Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

  • Title: John d'Abernon III
  • Creator:
  • Description: Like the brass of Sir John II, his father, Sir John III’s brass was originally dated differently. Scholars believed Sir John III to be Sir John II; however, the monuments have been re-dated. Sir John III’s monument was done in the Seymour style which produced sophisticated, elongated brasses. Sir John’s slightly protruding hip and his gaze which travels over the viewer’s shoulder contribute to the detached, cooler sense of the monument. The tomb inscription is very brief: “Sir John D'Abernoun, Knight, lies here.” Sir John III held manors and served as a knight retainer of the Clare family as his ancestors had done since the Norman Conquest. Sir John III obtained local notoriety as Sheriff of Sussex. Some of his other duties included collecting money on properties for the defense of England and surveying the forests in Surrey. Sir John’s armor is one of the first representations of plate mail, though such armor had been in use on the battlefield for some time. He married Maud Giffard, heir of William Giffard. Sir John lived into old age, passing on his estate to his grandson William in 1344-45. There was a family connection with the Dominican friars in the larger town of Guilford. His mother Constance was on their list for memorial prayers as were two men named John d’Abernon, likely Sir John and his father.
  • Source: Haverford College donated by David and Maxine Cook
  • Rights: Permission of Haverford College
  • Subject (See Also): Armor Brass Rubbing Knights Tomb Effigies
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
  • Date: 1345
  • Related Work: Brass rubbing of the full figure of John d'Abernon III:
    Brass rubbing of the figure of John d'Abernon II:
  • Current Location: Haverford College
  • Original Location: Stoke d’Abernon, Surrey, England Saint Mary’s Church
  • Artistic Type (Category): Brass rubbing
  • Artistic Type (Material/Technique): Heelball; Paper
  • Donor:
  • Height/Width/Length(cm): 29.1cm/44.45cm/
  • Inscription: Only a fragmentary inscription remains: ": ICI D // : EYT : MERCI" It is likely that this repeats the inscription on his father's monument:"[SIRE : IOHAN : DAVBERNOVN : CHIVALER : GIST :]ICI : D[EV : DE : SALME] : EYT : MERCI" (Translation: Sir John D’Abernoun, Knight, lies here. God have mercy on his soul).
    Inscriptions and translation from Brass Rubbings, Hamline University, http://content.clic.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p16120coll31/id/3140
  • Related Resources: Coales, John, ed. The Earliest English Brasses: Patronage, Style, and Workshops, 1270-1350. Monumental Brass Society, 1987;
    Norris, Malcolm. Monumental Brasses: The Craft. Faber and Faber, 1978.