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Rainham Church
St. Margaret, Rainham
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Memorials inside Rainham Church, Kent, England

Rainham is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the diocese of Canterbury and deanery of Sittingbourne.  The church, dedicated to St. Margaret, is a handsome building, consisting of two very broad aisles, and the same number of chancels, with a high beacon tower at the west end.  There was formerly some good stained glass in the windows of this church, which has long since been destroyed.1

Among it were the following coats of arms: Three lions passant, guardant, a label of three points;
Azure, two bars, or, between nine cross-croslets of the second;
Or, a saltier engrailed, sable;
Or, a cross pointed and voided, sable;
Per pale, gules and azure, a cross moline, argent;
Three pair of barnacles extended, for Donet;
A chevron, between three attires of a stag, fixed to the scalps
, for Cocks, and,
On a fess, between three beavers, passant, as many cross croslets fitchee, for Norden.2

The high chancel

The high chancel belongs to the parsonage of Rainham, wherein lie interred several of the family of the ALLEN's, and John Norden, Esq..

monument of Thomas Norreys Esq. and his wife copyright 2010 John Salmon (http://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/9419)[Some Rights Reserved]licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)
As well as, to the left of the altar, two coloured marble figures, to the memory of Thomas NORREYS, Esq.,who died Dec. 19th, 1624, master of the Trinityhouse, and commissioner of the navy. There is also a small monument, commemorative of the latter, with the effigies of himself and wife, kneeling at a desk, whose armorial bearings are, Argent, billettee a cross pattee flore, sable.1, 2, 3. The inscription on the memorial reads:

"Neare this place lies interred the body of Thomas Norreys, Esqr. who after many painfull and dangerous expeditions at sea atchieved the charge and credit of a commander A Mr. of the Trininty House, and a commissioner of the royal navy, etc. He died the 19th of December,1624, whose loving and loyal wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Elmestone, hath dedicated to his memory this little monument, and had issue by her 4 sons and 3 daughters, namely, Ralph, Ann, Mary, Elizabeth, Thomas, Edward and Henry."5

On the north side entering the church, on the right of the altar, is a very small marble monument; the figure in a reclined posture, commemorates the infant son of Edward and Berbara NORREYS, dated 1626.3. The inscription on the memorial reads:

"Nere this place lies the body of John Norreys, son of Edd. & Barbary Norreys. He died being aged 7 month Ano Dni 1626. Here sleeps my babe in silance; heaven's his rest, For God takes soonest those he loveth best."5

At the foot of the altar are many brasses, among which is one to John NORDEN, Esq. and his four wives. The family of NORDEN resided in this parish for some generations, one of whom John Norden, died in 1580, and lies buried in the chancel of this church, their arms were formerly painted in the windows, and now remain at each corner of his grave-stone in brass1, 2, 3.

ancient chest in Rainham church

In this chancel is a curious chest, which appears very ancient3.

On the north side of the altar is a handsome tomb of Bethersden marble, the brasses of which are wanting:  on the pavement is a singular Brass of a male figure, in a short furred gown, with large sleeves, and a scrip, or purse, appendant to his girdle. Beneath is an inscription, recording the sepulture of John BLOOR, obt. 1529, and whose family resided at Bloor's Place in this Parish for several generations.  [NB: in Brayley's Beauties of England the name of the deceased is recorded as being William Bloor rather than John Bloor.]  Near the latter are several others, robbed of their brasses, some of which might probably belong to the same family.1, 2, 4

These vaults, and perhaps the chancel over them, were most probably built by Christopher Bloor, esq. whose remains are deposited in the easternmost of them.2

Also in this chancel lies Christopher Powell, S. T. B. July 6, 1595, obt. Jan. 10, 1609. Commemorated by a flat stone, within the rails on the south side bearing the inscription:2, 5

"Here lieth the body of Mr. Christopher Powell, bachelor in divinitye, Fellow of St. John's College, in Cambridge, and vicar of this parish of Rainham. He entered his charge the 6th of July, 1595, and dying in the faith of Christ was here interred the tenth of Januarie 1609. His second wife Elizabeth, daughter of George Wilkins, of Stoke, gent. hath caused this memorial of his to be made."5

Also in the High Chancel, commemorated by a flat stone, on the north side, lies Thomas Lambe, A. M. obt. April 11, 1662. He lies buried in the high chancel; on his gravestone he is said to have been six years vicar2, 5. The inscription reads:

"Here lyeth the body of Thos. Lamb, M. of Arts, a faithful minr. of God's word in this parish 6 years; he married Mary the daughter of Mr. Robert Clayton, by whom he had issue 2 daughters, Martha andElizabeth, and dyed the 11th of April, 1662, aged about 41 years."5

Also in the chancel, on a flat stone5:

"Here lyeth the bodye of Charles Garlyck, sometyme vicar of this parish of Rainham, who being inducted into the cure the 6th of July,1571, departed this life the 27th of August, 1593."5

Also in the chancel5:

"Here under this stone lyeth interred the body of John Burden, esquire, who had four issues, John, Agnes, Allen andElizabeth, which John departed this life in the faith of Jesus Christ."5

Note: The remainder is worn out5.

