EPITAPHS BOOK FOLLOW UPs

by Helen Moorwood, November 2013

Introduction

Since the book went to press a few ERRATA have been spotted. These are given on the appropriate page. Apologies if these have caused any puzzlement or eyebrow-raising. Any author will confirm that a few errata are, alas, almost inevitable. Any others pointed out by others in future will be included on this page.

Also, a few content matters have been followed up through geographical tours. Although I had visited St Bartholomew’s, Tong and St Mary’s, Walthamstow, I confess I had never visited St Leonard’s, Eynsham, where Sir Edward was buried, nor St Oswald’s, Winwick, where he buried his only son and where his initials appear on a bell. A visit to the College of Arms also seemed in order, to examine the pages from Dugdale’s notes on which the relevant parts about the Epitaphs at Tong appear. All of these visits produced a few new surprises. Perhaps it was as well that these came after the book, or it would have been even longer! The places that now require a Follow Up report are indicated in blue.

A re-visit of St Bartholomew’s, TONG was with a twofold aim: the first was to examine closely, and make notes on and sketches of, the 26 SHIELDS that appear on the tomb, with a view to identifying them all accurately and compare them with blazons on other Stanley coats of arms. In due course, a complete description will appear. Another aim was to locate, identify, and trace the history of the FIGURINES which originally stood on the four corners of the tomb, but had since been moved. Also on the agenda was an exploration of the SITE OF TONG CASTLE (its ruin having been blown up in 1954), to discover whether anything at all was still to be seen on the ground that had not been destroyed by the construction of the M54 in 1983. A full report will follow. At the moment (November 2013) a Visitor Guide to the Stanley Tomb in St Bartholomew’s, Tong is planned, publication hopefully about Easter 2014. This will be announced when ready.

The main surprise in St Leonard’s, EYNSHAM was that there was another Stanley memorial there  - to JAMES STANLEY, LAWYER, who died in 1611. A full report will follow as soon as possible. Also, the Heritage Trail round EYNSHAM ABBEY was explored. This is already covered on several Eynshamwebsites, and very informative explanatory panels appear at appropriate places around the site, with leaflets readily available in the Catholic Church.

A visit to St Oswald’s and WINWICK RECTORY was postponed for the time being, having received the information from the current Vicar that the church is closed because of deathwatch beetle in the roof, and will probably remain closed for several years. The main surprise was to hear that there have been four Rectories. The one leased by Sir Thomas and Sir Edward was almost certainly the first Rectory, known as Winwick Hall, long since demolished. A report will appear as soon as possible.

The COLLEGE OF ARMS was also re-visited, specifically to examine the three pages reproduced from Sir William Dugdale’s notes on Church Monuments. Examination of Dugdale’s Church Notes produced several surprises (for the archivist and restorer, as well as me!) when we found that many drawings are ‘cut and past jobs’, including the oldest drawing of St Bartholomew’s, Tong in 1661. This will be reproduced asap, probably in the Visitor Guide.

A visit to MURSELEY CHURCH and SALDEN, Buckinghamshire produced even more surprises. These were followed up by the first steps in an intensive research programme on the FORTESCUES. Salden House was where Sir Edward Stanley Jr placed his three little girls after the death of his wife Lucy, in the household of his first cousin Grace née Manners, married to Sir Francis Fortescue. Again, a full report asap.

Yet more revelations about the place where Lucy grew up were there to delight the eye on my first-ever visit to the magnificent PETWORTH HOUSE, Sussex, southern home of the PERCYS, EARLS OF NORTHUMBERLAND. Readers might remember that after her father had been arrested (later executed in 1572) after the Northern Uprising, and her mother had fled into exile with the youngest baby daughter, Lucy and her two sisters were sent to the guardianship of their uncle Henry Percy, now 8th Earl of Northumberland. Here at Petworth she grew up with her cousin Henry, later the 9th Earl and known as ‘The Wizard Earl’.  The House is run by the National Trust, has a good website and an excellent guidebook – but there is no substitute for actually visiting. A report will follow in due course, probably after another longer visit!

I also started re-exploring various books perused long ago in libraries. Some of these, miraculously, are now online, which allowed instant re-reads. Several new details have emerged to add to Sir Thomas and Sir Edward Jr’s biographies. Updated versions will be produced asap.

Needless to say, producing all these will take quite a while.

 

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