Harry Hawles

Steward of the Isle of Wight 1386 - 1430

The Island Brass Rubbing Centre has commissioned a restored copy of the Harry Hawles brass  with the appropriate head.  How do we know what the head was like?

Once you begin to look closely at brasses you will notice many similarities of design. Consequently you can begin to identify the work of the original engravers, (or their workshops)   

There is a brass in Cambridgeshire of one Henry Paris and the similarities are so marked that it is obvious they were made by the same workshop.  The Arreton knight therefore wears the head of Henry Paris and we are assured that this would have been the correct design.

He wears plate armour of the Lancastrian period and is known to have fought at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

The head is regrettably missing, otherwise the figure is a perfect example of a knight of the period 

There are many local legends as to how Harry Hawles lost his head.  Some say it was an act of spite on the part of the King and was perpetrated soon after the brass was laid down. His coat of arms is also missing, so it seems as if he has been stripped of his identity.  (The King sent him an angry missive in 1427 demanding "recompense of all monies due", so he obviously owed the King a few bob! )Alternatively, it could have been angry villagers - after all he was a kind of tax collector.

It could have been done at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries (St. George's was once in the possession of  monks affiliated to Quarr Abbey, who lived at Arreton Manor.)
Also, Cromwell was known to have been around in Arreton.  Perhaps his men knew something about it.  We know that he had a thing about idols in churches. In fact  during the Puritan period, fanatical vandals  were appointed to visit churches where there were known to be brasses containing
papist inscriptions praying for the soul of the departed.  These were savagely removed, leaving a cruel scar on the brass      However, the inscription on the Arreton brass remains undamaged,  so who is to say what happened…..

Here is buried under this grave
Harry Hawles whose soul God save
Long time steward of the Isle of Wight
Have mercy on him God full of might

Harry Hawles

Harry Hawles, (Steward of the Isle of Wight during the reign of Henry V) was a member of the de Aula family, who held office under Montecute, Earl of Salisbury, Lord of the Island from 1386 -97 under grant from Richard II.

Home page;    The village of Arreton;   school visits;   Harry Hawles
Directory of Related links;      St George's Church, Arretonabout brasses;     Form;

To contact us:

Henry Paris

Phone 01983  526290 (Business )
Tel/Fax 01983 527553 (Home)
E mail : [email protected]
Hosted by www.Geocities.ws