The SALLE Brass in Stevington Church, or is it?

By Chas Charles-Dunne

This article was published in the April 2024 edition of Soul Search, the Journal of The Sole Society

I am a new member and have just finished reading Soul Search for December 2023 about the Salle brass in Stevington church. I liked the article until I turned the page and saw the image.
I believe that a transliteration error was made some time in the past and has been handed down to us today.
After a bit of digging, I found this site . This is the earliest record I can find where the transcription of the text at the bottom of the brass is:
Pray for the soul of Thomas Salle knight who died 21st day of the month of April in the year of our Lord 1421.
Where is the problem you say? It is the ‘s’ in the word Salle. 
Firstly, that character is the ‘long s’, as opposed to the ’round s’, which is found throughout this sentence. The long ‘s’ is always a minuscule (lowercase) letter and never a majuscule (uppercase) letter.
Secondly, Thome is not a generally accepted short form for Thomas (whereas Thoma is). Thomes is a variant of Thomas.
Thirdly, why would the first initial of the surname be written in the lower case?
This is the point where, I believe, the error occurred. There should be a space after the long s. That would give us “Thomes alle Knight”.
“alle” is a linking word, dependent
on context. It could mean with, by, from, near, or what I believe in this case , an ‘a’.
This leaves us with “Pray for the soul of Thomes, a Knight who died …”
There is also the fact that his crest is a panache of feathers – a European / Germanic style rather than British, and there is no shield showing.
It might be possible that he was a stranger knight who died within the parish and a memorial was put up to him.
Or I could have this all wrong.
[Ed: if you are able to help with this conundrum, please contact us and I will pass the response on.]

The text at the bottom of the brass
The text at the bottom of the brass