Friday, 12 June 2009

Boreham: Revd. A. Suckling. Memorials (1845)

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 full text is included, including Latin. Don’t ask for a translation please!!

The church at Boreham is a large edifice of various styles and different and though it happily does not greatly abound in the nondescript imitations of modern days, may be said to embrace specimens of almost every variety from that which used by our Norman ancestors to the debased architecture fashionable in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

The original structure comprised simply a nave and chancel, extending the entire length of the present building, having a low square tower standing over the centre: this tower has been since raised a story, and finished with battlements; an operation which the great solidity of its walls rendered perfectly feasible. The next addition to this pile was the south aisle or chapel, attached to the nave during the reign of Henry the Third, if I am not mistaken as to the shape and proportions of windows. Next was added the north aisle, a building of spacious dimensions, with large and expansive windows, in the style of Edward the Fourth’s era. This is supposed to have been the work of a private family, and is still distinguished by their name, being called the Tendring Aisle; it is thought to contain the remains of many of their race. The final addition is that which is called the Sussex Chancel, built of red brick, on the south side of the eastern end, and erected by Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, as a mausoleum for himself, his father, grandfather, and his heirs. His intentions were strictly executed, and the bodies of these accomplished noblemen lie interred within its walls. No part, however, of the edifice equals in architectural grace and proportion the original chancel, which, I regret to say, has, within these few years, been excluded from general view by a wall built across the western arch of tower, thereby confining the congregation to the western portion of the church, consigning the elegant chancel to unmerited neglect, and to the reception of rubbish.

Though the tower shows unequivocal marks of Norman erection, it cannot be referred to a more remote period than the reign of King John, as neither of the arches beneath its walls are circular; one being highly pointed, and the other brought to an obtuse angle, varying little from a semicircle; yet a small door, giving access to an interior turret staircase, is finished in the circular style, with square capitals projecting slightly from the walls, but unfurnished with columns. In short, the architect, like many in that period, seemed divided in his opinion, whether to adopt a fashion, which was then just forcing its merits into notice, or to adhere to the older and better understood principles. The west end of the nave is entirely occupied with an ample window, throwing a flood of light upon the interior: it is filled with mullions and perpendicular tracery of rather heavy proportions, and is more remarkable, in my opinion, for its magnitude than for the beauty of its component parts. An elegant octagonal font, having arches and pediments of Edward the First’s time, stands at the west end of the south aisle.

The pointed arches of the nave being devoid of mouldings, have much the appearance of modern imitations.

This preferment is a vicarage, and the present incumbent is the Rev. William Carpenter Ray. The bishop of the diocese is the impropriator. The registers commence in the year 1559, and are written by the vicar for many following years, in a very beautiful hand, and with a most methodical arrangement. Amongst other entries in the year 1593 is a very extraordinary one, which proves that Boreham has had its share in the disgraceful persecutions so frequently exercised against aged and helpless females for the imaginary crime of witchcraft. It is as follows:

“Anno Domini, 1593, July 29th
“H Mother Haven suffered at Barham for witchcraft the sam day.

At the head of every entry is a capital letter, the initial of the ceremony performed, as C. for christened; B. for buried; M. for married. It is probable, therefore, that H signified that this victim of persecution was hanged.

In that part of the church which I have before described as the Sussex Chancel, stands an altar tomb of various coloured marbles, and of large dimensions. On its slab lie extended the full length figures of three knights in martial costume, finished with that minute attention to detail so remarkably conspicuous in the sculpture of our ancient sepulchral effigies. The various ornaments of helmets and recumbent animals which are placed at the feet and the heads of the figures, as well as the figures themselves, are much mutilated by the falling in of the roof, which occurred a few years since, and as the material employed by the sculptor is of a very soft nature, scarcely harder than chalk, the injury sustained was consequently the more serious. The effigies are intended to represent Robert Radcliffe, who died in 1542; Henry Radcliffe, his son, who died in 1556; and Thomas Radcliffe, the grandson of the first-mentioned earl, by whose directions the monument was erected, and the bodies of his predecessors removed from the place of their first sepulture, in the church of Saint Laurence Pountney in London, to this vault at Boreham, where they have ever since reposed. The inscriptions on the sides of the tomb are so long and explanatory as to supersede the necessity of giving farther biographical notices respecting these accomplished noblemen, the latter of whom was the virtuous and stern opponent of Elizabeth’s profligate favourite, Leicester.

