Analysis of the sources which relate to the origin of our Dedication
Late in the 1st century AD (Ic) S Thomas the Apostle was killed by a priest’s sword in Madras (J de V). His emblem is a single vertical spear, blade upwards or alternatively a Tsquare. Two spears are said to indicate torture, not death. I find this rather vague but crossed spears were used in 1946 in Stambourne on a carved oak reredos & on a green frontal some time after 1934.
|779 – 794||St Ethelred was never formally canonised [Oxford Dictionary of English Church] In the early church the faithful venerated the martyrs, then the confessors & in time a culture of a saint, frequently of local origin, developed, which spread. Most of the East Anglian Saint Kings were created only by local consent.|
|993||Pope John XV made the first historically attested Canonisation of Ulrich of Augsburg.|
|1085||Our Norman tower was built; from its character I feel sure it was originally for defence.|
|1088||Stanburna is in the Essexia section of Little Domesday but it does not mention the church.|
|1118||21 December; birth of Becket.|
|1146 to 1154||Becket was with Theobald who made him a deacon & then Archdeacon of Canterbury.|
|1165||made Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon after this writes ‘the charter of Thomas Becket’ (as per quotation by Newcourt) which records:|
Theobald de Stanburn giving 3 acres to Stoke prii.(sic) &
two parts of the tythes of Fulco de Blenda in the same par.(sic)does
|1170||29 December; Becket murdered in Christchurch Cathedral, Canterbury.|
Before this time Geoff de Mandeville, 3d Earl of Essex, who was also the owner of our Manor of Moone Hall had been given a warrant by the King to arrest Becket & bring him to Winchester for trial [the title & estates, principally @ Walden, removed by Stephen, had been restored by K Hy II to his friend; he was also owner of Moone Hall]
Richard Brito [de Brito; Bret; &c] was probably the actual killer. A William Brito, at about the time of the murder, gave lands in Yeldham to the monks of Stoke. It is suggested he had lands in Somerset but the name is common & signifies only a man of Breton origin.
In this year P Alexr III writes to Canute of Sweden that noone should be venerated a saint without the authority of the church. Gregory XI put this in his decretals and it became Western Canon Law after Becket was canonised. v.i.
|1170 fl.(sic)||Wm Fitzstephen writes a, purported, eyewitness account. He gives the first of several versions of the Archbishop’s last words but he does not mention S Denys.|
|1173||Pope Alexander canonises Becket in Lent as a ‘ Holy Martyr of the Church ‘. He was therefore one of the very first formally to be canonised & probably the first in England.|
|1174||2 July Alexander III (1159 1181) in his Bull of Conf. of all the Churches &c confirms that our Rectory was with the College of S John the Baptist at Stoke by Clare. I do not know whether this Bull (ex Newcourt) gives us a dedication too. The College was a cell of the Abbey of S Peter at Westminster & there is still a portcullis in diaper on the dovecote by its main gate.|
|1189-1206||The Cartulary of Stoke by Clare was written between these dates. A photocopy from vols 4 6 of the edn of C Harper Bell & R Mortimer was sent to me by Melanie Barber, Archivist at Lambeth Palace Library. It says:|
Eustace de Greinville, to the monks in free alms of St Peter’s church, Stanburn, his tythes of hay
The charter was placed at Stoke. Dean Gilbert de Gelham (now Gt & Lit Yeldham, with which last year we formed a combined benefice) et all testibus. This is our earliest reference to S Peter. It is also the only one I know of referring to our having monks: I had deduced that we did from evidence of worn beams in the upper structure of the nave suggesting that there had been a dormer there.
|1200 (circa)||The Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Veragine quotes Becket’s last words as:|
I commend myself and the cause of the church to God, the BVM, S Denis & all the saints…
This is the same as in the account of Fitzstephen with the addition of S Denis. Eliot quotes it thus but with the addition of John the Baptist & SS Peter & Paul. Anouilh does not mention S Denis, nor does the account in the historical novel of Thomas by Shelley Mydans.
