Lady Elizabeth Trivet

Elizabeth Trivet (sometimes Tryvet) achieved wealth and influence at the court of Richard II through her marriages to Sir Thomas Trivet (died 1388) and later to Sir Thomas Swynbourne (died 1412). She died in 1433.  The king rewarded her in 1390 with the award of robes of the Order of the Garter. In her will (in which she surprisingly uses her first husband’s surname rather than that of Swynbourne) she left a large legacy to Christ Church priory – hence her tomb by St Gabriel’s chapel in the crypt.  The effigy is badly damaged.

What to see (Image 1):

  • the recumbent effigy showing Elizabeth as an elderly woman dressed in the style of an abbess with hood, mantle and long girdled gown
  • the pleated chin covering known as a barbe and typical of the 15th century
  • the angels at her head and dog at her feet
  • the sides of the tomb are clearly modern – up until it the 18th century the northern face showed coats of arms including, as a rebus or name pun, a ‘trivet’ (a metal place mat for bowls on a table)

Sources: see standard cathedral sources;  also Dart (1727);  Robertson (1880)