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Monumental Inscriptions - The Parish Church of St. Mary, Aylesbury


Robert Gibbs, in his book "A History of Aylesbury with its Borough and Hundreds, the Hamlet of Walton and the Electoral Divisions", 1885, includes a description of the monuments and tablets to be found in the parish church.

The monument in a recess in the north transept, to which reference has already been made, is the effigy of a knight or warrior, sculptured in marble, representing him clad in a surcoat of mail, partly gilt and formerly painted; chain gorget, cuirass, and part of a sword suspended by a belt. The head rests on his tilting helmet, and the feet on a dog or lion. The figure has lost its hands and a portion of its feet; it retains slight tracings of armorial bearings on the surcoat, which appear to have been a fess danzette between three tigers' or leopards' faces, as borne by the Wests' and Cantilupes. The crest on the helmet is a bear's or camel's head, muzzled. The recess in which the effigy now lies is of earlier date than the figure, indicating that it is not in its original position; indeed it is placed therein for the sake of convenience, as at different periods it has occupied several parts of the Church. It was discovered many years ago in the grounds of the Monastery of the Grey Friars in the Friarage, but at a considerable distance from the supposed site of the monastic building. It is uncertain whom it is designed to represent, but from the elaborate workmanship, and the costly material of which it is formed, it is doubtless the effigy of a person of wealth and consequence, probably a large benefactor to the monastery; the finer parts of the figure are much worn and defaced. It has with reason been supposed to be the effigy of James Boteler, Earl of Ormonde, who founded the House of Grey Friars in 1387.

The two stone coffins placed within Early English niches in the outer wall of the north chapel were discovered some 30 years ago when the Church was undergoing repairs: unfortunately, the cover of one of them was so much broken by the workmen that it was found necessary to supply its place with a new one, which is a copy as near as possible of the original. The lid of the other remains uninjured, and by its chaste and simple cross, affords a good example of a large class of ornamental stone coffins of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This coffin, which probably contains the relics of an ecclesiastic, may be assigned to the twelfth or the very beginning of the thirteenth century.

In the north transept is an alabaster monument to Lady Lee, wife of Sir Henry Lee, of Quarrendon, and third daughter of William, Lord Paget, and her three children. Two female figures, gorgeously habited, with large ruffs, are kneeling, and two infants are in swadling clothes. The monument is emblazoned with - Arg. on a fess Az. three lilies Or; between three unicorns heads erased S. impaling quarterly 1 and 4 S. on a cross engrailed Arg. five lions passant of the first between four eagles displayed Or; 2 and 3 Arg. two bars Gu. In a dexter canton Gu. a cinquefoil Or; in sinister chief a crescent; below, on the dexter side, the arms of the dexter impalement, and on the sinister those of the sinister impalement, in a lozenge; for Lee of Quarrendon and Paget, as further explained on the tablet; it was formerly profusely ornamented with gold and colouring; is of the time of Queen Elizabeth, Lady Lee having died in 1584; and bears this inscription: -

If passing by this place thou doe desire
To know what corpse here shry'd in marble lie
The some of that whiche now thov dost reqvire
This scle'der verse shall sone to the descrie.

Entombed here dothe rest a worthie dame
Extract and born of noble hovse and blovd
Her sire Lord Paget hight of worthie fame
Whose virtves cannot sinke into le flovd
Two brethern had she Baro's of this realme
A Knight heer frere Sir Henry Lee he hight
To whom she bare thre impes which had to names
Ihon Henry Mary slayne by fortvnes spight
First two bei'g yong which cavsd ther pare'ts mo'e
The third in flower a'd prime of all her yeares
All thre do rest within this marble stone
by whiche the fickle'es of worldly ioyes appears
Good fre'd sticke not to strew with crims'o flowers
This marble stone wherein her cindres rest
For svre her ghost lyes with the heave'ly powers
And gverdon hathe of virtvovs life possest.