|1220||7 July Becket’s shrine completed & his remains translated. Stambourne is on a natural route from Lincoln (which has a large concentration of dedications to Becket , second only to Somerset) via Cambridge, Shenfield (where 2 miracles are recorded) & Grays ferry to Canterbury.|
The first site of the martyr’s tomb [not the overnight resting place of the bloody corse] was between the altars of St Augustine & John the Baptist within the Cathedral, the patrons of the twin churches in Stoke belonging to the Priory that owned our advowson at the time. [This Augustine is however, probably Hippo, not Canterbury; the Baptist had many dedications hereabouts, e.g. Lt Yeldham].
|1277-8||Robert de Redeswell was here: (Hennessy quoting the de Banco Roll, no 23, m 50) He was probably a lay rector who owned the church property. There is a canting reference to Ridgewell in the medieval stained glass of our great East window.|
|1291||Taxatio Ecclesiasticus Angliae et Wallae published “auctoritate Pope Nicholas IV” which had been given in 1288. It was reprinted for King Geo III in 1802 with a preface by John Caley|
Stanburn is included on 16b Decanat de Hengham.
It is spelt Stanebourn is on 18b Archid: Lond. & Middx.
Stoke juxta Clare is on 8b but mentions only Syburne (sic) in Dioc. Roff [is this us ?]
The only dedications I can see in this text are in small parishes in the large cities.
|XIIIc||2 miracles in Becket’s name are recorded in Shenfield nr Brentwood 20 mi down the London rd.|
|XIVc||Fine & interesting allegorical, bestial & floral carvings were cut into the ends & brackets of our massive beams in the nave. I see no unequivocal emblems attributable to specific saints but a case can be made for the A L O E of the evangelists.|
|1307||onwards In a dozen mentions of Stambourne in the Patent Rolls & Inquisitions postmortem there is no mention of any dedications before 1549 q.v.|
|1327||The name of Smyth is not among the two dozen landowners in the Lay Subsidy.|
|1340c.||Q 12 is dated by Thos Stanburn on the Feast of the Translocation of St Thomas the martyr 1375 The Blessed Thomas Netter was born in Saffron Walden. He became a Carmelite monk and proceeded DD Oxon in 1400. He travelled with Hy V, to whom he was confessor. The king died in his arms @ Chinon in 1422. Netter was then appointed tutor to Hy VI. He died @ Rouen on 2 Nov 1430 when on a visit with this King. Though he was never formally canonised a strong local cult of ” St Thomas ” developed in North Essex. Were this man the Seynt Thomas of our Gild [an attractive but quite unsubstantiated hypothesis] it would provide the only explanation I can conjure up for a picture of the St of Lancaster on our screen.|
|1389||Westlake (p 150) quotes certificates nos 53 60 of parish gilds in Essex. These 8 gilds are all in big places; none is nearby and none is dedicated to St Thomas.|
|XVc||The massive bell cage which still exists was made for the four bells then hung (Sloman).|
[The dedication to Becket rests heavily on the bells; see chapter 7 pp 2430 for this evidence]
|1450c.||There is no actual date. The Cartulary of the Augustinian Friars of Clare mentions Stambourne right at the end of fo.61a no 200.A We are quoted as the first stop in the limitation of Finchingfield which journeys through some 30 vills via Dunmow, Takeley, Chigwell, Hatfield & Gosfield: for none of these vills is any dedication given.|
[Limitors were individual Friars going on various circuits begging; hence I suppose ‘Limitations’ & possibly ‘mendicancy’ too]
|1457||The will of Margaret Stoteville (surely this “t” must be a misreading for a “k“), quoted by Challoner Smith in his book of Newcourt addenda leaves a bequest to St Peter’s church Stambourne.|
