*  Of interest to Family Historians - Hertfordshire Church of England Parish Registers from 1538 are now available online - only most recent registers are held at the church   *

Amber Tankard


The most valuable item belonging to St. Mary's is the Amber Tankard, of German workmanship, dated 1659, which is now in the care of the British Museum.

This was given to the church by Dame Lydia Mews, tenant of North Mymms House, the daughter of George Jarvis. Monuments to George Jarvis and his daughter can be seen on the north wall of the church building.

For more about the Amber Tankard see chapter 5 of Dorothy Colville's North Mymms - Parish and People

"Made in Nuremberg in 1659, its eight panels of amber are set in straps of silver gilt. The panels are carved in low relief with figures symbolic of the virtues, lively animals decorate rim and base, and St. George and the dragon appear on the lid.
Only one other tankard of nearly like design and workmanship is known to exist, and that has the vices where the North Mymms tankard has the virtues.
The Rev. G. Staunton Batty, vicar from 1880 until 1911, left a description of the figures carved on the amber panels: (1) Industry with distaff, (2) Faith with cross and chalice, (3) Fortitude with column, (4) Justice with sword and scales, (5) Charity with children, (6) Hope with anchor, (7) Temperance with ewer and goblet, (8) Innocence with book and lamb."

There is also mention of the tankard in chapter 6 of The Victoria History of Hertfordshire, edited by W. Page in 1908, as well as many other interesting facts about the fabric of the church.


Some years ago, Patricia Cook, a former Churchwarden at St. Mary's, wrote a series of informative articles on interesting aspects of the fabric of St. Mary's for the Parish Magazine. These are reproduced here, together with line drawings by Jean Atkinson, a well known local artist, who has been closely involved with St. Mary's for many years, including serving on the PCC.

The Amber Tankard Holy Water Stoup The Mass Dial
Seating over the years A hidden gem Gargoyles, Corbels or Label-stops?
Decalogue Board A rare tomb Elephants and Royal Arms
Pulpit Kesteven Brass The Somers Memorial
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