Lanercost Priory: Lord Thomas & Lady Elizabeth Dacre

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In the south arcade of the presbytery is the elaborate canopied tomb of Lord Thomas and Lady Elizabeth Dacre. Born in 1467, Thomas was the son of Humphrey Dacre, 1st Baron Dacre of Gilsland. In 1487/1488, Thomas married Elizabeth Greystoke, 6th Baroness Greystoke and they had seven children. The carved decoration on the tomb would have been brightly painted but due to erosion this has been lost.

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Thomas fought at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 against Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond. The rival forces of Richard III were defeated and Richard himself was killed. His early support for the House of Tudor earned Thomas some favour with Henry VII who continued to trust his services for the remainder of his reign. Thomas was named deputy to the Lord Warden of the Marches in 1485 and eventually became Warden himself in 1509.

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Henry VII named Thomas a Knight of the Bath in 1503. Swearing loyalty to Henry VIII in 1509, Thomas and his forces served under Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, in the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. Thomas commanded the Border Lancers at the battle in which the invading army of James IV of Scotland was defeated. Henry VIII named Thomas Knight of the Garter in 1518 and he died on campaign in Scotland on 24th October 1525.

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The two salmon are part of Lady Elizabeth Dacre’s heraldic devices

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