|1503||Prior to this date a chapel of the Crutched Friars at Gt Welnetham, which is some 15 mi NE of us on the road from Bury to Melford, was dedicated to Seynt Thomas Becket. This dedication now attaches to the parish church there. A will of 1462 shows this church was earlier dedicated to S Mary the Virgin (& another will in the same year says that the Lit Welnetham church was to S Mary Magdalen). In a letter in 1988 Rector John Hobbs opined that our dedication was probably to the two great apostles with their contrasting modes of faith. He claimed for his church the ‘much rarer’ dedication to Becket transferred from the Crutched Friars as he is on the pilgrims route to Canterbury. I find the stories of the two villages very similar we too are on pilgrim route & had a chapel; the main difference is that we have added back our earlier & main dedication after a period of Victorian apostasy (vide 1549 & 1899 for figures; in fact Becket is the commoner dedication).|
|(1509-47 Hy VIII reigns; 152632 Bainbridge was Rector)|
|1530c||The last major extension was carried out by Bainbridge & financed by Hy MacWilliam. The Rector was cultured & powerful being also Dean of Aula Sancta Katarina in Cambridge. McW owned all 3 manors by now & was “the good benefactor of this church” of the legend on the rail of the south part of the screen. The 4 panels on the north part retain their paintings of S Denys; S George; S Edmund; Hy VI: the 4 on the south side are plain & were probably replaced by Master in 1874. (I allow myself to hypothesise that these may have been S Peter; Becket; John the Baptist for Clare; S Catherine for the Rector; but there is absolutely no evidence. The similar state of the screen in S Andrews, our sister church has no relevance whatsoever). The otherwise unexplained S Denys painting is another hint at a connection with Becket.|
|1534||The Act of Supremacy abolished papal jurisdiction.|
|1535||Sir Thomas More was executed “in mid-year”. Since he was not however canonised until 1935 he cannot be the Thomas of our dedication.|
|1538||16 Nov: Hy VIII wrote in his own hand that ‘Becket’s images be avoided out of all churches, chapels & other places’; that ‘he be no longer esteemed a saint’; and his ‘name to be erased from all liturgical books’|
Temp: Henry VIII Valor Ecclesiasticus has this form of dating on its cover. I understand from Sarah Dodgson & the London Library catalogue that this is the same work as Liber Regis. Melanie Barber’, a librarian of Lambeth Palace says in her letter:
‘the dedication is still given as S Peter ‘ quoting from an edition of 1786 by John Bacon in her library. The edition in the Athenaeum Library is of 6 vols printed for the Record Commission 181034; Ed J Caley; introduction by Joseph Hunter. J H refers to a previous edn having done some damage to the material; which damage he has tried, but not been able completely, to repair. In this edn:
Stambourne, spelt thus, is on p 441 of vol I
Our entry is also listed on p 58 of the index vol VI
Stanbourne & Stanbo’r’n are listed under Stoke on p 469 of vol III
I cannot see any other category in which we could appear; even these 3 entries are not all in the index. In our edn then I cannot find any reference to our dedication
as an aside I see it gives the spelling of the name of the last Dean of Stoke, whom I take to be Bainbridge’s patron, as Robt’us SHYRTON Doct’ Decanus IB’M)
Letters & Papers (= L & P) of Hy VIII in the Camden edn say Becket’s bootes & penneknyfe’ are at S Edmundsbury.
(There were six guilds in nearby Long Melford one of which was dedicated to Becket, thus further strengthening the local connection with the Martyr.)
(1547-53 Reign of Ed VI; RGSG charter was 1552 155978 Rector Thos Paynell cl.)
|1546||Dissolution of the Coll: de Stoke. 90 colleges were closed in the later wave of 15467 when K Edwd VI appropriated the advowson. The data on when it came into the administration of the Duchy of Lancaster are contradictory; V.C.H. says it was 1546/7. 90 colleges, 110 hospitals & 2374 gilds closed; on the death of Hy VIII the process was reinstated & they were transferred to Ed VI|
|1549||10 April Ed VI grants Seynt Thomas Free chappell to Ralph Aysgarde & Thomas Smythe (v.i.1761) There was a court official of this name at the time.|
Smith, Smyth & variants is one of our oldest names. It first appears in the registers, which survive from 1559, in 1563. Though Thomas Smythe is not himself there it seems probable that he was a local man of substance. I hypothesise that he gave the bell to the parish church together with the dedication to St Thomas on the demolition of the chapel he had bought.
