The Chawton Portrait
Called Queen Elizabeth I, but probably Katherine Grey Seymour
Reputedly Jane Austen (d.1817), sister of Edward Austen Knight, Chawton House, Hampshire;
thence by descent with the Knights of Chawton House;
Lionel and/or Edward Knight, by whom sold between 1919 and 1960;
Richard Philp Gallery, London, after 1966;
Weiss Gallery, London, 1995;
Hever Castle and Gardens, Kent.»
For J. Stephan Edwards's assessment of the Chawton Portrait, see p. 162-167 of his book A Queen of a New Invention.
I have nothing new or particularly interesting to note about this portrait, except to point out that Margaret Grey or Lenton Astley was actually the direct ancestress of Sir Edward Knatchbull, 9th Baronet (20 December 1781 – 24 May 1849), who married as his second wife Fanny Knight. See Debrett's Baronetage of England and Burke's Peerage.
Margaret Grey or Lenton Astley was the first cousin of Lady Jane Grey, and then naturally of course also the first cousin of Lady Katherine Grey.
Fanny Knight was one of the two favourite nieces of Jane Austen. Lady Knatchbull survived her husband by nearly 40 years, and could easily have gifted a portrait that once belonged to him to either her father Edward Austen Knight (1768–1852) or her brother Edward Knight (1794–1879).
Sir Norton Knatchbull, 1st Baronet (1602–1685) by Samuel van Hoogstraten. Sir Norton Knatchbull was the grandson of Margaret Grey or Lenton, the first cousin of Lady Katherine Grey and Lady Jane Grey, and the ancestor of Sir Edward Knatchbull, the husband of Fanny Austen Knight, one of the two favourite nieces of Jane Austen, and whose father, Edward Austen Knight, owned Chawton.
Austen-Knight family lore holds that this portrait was once in the possession of Jane Austen. The portrait is reputed to have been ‘with Jane Austen, Chawton House, Hampshire’ early in the nineteenth century.
J . Stephan Edwards writes of this: “Actual personal possession by Jane Austen is unlikely, however, since she resided as a guest at Chawton Cottage in the village of Chawton, rather than at Chawton House. Austen was financially dependent upon her brother and was herself never sufficiently solvent to have been able to spend funds on such luxury pursuits as portrait collecting. She is equally unlikely to have inherited the painting, having come from a very modest background.”
If my theory that the portrait came by the Austen-Knights by way of Fanny Knight, Lady Knatchbull, she cannot have gifted it to Jane Austen, as she died many years before Fanny married and even more years before Fanny was widowed.
That Jane Austen was disinterested in history is something that is often argued using quotes from her books, and supported by her The History of England – By a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian.
Using the same method quotes from her books she does not seem to have had any yearning interest in portraits either:
“Of pictures there were abundance, and some few good, but the larger part were family portraits, no longer anything to anybody but Mrs. Rushworth, who had been at great pains to learn all that the housekeeper could teach, and was now almost equally well qualified to shew the house.” – Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
“Eleanor was ready to oblige her; and Catherine reminding her as they went of another promise, their first visit in consequence was to the portrait in her bed-chamber. It represented a very lovely woman, with a mild and pensive countenance, justifying, so far, the expectations of its new observer; but they were not in every respect answered, for Catherine had depended upon meeting with features, hair, complexion, that should be the very counterpart, the very image, if not of Henry’s, of Eleanor’s—the only portraits of which she had been in the habit of thinking, bearing always an equal resemblance of mother and child. A face once taken was taken for generations. But here she was obliged to look and consider and study for a likeness. She contemplated it, however, in spite of this drawback, with much emotion, and, but for a yet stronger interest, would have left it unwillingly.” – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
There was, however, somebody who resided at Chawton Cottage who had a keen interest in painting, and possibly history: Jane’s sister Cassandra.
The two portraits we have of Jane Austen are both by Cassandra.
Cassandra Austen was the one who illustrated Jane Austen’s The History of England with coloured portraits, though sadly none of Lady Jane Grey.
She did, however, draw Mary I Tudor, Elizabeth I Tudor and Mary Stuart.
It has been suggested that the illustrations bear rather more resemblance to Austen family members than they do their historical counterparts.
