold on by local owners, making their way onto the burgeoning twentieth-century British antiques market, at which point any lingering link to the peoples and communities of their origins were regularly severed, either out of apathy and in the rush to turn a profit. The circumstances surrounding the acquisition of what was probably once the patronal image from the collegiate church of St Peter, Wolverhampton – St Peter in full episcopal regalia, later coated in garish gilding (St Peter / Wolverhampton) - made for such an amusing anecdote that the details were retained. Before it was purchased by a then unwitting antiques dealer in the early 1980s, this imposing four-foot-tall figure spent the better part of the twentieth century guarding the entry to a pub, situated across the street – and possibly inherited – from Giffard House, Wolverhampton’s traditional Catholic meeting place, described in 1729 as ‘the house where time out of mind Catholicks have used to meet for their devotions’.[24]

Some medieval images were never quite so controversial, like the kings displayed, remarkably untouched by iconoclasts’ hammers and chisels, upon the west front of the early fifteenth-century pulpitum at York Minster. The same may be said of a refined and courtly statuette of a monarch (Royal Saint / Wantage), which could have stepped from between the pages of the Winchester-produced ‘Queen Mary Psalter’ of c. 1300 Still bearing the majority of its original polychrome, it has changed little in 700 years. Displayed as part of the British Section of the 1900 Parish International Exhibition, it was at the time associated with Wantage (Oxfordshire) and credited as a depiction of that market town parish’s most famous son, Alfred the Great.[25] More likely to be an English royal saint, such as Edward the Confessor or Stephen, the slippage in identification to a largely secular personage of particularly local significance likely accounts for this fragile sculpture’s survival.

Just as quantities of monastic goods were conveyed surreptitiously back to back to European mother houses during the dissolutions of the 1530s, parish wood sculptures, too, found their way to the Continent during the sixteenth century. A September 1550 letter from the English ambassador to France confirms a situation suggested in a woodcut of a Papist ship departing English shores loaded with an idolatrous cargo, which prefaces the 1570 edition of the ninth book of Foxe’s Acts and Monuments: the survival of, and active overseas trade in, prohibited devotional imagery. Sir John Mason wrote from Poissy that ‘Three or four ships have lately arrived from England laden with images, which have been sold at Paris, Rouen, and other places, and being eagerly purchased’. Entries in parish accounts go further, recording  purchases of parish imagery by or on behalf of foreigners, as at Lewes (East Sussex) where three altar pieces were sold to a ‘Frenchman’ in 1548.[26]

A three-foot-tall, early fifteenth-century figure of John the Baptist (John the Baptist / Rouen), which was found outside Rouen, may well be one such British import. The figure’s deeply stylised waves of hair, slanted, almond-shaped eyes, and unnaturally high cheekbones are uncannily similar to the features of a c. 1400 sculpted stone head of Christ crowned with thorns excavated at Westminster; overall, the figure relates closely to popular contemporary alabaster depictions of the saint. A few images, particularly those subject to cult activity, may also have been smuggled out by individual laypeople. Local tradition surrounding the cult image of Mondonedo in northwest Spain maintains that the so-called ‘Nuestra Senora la Inglesa’ (now sadly replaced by a Baroque sculpture) was brought to the cathedral in the mid-sixteenth century by an expatriate Englishman named John Dutton.[27]

So, if the sculptures are, in fact, out there to be found, what might they have to tell us?To an extent, these works, once identified in greater numbers, will point towards openings through which they might best be leveraged. Some opportunities, however, readily suggest themselves. Our knowledge of the material aspects of medieval parish cultures in Britain is occluded by the oppressive physical presence of late medieval parish elaboration – the sustained structural expansion and material enrichment of churches during the later fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Even in the most modest and isolated of churches, earlier medieval features are often obliterated by, or encased beneath, a homogenising late Perpendicular Gothic; earlier parish artworks, save for wall paintings (many of them very fragmentary) and fonts, are exceedingly thin on the ground. Parish fabric accounts rarely date to much before 1500. And the parish roodscreens of East Anglia and the South West, which are currently accepted as ‘the most copious surviving source of medieval popular devotional imagery’, can barely be said to predate that.[28]

Further, much of what is seen today of medieval parish wood sculpture consists of so-called ‘marginal’ carvings (figures wrought upon benchends, crouching beneath misericords and figurative bosses, beam angels and other roof carvings). The limitations of materials in situ misdirects us towards a conclusion that British parish sculpture in the medium wood was formulaic, coarsely executed, or slavishly aped works in monastic houses and larger and more prestigious churches. Beyond, helping to further correct the evidentiary bias towards parish life and culture at the tail-end of the late Middle Ages, if successful, the search for medieval devotional wood sculptures has the potential to activate parish communities as sites of sculptural innovation and achievement in the sorely neglected medium of wood.Thinking more broadly, the lifecycles of parish wood sculptures (continual movement into different circumstances and new types of interactions, and resultant material transformations) is what truly sets them apart from their Continental counterparts. And it is also this elasticity, resistance of fixed categories, and constant mobility (specifically the cross-migration of church and domestic parish material cultures) that links so directly to the ‘plural’, ‘local’, ‘individual’ and ‘flexible’ nature of religion and religious changes in British local communities,[29] and provides a direct material corollary to the lived experiences of parish belief into sixteenth-century and beyond.






