|Sir Phillip at rest|
Before Christmas I found Bisham Church locked. As it was the last on my list of Berks Churches to see I was determined to negotiate entry. This I achieved last week and went along to see All Saints with churching chums Chris and Ricardo.
The high spot at All Saints is the Hoby Chapel in the South aisle. A stout alabaster monument, a typical family shrine of the Tudor age.
Next to it, dressed in armour and head resting gently on his helmet is Sir Philip Hoby, diplomat, (d.1566) again this is a virtuoso piece of carving in alabaster.
Philip’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hoby, in her first marriage (1528–1609) had the chapel built.
Elizabeth re-married to Lord Russell and her tomb is so much grander. This was without doubt funerary bling and a little research tells that Elizabeth was born at Gidea Hall, Essex! She was by all accounts an early modern woman writer, through her correspondence, poems, monumental inscriptions and elegies. There are numerous writings about her courtroom appearances: Later in life she became litigious and pursued grievances in law, not always successfully.
Feisty is the womankind of Essex.