I believe this to have been a grant of the ‘gild’ chapel on the south side of the Yeldham road but I can see no trace of it now. The two probable sites are:
i) among the barns of Mill Farm, an old site, now rebuilt, near the border with Toppesfield
ii) just W of Greenfields cottages where modern barns occupy part of the site of the manor house of Greinvilles; these cottages have some massive old beams
Muilman in 1770 seems to have copied Morants account just published. He adds “ the wooden lanthorn looks very mean…. it contains one small bell. “ Though this seems to refer to the church it is so improbable that it probably describes the chapel. There are other errors of fact in his text so it is probably all secondhand.
There is a persistent legend, first appearing in Morant in 1761, that: ” the 5th bell, which is the oldest, bears the inscription “Sancte Thoma ora pro nobis” Our oldest bell now is dated 1583. It has no inscription. I guess this legend refers to the chapel bell.
There is a later suggestion that it was incorporated in the final recasting of one of our existing bells in 1734. See chapter 7 & Kelly’s Directory 1926.
|1629||The only surviving Bishop’s Transcript for our parish that I can trace was written by a clerk & signed by Rector John Paynell it is an exact copy of the register for 1629 and bears no dedication.|
|1643/4||6 Jan Will Dowsing went to Clare as Parliamentary Visitor for East Anglia even though the Commonwealth did not begin until 1649. He did much destruction there, in Haverhill & elsewhere. There is however no written evidence that he came to Stambourne though our window was clearly largely destroyed somewhen after 1540.|
|1662/3||Two appointments in Lib: Reg: Henchman & one in the Patent Rolls are to the Rectoria of Stambourne & give no dedication for the church (Guildhall Library & PRO, Chancery Lane).|
|1664||6 September Primo visitatione Humphredo Henchman to Hedingham deanery gives simply: Stamborne Rect: Mr Robert Cock (this may be Cock’s signature; there is no dedication). It is ref 9537/16 in the Guildhall library; 9537/17 is on churchwardens and is undated; so is 9537/21, said to be of 1677. I could not find either of the last two in 1987. 9539C is titled ‘ Assenters ‘. Its pages are much frayed & do not appear to be arranged in a geographical order. I could find no dedications therein & it did not seem to be worth more study. |
99531/15 is Juxon in Reg: Lib: Laud
|1663-67||Hearth Tax records in the PRO have variously: Stamborner Stamborn Stamborn. The pages mention, variously, Havers Gent (sic) & Mr Robert Cork but not the church itself nor any dedication for the parish. See chapter 6.|
|1700?||White Kennet has a long paragraph on Cook & Havers with marginal notes but describes them simply as of ‘Stamborne Parish’.|
|1700||Newcourt writes the text for Stambourn which is later published in vol II of Repertorium Ecclesiasticum in 1710. In his own brackets he has:|
(ded. to S Thomas Ap, or as I find in the London Registry, S Peter, Ap.)
