Thursday, December 26, 2019

A Memorial With the Well-Known Barclay/Berkeley Coat of Arms

At our next armorial memorial in Canterbury Cathedral, we find the arms of Robert Barclay (also found spelled as Barkley and Berkeley).

Unusually, the memorial plaque does not actually specifically name the person being memorialized.

                   He that’s imprisond in this narrow roome
                   Wert not for custome needs nor verse nor toombe
                   Nor can from theise a memorie be lent
                   To him, who must be his toombs monument
                   And by the virtue of his lasting fame
                   Must make his toombe live long, not it his fame
                   For when this gaudie monument is gone
                   Children of th’ unborne world shall spy ye stone
                   That covers him, and to their ffellowes crye
                   Tis here tis here about Barkley doth lye
                   To build his toombe then is not thought soe safe
                   Whose virtue must out live his Epitaphe.

There are two shields pendent from the gold surround of the plaque on the face of the monument:

Gules a chevron between ten crosses formy argent.

Gules a chevron between ten crosses formy argent, impaled by [blank, but painted gold].

I have been unable to find any more information about Robert Barclay/Barkley/Berkeley in any of the usual sources (e.g., Wikipedia, guides to Canterbury Cathedral, etc.).

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