Come Ye Blessed...
CHURCH OF ST LUKE
Church Post Code LE14 3BD
Upper Broughton had 25 Belvoir Angel stones recorded; this being the third highest total, bettered only by neighbouring Hickling and Nether Broughton. Just under a third of all surviving Belvoir Angel gravestones are contained within these three churches. The photographs included on the two pages devoted to this church are a combination of two visits.
The first stone here is badly damaged; with most of the top being broken off. The name of the deceased is missing, with all that remains is that she was the wife of Thomas. This one relates a very sad, but quite common, occurrence in those days.
The stone reads (missing...) wife of Thomas (...missing) son she died November the 9th 1742 in the 27th year of her age'
'Hard pangs of labour gave benoni birth the child of sorrow caused my death Repent in time no time delay For in my prime I was called away'.
The term Benoni birth is Biblical. In Genesis Chapter 35 verses 16 - 18 Jacob's wife Rachel dies soon after giving birth. Just before she dies she names her son Benoni, which means son of my suffering or son of my sorrows.
There are several gravestones here to members of the cross family
'Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth Cross she died May the 29th 1748 aged 35 years'
The stone here has sunk over the years, and part of the epitaph is now lost below ground level. The first two lines are still readable though...
'Its much lamented amongst us all that so rair a plat so soon should fall'.
The stone to Alice Cross has two hearts; one either side of the Angel. A basic symbol of love for those who have passed on.
It reads 'Here lies the body of Alice Cross a widow She died June the 7th 1749 ages 59 years'
'Pale death will hardly find another so good a wife and kind a mother In all her actions so discreet as she who lies here at your feet'.
It is suggested that 'Pale Death' could refer to a disease such as cancer but I opt for it referring to the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse in Revelation where Death is said to have ridden a pale horse.
The gravestone to Elizabeth Cross has the hour glass and crossed bones at the top; text across the top reading 'As runs the glass our lives do pass' It appears to have been a common analogy in those days to liken a person's life to a glass which is gradually emptying!
This one has sunk in to the ground and I am not sure if there was an inscription further down. What is visible though says 'Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth Cross daughter of Richard Cross by Ellinor his wife Who departed this life March 23rd 1704'
Richard Cross lived to a decent age by the standards of the time; with life expectancy in or around the low 40's. It was still possible to live to an old age, but what is very noticeable is the number of people who lived through childhood and then passed away in their 20's. Death was never far away!
'Here lyeth the body of Richard Cross He departed this life Match the 10th 1744 in the 67th year of his age'
'Though death has parted you and I our body's to dust must turn I hope that we shall meet again you have no cause to mourn'
The stone to Richard Simson is unusual in design; sloping edges farming the angel's wings. There are a few of these about but they are scarce!
This stone has sunk down in to the ground and any epitaph at the bottom is now lost to view. This stone reads...
Here lyeth interred the body of Richard Simson he departed this life December 24th 1704 aged 74 years'
The stone to one John Pilkington is of great quality. This is a double angel stone with the first three lines of text carved in relief; the area around the lettering is carved away leaving the letters themselves standing proud of the stone.
This was time consuming for the mason and a great skill. These were top of the range models so to speak!
'Here lies interr'd the body of John Pilkinton who departed this life April 19th 1735 aged 61 years'
'My friends do not lament for me but chear up now your heart and strive that you may come to me where we shall never part'
The inscription below is faded and partially buried and I had real trouble with it. Part did read 'work for your good' and I suspect that it was wording based on Romans Chapter 8 verse 28.
Elizabeth Pilkinton was the wife of John; and this is another stone of the very highest quality, with five lines carved in relief.
'Be Ye Ready' is carved in to the stone, on either side of the angel, with the hourglass and crossed bones also present. All reminders to the onlooker, in both symbol and text that Man is mortal and will die.
This stone reads 'Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth the wife of John Pilkinton who departed this life October the 24th 1727 in the 55th year of her age'
'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'
The epitaph at the bottom ties in with the message at the top. Be ready as you do not know when your day would come.
A very commanding Belvoir Angel stone, beautifully carved, tells another sad story!
'Here lies the body of Elizabeth the daughter of Peter Hemsley by Isabel his wife She departed this life December 29th 1725 aged 21 years
'Though death has parted you and I our body's to dust must turn I hope that we shall meet again you have no cause to mourn Dear friends do not lament for me but cheere up now your hearts and strive that you may come to me where death no more shall part'
The stone to Peter Hemsley is another of the highest quality, a truly fabulous piece of work that has weathered very well in the nearly 300 years that it has been standing.
This is a double angel gravestone, with the angels looking a little downcast. 'Remember Thy End' is carved within a heart shape in between the two.
(carved in relief) 'Here lies interr'd the body of Peter Hemsley who departed this life October the 4th 1727 aged 69 years'
(not in relief) Who would not but fear death who is so bold that takes away the breath of young and old but be not so concern'd nor so complain because I hope that we shall meet again With conscience pure I hope to see Gods face and rise again to glorifie his grace Do not for me so long in tears remain make sure of Christ and death will be your gain'.
The stone to Isabel Hemsley, the wife of Peter, is another double angel; 'Be Ye Ready' between the angels. It reads...
'Here lies the body of Isabel the wife of Peter Hemsley she died March the 27th 1738 aged 70 years'
'She that here interred lies was in her life a tender mother & a loving wife A quiet neighbour to the poor a friend happy is she that such a life doth end'.