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memorials
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Memorials - part 3

The Floor

Set into the floor of the Church building are many more memorial slabs. Unfortunately, as the building has seen much use over the centuries, many of these are exceedingly worn and have become difficult, if not impossible, to read. It is not also clear if these are all in the original positions in which they were laid, for it is possible that some may have been moved during repairs to the floor.

The Porch Floor

There are four memorials in the porch floor, hidden under the mats. Although they are now protected, as might be expected in such a location they are all very worn. The two nearest the door are in a light coloured stone, and lie in a north-south direction. The first can only just be indentified as a former memorial slab, and although remains of some lettering survives, it cannot now be read. The second has survived a little better, but all that remains legible is

Here Lieth the Body of
ELIZABETH ________________
who died _________________
Aged __________________

The other two stones in the porch are more typical of the memorials in the Church floor, as they are in a fine black stone with the inscription arranged so as to be readable to someone who is facing west. The memorial to Thomas Carew is much worn.

Here________________Sons
Of______________by M____
His Wife _______________
And of ____D____________
_________________AD 17__
________________________
______ody of M_____Care_
__________omas Carew who
_______ AD 1738 Ætat 33

_______________Body_____
____omas____________Died
______AD________Ætat___

The monument to members of the Rayner family is better preserved, but worn towards the lower right hand corner. The age of John has been transcribed as 62, which is probably correct, but cannot now be read with absolute certainty. One curious feature of this stone is the year in which Elizebeth died, which has been left incomplete.

HERE LYETH THE BODY
OF
IOHN RAYNER GEN:T
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
SEP:T 3:d 1728 AGED 62 YEARS
 
ALSO ELIZEBETH HIS WIFE WHO
DEPARTED THIS LIFE OCTOBER 3:d
172 
AGED ___ YE___
 
Alfo the Body of ELI_________ Wife of
SAMUE______ RAY____ ____________ this
______________________
 
Alfo the Body of Sam R_____ Gent
Who depparted this life__________
__________________
 
Alfo the Body of ____________ Efq
late of S________________
who depart________________________

The Nave Floor

The western section of the nave floor dates from the 1970s when some pews were removed to give some circulation space near the entrance. There is a black memorial stone under the carpet, which once had a heraldic shield at the top, but that and the text are now illegible. Around this and along the rest of the central aisle there are coloured tiles of the Victorian period under the modern carpet, and no further memorials remain. There is one solitary memorial towards the eastern end, by the lectern. This is in a light stone and reads:


To the Memory
of THO HALLEY A.M.
Vicar of this Parifh _____ Y_____
who died 26 Nov 1759
Aged _____
And of
ELIZABETH CHAPMAN
(relict of the above T. HALLEY
and
late Wife of SAML CHAPMAN M.D.
who died April 18 17____
Aged 54

From the list of clergy at St Peters, it would appear that he died in office.

The Chancel Floor

Set into the floor on the south side of the chancel is a black slab with marks at the edge which suggest that at some time it was surrounded by iron railings. It is worn in places, and the southern (left hand) edge is now beneath the panelling on the wall.


___________INTERRED THE BODY OF
NYELL CO___ ALLDERMAN WHO WAS
______ B_____ LIFE AND THE FIRST
IOR OF COVLCHESTER HEE HAD
___E ONLY TWOE DAVGHTERS & HEE
ED TO THE AGE OF FIFTIE SIXE YEARES
D DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 28 OF
FEBRVARY ANNO DOM 1642.

According to records held at the Town Hall, the first Mayor of Colchester was Daniel Cole in 1635.

On the North side of the Chancel is another very worn black slab, partly under the wall panelling, and difficult to read.


_____________________
_____________________
_____________________
_____________________
_______YEAR OF HIS AGE
_______________LIFE

DAUGHTER OF THOMAS TIMS AN ALDERMAN
DEPARTED THIS LIFE IN ASSVLE___ES OF A BETTER LIF
Y __ OF DECEMB 16__
IN Y YEAR OF HER AGE __

The last figure might be 60 and "TIMS" may not be correct.

