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Some Monumental Inscriptions of St John the Baptist Church, ErithNoted by John Harris 1885

We are greatly indebted to Francis Gilbert for supplying us with a copy of a book 'The Parish of Erith in Ancient and Modern Times published by John Harris in 1885, from which the following M.I.s are taken

Kindly typed up for the website by Pat Tritton

1. Here lys the body of Richard TURNOR late of this parish, Gent, who departed this life 11th July 1705 aged 54. And also the body of Samuel THOYTS late of this parish who departed this life the 4th day of August 1729 aged 56. Likewise the body of Elizabeth, wife of the said Samuel Thoyte, eldest daughter of the said Richard Turnor who departed this life the 15th November 1724 aged 43. And also the body of Elizabeth Thoyte their daughter who departed this life the 18th July 1735 aged 22. And likewise of three other of their children who died in their infancy. Also the body of Mr Richard TURNER, son of the above mentioned Richard Turner, who departed this life June 28th 1745 aged 59.

2. On a square urned monument are these inscriptions: Here lays the body of Mr James HARRIS of this parish who died October 21st 1772 aged 53 years, and two daughters, Ann Harris aged 3 weeks, and Margaret 3 hours, and Mrs Ann Harris, widow of the said Mr James Harris, and daughter of Mr Henry and Lucy DISMORR of this parish, and three children, Lucy, James and Ann Patty, all surviving him. He was a tender husband and affectionate father, and a sincere friend. Here also lieth the body of Mr Henry Dismorr Junr. who departed this life February 5th 1777 aged 47 years. Here lies the body of Mr Henry Dismorr of this parish, who died May 17, 1756 aged 62 years. And as a memorial of his sincere love, and esteem of his widow, this monument was erected at her sole expense. Likewise the body of Mrs Lucy Dismorr, wife of the above Mr Henry Dismorr, who departed this life on 14th June 1757 aged 55 years. She was an affectionate Wife, a tender Mother, a sincere friend, and lamented by all who knew her. Prepare to follow.

3. Here lieth the body of Sarah, the wife of John HARRIS of Plumstead, who departed this life ye 7th February 1773 aged 42 years. This monument was repaired and beautified, and the iron railings placed around, by Eleaner RICKARDS, youngest daughter of the late Henry DISMORR, August 1832. John Harris of Plumstead he died February 1st 1756 aged 39 years. He married the eldest daughter of Mr Henry Dismorr. Was a dutiful son, a tender husband and indulgent father, in due regard to his merit Mrs Dismorr placed this inscription. Also of Lucy his daughter, died Oct. 4th 1752 aged 5 months.

4. On a plain headstone: Here lies the body of Richard THARPE, who departed this life ye 5th January 1690 aged 28 years.

5. Here lies Hester HOLSTOCK, who died April 11th 1703. 47 years of age.

6. Here lies the body of Mrs Hannah BLUNDELL, late wife of Mr John Blundell of ye parish of St John’s Southwark of London, Victualler, who departed this life the 3rd day of August 1758. Aged 38 years.

7. Sacred to the memory of Mrs Jane HOLDING, wife of Mr William Holding of Sutton at Hone, who died August 10th 1797, aged 32 years, also 3 sons who died in their infancy. Likewise the above-named Mr W. Holding who died suddenly at his residence, Halling Court, November 4th 1830 aged 72 years. Also Mrs Sarah Holding, second wife of the above, who died September 17th 1833 aged 66 years. Also Mr Joseph Holding their son who died June 26th 1827 aged 12 years. Also Thomas Holding who died in his infancy.

8. Here lieth the body of Mr Moses GILBERT, late of this parish, who died April 21st 1817 aged 53 years. Also Mr George Gilbert, son of the above who departed this life August 24th 1809 aged 21 years.

9. In memory of Mrs Ann STONE, wife of Mr Thomas Stone of this parish, who died 26th December 1823 aged 63 years. Also of Mr Thomas Stone who died November 2nd 1831 aged 72 years. Likewise of Harriet, daughter of the above, who died 23rd March 1807 aged 13 years. Also 2 children who died in their infancy.

10. In memory of Josiah WELCH, late of Bridport, Dorsetshire, who unfortunately lost his life on board the Fly J. Green Master, by a blow from the capstan bar in a sudden squall of wind, February 29th 1809 aged 26 years.

11. Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth, the wife of Mr Benjamin LANCE of the parish of Woolwich, who died August 7th 1794 aged 35 years. Also the above Mr Benjamin Lance, who suddenly departed this life in a fit of Apoplexy April 7th 1836 aged 65 years. Also of Edith, widow of the above Mr Benjamin Lance, who died February 19th 1850 aged 87 years. Also Elizabeth, daughter of the above Benjamin and Elizabeth Lance who died July 16th 1858 aged 68 years. Likewise Benjamin Lance, son of the above who died September 3rd 1858 aged 65 years.

12. In memory of Alice, the beloved wife of Robert REID, born 16 September 1797, died 18th September 1865. Also of the above Robert Reid, born September 6th 1796, died April 17th 1868.

13. Sacred to the memory of Samuel Edward WHEELER, born in London May 20th 1809, died at Belvedere January 7th 1875.

14. In memory of John GRIFFITHES, husband of Maria Griffithes, he died January (dates obliterated; 170 are the only figures left).

15. Beneath this stone lieth the remains of Maurice DONLEVY who departed this life the 3rd day of July 1801 in the 43 year of his age.

