Thursday, June 15, 2023

The Heraldry of a Loving Couple

Today we come to the last, and largest, of the Jenyn family memorials in Holy Trinity Church Bottisham.

This sculptural monument is to Elizabeth Jenyns née Soame (died 1728), and her husband Sir Roger Jenyns (died 1740). The memorial shows Sir Roger and Elizabeth sitting on their tomb lightly holding hands with each other and each holding a book in their other hands.

Beneath their statues, the inscription to Dame Elizabeth reads as follows:

In this vault lyeth the Body of Dame
Elizabeth Ienyns Wife of Sr. Roger Ienyns
Who dyed the first of May
1728 Ætatis 62:

She was a Lady of great Virtue and piety
And thro the whole course of her life of
An Unbleamished Reputation, A constant
Attendant of Publick as well as a Strict
Observer of Stated hours of her Private
Devotion, Her piety as Well as her Uncomon
Tenderness and compassion of Nature
Engag’d her in dayly Acts of Charity.

As Well in her life as at her Death, She was
Of a Mild Temper, a Gracefull and Winning
Presence, an Easey and engageing
Conversation, tho her own infirmityes
Often interrupted the natural
Cherefullness of her disposition. She was
An affectionate Wife, an Indulgeing Mother,
A Sincere Friend, and a good Christian.
Att her Death Sr. Roger Ienyns by her desire
Setled the Schooleing of 20 poor Children
And as his addition the Cloathing of them
And a Schoole to teach them and others
in forever.
Very nearby on the wall of the church is a monument to her husband, Sir Roger Jenyns:

In this Vault
lyeth the Body of Sr. Roger Ienyns Knt.
Lord of the Mannor’s of Allington and Vauxes in this Parish
Who descended from Sr. Iohn Ienyns of Churchill
In Somersettsheire. Hee Marryed Elizabeth Daughter
Of Sr. Peter Soame of Heydon in Essex Barrt. By whom
He had onely One Sonn Soame Ienyns who Marryed
Mary Soame of Deerham Grange in Norfolke
Hee dyed the 22 day of Septr. 1740
Ætatis 77
But, of course, it's the heraldry that we are most interested in.

The marshaled arms here are: Argent on a fess gules three bezants, in dexter chief an inescutcheon Azure a crescent or* (Jenyns) impaling Gules a chevron between three mallets or (Soame). It bears the same crest of the demi-lion maintaining a spear and motto (Ignavis nunquam, Never lazy) that we have seen in other Jenyns memorials and hatchments in the church.

We see these arms, not marshaled together but on separate shields (and without the inescutcheon on the Jenyns arms) elsewhere in the church, commemorating a charitable foundation established by Sir Roger Jenyns in 1730. On it you can see the Jenyns and the Soames coats of arms on the left and right, respectively.

What a wonderful collection of the heraldry of a number of generations of the Jenyns family can be found in this parish church in Bottisham, Cambridgeshire.

* I am unfamiliar with what the inescutcheon is supposed to represent. It is not the badge of a baronet (Argent a sinister hand appaumy gules). Is it meant as a display of a cadency mark? (A crescent is the English cadency mark of a second son.) Does it acknowledge some rank or award received by Sir Roger? I don't know. Do you?

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