Shelley sons 1549
  Shelley sons 1549  
Name Shelley sons 1549
Date 1549 - 1549
Gender Male

On the north side of the chancel wall is the recessed tomb and mural monument of clunch to Sir William Shelley (died 1549), second son of John, and his wife Alice, the daughter of Henry Belknap of Knelle, Beckley, Sussex. Sir William was judge of the Court of Common Pleas and is shown habited as a judge with hood and coif. This is believed to be one of the earliest representations of this legal costume. Ranged behind the parents are their seven sons and seven daughters, one of the latter dressed as a nun (although Mosse suggests she may be a widow).

"The judge, facing eastwards, [….] wears a close cap, or coif; long gown and hood. […] Behind him kneel 7 sons, each wearing a loose gown reaching just above the knees, and showing the legs in hose; a satchel hanging from the forearm; their hair thick and 'bobbed'. The wife wears a 'pedimental' bonnet, long robe and mantle, a rosary over the right wrist. [….] Behind her kneel 7 daughters; the foremost wears a robe, wimple and veil, and holds a book (possibly a widow); the others have long dresses, short sleeves (above the elbow), 'Paris' cap with veil" (Mosse, 1933, 56-57).

Judge William was appointed Recorder of London in 1520 and took the 'coif' the following year. In 1527 he was raised to the Bench as a Judge of the Common Pleas, and in 1529 was sent to demand from Wolsey the surrender of York House. [….] Soon afterwards he entertained King Henry at his palatial mansion, 'Michelgrove,' said to have been one of the finest houses in Sussex. […..] The Judge was summoned to Parliament in 1529 and 1536. It is stated that he was hostile to the 'Reformation', and incurred  Thomas Cromwell's antipathy, but his name appears in most of the important State trials of the period, among them that of Ann [sic] Boleyn. He was somewhat of a humorist on the bench (Mosse, 1933, 57-58).


Anon (undated) The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Clapham in the Hundred of Brightford, Rape of Bramber, Worthing: Gadds

Good, M (2004) The Buildings of England Database, Oxford: Oxford University Press

National Monuments Record (English Heritage), Images of England, (http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk)

Pevsner, N & Nairn, I (1965) The buildings of England: Sussex, London: Yale University Press, 189

Hudson, T - ed (1980) A History of the County of Sussex: Bramber Rape (Southern Part), 6, 1, 10-21 at URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=18214&strquery=Clapham%20Sussex. Date accessed: 07 August 2007.

Mosse, H.R. (1933) The monumental effigies of Sussex (1250-1650), Hove: Combridges, 56-57 (quoting Sussex Archaeological Collections, xxvi, 215)

Shelley sons 1549 - Men
Shelley sons 1549 - Family
Shelley sons 1549 - Monument
Location St Mary the Virgin
The Street