16. Sacred to the memory of Mrs Sarah FLICKER aged 48 years, the virtuous wife of Mr Anthony Flicker of this parish, who died June 17th 1838 aged 57 years. Also Sarah, daughter of the above, born August 16th 1798, died September 12th 1799. Also Mr Anthony Flicker died October 29th 1850 in the 84th year of his age.

17. In memory of Sarah AUSTEN, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Austen, who departed this life October 25th 1798 aged 21 years. Also of Elizabeth Austen, mother of the above, who departed this life June 4th 1810 aged 65 years. Also Mr Thomas Austen, who departed this life January 1st 1811 aged 66 years. Also John, son of the above Thomas and Elizabeth Austin, who departed this life May 30th 1823 in the 38th year of his age.

18. In memory of Mary Ann HARMAN, wife of Mr George Harman of this parish who died June 12th 1797 aged 20 years. Also the body of the above Mr George Harman who died August 2nd 1814. Also William Henry Harman, son of the above who died August 9th 1800 aged 57 years.

19. In memory of John GREEN of this parish, who departed this life April 5th 1691 aged sixty-two years. Also the body of Rebecca Green, who departed this life June 16th 1699, aged 74 years.

20. In memory of Mr William EWERS of the parish of Crayford, Yeoman, who departed this life 5th June 1810 aged 75 years.

21. To the memory of Mr John HONAN who departed this life January 22nd 1805. Also of Mrs Mary Honan, late wife of the above who departed this life February 9th 1805 aged 62 years.

22. To the memory of Mrs Sarah HOLDING, late of Sutton at Hone, who died March 2nd 1770 aged … years. Also Mr William Holding, husband of the above who died 11th February 1788 aged 68 years.

23. In memory of Mrs Susannah READ, late wife of Mr James Read of this parish, who departed this life June 23rd 1798 in the 45th year of her age. Also of the above James Read who departed this life 26th November 1808 in the 56th year of his age.

24. To the memory of Mrs Anne Charlotte FLETCHER, late wife of Mr John Fletcher and daughter of John and Susannah READ of this parish, born the 4th day of August 1786, departed this life 26th December 1808 aged 22 years.

25. In memory of Henrietta, the daughter of Richard and Margaret WARE of Whitby, who departed this life January 23rd 1792 aged 20 years and 9 months.

26. Robert MEER departed this life January 2nd 1691 aged 25 years. Here lyeth the body of Jeremiah VIRGIN who died May 5th 1778 aged 52 years.

27. Sacred to the memory of Mary, wife of Mr John BEADLE of this parish, coal merchant, who died June 21st 1799 aged 40 years. Also Mr John Beadle who died 6th April 1831 aged 71 years. Likewise Mr Samuel Beadle, son of John and Ann Beadle, who died May 24th 1831 aged 28 years. Also Ann, second wife of the above Mr John Beadle who died April 28th 1853 in the 89th year of her age.

28. In memory of James LEIGHTON of London who was unfortunately drowned near Woolwich February 3rd 1810 aged 18 years.

29. In memory of Elizabeth SUMMERS, wife of Alexander Summers, who died December 26th 1806 aged 72 years. Also of Henry Alexander Summers, grandson of the above who died October 17th 1808 aged 4 months. Likewise Alexander Summers, son of the above who died March 6th 1817 aged 45 years. Martha MEARS died July 21st 1862 aged 62 years. Lilia LANGMAN died April 16th 1863 aged 74 years. Jane Elizabeth Langman died November 16th 1860 aged 12 years.

30. Here lies Henry, son of Henry and Dorothy HUMPHREY of Deptford, who died 1st February 1717 aged 1 year and 9 months. Also John deceased 4th August 1718 aged 3 years and 5 months. Grandchildren to John STREET.

31. In memory of Mr Thomas CHAPMAN, late of the parish of Wrotham, who died 3rd January 1811 or 1814.

32. In memory of John JARVIS of this parish, Builder, who died May 29th 1809 aged 50 years. Eleanora, wife of the above who died May 14th 1832 aged 52 years.

33. In memory of Jane, wife of Mr John LANE who departed this life October 7th 1757 aged 44 years. Also lieth 2 children, Mary who died 28th September 1715 aged 2 years. Elizabeth who died September 30th 1715 aged 5 years.

34. Here after a long life of 75 years, the early part of which was spent in sickness and infirmity, rest the mortal remains of John WEEKS of this parish who died September 6th 1792.

35. In memory of Mr John WEEKS of the Abbey Farm in this parish who died January 23rd 1812 aged 59 years.

36. Here lyeth interred the body of Mr John TURNER, of this parish, Maltster, who departed this life June 6th 1…/ aged 75 years. As also the body of Mr William Turner his son, who departed this life December 19th 1725 in the 25th year of his age. Also the body of M…/ Turner …./ life …../ Also the body of ……/ Turner o…../ 1771. (N.B. Letters much erased).

37a. In memory of Thomas PAYN of this parish, Carpenter, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Payn, of Marsland near Walpole, in the county of Norfolk, who died January 21st 1798, 63 years of age. Also Elizabeth Payne, wife of the above Thomas Payn, who died 4th January 1800 aged 64 years.

37b. In memory of Mrs Martha HEATH, wife of Jeremiah Heath of this parish, and daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth PAYN, who departed this life March 10th 1801 aged 34 years. Also 2 of her children who died in their infancy.

37c. Mrs Elizabeth BENTLEY, who died the 10th of December 1820 aged 58 years. Mrs Philip PAYN who died the 27th December 1880 aged 62 years. Mrs Elizabeth Payn, second wife of Mr John Payn, who died 27th August 1812 aged 72 years. Also the above Mr John Payn who died 27th March 1817 aged 82 years.
(The above three inscriptions are all on one stone).