According to Claire Tomalin in Jane Austen: A Life it was Jane who played with her nieces and nephews, while Cassandra was a more strict, severe figure.
It is possible Fanny Knight, Lady Knatchbull gave the portrait to her Aunt Cassandra in an effort to bond with her.
Since Cassandra was also the heiress of Jane Austen, it is possible this is where the tradition that the portrait once belonged to Jane Austen comes from.
Not that a reason for assigning inherited belongings to famous relations is usually needed.
«Cassandra wrote to Fanny after Jane's death. Sunday 20th July 1817.
“My Dearest Fanny- doubly dear to me now for her dear sake whom we have lost. She did love you most sincerely and never shall I forget the proofs of love you gave her during her illness in writing those kind, amusing letters at a time when I know your feelings would have dictated so different a style.”
Nine days later on Tuesday 29th July, after Fanny had replied to Cassandras first letter, Cassandra writes,
“My dearest Fanny, I have read your letter for the third time and thank you most sincerely for every kind expression to myself and still more warmly for your praises of her who I believe was better known to you than to any human being besides myself.”
Fanny Knight, Lady Knatchbull, was very dear and close to her aunts and Jane in particular.» London Calling – Jane Austen: A Family Photograph Album
While Jane Austen died in 1817, Cassandra Austen (1773–1845) lived to see their niece Fanny marry Sir Edward Knatchbull, 9th Baronet in 1820.
Cassandra Austen continued living at Chawton after Jane Austen’s death, at first with her mother and a family friend, Martha Lloyd. Her mother died in 1827 and Martha left to marry Cassandra's brother Frank in 1828. Cassandra lived on alone at the cottage but continued to visit friends and relations.
The Writing Desk
Jane Austen’s writing desk, for example, was first inherited by Cassandra, then it was passed down through the family of the Jane and Cassandra’s eldest brother James (1765–1819).
«When Austen died in 1817, aged 41, the desk was inherited by her sister Cassandra. It was later passed down through her eldest brother’s family. In 1999, Joan Austen-Leigh, Jane Austen’s great-great-great-niece, generously entrusted it to the care of the British Library. Among the items that had been stored for generations in the desk drawer were three pairs of spectacles which, according to family tradition, all belonged to Jane Austen. The desk also contained a glass ink pot and a penknife.»
Containing work written between 1787 and 1793, Austen compiled fair copies of twenty-nine early works into three bound notebooks, now referred to as the Juvenilia. She called the three notebooks "Volume the First", "Volume the Second" and "Volume the Third", and they preserve 90,000 words she wrote during those years.
Volume the First
«Jane Austen died in July 1817 and, by the terms of her will, her sister Cassandra (1773-1845) inherited her manuscripts. In compliance with the annotation to the notebook’s front pastedown, Volume the First went at Cassandra’s death to their youngest brother Charles (1779-1852), and it remained in his family, descending to his eldest daughter, Cassandra Esten (1808-1897), and then to Cassandra Esten’s nieces, the daughters of his son Charles John Austen. Three of these daughters – Jane, Emma Florence, and Blanche Frederica Austen – all impoverished spinsters, sold various Jane Austen manuscripts in the 1920s, though Volume the First does not appear listed among them. There is some uncertainty surrounding its ownership when Chapman tracked it down in November 1932 and arranged its purchase by the Friends of the Bodleian Library, for £75. The sale was completed in January 1933 but Chapman retained possession of the notebook for several months, during which time he transcribed and edited the contents for the Clarendon Press (pp. ix. 140, 5 shillings).» Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: Volume the First
Volume the Second
The History of England is in "Volume the Second" (as are Love and Freindship and four other works) occupying 34 manuscript pages. Cassandra's 13 illustrations were done after the copying was completed. "Volume the Second" passed to Cassandra at Jane Austen's death in 1817, and on Cassandra's death in 1845 to fourth brother Francis Austen (1774–1865), with whose descendants it remained until it was sold to the British Library in 1977.