1. Beati mortui, qui in Domino moriuntur - requiescunt a laboribus suis, et opera eorum sequuntur eos -
Robertus Radclif, Miles, Comes Sussexiae, Vicecomes Fitzwalter - Baro do Egremond et de Burnel, Eques auratus praenobilis ordinis Garterij, magnus Camerarius Angliae et Camerarius Hospitii magni Henrici Regis Octavi, ac eidem e consiliis privitis - Praeliis in Galliâ commissis, aliquoties inter primos ductores honoratus. - In aliis belli pacisque consultationibus, non inter postremos habitus - AEquitatis, justitiae, constantiae, magnum aetate suâ columen. - Obiit 27 die Novemb. anno Domini 1542, aetatis suae … Sepultusque primo Londini, inde corpus huc translatum ultima voluntate Thomas Comitis Sussexiae, nepotis sui:-

Conjuges habituit }
Elizab. sororem Hen. Ducis Buckinghamii.
Marg, solorem Comitis Darbei.
Mariam, sororem Js Arundel, Equ.

Elizabethae filii }
Georgius, patre vivente mortuus
Henricus, prox. Comes Sussexiae.
Humfreius, Miles.

Margaretae filiae }
Anna, nupta Domino Wharton.
Margareta, nupta Domino Montacute.

Mariae filius Johannes Radclil, Miles.

2. Post mortem erit judicium, ac nomina justorum manifestabuntur, et improborum opera patebunt.

Henricus Radclif, Comes Sussexiae, Vicecomes Fitzwalter, Baro do Egremond et de Burnel, Eques Anratus praenobilis Ordinis Garterij Capitalis Justitiarius, et Justitiarius itinerans omnium Forestarum, Parcorum, Chacearum, et Warrenarum regiae Majestatis citra Trentam, Locum tenens Norfolciae et Suffolciae, et Capitaneus generalis Exercitus Reginae Mariae, quo ipsam e tumultu regni auspicandi vindicavit - Praeliis in Galliâ confectis, ac aliis Legationibus ibidem habitis, cum nobilium Principibus aliquoties honoratus. - In aliis belli pacisque negotiationibus inter primarios habitus - Magnum constantiae, religionis, fideique testimonium, praecipue sub morton exhibuit.

Obiit 5 die Februarij, anno Domini 1556, aetatis suae … Sepultusque primo Londini inde corpus huc translatum ultima voluntate Thomae Comitis Sussexiae, filii sui.

Conjuges habuit }
Elisab. filiam Tho. Ducis Norfolciae.
Annam, filiam Phil. Caltrop, Equestris.

3. Pretiosa in conspecta Domini mors justorum. Thomas Radclif, Miles, Comes Sussexiae, Vicecomes Fitzwalter, Baro de Egremond et de Bumel, Eques Auratus praenobilis Ordinis Garterii, capitalis Justitiarius omnium Forestarum, Parcorum, Chacearum, Warenarum regiae Majestatis citra Trentam, Capitaneus generosorum Peucionariorum et generosorum arma – Camerarius Hospitiii Reginae Elisabethae, et e Consiliis privatis - Duas amplissimas legationes Reginae Mariae ad Imperatorem Carolum Quintum, et Regem Hispaniae, tertiamque serenissimae Reginae Elisabethae ad Imperatorem Maximilianum obivit - Prorex Hiberniae, ipsam per annos novem subjugatis rebellibus pacavit, Scotiamque ipsis faventem, multis Castellis captis dirutisque, iterum vastavit - Magno Henrico Regi Octavo, heroicae et ipsius Progeniei propagandae semper fidelissimus – Invictus animo; semper Belloque fortis et felix: Pace Consiliarius prudentissimus - Linguarum varietate facundus, vitae inculpatae, etc. Obiit 9 die Junii, Anno Domini 1583, aetatis 57.

Conjuges habuit }
Elisaba filiam Tho. Comitis Southampt.
Franciscam, filiam Gulielmi Sidnei, Equitis.

Unica filia ex priore uxore prima infantia mortua.
Haeredem reliquit fratrem Henricum, proximum Comitem Sussexiae.

