Come Ye Blessed...
CHURCH OF ST REMIGIUS
Church Post Code LE14 4ND
When the Heathcote's looked at the church grounds at Long Clawson they recorded 12 Belvoir Angel gravestones. I am missing one here, which was not photographed as it was very weathered with inscription unreadable. A very lovely church with interesting church grounds and friendly locals.
Sadly, not all of these are in good condition; but starting off with one which is! The stone reads 'Here lyeth the body of John Parnham who departed this life January 18th 1709 in the 74 year of his age'
'Marke and behold the upright man how God doth him increase for the just man shall have at length all joy with rest and peace'
'Come Ye Blessed' is carved across the top of the stone, with the 'ye' carved in to the forehead of the angel itself. The hourglass and crossed bones are to be found top left and right.
He lived to what would have been a good old age in those days. Incredible to think that this man would have lived through the English Civil War and the Bubonic Plague
A gravestone to Ann Smith is battered and bruised. A large amount of the top has been broken away, leaving just the lower portion of the angel's face and one small section of one wing remaining.
The stone reads ' Here lieth the body of Ann wife of Richard Smith who died September 2nd 1752 ages 39 years'.
An interesting inscription at the foot of the grave begins by saying 'Farewell vain world I had enough of thee Nor do I value what you think of me' The inscription gets harder to read as it goes on; with the last of it now being sunk below ground level.
This was actually quite a popular epitaph with similar examples turning up in Boston, Massachusetts, the phrase no doubt going over to the states with those emigrating. The full verse should read roughly along the lines of
Farewell Vain World I have Enough of the and now I'm Careles what thou sayst of me What Fault thou seest in me Take Care to Shun There worke within thy Self That Should be Done Thy Smiles I Court not nor thy Frowns I fear My Cares are past my head lies quiet here
A double angel stone to William Fawkes is of great quality, the three lines under the angels being carved in relief, the area around the letters being carved away leaving the letter itself standing proud of the stone.
This was a great skill.
I have pointed out many times during the compilation of this site, the problems that these stonemasons had with spelling and letter spacing. What is beyond doubt though is the skills that they possessed in other areas of their craft.
It reads (in relief) Here lies interr'd the body of William Fowkes who departed this life Oct ye 31st 1732 aged 28'
(not in relief) 'You young men all repent in time for I was call's just in my prime It's much lamented mongst us all so rare a plant so soon should fall for all the country tis their cry O pity he so soon should die'
A fabulous piece of work.
A gravestone to Elizabeth Shilcock is, compared to the other Vale of Belvoir Angel stones here quite basic. It has the same design; angel with wings outstretched, wearing a ruff. It has the same wording that many have 'Be Ye Ready' carved across the top but there is little fine detail in the wings.
This one is dated 1742, so it is not an early example that would be fine tuned with practice!
The stone reads 'Here lies the body of Elizabeth the wife of John Shilcock she died April the 16 1748 in the 25th year of her age Also Elizabeth daughter of John and Elizabeth Shilcock who died aged 1? year'
The gravestone to one Elizabeth Fawkes is unusual in that the angel, along with hourglass, crossed bones and heart symbolism, can be seen half way down the grave rather than across the top.
It reads 'Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth the widow of Richard Fawkes and mother of Will Fawkes. She died October ye 31 1725 aged 61 year'
An epitaph at the foot of the gravestone says 'Reader stand still and shed a tear think of the dust that lyeth here and whilst thou dost read this of me think on the glass that runs for thee.
The gravestone to Margaret and Henry Marriott has suffered a pretty hefty blow at some point over the years. Much of the top is broken, with just a small section of one of the wings remaining.
The hourglass at the top left as we look at it is just discernible, the crossed bones that would have accompanied it are absent.
It reads as follows with brackets to indicate where words are missing
'Margaret (wife of) Henry Marriott Died Nov XI 1727 aged ( )
Henty Marriott also died October ye 16 1733 his age 70 years'
'Grieve not for us dear friends our glass is run It is the Lord and let his will be done with conscience pure we hope to see his face and rise again to glorifie his grace'
A double angel grave to Mary and Richard White would have been another wonderful piece of work in its day; but this is another to have suffered damage.
The left hand angel as we look at it is all but gone, and the right hand angel appears to have suffered deliberate damage at some point, with the face looking to have been chiseled out!
It is believed that some of the Vale of Belvoir Angel gravestones were defaced by those of a Puritan nature, who objected to the angel itself. Impossible to tell, but perhaps this is what we have here?
Husband and wife died within two days of each other in February 1727, Mary aged 34 years and Richard aged 41 years.
'A loving husband and a virtuous wife here lies confined both to leave this life Even though their bodys they return to dust Their souls I hope are dwelling with the just'.
A gravestone to Stephen Hall stands back to back with a much larger slate gravestone. I found this one hard to shoot due to a few lighting issues.
Just the basic Belvoir Angel design with a heart symbol to one side. A couple of swirly designs for whatever reason made me want a walnut whip!
The stone reads as follows...
'Here lies the body of Stephen Hall who departed this life October the 14th 1722 aged 59 years'
'All flesh is like the withered hay It springs it grows then fades away'
The gravestone to Ann Morris is another that is fairly basic by the standards of this firm of stonemasons. There is less detail in the carving, particularly in the wings.
There is a single heart against the angel, who appears to be asleep in this depiction!
This stone reads 'Here lieth the body of Ann wife of Francas Morris who departed this life May 16th 1753 her age 36 years'
'Pale death will hardly find another so good a wife and kind a mother A sore disease my body siez'd that pierced me to the heart Till death gave ease as God did please to cure me of my smart'
'Pale Death' here could be either a name given to the disease that
killed here or perhaps it is from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse where death is said to have ridden a pale horse.
Sadly, a stone to Robert Hicks has been badly damaged at some point over the years, the entire right hand side as we look at it, now missing.
'Come Ye Blessed' would have been inscribed across the top prior to the damage.
With the exception of the name of the deceased, I am struggling to put much more detail to this one.
Most of the Belvoir angel stones in the church grounds here are to the south and east of the church. The stone to Thomas Dubleday appears not to be in situ, as are a cluster to the east by the looks of it and this one is off to the north.
This stone has heart symbolism at the top with the stone inscribed 'Here lies the body of Thomas Dubleday he died May 30th ages 55 years 1738'
'A sore disease my body seized which pears'd me to the hearttill death gave ease as God did please to cure me of my pain'.
Again we see here the problems that the masons had with lettering and spacing. The surname is started in upper case letters and is finished in very small lower case in an attempt to get everything in!