38. In memory of John KIBBLE who died ye 24th of June 1757 aged 42 years. Also 2 of his children, viz: Richard and Ann who died in their infancy. Here lieth the wife of John Kibble, who departed this life August the 12th 1780 aged 61 years.

39. In memory of Mr Jasper CLARK of the parish of Woolwich, who departed this life April 11th 1805 aged 55 years. Also of Mr Joseph BOWLER, late of this parish, Blacksmith, who departed this life March 10th 1785 aged 50 years. Likewise Mrs Elizabeth Bowler late wife of Mr Joseph Bowler of the parish of Woolwich, daughter-in-law to the above who departed this life 1st March 1811 aged 50 years.

40. In memory of Mrs Ann, wife of William TINKER, died September 2nd 1805 aged 37 years. Also Mrs Ann, second wife of the above who died July 26th 1859. Also William Tinker, husband of the above, Farmer of this parish who died June 10th 1854 aged 49 years.

41. Sacred to the memory of John ANDERSON, born in St Petersburgh June 26th 1796, died at Erith January 22nd 1870. Also his fifth son Charles James Anderson, born in St Petersburgh March 19th 1835, died at Napier, New Zealand December 5th 1869.

42. Here lieth the body of John STREET, who departed this life June 29th A.D. 1718 aged 75 years, who gave to the poor of this parish thirty shillings a year for ever, to be paid out of six acres of marsh land lying on the north side of the church; to be laid out in bread, to be distributed, two shillings worth every Sunday, for fifteen Sundays, in two penny loaves beginning one month before Christmas 1718. Also his father John Street, buried January 14th 1689 aged 76 years. And his Mother Elizabeth, buried May 17th 1686 aged 67 years. And near unto lyeth his Wife Dorothy, deceased March 21st 1710 aged 60 years.

43a. In memory of the Revd. James WHITE, Vicar of this parish who died September 26th 1804 aged 65 years.

On reverse side of stone
43b. Here lies interred in the same grave with her Husband the mortal remains of Ann WHITE, widow of the Revd. James White, and daughter of the late Richard HORNSBY Esqre. of Kirkley Hall of this county, she departed this life with the pious resignment of a Christian, the third day of January 1809 aged 72 years. And in a grave, by the side, are deposited the remains of Richard White Esqre. (the second son) who departed this life the 29th day of May 1848, in the 79th year of his age.

44. In memory of Mrs Mary BEADLE, wife of Mr John Beadle, senior, who departed this life December 26th 1809 aged 75 years. Also the above Mr John Beadle who departed this life June 8th 1811 aged 81 years.

45. Sacred to the memory of William BEADLE, son of Henry and Jane Beadle, who departed this life May 29, 1822. Also Henry Beadle who died July 9th 1802 aged 8 years. Also Mr Henry Beadle, father of the above who departed this life July 15 1828 aged 57 years. Also Jane, widow of the above Mr Henry Beadle, who departed this life January 6th 1845.

46. Here lieth the body of John SEAMAN of this parish who departed this life September 20th 1718 in the 33rd year of his age, and he left behind him 2 sons, Daniel and John.

47. In memory of Mr Thomas GILBERT late of this parish who died March 17 1810 aged 46 years.

48. Sacred to the memory of William ALEXANDER, late of Henstead, Suffolk, who departed this life 22nd October 1779 aged 24 years.

49. Here lyes the body of Hester HOLSTOCK who departed this life April 11th 1703 in the 47th year of her age.

50. In memory of Elizabeth, wife of Mr William WOODMAN late of this parish, who departed this life July 4 1822. Also 2 children of the above, James, who died August 10th 1798 aged 9 years, Elizabeth who died in her infancy.

51. Sacred to the Memory of Mr Matthew FYE, late of the parish of Woolwich, who died 19th March 1809 aged 48 years.

52. Sacred to the memory of Mrs Elizabeth SERGEANT, wife of Mr James Sergeant, who died August 11th 1808 aged 33 years.

53. Sacred to the memory of Alfred James GRIMES of St Helens, Isle of Wight, who was accidentally drowned from the yacht Clio lying off Erith April 18th 1874 aged 26 years. Also Charles, brother of the above, who died of Cholera at Odessa, July 28th 1866 aged 32 years. This stone is erected by their sorrowing Mother Jane Grimes.

54. Sacred to the memory of Mr Thomas EATON of this parish, Schoolmaster, who departed this life October 15th 1823 aged 77 years. Ann, widow of the above who died November 1st 1838 aged 72 years.

55. In memory of Hume LANCASTER, youngest son of the Revd. R.H. Lancaster, Rector of Warnford, Hants, who died in this parish July 4th 1870 aged 36 years.

56. In memory of Mrs Sarah SHOVE, wife of Mr Jonathan Shove, of New Cross, in the parish of Deptford, who departed this life October 2nd 1815 aged 66 years. Also the above named Jonathan Shove who departed this life December 11, 1815 aged 81 years.

57. The venerable Charles John SMITH, M.A., Christ Church, Oxford, late Archdeacon and Commissary of Jamaica and 20 years Vicar of this parish entered into his rest on the 29th day of December 1872 aged 57 years. Also Aubrey Charles his son, who died November 26th 1868 aged 18 years.

58. Herunder Hviler Levningenne A.F. Skibforer O Oisen, FODt I Asker 19th April 1819. Dod i Erith 4th June 1866. Fred Med Dit stov.
(Translation: Hereunder rest the remains of the Captain A.F. ORSEN, born at Asker 19th April 1819, died at Erith 4th June 1866. Peace with your dust).

