Fledborough St Gregory

Monuments and Memorials

North Aisle

Effigy of a lady Detail of the effigy

In the north aisle is an effigy of a lady, probably that of a widow, dating from around the reign of Edward II, or slightly later. She is depicted with a veil or kerchief falling to her shoulders, and with a wimple round the throat, covering her chin, and extending around her face, where her hair can be glimpsed, dressed in plaits or buns on the sides of her head. She wears a kirtle with tight sleeves fastened with rows of small buttons, and over it a mantle fastened with a cord at her waist and gathered into elegantly falling folds. In her hands she holds what may be a heart. Her head rests on two cushions supported by angels, and at her feet a small dog peeps from the folds of her skirt.

The effigy
outside c1905

The effigy was probably from the destroyed chantry (see Archaeology) and by the early 20th century it had been built into the outside of the wall blocking the arch at the east end of the south aisle. During the 1930s it was moved into the north aisle by the Revd G. Wilkinson and a few friends. He considers it likely that she was the wife of Sir John de Lisures, lord of Fledborough in 1302, and mother of the last Sir John, who founded the chantry partly in memory of his parents.

Grave slab to
Clemence de Lyseus

Also in the north aisle, moved there from the centre aisle, is part of a slab bearing a partial inscription in Lombardic capitals. It reads:

CLEMENCE DAME DE LYSEUS GIT ICI PUR DIE
… ET DE TOUZ … CHRISTIENS … QE … DIEUS … EYT … MERCY

There is another fragment with the words ‘PUR LALME’ which has been let into the chancel wall. If the two pieces originally belonged together then the slab may have read ‘Dame Clemence de Lyseus lies here, pray to God for her, and for the souls of all Christians upon whom God have mercy.’ Similar inscriptions date from around 1290-1320, so she may have been the wife or mother of the Sir John Lisures of 1302. If this is the case it is possible that the effigy is Lady Clemence.

Alabaster effigy of a knight

Also in the north aisle is a broken effigy of a knight, in alabaster. Unfortunately the lower part has been lost, but it would appear to date from around 1370. The head is supported on a crown. The knight is in armour, comprising a pointed helmet with a hood and neck-covering of chain mail, a jupon (or padded coat) laced at the sides, and fragments of a sword belt. The gauntlets hold a heart. On the front of the jupon is a coat of arms, surmounted by an elaborate helmet crest and mantling. The crest appears to be a crown with a spike issuing from it. The arms are likely to be those of Lisures, and Wilkinson considers it likely that the figure represents Sir John Lisures, who built the chantry and was the last Lisures to be lord of Fledborough.

Tower

Coffin lid

There is a stone coffin in the tower, and, under the west window in the south aisle, a coffin lid decorated with an elaborate floriated cross (see Archaeology for further details). These may derive from the coffins of chantry priests who may have been buried beneath its floor. In the curious absence of any surviving memorials to the Bassett family, who lived here for two centuries, it is not impossible that these artefacts, as well as a number of other non-inscribed coffins which were found under the south aisle, represent the memorials of this family. They supported the church, and paid for the rood screen, which was probably removed in the 16th or 17th century.

Monument to
William Reason

Set into the south wall of the tower, there is a memorial to William Reason, who died in 1627 at the age of 68. Reason is listed from 1612 as a landowner in the parish, though he does not appear to have been resident, being noted as ‘William Reason of Askham, gent.’ by Thoroton (Throsby p189). At the time of his death, Reason was lord of the manor of Ragnall, and he willed the manor, along with that of Skegby, to his nephew Robert Mellish. Mellish became High Sherriff of the county in 1634, and christened his first son Reason, presumably in memory of his uncle. The family occupied Ragnall Hall until the early 19th century, and a portion of the original Hall still survives as part of the present house (Chadwick, 86-92). There are references to the Rayson family in Fledborough during the 18th century, and there are Rayson gravestones in the churchyard. It is possible that these signify the survival of the family in Fledborough parish after William Reason’s death.

His memorial comprises a brass inscription on a broken-pedimented marble plaque, surmounted by a lion rampant, and ornamented with a cherub’s head above, skulls below, and coloured marble medallions. The inscription reads:

GRASSE OF LEVITY

SPAN IN BREVITY

FLOWERS FELICITY

FIRE OF MISERY

WINDS STABILITY

IS MORTALITY

 

HIS RICHES WERE LIKE CORNE

LENT TO THE FIELD

WHAT IT RECEIVED IT

MANIFOLD DID YEILD

HIS BODY HATH A GRAVE

HIS VIRTUES NONE

BUT SHALL WITH TIME GROW GRENE

WHILE THAT IS GONE

 

 

STONE WALLS BRASS TOWERS

DECAY AS FLOWERE

ONE GONE THEIR GOOD

IS LO HERE THEY STOOD

SO TRANSITORY

IS OUR GLORY

 

THIS IS YE TOMBE OR MONUMENT OF WILLIAM

REASON ESQ WHO DIED

MARCH A DMI 1627 IN YE 68TH

YEAR OF HIS AGE

The intriguing poetry is not unique to Reason’s memorial, but points to a connection with the wider commercial world. It appears to have originated on the 1609 tomb of Sir William Stone, alderman, and his wife Barbara, in the church of St Mary Magdalene in Milk Street in the City of London. The church burned down during the Great Fire of London, but the inscription was noted by John Strype in the 2nd edition of his ‘Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster’.

