Theft of brass at Stratford St. Mary, Suffolk
The brass commemorating Edward Crane, 1558, and wife Elizabeth was stolen on Saturday, 22nd February 2020. This London H (Nayle) style brass (male effigy 512 x 134 mm, female effigy 530 x 127 mm and inscription 103 x 477 mm) was conserved by the late William Lack in 1993. The board, that also contained an inscription recording the conservation of the brass, was wrenched from the north wall of the north aisle causing considerable damage.
Members with any information are asked to contact Martin Stuchfield, Hon. Conservation Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or The Crime Bureau via the non-emergency police number 101 quoting crime reference number (Suffolk 37-11627-20).
Jerome Bertram (1950-2019)
The Society has suffered another grievous loss. It is with the deepest regret that we announce the death of Jerome Bertram, M.A., F.S.A., our senior Vice-President, who passed away on Saturday, 19th October 2019 after a lengthy battle with cancer that was courageously fought.
Jerome joined the Society in 1962 at the age of 12 and published his first book entitled Brasses and Brass Rubbing in England (1971) when just 21 years old.
His publishing output was prolific. Brass Rubbing in Sussex appeared in 1973. Lost Brasses (1976) covered an innovative subject adorned with his skilful drawings. This work was in part inspired by his membership of the Oxford Archaeological Society when in 1972-3 he was instrumental in developing the first systematic catalogue of lost brasses for a ‘whole’ city – Oxford. Rare Brass Rubbings from The Ashmolean Collection (1977) featured important rubbings compiled by the Oxford Architectural Society between 1839 and 1848.
Jerome was also a prolific contributor to the Society’s Transactions. His first paper concerning ‘An Unrecorded Royal Brass at Peterborough’ was published in 1970. 'The Lost Brasses of Oxford' was published in volume XI in 2 parts (1974). Other important papers include the 'Brasses at Burton, Sussex' and the 'Incised Slabs in the English College, Rome' (1979).
Jerome was the Editor of the Society's Transactions for six years and elected a Vice-President upon relinquishing office in 1997.
He edited two important Society publications: Monumental Brasses as Art and History (1996) and The Catesby Family and their Brasses at Ashby St. Ledgers (2006).
Among his most recent works are surveys of Oxford, Oxfordshire and West Sussex. The fruits of a lifetime’s study, they are indispensable guides to the brasses of those counties.
To celebrate Jerome’s scholarly achievement a Festschrift in his honour, The Monuments Man: Essays in Honour of Jerome Bertram will be published in December 2019. The volume containing twenty-four essays by friends and colleagues reflects the breadth of his interests and the esteem in which he was held.
The 2020 Transactions will contain two articles by Jerome relating to the Flemish brasses of British clergy and the brass of John de Waltham, Bishop of Salisbury and Lord High Treasurer, 1395, in Westminster Abbey. A fitting obituary will also be included.
The funeral (a Requiem Mass) was held at The Oratory, Oxford on 5th November 2019 and was extremely well attended by Society members.
Jerome Bertram “in his element” rubbing the monumental brass commemorating Sir Robert Bardolf, 1395, at Mapledurham, Oxfordshire (M.S.I) on 27th June 2013.
Photo: © Martin Stuchfield
Brian Kemp (1940-2019)
It is deep regret that we announce the death of our member Brian Kemp, B.A., Ph.D., D.Litt., F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S. who passed away on Monday, 12th August 2019.
Brian joined the Society in 1983 and played a significant role in organising the 2014 A.G.M. held at Bray church in Berkshire where he spoke on the important series of brasses and monuments. Brian, who was a good friend to the Society, also contributed a paper entitled Bishop Wyville's Brass: Further Thoughts at the Study Day held at Salisbury Cathedral on 30th September 2017.
Professor Kemp was a founding member of the Church Monuments Society and served as President from 1991 to 1996. He was subsequently a Vice-President.
He was Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Reading and continued to teach at the university until his death.
He was a member of the Council of The Canterbury and York Society, and of The Pipe Roll Society. His other roles include the Presidency of The Friends of Reading Abbey; membership of the Oxford D.A.C.; Executive Committee member of the Royal County of Berkshire Churches Trust; and a member of the Standing Conference on Archives of Berkshire Record Office.
In addition, to numerous articles on medieval English ecclesiastical and monastic history, his publications include English Church Monuments (Batsford, 1980); Church Monuments (Shire Books, 2010); and four volumes of Salisbury Episcopal Acta published by the British Academy, in 1999-2000.
