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object somewhat like a processional cross. The whole sculpture
Mr. Drew, who kindly examined Mr. "Wakeman's beautiful sketches closely, and considered them as "fine and illustrative as anything that had ever come from his hand," is also of opinion, that this sculpture represents a bishop, or prior wearing the mitre and having a " crosier " beside him, and he thinks it may date from the latter half of the fourteenth century, a century earlier than the date assigned by Mr. Wakeman. With the opinions of two such high authorities before me, I may well feel it presumptuous for me to offer one at all, much more one which differs from theirs. But I can only plead as I have said in excuse for this apparent presumption on my part, the fact that when I saw this slab in 1879-80, it was nearly as perfect, and most of the sculpturing as clear and distinct as when it was first executed, while when Mr. Wakeman saw it last year, nearly all save the heads, the ogee, and the pastoral staff had been effaced by ill usage. I cannot express my feelings of absolute dismay, when on revisiting the friary ruins with him and Miss Rowan last year, I saw the havoc that had been wrought on this interesting slab in the course of fourteen or fifteen years. In 1870-6, when I was at the ruins those two incised slabs were invisible, buried beneath grass and earth, as I suspect similar slabs still are, in the chancel and transept. But when I visited the place again in 1879-80, with a friend, she and I were greatly struck by the appearance of those slabs. Mr. Talbot Crosbie and his family were then away from home, but the labourers were preparing the grounds for their expected return in a few days, sweeping away dead leaves, mowing the grass and putting everything in good order. The slabs had evidently been just brought fully to the surface of the ground, cleaned and rubbed with bunches of damp grass (excellent polishing materials for such objects), and the bright August sunlight brought out all their beauties. We examined them closely for some time. The head of the figure on this No. 3 slab, as we then saw it, was covered by the rather low conical basnet (my friend called it a skull-cap) such as was worn by knights in England, between 1280 and 1460, and probably much later in Ireland. Stothard's "Monumental Effigies," Boutell's "Brasses," and Hewitt's "Ancient Armour," contain engravings of figures wearing it, os well as of the higher conical basnet also worn in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, which has certainly a resemblance to the modern mitre, and even to some rudely sculptured mitres on ancient monuments. But on a close examination of the basnets and mitres of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries in the illustrated works above mentioned, this resemblance disappears and the differences become quite marked. -Compare, for instance, Boutell's fine engraving of the brass of Thomas Cranley, Archbishop of Dublin, in 1417, and of a mitred abbot in 1375, and Stothard's engraving of a bishop with mitre and pastoral staff on a tomb in the Temple Church, London, of William, mitred abbot of Westminister, ob. 1420, of Hugh, Bishop of Ely, 1230-54, of John Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1333, with the basnets worn by Sir Humphrey Littlebury (Holbeach Church, Lincolnshire), Sir Robert de Bois, A.d., 1311 (Fersfield Church, Norfolk), and Sir Eoger de Kerdeston, all in the same volume, and the difference in the two head-gears is at once apparent. The mitres, seen from the front, have two short straight lines at the sides, from which spring, at obtuse angles, lines meeting in a point at the summit over the brow, while the sides of the basnet slope gradually from the base at each temple in sugar-loaf fashion to the summit. Now, as I saw this Ardfert slab in 1879-80, the headgear was unmistakably the basnet, and even in Mr. Wakeman's sketch of the miserably defaced slab made last year, and in the rubbings he sent me of the same, I can find no trace of the straight, short, side lines, characteristic of the mitre between 1288 and 1450. Two-thirds of the figure wearing, as we believed, a basnet were, in 1880, still quite distinct. Bound the neck was either a camail, or else the high collar of a mantle or surcoat, which covered the shoulders and breast, but was open near the waist, showing armour beneath it. On the right breast towards the waist, we observed what I at first thought was a cross, sewn or embroidered on the mantle or surcoat. But closer observation assured me that this supposed cross was too long in the shaft, and