Thursday, 18 July 2019

Some further Vestments of Adrian Fortescue, D.D. - Part I

Having written back in 2011 that no copes or High Mass sets survived from Dr. Fortescue's collection of vestments for his church of St. Hugh it was a pleasure to be corrected and to learn that some copes are still extant - but certainly no High Mass sets. Again I am most grateful for the kindness of Mr. Alan Robinson for assistance in photographing the copes and for his insightful knowledge of matters liturgical.

Four copes green, red, rose and white survive along with a humeral veil. Also a green stole, with no matching items, with asymmetric decoration which was not considered in the earlier series eight years ago.

All of the four copes are of a similar design of silk body with contrasting velvet orphreys edged with braid details. The hoods are all fully functional - typically Fortescue who disliked function being reduced to mere decoration. The green cope is in the fragile condition with the silk decaying along the seams and overall fading of the silk.

The copes must have almost touched the ground when Dr. Fortescue wore them.


The hood can be worn and is lined with green silk.


The clasp on the green cope is relatively ornate and part of it may have contained a decorative semi-precious stone or piece of polished glass judging by the shape of the terminal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Two things stand out from your posts. One is the lack of high mass sets. I wondered if there weren't any, tho a properly equipped Catholic church would probably require them, yet Fortescue was an unusual man and I think his church building was quite small. On analogy with an entirely different church, I wondered if he could have managed without them. That and also the number of low mass sets would probably have depended on the numbers of resident priests. Did he have any curates? Connected with this possibility is my second point. What on earth were the circumstances of the disposal - if you can say more? Could high mass sets have been lost without trace? Could a parish sacristan supply information? How long ago is several years ago? That's a rather idle question, but some might be forgiven for thinking that pointy Gothic styles are in fashion at present. Even if one dislikes the design, who puts well made things like this, the historic property of the parish IN A SKIP?
But how sadly typical of the destructive urge of some of the clergy!