Site search by Findberry

A local history and genealogy site for Wimpole, a village and parish in South Cambridgeshire.
Curated by Steve Odell.

Home     Church Hub     Parish Register Hub     Chicheley Family

The Communion Plate
St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
A local history and genealogy site for the Parish of Wimpole

Communion Plate by Richard Blackwell II, St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
The Set of Communion Plate
St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole

For the avoidance of any doubt, may I emphasise to those of a possibly acquisitive nature that the Communion Set is not kept, stored or left in the Church at any time.

The Hound Sejant
St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole, owns a set of communion plate dating from the mid-1650s, the time of the English Commonwealth. This was subsequently presented to the church in 1679 by Sir Thomas Chicheley (1614-1698), the builder of Wimpole Hall and Master of the Ordnance and Privy Councillor to Charles II.
The Commonwealth (1649–60) saw the destruction of huge amounts of family silver; moreover the Puritans despised ostentatious displays of wealth and disapproved of depictions of Christ, so much church plate was also destroyed or defaced. The few objects that were made in silver during this period were generally small with minimal decoration; more substantial pieces such as Wimpole’s communion set are extremely rare indeed.
The Hound Sejant mark - a seated heraldic greyhound The set comprises a silver-gilt chalice and paten, 2 silver-gilt flagons and a silver fluted oval alms dish all decorated with a ‘Good Shepherd’ design. Until recently, the goldsmith was unknown and was referred to only by his maker’s mark, ‘the hound sejant’ - a seated heraldic greyhound. However, an article in the 2003 Silver Society Journal by Eric Smith, a former member of the silver department at Bonhams’ auctioneers, has now identified the maker as Richard Blackwell II the younger, the son of another Richard Blackwell, who was also a distinguished goldsmith. His clients were royal, or moved in royalist circles, and much of his work consisted of plate for private Anglican chapels or churches with aristocratic patrons, or colleges.
Research for the article included an examination of our silver carried out in the summer of 2003 by Christopher Hartop, a leading authority on early English silver and a former director of Christies’ auction house in New York. Other examples of church plate by the hound sejant maker are to be found in Gloucester, Rochester and St Paul’s cathedrals, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), and a handful of parish churches.
David Owen

Two Flagons by Richard Blackwell II, St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
The Two Silver-Gilt Flagons
Chalice and Paten by Richard Blackwell II, St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
The Silver-Gilt Chalice and Paten
Oval Alms Dish by Richard Blackwell II, St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
The Silver Fluted Oval Alms Dish


This page was last updated on: 20 April 2019.

St Andrew's Parish Church.
A living church for the Parish of Wimpole, located within the National Trust's
Wimpole Hall Estate.
The Church is managed and maintained by the Parochial Church Council

Aerial View of St Andrew's Parish Church 2016
Aerial View of St Andrew's Parish Church 2016.
With permission © John Fielding 2016, all rights reserved.



Contact the Website
      Read Our Guestbook
Website © Copyright 2000-2019 Steve Odell


Website security