Located in a side aisle of Westminster Abbey there is a delightful little chapel dedicated to St Paul. Stepping inside it, one of the first things to catch your eye is the dazzling array of colours with which the chapel’s monuments are imbued. Indeed, in this little chapel you get a real sense of what the Abbey would have looked like in the Middle Ages when its walls and ceilings would have been decorated in similar dazzling style.
To the right as you enter the chapel is the tomb of Sir Lewis de Robesart, which is adorned with a selection of stunning shields.
Robesart was a great soldier knight of the early 1400’s who held the position of Standard Bearer to King Henry V. The Standard Bearer’s job was to hold the Royal Standard (or Royal flag) in battle and Robesart fought alongside Henry V in several campaigns in the hundred year war with Francis. Most memorably he was at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 when the English army inflicted a crushing defeat upon the French forces.
At the centre of the chapel is the railed tomb of Giles, Lord Daubeney and his wife Elizabeth. Th reclining e effigies that surmount the tomb show Daubeney with his head resting on a helmet. he wears a very realistic looking suit of armour, whilst an, equally realistic looking, sheathed-sword hangs by his side. His feet rest upon a lion. His wife’s head reclines on a cushion, whilst her feet rest upon a dog and a wolf respectively.
Daubeney fought alongside Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 at which the then reigning monarch, Richard 111, was killed. Henry then became King of England and was the father of a new Royal dynasty - the Tudors. Daubeney was appointed Lord Chamberlain one of the most important posts in the Royal household and is said to have dressed Henry on the day of his coronation.
Henry V11’s son was Henry V111, his granddaughter was Elizabeth 1st and his great granddaughter was Mary, Queen of Scots.
To the left of the door as you enter St Paul’s Chapel you will find a tomb that is surmounted by a silver hand holding a silver arrow. This is the tomb of Sir John Puckering, Speaker of the House of Commons in 1586 and a member of the Parliament that decided the fate of Mary, Queen of Scots. On the opposite side of the chapel as you enter is the tomb of Sir Thomas Bromely, a Lord Chancellor in the reign of Elizabeth 1st, and the man who presided over the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots that took place in Fotheringay Castle in 1586.
In tomorrows blog we will take a look at Mary, Queen of Scots and provide a little biographical detail about this intriguing and ultimately tragic historical figure.
Our London walks will feature a visit to Westminster Abbey from 2012 and you will be able to read much more about this magnificent London landmark in the lead up to the launch of these brand new London Walking Tours.