Sir Henry Lee was a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and a great courtier. In Quarrendon Chapel was a magnificent altar tomb to his memory, supported with surcoats and helmets, and adorned with battleaxes and javelins. On the sarcophasus was the recumbent figure of the Knight in complete armour, with a mantle, collar, and George of the Order of the Garter, the head reposing on a helmet, adorned with a plume of feathers. Part of the coat of arms was in the Hartwell Museum, and is depicted in Ædes Hartwellianæ. He died in 1610. Lady Lee's father was Sir William Paget, Lord Paget, K.G., Ambassador to France, Secretary of State, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, temp. Henry VIII., Lord Privy Seal to Queen Mary. Her brothers, Sir Henry Paget, K.B., 2nd Lord Paget, and Thomas, 3rd Lord Paget, who was attainted in the reign of Elizabeth.

There are no ancient brasses remaining in Aylesbury Church. Prior to the general restoration of the building there were several very old slabs imbedded in the floor of the chancel; the inscriptions formerly on them, however, were entirely obliterated and worn away; but traces of matrices were plainly observable on some, showing that they were formerly inlaid. No brasses attached to them have existed within memory, and the probability is that they have been ruthlessly denuded of them. There must have been at some period an annihilation or general removal of monuments, as none now exist of the seventeenth century, with the exception of one erected by Alexander Farmborow in his lifetime, who took the precaution to place it at such an altitude and also to embed it so securely in the masonry as to be out of harm's way. There is handed down to us from a seventeenth century transcript of "Francis Thyn's Notes" in the Library of Hartwell House, a copy of a memento once existing in the chancel and bearing the ancient Aylesbury name of Ellys (Ells, Ellis). Thyn describes it as "a buryall skochean in ye Chyrch of Ailesburgh":-

Ellys-
Argent a chevron verte between three estoiles [or mullets] gules

Prior to the restoration of the Church the mural tablets were distributed in all parts of the building, but were mostly erected in the chancel and north transept.

On an oval mural tablet, formerly near the alter, but now in the clergy vestry:-

In memory of
Sir Francis Bernard, Bart.,
Late Governor of Massachuset's Bay;
He married Amelia, daughter of Stephen Offley,
Esq., of Norton Hall, Derbyshire,
by whom he left issue,
Three sons, John, Thomas, and Scrope;
And four daughters,
Jane, Amelia, Frances, Elizabeth and Julia.
He died the XVI. day of June,
MDCCLXXIX.
In the LXVII. year of his age.


On a black marble tablet:-

HENRY,
The son of Mr. Henry Phillips,
Born, September the 14th, 1640;
Baptized September the 19th;
Died November the 13th, 1714.


On another :-

Beneath this Stone lies interred the remains of
THE REV. WILLIAM LLOYD, D.D.,
Late Vicar of this Parish,
Who died on the 27th day of December, 1815,
In the 67th year of his age.

[This is now in the clergy vestry.]


In the Chancel pavement was another slab, with this inscription:-

Here lye the bodys of
PAUL HEYWOOD
Of this Parish, Mercer, and
MARTHA, HIS WIFE;
She died Oct. ye 16th, aged 72;
He the 9th, aged 65.
They were buried on Sunday, ye 23rd, 1743.
ROBERT JEMMETT,
Died June the 24th, 1779,
Aged 67 years.
This vault erected in their rememberance by
Robt. Jemmett,
Nephew of Martha Heywood.


Near this place lyes the body of
WILLIAM LYNDON,
Who departed this life March ye 27th, 1709,
Aged 48 years
Leaving one Son, who caused this monument
to be erected.

[This tablet was in the north transept, but is not now to be seen.]


Near this place are deposited the remains of
THOMAS WILLIAMS, APOTHECARY,
Who died July 30, 1732,
Aged 67.
THOMAS,
Son of Wilson and Mary Williams,
Who died Feb. 20, 1742,
Aged 22.
WILSON WILLIAMS, APOTHECARY,
The son of Thomas and Elizabeth Williams,
Who died April 27th, 1758,
Aged 63.
ELIZABETH, WIDOW OF THOMAS WILLIAMS,
Who died June 20th, 1759,
Aged 90.
ELIZABETH,
Daughter of Wilson and Mary Williams,
Wife of John Smith, Mercer,
Who died April 9, 1764,
Aged 34.
JOHN SMITH,
Son of John and Elizabeth Smith,
Who died May 20, 1765,
Aged 7.
ARCHDALE WILLIAMS, APOTHECARY,
Son of Wilson and Mary Williams,
Who died June 22nd, 1766,
Aged 35.
MARY, WIDOW OF WILSON WILLIAMS,
Who died December 2nd, 1787,
Aged 84.

