Decoding the 'Bulkeley' tomb in Beaumaris

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Abstract

The late medieval alabaster chest tomb in Beaumaris presents considerable problems of identification and interpretation. The costume and armour of the effigies suggest a date in the mid fifteenth century. Antiquarian records of the heraldry suggest the tomb commemorates either William Bulkeley, deputy constable of Beaumaris castle (d. c.1490) and his wife Elin, daughter of Gwilym ap Gruffydd of Penrhyn, or their son Rowland (d. 1537) and his wife Alice Beconsall. Of these, the most likely candidates are William and Elin. The tomb could be compared with the chest tomb of Gronw Fychan and his wife Myfanwy, ancestors of the Tudor dynasty, at Penmynydd. The Bulkeley family were connections of the Stanley family, and the iconography of the saints depicted on the Beaumaris tomb is capable of a very contingent political reading in the light of the political turmoil of the late fifteenth century and the family's desire to display their Tudor loyalist credentials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41 - 57
Number of pages16
JournalTransactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • tombs
  • death
  • iconography

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