Benefactors of the Church (1)

Coloured portraits of fourteenth-century burgess benefactors to St. Alban's Abbey were recorded in its Catalogus Benefactorum. They were probably made soon after the gifts took place. That fact, together with the level of detail and distinction between the various individuals suggests that some attempt was being made to create reasonably accurate depictions of the people involved.

William and Johanne Cheupaign

Here we see William Cheupaign (in the original wearing a green hood lined with red) and wife Johanna (in a white hood). They gave two tenements in Halliwelle Street to the abbey, one of which is represented in the portrait (a single-storey timber house of timber, with thatched roof, and what appears to be a carved stag's head as a finial to the gable. They also donated items to adorn the abbey church and a wooden drinking-bowl ornamented with silver, with a wooden cover.

Johanna de Warn

Johanna de Warn gifted an even better house in the town, with tiled roof projecting out from which is what may be a louvre over a fire-hearth; note the arched door and ornamental hinges.

William de Langley

William de Langley donated a timber-framed two-storey house in Dagnale Street, St. Albans; its annual value (in rents) was 60s. On the gable stood a weathervane.

Unknown donor

The identity of this benefactor is unknown. However, his clothing – buttoned-up robe and fashionable hood – suggests him to have been relatively well-to-do.

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