[This tablet is now in the Lady Chapel.]


A mural monument, now removed to the Lady Chapel -

In a vault near this spot lie interred
The remains of
WILLIAM RICKFORD, GENT.,
Who daparted this life on the 3d of May, 1803,
In the 74th year of his age.
Also,
Of two of his Grand-children, viz.,-
WILLIAM,
Son of William and Mary Rickford,
Who died 18th January, 1798,
Aged 5 years;
And
ELIZABETH,
The daughter of Zachars. D. & E. H. Hunt,
Who died 27 Dec., 1804,
Aged 15 months.
ELIZABETH,
Widow of the above William Rickford,
Died 13 April, 1807,
Aged 73 years.
FANNY HUNT,
Born 14 June, 1805, Died 5 Nov., 1808.
JAMES RICKFORD,
Born 22 Feb., 1797, Died 24 January, 1809.


On a stone once in the floor of the north transept:-

MARY OVIATT
Departed this life Nov. 22, 1792,
Aged 97.


On a small tablet affixed to the east wall of the north transept (now in the Lady Chapel):-

In a vault near this place are deposited the
remains of
HENRY HICKMAN,
Surgeon of this Town,
Ob. Aug. 23, 1813, æt. 50.
Also
SARAH COWPER HICKMAN,
Daughter of the above,
And
ANN, HIS WIFE,
Obit. Nov. 6, 1819, æt. 23,
Suffocated by an abscess in the liver, bursting into
the chest, while asleep.
Also
HENRY FRANCIS HICKMAN,
Obit. July 2nd, 1821,
Aged 31.
Also
ANN HICKMAN, WIDOW OF THE ABOVE,
Obit. January 4th, 1844,
at. 84.


Within the altar rails was a stone inscribed:-

Here lieth all that was mortal of
MRS ANN MEAD,
Wife of Mr. Robert Mead,
Who lived most justly belov'd until the 8th
of May, 1724,
In the 55th year of her-age,
And then died, universally and worthily lamented.


On a marble tablet, formerly in the south transept, but now removed to the Lady Chapel:-

Near this place lie the bodies of
MATTHIAS DAGNALL, BOOKSELLER,
And
SARAH, HIS WIFE,
She died Aug. 25, 1736, aged 76 years;
He died Sept. 26, 1736, aged 78 years.
And also their Sons,
MATTHIAS AND DEVERELL DAGNALL,
With
ALICE AND ELIZABETH, THEIR WIVES:
Matthias died April 6, 1773, aged 76;
Deverell died December 7, 1773, aged 74;
DEVERELL HIS SON,
Died January 13, 1776, aged 29;
Elizabeth, wife of Deverell, died Aug. 18, 1784,
Aged 59;
Alice, wife of Matthias, died Oct. 18, 1786,
aged 75;
Also
THOMAS DAGNALL, BOOKSELLER,
Son of Matthias and Alice;
He died Dec. 12, 1792, aged 46.
JOHN PARKER, GENT.,
Died December 31, 1811,
Aged 63 years.
ELIZABETH,
Daughter of Deverell and Elizabeth Dagnall,
Died June 1, 1817,
Aged 73 years.
ANN,
Widow, first of Thos. Dagnall, afterwards of
John Parker,
Died March 22, 1819,
Aged 72 years.
MARY, WIFE OF A.P.MUDDIMAN,
And daughter of Deverell and Elizabeth Dagnall,
Died October 10th, 1834,
Aged 77 years.
ALEXANDER PHILLIPS MUDDIMAN,
Died Dec. 30th, 1835,
Aged 77 years.


In the north transept there was formerly a black slab, enclosed with rails, inscribed:

Here lies ye body of
ARTHUR HODSKIN, GENT.,
Who departed this life December ye 10th, 1738,
Aged 53.
Here also lies ye body of
ELIZABETH,
Wife of ye above Arthur Hodskin,
Who departed this life December ye 19th, 1732,
Aged 52.
Here also lies ye body of
ELIZABETH,
Daughter of the above Arthur and
Elizabeth Hodskin,
Who departed this life June ye 14,1738,
Aged 13.


