Come Ye Blessed...
CHURCH OF ST JAMES
Church Post Code LE14 2UR
There were four Belvoir Angel stones recorded here in the Heathcote study. I turned up five but it took a couple of visits to get to that stage. I originally missed the stone to one Rachel Freeman. This one is well away from the others, close to the east end of the church.
The first gravestone here is a bit bruised and battered; with some damage to the top. This has taken out the angel's right hand wing as we look at it. There is the outline of an hour glass top left, much of it lost and there would, in all probability has been the corresponding crossed bones top right; which is also damaged.
This stone reads 'Here lyeth the body of Mary the wife of Richard Flower who departed this life October the 1st 1722 in the 39th year of her age'
This stone has sunk a little over the years. At the foot of the grave, with some of the inscription now at ground level it says 'Near to this place lies Mary their daughter' No age or date is given unless it is lost below the surface.
The angel on a gravestone is there to symbolically represent the safe passage of the soul of the deceased to heaven. An important job, and a joyful one! The angel on the stone to John Walton is smiling and obviously happy with their task!
Again the stone here is damaged at the top. The hour glass is present top left with the crossed bones missing.
'Here lyeth the body of John Walton who departed this life August the 25th Anno Salutis 1720 aetatis suae 86'
'Greave not for me my glass is run it is the Lord his will be done'
The stone to John, son of John Walton, is leaning forward, easy to miss and hard to photograph properly. The hour glass and crossed bones are present again and in tact.
'Here lyeth the body of John, son of John Walton by (what looks like) Unica his wife who departed this life January 25th 1721 aged 34'
It is impossible to see if there is any further inscription below this. This is the stone that does not appear in the Heathcote study.
The fourth stone here sees the angel depicted with little in the way of hair and a pointed chin. There is a heart symbol to each side of the angel's face, one of which has gone a little wrong! Sadly, another person to have lived through childhood; only to pass away soon after!
It reads 'Here lyeth the body of John Waite he died August the 23rd 1742 aged 17 yeare'
'A sore disease my body seized that pecurst me to the heart till death did ease as God did please to cure me of my hurt'
The stone recorded by the Heathcote's that I missed on my first visit can be found close to the east wall of the chancel, well away from the others.
The hour glass and crossed bones occupy their usual positions top left and right. Text across the top reads 'As runs the glass so our lives pass'
The rest reads...
Here lyeth the body of Rachel the wife of Philip Freeman who departed this life January the 27th Anno Salutis aetatis suae 34'.
There is no epitaph inscription below that. This one is in really good condition, the close proximity to the church sheltering it from the worst of the weather over the years.