Parish of Sherborne

Monumental Inscriptions

Extracts from Hutchins History of Dorset 1870
Transcribed for the OPC Project by Dorinda Miles
“In 1611 was a great mortality here:

In	May 	were buried 	  10 	persons
	June			  45
	July			 1066
	August		  	  78
	September		  46
	October		  	  14

During the heat of this distemper, from June to September inc, were buried 275 persons. 
The burials in the other months of the year were very moderate; in none above eight.”
Monumental Inscriptions from within the Church

Upon a flat stone, the following inscription, to the memory of Mr Lyford, a distinguished vicar of Sherborne at the beginning of the civil wars:

Here lyeth the body of
Mr William LYFORD
Minister of Sherborne
who died the third day
of October, 1653; in hope
of eternal life, which
God, that cannot lye,
promised before the world
began, Tit I 2,
aetatis suae 56


Thomas CRANE, his grandson died May 26, 1716

Elizabeth LYFORD, daughter of William Lyford,
died Feb 19, 1639, aged 2

Elizabeth, daughter of William and Elizabeth Lyford,
Died April 27, 1676, aged 27; also

Sarah, wife of Robert Hort, died Sept 25, 1754
and Robert HORT himself, died Sept 30, 1762.

A flat stone to Arthur CHICHESTER, second son of Edward, Viscount Carrickfergus, who died in March 1632. The inscription, in Latin, but too much worn to be made out.

Here lyeth the body
of Ann, wife of the rev.
Edward COTES, Vicar of this town,
who departed this life,
the 21st day of August, A D 1776
aged 54.

She faithfully discharged her duty
In each respective station of life,
as a daughter, wife, parent and friend,
and has left to her sex a pattern
of filial, conjugal and social virtue.


the body of the Rev Edward COTES,
LL B Vicar of this town.
He changed this life for a better, the 11th
of July, 1780, aged 56.
The integrity of his heart
Will one day be known
And rewarded.

Here lyeth
the body of Mr John FISHER,
gent, who dyed
January 23, Anno Dom 1658.
In mare mortuum
Incidit piscator

Here also lyeth the body
of John FISHER, gent, son of
the abovenamed John
Fisher, gent, who dyed the
4th day of December, anno
Dom, 1707, in the 63rd yeare
of his age.

Here also lyeth the body
of Mrs Dorothy FISHER,
wife of the said last named
Mr John Fisher, who dyed
The 14th day of September,
Anno Dom, 1724,
aetatis suae 81.

Also flat stones for:

John FISHER, gent, son of Francis and Penelope, died October 12, 1734, aged 12.

Martha, wife of Digby SHUTTLEWIRTH, clerk and Francis; their son Francis died Oct 23, 1744 aged 5 and Martha died June 30, 1747, aged 35.

Mary SMITH, sister to the above Martha, and relict of the Rev Peter Smith, died Aug 4, 1791, aged 74.

Margaret FISHER, buried Jan 20, 1657.

William FISHER, gent, died March 28, 1703; with Martha his wife. Also Francis, their son, died Nov 15, 1728; and Penelope, wife of Francis, died Aug 18, 1730 aged 45.

Sarah, wife of James LACY, Vicar, died July 6, 1705, aged 43.


Here resteth the body of the
reverend  Mr James LACY,
who departed this life July 13, 1743,
in the 78th year of his age.
He was vicar of this church
almost 50 years, in the course of
which he constantly approved
himself a good and faithful servant
to his Master, and justly
attracted the love and esteem
of the flock committed to his
charge, who trust he is gone
to receive the reward
of his labours.


Here lyeth the body of the
Rev Mr John LOOP, who died
10 Nov, 1749, aged 41;
having been vicar of this
church about five years.


Nicholas ROMAYNE, lieutenant in Sir Robert Rich’s Dragoons, died Feb 17, 1656.

Ralph SCURRAH, gent, died Feb 25, 1747; and Ralph his son died 1729; also Susannah died Apr 11, 1774 aged 74.

Hugh HODGES, serjeant at law, died Aug 16, 1693; and Hugh his son died May 21, 1712, aged 46.

Richard FISHER died May 8, 1634.

Hannah, wife of Anthony MITCHELL, died Jan 12, 1664, aged 22 and Elizabeth WILSON, of Mold, co Flint, spinster, died Jan 15, 1755, aged 34.

Henry COLES, esq died Jan 24, 1780, aged 49.

