Tuesday 5 June 2018

'At last overcome'

Here, immortalised in alabaster, is Anne, first wife of John St John, Knight and Baronet. To quote her epitaph, 'She lived for thirty-seven years, endowed with noble gifts of mind, body and manner, a rare example of virtue and piety; she was the mother of thirteen surviving children; in the end, long worn down by the painful agonies of her last confinement and at last overcome, she fled to heaven on 19th September, 1628.'
  Now she lies beside her husband (whose second wife lies at his other side). The children still alive when the monument was erected (in 1634) kneel at their parents' head (five sons) and feet (four daughters). Four children who had died in the interim are depicted on one side of the tomb chest, each holding a skull. So much life, so much death.
  This monument is one of a magnificent group in St Mary's church, Lydiard Tregoze, which I visited today.

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