Monumental Brass Society

Edmund Hunt

Date of Brass:


March 2007

March's brass of the month is is in its third church, all at Hindolveston in Norfolk.

On Sunday 31 July 1892, the nave of the church of St George at Hindolveston, Norfolk, was demolished when the eastern half of the tower fell on it. Until a temporary church was set up, the parish used the chancel for worship. It wasn't until 1932 that a new church was opened. The new church, while obviously a twentieth century building from the outside, reused a significant amount of the fabric of the old one inside. Among the items rescued was the memorial to Edmund and Margaret Hunt, which was in the temporary church at the time it was recorded by Mill Stephenson for his list. It is now on the wall of the nave.

Entered a couple heare doth ly, that hatefull death did kill
Whiche lyvinge loved as man and wife and bent to God there will
Whose names to tell thus weare they called, that deathe hathe reste of life
Edmon Hunt the Gentilman, and Margret hight his wife
Children these had fourtene in all Daughters four, and onnes tene
Two Infants dyed, thre marchants weare, Lawiers foure, and one devine
These Huntes huntinge abrode the chase one Hunt oute hunted the rest
Who made this stone in memory, how God his huntinge blest
Who hopes by fayth heaven for his haven, in Christ that he shall finde
Where welcom once no farewell is, suche welcome God us sende

Obiit ille Anno domini.1558.Octobris.11.
Obiit illa Anno domini.1568.Decembris.3.

Edmund Hunt was recorded in a Chancery Court document in the last couple of years of his life as constable of Hindolveston and late servant to Sir John Robsart but little is otherwise known of him. The children recorded in the heraldic visitations of Norfolk were Edmund, later of Horningtoft, who married Lucy, daughter of ... Howett of Weston, Norfolk, Nicholas, Thomas, Richard, Geoffrey, Henry, William, John, Margaret, who married Francis Beaumont, Mary, who married William Wagstafe, Elizabeth, who married William Whyte, and Cicely, who married Robert Lawes. Their mother Margaret was recorded as the daughter of John Potter of Beeston, Norfolk.

I presume that the unnamed Hunt who out-hunted the rest was Sir Thomas Hunt, of Camberwell, Surrey, who bought the manor of Foulsham, south of Hindolveston in 1582 and also bought a number of other manors in the area. His arms are differenced from those on the brass by a mullet for a third son. He died in 1616 and left 53s 4d a year forever to the poor of 'Hindleston'. He was master of the Fishmongers' Company of London in 1592 and sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in 1609-10. His charitable bequests extended far beyond his native village and included £20 a year from his land in Southwark to the poor of the Fishmongers' Company on condition that the company built a hospital, which it duly did. He is commemorated by an alabaster monument and a brass inscription at Foulsham.

The brass at Hindolveston belongs to group named 'Daston' by John Page-Phillips, which appeared in the early 1570s and lasted into the latter half of the 1580s. I distinguish two main styles within the 'Daston' brasses and the Hunt brass belongs to one of them. The frame in which the brass set is typical of the Purbeck marblers' craft at this period. It is very similar to one at Staverton, Northamptonshire, which is incorporated into a larger monument and where the brass is dated 1580. I suspect that the date that Sir Thomas erected this brass to his parents was close to 1580.

© Jon Bayliss

Rubbing: © The Monumental Brasses of Norfolk by William Lack, H. Martin Stuchfield and Philip Whittemore (forthcoming)

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