The Frances Dawes Memorial

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Home Category : The Chancel

Exemple

To the left of the East Window is a brass memorial to Frances Dawes, the wife of Lancelot Dawes’s grandson, also called Lancelot, who died in 1673. The theology of the poem is somewhat questionable, as one William Wordsworth pointed out in his ‘Essays upon Epitaphs’: 

Under this stone, Reader, Interr’d doth lye, beauty and Vertue’s true Epitomy,
Att her appearance the noons-sun blush’d & shrunke in cause quite outdon.
In her concenter’d did all graces dwell 

god pluck’d my Rose yt he might take a smell. Ile say noe more;
but weeping wish I may soone with thy Deare chast ashes come to lay. 

Wordsworth commented that while the Latin prose is ‘the uncorrupted language of affection’, the verses seem ‘little less than impious; and … though unintentionally so, most irreverent’. The inscription originally concluded ‘Sic efflevit maritus’ (‘thus the husband weeps’). 

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Exemple

The stonework of the east window is 1330. In 1910 William Fothergill Winn of Bowerbank presented the marble floor of the sanctuary, while the stained glass of the memorial window to Colonel Parkin of Sharrow Bay, dates from 1913 and depicts the Ascension and Christ as the good shepherd.

On the wooden panelling below the window (beneath a brass plate to Thomas Hodson) are the initials L.D, and the date 1609, the year after Lancelot Dawes, then of Barton Kirke, became vicar. The communion rails are said to be mid- to-late 17th century, as is the bishop’s chair in the vestry. 

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Exemple

A small brass on the north wall (retrieved from a hidden slab in 1903) is to Richard Wordsworth of Sockbridge House, the poet’s grandfather; another, on the south wall, is to Ann, his aunt, who married Revd Thomas Myers, curate and schoolmaster.

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Exemple

On the south side, immediately east of the choir stalls, an early grave slab of c. 1300, possibly broken when the chancel wall was rebuilt, has a diamond ‘cross’ with remnants of fleur-de-lys terminals.

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Exemple

No brasses remain in the chancel floor, but gravestones found at a lower level during the 1903 restoration were relaid in the new floor. On the north side, is a 14th century coffin lid, with an ornamental cross in high relief, sword and a shield of Lancaster inscribed Christofer de La[ncastre] and with the word ‘MERCY’ visible in Lombardic capitals. On the shield only the mullet (or spur) is at all decipherable. In the late 17th century this gravestone was located in the nave, which accounts for the extreme wear on the coat of arms. Christofer de Lancastre is believed by some to have married Joan, daughter of Sir Hugh de Lowther (Attorney General to Edward I), in about 1290 and to have died in about 1330.

Picture by Steven Barber

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