On another near (now also missing):-

In memory of
MARY,
Wife of John Marlow,
Of Walton, in this Parish,
Who departed this life January 24th, 1808,
Aged 80.
Also
JOHN MARLOW,
Died 23rd May, 1820,
Aged 78 years.
Also
ELIZABETH SEABORNE,
Niece of the above John and Mary Marlow,
Who departed this life December 23, 1808,
Aged 44.


There was a slab in the floor of the chancel, inscribed:-

MARIÆ,
Plus Quam XLI. Annos
Conjug. suae carissim et
optime merenti
XVI. liberor. matri pientissim
Dei peries Christum Domino
str cultrici
simplici humil poenitenti
quae
Festo Sancti Bartholomaei
A.S. 1764,
nata postrid, festae
Sanct. Matthiae
A.S. MDCCCXXIV.
In pace requiescit
Joannes Morley Hujus
Eccles Vicarius,
C. V. P.


On a slab in the floor of the Chancel (now missing*):-

Here lieth the body of
HANNAH BARRET,
Wife of Thos. Barret, who lieth near this place;
She was daughter of William & Eleanor Bell,
Of this parish;
She departed this life April 28th, 1770,
Aged 70 years.


On a white slab once on the north side of the chancel:-

Here lyes the body of
MARTHA HOWSE,
Wife of John Temple Howse,
Who departed this life June ye 9th, 1762,
In ye 26th year of her age.
Also,
Here lies the body of
JOHN TEMPLE HOWSE, GENT.,
Husband to Martha Howse;
He departed this life September 20th, 1763,
In the 31st year of his age.

[This stone is not now to be seen.]


On a brown slab once near the entrance into the chancel:-

In memoriam,
CAROLI FILII THOMÆ DARBY,
Nuper de Almondbury in Com. Ebor. Gen.
Hunc lapidem sepulchralem posuit
Thomas Darby, Gen.
Ejus Frater amantissimus.
Obiit 29º Junii, Annoq, Dom. MDCCXXII.,
Ætat 32 suæ.


On a mural monument, still in its original position, on the west side of the south transept:-

WILLIAM BELL,
Son of Mr. Joseph Bell, and Celia his wife,
Died April the 15, 1745,
Aged 24,
On board His Majesty's ship the Medway,
at Batavia, in East India,
Where he went to serve his country with great
courage and cheerfulness.
To whose memory this monument is gratefully
and affectionately erected.

Arms - S. a fess Erm. between three bells Arg.
Crest on a wreath Arg. and S. an Eagle volant.
At the bottom, in bass relief, a ship under sail.


On another, surmounted by an urn, now in the Lady Chapel:-

To the memory of
ELIZABETH,
The amiable daughter of
Mr. Joseph and Celia Bell,
Who, after a painful illness, borne with uncommon
calmness and the most saint-like resignation,
inspired all around her for the first
time with sorrow on
February the 8th, 1751,
The day on which she died, inexpressibly lamented.


In the S.W. angle of the south transept, on an altar monument of white marble, with a pyramid of veined marble, between two sculptured urns:-

To the memory of
ANNE,
Wife of Hugh Barker Bell, Esq.
This monument is erected
By a most disconsolate Husband,
In testimony
Of the greatest and most deserved affection
For the best of Wives;
Who, after having been a real blessing
To her Husband near eleven years,
And through her whole life universally respected
By her neighbours and acquaintance,
Died
Much lamented by all,
On the 16th day of July, 1749,
Aged 33.

Arms - Bell impaling Arg. a chevron . . . .
charged with three . . . . between three roses proper.


On a mural tablet, formerly on the north side of the chancel, but now in the Lady Chapel, representing drapery affixed on an oval of black veined marble:-

Arms - Sable, a cross fleury Or.

To perpetuate the memory of
JOHN DELLAFIELD
Citizen of London, and of
MARTHA DELLAFIELD, HIS WIFE,
Daughter of Jacob Dell, of this Town;
He died 9th March, 1763,
Aged 43.
She died 26th November, 1761,
Aged 42.


