Come Ye Blessed...
CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS
Church Post Code NG13 9PX
With the exception of the triangle of villages that is Hickling, Nether and Upper Broughton, All Saints at Granby has the highest number of Vale of Belvoir Angel stones. The Heathcote's recorded 22 stones. I made two visits here and saw the same 21 stones on each occasion! Or to put it another way I missed the same stone on each occasion! This is a 'busy' church grounds. Lots of stones packed in against each other with some partially blocked by others. This one may have been missed for that reason. A very interesting church grounds to look through.
Starting off with the stone to Elizabeth Chettle. 'Be Ye Ready' is carved across the top reminding the onlooker that they are also mortal and will one day go the way of the deceased. Therefore, to live a good life to be prepared to be ready for Heaven when their final day came.
The stone is inscribed 'Here lies the body of Eliz the wife of John Chettle of Bingham and daughter of William Orson of this town She died April ye 27th 1721 her age 33 years'
The inscription below pretty much ties up with the inscription at the top
'You readers both old and young your time on earth will not be long for death will come and die you must and like to me return to dust'
To continue the same these, a stone to one Richard Fawkes has 'Memento Mori' carved across the top 'Remember Death'.
Two hearts, symbolising love can be seen either side of the Angel's head
'Here lies the body of Richard Fawkes who departed this life March 29th 1721 in the 55th year of his age'
'Farewell my wife and children dear which in this world I've left behind Do not lament nor shed a tear Eternity be sure you mind'.
This is the first of several Belvoir Angel headstones to this family; and their is a sad story, as were so many at this time.
Several of the Fawkes family died young, including Thomas who died in 1722 aged 26 years.
It is worth reiterating that the angel is there to symbolise the safe escorting of the soul of the deceased to heaven. On this stone is carved 'Come Ye Blessed'; the invitation from the angel to the deceased as he makes that journey...
'Here lies the body of Thomas the son of Richard Fawkes by Hellen his wife he died May ye 1st 1722 aged 26 years'
There follows a fascinating inscription...
'Come mourn with me all ye hear upon the earth Come shed a tear for him whose life is fled away His comly corps laid up in clay In hopes to have a glorious spring with heav'nly angels there to sing like to ye damaske rose that we see or like ye blossom on ye tree or like the dainty flower in May or like ye morning to ye day Such was this rose in youthfull time nipt of by death just in his prime I hope that I have done no no wrong The jewels gone my verse is done'.
The Fawkes family suffered another tragedy with the passing of another young person less than three years later.
'Elizabeth ye daughter of Rich and Hellen Fawkes she died November ye 4th 1724 aged 26 years'
'Death often crops ye flower the blossom and the bud Happy in youth and age are they whose lives are good'
As always, the angel is carved superbly but here we see an example of how these masons struggled with the spacing of words. They couldn't fir the surname in, so half of this is included above the line in smaller lettering. A little lower down 'Aged 26 years' is crammed in in small lettering. This is all part of their charm.
Events took an even more tragic turn less than three weeks later when another young adult passed away. These people lived hard, and in many cases short, lives.
'Here lieth the body of Richard the son of Richard & Helen Fawkes he died November ye 24th 1724 aged 22 years'
'A loving mother and two sisters dear upon this earthly world I have left here Repent therefore in time no time delay For I just in my youth was call'd away'
Having lost her husband and three grown up children within the space of three years, the mother herself passed away in 1728. There are three different spellings of her christian name on these gravestones with Ellin used here (Hellen and Helen used on other stones)
This one reads 'Here lies interred the body of Ellin the wife of Richard Fowkes lately deceased who departed this life May 1st 1728 in the 62nd year of her age'
'O cruell death yt (that) could so cruall be to take the fruit then cut down the tree Hard hearted death I say yt would not spare A kind loving neighbour and mother dear My friends weep nor for me nor sorrow retain Because I hope yt we shall meet again'.
Just looking at this epitaph I wonder if 'to take the fruit then cut down the tree' is a line that is used in instances where a child or children had died before the parent?
To complete the Belvoir Angel stones to the Fawkes family, a small stone records the following...
'Robert & Mary son and dauter of Robert & Mary Fawkes Robert died 1726 Mary 1729'
'Nigh to this stone 2 babes lie who both died in their infancy'.
The church grounds to the south are 'busy' to put it mildly. A series of small graves are hemmed in by larger gravestones and difficult to photograph.
The stone to William Flower is in fairly poor condition compared to others here, it reads
'Here lies the body of Willm Flower Junior of Barnston who departed this life November ye 22nd 1718 aged 51 years'
'A peaceable and quiet man within this grave doth lie but now he is returned to dust all flesh is born to die He was a kind neighbour and loving to his friend We hope his soul is now in Heaven which shall never have end'.
The recurring theme of dust is Biblical; Genesis Chapter 3 verse 19 says In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
A double angel stone to Sarah Harrison is a fine piece of work, 'To Die Is Gain' can be seen in a heart shaped design between the two angels. This is the second half of Philippians Chapter 1 verse 21.
This stone reads 'Here lies ye body of Sarah ye wife of Geo Harrison she died June 19th 1728 aged 61'
All flesh you see is like the withering hay it springs it grows and fades away'
'Also Sarah ye dauter of Geo Harrison by Sarah his wife died June ye 8th 1728 aged 24 years'
'O cruel death that would not spare a kind and loving wife and mother dear'
Here we have mother and daughter passing away within a few days of each other. What terribly hard times!
Close inspection of this gravestone shows that 'Wife of John Toon' is included in small lettering in the section for the younger Sarah; as if this was left out by mistake and added later.
To complete this first page of Belvoir Angel stones to be found at Granby is one to Sarah Lieversley. By the standards of some, this is a fairly basic stone, with no symbolism or text alongside what is a very solemn looking angel; and just a short verse at the end.
It reads 'Here lies the body of Sarah the wife of Benjamin Lieversley she died January the 21st 1721 her age 50 year'
'Do not for me in tears remain your loss I hope will be my gain'