|Stall plate of the Duke of Norfolk, executed for treason in 1572|
HISTORY OF A "STALL PLATE"
According to midgleywebpages.com/chapel.html , On the 10th August 1348, when the plague swept through England, the founder knights filed in pairs into St. George's Chapel. It was then that stall plates started and became a tradition for some reason! From then on, when a knight was created they were given a brass and enamel stall plate which was affixed to their stall in the chapel. In addition to the stall plate, a crested helm and banner were put up. On the Garter knight's death the banner and helm were taken away but the stall plate remained.
All of the men who were Knights of the Garter during Henry’s reign (1509-47) had a "stall plate." Fifty-two engraved and enameled plates still hang in the stall they occupied during the Order’s ceremonies in St George’s Chapel. During Henry’s reign the plates were introduced to St George’s within a year of each Knight’s installation. Each plate contains the Knight’s arms and name, the office he held and sometimes his motto. However, if the knight was found guilty of treason, their plates were removed.
BANNERS AND CRESTS
Above the stall of each knight in the choir loft is a banner, some of which have been passed down through many generations. Below each banner is a crest on top of a helm. A half drawn sword below the helm indicates the readiness of each member to defend his Sovereign and religion.