Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

  • Title: Maud Cobham
  • Creator:
  • Description: Maud, wife of Sir Thomas Cobham of Randall, stands with hands clasped in a prayerful attitude. She represents an increased concern among the laity in the 14th and 15th centuries for a direct involvement in religious practices. The laity, as evinced in Maud’s rubbing, modeled the piety of monks, whose daily liturgical offices brought them into close contact with the divine, and emphasized the emotional tie between the believer and the divinity.

    Maud Cobham’s brass was renovated in the 1860s under the direction of antiquarian J. G. Waller, who added two shields, representing the families of William Pympe and the Cobhams of Randall. More recent scholars do not believe that Pympe was Maud’s father, and identify Thomas Morice, a wealthy London lawyer, as her father. Lawyers had gained a reasonable amount of respect by this time, and respect was especially due to Morice because he had both riches and properties, elevating Maud to a higher social status. Thomas Morice held land in various parts of the country including north Kent. Maud’s marriage to Sir Thomas Cobham possibly came about because both families were land owners in Kent. Sir Thomas was of the highest level of gentry, a position that led to his capture by rebels in the peasant revolt of 1381. Sir Thomas escaped and helped suppress the rebellion. The marriage of Maud Morice and Sir Thomas Cobham benefited both partners as Maud brought land and wealth and Sir Thomas brought a distinguished name from a long line of Cobhams.

    On the tomb, Maud Cobham’s image conveys a sense of serene orderliness, dressed richly with rows of buttons and a sleek headdress. The tomb inscription, “Here lies Lady Maud de Cobham who was the wife of Sir Thomas de Cobham, and who died the ninth day of April in the year of Grace 1380”is in the French then spoken by the nobility and gentry rather than in ecclesiastical Latin.

  • Source: Haverford College donated by David and Maxine Cook
  • Rights: Permission of Haverford College
  • Subject (See Also): Brass Rubbing Noble Women Tomb Effigies
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
  • Date: 1380
  • Related Work: Photograph of Maud Cobham's brass at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene:
    Rubbing of Maud Cobham's monument:
  • Current Location: Haverford College
  • Original Location: Cobham, Kent, England. Church of St. Mary Magdalene
  • Artistic Type (Category): Brass rubbing
  • Artistic Type (Material/Technique): Heelball; Paper
  • Donor:
  • Height/Width/Length(cm): 45.72 cm/157.48 cm/
  • Inscription: Et Icy gist dame mawde de Cobh/am qui fust la femme de sir Thomas Cobham que dellya / le ix iour de aueril lan de grace .M. C.C.C.L.xxx. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?. Translation: Here lies Dame Maude de Cobham who was the wife of Sir Thomas de Cobham, and who died the ninth day of April in the year of Grace 1380.
  • Related Resources: Brass Rubbings Collection. Hamline University. http://www.hamline.edu/ brass-rubbings/ Accessed 2016;
    Owen-Crocker, Gale R., Elizabeth Coatsworth, and Maria Hayward, eds. Encyclopedia of Dress and Textiles in the British Isles, C. 450–1450. Brill, 2012;
    Saul, Nigel. Death, Art, and Memory in Medieval England: The Cobham Family and Their Monuments, 1300–1500. Oxford University Press, 2001.