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Roger Bigod, 4th Earl of Norfolk

In the north choir aisle of Westminster Abbey is a carved and painted shield of Roger Bigod, 4th Earl of Norfolk. This is one of a series of carved, and later painted, shields of benefactors to the building of Henry III's new Gothic church from 1245-1272. The arms are "or, a cross gules".

He was the eldest son of Hugh, Earl of Norfolk and his wife Matilda (Marshal). His wife was Isabella, sister of the King of Scots. Roger was knighted by Henry III in 1233 and granted the earldom. He was Marshal of England in 1246 and one of the wealthiest earls in England. Dying in 1270 without any children he was buried at Thetford in Norfolk. His nephew was his heir.

Further reading for the Bigod family

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Roger Bigod, 4th Earl of Norfolk
Roger Bigod, 4th Earl of Norfolk Carved Shield

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

The biggest challenge we face is maintaining such a large physical collection of material within a historic building – believe it or not, there’s just not enough space for it all.

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