59. To the memory of Thomas KEIGHTLEY, born in Dublin October 17th 1789, died at Lesness Heath, Kent on November 4th 1872. The last male of his branch of an ancient family. He did justice, loved mercy, and walked humbly with God. Devoted to Literature his writings displayed his mental powers and acquirements. His only wish was that his name might live many years in close conjunction with those of Shakespeare and Milton.

60. Sacred to the memory of George NISBET of this parish, many years a faithful servant of William WHEATLEY Esqre., who departed this life March 25th 1815 aged 74 years. Also Mary Jane Nesbet, sister of the above, who departed this life January 22nd 1823 aged 88 years.

61. In memory of Mrs Esther CRAFTER, wife of Mr William Crafter of London, Auctioneer, and daughter of the late Mr Thomas GILBERT, she departed this life .. October 1817 aged 25 years. Also Mr Thomas Crafter their son who died December 11th 1817 aged 10 weeks.

62. Sacred to the memory of Mr Thomas GILBERT of this Parish, who died September 2nd 1845 in the 51st year of his age. Also Mr Moses Gilbert of this Parish who died April 2nd 1846 aged 49 years. Also Philip William PALMER, son of William and Jane Palmer of London and grandson of Mr Moses Gilbert, who died October 28th 1846 aged 5 weeks. Also Strange Thomas, son of the above Mr Moses and Jane Charlotte Gilbert who died February 6th 1847 in the 7th year of his age. Also Mr Moses, son of the above Mr Moses and Jane Charlotte Gilbert, who died September 29th 1858 aged 25 years. Also Jane Charlotte, the beloved wife of the above Mr Moses Gilbert who died December 13th 1882 in her 79th year. Also of Hannah Ann, widow of Robert TEASDELL of Great Yarmouth, and sister of the above Jane Charlotte Gilbert, died July 18th 1884 aged 78 years.

63. In memory of Thomas, son of late John CRADOCK of Wolverhampton, Nephew of Dr Wm. Cradock, late Dean of St Patrick’s and great nephew of Dr John Cradock, late Arch Bishop of Dublin, died September 12th 1874 aged 87 years.

64. The old sundial on the exterior of the south wall has two scrolls. One states that the dial was given in 1643 by Nicholas STONE. The other scroll bears an inscription: "Redibo, tu nunquam", filled in by the late vicar of the parish, Archdeacon SMITH; who translated it "I shall come back; thou never".

Inscriptions in the church
Erith may consider itself fortunate in having any of the monumental brasses left in the old Parish Church. The destruction has been great, and many of the stones in which brasses were fixed have been much disfigured. No less than nine brasses have been taken away; fortunately some of the nails by which they were fastened have been left to attest the size of the figures. A scroll at the top of AILEMER’s brass is gone; one small brass, two shields, and one square from HAWTE’s monument are also wanting. The large stone on which are figures of three children is terribly damaged. It formerly had two shields and two figures 3 feet long, as we know by the nails remaining. One figure of the MYLNER’s brass is gone. The arms of the WHEATLEYs, Lords of this Manor, are finely and boldly cut in the stone slabs lying on the floor. Their crest is suggestive of their name, viz: "A wheatsheaf grasped by the hands and upright arms". The armorial coat of William HEDGES (Lord of the Manor) is also very elaborately carved on his monumental stone in the chapel floor.
WEEVER, on page 336 of his Ancient Funeral Monuments, records the following inscriptions as once existing on brasses here:

65.a. 1. Ellin atte COKE gist icy: Dieu de sa alme eit mercy.

65b. 2. Hic jacet Radulphus CRIEL armiger qui obiit 6 Decembris 1447. Cujus anime propicietur altissimus.

65c. 3. Orate pro anima Domini Johannis STONE quondam vicarii ecclesie parochialis de Lesnes alias Erith, qui obiit 13 Aprilis 1475. "O vos omnes qui hic transitis pro me orate.
Precibus vestries qui fraters estis meque juvate".

65d. 4. An imperfect brass, with words only partly legible: Orate pro anima Ricardi WALDEN armigeri, et Elisabethe uxoris ejus, que obiit 25 Octobris 1496 et Ricardus obiit …./ die …/ mens. Anno mil’mo …./ quorum animabus …./

65e. 5. Pray for the sowl of Syr Richard WALDEN, Knight, and Lady Margerie his wife, which Sir Richard decessyd 25 of March 1536, and Margery decessyd the sixth of May 1528. Whos sowls God pardon.

66. Dr. Thorpe, in his Monumental Records of Kent, published 1769, gives inscriptions of a later date. In the south aisle on a gravestone he saw this inscription:
"Here lyeth interred the body of William SEAMAN, late of London, who departed this life May 29, 1749 aged 43 years. Also the body of Mrs Bridget GRUNDY, sister of the abovesaid, and wife of Mr Richard Grundy of London, who departed this life July 9, 1755, aged 46 years". This stone is not now to be seen.

67. Thorpe also saw this fragment of an inscription in black letters on a brass:
"…./ Eldest daughter of Thomas HARMAN of Crayford, Esquier, and wife to William DRAPER of Erythe, gent, who died the 17th day February 1574, and left in children two sons and two daughters, that is to say Thomas and Henry, Elizabeth and Bridget". This also has been taken away.

All the brasses now remaining are on the floor of the WHEATLEY chapel:
68. 1. Two figures on one slab, a third having been abstracted: "Pray for the sowle of John MYLNER, Margaret and Benet his wyvis, ye which John died ye xxij day of September ye yer of our Lord MoVcxj. On whos soles Jhu have mercy".