Martha EASTMONT, daughter of John and Dorothy, died Oct 24, 1705; and Carew, son of Carew Mildmay esq, and Dorothy, daughter of John Eastmont, born May 8, … died Aug 19, 1720; with Francis MILDMAY their son, and Eastmont-Hervey MILDMAY, born March 26,… died Jan 19, 1722; Gawen-Hervey MILDMAY, their son, born Aug 27, 1724, died March 27, 1725; also John EASTMONT, gent, died March 4, 1618; and Dorothy EASTMONT, died Dec 25, 1686.


 Elizabeth EASTMONT, daughter of John and Dorothy, died Sept 28, 1681; with Francis, her brother, died March 14, 1712, aged 64. 

Mary, wife of Hugh HODGES, serjeant at law, and daughter of John Eastmont and Dorothy, died March 18, 1685.

Also Elizabeth, wife of Hugh HODGES, their son (no date).

Janey HODGES, died May 15, 1653.

Also Robert LEE, died June 13, 1677.

Honor, relict of Stephen BEATON, died Dec 17, 1762; and her sister Sarah MANSELL died March 2, 1771.

John JEANES, died Jan 28, 1629; Joan, his wife, died Nov 12, 1678.

Robert AVOKE, died Dec 31, 1713; Dorothy AVOKE, died Feb …, 1698.

John JEANES, died 1639.

John EASTMONT, son of John, died Feb 19, 1684; and Anne Hervey MILDMAY, died Apr 10, 1689. 

Cary VOUCHER, died Aug 29, 1717; Ann, his wife, died Nov …, 1758.

Robert, son of Robert and Grace FRY, died May 19th, 1762.

Robert, son of Robert and Rachel GOADBY, died Jan 28, 1756.

Mary, wife of Edward PARKER, Captain in the 31st regiment, died Oct 20, 1781, aged 43; also Edward PARKER, died Apr 13, 1792, aged 65 years.

Eleanor LAVLY, wife of Francis Lavly esq of Weeke Abbis, died Aug 26, 1638, aged 82.


To the memorie of Francis LAVLY, of Weeke
Abbis, esquir, who dyed the 26 day of February,
An’o D’ni 1630, aetatis suae 87.


Johannes HENCHMAN, AM, Vicarius de Sherborne,
Obiit 5 Januarii
Aetatis suae 38,
AD 1651

John HENCHMAN, died Jan 27, 1683; Agnes HENCHMAN, died Sept 16, 1691; Elizabeth HENCHMAN, died Oct 16, 1691.

Joan, wife of Valentine SMITH, and daughter of John Jeanes, died April 8, 1647

Elinor, daughter of Joseph STEVELEY, died Nov 6, 1717; with four of their children:

John,    died Oct 6 1722
Sarah,  died Sept 20, 1726
John,    died  Sept 20, 1729
James, died Sept 26, 1729

Also, Charles, their eldest son died Nov 18, 1729, with Eleanor Mason, their daughter, died Dec 18, 1768, aged 45.

Elizabeth, wife of Samuel NAPPER, died Oct 27, 1693; Charles, their son, died Nov 6, 1702, also Samuel himself, died Sept 26, 1722; and Samuel his son, died March 8, 1744, aged 50; also Agnes, wife of the above Samuel Napper, who departed this life Dec 5 1750, aged 51.

John BIDWELL, died May 8, 1720

Sarah LAMBERT, died Oct 21, 1786

John, son of John KELLOWAY, died May 5, 1702, aged 2 years and three months.

George BUCK, died Feb 29, 1704-5

William HURD, gent died June 26, 1642

John RIDGEWAY, of Burton Bradstock, died Sept 11, 1691

William, son of William WESTON, esq, of Stalbridge Weston, Co Dorset, died Sept 18, 1723

Rebecca RODBERT, daughter of Samuel and Agnes Napper, died Jan 6, 1768 aged 34

Samuel, son of Thomas LAMBERT esq, died Jan 22, 1749, aged 18; Grace LAMBERT, his sister, Dec 23, 1754, aged 20; and Thomas LAMBERT, their brother, Dec 6, 1755, aged 20.

John ALLAMBRIDGE, died Nov 8, 1719; also Elizabeth, daughter of John and Ann Allambridge, died April 3, 1715, aged 21. Judith, wife of George ALLAMBRIDGE, died Sept 24, 1754, aged 26; and George ALLAMBRIDGE, died June 14, 1782, aged 57.

Under this stone lies Johanna ALLAMBRIDGE, obiit 17 Dec, 1795, aet 85.