Volume the Third
«Jane Austen died in July 1817 and, by the terms of her will, her sister Cassandra inherited her manuscripts. In keeping with the pencil inscription on its first page, ‘for James Edward Austen’, with the further name ‘Leigh’ inscribed below (not before 1837, the date at which James Edward Austen added ‘Leigh’ to his surname), Volume the Third presumably passed at Cassandra’s death to their nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh (1798-1874). It was passed down in the Austen-Leigh family, belonging to James Edward’s grandson, Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh when Chapman published his edition in 1951. It remained in the family until 1976, more recently in the joint possession of Joan Austen-Leigh and Valerie Peyman, daughters of R. A. Austen-Leigh’s cousin Lionel Arthur Austen-Leigh. It was deposited in the British Museum in 1963 and was shown as Item 8 in the British Library’s Jane Austen exhibition, December 1975-February 1976. It was bought by the British Rail Pension Fund, 14 December 1976 (Sotheby’s, London, Lot 172), for £30,000. It was bought by the British Library, 27 September 1988, with the aid of a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, for £120,000 (Sotheby’s, London, a sale on behalf of the British Rail Pension Fund, Lot 108; Lot 109 in the same sale was the larger portion of The Watsons).» Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: Volume the Third
«In 1870, when Austen-Leigh brought it to public notice, the manuscript was in the possession of his half-sister Anna Lefroy (1793-1872). She appears to have inherited it according to the stipulations of the slip of paper pasted lengthways to its last leaf. The manuscript remained in family hands until it was acquired by the British Museum in December 1925.» Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: Persuasion
«When Chapman transcribed the manuscript it was still in family ownership. In the division at Cassandra’s death, it had passed, along with the Persuasion chapters, to Austen’s niece Anna Lefroy (1793-1872). Either James Edward Austen-Leigh, her half-brother, worked directly with the autograph for the second edition of his Memoir (1871), or Anna Lefroy, more expert as to its contents, supplied an account. This was the first public mention of the unfinished novel. From Anna Lefroy it passed down through the Lefroys to Mary Isabella Lefroy (1860-1939), daughter of George Benjamin Lefroy and Anna Lefroy’s granddaughter, and so Jane Austen’s great-great niece. She presented it to King’s College, Cambridge, in October 1930, in memory, as she told Chapman at the time, ‘of my sister, & brother in law she the gt gt niece of “Jane” & he the gt nephew, & the most popular Provost, & Provostess “Kings” has ever had.’ Isabel Lefroy, as she was known, refers here to her sister Florence Emma (1857-1926) and Florence’s husband Augustus Austen-Leigh (1840-1905), Provost of the College, 1889-1905, and a son of James Edward, the biographer. Despite this reconnection of the Austen-Leighs and Lefroys, Augustus’s brother and nephew do not seem to have consulted the manuscript for their expanded family biography of 1913, which repeats the Memoir’s brief description along with its errors. Another copy of the manuscript, made by Cassandra Austen, had a different descent, passing down through Jane’s brother Francis’s family – to Janet Austen, later Sanders, eldest daughter of Frank’s fifth son Edward Thomas Austen. It was from her father that Mrs Sanders got the information, which she communicated to Chapman in February 1925 after the publication of his transcription, that Austen’s intended title for the novel was ‘The Brothers’. Cassandra Austen’s copy of the manuscript, also untitled, is now in Jane Austen’s House Museum, Chawton. Anna Lefroy wrote a continuation of the story, the manuscript of which (‘112 pages, with revisions, deletions, corrections and pastedowns … sewn in three sections’), described as ‘the property of great-great nephews of Jane Austen’, was sold at Sotheby’s on 13 December 1977, Lot 266. Lot 267 in the same sale was a two-page MS in Anna Lefroy’s hand ‘about the composition, the plot and her own possession of the manuscript of “Sanditon”’.» Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: Sandition
