Hinckley Historian Magazine

Hinckley Historian Magazine No.12 - An ancient bedstead


The article below was published in the "Gentleman's Magazine" in November 1811 and appeared again in "The Antiquary" Volume VII l883. It refers to Hinckley's curious and very ancient bedstead.

What has happened to this bed?

The Victoria and Albert Museum (the Fine Furniture and Wood-work Department) and the Leicester Museum have no information about the bed, or where, or what may have happened to it.

If any readers have any further information, I would be interested in hearing from them.

David Wood



'There is at Hinckley a curious and very ancient oak wooden bedstead, much gilt and ornamented, with various panelled compartments neatly painted, with the following emblematic devices, and Latin mottos in capital letters conspicuously introduced in each piece; the latter have been faithfully transcribed. A description of the different representation is attempted, with a translation of the mottos. On the out¬side of the top, among several other decorations not described, are arms! Sable, 3 mullets Gules, on a chevron Or; 3 stags' heads caboshed, Or, - Sable, an eagle displayed, Or, - Sable, a phoenix Or. - etc.


An horizontal sun-dial 1 Et pilo sua umbra Increase by its shade
Two dogs barking at the shadow from the moon 2 Rumpenter ilia Codri Bursts its heart by exertion
The sun appearing through the clouds 3 Obstantia nubile solvet Its rays disperse the clouds
A rock aspiring from the ocean 4 Conantio frangere frangant It pierces the towering rocks
A dog with, a landscape 5 Vide non confide Trust to your own sight
An ostrich with a horse-shoe in the beak 6 Spiritus durissima coquit Strength subdues the hardest
Reeds growing by the sides of water 7 Flectimur non frangimur undis We are bent, not broken by the waves
A cross bow bent at full stretch 8 Ingenio superat vires Ingenuity surpasses strength
A hand that has been writing dropping the pen 9 Ullerius ne tendo odils Extend not. your hatred
The cross piercing through the world 10 Pignora cara sui His dearest pledge
A hand playing with a serpent 11 Quis contra nos? Who is against us?
A man buried in the world with one foot on the grave 12 Satis relicturo Sufficient on my departure
An eye looking from heaven upon the world 13 Deus videt God sees all
The tree of life springing from the cross on an altar 14 Sola vivit in illo In him alone he lives
Fiery tongues descending from heaven 15 Animis illabere nostris Shower down on our breasts
The brazen serpent exalted in the desert 16 Secumferet omina mortis It carries the picture of death
A hand covering an eye from the rays of the sun 17 Splendus summus non intuendus Too much splendour to be gazed at
A displayed hand with awls under the nails 18 Heucaditinquenquam tantum scelus! Can so great an evil befall one!
A pheonix springing from its own ashes 19 Unica revivisco I alone grow young
Two hands pointing to a chain 20 Nee fas est nec posse reor It is neither lawful nor possible
An inverted tulip suspended 21 Spe illectat inani She feeds in vain, on hope
A flying horse beckoned to by a hand in the clouds 22 Si te fata vocant Such is the destiny of fate
A bush burning without consuming 23 Aut absumar I am not eat up
A tortoise walking on a bed of roses 24 Inter spinas calceatus I walk safe among thorns
A peacock with the tail spread and a mole at its feet 25 Ne foris arcus nec domi talpa No deceit at home or abroad
A hand waiting for a rolling ball 26 Hospes ne curiosus Stranger, be not curious
A chain circle, emblematical of eternity 27 Gloria vento discutitur Our glory is dispersed in the wind
A man leaning on his right, with the left hand pointing to death's head, with an hour-glass behind and a Bible before him 28 Spes et fortuna valete Farewell hopes and fortune
Jason's golden fleece 29 Precibus emptum carum By intreaty bought too dear


Author: David Wood

Written for: Hinckley Historian Magazine


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