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THE REVEREND H. W. WILKINSON, A.M.
THE town of Sudbury is situated upon the Stour, a considerable river, which forms the southern boundary of the county, and consists of three parishes, All Saints', St. Gregory's, and St. Peter's. It was in this town that Simon, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the reign of Richard II. was born. The east end of the Church of St. Gregory, built by that Prelate, is prominent in our view, Plate I. which is taken from the south side; the edifice is large, and comprises a nave, north and south aisles, with a chancel: at the west end is an embattled Tower. The Chapel on the south side, is called St. Anne's Chapel, and is now the property of the Carter family. It contains two large raised tombs, covered with marble slabs. Over one of them is a mural monument for Thomas Carter, with an English inscription, which records his Benefactions to the Church and the Poor. On one side of the tomb below this Monument, is the following singular inscription.
Hâc solitariâ cellà
A doloribus et procellis mundi,
Tute reconduntur reliquiæ. Tho. Carter, gen.
Qui 12mo. Maii Anno Salutis 1706
Vir nominis reverà colendi probis ornatus moribus
Ob amplissima beneficia Ecclesiæ et Pauperibus collatus.
Quo die afflavit animam prædictus Thos. Carter
Acús foramen transivit CAMELUS SUDBURIENSIS
Et sis dives si tu fac similiter
At the east end of the north aisle is the Vestry, in which is still preserved the head of Simon Sudbury, who was buried here; the magnificent tomb erected to his memory in Canterbury Cathedral being only a Cenotaph. The dried flesh remains upon the bones of the skull, which is placed in a grated recess, and on the falling door or flap, is a parchment, with an account of the Archbishop, written in an old hand, as follows:"The head of Simon Theobald, who was born at Sudbury, and thence called Simon of
Sudbury; he was sent when but a youth into foreign parts to study the civil law, where he was made Doctor; he visited most of the Universities in France, and was made Chaplain to Pope Innocent, and Auditor of his Rota, a Judge of the Romish court. By the interest of the Pope he was made Chancellor of Salisbury in the year 1361. He was afterwards Bishop of London, and in the year 1374, he was translated to the See of Canterbury, and made Chancellor of England. While he was Bishop of London, he built the upper end of St. Gregorie's Church at Sudbury, and where his father's house stood he erected a college of secular priests, and endowed it with the yearly revenue of one hundred and twenty-two pounds, eighteen shillings, and was at length barbarously beheaded upon Tower-hill in London, by the rabble in Wat Tyler's rebellion in the reign of Richard II. 1322.
The general effect of the interior of this Church is fine. Some fragments of the painted glass with which it appears the windows were formerly adorned still remain in various parts. In the journal of William Dowsing, the parliamentary visitor, appointed under a warrant from the Earl of Manchester for demolishing the superstitious pictures and ornaments of Churches within this county in 1643 and 1644, is the following entry, “Gregory Parish, 9th January, we brake down ten mighty great angels in glass, in all eighty." Against the westernmost pillar, on the north side of the Church is the very curious octagonal and ancient Baptismal font represented in Plate 2; the cover in wood of rich workmanship is heightened by painting and gilding, and is probably of the date of Henry the Sixth's reign. The lower compartment opens like a closet, when the ceremony is performed. It rises in arches and pinnacles to a canopy, whence the whole is screened from the dust by a dark blue curtain. The Font is of stone, and appears to be of much earlier date than its ornamented cover. The roof is of oak, and near the chancel end some original tracery remains, with a series of angels on the string course. Three of the bosses in the north Aisle are carved, viz. 1. The Virgin, within a wreath or garland. 2. A Shield, bearing a Boar passant, within a border engrailed. 3. A Tortile Oak Branch.
The Altar is very plain, having only the monogram I. H. S. in the centre, and over the decalogue cherubim heads. Against the north wall of the Aisle is an elegant monument sculptured by John Bacon, junior, thus inscribed:
Joannis Newman, A.M. Parochiæ, in hoc comitatu, parvæ Cornearth dictæ, nuper Rectoris, mortalis esse desit Augusti die 10, A. D. 1814, annus natus 67. Non minus integritate vitæ, quam singulare benevolentia, notus qualis autem erat in amicorum cognatorumque pectoribus, non in caduco marmore inscriptum superest. In eodem depositum est tumulo quod quid fuit mortale Priscillæ et Joannis Gibbon, supra dicti, uxoris et filii, illa obiit Novembris die 20, A.D. 1803, annos natu 47, hic Februarii 1, A. D. 1805, Annus natus 22.
Under this monument are three tombs, covered with large black marble slabs, in memory of members of the family of Warner, 1697, &c. Also one for the Carter family, dated 1688. Close to the slabs is a very large stone, thirteen feet long by six feet wide, with indents of brasses, but which has long been deprived of the plates.