Appendix III. The old church in 1898 and monumental inscriptions in churchyard

On 5th August 1898—over forty-three years ago—I visited Colston Bassett old church and copied all monumental inscriptions in the churchyard prior to 1813, after which age at death is given in the parish registers, so that this information, so im­portant in fixing the identity of individuals or tracing their origin, is obtainable from another source.

At that date I made the following notes about the then condition of the ruined church, which may be of sufficient interest to record here.

The church is roofless. Heaps of debris lie within the walls. Hemlock and elder grow in nave and aisle. Thistles and nettles in the chancel. In the south transept a rabbit sprang from under my feet and sought refuge in a heap of stones and rubbish in the nave. The dead body of a half-fledged magpie lay on the ground alongside the bell-hammers and the Royal Arms, the canvas of the latter torn to shreds.

Under the tower lies the iron parish chest which had form­erly contained the registers and documents. Its lid, which is cracked, bears this inscription:-


The church had been cruciform, with transepts and side aisles, but the North aisle and transept must have been taken down long ago, their arches being filled up with stone-built masonry, through which were pierced round topped windows; excepting the smallest arch next the tower, in which is a small north door with tiny window over. Glass, but not coloured, still remains in the windows, through the broken panes of which ivy has forced its way. The masonry of the battlemented tower appears unsafe.

I could see no trace of any monumental inscriptions, or of any mural tablet, slab, brass, or tomb, except that on the floor was lying a slate slab to Mrs. Anna Church, dau. of Mrs. Sarah Austin, who "obiit 21 Octo: 1777 aetat 76" "Requiescat in pace." [Two Golding floorstones escaped me, as they were then covered with debris. They have since been found and removed to the churchyard, so are included in. the appended list of monumental inscriptions.]

The east end and part of the walls of the church are built of brick on the inside, the rest of the church of stone throughout. There is a small piscina at the east end of the south wall of the cnancel and another in the end of the south transept. T.M.B.

Tombstone and headstone inscriptions extant in Colston Bassett Churchyard 5th Aug. 1898.


Sarah, relict of Thomas, gent. d. 18 Nov. 1761


in 97th year [see also under CHURCH].


John, d. Friday 11 Apr. 1823, in his 5th year.


"This stone, to commemorate the fortitude


with which he bore his sufferings, and to


remind us of the uncertainty of life, was


placed by order of Henry B. Martin, who


calling to see him during his illness, was


unfortunately witness of his departure"


Ferneough, d. 4 Mch. 1799, aged 56.


Mary, wife of Ferneough, d. 8 Oct. 1791,


aged 41.


Andrew, of this parish, gent. d. 29 Aug. 1824


in 79th year.


Sophia Charlotte, his wife, d. 26 Aug. 1830,


in 67th year.


Ann, wife of Thomas, d. 8 July, 1748, aged 39.


Elizabeth, wife of Thomas, d. 4 Dec. 1775,


aged 77.


Thomas, d. 1st Jan. 1775, aged 75.    .


Mary, daughter of John and Ann, d. 24 Nov.


1727, aged 29.


Henry, d. 27 Feb.  1842, aged 23.


Sarah Ann, sister of above, d. 17 Apr. 1842,


aged 14.


"Peace be with them."


John, d. 25 Nov. 1826, aged 67.


Sarah, his wife, d. 16 March 1797, aged 39.


"Ye who come our graves to view,


Think the glass still runs for you;


Think on death, for die you must,


And, like us, return to dust:


Seek your Saviour  for your  friend,


Seek that life which has no end.


John (who for upwards of 40 years was Clerk


of this Parish) d. 28 Aug. 1858, aged 03.


"Esteemed for his many virtues, generous


and   open-hearted, he lived respected  and


died universally lamented."


Sarah, his wife, d. 18 Sept. 1877, aged 79.


Revd.Joshua, "for 53 years vicar of this


parish" Born 4 Oct. 1810, died 30 Apr. 1888.


Joshua, his father, rector of Gamston, also


formerly vicar of Colston Bassett, d. 12 Mch.




"erected by his surviving sisters."


Jonathan, d. 18 July 1798, aged 86.


Rebecca, his wife, d. 17 Apr. 1763, aged 61.


Susannah, wife of Jonathan, d. 16 Mch. 1784,


aged 48.


Jonathan, d. 18 Nov. 1798, aged 53.


Thomas,   d. 15 Apr. 1798. aged 59.


Sarah, wife of Thomas, d. 18 Feb. 1811, aged




John, senior, d. 6 Feb. 1750, aged 47.


John, son of John and Sarah, d. 18 Dec. 1756,


aged 18.


Ann Eliz. wife of Charles, d. 22 Oct. 1729,


aged 62.


Anna, dau. of Mrs Sarah Austin, d. 21 Oct.


1777, aged 76.


(on tablet within  church,  see headnote).


Charles, junior, d. 30 Nov.  1736, aged 34.




Mary, wife of Thomas, d. 18 June 1757, aged




"Hard pangs of labour gave Benoni birth,


The Child of Sorrow caused ye Mother's




Thomas, d. 29 Oct. 1775, aged 75.


John, son of Charles and Ann, d. 30 Jan.


1793, aged 13.


Ann, relict of Charles, d. 15 Nov. 1793, aged 38


Charles, d. 26 Mch. 1791, aged 47.


"also two children, Charles and Elizabeth,


who died in  their minority."


Thomas, son of Charles and Ann, d. 30 Nov.


1798, aged 21.


Ann, d. of Charles and Ann, d. 6 July 1800,


aged 16.


Thomas,   d. 22 Aug. 1683.


Ann, wife of John, d. 18 May 1761, aged 63.


Thomas, son of Thomas and Mary, d. 8 Dec.


1781, aged 15.