69. 2. "Orate pro anima Emme uxoris Johannis WODE, civis Londoniar’, et mercatoris stapule Calisie, quondam filie Johannis WALDEN, aldermanni civitatis London ac maioris stapule Calicie, que obiit xxxvijo die Augusti, anno domini Moiiijclxxjo. Cujus anime propicietur Deus".
(Pray for the soul of Emma, wife of John Wode, citizen of London and merchant of the Staple of Calais, formerly daughter of John Walden, alderman of the city of London and merchant of the Staple of Calais, who died on the 27th day of August, in the year of our Lord 1471, on whose soul the Lord have mercy. Amen).

70. 3. "Hic jacet Rogerus SENCLER, quondam serviens Abbatis, et Conventus de Lesens, qui obiit primo die mensis Januarii, anno domini Moccccoxxvo. Cujus anime propicietur Deus. Amen".
(Here lies Roger Sencler, formerly bailiff of the abbot and monastery of Lesens, who died on the first day of the month of January, in the year of our Lord 1425, on whose soul may God have mercy. Amen).

71. 4. "Of yor charite pray for the soules of Edward HAWTE,* esquier & Elyzabeth his wife, which Edward decesid the xxth day of Septembr Aodni.MoVcxxxvij. On whos soules Jhu have marcy". * A very small brass is with the Hawtes.

72. 5. Two large and handsome brasses on one slab: "Hic jacet Johannes AILEMER, qui obiit ijo die Mensis Decembris Anno domini Millmo. ccccoxxxvo, et Margeria uxor ejus. Quorum animabus propicietur Deus. Amen". (Here lies John Ailmer, who died on the second day of the month of December, in the year of our Lord 1435, and Margaret his wife. On whose souls may God have mercy. Amen).

73. 6. Fragments of a brass bore as an armorial shield a cotised bend between six martlets on one part, and three children on another part.

74. On a marble tablet on the chancel wall, over an altar-tomb. "Under this tomb lyeth the body of Francis VANACKER, Esq. Lord of the Mannor of Erith. He departed this life the thirteenth of December 1686, in the 38 year of his age, who left surviving him Cornelia Vanacker his wife, and his two Brotheirs Nicholas and John Vanacker, Marchants of London, who in affection to his memory erected this monument".

75. The altar-tomb is the Vanackers is very handsome. It is 6 feet by 4 feet in width and height. The top slab is black marble: all other parts white marble. The west end is divided into three panels; the centre one has three cherubs in clouds; the two side ones fruit and flowers pendent. The south front has side panels similarly ornamented with fruit and flowers. The centre panel is large, encircled with flowers, and a plain medallion, evidently intended for the inscription which has been placed on the mural tablet above.

76. On the floor. On the floor near the VANACKER tomb is a stone slab inscribed: "Here lyeth interred ye body of Mrs Cornelia BATEMAN ye widow of William Bateman, Marcht , Lady of the Mannor of Erith, and formerly ye widow of Francis Vanacker, Esq., deceased Lord of ye said Mannor of Erith. She departed this life ye 23 of September Anno Dni 1702 in the 49th year of her age, and has now left her brother-in-law Sr John Vanacker, Bart, & a Marchant of London, ye present Lord of this Manr who is ye only surviving brother and Heir of her Said Husband Francis Vanacker, Esq., deceased. In memory of whom this stone was erected by her executor John CRAWLEY, son of Thomas Crawley of London, Marchant".

77. Stone pinnacled monument at east end. "To the memory of William WHEATLEY, Esq., Lord of this Mannor. Died June 20, 1807, 64 years of age". Beneath the heraldic arms in front of the monument is, "I trust in my God".

Four stone slabs on the floor
78. Here lyeth interr’d the body of William WHEATLEY, Esquire, Lord of his Mannor who departed this life ye 2nd day of December 1745 aged 38 years. Here also lies interr’d the body of Mrs. Mary HUSSEY, daughter and coheiress to John SLANEY of Lulsley Court in Worcestershire, Esqr. She was first married to the above William Wheatley, Esq., on whose decease she married to William Hussey, of Guildhall, London, Esqr. and departed this life October the 2nd 1777, aged 56 years.

79. Here lyeth the body of Margaret Salisbury WHEATLEY, wife of John Wheatley, Esqr. and Lady of this Mannor, who departed this life May ye 27th 1743 aged 63. Also the body of John Wheatley, Esq., who died November 16th 1748, aged 86 years.

80. Here lyeth the Body of Margaret WHEATLEY, daughter of John Wheatley, Gent., by Margaret Salisbury his wife, who departed this life the last day of December 1778, aet. 19.

81. William HEDGES, Esqr. Lord of this Mannor. Obt 22nd May 1734, aet 57.

82. Marble tablet on south wall. Sacred to the Memory of Maria Margaret WHEATLEY, youngest daughter of William Wheatley, Esq., of Lesney in this parish, who died 11th December 1812, aged 22 years. Also of George Wheatley, Esq., 4th son of the above-named William Wheatley, who died 27th March 1816 aged 35 years. Also of Lucy Margaret Wheatley, eldest daughter of the above-named William Wheatley, who died January 22nd 1828 aged 59 years. Also of John Wheatley, Esq., second son of the above-named William Wheatley, who died at sea 13th August 1830, on his return from India, aged 57 years.

83. Marble tablet on south wall. Vive Memor Lethi. Scared to the memory of Margaret, daughter of John RANDALL, Esq. of Charlton in this county, and relict of William WHEATLEY, Esq. of Lesney in his parish. After a life passed in the exercise of every virtue, she died universally regretted by her family and friends, on the xx day of January M.D.C.C.CXXIX, aged lxxii years.

