The following is taken from Revd. Alfred Suckling’s book, ‘Memorials of the antiquities and architecture, family history and heraldry of the County of Essex’ (John Weale, London, 1845).
The name of this village, which has at different periods been written Botulnesbury, Buttesbury, and Butsbury, is derived by Mr. Morant from Botolph’s Burgh, the fortified place of Botolph, but who this Botolph was, he does not inform us. As the church is dedicated to Saint Mary, and was anciently appropriated to the nuns of Saint Leonard’s, at Stratford-le-bow, there does not appear to be any thing beyond mere conjecture in this derivation.
The church is a donative, with cure of souls, in the gift of Lord Petre, who is also possessed of the great tithes. Its certified value is £14 per annum, and the service, which, till very lately, was only once a month, is now performed every other Sunday. It is a very humble fabric, by no means improved by modern alterations, and comprises a nave with north and south aisles, and a chancel: at the west end a small tower contains one bell. In the nave are rather highly pointed arches sustaining the roof, with this peculiarity, that a portion of the surface of the wall runs down in a narrow strip to the floor, thus dividing the column, and allowing pilasters only to support the mouldings of the arches. The east window, which was large and full of tracery, is closed with masonry.
The following memorials are engraved on floor-stones in the body of the church:-
1. Here lyeth the body of Edward Francklin, Gent., aged 63 yeares, obiit 15 Aug. 1680.
2. Here lyeth interred ye body of Ann, late wife of John Lockey, Gent., of Albrehaeh, and third daughter to Edward Francklin, Gent., of Burchbury in Essex, who dyed ye 10th day of June, 1688.
The font is square and plain: in the chancel stand two old chests of oak.