The North Aisle Floor

There are three large memorial slabs clustered together near the font in the north west corner of the building. One reads:


In Memory of
Leiut. Coll. EDWARD GRIFFITH
who died
March 6th 1781
Aged 60 Years

Next to it a slab reads:


Mrs ANN HUSSEY
obiit 26th Decr 1740 Aged 32
She was a faithful Wife and a good Chriftian.
Here lieth the Body of the

Revd NAPHTHALI HUSSEY
late Rector of Eaft Merfea, died
Decr 10th 1768 Aged 64
And alfo of

ESTHER HUSSEY his late Wife
died April 15th 1789 Aged 82

A very large black slab, arranged south to north, lies partly underneath the font and partly inside the cupboard under the stairs to the north gallery. It reads as follows:


____________under this stone
____________________________s of
_______________________________OULD
_______________________________ril 1773

 
_____________________________r of
__________________________ ___Efqr
______________ighgate
________________A GOULD
__________________r of the above
_________the 28th of Novr 1774
Aged 52
Alfo of Mrs ANNA GOULD
Daughter of the above
who died the 16th of Novr 1778
Aged 71
Alfo of Mrs CATHERINE GOULD
Daughter of the above
who died the 12th of Auguft 1779
Aged 67
Also of Mrs JANE GOULD
Daughter of the above
who died the 20th of Septr 1781
Aged 74
Alfo of Mrs SARAH GOULD
Daughter of the above
who died the 23rd of May 1784
Alfo of Mrs FRANCES GOULD who
died the 7th Decr 1789 Aged 80 Years

Moving between the pews towards the east end of the building, the next memorial slab to be encountered has been very badly worn and only the left hand edge remains legible


HERE_____________________________
ELI__ R______________________
IR R_______________________________
OF_________________________________

DOC_______________________________
DEPART____________________________
1693________________________________

HERE_______________________________
ELIZ R______________________________
___D________________________________
26 FE_______________________________
   7 Y__________________________________

HERE ALSO__________________________
MARY THE WIFE OF___________________
WM RAYNER_________________________
THIS LIFE Y__________________________
   AG__________________________________
Also Wm_______________________________
the above Mary_________________________
1747 Aged____________________________

Further east is a large black slab to the Robjent and Bogard families. The right hand edge has been trimmed slightly at some time.

Here Lyeth the Body of
Susanna Robjent who
Departed this Life the 19th of
April 1722 Aged 83 Years
Here also lyeth the Body
of Susanna Bogard Wife of
Cornelius Bogard and Daught
of the Above Named
Susanna Robjent who
Departed this Life the 28th o
Novbr 1722 Aged 43 Years
Also one Son Aged 29 wee
Also Hannah Bogard and Susanna
Late the Wife of William Daniel
Daughters of the Above
Cornelius and Susanna Bogard
Hannah Died the 17 of July 1747
Aged 38 years
Susanna Died ye 19 Octr following
Aged 39 Years
And also the Body
of the said Cornelius Bogard
an Honest Man
who Died the 24 of January 1756
Aged 82 Years

Next long this aisle is a large grey stone that once bore a small rectangular brass. All that remains is the worn matrix in which the brass was once fixed, and it is not known who is buried here. Further along, near one of the pillars that support the gallery, there is a small grey slab bearing only the words

THE ENTRANCE
OF VAULT
R. W

It is not clear who R.W. is, unless it is one of the three people bearing the name Robert Wright, commemorated on one of the wall memorials further west along this aisle.

Near the door into the vestry are two memorials, the largest of them to Robert Sterling, who was a Fellow of the Royal Society from the first of June 1775 until his death. He was a surgeon and man-midwife from High Street and was elected to the Royal Society on the recommendation of Charles Gray, MP for Colchester, and others for his knowledge of mathematics.

Beneath
are depofited the Remains of

ROBERT STERLING F.R.S
who departed this Life
Decr 12th 1787
Aged 63 Years
ALSO
THE REMAINS OF

MRS ELIZABETH STERLING,
SISTER OF
MR ROBERT STERLING;
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
ON THE 1ST, OF APRIL, A.D. MDCCCVIII
AGED, 75 YEARS.

