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Church of S. Mary and All Saints, Langdon Hills - Page 3
by Rev. C.E. Livesey, B.A. Rector of Langdon Hills (1931)

     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.

Know thy selfe
for dust thou art & unto dust thou shalt returne
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 21
My 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 Essex.

The following is a list of Rectors from 1366:-

1366 Will de Swafeild 1524 Joh Palmer
  Rob de Stykneis 1531 Will Dowes
1367 Johannes 1551 Joh Clarke
  Will Leyghton 1554 Rob Baker
1383 Edm Fulbeck 1558 Will Barker
1383 Joh Sydenhole 1589 Joh Frith
1385 Will Crispyn 1592 Tho Edmunds
1389 Ric Hopton 1611 Tho Booth
1393 Tho Walsh 1637 Geo Osney
1393 Henry de Dam 1638 Will Pindar
1394 Adam at Tye 1661 Will Rogers
1395 Joh Toser 1680 Sam Stanes
1407 Joh Lynn 1694 Gilb Crockat
  Tho Newton 1711 Johannes Benson
1426 Will Smith 1753 Anselm Bayly
1428 Joh Gentil 1795 Weldon Champneys
1429 Joh Adelsey 1795 John Moore
  Rob Lucy 1821 William Hayes
1431 Joh Pomfret 1825 Robert Collier Packman
Langdon cum Ecclesia de West Lee (1432) 1875 Easeby Digby Cleaver
1442 Tho Burman 1886 Alfred Trower Poole
1444 Hen Pert 1904 Henry Walpole Luke Robinson
1470 Joh Ratcliffe 1905 Gordon James Henry Llewellyn
  David Kingsbury 1916 Frank Guy Clayton
1495 Pet Gibson 1930 Cecil Edleston Livesey
1505 Joh Jackson  

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
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