too short in the transverse portions, to be any such object. The same objection applied, though in perhaps a less degree, to its being a cross of absolution, that is a sculptured representation of a small cross of wood or stone, known by that name, which in old times, was sometimes placed in the coffin, on the breast of a deceased person (see La Croix, Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages). On the whole, I am disposed to believe this object is not a cross at all, but the dagger known as a badelaire or baselard, which was worn in the Middle Ages by knights and civilians, and by priests, and Templars and Hospitallers. Froissart calls it a badelaire, and Hewitt gives an engraving of it. The small heads under the ogee arch surrounding the head of the central figure are, I believe, those of mourning relatives or friends, such as we find represented in a similar position on many mediaeval monuments. Small, full length figures of mourners generally appear on the lower part of altar or other high tombs of that time, but sometimes also at the head of the effigy of the deceased. Angels' figures also appear in the latter position, but they are easily distinguished by the wings rising in the background, and the pose and the drapery over the limbs, as well as by the absence of head coverings and neck coverings, always worn by human mourners in such sculptures. Stothard's great work gives fine engravings of the angelic and the mourning human figures on mediaeval monuments. In
his engraving of the tomb of Sir Roger de Kerdcston in Reepham Churchr Norfolk, who died in 1337, there are eight small figures of mourners, which the artist observes are "most interesting specimens of the costumes worn in the fourteenth century." One of the female figures has a head covering and pendent lappets from the sleeves, very like those on the Ardfert slab. However, in 1880,1 thought the smaller heads were those of monks, or else members of the sisterhoods of the Hospitaller Order. The engraving in La Croix's Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages of a sister of that Order, wearing on the head a flowing drapery, descending below the shoulders, where it bears an embroidered cross, is very like the small head on the right side of the Ardfert slab. But it must be remembered that the couvreehef or kerchief1 worn on the head by women in the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries, sometimes with a wimple over the throat, was almost the same as the head gear of the sisters in religious communities, so that in fact those small heads on the Ardfert slab may represent the mother and sisters or other relatives of the deceased. The object on the left side of the slab, as I saw it in 1880, seemed to me to be a lance with a pennon or small banner attached to it, on which some design, heraldic or otherwise, was sculptured. Traces of this design are perceptible on the defaced slab, and may be seen in Mr. Wakeman's sketch just over the left line of the ogee curve. The object on the right side of the slab is, as Mr. Wakeman's sketch fully shows, a pastoral staff, like that in Stothard's engraving of the bishop in the Temple Church. I was much puzzled in 1880, to reconcile the presence of this ecclesiastical appendage, with the military basnet and the lance and pennon or banner. But when I returned from the friary, and investigated more closely the genealogical and historical records of the Fitz Maurice family, the solution seemed clear. I have little or no doubt that this slab marked the grave of Sir Gerald Fitz Maurice, fourth son, according to Lodge and Archdall, of Maurice, second Lord of Kerry (by Mary, daughter of Sir John Mac Leod or Mac Eligot), and Grand Prior of the Knights Templars in Ireland, at the abolition of their Order in 1307-12. As is well-known, some of the Templars were permitted to enter the Order of the Knights Hospitallers, who obtained great part of the lands and wealth of the abolished Order in Ireland. La Croix says :—
"La plupart des Templiers fluent mis en liberte, beaucoup en profiterent pour entrer dans l'Ordre de Saint Jean en conservant leurs dignites, e'est ainsi . . . qu'Albert de Blacas prieur d'Aix obtint la commanderie de Saint Maurice comme pric-ur des Hospitaliers et que Frederic Grand Prieur de la basse Allemagne garda le memo titre dans l'Ordre de St. Jean de Jerusalem."— Vie Militaire et Jleligieuse au Moyen Age, p. 203.
1 The head-dress of Beatrice de Heylesden (a.d. 137'j) in a Norfolk thurch, given in Boutell's "Brasses," and that of Lady Grene (a.d. 1472), in same work, are remarkably like those on the heads on this Ardfert slab.