«The manuscript descended from Jane Austen’s sister Cassandra to her niece Caroline Mary Craven Austen (1805-1880), the younger daughter of their eldest brother James. It was in Caroline’s possession when first published in 1871 by her brother James Edward Austen-Leigh. It passed to Caroline Austen’s nephew, William Austen-Leigh, and he presented the first six leaves (a quire of two leaves and a quire of four leaves) to a charity sale in aid of the Red Cross Society at Christie, Manson, and Woods’s on 26 April 1915. Lot 1520, it sold for £65 to Lady Alice Wernher. Page 1 of this portion of the manuscript bears the two red stamps of the Red Cross Society and the Order of St John. R. W. Chapman made the first and only close scholarly examination of the entire holograph manuscript in 1924, when these six leaves were still in the possession of Lady Wernher (now Lady Ludlow, by a second marriage). Soon afterwards this smaller portion was with the London dealer C. J. Sawyer, who, after unsuccessfully trying to purchase the larger part of the manuscript from its then owners, Lionel Arthur Austen-Leigh and his three sisters (the nephew and nieces of William Austen-Leigh), offered the fragment for sale for £385. It was acquired in 1925 for £317.5s.6d by the Morgan Library, where it remains. The larger portion of the manuscript was in Austen-Leigh family ownership (though much of the time on deposit in the British Museum) until 1978 when it was sold at Sotheby’s London for £38,000, to the British Rail Pension Fund. It was again auctioned in 1988, at Sotheby’s London, and was sold for £90,000. From 1988 to 2011 it was the property of Sir Peter Michael, on deposit for much of the time at Queen Mary, University of London, where Sir Peter was once a student. On 14 July 2011 it was again auctioned at Sotheby's London. The only remaining known privately owned fiction manuscript in Austen’s hand, it fetched almost £1,000,000 (£850,000, hammer price). It was bought by the Bodleian Library, Oxford, with funds from a variety of sources, including the National Heritage Memorial Fund.» Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: The Watsons
Opinions of Mansfield Park and Opinions of Emma
«The manuscript descended from Cassandra Austen to the family of her younger brother, Charles Austen (1779-1852). Charles’s daughter, Cassandra Esten Austen (1808-97), owned it and made it available when her cousin, Austen-Leigh, was preparing the Memoir. It remained in the family, eventually descending to the daughters of Charles Austen’s son Charles John. Three of these daughters – Jane, Emma Florence, and Blanche Frederica Austen – offered for sale in 1925 a small collection of Austen manuscripts and memorabilia (among them some letters, verses, Opinions of Mansfield Park, Opinions of Emma, Plan of a Novel). The collection was brokered by R. W. Chapman, and divided chiefly between the British Museum and J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr. Opinions of Mansfield Park and Opinions of Emma went to the British Museum (now British Library).» Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: Opinions of Mansfield Park and Opinions of Emma
Plan of a Novel, according to hints from various quarters
«The manuscript descended from Cassandra Austen to the family of her younger brother, Charles Austen (1779-1852). Charles’s daughter, Cassandra Esten Austen (1808-97), owned it and made it available when her cousin, Austen-Leigh, was preparing the Memoir. It remained in the family, eventually descending to the daughters of Charles Austen’s son Charles John. Three of these daughters – Jane, Emma Florence, and Blanche Frederica Austen – offered for sale in 1925 a small collection of Austen manuscripts and memorabilia (among them some letters, verses, Opinions of Mansfield Park, Opinions of Emma, Plan of a Novel). The collection was brokered by R. W. Chapman, and divided chiefly between the British Museum and J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr. He acquired, among other items, Plan of a Novel for the Morgan Library.» Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: Plan of a Novel, according to hints from various quarters
Profits of my Novels
«The manuscript seems to have passed from Cassandra Austen to the family of her younger brother, Charles Austen (1779-1852), eventually descending to the daughters of Charles Austen’s son Charles John. Three of these daughters – Jane, Emma Florence, and Blanche Frederica Austen – offered for sale in 1925 a small collection of Austen manuscripts and memorabilia (among them some letters, verses, Opinions of Mansfield Park, Opinions of Emma, Plan of a Novel, and Profits of my Novels). The collection was brokered by R. W. Chapman, and divided chiefly between the British Museum and J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr. He acquired, among other items, Profits of my Novels for the Morgan Library.» Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: Profits of my Novels
It would make sense that after Cassandra’s death in 1845 that third brother Edward Austen Knight (1767–1852) and his family also inherited something, for example one or more paintings.