[1] Richard Marks, Image and Devotion in Late Medieval England (Stroud, 2004), p. 73.

[2] Edward S. Prior and Arthur Gardner, An Account of Medieval Figure-Sculpture in England (Cambridge, 1912), pp. 8, 524-525.

[3] Lawrence Stone, Sculpture in Britain in the Middle Ages (Harmondsworth, 1955), pp. 1-2 (second quote from p. 2); John Phillips, The reformations of Images: Destruction of Art in England, 1535–1660 (Los Angles, 1975), pp. 206-210; Robert Whiting, ‘Abominable Idols: Images and Image Breaking under Henry VIII’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 33: 1, (1982), pp. 34-38; George Zarnecki, Janet Holt and Tristam Holland (eds.) , English Romanesque Art, 1066 – 1200 (London, 1984); Carlos M. N. Eire, War against the Idols: The Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin (Cambridge, 1986), p. 164; Jonathan Alexander and Paul Binski (eds.), Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England, 1200 – 1400 (London, 1987), p. 302; Margaret Aston, Faith and fire: Popular and unpopular religion,1350–1600 (London, 1993), pp. 214, 231, 290; Paul Williamson, Gothic Sculpture1140 – 1300 (New Haven, 1995), p. 113-114, 116 (first quote from p. 114); Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, c.1400-c.1580. (New Haven, 1992), pp. 479-481; Ronald Hutton, The Rise and Fall of Merry England: The Ritual Year, 1400 – 1700 (Oxford, 1994), pp. 78-81; Alain Besancon, The Forbidden Image: An Intellectual History of Iconoclasm, Jane Marie Todd Trans (Chicago, 2000), pp. 173-174; Richard Deacon and Phillip Lindley, Image and Idol: Medieval Sculpture (London, 2001), pp. 36, 39-41 (third quote from p. 39); Richard Marks and Paul Williamson (eds.), Gothic: Art for England, 1400-1540 (London, 2003), p. 68, 387;  Margaret Aston, ‘Public worship and Iconoclasm’, in David R. M. Gaimster and Roberta Gilchrist (eds.),The Archaeology of Reformation c.1480-1580 (Leeds, 2003), p. 18; Joseph Leo Koerner, The Reformation of the Image (London, 2004), pp. 132-134; Marks, Image and Devotion, pp. 253-255 (fifth quote from p. 255); Richard Wheeler, The Medieval Church Screens of the Southern Marches (Woonton Almeley, 2006), pp. 20-21 (fourth quote from p. 21); C. Pamela Graves, ‘From an Archaeology of Iconoclasm to an Anthropology of the Body: Images, Punishment, and Personhood in England, 1500–1660’, Current Anthropology, 49: 1 (2008), p. 39; Robert Whiting, The Reformation of the English Parish Church (Cambridge, 2010), pp. 163-164.

[4] Stone, Sculpture in, p. 65; English Romanesque Art, p. 115.

[5] Stone, Sculpture in Britain, p. 104; Age of Chivalry, p. 302; Williamson, Gothic Sculpture, p. 114.

[6] Mark Redknap, ‘The Medieval Crucifix Figure from Kemeys Inferior and its Church’, Monmouthshire Antiquary, 14 (2000), pp. 51-53 (quote from p. 51); Wheeler, Medieval Church Screens, pp. 21.

[7] Marks and Paul Williamson, Gothic: , p. 385; Wheeler, Medieval Church Screens, pp. 15, 21.

[8] Prior and Gardner, Account of Medieval Figure-Sculpture, p. 8; Nikolaus, The Buildings of England: Shropshire, ed. By John Newman (New Haven, 2006), p. 137; Marks, Image and Devotion, pp. 129-133.

[9] Deacon and Lindley, Image and Idol, p. 50; Gothic, p. 399.

[10] Angles, Nobles & Unicorns: Art and Patronage in Medieval Scotland (Edinburgh, 1982), p. 70.

[11] Prior and Gardner, Account of Medieval Figure-Sculpture, p. 8; Gothic, p. 385-386.

[12] J. B. Morrell, Woodwork in York: The Arts and Crafts in York (London, 1949), 22; Prior and Gardner, Account of Medieval Figure-Sculpture, pp. 524-25; Age of Chivalry, pp. 428-429; Angles, Nobles & Unicorns: , p. 114; Williamson, Northern Gothic Sculpture, p. 110; John W. Steyaert, Late Gothic Sculpture: The Burgundian Netherlands (Ghent, 1994), pp. 258-59.

