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The History Of All Saints' Wickhambrook

Higham Monument by Nicholas Stone

Extract from "Walpole Society" - Vol 8. Oxford University Press 1919. WH Spirs. The notebook and account book of Nicholas Stone. Based on the originals in the Sir John Soame Museum in Lincolns Inn Field.


fol. 14.

In 1630 I mad a tomb for Capetayn Hiham and set it up in Esex by CIar for the which I had payed me by Ser Rob: Knolles 100 £.

1630. Mural monument to Captain Thomas Higham in all saints' church, Wickhambrook, co. Suffolk. Plate xvii (a).

Stone apparently forgot the name of the church in which he erected this monument, and his description of the locality is rather misleading, as instead of being in Essex the church is in a village in Suffolk some seven miles north of Clare. The monument, which is placed against the south wall of the chancel, consists of an altar-tomb with shaped corner-stones similar in character to those which Stone used in the Villiers monument erected at Westminster in the following year. On the black marble altar-slab lies the much-mutilated effigy of Thomas Higham in plate armour, trunk hose, collar, sash across the right shoulder, and sword. He reclines partly on his left side, his right hand resting on his body and his left hand holding his sword-hilt. Against the wall, above the effigy, is an inscription-panel flanked by two pilasters, but the upper part of the monument, which consisted, probably, of an entablature with pediment, &c., is gone. It is constructed of alabaster and black and red marbles.

Thomas Higham was a valiant soldier in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He served at an early age in a campaign in the Netherlands, and again in France in 1590 under the Earl of Essex, who was sent by Elizabeth to the assistance of Henry IV. Here in the action before Rouen he was severely wounded, and in recognition of his services he received a pension. He was actively engaged during the Irish Rebellion of 1599, after which he retired into private life and died at Giffords, his estate in Wickhambrook, in 1630 at the age of 63. Sir Robert Knollys, who erected the monument, was his nephew.

Last Modified Thursday 05 May 2011