Come Ye Blessed...
CHURCH OF ST PETER
Church Post Code NG13 0GB
There are three Vale of Belvoir Angel gravestones in the church grounds of St Peter, Redmile; with all three being early examples. One of these. dated 1690, is the oldest surviving example to be found in the Vale of Belvoir itself.
The first reads 'Here lies the body of James Handly he died the 11 day of March 1694
Elizabeth ye wife of Nicho Handly she departed this life November 16 1699
James ye son of Nicholas Handly by Anne his wife Deceased March 21 1710
An interesting inscription on the reverse reads 'This world it is a city full of crowded streets ?? it a market place where all men meets If life were merchandise that men could buy rich men would live and poor men die'
'Blessed are they yt( that) in the Lord do die they rest from their labours eternally'
The first gravestone differs in style from what we would normally see; and the second certainly does! This is a double angel stone but the angels are offset at an angle on the corners, with truncated wings. The text here on the front of the stone is contained within a roundel.
The stone reads 'Here lies the body of William Henly he died December 10th 1699
Heren also lies the body of Christopher Henly he died July 11 1702.
On the reverse of the stone it reads 'Mark and behold the perfect men how God doth them increase just men shall have at length great joy with rest and peace'
Sadly, here again we have family members passing away within a short time of each other. Hard lives these people led! It is unusual that there are no ages recorded for any of the deceased.
The third gravestone is dated 1691, making this the oldest surviving Vale of Belvoir Angel stone in the Vale itself.
This one is quite badly weathered but still readable. 'Remember Thy End' reads across the top of the stone.
This inscription was often used for someone who had passed away at an early age. It is more than possible that Elizabeth died very young; with her father sadly following her a little more than a year later.
It reads 'Here lies the body of Elizabeth the daughter of Francis and Alice Callcraft was buried Feb24th 1690
Also Francis Callcraft was buried June 3rd 1691'
'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 us return to dust'.