On another tablet, removed from the chancel into the Lady Chapel:-

Arms - Qy. 1 & 4 Arg. a bend Az. charged with
3 horse shoes Or. 2 & 3 a fess chequy Arg. and
Az. between 6 cross crosslets Or.

In this chancel near this place lye the Bodyes of
THOMAS FARRER,
Late of this Town, Esq.,
Who dyed in ye 83d year of his age,
And was buried ye 14th September, 1703,
And
HELEN, HIS WIFE,
Eldest daughter of Sir William Boteler,
Of Biddenham, in ye County of Bedford, Knt.,
By whom he had issue two daughters
and one son:
Helen, married to Edwd. Wright, of Lyde, in
ye County of Hereford, Esq.,
And
Sybill, married to John Emes of Parshore, in
ye County of Worcester, Gent.,
Which Sibill, with her Mother, were buried here
ye same day, which was ye 30th June, 1696,
And William now living,
In memory of whom, and also of William, his
Son, who is also here interred, ye said
William Farrer and Mrs. Crysagon Coningsby,
Executrix of ye said Mr. Emes,
Caused this Monument to be erected,
In the year of our Lord 1707.


On a mural monument, with pilasters, and shield of arms above, now over the clergy vestry door leading into the chancel:-

Az. A lion rampant. Arg.

H. M. S.
In memory of
HENRY PHILLIPS, OF LONDON, GENT.,
Who dyed the 13th day of November, 1714,
Aged 75.
He gave £5,000, to be laid out in lands, to be
settled by his Executors on Trustees,
for the enlargement of, and
provision for
the School in Aylesbury,
the place of his Nativity and
Esqs. Gents
Wm. Mead, Wm. Collett,
Fra. Tyrringham Thos. Goodson,
Thos. Ingoldsby, Edd. Martin,
Richd. Abell, & Jon. Heales,
Richd. Lamborne, Wm. James,
were appointed the first Trustees of
Mr. Phillips's Charity,
by the said Wm. Meade, his surviving Executor,
who also named Joseph Bell, of
Aylesbury, Gent.,
one of the Trustees of the old Charity,
to be added to the Ten Trustees of the new.


On a tablet once near the stairs to the belfry, under the tower, now removed into the Lady Chapel:-

To the memory of
WILLIAM HAYWARD,
Who departed this life April 4th, 1800,
Aged 82.
Also of
ELIZABETH, HIS WIDOW,
Who departed this life March 13th, 1810,
Aged 83.


On a stone tablet in the Lady Chapel:-

In memory of
CATHERINE,
Wife of James James,
Who departed this life 15th April, 1796,
In the 27th year of her age.


On a small tablet now in the Lady Chapel:-

Beneath are deposited the remains of
JAMES JAMES, GENTLEMAN,
Who died the 7th December, 1808,
Aged 39 years;
And of
JOHN, one of the sons of the said James James,
by Catherine, his first wife,
Who died the 8th August 1800,
Aged 5 years and 7 months.
Also of
ELIZABETH, HIS WIDOW,
Who departed this life the 12th May, 1830,
Aged 63 years;
And of their son,
JOHN,
Who departed this life May 11th, 1815,
Aged 5 years and 10 months.


On a marble tablet, now in the same chapel:-

Near this place lye the bodies of
SARAH,
Wife of John West, of Aylesbury, Ironmonger,
Eldest daughter of Matthias Dagnall, Stationer,
Dyed October 5, 1729,
Aged 43;
And
THOMAS VEERE WEST,
Only son of the said John and Sarah;
He of the small-pox, June 28, 1742, aged 29.


On a corresponding tablet with that of Sir Francis Bernard, Bart.:

In memory of
DAME AMELIA,
The wife of Sir Francis Bernard, Bart.
She died on the XXVI. of May, MDCCLXXVIII.
In the LXI. year of her age.


In the Lady Chapel:-

To the memory of
ROBERT READ,
Late of this Town,
Who died the 2nd August, 1799,
And
MARY, HIS WIFE,
Who died March 20th, 1828,
Aged 89 years.


