A history of Halesworth, Suffolk, UK, through the ages.


Volume 2


Memorial Plaques

Among the memorials is the panel over the Vestry Door in the Chancel, which managed to escape the efforts of William Dowsing, as it still bears the prayer 'Orate pro animabus Thome Clement et Margarate consoris sue qui istud vestarium facerunt'. It contains the forbidden words 'prays for the souls of...' which was the phrase so frequently destroyed by the enthusiastic Government Visitors of the 17th century.

In the Vestry is a hatchment of James Keeble who died in 1650, which was used in the funeral arrangements at his death, and hung in the Church afterwards. In the Chancel a wooden panel to Richard Asheton who died in 1641, and on the opposite wall a monument to Sir Henry Bedingfield, who died in 1687. His family was connected with Gothic House, opposite the Church, and he became Chief Justice in 1686. During his active career he became a freeman of Dunwich, a sub-steward of Yarmouth and in 1685 High Steward of Southwold. He died suddenly in 1687 and was buried at Halesworth.

There are a number of ledger slabs set into the floor, which record the resting place of local people, including that of Charles D'Urban, the infant brother of Sir Benjamin D'Urban, after whom Durban in South Africa was named.

Wall plaques include more recent ones to Sir William Jackson Hooker and Sir Joseph Hooker, who lived in Halesworth and were appointed in turn Directors of Kew Gardens. The tablet recording this was placed near the South Door in 1930.

A plaque commemorates the rebuilding of the North Aisle and the building of the Outer North Aisle in memory of Andrew Johnston who died 1862. Here also is the propeller which marks the death of Andrew Johnston 1917, and a plaque for Capt. Fowell Buxton Johnston who died in 1914.

Other memorial tablets in the Church include those of James Reeve (died 1826) and his wife Frances (died 1838),  Isaac Warne (died 1820), Stephen Newson (died 1878) and his wife Sarah (died 1877). A brass plate for Henry Charles Rush R.N. (died 1936), and suitably placed on the tower arch is a plaque to Frederick C.Lambert (died 1947) 'Bellringer and Verger'.

There are also a number of black ledger slabs, chiefly at the west end of the nave, but many covered with carpets. In the tower, in addition to the bell ropes, is a good display of plaques, notices, photographs and certificates which celebrate the bellringers of the past and present, and the great peals which have been rung on notable occasions.



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