The funeral was held at Earley parish church, Berkshire on 6th September 2019.
Photo: Brian Kemp speaking at the Society's A.G.M. in 2014.
Jonathan Ali (1969-2019)
It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Jonathan Ali who also passed away on 30th May 2019 (the same day as William Lack).
Jonathan had been a member of the Society since 1985 and served as a member of the Executive Council from 2013 to 2016. He had a general appreciation of monumental brasses with a particular interest in those related to his native county of Lancashire.
In 2009 he discovered a Trinity that apparently had been purchased by a tinker from a market stall at Bury or Clitheroe in c.1949. The brass bears a close resemblance to the Trinity on the memorial to Sir John Broke, Baron Cobham, and wife Margaret, 1506, at Cobham, Kent (M.S.XVIII). It once formed part of a canopy arrangement and is also slightly convex consistent with bomb or blast damage (see Bulletin 113 (January 2010), p.242).
Jonathan's wide-ranging interests include World War I memorialisation. He contributed an article relating to the brass memorials contained in his local Hawkshaw Methodist Chapel (see Bulletin 127 (October 2014), pp.534-6) and a piece relating to John Travers (Jack) Cornwell, a 16 year-old V.C. winner at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 (see Bulletin 132 (June 2016). His book Our Boys: The Great War in a Lancashire Village recounts the stories of Hawkshaw's fallen heroes.
Jonathan was a highly respected journalist mostly with BBC Manchester and was known as Jali to his friends and colleagues. In 2018 he was named as one of the top 238 most respected journalists by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). He reported on many of Greater Manchester's biggest stories over the last three decades, including the IRA bombing of 1996, Manchester United's famous 1999 treble, the Oldham race riots in 2001 and the 2002 Commonwealth Games. He even reported live from the Christie Hospital in Manchester after a fire broke out whilst undergoing treatment in 2017.
A memorial service for Jonathan (Jali) was held on Saturday, 6th July 2019 at the parish church of St. Mary the Virgin, Bury, Lancashire. The President, Hon. Treasurer and our Honorary Member, Jane Houghton represented the Society. The Service was an extraordinarily moving occasion and exceptionally well attended.
William Greenfeld Lack (1945-2019)
It is with deep regret that we announce the death of William Lack who passed away on 30th May 2019.
William Lack succeeded Les Smith as Hon. Bulletin Editor, with Bulletin 113 (January 2010) the first to appear under his editorship. He was responsible for a total of twenty-nine issues during which period many significant advances and improvements were implemented. He also prepared thirty-two reports on conservation for the Transactions during the editorship of Stephen Freeth, Jerome Bertram, Nicholas Rogers and David Lepine. William was responsible for conserving more than 1,000 brasses during this period. He was also a co-author of the County Series that commenced in 1992, with seventeen volumes published to date.
The Executive Council had agreed to propose William Lack for Honorary Membership at the 2019 Annual General Meeting.
The memorial service held on Tuesday, 18th June 2019 at St. Anne’s church, Lea Cross Bridge, Shrewsbury was well attended by Society members.
Photo: William Lack (right) at Wilberfosse, Yorkshire in 2015.
Theft of brass at Itchen Stoke, Hampshire
The brass effigy commemorating Joan, wife of John Batmanson, 1518, from Itchen Stoke, Hampshire (LSW.I) was stolen in December 2015. This London G style figure (475 x 155 mm) was thought to have been in the private possession of Lord Ashburton when Rev. Herbert Haines published his List in 1861. The plate was returned and inserted into the nave wall when the new church was built in 1866. The church was declared redundant in 1973 and vested with The Churches Conservation Trust two years later.
Members with any information are asked to contact Martin Stuchfield, Hon. Conservation Officer (email@example.com) or The Crime Bureau via the non-emergency police number 101 quoting crime reference number (Hampshire 44150427948). The accompanying five-line English inscription and the kneeling effigy of a lady, engraved c.1525 (LSW.II), remain in-situ.
Theft of brass at Throapham (Laughton-en-le-Morthen), Yorkshire
The distinctive figure of John Mallevorer of Lettwell, esq., engraved c.1620, has been stolen. The church was declared redundant and vested with The Churches Conservation Trust in 1985.
Members with any information are asked to contact Martin Stuchfield, Hon. Conservation Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org).