Alcester Benefaction Board part 2

The second panel from the benefaction board from Alcester Church that has been sent for conservation, and tweeted by @DrClaringtons. Thanks again to Claire for permission to use her photos. The board has been dated to 1632.

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This board represents a verse from Proverbs:19:17 ‘He that hath pittie upon the poore lendeth unto the Lord’ and shows a blind man and a cripple receiving food, drink and clothing. The poor cripple doesn’t even have a shirt on his back and has covered himself partially with some sort of tatty cloak. On his one good leg he’s wearing one of those heel-less boots that shepherds and other agricultural chaps seem to favour. The advantage in the 17th century would be that he could buy a pair of boots and get twice the wear as left and right sided footwear was a thing of the future!  The blind man however seems a lot more well to do with a decent doublet and falling band, over the top of which he wears a gown with hanging sleeves. Maybe he’s a lawyer who can’t practice now he’s lost his sight?

The benefactors look a rather smug lot, and they seem to be offering drinks rather than clothes. Our poor cripple doesn’t look like a shirt will be forthcoming  for a while yet!

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