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Sir Walter occurs parson of Witham 43 Edward III.* The following rectors occur in the Parish Register :—

Starkey occurs 1559.

66

John Brickendon, D.D. occurs in 1625. He died Dec. 6, 1645, as appears by the following singular entry in the Re gister: Johannes Brickendon, S. S. theologiæ d, et hujus loci quondam rector, obiit Decemb. 6°, 1645, Ingepennæ Atrebatensium deponitur." He was succeeded on the 7th of December by

Anthony Hodges, B.D. who was buried here on Jan. 15, 1685-6; and on July 12, 1686,

William More, M.A. was presented by James Earl of Abingdon, to whom he was chaplain. ‡

Robert Lydall, B.D. fellow of Magdalen college, Oxford, was presented on Aug. 28, 1712. He died Feb. 20, 1741-2, aged sixty-four, and was buried in the chancel on March 2, following. He was succeeded by

William Bertie, D.D. rector of Albury, in the county of Oxford, and uncle to the Earl of Abingdon. He was succeeded by

Christopher Robinson, D.D. here as well as at Albury; both of which are in the gift of the Earl of Abingdon. He is now rector, Aug. 12, 1797.

In

The pulpit of Witham church is of Dutch oak. lozenges, on the two pannels of the back, in letters inlaid, is

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The green pulpit-cloth is dated 1625. The pall (used at funerals) is of fine blue cloth embroidered; on it "E.P.

* Ibid.

[ We find the following anecdote of Anthony Hodges, in one of Tom Hearne's manuscripts, in the Bodleian Library. "Parson Hodges, of Wightham, made a bargain with those he married, that if they did not repent in a year's time, they should present him with a pair of gloves. Accordingly, one couple that he married did not repent in that time, and therefore, they presented him with a pair of gloves made of the skin of a lamprey, which occasioned these verses:—

Has Rectori dant nubentes
Anno post non pœnitentes
Chirothecas nuptiales.

Quis ostendat mihi tales ?" E.]

[ William Tilly, D D. fellow of Corpus Christi college, and Chaplain to Montague Earl of Abingdon, occurs rector of Witham, 1709. His sermons are enumerated in Cooke's Preacher's Assistant, vol. II. p. 538. He printed a Speech on Dr. Turner's death, 1714; and a Book of Devotions, dedicated to the Countess of Abingdon. E.]

T.W. AN'. DO'. 1635." The table at the altar is of oak, the legs carved; and at the North end, in a shield,

"IAMES COLES,

MATHEW BULL,
1626."

In a North window, nigh the West end of the nave, are the portraits of King Edward the Second and his Queen. His Majesty is depicted in a bifid curled beard; and on each of their heads an open crown fleury. These were probably put up in the succeeding reign at the expense of some pilgrim travelling to his shrine at Gloucester, * 'Witham lying in the road thereto.

Mr. Ashmole, in his History of Berkshire, has recorded only one inscription, viz. " In the chancel of this church. lies a gravestone, whereon is the pourtraicture in brass of a man in armour, and also of his wife. The circumscription (cut likewise upon brass) is much defaced, whereof only thus much of the writing remains

filia dicti Ricardi Magtham, que

obtit

Quorum animabus p'picietur

Deus. Amen.

From the following inscription, on a flat stone in the chancel, it would seem that these brasses were removed, in 1730, by order of Montague, Earl of Abingdon.

"Robert de Wightham marryed Juliana,
daughter of Sir John Golaffre, of Fyfield,
in this courty;

by whom he had issue

Richard, and seven daughters.

He died in the year 1406.

She S

{

1408.

Richard de Wightham marryed Allison,
daughter of Walter Daundsey. . . .
. . of
Oxfordshire;

*The adjacent town of Seckworth, we are told, formerly abounded in Inns for the reception of pilgrims. (Mr. Warton's Kiddington.) And the learned Editor of the Britannia, in his Additions to Mr. Camden, I. 271, informs his readers, that "the town" of Gloucester "was scarce able to contain the votaries that flocked to offer at Edward IId's tomb; and the Abbey Register affirms, that, if all the oblations had been expended on the church, a new one might have been built from the ground."

by whom he had one daughter, named
Agnes,

marryed to Wm. Browning, of Saresden,
in Oxfordshire.

She, with Robert, Juliana, and Richard,
was here buried;

as appeared by a broken inscription
upon the brass border of a black stone,
put over them by the order of Agnes
Browning.

Which being decayed,

and the brasses lost or defaced,
the Right Honble MOUNTAGUE, Earl of

ABINGDON,

to perpetuate the piety of so good a daughter,
commanded this stone to be laid

in the year of our Lord, 1730."