A flat stone, in capitals this inscription5:

"Memoriae Mariae meritae
Maritae
Quae pia, custa, humilis, per-
amans, post funera vivet.
Quam 23 Marita lys musa
vetat mori
Hei, Higeord;
and round the edges these words:
"Peperit novem mihi liberos, Tho:
Mat: Mar: Eli: Mar: An. Mat. Kat. Mar:
et obiit 25 Dec. 1661, aetatis fuae 25."5


The north chancel

The north chancel belongs to the Earls of Thanet, and has been the principal burial place of this family since the time of Charles the First; and no fewer than eight Earls and six Countesses of Thanet lie interred here, together with many of their children and relatives3, 4.

monument of George Tufton copyright 2010 John Salmon (http://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/9419)[Some Rights Reserved]licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)There are two superb monuments, one bearing the effigies of a man in military attire, seated on part of his armour, which was erected to the Hon. George Tufton, the sixth son of the Right Hon. John TUFTON, earl of Thanet, by his Lady, Margaret; daughter and coheir of Richard, Earl of Dorset. The Hon. George Tufton was born 30th June, 1650, at Hothfield, in Kent ; being about the age of 15, he travelled into France, and from thence into Germany, to the court of the Prince Elector Palatine of the Rhine, in whose army, near Newstadt, in the Bishopric of Spires, he was wounded, on the 21st Oct. 1666, and after having with great fortitude languished under the pain of his wound, for which neither in France nor Germany he could find any cure, he died 12th Dec. 1670, at Thanet House, in Aldersgate Street, to the great grief of his tender and pious mother, at whose charge this monument was erected to the memory of her dearest beloved son2, 3, 4.

The following inscription appears underneath the monument:

"Here in the vault under this place
lieth the body of the honourable George Tufton,
sixth son of the Right Honourable John
Earl of Thanet,
by his Lady Margaret, one of the daughters
and coheirs of Richard earl
of Dorset.
He was born the 30th of June, 1650,
at Hothe-fielde, in Kent.
Being about the age of fifteen, he travailed
into France, and from thence into Germany,
to the court of the Prince Elector Palatine
of the Rhine, in whose army being in the
bishop of Spire's country near Newstadt
He was wounded on the 21st of October 1666,
and after having with great courage languished
under the paine of his wounds, for which neither
in Germany, France nor England
he cou'd find any cure
He died the 12th of December, 1670,
In London, at Thanet-house, in Aldersgate-street,
to the great grief of his tender and pious mother,
at whose charge this monument was erected, in
memory of her deceased beloved son."

On the other side is an inscription in Latin:

"Georgius Tuftonus,
Filius sexto-genitus ex nobilissimo viro
Johanne Insulae Thanetensis comite
et Magarita lectissima ejus conjuge
Richardi Dorsetensis comitis
filiarum choaeredum una,
natus est prid: Kal. Jul. Ao M.DCL
Hothfeldiae in agro Cantiano,
annum cum agerit xv prefectus est
in Galliam, inde in Germaniam ubi
Principi Palatino Rheni militans prope
Nanstadtium in episcopatu spirensi
XII Kal. Novemb. Anno M.DCLXVI
accepit vulnera
quibus mederi quicquid uspiam erat
artis medicae necquicquam conabatur;
horum aerumnas postquam pertulisset
quo decuit animi Robore
Ao. MDCLXX prid. id. Januarii
Londini in Thanetanis aedibus
vita functus est
Mater maestissima bene mereiti filii
M.S.
posuit.
A a a"5

monument of Nicholas Tufton copyright 2010 John Salmon (http://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/9419)[Some Rights Reserved]licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)The other large marble monument, with a figure in parliamentary robes, standing on a pedestal, on the front of which are the arms of Tufton, impaling Burlington, to the third Earl, the Right Hon. Nicholas Tufton, Earl of Thanet, Baron Tufton, of Tufton, and Baron Clifford, of Westmorland and Vipont, Lord of the Honour of Skipton, in Craven, High Sheriff by inheritance of the County of Westmorland, eldest son of John Earl of Thanet, by the Lady Margaret, co-heir of Richard Sacville, Earl of Dorset, by the Lady Anne Clifford, daughter and heir of George Earl of Cumberland: he was a person eminent for his loyalty to King Charles II in the time of whose banishment he suffered three years' imprisonment in the Tower of London: he married the Lady Elizabeth, third daughter of the Right Hon. Richard Earl of Burlington and Corke, Lord High Treasurer of Ireland, by the Lady Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Henry Lord Clifford, last Earl of Cumberland: he died Nov. 24th, 1679, aged 49; this monument was erected by his Lady.1, 3, 4