|1705||3 bells have no dedications|
|1730||Our lovely Geo II silver cup & patten are finely engraved with a sunburst & the words|
& bear no other text or dedication
|1734||Thomas Gardiner made our 5th, great, 33″ tenor, bell; it bears no dedication.|
|1731||The Cole Bequest, by the wife of a nearby farmer, is left to 4 parishes; our portion is to the Rector of Stambourne the will does not mention the dedication of his church.|
|1742||Ectoris Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticum written by Browne Willis. It is said that the tables in this book form the basis of Foster’s Dedications (v.i.1899) Willis says that “monastic dedications are not changed as frequently as parish churches ” clearly he thinks the latter often were.|
|1761||Morant publishes on Hinckford separately; see text in chapter 27, p 7.26. I interpret these data to imply that the Smythe bell was hung in a lighter weight addition to the cage about 1549; it was recast in 1734 and incorporated into our present tenor bell, the inscription on it not being replaced.|
|1770||The Muilman publication discusses the wooden cage on the roof, probably of the gild chapel.|
|1777||Chapman & Andre printed a map @ 1 in to 1 mile. The churches drawn on it are not named.|
|1786||Liber Regis vel Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticum by John Bacon Esq, Receiver of the First Fruits. It was printed privately for him so is presumably the work to which Caley refers disparagingly. It calls us Stamborn R. (St Peter) but neither Sturmer nor Tilbury are given dedications. He gives in his L H Column: ‘King’s Books’ £ 15 0 0 and on the R H S ‘Yearly Tenths’ £1 10 0 . These are the same figures as in the nearfacsimile Valor where they are written £ xv & £s xxx d. Bacon also gives five other figures and ends ‘The KING as Duke of Lancaster’. Clearly he was publishing data that he was entitled to have together with some additions & new material. They did indeed originate in the Valor but the evidence I have does not justify saying the two books are the same. v.s. Lambeth Library.|
|1802||K Geo III has Taxatio Ecclesiastica of 1291 q.v. reprinted. I see no dedications herein. Also about this time our two Sheffield plate salvers were engraved simply|
|1810-1834||The six ” Auctoritate ” volumes of the Valor Ecclesiasticus were printed; v.s. “Temp H VIII ” & 1786.|
|1821||Dugdale’s Monasticum, in the reprinted edition in the Athenaeum, does not mention Stambourne, even in its entry on Stoke. This is quite long and records that it is a cell of St Peter’s Abbey, Westminster. To this day there is a Portcullis in diaper on the large, square Tudor dovecote close to the main gate. It is said to be Anne Bullen’s badge but H VIII did not own it in her lifetime.|
|1837||Our Tithe Survey and map were made. It bears a drawing of the church but it is not named.|
|1840||Ordnance survey of Essex started, based on Chapman & Andre. Of the many editions I have or have seen, those up to 6″ do not name the church. The 23″ of 1873 clearly has St Peter as does the 19″ of approximately 1920.|
|1841||The census records that the 88 y.o. clerk Parminter occupies Chapel cottage. His was such a staunch Anglican family, deriving from Rector Wm Thompson in 1680, that this must be the house represented in the Tithe map by a blob in a copse on the Yeldham Road: not one of Spurgeon’s almshouses in Chapel End. It confirms the story of a Gild Chapel & suggests its site.|
|1848||Whites Directory; the earliest I have seen. It says:|
The Church (St Thomas) massive tower containing five bells It is an ancient structure and has a guild or free chapel dedicated to St Thomas
This is the only suggestion known to me that the guild chapel belonged to the parish church. The bells are not described.
|1860||The deeds of gift of land for the school refer exclusively to St Thomas. They say that it first met in an old chapel in the Hall but noone now knows where it was. The land of the Quaker Fry’s of Bristol did then extend down the Yeldham road and this could be the chapel referred to by Morant. They were however Quakers and may have built themselves a Meeting house that has now become just another farm building.|
|1868||3 November Alfred Master became Rector.|
|1869||The wheel of the tenor bell was made by S. Coppin (Church Bells of Essex: Master’s diary) This could have been the time of resiting the tenor bell in the central position v.s.1734.|
|1874||January Master distributed a printed subscription sheet headed|
PARISH CHURCH OF ST THOMAS STAMBOURNE ESSEX
for a copy of which I am indebted to M.B. of Lambeth Library. Master left us a clear copperplate foolscap vellumbound notebook but no sheet had survived here. He never uses any dedication in it even for his own installation.
