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Other objects on the opposite side have tended to merge with the illusionistic painted brickwork of the background, but at the left of the scene is an archer with a longbow, not shooting, but holding his bow and looking in a speculative manner towards the centre of the painting.
The photograph below shows the lower part of the painting, with part of Christs right foot visible at the centre left. Part of a pair of recognisable pincers is very clear in the centre, and beyond it to the right is a hacksaw.
To the left beside Christs foot is something like an axe with a curved, half-moon shaped blade, and a little further to the left, discernible to a patient eye, a man playing bagpipes, two drone pipes dangling. Above the wooden rail in this lower part are other implements, the most recognisable (lower left, below) being a ball of cord or wool, alluding presumably to spinning or weaving.
The painting extends to the west, above the south door, and there are more implements here, including at the left of the final photograph below the griddle or harrow-like object that appears in nearly all examples of this subject. Beyond this to the right is a hammer, and then a wheel, with another hammer, clawed this time, beyond to the right. Below the wheel is the most curious detail of all, a man who seems at first glance to be holding a telescope-like object to his eye. Tristram identified this as a singing or whistling arrow, with a blunt perforated wooden head which made a humming noise when launched into the air.¹ A display involving these was evidently laid on for Henry V111 and Queen Catherine of Aragon on Mayday at Shooters Hill in London, when:
[An archer in the guise of] Robin Hoode whistled, and all the two hundred archers shot off, loosing all at once; and when he whistled again they likewise shot again; their arrows whistled by craft of the head, so that the noise was strange and loud, which greatly delighted the king, queen, and their company²
Finally at the left is a large, elaborately curved hunting-horn, made to hang from a saddle, and confirming again that it is not only staying away from church in order to work, but in order to play as well, that is frowned on. The extent to which paintings of this subject were part of an apparatus of social control has to be judged against the evidence, in this example at least, that royal and aristocratic pastimes, such as hunting, are just as firmly proscribed as more lowly ones.
¹ Tristram 111, p.134
² Stow, John, Survey of London, 1598, p. 90 (Everyman edition, 1923)
|Ampney St. Mary, Gloucs (Sabbath Breakers)||Breage, Cornwall (Sabbath Breakers)||Broughton, Bucks (Swearers)||Corby Glen, Lincs (Swearers)||Duxford, Cambs (Sabbath Breakers?)|
|Hessett, Suffolk (Sabbath Breakers)||St. Just-in-Penwith, Cornwall (Sabbath Breakers)||Michaelchurch Escley, Heref.& Worcs. (Sabbath Breakers?)||Nether Wallop, Hampshire (Sabbath Breakers) NEW||Oaksey, Wilts (Sabbath Breakers)|
|Poundstock, Cornwall (Sabbath Breakers)||West Chiltington, Sussex (Sabbath Breakers)|
© Anne Marshall 2001**++