The inscription on this monument is as follows:

"In the vault of this church, near this monument, lieth the body of the Right Honourable Nicholas Tufton, Earl of Thanet, Baron Tufton and Baron Clifford of Westmoreland and Vipont, Lord of the honour of Skipton in Craven, high sheriffe by inheritance of the county of Westmoreland, eldest son of John Earl of Thanet, by the Lady Margaret co-heire of Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset, by the Lady Ann Clifford, daughter and heire of George Earl of Cumberland, who by his early and generous education in arts and arms, (improved by much travel and experience) did greatly advance his natural endowments, being aperson signally eminent for his loyalty to his Prince King Charles the Second (in the time of whose banishment he suffered three years and a half imprisonment in the tower of London) and no less renowned for his love to his country; and also for valour and magnanimity, for justice, temperance, courtesy, conjugal affection and constant friendship highly exemplary. He married the Lady Elizabeth, daughter of the Right Honourable Richard Earl of Burlington and Cork, lord high treasurer of Ireland, by the lady Elizabeth daughter and heire of Henry Lord Clifford, last earl of Cumberland. He died November the twenty-fourth, in the year 1679, aged 49. In honour to whose memory his faithful and disconsolate lady hath erected this monument."5

Other monuments to the Earls of Thanet include the following commemorations:

"Here lieth expecting the second coming of
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
The body of the right Honourable
John EARL OF TANET,
who died the 7th day of May, 1664,
At Thanet-house in Aldersgate-street, London,
Aged 55 years.
Who left behind him six sons and five daughters,
Which he had by Margaret Sackville,
Daughter of the Right Honourable Richard
Earl of Dorset."6

His daughter Anne has a like inscription, and in the same place6.

"Here lieth expecting the second coming of
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
The body of the Right Honourable
LADY ANNE TUFTON,
Daughter of John Earl of Thanet,
by Lady Margaret Countess of Thanet, his wife.
This child departed this life,
Upon the fourt of October,
Being of the ageo fone month,
In the year of our Lod God, 1634."6

Countess Margaret survived earl John twelve years, dying on the 14th of August, 1676. By this lady he had issue Nicholas, John, Richard and Thomas, successively earls of Thanet; with Sackville and George, who were buried at Rainham.


In the north-west corner of the north aisle2

Here there is also a vault for the family of John RUSSELL, esq. of Greenwich.1


Under the North Chancel

Under the chancel are two large vaults, wherein are deposited the remains of the family of the Tufton's1.   These vaults, and perhaps the chancel over them, were most probably built by Christopher Bloor, esq. whose remains are deposited in the easternmost of them2.

In the South Aisle

Thomas Cradock, A. B. Oct. 2, 1676, obt. Oct. 9, 1723. Likewise rector of Frinsted. He lies buried in the south isle of this church. His son Thomas Cradock was M. D. and eminent in his practice at Rochester, where he died in 1781, and was buried here2.


1 Excerpt:  W. H. Ireland, ed. & comp. England's topographer: or A new and complete history of the county of Kent; from the earliest records to the present time, including every modern improvement..  (England:  1828).  Embellished with a series of views from original drawings by Geo. Shepherd, H. Gastineau, etc. with historical, topographical, critical, & biographical delineations.

2 Excerpt:  Edward Hasted, Parishes: Rainham, in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6 (Canterbury, 1798), pp. 4-15. Also found on http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol6/pp4-15.

3 Excerpt:  C. Greenwood. Epitome of County History, vol. 1 - County of Kent, p. 279. (London: No. 5 Hart Street, Bloomsbury Square, 1838.)

4 Excerpt:  Edward Wedlake Brayley. The Beauties of England and Wales; or delineations topographical, historical and descriptive of each County. Vol. VIII, pp 686-687. (London: printed by Thomas Maiden, Sherburne Lane, 1808.)

5 Excerpt:  Philip Parsons, A.M., Minister of Wye, in Kent. The Monuments and Painted Glass of upwards of one hundred churches, chiefly in the eastern part of Kent; Rainham Church pp 360-. (Canterbury: Simmons, Kirkby and Jones, 1794.)

6 Excerpt:  Robert Pocock. Memorials of the Family of Tufton, Earls of Thanet, Deduced from various sources of authentic information, p61-63. (Gravesend: printed by R. Pocock, 1800.)