Monumental Brass Society

Sir Andrew Luttrell

Date of Brass:
London B


December 2012

The brass of Sir Andrew Luttrell lies towards the east end of the north aisle of the church of St Andrew at Irnham in the south-west corner of Lincolnshire. He has a London B effigy in armour. The canopy is no longer complete but the rivet pattern on the original slab, which rests against the nearby north wall, shows that the side shafts rose as high as the crockets above the centre of the canopy. His inscription is simple:

Hic iacet Andreas Louttrell miles d[omi]n[u]s de Irnh[a]m qui obijt vjt°die          Septe[m]br[is] a[nn]° d[omi]ni . mill[esim]o . CCC . Nonagesimo . cui[us]              a[n]i[m]e p[ro]piciet[ur] deus

Here lies Andrew Luttrell, knight, lord of Irnham, who died on the 6th day of            September in the year of our Lord a thousand three hundred and ninety, on            whose soul God have mercy

Sir Andrew was seventy-seven when he died. He had been thirty-two when his father, Sir Geoffrey, died in 1345. (Sir Geoffrey is the best-known of the Luttrells, for the Luttrell Psalter was made for him and so was the well-carved Easter sepulchre now at the east end of the north aisle.) Sir Andrew was married as a child to Beatrice le Scrope, daughter of the Chief Justice of the King's Bench. Beatrice is shown with Sir Geoffrey and his wife Agnes Sutton in the Psalter.

In 1340 Sir Andrew was at the siege of Tournai and in 1347 served in France under Sir Michael de Poynings and Henry, Earl of Lancaster. In 1355 he was summoned to fight against the Scots. He participated in Edward III's expedition into France in 1359. In 1358 he conveyed two manors to Croxton Abbey in return for the provision of two chaplains to pray for him in his lifetime, his soul after his death and the soul of his patron, Henry, Duke of Lancaster. His will, made in September 1389, requested burial before the rood at Irnham. Gervase Holles found his brass in the nave in the seventeenth century. A shield of the Luttrell arms was above it in a north window.

Less straightforward is the genealogy of the Luttrell family immediately after Sir Andrew. Earlier writers, basing their work on Samuel Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, had two further Sir Andrews following this one, one being a complete invention based on a later marriage by our Sir Andrew. More recent research, published in the entry for his son-in-law, Sir Godfrey Hilton, in the History of Parliament, tells a different story: Sir Andrew had two surviving children, Sir Geoffrey and Hawise. Even more recently-published research places another Sir Andrew, who married Joan Tallboys and was 26 when his father died, between our Sir Andrew and Geoffrey and Hawise. This seems likely, given that Hawise was twenty-six when her brother died in 1419 and so could not possibly be the daughter of our Sir Andrew. The second Sir Andrew was born the year after our Sir Andrew married Hawise le Despenser by licence on 7 September 1363 in the chapel of Bourne castle, and died on 31 December 1397, his son and heir, Geoffrey being then thirteen years old.

Geoffrey the son was killed at the siege of Rouen in early 1419 and left no children, so his sister Hawise succeeded him. She had been married to Sir Thomas Belesby of Beelsby in the north-east corner of Lincolnshire, but he died in September 1415 leaving her with a young son, also Thomas. She remarried Sir Godfrey Hilton by May 1416 and died on 24 March 1422. Godfrey spent much of his time fighting in France (he too was at the siege of Rouen), and continued in France until 1434. In the early 1440s he became a JP in Hampshire, where his second wife had a life interest in extensive properties, before becoming a JP in Lincolnshire in the mid 1440s. He died in 1459.

It has been suggested that the second brass at Irnham is for him. This has a figure in armour, but with the legs below the knees missing, and with a shield and inscription also missing. J P C Kent dated this figure to around 1440 and belonging to the London B style. Holles described the arms on a brass in the chancel as including Belesby and Luttrell. They also included Thimelby, Swinford and an unidentified lion rampant. 

This second brass is laid in local spine-bearing 'marble' and lacks an indent for the sword hilt, so may be an appropriation. Moreover there is only one shield, whereas the arms reported by Holles were clearly on two shields. However adjoining Sir Andrew's brass are two fragments of spine-bearing marble, each with the indent of a shield. It seems likely that these are what Holles saw, and were all that remained of a third brass. The second brass had presumably already lost its shield, and so was not recorded by Holles. Its identity must remain a mystery.

Holles also noted an inscription in glass commemorating Richard Thymelby and his wife Elizabeth with the date 1531, which may be her date of death as Richard died in 1522. Elizabeth Thymelby was the elder daughter and co-heiress of the son of Sir Godfrey Hilton, also Godfrey, coming into possession of the Luttrell lands when her stepmother died in 1495. She was then 40.


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