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Philippa Mohun, Duchess of York

Philippa Mohun was buried in St Nicholas' chapel in Westminster Abbey. Her altar tomb of freestone was originally in the centre of the chapel but was moved (prior to 1600) to the north west corner. Her effigy is shown in a long cloak and widow's hood, her head on two cushions. There are traces of paint on the effigy but the hands have been broken off. Around the tomb base are seven shields, but there may be more hidden on the side which is against the chapel screen. In John Dart's history of the Abbey 1723 he engraves an elaborate wooden canopy over her tomb which has now gone. The tester from it is thought to be the one still preserved in the Abbey's collection. Only two words of the original Latin inscription remain but in an Abbey history of 1822 it says the following inscription (here translated) could still be made out:

Philippa daughter and co-heir of John Lord Mohun of Dunster who died Anno Domini 1431

An earlier history said that the words "wife of Edward Duke of York" were also given. The shields show the arms of Mohun and York, and Fitzwalter, Golofre, York and Burghersh all impaling Mohun.

Philippa was the second daughter of John, the last Lord Mohun and his wife Joan de Burghersh. She married firstly Walter, Lord Fitzwalter, secondly Sir John Golofre (died 1396, ambassador to the court of France) and thirdly Edward, 2nd Duke of York (grandson of King Edward III). After Edward was killed at Agincourt she obtained for life a grant of the Lordship of the Isle of Wight, previously held by her husband. She died there at Carisbrooke Castle on 17th July 1431. In her will she mentioned her son Walter, Lord Fitzwalter and she gave money to many charities and to Thomas Chaucer.

Sir John's grave in the Abbey had a brass over it but only a few fragments are now preserved but the indent in the south ambulatory still remains.

Further reading

J.P. Neale & E. Brayley "History and Antiquities of Westminster Abbey" 1822, prints a translation of her will

Died

17th July 1431

Field

Philanthropist

Location

Chapel of St Nicholas

Memorial Type

Tomb

Philippa Mohun, Duchess of York
Philippa Mohun, Duchess of York tomb

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Philippa Mohun, Duchess of York
Trinity tester possibly from her tomb

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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