It would have been very unusual to site such an elaborate memorial in the church tower, and it is considered likely that it was originally located in the chancel, perhaps being moved when the chancel was reduced in length in the mid-18th century.

The Nave

On the west wall of the nave there is a touching alabaster memorial to Sarah Anne, wife of the Revd Augustus Otway Fitzgerald, who died in 1841, aged 21.

The monument is by Marshalls of Newark.

The inscription reads:

IN A VAULT BENEATH ARE DEPOSITED THE MORTAL REMAINS OF SARAH ANNE,
THE BELOVED WIFE OF THE REVD AUGUSTUS OTWAY FITZGERALD, B.A. RECTOR OF THIS PARISH
AND ONLY CHILD OF THE REVD RICHARD PROCTOR, M.A. VICAR OF LAXTON IN THIS COUNTY.
SHE DIED ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF HER WEDDING DAY,
FEBRUARY 7TH 1841 AGED 21 YEARS.
HER BEREAVED HUSBAND AND PARENTS DESIRE HERE TO RECORD, AS A SMALL TRIBUTE
TO HER MEMORY, THE IRREPARABLE LOSS, WHICH HER EARLY REMOVAL FROM THEM HAS
OCCASIONED. NONE WERE EVER BLESSED WITH A MORE LOVING AND ATTACHED WIFE,
OR WITH A FONDER AND MORE AFFECTIONATE DAUGHTER.
A GUILELESS SIMPLICITY AND SELF-DENYING MODESTY, A WINNING SWEETNESS
OF DISPOSITION AND TENDERNESS OF HEART, A MEEK AND QUIET SPIRIT, A BENEVOLENT
CHARITY AND A LOWLY HUMILITY – THESE, NOT MERELY AS MORAL VIRTUES ,BUT
 AS CHRISTIAN GRACES – CHARACTERISED HER DAILY LIFE, SECURED TO HER
THE ENDURING LOVE AND ESTEEM OF ALL, BY WHOM SHE WAS KNOWN.
WEEP NOT; SHE IS NOT DEAD BUT SLEEPETH. LUKE 8.52

AND AT THE SAME TIME, AND IN THE SAME GRAVE, WAS LAID THE LIFELESS CORPSE OF
SARAH ANNE, INFANT DAUGHTER OF THE ABOVE.
SHE SURVIVED HER SAINTED MOTHER BUT FOUR DAYS.
OF SUCH  IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD” MARK 10.14

Chancel

On the north wall of the chancel there are bronze and brass memorials to two previous rectors, namely the Revd John Penrose and the Revd George Kershaw:

The Revd John Penrose
Rector of this Parish
Instituted Septr VII. MDCCLXXXIV Died
Septr XIV MDCCCXXIX. He was the
Eldest Son of the Revd John Penrose
Vicar of St Gluvias in Cornwall
And was born at St Gluvias
Augt XV. MDCCLIII.
Also of Jane his Wife,
Younger Daughter of the Revd John
Trevenen, of Rosewarne in Cornwall,
Who died July XV. MDCCCXVIII, Aged
LXV years.

Mr Penrose and his Wife, and their Daughter
Margaret, who died Feb III. MDCCCXII, Aged XXIII are
buried in this Church. Their Son Charles Vinicombe
a Lieutenant in the Navy, died at sea May XIII
MDCCC in his nineteenth year.

TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN
MEMORY OF GEORGE SENIOR WILKINSON
KERSHAW FOR 25 YEARS RECTOR OF
THIS PARISH DIED FEBRUARY 3RD 1900
ALSO OF ISABELLE MARIE FITZ-
HARDINGE HIS WIFE WHO DIED AT
THORESBY HALL OLLERTON DECEMBER
5TH 1893 AND CICELY MARY GERALDINE
THEIR DAUGHTER WHO DIED JUNE 15TH 1879

The Revd J. Penrose is also commemorated by a marble plaque in the chancel, set in the centre of a tiled floor which was laid in his memory in 1890 by his grand-daughter. The Revd J. Penrose and his wife are buried in the nave, as are also two other incumbents of the parish.

Floor slabs

The famous Revd William Sweetapple is buried, with his wife, in the south aisle, and the Revd John Richardson is buried, with his two-year-old son, in the north aisle.

In Memory of WM SWEETAPLE
Rector of FLEDBROUGH Who ...

In Memory of ELIZABETH the
Wife of WM SWEETAPLE Rector
of FLEDBROUGH Who Departed
this Life the 16th of February
ANNO DOM: 1752 Aged 60 Years

He lieth the Body of
JOHN RICHARDSON
Rector of Fledbrough who
departed this Life Novr ye 5th
In the Year of our Lord 1778
Aged 72 Years.
Also the Body of John his Son
by Elizabeth his Wife
who departed this Life
February the 12th
In the Year of our Lord 1770
Aged 2 Years & 9 Months

HERE Lieth ye Body of
MARTHA the Wife of
JOHN RICHARDSON
who departed this Life
August the 19th
in the Year of our Lord
1763
Aged 57 Years

There are several other floor slabs in the church:

SARAH ANNE FITZ GERALD
and her
INFANT DAUGHTER

IN
Memory of
ELIZABETH Wife of the
Revd JOSHUA FLINT
who died the 30th of May
1813 in the 76th Year
of her Age.

IN
Memory of the
Revd JOSHUA FLINT
Vicar of Clareborough,
who died
the 22nd of March
1827,
in the 83rd Year
of his Age.