The earliest record of the place by name occurs in 677, when the Northumbrian king Egfrid, having just conquered the district, granted to St. Cuthbert the whole of the lands called Cartmel with all the Britons therein. What result the gift had is unknown, but it probably led to the foundation of a church there or the rebuilding of an old one, for at the Norman Conquest the southern part of Cartmel was known as Kirkby.
After the Conquest Cartmel remained in the king’s hands till about 1186, when Henry II granted it to William Marshal Earl of Pembroke, who about 1189 gave the whole territory of Cartmel; Kirkby, Walton and Newton, to canons regular to maintain divine worship in the church.
Till the Reformation the history of the parish is that of the priory.
The parish suffered severely in the Scottish raids of 1316 and 1322.
This dissertation considers the Harington Tomb in Cartmel Priory in Cumbria, an usually large and ambitious funerary monument to a local baron and his wife made c.1340.
Severely cut down and moved from its original position in the church in the seventeenth century, it seems that it originally included a section containing an altar for chantry masses, ahead of the first usually accepted example of a “cage chantry”.
A survey of the fabric and a seventeenth century drawing are used to reconstruct the original appearance of the monument, and also to assess the workshop methods of the team of sculptors who created it. The novel form of a self-contained altar and tomb ensemble and the sculptural decoration used to represent the terms of the chantry agreement are investigated in connection with other funerary monuments, and the development of these characteristics assessed.
The seventeenth century relocation of the Harington Tomb to its current position seems then not to have been as brutal and haphazard as an initial observation may suggest, for it would be a foolhardy mason who would reconstruct such a large and complicated interlocking structure without maintaining its original configuration.
The tomb’s programme of religious imagery is interpreted through its potential agents and audience: the Haringtons who lie within it; the Augustinian Canons whose church it stood in; and the laity who would have worshipped not far from it. The interpretation of the tomb solely as a self-aggrandising monument for a minor lord is reconsidered in favour of a more inclusive approach to the institution of the chantry.
The fourteenth century work on Cartmel’s parish aisle, possibly all under the patronage of John Harington, was multi-faceted, including architecture, stained glass and sculpture and it should be considered how the Tomb’s workshop was related to this larger campaign of work
Dickinson believes John Harington (died 1418) left money in his will for the grand east window of Cartmel. John Compton Dickinson “Three pre Reformation documents concerning South Cumbria” Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Historical Society 86 (1986) pp.129-130.
The south aisle was the Parish Church for the village in the fourteenth century, before the nave was constructed.
In an article published in 2005, Sir Roy Strong, former director of the National Portrait Gallery, lamented the breaking up of local collections of portraits as English stately homes faced repurposing or destruction throughout the 20th century.
By the 1930s, final dispersal of the collection of the Harington family of Kelston began through a series of brokered private sales to buyers that included Lord Deramore and the collector Eric Bullivant. The remnants of the collection were eventually liquidated by sale at public auction in July 1942 following the death of John E Musgrave Harrington.
To Lucy, Countess of Bedford, with John Donne’s Satires
by Ben Jonson
Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are
Life of the Muses’ day, their morning star!
If works, not th’ author’s, their own grace should look,
Whose poems would not wish to be your book?
But these, desir’d by you, the maker’s ends
Crown with their own. Rare poems ask rare friends.
Yet satires, since the most of mankind be
Their unavoided subject, fewest see;
For none e’er took that pleasure in sin’s sense
But, when they heard it tax’d, took more offence.
They, then, that living where the matter is bred,
Dare for these poems, yet, both ask and read
And like them too, must needfully, though few,
Be of the best; and ‘mongst those best are you,
Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are
The Muses’ evening, as their morning star.
Portrait medal of Lucy Harington, countess of Bedford (1581-1627), by Nicholas Briot (c.1579-1646), oval cast and chased silver, obv. LVCIA HARINGHTON COM BEDFOR, bust left wearing coronet ruff and plume of heron feathers; rev. IVDICIO NON METV, serpent with tail coiled around its head; engraved signature on truncation (‘N. Briot’), dated 1625 (unique and unpublished), 53 x 42 mm.
Lucy Harington, wife of the 3rd duke of Bedford, was one of the most interesting and vivacious women in court circles. She was a friend of James I’s queen, Anne of Denmark, and daughter, Elizabeth of Bohemia, and a patroness of John Donne, Ben Jonson and Indigo Jones, who designed a number of Masque costumes for her. A portrait at Woburn Abbey shows her in one of these, wearing a plume of heron feathers similar to that shown on the medal. The medal of Lucy Harington is only known from this piece, which may well have been the sole specimen produced for presentation to the sitter.
Nicholas Briot (c.1579-c.1646) was a celebrated French coin engraver, medallist and inventor of minting machinery. He held the post of engraver-general at the Paris mint (1606-25), but in Summer 1625 moved to Britain where he became the principal die engraver at the Royal Mint and master of the mint in Edinburgh (1635-9). During the Civil War he was attached to the king’s court. This silver medal, produced shortly after his arrival in England, is of an exquisite quality that only Briot was capable of at this period.