The final memorial in this aisle lies near to the door of the vestry, and has at some time been relaid after being broken into seven sections. One could speculate on whether or not this damage relates to the political nature of the memorial at the time it was first laid. It commemorates William Campion, who was killed during the Siege of Colchester during the English Civil War. The town surrendered to a superior strength of Royalist troops on 12th June 1648, and was almost immediately surrounded by Parliamentary forces. Sir William Campion was killed on 13th June and buried on Friday 16th June. The town surrendered to Parliament on 27th August after a time of much suffering among the people and the occupying troops. The missing text has been inserted from a reconstruction in the guide book:


HERE LYETH SR WI[LLIAM] C[AM]PIAN SON
[OF]
WILLIAM CA[MPION] OF _____
W[HO WAS SLA]IN THE YEARE
OF OVR
LO[RD 16]48, OF HIS AGE
34; VPON [A SALLY] OVT OF
THIS TOWNE [IN] IVNE
He was pious valiant Co[nstant] to his prince
Whose Cause he chos[e] and whose fer[vice]
he dy'd [in]
Disturb not his ashes [re]ader: if thou [likest]
his Iudgment, thou w[ilt] praise his action.

The South Aisle Floor

Returning to the West end of the building, the south aisle contains a further collection of memorials. Nearest to the porch, is a large black slab that records the personal tragedy of one local family:


IN MEMORY OF

HUGH HAMILTON second Son of
JAMES AND SARAH HAMILTON
who died Jan 18 1774
Aged 3 Years and 7 Months
Also

JAMES HAMILTON their firft Son
who died Septr 28 1779
Aged 14 Years and 2 Months
Also

JAMES CLAUDIUS HAMILTON
their third son
who died Octr 4 1779
Aged 3 Years and 9 Months
Alfo of
SARAH the Wife of
JAMES HAMILTON
who died Apl 21ft 1791
Aged _3 Years

The age of Sarah is difficult to read; 33 is unlikely given the ages of the children, so 53 is probable.

The next memorial eastwards along the aisle reads as follows:

HERE LYETH THE BODYES OF
IAMES LEMYNG OF COLCHESTER
GENT WHO DEPARTED THIS
LIFE THE 1_ APRILL 1671
AND
MARY HIS WIFE WHO WAS
THE ELDEST DAUGHTER TO
SR
WILLIAM _________KNT
SHE DEPARTED THIS LIFE
THE 18TH APRILL 16__

James died on either the 10th or the 16th of April, and the final year of Mary's death might be 1674. Two of the paving slabs near here show signs of once having been part of memorials, but the inscriptions have long since worn away.

The next stone has been much trimmed around the edges, and only the lower part of the letters of the top line remain. The name could be reconstructed M IASPER but this seems a strange name for a woman. The word "who" in the second line is curiously drawn, with the first loop of the w being upside-down. Also strange is the way this person's age at death has been left blank.

ie of ________ WATERS
this Parish who departed
is life the 9 of August 16__
the       Yeares of her age
and also the Bodys of 6 Son
and 5 Daughters
lso JASPER WATERS Dyed
March 27 170_ Aged 62
nd SARAH his Wife Dyed
Aprill 2 1724 Aged 72

Next comes a black slab, much worn, and engraved in Latin.

Hic Jacet
Quod Mortale Fuit Johannis C_______
Gigglesvici in [Agio] Eboracensi N_______
Cujus
Ingenium Feli_
Judicium Subactum
Humanitas Egregia
Sodalem M[o]dicum Amicu[m]
E__________ il [edoravit?}
Obt 5 Oct AD 1727 Ætat. ______

It is possible to translate the first part with some confidence "Here lies/that which was mortal of John C______ / [Who was born?] [of/in] Giggleswick in ______ of York" but the later lines are more difficult - the word in line 8 could be Modicum (Moderate) or Medicum (doctor), and the all important final verb is badly worn.

A very small stone follows, badly trimmed along the right hand edge by the insertion of the floor grilles, and with a quite illegible first line:

_________
The Vau
      of
M GOU

There is a further small slab further east, but it appears to be only a part of a larger memorial, reused as a paving slab, and is quite unreadable.

The last memorial in the floor in this south aisle is a large slab in the far south eastern corner, on which the inscription takes up only one end. It would appear that at least one line is now missing from the top, and the surname is unclear. The year is probably either 1813 or 1815.

WIFE OF
MAJOR JOHN HAVER[FIELD?]
DIED JUNE __ 181_
AGED___

This brings us to the south doorway, and a further memorial is hidden inside the porch to the south door.


Here lies
HENRY ROBERT MACLI__
Comedian
A ____ Husband an affec
Father and a credit to
Community to which he h____
He was called from the M
the ___ of N__ber 17
A_____

This brings us to the end of the memorials on the church floor.


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