Not the least singular part of the history of this monument is, that the particulars of its cost, and the name of its sculptor, are known and recorded; circumstances which have rarely been noticed, even in the cases of the most gorgeous and expensive. For this we are indebted to Mr. Walpole, who in his “Anecdotes of Painting,” Vol. 1st, p272, relates the following particulars:-

“The contract for the tomb of this great peer, Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, Lord Chamberlain to the Queen, and a signal antagonist of Leiccster, is still extant. He bequeathed £1500 to be expended on it; and his executors, Sir Christopher Wray, Lord Chief Justice of her Majesty’s Bench; Sir Gilbert Gerard, Master of the Rolls; Sir Thomas Mildmay and others, agreed with Richard Stevens for the making and setting it up in Boreham Church, where it still remains. The whole charge paid to Stevens for his part of the work was £292 12s. 8d.” … “Richard Stevens was a Dutchman, and no common artist. He was a statuary, and painter and medallist. The figures on Lord Sussex’s tomb were his work, and in a good style.”

Whatever were the merits of Stevens as a painter and a medallist, I have had no opportunity to judge, but I doubt if the execution of the figures in question will bear out the encomiums bestowed by Mr. Walpole on Stevens as a sculptor. Indeed, I live reasons to believe that Mr. W. never saw the tomb, as he describes it as having been placed in a village church in the county of Suffolk, and not in Essex, which is its true situation.

We may next notice a very ancient gravestone, now broken, and lying in the churchyard, though its original situation was within the walls of the church. By the inscription which was preserved by the care of the present vicar, it appears to have been placed over the body of Henry Le Merchant, a member of a family anciently seated at the adjoining village of Hatfield Peverell, which at that time possessed no church.

Henri Le Marchaunt cist ici,
Deu du s: salma ayt marci.
Qui pour Ie priera –
Graunt pardoun avera.

We will now close this account of Boreham Church by noticing the modern memorials.

1. On the floor of the nave lies a small brass effigy of a female and her family, with inscriptions recording the quality of the deceased, and the period of her departure. There is nothing remarkable either in the design or execution of this memorial, whose date is as low as 1573.

“Here lyeth the body of Alse Byng, the wyfe of Thomas Bynge of Canterbury in the county of Kent, and mother to Isaac Byng Cytezen and Stacioner of London, and late wyfe to James Canceller, some tyme one of ye gentlemen of the Queenes honourable chapple, wch Alse departed this worlde to the mcy of God, ye 16th of Apryll, 1573.”

At the feet of the children are these verses:-

We sixe hir chyldren derely bought, by fygure doe present
Our wofull harts for losse (of friende) of this our mother dere,
But nothing will yt sure prevente, although we do lament,
Yet nature doth procure the same, for this our mother here.
Which never thought these things to much wch on us she hath spent,
Then blame us not, great cause we have her death for to lament.

2. In memory of Jane the beloved wife of Tho. Wallace, Dr. in Physick, second daughter of the truly Rev. Job Marple, some time vicar of this church, who departed this life the 15th of February, 1735-6, aged 43.

3. Sacred to the memory of Dame Sarah, the wife of Sir John Tyrell, of Boreham House, in this parish, Baronet, and only child and heiress of William Tyssen, Esqre, of Cheshunt, Herts., obt, 19th of December, 1825, aetat 62.

4. Sacred to the memory of Charlotte, the beloved wife of Robert Clerke Haselfoot, Esqre, of this parish, who, after a very painful illness, died on the third of April, 1826

5. Elizabeth Harrington died Feb. 8, 1768, aet 27.

6. In the vault, north side of the chancel, are deposited the remains of Mrs. Mary Tyssen, widow of William Tyssen, Esqre, of Cheshunt, Herts. She died the 21st of March, 1805, aged 65 years. To perpetuate the memory of the best of mothers, this monument was erected by her only child, Sarah, the wife of John Tyrell, Esq of Boreham House.

7. Here lieth the body of the Revd. Thomas Butterfield, B.A., of Trin. Coil., Cambridge, and vicar of this parish sixteen years, who departed this life the 23rd of December, 1766, aged 53. Also the body of Mary his daughter, and wife of’ the Revd. Samuel Bennett, who died 23rd April, 1775, aged 27. Also, the body of Mary his wife, who died 3rd of August, 1780, aged 62.