His daughter Fanny Knight did inherit the manuscript of Lady Susan as well as the bulk of Jane Austen’s letters to Cassandra:
«The manuscript descended from Cassandra Austen to her niece Fanny Knight, by this time Lady Knatchbull (1793-1882), who also inherited the bulk of Jane Austen’s letters to Cassandra. It apparently only came to light at Lady Knatchbull’s death (hence the use of a non-authorial copy in 1871). It was inherited by her son, Edward Lord Brabourne (1829-93), editor of Letters of Jane Austen (2 vols, 1884) and appeared as Lot 952 in the sale of Lord Brabourne’s library held at Puttick and Simpson, London, 26-28 June 1893.5 It again appeared at a Sotheby’s sale, 17 December 1898, as Lot 203, where it is described as ‘Austen (Jane) Original Manuscript, entirely in her autograph, of her novel “Lady Susan”, consisting of 158 pages, inlaid and inserted in the first printed edition, orange morocco, the sides tooled in gold’.6 Lord Rosebery bought Lady Susan for £90 from the London dealer J. Pearson and Company around the turn of the century and it remained in his library until 1933. (Chapman acknowledges Lord Rosebery’s ownership in his ‘Preface’ to the 1925 printing – ‘by the courtesy of its present owner, the Earl of Rosebery’.7) It was sold at the Rosebery sale at Sotheby’s on 26 June 1933, as Lot 268, the catalogue entry describing it as ‘THE FINEST LITERARY MS. OF JANE AUSTEN extant’. It went for £2,100 to Walter M. Hill of Chicago. At the time, this was a record price for a Jane Austen manuscript.8 In 1947, Belle da Costa Greene, Director of the Morgan Library, acquired it for the collection from the New York dealer James F. Drake, for a sum rather less than Hill had paid: $6750 (Hill’s £2,100 converted at the time as $8,812).» Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: Lady Susan
A pelisse, believed to be Jane Austen’s own, did end up with the Austen-Knights: «A descendant of the family donated the pelisse to Hampshire County Museums and Archives in 1993. She inherited it from her grandmother Mrs Winifred Jenkyns (1879–1973, née Austen-Leigh), who had received it from Eleanor Steele (née Glubbe, b. 1857). Miss Glubbe had visited the Knight family as a young lady of eighteen, around 1875, and was given the garment by Miss Marianne Knight, sister of Captain John Knight (descendant of Jane’s brother Edward Knight), along with other mementoes ‘now mislaid’.» Reconstructing Jane Austen’s Silk Pelisse, 1812–1814 by Hilary Davidson
There is one further family connection between the Austen-Knights and the Knatchbulls, and one further way the painting could have ended up from the Knatchbull family and in Chawton House.
Edward Knight (born Edward Austen, 10 May 1794 – 5 November 1879) was the nephew of Jane Austen and the eldest son of her brother Edward Austen Knight. He inherited Chawton on his father's death in 1852. His first wife was Mary Dorothea, the daughter of Sir Edward Knatchbull, Baronet of Mersham Hatch, Kent. This is the same Sir Edward Knatchbull who was married to Edward Knight’s sister Fanny. Mary Dorothea was his daughter through his first marriage. Through her father, Mary Dorothea Knatchbull was naturally herself a direct descendant of Margaret Grey or Lenton, the first cousin of Lady Katherine Grey and Lady Jane Grey. Edward Knight had at least seven children.
The Lionel and/or Edward Knight, who sold the Chawton Portrait between 1919 and 1960, were his descendants.
The Montague George Knight (1844–1914), who owned the Chawton Portrait in 1909 and sought to identify its sitter, was his son, who inherited Chawton.
