Bearded with short curly hair, John is depicted lying on a partly rolled up mattress.
Wearing less armour than Edward, he also wears a ruff and
coronet. A bull, with a coronet round
his neck, lies at his feet. The articulations of the lower part of the peasecod breastplate
of the English type of armour of the period.
Countess Elizabeth, who ordered both Edward's and her husband's memorials, would
have seen her own effigy which is dressed in an ermine mantle, ruff
and falling ruffles. At her feet
is a lion's head, with a protruding tongue, while two embroidered cushions support her head,
bedecked in a jewelled headdress.
The eldest son Roger, is seen in effigy between his
parent's feet, while that
of the eldest daughter Bridget, who became Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth and
who is remembered in effigy in Bigby, Lincolnshire, is between her parents' heads.
Four of the
other surviving children (Francis, Elizabeth, Frances,
George and Oliver, who was knighted by James at Belvoir
in 1603) are depicted kneeling along the south side of
the tomb chest. Oliver became an ardent Roman Catholic and as such was obliged to live
for a period abroad.
He died in 1613. On the east end on the chest is the effigy of Mary,
who died in infancy
in April 1588.
The gadrooning on the bevel of the tomb-chest is a trait of the Southwark School. The
inscription, on two tablets, reads:
The right honourable and noble Lord John Erle
of Rutlande, Lord Rosse of Hamelac, Trusbote,
Belvoyre, lieth here buried. He succeeded
his brother Edward in the Erledome
and Baronnies, and therein lived until
Satterday the 24th day of February then nexte
followinge in the same yeare, 1587, on which
day he deceased at Nottingham, from
whence his corps was hither brought and buried
on the 2nd day of April followinge, 1588.
He was made Lieutenante of the county
of Nottingham 1587. Hee had yssue by his
most honourable and vertuous lady
Elizabeth Charleton, daughter of Fraunces
Charleton, esq, five sonnes, to witte,
Edward, who died at the age of . . .
Roger, now Erle of Rutland, Lord Rosse of
Hamelac, Trusbote, and Belvoyre, Fraunces,
George and Oliver: and four daughters; Bridget,
Elizabeth, Mary (deade in her infancy), and
Fraunces borne after her father's death.
On the two pillars supporting the canopy of the monument:
These two tombs for Edward and John Erles of Rutland were founded and erected in October
1591. By that most honorable and vertuous countess Elizabeth, wife to Erle John.
Above the tomb are the arms: Quarterly of sixteen
1. Or, two bars azure, a chief quarterly of the last and gules, in the first and fourth
quarters two fleurs-de-lis, and in the second and third a lion passant guardant all or (Manners)
2. Gules, three water-bourgets argent (Roos)
3. Gules, three catherine wheels argent (Espec)
4. Azure, a catherine wheel or (Belvoir)
5. Gules, a fess between six crosslets or (Beauchamp)
6. Checky argent and azure, a chevron ermine (Newburgh)
7. Gules, a chevron between ten crosses paty argent (Berkerley)
8. Or, a fess between two chevrons sabel (Lisle)
9. Gules, a lion passant guardant argent (Lysley)
10. England within a bordure argent (Holland, Earl of Kent)
11. Argent, a saltire engrailed gules (Tiptoft)
12. Or, a lion rampant gules (Charleston Lord Powys)
13. Argent, a fess cotised gules (Badlesmere)
14. Checky argent and gules (Vaux of Gillesland)
15. Gules, an eagle displayed within a bordure argent (Albini ancient)
16. Or, two chevronels within a bordure gules (Daubeney) impaling
Or, a lion rampant gules (Charlton) quartering Gules, ten bezants (Zouch).
On the eastmost pillar are the above arms impaling quarterly
1. and 4. Or, a lion rampant
gules (Charleton), 2. and 3. Gules, ten bezants (Zouch).
On the westmost pillar are 1. and 4 Charlton. 2. and 3. Zouch.
The swan neck pediment is decorated with four hawk heads.
The Belvoir Castle accounts relating to these tombs still survive and give an interesting
into how the tombs were transported and erected as well as the state of the Elizabethan roads
(on the way from Boston to Bottesford one of the wagon's axles broke).
This monument, above which a sword and pair of gauntlets hang on the wall, was constructed
by the same men and at the same time as that for Edward,
3rd Earl. They cost £100 each and were made in Southwark and sent by sea to Boston,
where they loaded by seventeen workmen into
fifteen carts for the 30-mile journey to Bottesford.
Gerard's son, Nicholas, who executed the memorial to Roger, the fifth
Earl in 1616, lived at the village baker's for six weeks while he supervised the erection of his work. We learn from the
accounts that resin and wax were mixed together to make a type of cement and that an ash tree
was felled for making the trestles that supported the effigies while the tomb-chests were being
installed. Lime, sand and stones were used to make the rougher cement that would not be seen.