In the nave are flat stones for:

C A CUTLER, died 23 Nov 1793

John LUCAS, died Jan 2, 1720; and Mary, wife of William DIBBENS

Elizabeth, wife of Robert OKE, died……1754, aged 35; and Robert himself, died 9 Dec, 1788, aged 65

In the North Transept

John DEERING, died Jan 27, 1787, aged 64

Elizabeth FOX, burned, Nov 24, 1691

William COLLINS, died 29 April, 1677, and Sarah Auncy, died Oct 16, 1780, aged 49

John DERBY, gent Nov 6, 1730; and Mrs Mary KILSBY his kinswoman, who lost her sight at nine years of age (no time of her death is mentioned)

Walter COWTH, son of John and Dorothy Cowth, of this town, died Nov….1670, aged 77, blind 7 years.

Rebekkah DERBIE, died Feb 26, 1784; and Love DERBIE, died Nov 22, 1786

Rebekkah, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah, died 4 April, 1707; and Benjamin and Henry their sons. Benjamin died Oct 14, 1715, Henry died Aug 13, 1718; also Benjamin their son, died 9 April, 1740, aged 22

Likewise, Benjamin and Sarah themselves; Sarah died Sept 14, 1742; Benjamin died Jan 5, 1757, aged 77

Behind the altar are slabs for:

John BRISTED MA Rector of St Anne’s in Lewes, and of Slaugham, died Jan 25, 1785, in the 87th year of his age.

(NB John Bristed = father of the Rev Nathaniel BRISTED, late vicar of Sherborne, Rector of Bishop’s Candel, and for some years under-master of the grammar school.)

Jane, his wife

Joseph ROMAYNE, died Nov 13, 1642
Mors mihi lucrum

On a slab in a frame ledge:

These bodies here do rest, their souls ascended, to live a life with God ne’er will be ended.

George BROWN, died July 1709, aged 79; Izot his only wife died March 1717, aged 82; Dorcas, first wife of James his son, died Oct 19, 1791, aged 29; Dorcas, daughter of James and Dorcas, died 1689, aged 4; Mary, second daughter, died 1701, aged 15; George, first son by his second wife, died 1692, aged 26; Mary, his third wife, died 1701, Joan, his fourth wife; Joseph, third son; Joan died 1721; Mary, died 1732, aged 59.

This tablet, to the memory of Samuel VOWELL, esq late of this town, Captain in the Eastern Dorset local militia, is erected by the officers of that corps, as a sincere testimony of their friendship and esteem. He departed this life on the 11th day of May, 1812, whilst the regiment was embodied at Blandford, aged 41 years.

Sacred to the memory of Benjamin VOWELL, who departed this life Nov 11, 1829, aged 50.

Sacred to the memory of Pemberton METHUEN, third son of the Rev T A Methuen M A Rector of All Cannings, Wilts, who died March 25, 1835, at the age of 41, of scarlet fever. His mother and youngest sister were cut off soon after by the same disease.

Sacred to the memory of Samuel WHITTY, who died Nov 2, 1833, aged 73; and of Mary his wife, the daughter of Simon PRETOR, who died April 26, 1802, aged 44. Also of their three sons, Samuel who died Oct 4, 1799, aged14 months. Pretor who died April 14, 1811, aged 16 years; Thomas who died March 7, 1820, aged 23 years; and of Elizabeth, widow of the above Samuel Whitty, who died Sept 23, 1835, aged 60.

In a vault beneath this tablet are deposited the mortal remains of John HILLYAR, of this town, who died Jan 26, 1818, aged 70 years; also of Mary his wife, who died April 13, 1820, aged 77 years. Also of Mary CARRY, sister of the above John Hillyar, who died January 31, 1823, aged 73 years. Also of John HILLYAR, jun son of the above john and Mary Hillyar. He entered into rest May 18, 1826, aged 51 years.

On a brass in the south aisle:

In memory of the Rev John PARSONS, fellow of Worcester College, Oxon, Vicar of Sherborne, Rector of Oborne, and Perpetual Curate of Castleton, son of the Rev Francis Crane Parsons, Vicar of Yeovil; died at the Vicarage, Sherborne, July 1, 1854, aged74, after a ministry of this parish of rather more than 52 years. By his exertions and influence the restoration of this church was begun, and to a great extent completed, the nave and transcept having been re-opened in their present state Aug 13, 1851.

On another brass:

In memory of Daniel PENNY, a native and inhabitant of this town, who departed this life December 27, 1863, aged 92 years.

Also of Mary, his wife, deceased the 13 December 1851, aged 72 years. They lie buried outside this south door with their two sons and daughter; Henry, aged 41, John-Lampard, aged 17; and Mary-Watts, aged 32 years.

On another brass:

In memory of Elizabeth BOWEN, the beloved wife of William HIGHMORE M D, who died the 20 day of February, in the year of our Lord 1840, aged 39 years. Also of three of their children, namely, Sophia-Caroline, Edward-Adolphus, and Harriette-Anne, who died in infancy.

