Travel Shot: The Bored Woman of Gloucester Cathedral

August 1, 2009: The Bored Woman of Gloucester Cathedral

The trip to Gloucester Cathedral happened by chance. Our tour group was on its way to Wales from London and Gloucester was a pit stop for the bus driver to have a smoke and stretch his legs. Since we had made good time, our tour guide generously allowed us an hour in Gloucester and suggested either exploring the Gloucester docks, or visiting the Cathedral. I opted for the latter.

A 15 minute walk and a fast trot later I was at the beautiful Gloucester Cathedral admiring its beautiful architecture, graceful columns and stunning stained glass windows, Then suddenly the above relief caught my eye. I had a tough time controlling my laughter. In a place where one comes across expressions of piety, even severity, this bored “whatever” expression was a real eye-catcher ! The inscription for this rather quirky relief was in Latin, a language I do not know. All I could figure out was that it was a memorial for a person named “Margerie” who died in April 1623.

I tried to find out more about the “bored woman” on the Cathedral website, but not find anything there. In case you do come across any information on her, you will let me know, won’t you?

12 thoughts on “Travel Shot: The Bored Woman of Gloucester Cathedral

  1. Hey Sudha
    I think I have found who the lady in question is. She is Margery Clent, the daughter of Bishop Miles Smith. It seems that during the Tudor and Stuart times, erecting effigies of the prominent Gloucester personages was a fashion thereabouts. But I haven’t been able to find what on earth was so special about her (except for being the daughter of a Bishop).


  2. I have a feeling she is supposed to be looking serene…the poor sculptor…this is not exactly a compliment to his talents, is it! 🙂


  3. To me she appears just not bored, but also fed up with life. You know the kind who have everything and all the time in the world but are not inclined to do anything. Lazy bones!!!


  4. MARGERY CLENT d1623 (Sister of Elizabeth Williams)
    was the eldest daughter of Miles Smith. Margery died in childbirth with her baby the year after her sister. She is shown still pregnant, and in a forward kneeling pose, arm resting on a prayer-desk.
    Elizabeth and Margery both wear Puritan costume, indicating their background. Bishop Smith was opposed to the more traditional religion of the Dean and Chapter of the cathedral, and had run-ins with Dean Laud over the placing of the altar table and other points of doctrine. Both monuments to the Smith girls are said to be by Samuel Baldwin of Gloucester. Their father, the Bishop, died the following year, 1624, and they are all buried in vaults below the floor.


  5. After “someone who knows”‘s comments, I think its best I add nothing . I was think of something light, but that wouldn’t be appropriate


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