Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Rolle Brass at Petrockstowe

Monumental brass at Petrockstowe, Devon

One of the more challenging photographs I took during my trip to Devon was that of the early 17th century monumental brass to Henry ROLLE and his wife Margaret YEO at Petrockstowe, Devon. A tripod was essential since flash was out of the question. In hindsight, a polarizing filter would have also been useful to reduce the amount of reflection.

The two brasses show Henry ROLLE and his ten sons, and Margaret YEO and her eight daughters. Another daughter who died before her parents is represented by a skull. Margaret ROLLE's date of death in 1591 is given, however, no date of death is given for her husband. Above the head of Margaret ROLLE is the inscription, "My children feare the lorde."

Henry ROLLE was the fourth son of George ROLLE of Stevenstone in St Giles in the Wood. Henry acquired the manor of Heanton Sachville in Petrockstowe upon his marriage to Margaret YEO. Henry ROLLE presumably died in 1625 as his will was proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury later that year. Heanton Sachville was inherited by the oldest of his nineteen children, Robert ROLLE (1560-1633).

When Henry ROLLE's great-great-grandson Samuel ROLLE died in 1719, Heanton Sachville became the inheritance of his ten-year-old daughter, Margaret ROLLE (1710-1781). When Margaret married Robert WALPOLE (1701-1751), son of the first British Prime Minister, Heanton Sachville passed to the WALPOLE family. Neither Robert WALPOLE nor his son George (1730-1791) used Heanton Sachville as a residence. When George died childless, a distant cousin, Robert George William TREFUSIS (1764-1797), inherited the property, however, four years later the house was destroyed by fire.

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