Monumental Brass Society

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.

The funeral (a Requiem Mass) was held at The Oratory, Oxford on 5th November 2019 and was extremely well attended by Society members.

To celebrate Jerome’s scholarly achievement a Festschrift in his honour, The Monuments Man: Essays in Honour of Jerome Bertram has been published. 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.

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


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