Unknown Montagu weeper 1592
  Unknown Montagu weeper 1592  
Name Unknown Montagu weeper 1592
Date 1592 - 1592
Gender Female

The marble and alabaster monument of Anthony, Viscount Montague (born 1527/8; died 19 October 1592) and his two wives occupies the east end of this building, whither it was removed from Midhurst (and its structure considerably altered) in 1851. It is in two stages; the eastern, the higher, has three semicircular arches supporting a slab on which, before a cubical block bearing his epitaph, kneels the effigy of the viscount, bareheaded, bearded, and wearing a ruff and the mantle and collar of the Order of the Garter over armour. On the lower stage, west of this, rest the effigies of his two wives, Jane Ratcliffe and Margaret Dacre, in mantles and kirtles; on the front of this stage, which is in the form of a chest tomb, are their epitaphs; at each end are small kneeling effigies of their descendants (see below), some headless (Salzman, 1953, 47-53).

Anthony, Viscount Mountague (died 1592) was a Roman Catholic who was nevertheless valued by Queen Elizabeth. She visited him on his sickbed in 1591. Jane Ratcliffe (his first wife) died in childbirth in 1552 aged 20; her funeral was on 4 August 1553. She had twins: a son who married Jane Sackville, the daughter of the Earl of Dorset and a daughter Mary, who married Henry Wriothesley, the second earl of Southampton. The son predeceased his father (in June 1592). Magdalen Dacre (born c1532) was Montague's second wife after her career as Maid of Honour to Queen Mary. Despite her Catholicism, she retained a friendship with Queen Elizabeth. She had six sons and three daughters. She died in 1608.

The monument builder was Richard Stevens of Southwark, who was also responsible for the Wriothesley monument at Titchfield, Hampshire (Pevsner and Nairn, 1965, 212). Sir Anthony's parents (Anthony and Alice Browne née Gage) are represented in effigy at Battle, Sussex (Mosse, 1933, 62).

Extracts from the inscription on the monument in modernised English (Mosse, 1933, 63-64):

Here lieth the body of the Right Honorable Sir Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague, Chief Standard bearer of England, and Knight of the honorable Order of the Garter, whereof he was ancienst at his death, one of the Privy Council to Queen Mary, who as he was nobly descended from Lady Lucy, his grandmother, one of the daughters of Lord John Nevill, Marquis Montague; so he was perfectly adorned with all the virtues of true nobility. And in the 66 year of his age he ended his life, at his house in Horsley in Surrey, the 19 October 1592; and in the 34 year of the reign of our most sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth.

This honorable man in the year 1553 was employed by Queen Marie in an honorable ambassage to Rome with Dr Thyrlbie (?) Bishop of Ely which he performed  to his great honor and commendation and the second year after he served Queen Marie as her Majesties Lieutenant of the English forces at the Siege of St Quentines. In the year 1559, Queen Elizabeth sent him ambassador into Spain to King Philipp and likewise 1565 and 1566 to the Duchess of Parma then Regent of the Low Countires all which he effected both wisely and honorably to the service of god his Prince and Country.

Here lieth the body of Lady Jane Ratcliffe one of the daughters of Robert Earl of Sussex who ended her life at Cowdray AD 1552 the 22 of July and was of the age of 20 years and the first wife of Anthony, Viscount Mountague, here buried which Anthony was father unto Anthony Browne Esq deceased and here likewise buried which Anthony was father unto Anthony Viscount Mountague now living.

He had also by her one daughter Mary Browne, yet living who was married to Henry Wrytheostey [Wriothelsey] Earl of Southampton and after to Sir Thomas Heneage Knight Vice-Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth and one of the honorable Privie Council.

Anthony Viscount Mountague took to his seconde wife Magdalen Dacre, one of the daughters of William Dacre, Knight Lord Dacre, Graystock and Gylesland, and Lord Warden of the West Marches of England for anempste [over against] Scotland, by whom he had issue five sons, Philipp William Sir George Browne Knight, Thomas and Henry and three daughters, Elizabeth, Mabell departed this life before their father.

A brass plaque commemorates the removal of the monument from the parish church in Midhurst to its current position in 1851:

This monument in memory of Sir Anthony Browne first Viscount Mountague KG who died 19 October 1592 aged 65 …  the monument is surmounted by the sculptured figures of Sir Anthony and his two wives The Lady Jane Ratcliffe (daughter of Robert the Earl of Sussex) who died at Cowdray 22 July 1552 and Magdalen Dacre (daughter of William Lord Dacre).

The two wives lie side by side below […] Both wear "Paris" caps, coroneted: one has a ruff, the other a deep stand-up collar, and necklace […] Their bodices are tight-fitting, and the skirts in Elizabethan vogue, covered by a mantle with deep ermine collar and long fastening cords [….] At each end of the tomb are kneeling figures, rather damaged: (North) Two ladies, in ruff, "Paris" cap and veil, gown, and mantle from the shoulders; behind them a headless man in armour; (South) Two headless ladies, one in a black gown, waist ribbon, red peeress's mantle with shield-shaped hood, female fastening, and white collar: a younger woman, without head, similarly dressed, but not coloured; and a headless man in armour (Mosse, 1933, 72).

The identity of the mutilated figures on the sides of the tomb must be necessarily uncertain. However, we may presume as follows: Anthony, the dead heir who married Mary Dormer; Elizabeth, his half-sister, the wife of Robert, Lord Dormer of Wing: Jane, another half-sister, wife to Sir Francis Lacon: and Anthony, second viscount, who married Jane Sackville. The larger figure in the mantle of a peeress was possibly Mary, who married first, Henry, Earl of Southampton, and secondly, Sir Thomas Heneage. The two headless ladies were perhaps Elizabeth and Jane (Mosse, 1933, 74). Mary is also represented in effigy on the Wriothesley monument at Titchfield, Hampshire.


No guide book available.

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, 212

Salzman, L - ed (1953) A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4: The Rape of Chichester, 47-53 at URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=41695&strquery=Easebourne%20church%20sussex. Date accessed: 07 August 2007.

Mosse, H (1933) The monumental effigies of Sussex (1250-1650), Hove: Combridges, 70-4

Unknown Montagu weeper 1592 - Side
Unknown Montagu weeper 1592 - Top
Unknown Montagu weeper 1592 - Head back
Unknown Montagu weeper 1592 - Monument
Location St Mary's Church
Petworth Road