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Southfleetchurch
St. Nicholas Church
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Memorials inside Southfleet St. Nicholas Church, Kent, England


The church, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, is spacious, consisting of three isles and a chancel, it contains some curious brass plates, monuments, and remains of fine painted glass, in the windows, particularly in the great east window, which is very full, and there were some figures of bishops in the windows of the north isle, but they have been lately destroyed.

At the sides of the chancel are six ancient stalls for the use of the monks of Rochester, when they visited this place, and for the clergy in general, who for distinction sake always sat in the chancel.

The pavement before the altar, till lately, was laid with small red tiles, ornamented with yellow, on them were these arms, within a bordure ingrailed 7 mascles 3, 3 and I, two fesses in chief 3 bezants, and old France and England quarterly. These tiles have lately been removed and replaced with plain red ones. The whole chancel was repaired and beautified in 1768 by the then rector.

The font is curious, being an octagon ornamented with carve work in each compartment. [ See a description of this font, and an engraving of it in Cust. Roff. p. 113.] The tower is at the west end, in which is a good peal of six bells.


The South Chancel

The south chancel belonged to the Sedleys.


In the chancel

There is an ancient tomb or stone coffin, with a cross on it.

A grave-stone, with the figures of a man and woman, and inscription for John Urban, Esq. who died in 1420, and Joane his wife, daughter of Sir John Reskymmer, of Cornwall.  She died in 1414.

Another, with the figure of a man, and inscription for John Tubney, Rector of this church, Archdeacon of St. Asaph, and Chaplain of John Lowe, Bishop of Rochester.  He died in 1457.

Laurence Horewode, Rector of this parish in 1441 lies buried in this church. He was chaplain to bishop Lowe, and archdeacon of St. Asaph. Reg. Roff. p. 510.


In the south isle

A stone, with an inscription in brass, for Joane Urban before, mentioned, with her little ones, she died in 1414.

An altar monument, east of the former, with the figures of a man and woman with two labels from their mouths, and likewise of three sons and two daughters, and round the verge of the stone an inscription, all in brass, for John Sedley, one of the auditors of the exchequer, and Elizabeth his wife, he died in 1500.

On the above-noted monument a brass plate and inscription for John Sedley, Esq. of Southfleet, and Anne his wife, daughter of John Colepeper, Esq. of Aylesford, he died in 1581.


On the south wall

A large and beautiful monument, with the figure of a man, lying at full length in armour, and an inscription for John Sedley, Esq. obt. 1605, aged 44. Sir William Sedley, knight and baronet, erected it; on it his arms, azure a fess wavy between three goats heads erased argent, a crescent for difference, and two other shields with impalements, and above his banners, crest, et cetera.

A memorial, with the figure of a man, and inscription in brass for Thomas Cowell.


In the north isle

A memorial for Hester Lady Swan, obt. 1712, and for Sir William Swan, bart. her son, who died a few weeks after her in the same year, arms, azure a chevron ermine between three swans proper, with the arms of Ulster impaling argent a fess ingrailed between three grissins heads, couped sable.

A memorial for Cecilie Lady Peyton, on a brass plate.

A handsome mural monument, for Joseph Brook, Esq. of the Inner Temple, one of the Masters of the Bench of that Honorable Society; also for Elizabeth, his wife, the only child of Samuel Russell, of London, Merchant, by Sarah, his wife, one of the sisters of Aaron Harrington, Esq. of Hook Place, in this parish; also for Sarah, the only child of the said Joseph and Elizabeth Brooke; all of whom, excepting Samuel Russell (buried in London) are interred in this chancel. Joseph Brooke was for many years Recorder of the City of Rochester; but in the year 1784, in the 74th of his age, he retired from that office, and resided at his house at West Malling, in this county; and the year following, the Mayor and Corporation of Rochester waited upon him in their official capacity at his said residence, and out of esteem for his services, and as a memorial of their gratitude, presented him with an elegant piece of plate. He died Jan. 27th, 1792, in the 81st year of his age. Elizabeth Brooke died Nov. 3d, 1796, aged 78.1


South Wall of the Belfry

An inscription, shewing that master John Swan, William Swan, and Richard Swan, his brothers, and master Thomas and William Swan, his grand-children, gave the biggest bell to this church. [See the monuments and inscriptions at large in Reg. Roff. p. 757.]


Source:  Edward Hasted, Parishes: Southfleet, in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2 (Canterbury, 1797), pp. 421-440. Also found at http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol2/pp421-440.

1  C. Greenwood, Lathe of Sutton at Hone, in An Epitome of County History: Vol. 1 - County of Kent, pp. 78-79. (London: No. 5 Hart Street, Bloomsbury Square, 1838.)