Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Mixed Results in Identifying Mourning Shields (rouwbord), Part 2 of 2

In this post we come to the lower two rouwbord or memorial boards on this pillar in St. Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent.

Both of these lower two boards memorialize married women; you can tell not just because the birth and death dates are those of the ladies (and not those of their husbands), but because the boards contain the arms of their husbands (on heater-shaped shields) as well as their own (on ovals).

The first one, the fourth from the top, is this one:

The shield on the left are the arms of Octave de Kerchove d'Exaerde (1868-1937), mayor of Buizingen, Checky argent and azure on a chief or a bird volant azure in its beak a branch proper, and on the right, those of his wife, Countess Gabrielle Goethals, 1872-1896 (she died very young, not quite age 24), Gules three maiden’s busts affronty proper crined or vested azure.) Gabrielle was the sixth and youngest child and of Count Louis Goethals and his wife Flore Malfait.

Octave married again, to Jeanne Terlinden (1879-1965).

(I find that last absolutely fascinating; born in the 19th century, she lived to well within my own lifetime. Maybe those "olden days" aren't quite so far in the past as we often think.)

The lowest and final rouwbord on this pillar is this one:

You may find the husband's arms here (on the left) vaguely familiar; we have seen them before, in the arms of Antoon Triest, Bishop of Ghent 1622-1657.

The husband here is obviously not a direct descendant of (celibate) Bishop Antoon Triest. He is Prosper Triest et de Gits, baron Triest et de Gits (1811-1895), whose arms are blazoned Sable two hunting horns or and a greyhound courant argent. (We will see these arms again, on his own rouwbord.)

His wife, memorialized here, is Adèle Marie Thérèse Parasiers (1816-1889). I have been unable to find her arms in any of my usual sources. My best guess at a blazon is: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Sable three billets voided on a canton or ?; 2 and 3, Or three pallets gules a canton ermine; on an inescutcheon azure a spade (shovel) argent.

And there you have it! Five rouwbord (memorial boards) on a single pillar, memorializing two men, two wives, and an unmarried woman, and with very mixed results in identifying the individuals being memorialized, running the gamut from "not a clue" to detailed information about who they were, when they lived, and what they did.

But it's just that sort of detective work that helps to make this hobby so very interesting, whatever the results turn out to be. And that I can share all of this detective work with you is just "the icing on the cake"!

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