Brass to Thomas Lord Berkeley (1353-1417) and his wife Margaret Baroness Lisle (d1392) heiress of Warin 2nd Lord Lisle and Margaret Pypard widow of Robert Fitzellis dsp c1340 www.flickr.com/photos/52219527@N00/8423787327/
who brought him the wide Lisle estates in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The brass was made on her death including them both even though he lived another 25 years
Thomas Berkeley "the Magnificent" was the son of Maurice 4th Lord Berkeley and Elizabeth www.flickr.com/photos/sic_itur_ad_astra/6917969413/ daughter of Hugh 1st Lord Despencer, His maternal great-grandmother was Joan of Acre, daughter of Edward I.
Children - 1 daughter .
1 Elizabeth m (1st wife) Richard de Beauchamp Earl of Warwick 1450 www.flickr.com/photos/flambard/405017073/
Thomas had extensive military service, by sea and by land, under Richard II and Henry IV. when he was Admiral of the King's Fleet; He was likewise retained by Indenture to serve the King with 300 Men at Arms, he Sea, for one quarter of a year, himself accounted, with 11 Knights, 285 Esquires, 600 Archers, 7 Ships, 7 Barges, and 7 Ballingers, double manned with Marriners," having command to sail to Bordeaux.
By the terms of his will (1415) Thomas bequeathed "unto the Fabrick of that Church, wherein his body should happen to be buried, a Cross gilt, with all the Relicks included therein. To his Daughter, the Countess of Warick, he gave his best pair of Mattins, as also 1 gilt Cup with ?20 contained therein. To James his Nephew ( his next male heir) his best Bed, and great Cup of Jet; as also 2- Coats of Male, 20 Brest-plates, 20 and 20 Lances." (Monumental Brass Society)
On Thomas's death in 1417 without male issue, however, the Berkeley inheritance was divided between the heir male and the heir general, and the great lawsuit began which was to last for nearly two centuries. (see battle of Nibley Green www.flickr.com/photos/52219527@N00/3328227732/ )
On the brass Thomas' sword belt was adorned by a jewel inlay now lost. Margaret's figure would also have been eye-catching; the crespine headdress had inlaid jewels and the brocade cushions on which her head rest would have had coloured mastic inlay to enhance the design. The collar of mermaids which he is wearing – not a known Berkeley device – may allude to the office of admiral to which he was appointed in 1403.
1353-1417 Thomas Lord Berkeley - his unusual mermaid collar can just be made out possibly alluding to his title of Admiral of the King's Fleet under Henry IV as it has no Berkeley family connection otherwise.
Dimension 1 (Length) 213.0 cm
Dimension 2 (Width) 122.0 cm
Published Description From the catalogue, An Exhibition of Medieval Brass Rubbings by Kathleen H. Cairns. "Thomas, Lord Berkeley, 1417. In Lancastrian armour with collar of mermaids, an heraldic device. His leather gloves are studded with steel. A lion is at his feet. Margaret, his wife, was daughter and heir of Gerald Warren, Lord Lisle, 1392."
Thomas, Lord Berkeley's livery collar showing four mermaids, an emblem of the Berkeley family.