THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
BODMIN MUSEUM. In 1497, outraged by tax increases, Bodmin lawyer, Thomas Flamank, and St Keverne blacksmith, Michael an Gof, marched on London at the head of a rebel army. Defeated at Blackheath, Flamank and an Gof suffered the death of traitors - hanged, drawn and quartered. A statue of them is at St Keverne.
This plaster coat of arms came from the Flamank home at Boscarne near Bodmin. The arms, once coloured, date from the 1620s and celebrate the marriage of Bernard Flamank and Elizabeth Rous of Devon. The marriages of twelve previous generations are also shown. Flamanks married Peverells, Lucombes, Trewinnards, Nanfans, Carminows and others. According to a Cornish proverb noted by Carew (see Richard Carew) 'all Cornish gentlemen are cousins'.
Some 300 examples of pre-1700 plasterwork still survive in Cornwall, including 25 coats of arms in churches. This work shows that Cornish gentry houses were colourful places where heraldry and lineage were an important talking point.
Photo: Bernie Pettersen