|1876||P.O.Directory repeats Sancta Thomas &c|
|1895||18 May Foundation of the Fransiscan Church of St Thomas of Canterbury in Woodford Green so the Martyr was still in the Roman Catholic calendar then. The centenary was on 29 December 1995.|
|1899||Studies in Church Dedication by Francis Arnold Foster. v.s. 1742. In her list of parishes we are given the dedication of St Peter, category A [A = ancient or prereformation]. This saint does have 11 double dedications but none is conjoined with any of the possible thirteen Thomases. Becket has 3 double dedications and Didymus, one. None is with Peter & we are not included in any of them.|
She says on p 86 that dedications to St Thomas the Apostle are characteristic of modern times . In ancient times there were seventy dedications to Becket but ” it is difficult to find seven to his greater namesake.” There are thirty more unqualified dedications & ” experience shows that St Thomas is usually a shortened form of St Thomas of Canterbury”. This gives us 100 to 7 odds in favour of Becket. She gives a private letter from a Mr Kerslake (an authority I have been unable to identify) as saying: ” I would not venture to say that all dedications to St Thomas were to St Thomas of Canterbury, but most English ones were and possibly all.” She also notes that as in the Mercer’s chapel, Becket sometimes appears as St Thomas Acon (i.e. Acres). I have not encountered this soubriquet elsewhere but the word does appear hereabouts in the priory in nearby Clare for Joan of Acres lived and is buried there. Foster’s figures do not correspond closely with Bond’s q.v. though he quotes her extensively.
|1902||Kelly’s Directory repeats the canard.|
|1904||The Royal Commission on Historical Monuments gives us simply as St Peter.|
|1911||Sale map of Berwick Hall has our church at its margin as St Thomas (t.c.).|
|1912||Dedications & Patron Sains of English Churches by F Bond. We are not mentioned by any form of the name of our parish. He has two main tables both of which seem to be based on prereformation data, perhaps even XIIc. The earlier table [p17] gives an order of popularity and the later lists bell dedications in churches and chapels it is difficult to distinguish which is which.|
|2||All saints, 1217 + All Hallows 38 =||1255||40|
|3||S Peter 1129 + S Peter ad vinc: =||1140||154|
|6||S John the Baptist||495||260|
|22||Becket[Foster gives 69]||80||most of them|
|31||S Thomas Ap: [Foster gives 29]||46||0|
|Bond claims that there is a rough agreement in order of frequency of dedications of churches and of bells but that there is little correspondence of identical dedications within a steeple & its bells. This seems to be based on the high figures for the common corresponding dedications to St Catherine. For Becket, at least, he specifically says most of the buildings did have identically dedicated bells as, originally, I suppose, did the gild chapel in Stambourne and later, our Parish church [v.s. 1549].|
|1916||Transactions of the Essex Arch: Soc: 2d ser:XVI p117 has an early reference to the existence of St Thomas Chappell.|
|1919||Parish Gilds of Medieval England by H.F.Westlake says that dedications were mainly to Becket before the Reformation v.s. 1389 & 1546.|
|1925||Church Plate of Essex Canon Pressey heads our entry: |
Stambourne St Peter
|1926||Kelly’s Directory has:|
A Norman Tower,…. a clock & five bells one of which is inscribed*”Sancte Thoma ora pro nobis”* this bell was recast in 1734.
This ambiguous statement, for which no authority is given, is the first since Morant wrote in 1761 that there was this inscription, to suggest that none of the bells is, now, in fact so inscribed. The reference to the Jubilee Clock of 1887 suggest that someone may actually have seen the church. The Rector 1923 1930 was Hy Taylor, B.A.Durham, who is one of our more shadowy figures.
|1934-1959||In the Rectorship of H E A Horn, MA a beautifully worked green frontal was made; the gold thread is still brilliant but the green colour much faded. I guess this to be the work of his sister, Miss Horn who lived here. v.i.1962. Later they had a housekeeper, Miss Thomas [the name keeps recurring; many girls have also been christened Thomasina] who is recorded in the Council minutes as ‘contributing’ to the frontal’. It bears three roundels:|
(CROSSED KEYS) (THREE FISHES) (CROSSED SPEARS)
This seems to be a representation of a phrase in Morant and the crossed spears are used for symmetry & artistic effect. The central symbol may be a reference to Becket, for he instituted the Feast of Trinity to commemorate his own installation: the liturgical colour for it is green. I deduce from other references that Horn did own a copy of Morant but I do not value this lovely work as evidence.