84. Mural tablet on south wall. Sacred to the memory of Major General William WHEATLEY of Lesney in this county, Captain in the 1st Regt of Foot Guards, who having fought with honor and distinction in several engagements, particularly at the Battles of Lincelles and Barosa, died of a Fever at Madrid, Beloved and lamented by the whole Army, while in command under the Marquis of Wellington, September 1st, 1812, aged 41 years.

Rafael Salazar found this inscription in
 "The Garden of the Friars" of "El Escorial Monastery" near the City of Madrid and very kindly emailed
these pictures to us Oct 2007

El Escorial Monastery, near Madrid

M.I. of Major General William Wheatley

85. Marble tablet on south wall. Sacred to the Memory of Major General Sir Henry WHEATLEY, Bart., C.B. and G.C.H., died March 21st 1852, aged 74. Sincerely loved and lamented Louisa relict of the above, and daughter of George Edward HAWKINS, Esq., died April 1st 1858 aged 77, deeply regretted by her family and friends. Their remains are interred in the family vault in this church.

86. Marble tablet on east wall. Sacred to the Memory of William Owen WHEATLEY, eldest son of Major General Wheatley of Lesney in this county. Born 15th December 1796. He died at Pisa in Italy, the 4th March 1832, aged 32 years. A Lieutenant of the Royal Navy and lord of the Manor of Lesney. Also of Charles Wheatley, third son of Major General Wheatley, born October 18th, 1800, he died at Malta 21st March 1822. An Ensign in the 23rd Foot. Aged 22 years.

87. Mural tablet on east wall. In memory of Mary Catherine HUBERTINE, widow of William Owen Wheatley, Esq., R.N., of Lesney House in this parish, and wife of Charles LITTLEHALE, Esq., late of Marnhull, Blandford, Dorset. Born 1st June 1805, died at Cannes in France January 15th 1871.

88. Marble tablet in the east wall. Sacred to the memory of Georgina Louisa, eldest daughter of Sir Henry WHEATLEY, Bart., and Louisa his wife. Born November 29th 1807. Died December 9th 1864. Also to the Honourable Sophia, youngest daughter of the above, and Maid of Honour to H.M. Adelaide, the Queen Dowager. Born December 25th 1817. Died May 23rd 1863.
Sacred to the memory of Harry William WHEATLEY, eldest son of Major-General Sir Henry Wheatley, G.C.H., and Louisa his wife, who died 9th April 1819 aged 13 years. Also of Laura Maria Wheatley, second daughter of the above Sir Henry Wheatley, G.C.H., who died 14th February 1840, aged 28 years.

Inscriptions in the High Chancel
89. Stone slab within the altar rails. Here lyeth interred the Bodes of Sr John GRIFFITH of Erith, Kt, and Dame Mary his wife. The said Sr John departed ye 17th of Octobr 1677, aged 59.

90. On the floor within the altar rails is a stone slab. To the memory of Dorothea Graham, the beloved wife of the Rev. Richard DAVIES, Vicar of this parish, who died 18th August 1823, aged 62 years. The Rev. Richard Davies, 47 years Vicar of this parish, departed this life 25 August 1849, in the 81st year of his age.

91. On a stone slab in the chancel floor. Covered by the new stalls is the following: "Here lyeth interred ye body of William HOBS, of this County, Gentleman, who had issue by Ann his Wife 7 children, 2 sonnes and 5 daughters, wherof one is deceased, he being Aged 61 years, and departed this life the 30th day of May 1657".

92. On one of two slabs of black stone, partly hidden by the stalls. Here lies interred the body of Mr James MARSH, late of this parish, who departed this life the 8th of April 1782, aged 85 years. Also the body of Mrs Elizabeth PAGE, niece of the above, who departed this life the 19th December 1787, aged 66 years. Also the body of Mr John Page, husband of the above, who departed this life …./ 1800, in the 75th year of his age. Also two of their grandchildren. To the memory of Mary Ann HAFFENDEN, wife of Charles Dalby Haffenden, and daughter of Mrs Elizabeth BUTLER here …..,/ and niece of James Page of this parish. She died in Spain on the 9th day of March 18../, in the 23rd year of her age, and was buried there.

93. On the second slab. Here lies interred the body of Mr John PAGE, of this parish, son of John and Elizabeth Page. He departed this life 30th November 1820 aged 65 years. Also of Mrs Elizabeth Page of Beadonwell, daughter of Mr John Page, who died the 12th June 1839 aged 4../ years. Here also lies interred the body of Mr James Page, brother of the above John Page. Also a son of Mr John and Elizabeth Page. He departed this life on August 29th 1844, aged 84 years. Also the body of Mr James Page of Beadonwell, son of the above Mr John Page, and brother of Mrs Elizabeth BUTLER. He departed this life April 28th 1853, aged 59 years.

94. On the south side, beneath the stalls. In the vault beneath are deposited the remains of Lord EARDLEY, also of his son, S.E. Eardley, and of his granddaughter, Maria Countess de GERSDORFF.

