Wednesday, 30 November 2011

East Lexham - Saint Andrew

William and Ann Dunham
© Godric Godricson

This is one of those simple monuments that allows us to look at dates and events in the lives of real people in England although such possibilities occur throughout the United Kingdom. The moument has the honest simplicity that starts to resemble the traditional depictation of the tablets of stone brought down from the mountain by Moses.

William Dunham of East Lexham in Norfolk lived and worked and died in the same village. Ann Racking married William on 28 October 1814   in the same East Lexham. One can only imagine that they lived in close proximity to the present farm buildings that surround the Church in this fine village.

A daughter, Ann,  was born to the couple in 1815 and was baptised somewhat suspiciously in the village on  29 April 1815. One may only imagine that Ann was somewhat premature. It isn’t clear what became of Ann.

Saint Andrew East Lexham
© Godric Godricson
 The Church at East Lexham has nothing much in the cemetery of interest that still survives and the earliest monument would appear to be 18th Century with some badly eroded Putti swirling in an endless circle up to heaven. The scenery is quietly breath taking as befits this part of Norfolk. The Church is lovely and features on other web sites. The antiquity of the Church is clear and the building tells us about an honest faith that is  manifest in flint, stone and rubbl. The 21st Century would be bewildering to William Dunham although in the modern environment we are sometimes envious of the simplicty of the lives of people who have gone before.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Hon. Isabella Stafford Jerningham - Costessey Hall

Hon. Isabella Stafford Jerningham
 Costessey Hall
"The remains of the Hon. Isabella Stafford Jerningham, who died at Genoa on January 1st, were interred in the family vault beneath the altar in the chapel at Costessey Hall.  At the same time was interred the body of the Hon. Frances Stafford Jerningham, who died at Paris in May, 1838.  It was placed by the side of the remains of her twin sister, the Hon. Georgiana Stafford Jerningham, who died at Leamington in 1841."

Title: Norfolk Annals  A Chronological Record of Remarkable Events in the Nineteeth Century, Vol. 1     Author: Charles Mackie

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Monuments and Latin

© Godric Godricson
The cemetery is a place where we 'monumentalise' the dead and record their positive virtues to the exclusion of all other traits. The dead become glorious and good and their weakness is forgotten and minimised. We make the cemetery into a place where the family and the community are re-united at least for a time in marble and, often, in a Latin that we no longer speak

Friday, 4 November 2011

"Slow thro' the church-way path we saw him borne"

Jean de Narde (December 2011)
© Godric Godricson

Jean de Narde is an interesting story of a French Napoleonic prisoner of war who was shot trying to escape in East Dereham in 1799. His monument was placed there by the Vicar of East Dereham in 1858 and this event is recorded in the diary of the Vicar now online.

A Norfolk Diary.

Feb. 17 1858. Today another cross was set up in the churchyard, the inscription under which will speak for itself.  'In memory of Jean de Narde, son of a Notary Public of St. Malo. A French prisoner of war, who, having escaped from the Bell tower of this church, was pursued and shot by a soldier. October 6th, 1799, aged 28 years.”

The obverse of the memorial reads.

"This memorial of his untimely fate has been erected by the Vicar and two friends who accompanied him on a visit to Paris as a tribute to that brave  and generous nation once our foes but now our allies and bretheren. Ainsi soit il. 1857"