Ann Hoe, dau. of Thomas and Mary, d. 4 Oct.


1803, aged 36.


Thomas, d. 24 Jan.   1769, aged 42.


Mary, wife of Thomas, d. 12 Apr. 1784, aged




John, junior, d. 20 Nov. 1753, aged 24.


John, d. 25 Feb. 1737, aged 37.


Mary, d. of John and Ann, d. 28 Mch. 1799,


aged 12.                                                .


"Sleep on thou fair, and wait th'almighty's




Then rise, unchanged, and be an angel




Margaret, wife of Richard, d. 23 July 1733,'


aged 44.


Ann, wife of William, d. 9 Sept 1721.


(no age given, also William Geesing, an infant)


Mary, wife of William, d. 1 Sept. 1727, aged 29


also  Ann  and  Robert, both infants.


William, d. 26 Nov. 1809, aged 67.

[Two floor slabs in the church, hidden under the debris when the above abstracts were made in 1S9S, were removed and erected as headstones in the churchyard about 1924:—


Elizabeth, second dau. of Charles Golding,

knight, d. in London 29 July 1685, in her


21st year.



Mary, d. of James Ravenscroft, esq. and wife


of Charles Golding, knight, d. 13 Feb.



in her 53rd year.]



See under SLEIGHT.



Thomas d. 10 Dec. 1812, aged 62.


Elizabeth, wife of Thomas, d. 15 July



aged 35.



Joseph, d. 26 June 1761, aged 62.



Charles, d. 27 Apr.  1766, aged 61.


Susanna, wife of Charles, d. 18 Sept.



aged 60.



Ann, dau. of Henry and Mary, d. 5 Feb.



aged 28.


Mary, dau. of Henry and Mary, d. 4 July



aged 16.



John, d. 14 Aug. 1752, aged 28.



John, d. 15 Mch. 1785, aged 70.


Sarah, wife of John, d. 23 Nov. 1784, aged 67.


George Bohun, esquire, captain in her Majesty's Navy, C.B., d. 14 Oct. 1854, aged 55

Mary Ann, 6th dau ,of George Bohun Martin . esq. and Sabella his wife; d. 18 Nov. 1859, aged 10.

Henry Burgess Martin, esq. J.P. late of this place, who died at his residence, East Bridg-ford, 9 June 1889, aged 84.

Henry, son of Henry Martin, esq. d. 28 Aug. 1867, aged 6 months; also Isabella, Lucy, Frank and Maria, also his children, who died in their infancy.


William, junior, d. 23 Oct. 1773, aged 27.

Elizabeth, dau. of William and Mary, d. 5 Apr. 1757, aged 17.

William, d. 17 June 1792, aged 92.

Mary, wife of William, d. 4 Jan. 1794, aged 75.


John, d. 25 Nov. 1792, aged 90.

Mary, wife of John, d. 22 Apr. 1750, aged 33.
"Six times five years I liv'd a single life;
Two times five years I lived with my wife:
Ten times five years I liv'd a Widower chaste;
Then tired of this mortal life I rest.
Through this past time I in my life have seen,
Four Reigning Kings in England and a Queen.
The Blossom'd Rose in time must surely Fade,
And Brightest Gemmes in the Dust be laid"


Elizabeth, wife of Richard, d. 14 Apr. 1759, aged 38.


see under GOLDING.


George, of Alfreton, co. Derb. aged 49 [no date


see under SPENCER.


Mr. George, d. 5 Apr. 1729, aged 62.


Ann, wife of William, d, 4 Jan. 1751, aged 55.


Sarah, relict of William, d. 27 May 1788, aged 82.

Ann, wife of John, d, 8 Nov, 1798, aged 54.


"Here lieth interred the body of Abigail, the wife of Thomas Wilkon Sleight of  Bunny and daughter of James and Eliz: Harvey late of this parish" d. 21 Mch. 1746, in 24th year. "She left issue one son and a dau. viz Joshua and Ann."


"She was a loving Wife, a tender and affectionate Mother. As she was well instructed in the Principles of the Christian Religion, so was she Constant and Serious in the Practice of it. She gained the Love and Esteem of all when alive and deserves the Imitation of those who survive her. READER DO THOU LIKEWISE."


John, d. June 1730, aged 40.


Joseph, d. 2 Nov. 1805, aged 63.


Mary, wife of Samuel RICHMOND, and dau. of Joseph and Dorothy Spencer, d. 28 Nov. 1805 aged 28.


Thomas, d. 13 Nov. 1727 aged 61.


Ann, wife of Thomas, d. 21 Dec. 1736, aged 67.


Mary, dau. of Thomas and Ann, d. 28 July 1710, aged 10.


On the back of this headstone are recorded: —
"Eliz: died Aug: 24 1696
Tho: died Aug : 25 1696
Ann died Nov: 22 1697
John died Octo: 28 1698
John died Jan: 15 1702
who all died in their Infancy ."


Mary, wife of John, d. 23 Oct. 1762, aged 64.


Mary, relict of Thomas, d. 11 Apr. 1798, aged 67.


John, son of John and Mary, d. 6 Feb. 1806, aged 31.


John, d. 15 Aug. 1812, aged 80.


Joseph, d.  16 Apr.  1771, aged 55.


Ann, wife of Joseph, d. 30 Jan. 1763, aged 46,


Thomas, d. 27 May 1784, aged 38.


Joseph, d. 3 June 1784, aged 31.


Ann, dau. of Joseph and Mary, d. 5 Jan. 1811,
"and of three other daughters who died in their infancy. "


John, d. 23 July 1784, aged 75.


Mary, wife of John, d. 10 Oct. 1783, aged 73.


John, son of John and 'Mary, d. 11 Oct. 1783, aged 35.


Samuel, d. 9 Dec. 1811, aged 59.