Monument to Henry Belasyse and Thomas Belasyse (first Earl Fauconberg) 

Creator(s):   Attributed to Grinling Gibbons

Date:    After 1700

Dimensions:   H 600cm x W 374cm

Materials:   Marble

Location:   St Michael’s Church, Coxwold, North Yorkshire

Credit Line (copyright notice for material) :   By courtesy of St Michael's Church, Coxwold

Funerary Monument to Thomas, First Earl Fauconberg and his father, Henry Belasyse at St Michael's Church, Coxwold © Matthew Byrne


This marble funerary monument depicts Thomas Belasyse, the first Earl Fauconberg who died in 1700, on the right wearing court dress and holding an earl’s coronet. His father, Henry, on the left is in Roman dress. Both wear periwigs. Above them, five figures of putti, two of which are holding a heavenly coronet and palm branch, are set amidst clouds. The life-sized figures of the father and son are enclosed by pilasters. At the top, above the entablature sits the Belasyse family coat of arms with carved stone floral festoons draped on either side. At the base, the life and achievements of Henry and Thomas are inscribed in Latin. Large flaming urns sit to either side of the monument on which are carved pairs of cherub heads and wings.

The funerary monument has been attributed to the workshop of Grinling Gibbons on stylistic grounds. The treatment of the figures and putti, as well as the depiction of the heavenly coronet, are reminiscent of other funerary monuments by Gibbons. See for example Archbishop Dolben’s monument at York Minster and the Duke of Beaufort’s monument at Badminton Church.

Further reading:

The Treasures of English Churches: Witness to the History of a Nation, Matthew Byrne, 2021

Coxwold and the Belasyse Monuments, Pauline Sheppard, Routh 1981

Sculpture and Sculptors in Yorkshire, Katherine Esdaile

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 1943/4/5