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When the chapel was finished, he caused an engraved portrait of his grandfather to be hung up at the entrance, with the following lines:
"In honour of thy memory, blessed shade,
Was the foundation of this chapel laid,
Puchased by thee, thy son, and present heir
Owe these three manors to thy art and care;
For this may all thy race thanks ever pay,
And yearly celebrate St. Martin's day."
The chapel was consecrated on the 27th of May, 1730, upon which occasion Mr. Willis addressed his diocesan in the following speech:
"Right Reverend Father in God,
I humbly beg leave to present to your Lordship the state of the town of Stratford, in the county Buckingham: It had formerly a handsome spacious chapel, consisting of two or three aisles, with an embattled tower, in which were four bells. In this chapel, which was in the parish of Bletchley, were visitations frequently held for the archdeaconry of Buckingham; but this being sacrilegiously demolished, to the great detriment of the inhabitants of the said town of Stratford, they have been for may years destitute of a place of divine worship, and necessitated to come above a mile and a quarter to church, by reason of which unhappy circumstances, elderly and infirm people have been prevented from hearing divine service and sermons, while the younger sort have made it a pretence to frequent no worship at all, and others have resorted to schismatical teachers, and separated themselves from the communion of our most excellent Church: all which has tended to the scandal of religion in general, and the profanation of the Lord's day in particular. To put a stop to these bad consequences, and take away so just a reproach, (having purchased the ground whereon our former chapel stood,) we have, through the liberality of several noble and generous benefactors, at length been enabled to erect and finish a decent chapel, and to inclose a cemetery; and in order to provide for a minister to officiate therein, we have endowed it in some measure ourselves, being thereunto excited by the encouragement given us in obtaining the bounty of our late excellent Queen Anne; and having thus prepared matters, by the assistance of our worthy rector, Mr. Archdeacon, Dr. Martin Benson, we are now become earnest practitioners to your Lordship, that this structure so erected and established, with the cemetery adjoining, may, by your sacred office and ministry, be separated from common and profane uses, and appropriated to the worship of Almighty God, who has, of his great mercy and goodness, thus restored to us the place of old dedicated to his honour, and put it into the hearts of his servants to rebuild it."
[Last updated: 7th November 2000 - Kevin Quick]