The stolen 16th Century coat of arms

The stolen carving from Nicholas Throckmorton's memorial

St Katharine Cree church in Leadenhall Street London, which survived both the Great Fire and the blitz, is soon to be reunited with a beautiful 16th century carving which was stolen from the church decades before.

The alabaster carving was part of a monument to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, who was the fourth son of Sir George Throckmorton and became a prominent figure in the reign of Elizabeth I. Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, the undiplomatic diplomat, was a devout Protestant and following his support of Lady Jane Grey and his involvement in rebellions against the Catholic Queen Mary he was sent to the tower and put on trial for treason.

Nicholas Throckmorton's memorial in London
Nicholas Throckmorton's memorial

Amazingly, he managed to outwit the prosecution in court and fled to France where he later became the British ambassador in Paris when Elizabeth I became Queen.  

St Katharine Cree church in London
St Katharine Cree church in London

The carving was bought in good faith by an art specialist in Brussels who has agreed to return it to the church after being approach by Patrick Damiaens, a Belgian ornamental and heraldic woodcarver who researched the carving after seeing it at an antiques fair and Christopher A Marinello, a lawyer and director of Art Recovery International.

" This is an amazing time for this carving to be coming back to the church. The building is on the heritage at risk register and there are significant plans for its restoration over the next few years. The return of a fine piece of carving which belongs on an existing monument of a historically important figure is really quite something. It is not only a beautiful object but a gateway to the understanding and interpretation of our heritage. "
- Phil Manning, a churchwarden at St Katharine Cree

This beautiful and significant historical item will soon be returned to St Katharine Cree church and if you’d like to hear more about this fantastic story follow the link below.

Patrick Damiaens’ blog on the discovery of the missing family coat of arms.