[13] Paul Williamson, Northern Gothic Sculpture, 1200 – 1450 (London, 1988), pp. 15-17, 19-20.

[14] Elizabeth C. Parker, ‘Master Hugo as Sculptor: A Source for the Style of the Bury Bible’, Gesta, 20: 1 Essays in Honor of Harry Bober (1981), pp. 99-103; Bernice R. Jones, ‘A Reconsideration of the Cloisters Ivory Cross with the Caiaphas Plaque Restored to Its Base’, Gesta, 30: 1 (1991), pp. 84-85.

[15] Margaret Aston, England’s Iconoclasts, Vol. I: Laws Against Images. (Oxford, 1988), pp. 262, 269, 299; Bothwick Institute, HC.CP.1567/1.

[16] Cornwall Record Office, DDP 192/5/1, fol. 83; Somerset Heritage Centre, D\P\ilm/4/1/1, fol. 4; Somerset Heritage Centre, D\P\ban/4/1/1, fol. 183.

[17] British Library, Add MSS 32, 244, fols. 4v, 7v, 9v.

[18] Devon Record Office, 2983 A/PW 2, fols. 152, 161, 219-220; Somerset Heritage Centre, D\P\ban/4/1/1, fol. 63.

[19] Sarah Tarlow,  ‘Reformation and Transformation: What Happened to Catholic Things in a Protestant World’, in Archaeology of Reformation, pp. 112-114; Simon Roffey, ‘Devotional objects and cultural context: the medieval parish church’, in Viginia, Chieffo Raguin (ed.), Catholic Collecting, Catholic Reflection 1538-1850: Objects as a Measure of Reflection on a Catholic Past and the Construction of a Recusant Identity in England and the United States (Washington D.C. 2006), pp. 29; Devon Record Office, 2983 A/PW 2, fol. 29.

[20] Aston, England’s Iconoclasts, p. 278; David Dymond and Clive Paine (eds.), The Spoil of Long Melford Church (Ipswich,, 1992), p. 2.

[21] John Higgitt, ‘Imageis Maid With Mennis Hand’: Saints, Images, Belief and Identity in Later medieval Scotland (Wigtownshire, 2003), pp. 17-19.

[22] Janet Wilson, ‘The Sermons of Roger Edgeworth: Reformation Preaching in Bristol’, in D. Williams (ed.), Early Tudor England (Woodbridge, 1989), p. 231.

[23] Joseph Polsue (ed.), Lake’s Parochial History of the County of Cornwall, vol. 1 (Turo, , 1867), p. 25;  David S. Areford, The Viewer and the Printed Image in Late Medieval Europe (Farnham, 2010), p. 146.

[24] Michael W. Greenslade, Catholic Staffordshire, 1500-1850 (Leominster, 2006), p. 171.

[25] Official Catalogue of the British Section: Published by direction of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales…president of the Royal commission for Great Britain and Ireland (London, 1900), 4:24.

[26] Benjamin Thompson,‘Monasteries and Their Patrons at Foundation and Dissolution: The Alexander Prize Essay, Proxime Accessit’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6: 4 (1994), p. 117; William B. Turnbull (ed.), Calendar of State Papers, Foreign, of the Reign of Edward VI, 1547-1553: preserved in the state papers department of Her Majesty’s Public Record Office (London, 1861), p. 55; W. St John Hope, ‘On the Early Working of Alabaster in England’, Archaeological Journal 64 (1904), p. 239.

[27] Francis Cheetham, English Medieval Alabasters: With a catalogue of the collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Woodbridge, 1984), p. 53.

[28] Howard Colvin, ‘Church Building  in the Sixteenth Century’, in his Essays in English Architectural History (New Haven, 1999), pp. 22; Carol Davidson Cragoe, ‘Belief and Patronage in the English Parish before 1300: Some Evidence from Roods’, Architectural History, 48 (2005), pp. 21-22; Eamon Duffy, ‘The parish, piety, and patronage in late medieval East Anglia: the evidence of rood screens, in Katherine L. French and Beat A. Kümin, (eds.), The Parish in English Life, 1400-1600 (Manchester, 1997), pp. 133-136 (quote from p. 136); Andrew Foster, ‘Churchwardens accounts of early modern England and Wales: some problems to note, but much to be gained’, in , The Parish in English Life, pp. 77-79.

[29] Christopher Haigh, English Reformations: Religion, Politics, and Society under the Tudors (Oxford, 1993), p. 13; Christopher Marsh, Popular Religioni n Sixteenth-Century England( New York, 1998), pp. 145, 199; Norman L Jones, The English Reformation: Religion and Cultural Adaptation (Oxford, 2002), pp. 3, 4; Eamon Duffy, ‘The English Reformation After Revisionism’, Renaissance Quarterly, 59: 3 (2006), pp. 721-23.

 © Don White, 2012