De Bower Chapel
Monument to a knight and lady. Purported to be of Sir Thurstan De Bower and Lady Margaret, his wife. However, this attribution is doubtful.
Tomb of Thurstan de Bower and his wife Margaret (died circa 1395), in the Bower Chapel of St John the Baptist parish church in Tideswell, Derbyshire, England.
Wearing an SS collar c1395 Sir Thurstan and Margaret de Bower lie here in the De Bower Chapel, they are said to have built the transept.
He made much money out of lead mining and was one of the founders of the Guild of St Mary here c1384-92, the guild meeting in what is now the Lady Chapel.
For 5 generations the Bower family held the position of "sergentry" to the kings of England for which honour they held land of the king in the Royal Forest of the Peak for services rendered to him. Thurstan de Bower became "scutifero" (Shield-bearer) to Thomas Nevil later Lord Furnival Treasurer of England and Calais. Thurstan became one of the elite group of squires retained by the king who were chosen for their skill in arms, wisdom, wealth and social standing in the country. Chaucer reliably informs us it "were a great honour, exceedingly rare, and given only to a chosen few." He fought in the Scottish campaign of 1402 and in the battle of Shrewsbury 1403 dressed in the king's livery and for services rendered Thurstan became Lord of the Manor of Little Longstone. He lived to see 5 medieval kings on the throne of England and received Royal Commissions for the defence of the realm during the king's absence in France.
Tideswell Church - the tomb of Thurstan de Bower
The church of St John the Baptist in Tideswell is rightly known as the 'Cathedral of the Peak', for it is one of the largest and certainly the most perfect church in the area.
The Bower chapel contains perhaps the most impressive tomb, thought to be that of Sir Thurstan de Bower and his wife Margaret (about 1395). The recumbent alabaster figures of the couple on the tomb are worn by the ravages of time, but still give a strong impression of the couple.
Sir Thurstan de Bower, Tideswell church
Sir Thurstan lived to see 5 kings of England. Generations of the De Bowers served the kings of england and one fought for Henry IV at the battle of Shrewsbury. Allegedly one of several that day who fought wearing the kings livery in a bid to confuse the enemy. He is buried next to his wife Margaret in the 'cathedral of the Peak' at Tideswell.
Tomb of Sir Thurstan de Bower (died about 1423) and his wife Margaret (died about 1395), in the Bower Chapel of St John the Baptist parish church, Tideswell, Derbyshire, England
Thurstan de Bower
Church of St John the Baptist, Tideswell, Derbyshire, England
This monument of Sir Thurstan de Bower and the Lady Margaret his wife, and this Southern Chapel in the South Transept of Tideswell Church, where this monument was in the early part of the fifteenth century erected, were restored in honour of their memory by their kinsman J. Bower Brown, Esq., J.P., of Woodthorpe Hall, near Sheffield, in the year of our Lord, 1873. The above-named Sir Thurstan was living in the 7th year of Richard II, 1392”.
[But, in spite of what this inscription tells us, it is more than doubtful whether the knight and his Lady, whose effigies now rest in the South Transept, were those of any de Bowers at all. It is true that Thurston o' Boure, and Margaret his wife, and Margaret his mother, were connected with the Gild of S. Mary of Tideswell; and in all probability Thurston was a very generous benefactor to the Gild. At any rate, his name, with the names of his wife and of his mother, appear on two Charters relative to the founding of the Gild, which were drawn up in the time of Richard II. and date from the years 1384 and 1392. He held, too, Manorial rights at Little Longstone. But there is nothing to show that he was a Knight other than the tradition, already alluded to in the Vignettes, which was written four hundred and thirty years afterwards. As a matter of fact, Thurston de Bower was a wealthy Tideswell yeoman, who worked a considerable number of lead mines in the Peak district at this period. He died in the year 1423, when his wife was described as “Elizabeth, widow of Thurstan del Bower, husbandman”.]