Inscriptions in the Nave and aisles.
95. Marble tablet on north wall. Sacred to the Memory of Mary the beloved wife of William ACKROYD of Mayfield Hermitage, Co. of Stafford, Esq., who died at Hampton in Middlesex the 9th day of January 1832, aetat. 76, and interred beneath this monument. She was Aunt to Marianne, wife of Robert Wynne WILLIAMS, youngest son of John Williams of Penartherchaf, Co. Merioneth, Esq., and was also lineally descended from WOLFRIDUS, the founder of the Family of Rudyerd, near Leek, Co. of Stafford, who flourished in the reign of Edward the Confessor and Canute the Great, as the pedigree sets forth. Her unceasing affection and piety were remarkable through life, and her loss to her Husband and Niece is irreparable. Also the Memory of Wynne William Rudyerd, the infant son of the above-named Robert Wynne Williams and Marianne his Wife, who died on the 6th March 1823, and who was interred beneath.

96. Marble tablet on north wall, formerly in the nave. In this aisle are interred John BROWN, 40 years Clerk of the Parish and Vestry of Erith, who died Dec. 28th 1813. Also Mary Brown his wife, who died January 3rd, 1819. Mary CHATER their daughter died Sept. 6, 1872. Thomas Armstrong Chater died December 6th, 1859. Also Thomas Armstrong Chater their son died May 6, 1836.

97. In the south aisle, on a stone slab in the floor. To the Memory of Mr Thomas HOLDING and Mary his wife. He was born at Bedonwell in this parish on the 3rd December 1764, and departed this life at Greenwich, of which town he was many years an inhabitant, on the 24th October 1844. Mrs Mary Holding departed this life at Lewisham on the 27th April 1820, aged 68 years. Another Holding died 1844, aged 80 years.

98. In the nave. Mrs Hannah POUSSETT Obiit October 6th, 1784 aged 54 years. Peter Poussett died Sept. 15, 1810, aged 80 years.

99. On the west wall of south aisle is a small brass inscribed: "This window is dedicated by some parishioners to the Memory of the late Charles John SMITH, M.A., formerly Archdeacon of Jamaica, and for 19 years Vicar of this parish. Born April 13th 1819, died November 29th 1872". This brass is under the stained-glass window.

100. Small brass on the pulpit. Presented by George Frederick WEBBER in commemoration of the restoration of this church.

101. Brass in the clergyman’s vestry. June 24, 1877. The north aisle and vestries of this church were added, the roofs restored, the windows and walls repaired, and the interior refitted in the year of the Lord 1877.
T.W. HARDY, Vicar, F.B. JESSETT, F. BEADLE, Churchwardens.

102. Marble tablet in the clergy vestry. Sacred to the Memory of Maria Countess de GERSDORFF, the only daughter of Lord and Lady SAYE and SELE, who, soon after the birth of her first and stillborn infant, departed this life 6th August 1826. This tablet was erected by her afflicted parents as a memorial of her many virtues and their irreparable loss.

103. The Eardley Monument on the north wall. Before the recent alterations of the church this elegant white marble monument, by CHANTREY, stood in the chancel. On the urns: "Hon. S.E. EARDLEY, died May 25, 1824, aged 53". "Baron Eardley, Died December 25, 1824, aged 79". On the front of the monument: "Near this place are deposited the remains of the Right Honourable Baron Eardley, also of the Hon. S.E. Eardley, his eldest son. This monument was erected by 3 Sisters, the only surviving children of Lord Eardley, as a memorial of duty, affection, and gratitude to their lamented Father and Brother". On the left side: "Of this lamented parent and his son, it may truly be said, their generosity was great, their benevolence unbounded, and their Christian charity exemplary". On the right side is the text, Psalm xl. 6.

104. Respecting Maria, Countess de GERSDORFF, daughter of Lady SAYE and SELE, who was buried in the chancel of Erith Church, these lines are engraved on a marble pedestal standing in the yard of All Saints’ Church, Belvedere: On the urn are these words: "For the dead there are many mourners, But only one monument – The heart which lov’d them best. Countess De Gersdorff, Ob. August 1826. This urn was erected to her memory by her disconsolate Mother". On the pedestal: "This monument, originally placed in the garden at Belvedere, was removed to this spot Oct. 1858".

Coloured Windows
105. At the west end of the north aisle are two coloured windows. The west window has Scriptural illustrations of Matthew xiv. 14, and the following words: "To the glory of God. A thankoffering from D. HULETT for the recovery of his wife from a severe illness, March 1880". The north window has the figures of Saints Peter, James, and John, and the worlds "To the Glory of God. A thankoffering from D. Hulett for the recovery of his wife from a severe illness, March 1880".

106. Near the east end of the north wall is a stained-glass window inscribed: "A memorial to Juliana Lisette WOOD. Matris Dilectae 1870". Over each figure is an inscription: "Moses Prophet", "John ye Baptist", "Elijah Prophet". This window is to the memory of the mother of an eminent English naturalist, the Rev. J.G. WOOD.

107. The stained glass in the chancel windows was inserted (by subscription) after the gunpowder explosion in the Erith Marshes, October 1st 1864, which greatly damaged the church.

108     The Parish Registers
The early Parish Registers were almost all destroyed by fire, February 21, 1877, in the temporary wooden church, used during the restoration of the parish church. Fortunately, in the autumn of 1876, copious extracts had been taken for genealogical purposes by Mr Robert HOVENDEN of Croydon, and his friend Dr HOWARD. The baptismal extracts ranged from 1625 (the first entry in the Register) to 1752, and were in number 183. From the Marriage Registers 97 extracts were taken up to 1753. From the Burial Registers 75 entries. Twenty-five copies of these extracts have been printed by Mr Hovenden for private circulation. The existing Registers date from the year 1813. Copies have been taken of all names on the tombstones in the churchyard, of dates prior to 1813.

Additional Gilbert names collected by Francis Gilbert in recent years from Erith Churchyard.