«Chawton House is situated about 400m away from the cottage where Austen lived for the last eight years of her life.» Jane «Austen is known to have been a frequent visitor to what she knew as the 'Great House', and she references it a number of times in her letters. Edward Austen also loaned it to his brother, Francis Austen. Edward Austen himself resided at Godmersham Park, but his son, Edward Knight II, moved to Chawton House following his marriage, and sold Godmersham Park following his father's death.» Chawton House – Wikipedia
«In 1826, the house became the home of Edward (Austen) Knight’s son, also Edward, who carried out extensive work on the estate, building a new Servants Hall, a Billiard Room wing and replacing some of the wooden sash windows with stone casements. On his death the title passed to his son Montagu who spent considerable amounts of time and money continuing the restoration and modernising of the house, with the influence of Edwin Lutyens being apparent in many areas. As Montagu was childless, his nephew, Lionel, inherited the estate, followed by his son Edward Knight III.» Jane Austen: Chawton House
«In the vault beneath are deposited the remains of Mary Dorothea, wife of Edward Knight Esq of Chawton House in this parish, and eldest daughter of the Right Hon Sir Edward Knatchbull, Bart of Mersham Hatch in the County of Kent. She died in London on the 22nd day of February 1838, in the 31st year of her age, leaving issue five sons and two daughters. Her afflicted husband caused this tablet to be erected, to record his irreparable loss, and in the hope that her children when they read these lines, may call to mind, and endeavour to imitate the virtues of a good and affectionate mother. In the same sacred place are laid the remains of her eldest son Edward Lewkenor, who died at Tunbridge Wells on the 19th day of May 1838, aged 11 years. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."» Mary Dorothea Knatchbull Knight (1807-1838) - Find A Grave Memorial
According to one blog post «Edward Knight (1794-1879) [...] married his step-niece Mary Dorothea Knatchbull in 1825 & begat 7 children and thence married Adela Portal in 1840 & begat a further 9 children.» Jane Austen: Children of Edward Knight and Elizabeth Bridges. Special Marianne Knight (May).
A thirteen years old long marriage which resulted in seven children would have given Mary Dorothea plenty of time to move her own heirlooms into Chawton. Or perhaps to gift it to her aunt-by-marriage Cassandra?
Cassandra would hardly have been a less imposing figure to her, and they lived in close proximity, Chawton House versus Chawton Cottage.
The gesture may also have simply stemmed from genuine kindness, a present Mary Dorothea thought her new elderly aunt would enjoy, as Cassandra’s interests actually seem to suggest that she would.
Mary Dorothea would have been 17–18 years old at the time of her marriage. She would probably already have known Cassandra, as she was the aunt of her step-mother of five years at the time of her marriage, Fanny Knight.
For all the people one hears about who do not seem to to care a whit about their relationship with their in-laws, no matter the proximity of living arrangements, there are plenty of people who do.
According to London Calling – Jane Austen: A Family Photograph Album Edward Knight and Mary Dorothea eloped – and it was quite the scandal.
This would probably have made Mary Dorothea if anything more eager to be on agreeable terms with and favourably impress the stern Cassandra – especially because she in addition to being their next-door-neighbour (and perhaps only relation nearby?) was also the sister of her father-in-law and aunt of her step-mother.
So, possible paths from the Knatchbulls, direct descendants of Margaret Grey or Lenton, the first cousin of Lady Katherine Grey and Lady Jane Grey, for the Chawton Portrait to have taken to the Austen-Knights, include:
The legend that it belonged to Jane Austen
A gift to Cassandra Austen of Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen’s home, from her niece Fanny Knight Knatchbull, her niece-by-marriage Mary Dorothea Knatchbull Knight or from Sir Edward Knatchbull himself, her nephew-by-marriage.
After Cassandra’s death, inherited by the Knights of Chawton House.
Directly to Chawton House (or by Godmersham Park)
A gift from Fanny Knight, Lady Knatchbull to her father Edward Austen Knight or her brother Edward Knight, or a gift to the same from her husband Sir Edward Knatchbull.
The Chawton Portrait was brought to Chawton House by Mary Dorothea Knatchbull Knight either on her marriage or during the 13 years of its duration.
 J. Stephan Edwards, A Queen of a New Invention, p. 163
 J. Stephan Edwards, A Queen of a New Invention, p. 167
 J. Stephan Edwards, A Queen of a New Invention, p. 164 and 167
07.12 | 21:47
It looks like The Tau cross derives from the Egyptian Ankh and basically they are wearing it around their necks, life rebirth, salvation mirror. sun.Stonehenge looks like it is made up of Ts to form c
07.12 | 21:30
are wearing the symbol on effigies at Ingham church Norfolk and Henry StanleyD1528 at Hillingdon Middlesex.Countess Jacquline of Hainaut and husband Frank Borsele are also wearing the insignia others
07.12 | 21:23
These Queens could of been members of the order and i think the Tau cross is a symbol of the Holy Trinity also.These pendants could of been reliquaries.Lady margaret de Bois and Roger de bois
07.12 | 21:17
I think the Tau cross that they are wearing could be linked to the(knights) order of St Anthony, Mary 1st collar looks like it may represent the knotted girdle/waist cord of st Anthony .