The legend of this inscription is, in a great measure, obliterated by the damp situation of the church; so that I was necessitated to supply some parts from a copy taken by the parish clerk in 1776 or 7.

The brasses were removed to a South window nigh the East end of the church; on one side of which is the effigies of Richard Wightham* (to thek nees only) in plated armour, with a pointed helmet. Opposite to him his lady in a large mitred head-dress, kirtle, with long sleeves banded at the wrists, over it a long gown with hanging sleeves, fastened, just below the breasts, by a girdle studded with roses. From her necklace (composed of a double row of long squares,) is a cross patée pendent; and at her right foot a little dog, with a collar of roundels. Over the woman these arms: a bar between two mullets, impaling Nebulée on a bar, three roundels. The last of these appears likewise beneath her. Over the man, a bar between two mullets; beneath him the same, impaling as before. On a stone fixed against the North wall of the chancel

is,

"1617.

Heare lies buried the bo

die of JOHN PAYNTON,

In the English Chartulary of Godstow nunnery, before-mentioned. Robert Wyghtham occurs as witness to different deeds of 43 Edward III. 1 Richard II 6 Richard II. 12 Richard II. 19 Richard II. 21 Richard II. and 5 Henry IV. Richard, his son, occurs also in the 8th and 11th years of Henry IV.

which

deceased the 14th
of Feabeary."

On the South-side of the altar-rails, on a flat stone:"Here lieth the body

of the Rev. Mr. ROBERT LYDALL, B.D.
late fellow of Mary Magdalen college,
in Oxford,

rector of this parish, and chaplain to
the Right Hon. Montague,
Earl of Abingdon.

He departed this life Feb. 20, 1741-2,
aged 64."

Near the Wightham inscription is a gravestone for Mr. Edward Purcel (brother to the well-known Harry Purcel, so much renowned for his skill in music,) who died Jan. 20, 1717, aged sixty-four years. The lower part of the legend of this stone is obliterated.

The Parish Register of burials begins 1558; but that of marriages and baptisms, in 1559. In 1559, there were four baptisms, four marriages, and five burials. In 1796, six baptisms, six burials, and one wedding only. The following singular entries occur:

CHRISTENINGS, 1579.

"Francis Norys, sonne of William Norris, Esquier,* xix Julii."

“1625. 8 christenings, 2 marriages. It is remarkable that in this yeare, being a time of plague and mortality over. this whole kingdome, there was no buriall. Laus Deo."

"1645. Mr. Edward Sackvile,+ second son to the Right honourable Edward, Earle of Dorset, was married to the Right honourable Brigit Lady Norrice,† the 24 of December."

"1646, April 11th. Mr. Edward Sackvile, second son to the Right honourable Edward, Earle of Dorset, unfortunately slayne by a souldier of Abingdon garrison neere Comner, in the county of Berks. Was buryed May 18th." "Buryed, anno 1658, the Honourable Edward Wray, Esquier, lord of this mannor by the marriage of the Right honourable Lady Elizabeth, daughter and heiress to the

*Lord of the manor.

In gilt letters.

VOL. IV.

M m

Lord Noreys. Dyed at Fritwell, in the county of Oxon, the 20th day of March 1657, and was interred heere, March 29th."

"The Honourable Francis Berty, 4th son to the Right honourable Robert Earl of Lyndsey, and lord high chamberlayne of England, slayne at the first Newbery fight on the King's party, was here interred, October 10th, 1658."

Peregrine Hector, an Indian boy from Bengal, about 8 years old, belonging to the Right honourable Anne, Countess of Abingdon, after having, by her order, been instructed in as much as he was at that age capable of understanding of the Christian religion, was baptized Dec. 29th,

1700."

1797, Aug.

X. Topographical Description of Ellesfield, in Oxfordshire.

MR. URBAN,

Oxford, July 31, 1799.

A RUDE outline of the history of Ellesfield, an Oxfordshire village, is here offered to the perusal of your readers.

*

ELLESFIELD lies about three miles and a half from Oxford, on the summit of a hill, and is remarkable for little else than the beauty of its situation. It has been asserted, without any just ground, that Ellesfield took its name from Allectus, who, it is said, was here slain by Carausius. Several of our Antiquaries too have laboured to give a similar definition of Alchester, as the city of Allectus; and bring the various coins of the usurper found at these places as the barriers to their conjectures. Of Alchester it is not my business here to inquire; but in the modern name of Elles field I see no connection with Allectus, unless in feld; and that did not always denote a battle.

In the Domesday Survey it is written ESEFELD, perhaps from the Saxon est-feld, as it overlooks its neighbourhood.Allowing this, we have here a flagrant instance of the con tempt with which the Norman scribes treated the Saxon

*See Bishop Kennett's Parochial Antiquities, p. 10.

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