Church of S. Mary and All Saints, Langdon Hills - Page 3|
|by Rev. C.E. Livesey, B.A. Rector of Langdon Hills (1931)|
BellsKnow thy selfefor dust thou art & unto dust thou shalt
There are two Bells, one weighing about 3 cwt., and the other about 1¾
cwt. The smaller one has no mark or inscription, but the larger has two crosses and a shield,
and is the work of Thomas Lawrence, a Bell Founder, of Aldgate, in the early part of the 16th
cent. It is known that he cast the bell for Leaden Roothing Church in 1523, and no doubt shortly
after this cast the bell for Langdon Hills to be hung in the new Church. It is interesting to know
that a bell was transferred from the old West Lee Church in 1458, 26 years after the parishes
were united, and this may explain the origin of the smaller bell.
There are several Tombstones in the Church, the most
important of which is a very large one of Purbeck marble in the middle of the Nave floor, of 14th
century date. The indents in this show that originally it contained brasses which have now
disappeared. There were evidently two heads, probably of a Knight, with chain-mail helmet, and
his Lady, with marginal inscriptions. The de Langedon family, as already mentioned, held the
Manor from 1163 to 1382, when the last representative died, so it is not unlikely that this
unusually large slab may have marked the resting place of some member, perhaps the last,
of that family.
An alternative suggestion has been put forward that the two indents contained
brasses of the head of a tonsured priest and the Eucharistic Symbols, having some connection
with the original patronage of Beeleigh Abbey; but the dividing line down the middle rather
suggests a double grave. It was evidently from its great size the tomb of some person or persons
of eminence, and although the unusual position of head towards the East might support its
ecclesiastical origin, it is more than likely that the floor of the Church has been relaid, perhaps
several times, since the 14th Century. It does not cover any vault, and probably does not now
even mark the exact spot of any interment.
There are two other slabs in the floor of the Chancel bearing the following
17th century inscriptions:-
Langdon Hill, Essex.
With in ye chancell of this chvrch lyeth bvried ye body of Ann sometime ye
wife of Thomas Richardson late Rector of thes Parish of St. Bennett Finch London wch said Ann
departed this life ye 30th day of Novemb An 1630.
Here alsoe lyeth bvied ye body of Elizabeth late wife of Thomas Richardson
sonne of ye above saide Tho. and Ann with two of her children George and Elizabeth wch said Eliz
ye mother departed this life ye 25th of September 1666.
Gen 3rd verse 19.
Beneath this stone lie treasvred vp the reliqvss of Thomas Richardson late
of Clements Inn Gentleman one whos bvt half spvn time was richly fravght with the accomplishments
became a man who in these late vnhappy times when tyranny had vsvrpt the throne and Schism too
farre prevailed in thes Pulpit so lvstly steerd twixt each extream that when death came to take
him hence with joy he covld (which few can) trvly say that Soverainety knew not a more loyall
subject nor had the chvrch a sincaerer son he departed this life the 24 day of November in the
yeare of Greacse 1669.
Here lyes interred one in whose better frame (Till pale facd death proudly
usurpt the place)
Each morall vertue crowded for a name
Each pregnant goodness each perswasiue grace
One whose untainted conscience was a thing
Which (whilst blind errowr sway'd ye Church and Throne)
Fear'd not to pay allegeance to his King
And though defac't the Church his mother owned
Here (Reader) pay ye victim of thine eyes
This shrine too well deserves that sacrifice.
24 Prov 21My sonne, feare thou ye Lord and ye King & meddle not whith them yt
are given to change.
This slab is evidently a memorial of the one whose loyalty prompted him to
have the Royal Arms and date painted over the Rood beam, since the text from Proverbs is the
same in each case. This text is also to be found under the Royal Arms at S. Saviour's,
Southwark and at Steeple Barton, in Oxfordshire, dated 1686. The small hatchment represents
the Richardson arms.
There are two other marble slabs in memory of previous Rectors, the Revs.
John Moore, and Robert Collier Packman, and a child of the former, whose resting places are
marked by stones in the floor of the Chancel inscribed with their initials and dates.
Outside the Church on the S. face of the buttress at the S.E. corner there
is an Ordance bench-mark about 19 inches from the ground; this indicates the height above sea
level, 211 feet; the highest point of Langdon Hill is 387 feet, the second highest point in
The following is a list of Rectors from 1366:-
||Will de Swafeild
||Rob de Stykneis
||Henry de Dam
||Adam at Tye
||Robert Collier Packman|
|Langdon cum Ecclesia de West Lee (1432)
||Easeby Digby Cleaver|
||Alfred Trower Poole|
||Henry Walpole Luke Robinson|
Gordon James Henry Llewellyn|
||Frank Guy Clayton|
||Cecil Edleston Livesey|
The population of the Parish in 1821 was 224, in 1921 820, and now in 1931 it is 2,200.
The Parish Registers date from 1686.
Title: Church of S. Mary and All Saints, Langdon Hills by Rev. C.E. Livesey
Source: Published booklet (Robus Bros., Dunmow, Essex) 1931
Comments: This account is reproduced in its entirety, unedited and unabridged.
Note: At various places in this account and to remain faithfull to the original text it will
be noted that certain words are abbreviated. These are: N. (north), S. (south), E. (east),
W. (west), S. Mary (St. Mary), S. Paul's (St. Paul's). Also the letter v on the tomb
inscriptions would be pronounced u, example: chvrch (church) bvied (buried).
|Page added: 2003|