Now " from time immemorial," as a State Paper in the Dublin Public Record Office, a copy of which I sent to this Journal several years ago, informs us, the Knights Hospitallers owned half of Ardfert town, the other half being owned by the bishops of the See, and the same record shows, that this divided ownership and jurisdiction gave rise to very serious quarrels between the bishop and the cathedral dignitaries and the knights. Other ancient records published by Archdall in his Monasticon, and in Mr. Sweetman's Calendar, show that the bishops of Ardfert and their cathedral dignitaries had serious disputes with the Franciscan friars on temporal matters, and we may reasonably suppose the friars and the Hospitallers were more united, as being members of religious Orders, not secular clergy. It is very certain, that Sir Gerald Fitz Maurice, Grand Prior of the Templar Order, at its suppression in Ireland, like Frederick the Grand Prior in Germany, and Albert Grand Prior of Aix, was allowed to obtain a high post in the house of the Hospitallers at Ardfert, and that when he died there, the friars gave him honourable burial with his forefathers in the friary. High authorities on the subject tell us, that the sculptured crosier or pastoral staff in the hands of prior's or abbot's effigies, on ancient tombs generally, has the crook turned inward towards the effigy, while in the case of a bishop or archbishop the crosier is turned outward.1 It will be observed, that in Mr. Wakeman's fine sketch of this much dilapidated No. 3 slab, at Ardfert, the crook is turned inward towards the effigy, denoting according to the authorities, that the effigy represents not a bishop, but an abbot or prior. A Franciscan minister of the thirteenth or fourteenth century would, however, certainly not have such a stately monumental slab over his resting-place, but a Grand Prior or Prior of the Hospitallers would naturally have such a one in Ardfert Friary, especially if he were the grandson (as the Grand Prior of 1307, Sir Gerald, was) of its founder. I believe that, at all events, until modern times, all members of the Franciscan Order, in most countries, were buried in their robes and girdles of rope, either in one common vault, such as that reported to have been discovered in the transept of Ardfert friary church in the last century, or else in simple graves in their churchyard, without tombstones, or when tombstones were placed over their
1 " In sculpture and painting it has been ruled that the convoluted head of the crozier should be turned outward when borne by a bishop, in token of his jurisdiction extending throughout his See, and inward by an abbot (or prior), whose power is limited to his own house" (Planehe's Cyclopadia of Costume, vol. i., p. 154). But this rule was often not observed. Owing to the disputes about tho jurisdiction of the Hospitallers and the Bishops at Ardfert, it would most likely have been carried out on an Hospitaller's monument in the friary. In almost all the Episcopal figures given in Stothurd's "Ancient Monumental Effigie^," the bishop holds the pastoral crook, or crozier (as it is not very correctly called), in his left hand, the ri)iht being raised in the usual fashion to bless. Neither arm is raised on this No. 3 slab at Ardfert, which is a further proof that it is not an Episcopal effigy. Two quarter-length figures of ecclesiastics, with censors, appear at each side of King John's head on his iffigy in Worcester Cathedral. The slab is coffin-shnped, like those at Ardfert, and was the original lid of the king's stone coffin (see Stothard, p. 15).
graves each was marked only with a sculptured cross. In no case I believe were armorial bearings, or insignia of high rank and ancient family claims allowed to appear on the tombs of Franciscan friars. This No. 3 slab, therefore could never have been laid over the grave of a Franciscan friar of any rank, and as I have already said the bishops of Ardfert were not at all likely to have been buried in the friary but in their own cathedral church in the town.
It is, however, highly probable that the large tomb marked No. 4, on the ground-plan of the friary, and two or three ancient tombs in recesses of the south-wall of the chancel and choir, some of them having long and finely incised floriated crosses on them, but no inscription of any kind now visible, may mark the resting-places of deceased friars, heads of the community when it was under the Conventual rule. Other tombs of a similar size, on which the sculptures and inscriptions are utterly illegible and defaced, may be those of Cantelupe, De Courcy, Carew, Mac Eligot, or Rice, connexions of the old Lords of Kerry, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Before concluding those notices of the friary ruins, and entering on what is to me the more interesting subject of the history of the founder's family, in connexion with the general history of Kerry, I would like to repeat that it is highly probable that other sculptured slabs of great interest and beauty exist not far from the surface of the grass-grown choir and aisle, and that it might be worth while to look for them. This should of course be carefully done, but the search and disturbance of the soil would be free from the objections that would rightly prevent such searches in the cathedral of Ardfert and similar ruins, because no interments have taken place in the friary, chancel, nave, or aisle, for three hundred years, save in spots under recesses in the walls, which no one of course would think of touching. It is in the centre of the grassy aisles and chancel, some feet beneath the surface, that ancient sculptured monumental slabs and sculptured remains of the high altar are likely to remain hidden. In the Rev. Denis O'Donoghue's interesting work on the ruins of St. Brendan's Cathedral, of which he is the most careful guardian, he says, that the curious statue of a fourteenth-century bishop, which now stands in a recess near the site of the high altar in that building, was found several years ago some feet beneath the soil, when excavations were being made for graves or other purposes. Displaced and thrown down in the civil wars of 1641 or 1689, the earth and grass accumulated over it, until, in later times, it was discovered and restored to its proper place. Similar discoveries might very probably take place in the ground within the friary. In Mrs. Bury Palliser's " History of Lace," she mentions that the last Earl of Ghindore, walking in the friary one day, observed something white protruding from an aperture in one of those ancient tombs, and that on examining it he found it was a piece of fine antique point lace, which had probably decorated the shroud of some deceased magnate. As one instance of his love and care for the beautiful ruins,