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The History Of All Saints' Wickhambrook

Monuments And Memorials

Thomas Higham

The tomb of Sir Thomas Higham

There are two interesting memorials on the south wall of the chancel. The one in the sanctuary (6) is to Thomas Higham of Giffords who died in 1630. He reclines on his side in a coat of armour and the tablet records that he was a heroic soldier in Elizabethan times and wounded at Rouen. It was sculpted in black and white marble by Nicholas Stone, a well-known stonemason who was apprenticed to Hendrik de Keyser, a famous Dutch master mason. His helmet and crest were above the monument until stolen in the 1970s. A replica was made and now hangs above. The original helmet minus the crest was recovered by Norfolk police near Dereham in 1984 and is now in safe-keeping.

[Documentary evidence confirming this monument was carved by Nicholas Stone.]

Inscription on Elizabethan soldier memorial

"Dedicated to the memory of the worthy and well-deserving souldier THOMAS HIGHAM Esquire, a Gentilleman of Ancient Desent and Noble Allyance suited to both with an Heryocal spirit, who in his younger years entered into the profession of arms at the Syege of Nimegen, when Queen Elizabeth of glorious memory received the Hollanders into her protection; and when her most Sacred Majesty sent over the Earl of Essex with forces to establish King Henry IV of France in his throne, this gentleman (sic), in the action before the Cyttye of Roan, was shott with a Bullett and maymed. Her majesty, upon just information of his merrits, renumerated him with a good pension and appointed him to take charge of a company in Ireland, when Sir William Russell went Over Lord Deputy in those warres. He is worthy to be remembered for his good service at the taking in of Belney Breket Etney and Skillen and at the winning of Slego Castell in Connaught, and at the Curlew did brave service when some English commanders were slayne in the attempt against Cleincastell. With much difficulty, and the loss of most of his company, he escaped the enemy's surprise, and at the overthrow given the rebellious Irish, assisted by the Spanish forces at Blackwater, he, fighting single with Sir Edward Stanley, that was a commander of some of those trayterous troopes (and took part against his Soveraigne), gave him the Guerdon of his Disloyalty, and deprived him, both of life and honour. That Kingdome being brought into obedience, this noble souldier returned to England, where he happily and worthely lived till he came to the 63 years of his age and, uppon ye 15 day of August 1630, like a good and faithfull servante, entred into his Maisters and Redeemer's Joy. Sir Robert Knollys of Stanford in the County of Berkshire, Knight and Nephew of the deceased, hath caused this monument to bee erected as a Memoriall due unto the Fame of this well-deserving Gentilleman."

Elizabethan brass dedication

Brass To Thomas Burrough

Brass To Thomas Burrough

The other memorial is an Elizabethan brass in a recess behind a wooden grill (7) dedicated to Thomas Burrough who died in 1597. He is shown between two wives, Elizabeth and Bridget, their nine children grouped above them. He wears a civilian gown and the two wives have Paris caps, ruffs and brocade petticoats.

The shield bearing his arms is in coloured enamels (the only coloured brass remaining in the diocese). The rubbing of this brass is not allowed because it would result in the destruction of the coloured enamel, which has happened elsewhere.

Cradock Monuments

Cradock Monument

Cradock Monument

In the chancel, against the north wall, is a handsome black and Derbyshire marble memorial with the epitaph:

"Neere under this place lyeth buried the Body of Mirable, Widow of Francis Cradock of Wolverhampton in the countye of Stafford, Gentleman, and Daughter of William Byrd* of Denston in the County of Suffolke, Gentleman, who dyed ye 12th Day of August in ye 73 year of her adge and in the yeare of our Lord 1631".

*This is not William Byrd who was a well-known composer of church music but is probably a mis-spelling of the name Burd. William Burd owned Denston Hall and died in 1591.

Within the communion rails (8) are four black marble floor stones with epitaphs for the Warner family and also one for a family of Blackmore of London. In the chancel are two floor stones of black marble with epitaphs for Nathaniel Warner Esq., and Ann, his wife, as are also two of the same description for Nathaniel Barrett Esq., and Sarah his widow.

There are two floor stones to the family of the Cradocks, and also one with a brass plate with this inscription:

"Orate pro anima Georgii Somersett filii Georgii Somersett militis hugus anima propitietur Deus. Amen." (Pray for the soul of George Somersett, son of George Somersett, soldier, whose soul finds favour with God.)

A member of the Cradock family of Gesyns, Samuel Cradock, who - with his widow - was buried at Wickhambrook, was a Bachelor of Divinity and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He was ejected from his living by the Act of Uniformity in 1662 and retired to Gesyns from where he preached in the neighbourhood for 26 years. He wrote several works which were highly praised by Bishop Reynolds and Archbishop Tillotson.

In his 79th year, Samuel Cradock became pastor at Bishop Stortford where he died on 7th October 1706 at the age of 85. He, as well as his widow, was buried at Wickhambrook. In the chancel are tablets to their memories (9):

"Here lyeth ye body of ye Reverend Mr. Samuel Cradock, Bachelor of Divinity, Sometime Fellow of Emmanuel College in Cambridgeshire and afterwards Pastor of North Cadbury, in Somerset who departed this life Octbr. ye 7th 1706 in ye 86th year of his age.

"Here lyeth ye body of Mrs. Honoria Cradock whife of ye Reverend Mr. Samuel Cradock who died February ye 25th 1709 in ye 81st year of her age."

Thomas Priest died in Gesyns, Wickhambrook, 22nd November 1772. He married Elizabeth Cradock in 1730 who died in 1763. Mr Priest left the estate of Gesyns to be sold. There is a memorial plate to the Revd Thomas Priest (on the exterior North-East corner of the Sanctuary wall) who built what is now the United Reformed Church in Wickhambrook, and was minister to the Non-Conformists (Protestant Dissenters):

"In memory of the Revd Thomas Priest who departed this life ye 22nd of Nov 1772 in the 73rd year of his age. He marryd the daughter of Walter Cradock Esq and was pastor to a society of Protestant dissenter in this parish. 42 years a man of the eminent talents and superior attainment rich in the studies of science intimate with ye grace, meek and lowly in disposition upright amiable and holy in the walk of exemplary charity and universal benevolence mighty in knowledge of the scriptures ludicrous in explaining its precepts a pattern to the believers in every good work. In the resurrection he shall stand again upon ye earth free from all imperfection triumph over death crowned with glory and filled with felicity such honour is in reserve for all saints."

Dated Grave Stones

Oldest grave stone

Dated grave headstones do not appear in churchyards until the 17th century. The Revd Bill Davis, having removed a dense clump of very old yew trees which had filled the south side of the churchyard, discovered a headstone which must be one of the earliest in existence in the churchyard. The inscription on it (as near as can be deciphered) is as follows:

Ruth Partridge, Daughter of William Pickering Minister of Denham and wife of Daniel Partridge Mercer. Died 7th Feb. 1693 aged 39 years.

The stone, which is beautifully decorated with carvings of leaves and the "Emblems of Mortality", has now been placed in the north porch and secured to the wall.

Other Dedications

As in most churches there are many items dedicated to the memory of loved ones or people who were greatly revered by all. The following is a list of items dedicated to various people in the church.


As in most churches there are many examples of graffiti - a summary list.

Last Modified Saturday 02 September 2023