In memory of Thomas ENSOR, of Sherborne, who died April 14, 1850, aged 76 years; also Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas ENSOR, died May 24, 1840, aged 60 years. The above were interred in a vault beneath this church, and this tablet is a tribute of affection from their surviving children.

A brass on the floor of the ambulatory:

Near this spot were interred the mortal remains of Ethelbald and Ethelbert his brother, each of whom in his turn succeeded to the throne of Ethelwulf their father, King of the West Saxons, and were succeeded in the kingdom by their youngest brother Alfred the Great.

In this chapel, in the corner between the south and west windows:

Here resteth the bodie of
Johan WALCOT, late wife of
John WALCOT, of Castletone,
Esq, deceased eldest daughter of Sir Henry
Winston, of Standish, in the County of Gloucester, knt. And
One of the coheirs to
Her brother Henry WINSTON esq
Who departed this life the 24th of July, 1630.

In the south aisle, on an altar-tomb:

John HUDDINOTT, died Aug 5, 1767, aged 33
John HUDDINOTT, sen, died March 6, 1776, aged 71
Joanna, his wife, died Nov 29, 1775
Subjacent reliquiae Joannis
BARTLETT, medici,qui obiit 1
Die Nov 1703, aet 47

In the south transept is a very superb monument for the last Earl of Bristol:

His first wife was Alice, the daughter
And heir of Robert BOURNE, of
Blake Hall, in the County of Essex, esq
She was married the 26th of May, 1656
Dyed in May 1658

His second wife was Rachel, the daughter,
And one of the coheirs of Sir Hugh
WINDHAM, of Silton, in the county
Of Dorset, knt.
Who processed his affection entire,
With whom he lived in perfect
Friendship and confidence, and to
Whom he left the utmost proofs of their reality.
She died 16th February, 1708


Here lies John Lord DIGBY of Sherborne, and Earl of Bristol,
titles to which the merit of his grandfather first gave lustre,
and which he himself  laid down unsullyd.
He was naturally inclined to avoid the hurry of a public life,
yet careful to keep up the port of his quality;
was willing to be at ease, but scorned obscurity:
and therefore made his retirement a pretence to draw
himself within a narrower compass, or to shun such expense
as charity, hospitality, and his honour called for.
His religion was that which by law is established,
And the conduct of his life showed the power of it in his heart.
His distinction from others never made him forget himself or them.
He was kind and obliging to his neighbours, generous and condescending
to his inferiors, and just to al mankind.
Nor has the temptations of honour and pleasure in this world
strength enough to withdraw his eyes from that great
object of his hope, which we reasonably assure ourselves he now enjoys.
He dyed Sept XII an Dom MDCXCVIII

Against the south wall, on a black marble tablet fixed to the wall under the great south window, surmounted by a flaming urn, is this inscription

In memory of
Robert, second son,
and Mary, eldest daughter, of
William Lord DIGBY

Robert died April 21, Anno Dom 1726, aet 34
Mary died March 31, Anno Dom 1729, aet 39

Inscriptions taken out of the family vault of the Digby family, the day the Earl DIGBY was buried, Oct 3, 1793:

John Earl of Bristol died Sept 12, 1698

Rachel Countess of Bristol died Feb 16, 1708

Robert DIGBY, esq son of the Right Hon William Lord Digby, died April 21, 1726

Mary DIGBY, late daughter of the Right Hon William Lord Digby, died March 31, 1729, aged 39

The Right Hon Jane Lady DIGBY died Sept 10, 1733, aged 69

Jane DIGBY, daughter of the Right Hon William Lord Digby, died Oct 1,1738, aged 32

The Hon Mrs Catherine DIGBY died April 13, 1745, aged 41

The Hon John DIGBY (He was insane may years) eldest son of the Right Hon William Lord Digby, died March 18, 1746, aged 61

William Lord DIGBY, Baron of Geashill, in the kingdom of Ireland, died Nov 27, 1752, aged 90

The Hon Edward DIGBY died July 15, 1764, aged 26 days

Elizabeth (this was the mother of the above Edward, who has been buried before; but taken up and brought to Sherborne, and buried with his mother) youngest daughter of the Hon Charles FIELDING, and wife to Henry Lord DIGBY, died January 19, in the year of our Lord 1765, aged 23

The Right Hon Henry DIGBY, Earl of Digby, Viscount Coleshill, Lord Digby of the kingdom of Ireland, lord lieutenant and custos rotulorum of the county of Dorset, and of the town of Poole, died Sept 25, 1793, aged 62

The Right Hon Mary Countess of Digby, died Feb 26, 1794

On a white lozenge on the floor:


ob Feb 27,1770, aet suae 12



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