|1933 & 1937||The entries in Kelly repeat that of 1926.|
|1946||This date is carved on an oak reredos [now used as an altar footing] 6 ft x 6″ x 6″. It is carved:|
CROSSED KEYS ST PETER + ST THOMAS CROSSED SPEARS
I cannot tell which was made first; clearly both had the same inspiration, probably from Rector Horn.
|1952||March 5 Notes on the History of Stambourne Church & Parish published by Horn. He writes that the church is dedicated to St Thomas [unspecified] and St Peter, in that order. He also prints|
5 bells, one of which is inscribed ‘ Sancte Thoma ora pro notis’(sic)
There are also some other errors; it was these that sent me up into the bell-chamber.
|1962||July 17 Miss Horn left a small bequest to ‘The Parish of St Peter & St Thomas’ (in that order).|
|1963||We came to Stambourne. The notice board, which seemed to be of an age to have been erected by Horn, had a triangular cap with the legend:|
ST PETER AND ST THOMAS STAMBOURNE
This board blew down in the gale of September 1994; it was repaired using the back of a pew and preserving its cap.
|1975-1986||In a correspondence with the Church Commissioners concerning a sum of £ 41,968.03 of endowment monies they made no mention of any dedication.|
|1980||The Alternative Service reinstated Becket into the liturgy but he was not put into the Book of Common Prayer from which he had been absent since its inception by King Edward VI.|
|1986-7||Correspondence with Peter Clarke of the office of the Duchy of Lancaster produced only these references from the Deputy Keeper of the Records:|
Halstead Manor granted to Marquis Macllaughlin; 3 Eliz I
Rentals & Surveys Essex Public Record Office DL 43
Colleges & Charities: Certificates of all in Essex DL 38/3; 2 Edward Vi
The last of these will be the source of Westlake’s table. I did not pursue the other two improbable sources. We are not mentioned in the Official History of the Duchy in the Athenaeum library.
|1988||The 7th edition of my notes on the Church says “No unequivocal attribution has been found”.|
|1988/89||The ‘Bennett’ Crockford confirms that our dedication is still unique. Analysis by PME shews that in the churches existing in 1988 there are 50 dedications to Becket against 128 to Thomas designated the Apostle or unspecified. This is the reverse order to Pre-reformation foundations alone. She found no dedications of any kind to Peter and Thomas jointly.|
The distribution of dedications to Becket by Diocese is :
Exeter 7 dedications
Lincoln, Bath & Wells, Sarum 5 each
St Albans 4
Bristol, Hereford & Oxford 2 each
15 other dioceses 1 each
East Anglia is therefore quite a common area for this dedication but the main concentration is in the West country nowadays.
|1990||The purple hangings made by Christine Hoad in memory of Alan show the crossed spears and keys copied from the reredos & green frontal. I agreed to their use at that time as I had not sufficient evidence to counterbalance the existing tradition; like the earlier work, they are not historical evidence. Furthermore, two spears crossed are held to indicate torture & do not signify the Apostle who claims one only.|
|1994||Melanie Barber, Assistant Librarian @ Lambeth Palace, writes that the Guildhall is more likely than themselves to be the London Registry of Newcourt’s note. My studies there have not yielded the source he quotes: as he was writing not long after the ukase of Henry VII the official record would not have mentioned Becket in any event. She also says that Halstead is a Canterbury Peculiar so we probably were dedicated to Becket. Braintree is but I cannot confirm this for Halstead. She sent the leaflet by Master & directed me to the reprint of the Stoke charters on which much of this is based.|
Return to Chapter 2 – Early history