In the south transept, near the door, on a brass plate, on which is very neatly engraved a figure of a female kneeling, and inclosed in an ornamented stone frame:-

To the Glory of God, and in affectionate remembrance of FRANCES STUBBS, many years residing in Aylesbury. This tablet has been placed by a few attached friends and many of the poor amongst whom her kindly attention and charities will long be held in grateful recollection. She was born at Knaresborough, 30th March, 1836, and died at Ramsgate 16th June, 1877, and is buried there.


In the Church-yard, near the end of the chancel, on a white marble tablet, affixed to an altar tomb, formerly inclosed with iron palisadoes:-

H. S. E.
Omne quod mortale erat
Josephi Bell de Aylesbury Com. Buck, Generosi
Archinatus de Bucks, plusquam triginta
annos Registrarius.
Nec non Uxoris ejus Celiæ Bell, Hugonis Barker
de Horwood Mag. Com. Bucks,
Armigeri Filiæ
Collegiarum Wiccamicorum Fundatoris
consanguiniæ.
Quomodo
Viæ omni manere functi sunt
Quibus noti erant testentur omnes
Ignorantibus Dies ille supremus indicabit.
Obiit. Illa
Ille
Anno Æt. 51
60
Sal. 1738
1739
Hoc quale est Pietatis suæ Monumentum
Optimis Parentibus Liberi M?rentes P.

Arms - A chevron Erm. between three bells,
Bell; impaling three demi bears erased, in
chief 3 Ogresses, Barker.


There is tablet affixed to the brick wall between the Church-yard and the Prebendal, erected by Mr. Wilkes in 1754, to the memory of John Smart, his gardener, on which inscribed:-

"Illum etiam lauri; illum etiam flevere myricæ."


Now in the Clergy Vestry:-

In a vault beneath are the remains of
ANNE,
Daughter of Joseph Rose, Gent., & Louisa, his wife,
Who died on the 21st November, 1829,
In the 19th year of her age,
And of
SUSANNAH LOUISA,
Their eldest daughter,
Who died on the 17th October, 1831,
In the 29th year of her age,
And of
THE SAID LOUISA,
Wife of Joseph Rose,
Who died on 29th of February, 1832,
Aged 53 years,
And of
JANE,
The last surviving daughter of the said Joseph
and Louisa Rose,
Who died on the 3rd of July, 1833,
In the 26th year of her age.
In the same vault are also interred
WILLIAM JOSEPH,
Son of William Rose, Esq.,
(Son of the above-named Joseph and Louisa),
Who died on the 21st February, 1844,
Aged 3 years and 8 months.

[This stone was removed from the south transept in 1851.]


On a tablet in the Clergy Vestry:-

JOHN MORLEY,
For 26 years Vicar of this Parish,
Died 29th September, 1842,
Aged 80 years,
MARY, HIS WIFE,
Died 25th February, 1824,
Aged 60 years.
FRANCES, THEIR DAUGHTER,
Died 14th December, 1848,
Aged 49.
SUSANNAH, THEIR DAUGHTER,
Died 23rd December, 1849,
Aged 61.


On a small tablet in the Lady Chapel:-

Sacred to the memory of
ROBERT DELL,
Of Mickleover, in the County of Durham,
And 44 years resident in this town;
His remains are interred in the Church at
Mickleover,
Where he died July 18th, 1837,
Aged 82 years.
This tablet is erected by his affectionate children.


In the Lady Chapel:-

Sacred to the memory of
ROBERT LUDGATE, ESQUIRE,
Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant of the County
of Buckingham,
Died at his house Sussex Place, Regent's Park,
May 8th, 1833,
Aged 59 years.


Now in the wall of the Clergy Vestry, removed from the south transept:-

HEARE X LYETH X THE X BODY X OF
ALEXANDER X FARMBOROW
WHO X LIEFED      YEARES X AND X DE-PARTED
LIFE X IN X THE X YEARE X
THIS X STONE X ALEXANDER X FARMBOROW X LAID
1628.


* It is not to be understood that these missing slabs were destroyed or removed at the time of the restoration of the Church; as a rule they retain their original positions, but are lowered a trifle in order that the new pavement which is placed over them might be uniformly laid.


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