8. To the memory of Charles Frederick, eldest son of the late Reverend Charles Frederick Bond, vicar of Margaretting, in this county. He died 2nd clay of October, 1829, in the 28th year of his age.

9. Sacred to the memory of the most beloved Ann Rishton Ray, the betrothed wife of John Rannie, Esqre, and eldest daughter of the Revd. William Carpenter Ray, vicar of this parish. Pious without ostentation, exemplary in all the relations of life, she lived endeared, respected, and most lamented: died on the 10th day of July, 1831, aged 33 years.

10. Near this place are deposited the remains of Anne Rishton Ray, wife of the Reverend William Carpenter Ray, vicar of this parish: she died the 31st day of January, 1811, aged 37 years.
Also, the remains of two of their children, Arabella Carpenter Ray, and Lucy Ramsden Ray, who died in their infancy.
Also the remains of their third daughter, Arabella Carpenter Ray, who died the 14th day of August, 1823, aged 14 years.

11. Sacred to the memory of William Hinde, whose remains are deposited near this place. He died the 21st of September, 1819, aged 35 years.

In the old chancel are some floor-stones to the memory of the Corselleis family.


If we are struck with surprise at the extent of this spacious mansion, our wonder will be excited when we learn that it formed a tenth part only of the original structure - a mere fragment of a more prodigious pile - which, like that at Audley End, in the same county, has been reduced at various periods, to suit the declining fortunes of its different owners. The entire house of New Hall consisted of two quadrangles, inclosing very extensive courts, and furnished with suitable offices. The manor, which is attached to this residence, was held at an early period by the Abbey of Waltham, and became subsequently the property of several branches of the royal family, and many noble possessors; but it is generally supposed that the date of the present edifice does not reach higher than the reign of Henry the Seventh, when Thomas Butler, of the Ormond Family, was presented by that monarch with the manor and estate of New Hall, and obtained a licence to embattle his residence with walls and towers. By his female heir it became the property of Sir Thomas Boleyn, father to Queen Anne Boleyn; and in 1517 we find it in the possession of Henry the Eighth, who, adding to the first erection, made it a royal residence, and celebrated the feast of Saint George within its noble halls with great magnificence in 1524. His eldest daughter Mary lived here several years; and by Queen Elizabeth it was bestowed on Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, in reward for his gallant achievements. This nobleman erected the sumptuous altar tomb in the village church, (already noticed,) and dying in 1583, the estate and house of New Hall descended to his brothers, whose heirs, in 1620, sold it to Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who was afterwards stabbed at Portsmouth, by Felton. This nobleman’s son being attainted by the Parliament for his loyalty to King Charles the First, this princely residence and park were purchased by Oliver Cromwell, the consideration money being five shillings, and the estimated value upwards of £13,000.

It does not, however, appear that the usurper resided much at New Hail, as he seems to have quitted it for his more favourite abode of Hampton Court.

Upon the restoration of Charles the Second, the celebrated General Monk obtained it, and lived here with much splendour for several years. His son’s widow remarrying, in 1691, to Ralph, Duke of Montague, New Hall was deserted and suffered to fall into great dilapidation, but was at last purchased by Benjamin Hoare, Esq., who, retaining the lordship, sold the house and park to John Olmius, Esq., afterwards Baron Waltham. By this nobleman it was reduced to its present dimensions. It is now, and has for several years past, been occupied as a nunnery by a community of females, who were driven by the French revolution and its disorderly occurrences from their retreat at Liege. The great hall, which is a truly magnificent apartment, being more than 90 feet in length, by 50 in breadth, and 40 in height, by these ladies been fitted up as a chapel for the celebration of their religious ceremonies. Part of Henry the Eighth’s additions to this pile are yet existing, as over a door, leading from the back of the hall, are his arms cut in stone, supported by a dragon and a greyhound, regally crowned; while a hawk and a lion bear a scroll with this legend, “Henricus Rex Octavus - Rex inclit. armis magnanimous - struxit hoc opus egregium.” Queen Elizabeth, too, seems to have exercised her taste in architecture on portions of this mansion, as over the entrance-door of the hall are to be seen her arms, and the following poetical inscription:-

En terra la piu savia regina
En cielo la piu lucente stella;
Virgine, magnanima, dotta, divina,
Leggiadra, honesta et bella.

No comments: