Sir John and Margery Throckmorton
Under a marble canopy, John’s moustache droops across a solid, Noah-like beard. Margery, his wife, holds up her left hand, whose fingers are broken, as if in wary salutation. In his right, he has a staff of office but in the other, his fingers and hers (also now broken) just touch, her sleeve ruckled as she moves it towards him. It is no full-blooded grasping of the hand, just the lightest of signals, a private demonstration, unnoticed by others. John Throckmorton, for all his outward conformity, never abandoned the Catholicism of the heart, and in that deceitful devotion was sustained by Margery’s private and invincible constancy. That is what her touch on his hand surely means: she was his guide, leading him towards a shared salvation.
Their wide-open eyes now stare at the marble ceiling above them and they have become their attributes: the gravity-defying pleats of her dress and cowl, his buttoned doublet and chain of office, her twisted girdle, the knightly helm beneath his head, the cushion under hers, travelling together into eternity. Only that secret and everlasting meeting of their fingers indicates the agony which, even then, their family was passing through. See The Gentry, p 67