Henry Cavendish

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Reference WMO/292808


St Peter's Church

1 Jap Lane


DE45 1PH


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Status: On subsequent site(s)
Type: Non freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Attached to a building/structure
Description: Board/Plaque/ Tablet
  • Stone Alabaster
Lettering: Incised
  • 16th Century Wars
About the memorial: A huge white and brown alabaster monument to Henry and William Cavendish whose bodies are represented at the centre lying under a low four-poster with black columns and black covering slab. Henry is depicted as a skeleton on a soldier's straw mat, William in his shroud with his face revealed. Behind them is a classical wall with a pilaster to each side and three arches with black columns in the middle. Before the left pilaster is a statue of a mythical figure holding a shield and brandishing a black sword, said to depict Mars, the God and War and to represent Henry, who was a soldier. Next to it, in the first arch, is Henry's life size suit of armour with helmet and gauntlets. Before the right pilaster is Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, holding the head of Medusa with snakes still vigorously writhing and with an owl at her feet. Next to it, in the third arch is William's purple robe with his earl's coronet, and sword hung up. In the middle arch is a winged angel, said to represent Fame, blowing a trumpet and bearing a black tablet in the style of an open book with Latin inscriptions in gilded sentence-case italic lettering. The whole is surmounted by a big broken pediment with the Cavendish arms in the opening. The memorial was commissioned for the original church by Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (Bess of Hardwick) and is attributed to Maximilian Colt. In 1865 to 1870 the mediæval church was demolished and a new one built on the same site, the memorial being placed in a new side chapel south of the chancel. This relates to the Dutch Revolt (Dutch War of Independence) (1568–1648), specifically the Battle of Rijmenam (1 August 1578)
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