Monday, August 28, 2023

The Arms of Four 17th and 18th Century Bishops of Ely

Having looked at a large stained glass window with the arms of four of the Bishops of Ely last time, today we're going to look at the armorial memorials to four more Bishops of Ely, all dating to the 17th and 18th Centuries.

As you will see, these memorials take various forms, and we are going to visit them in chronological order.

First we have the memorial to Benjamin Laney, Bishop of Ely 1667-1675.

The 1674 (rather than 1675) date on the plaque above is an artifact of the fact that at this time in England, the new year did not begin until March 25. As a consequence, while Bishop Laney died on January 24, at the time the year was still 1674. The change to what are termed New Style dates (where the year begins on January 1) was not made in England until December 31, 1751.

At the top of this monument, beneath a bishop's mitre, are these arms:

The See of Ely impaling Or on a chevron between two fleurs-de-lis gules a lion passant guardant or (Laney).

Next we have the memorial set into the floor of Ely Cathedral to Peter Gunning, Bishop of Ely 1675-1684.

The inscription simply reads (in English): Peter, Bishop of Ely. At the top of this marker are these arms, surmounted once again by a bishp's mitre:

The See of Ely impaling Gules on a fess between three doves argent three crosses formy gules (Gunning).

Next we have the memorial to Simon Patrick, Bishop of Ely 1691-1707.

Surmounted with a bishops mitre, the arms are the See of Ely impaling Gules three pallets vair on a chief or a lion passant azure (Patrick).

And finally, we come to the memorial to John Moore, Bishop of Ely 1707-1714.

The monument is beautifully carved with a very long Latin inscription on what is visually a mantle. Immediately above the mantle, surmounted by a bishop's mitre and accompanied with palm branches and two bishop's croziers, are the arms.

Here we have, beautifully carved, painted and gilded, the See of Ely impaling Ermine on a chevron azure three cinquefoils or (Moore).

It's quite a range of types of memorials to these four Bishops of Ely, but they all serve the same purpose of memorializing these men who served the See and the Cathedral for so many years two and three centuries ago.

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