Courtenay Monument - St Andrew, Colyton
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 50° 44.495 W 003° 04.192
30U E 495069 N 5621091
Quick Description: Effigy identified by tradition as "little choke-a-bone", Margaret Courtenay (d.1512)
Location: Southern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/29/2022 4:02:51 AM
Waymark Code: WM1680B
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member GeoRams
Views: 0

Long Description:
"Effigy identified by tradition as "little choke-a-bone", Margaret Courtenay (d.1512), an infant daughter of William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1475-1511) by his wife Princess Catherine of York (d.1527), the sixth daughter of King Edward IV (1461-1483) by Elizabeth Woodville. (Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitation of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.245). The effigy is only about 3 ft in length, much smaller than usual. The face and head was renewed in the 19th century, and is said to have been based on the sculptor's own infant daughter. One of the Courtenay seats was Colcombe Castle within the parish of Colyton. A 19th century brass tablet above is inscribed: "Margaret, daughter of William Courtenay Earl of Devon and the Princess Katharine youngest daughter of Edward IVth King of England, died at Colcombe choked by a fish-bone AD MDXII and was buried under the window in the north transept of this church". Sculpted heraldic shields of arms exist above the effigy, showing the arms of Courtenay impaling the royal arms of England. Later authorities (Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.280; Hoskins, W.G., A New Survey of England: Devon, London, 1959 (first published 1954), p.373) have suggested, on the basis of the monument's heraldry, the effigy to be the wife of Thomas Courtenay, 5th/13th Earl of Devon (1414–1458), namely Lady Margaret Beaufort (c. 1409–1449), daughter of John Beaufort, 1st Marquess of Somerset, 1st Marquess of Dorset (1373-1410), KG, (later only 1st Earl of Somerset), (the first of the four illegitimate children of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (4th son of King Edward III), and his mistress Katherine Swynford, later his wife) by his wife Margaret Holland. The basis of this re-attribution is the supposed fact that the "royal arms" are not the arms of King Edward IV, but rather the arms of Beaufort. The arms of Beaufort are the royal arms of England within a bordure compony argent and azure, which latter important heraldic difference does appear to be displayed on the monument, although very thinly and without compony dividing lines. The other shields are shown without bordures, including the half shielf of Courtenay, apparently a deliberate action on the part of the sculptor."

SOURCE - (visit link)

"The original position of this monument was in the north Transept of the Church, it was removed to its present position on the north side of the chancel in 1818, when the north aisle was extended: the remains are said to have been removed at the same time and placed again under the monument.

It is to the memory of Margaret, daughter of John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset. son of John of Gaunt. She married about 1431 Thomas Courtenay, 5th Earl of Devon. There is a diminutive recumbent effigy of a lady, with a coronet and matron’s veil. the pillow under the head is upheld by two archangels : at the head and feet are two angels censing : at the west end on a graceful pedestal, seated, is a statue of the Holy Mother with sceptre in her left hand as Queen of Heaven ; she holds on her right arm the Holy Child grasping in his hands a dove with wings extended.

The pinnacles have been partly destroyed and the monument is now capped with a heavy cornice of Beer stone.

The brass plate placed on the monument in 1839 has a wrong inscription according to the tradition that she was choked by a fish-hone, and the monument is known as ” Choke-a-bone.”"

SOURCE - (visit link)
Approximate Age of Artefact: 1512

Relevant Website: [Web Link]

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