109. John Gilbert. d. 11 Sept 1830, aged 44. Ester, wife of the above, d. 15 June 1855, aged 66. Mary, daughter of the above, d. 13 Nov 1888, aged 72

110. Thomas Gilbert, d. ???? [1810?], aged ?6 [probably 46]

111. My dear husband Charles Gilbert, d. 29 Dec 1929, aged 57 and also Henry and Phoebe his parents

112. A four-sided tomb...(a) Lilian Beatrice Gilbert, d. 1 Feb 1918, aged 23 also Gladys Grace Gilbert, sister of the above, d. 2 Feb 1918, aged 2. (b) Phoebe Helen Gilbert ("Lovey"), d. 19 Dec 1924, aged 17. (c) my beloved husband Ebenezer Gilbert, d. 27 Feb 1935, aged 67. Emma his wife, d. 31 July 1965, aged 88. (d) our dear father & mother James Benge, aged 77 and Ann Elizabeth, aged 71. both died 30 Nov 1912

113. George Charles Gilbert, d. 10 Dec 1927, aged 25

114. Thomas Gilbert, d. 23 Oct 18?2 [1882], aged 81 also Mary, daughter of the above, d. 26 Apr 1882, aged 37 also Thomas, son of the above, d. 12 May 1934, aged 83

115. James Gilbert, d. 19 May 1878, aged 2? [21] years rest of inscription contains at least one more name, obscured by the small footstone when the stones were repositioned. This has: ] J 1878 G, W 1881 G [ = probably William, brother of James, b.1848 or possibly the father, William, b. 1816] HT 1881 G [ = Henry Thomas, brother of James, b.1860 ] S 1882 G [ = probably either Sarah b.1845 or Susan b.1848, sisters of James, or possibly the mother Sarah Easson, b.1816 ]

116. Gilbert 1877 1920 [unknown, likely candidates are Harry Gilbert son of George & Mary Ann, or Henry Gilbert son of Henry & Eliza]

116. Alfred Gilbert, d. 3 Jan 1899, aged 22 also Edie, d. 11 Feb 1899, aged 19 mon

117. Henry Richard Gilbert, d. 26 Jun 18?? [1873], aged 11 years. William Joseph Gilbert, father of the above, d. ??unreadable Fanny Gilbert [rest buried in ground by repositioning of tombstone]

Index of Names and Places

Names Index
Armstrong 96
BEADLE 27, 44, 45, 101
BUTLER 92, 93
COKE 65a
EARDLEY 94, 103

FYE 51
GERSDORFF 94, 102, 104
GILBERT 8, 47, 61, 62
GREEN 10, 19
HARMAN 18, 67
HOLDING 7, 22, 97

Moses 62
PAGE 92, 93
PAYN 37a, 37b, 37c
Payne 37a
READ 23, 24
SAYE 102, 104
SEAMAN 46, 66
SELE 102, 104

SMITH 57, 64, 99
STONE 9, 64, 65c
STREET 30, 42
TURNER 1, 36
VANACKER 74, 75, 76
WALDEN 65d, 65e, 69
WEEKS 34, 35
Wellington 84
WHEATLEY 60, 66, 77-80,
WHITE 43a, 43b
WOOD 106
Wynne 95
Places Index
Asker 58
Belvedere 13, 104
Bridport, Dorsetshire 10
Cannes, France 87
Charlton 83
Christ Church, Oxford 57
Crayford 20, 67
Croydon 108
Deptford 30
Dublin 59, 63
   Abbey Farm 35
   Beadonwell 93
   Bedonwell 97
   Halling Court 7
Great Yarmouth 62
Greenwich 97
Hampton in Middlesex 95
Henstead, Suffolk 48
Jamaica 57, 99
Kirkley Hall of this county 43b
London 28, 61, 62, 66, 69, 76
   Guildhall 78
   St John’s Southwark 6
   Lesness Heath, Kent 59

Lewisham 97
Lulsley Court in Worcestershire 78
Madrid 84
Marnhull, Blandford, Dorset 87
Marsland near Walpole, Norfolk 37a
Mayfield Hermitage, Co. of Stafford 95
Napier, New Zealand 41
New Cross, Deptford 56
Odessa 53
Penartherchaf,  Merioneth 95
Plumstead 2, 3
Rudyerd, nr Leek, Stafford 95
St Helens, Isle of Wight 53
St Petersburgh 41
Staple of Calais 69
Sutton at Hone 7, 22
Warnford, Hants 55
Whitby 25
Wolverhampton 63
Woolwich 11, 28, 39, 51
Wrotham 31
   1st Regt of Foot Guards 84
   23rd Foot 86
   Battles of Lincelles and
       Barosa 84
   Captain 84 y
   Ensign 86
   Major General William 84,
       85, 86
Royal Navy 86, 87
   R.N. Lieutenant 86
Clergy etc
   abbot and monastery of
      Lesens 70
   Arch Bishop 63
   Archdeacon 64, 99
   Archdeacon &
      Commissary 57
   Churchwardens 101
   Clerk 96
   Dean of St Patrick’s 63
   Rector 55
   Rev 43a, 55, 89
   Vicar 43a, 57, 64, 089, 101
alderman 69

Auctioneer 61
bailiff 70
Blacksmith 39
Builder 32
Carpenter 37a
Cholera 53
coal merchant 27
drowned 28, 53
Eardley Monument 103
Farmer 40
Fever 84
gunpowder explosion 107
Maltster 36
merchant 69, 74, 76
Parish Registers 108
Schoolmaster 54
servant 60
Shipping etc
   Ship Fly 10
   Ship Master 10
   Captain 58
   yacht Clio 53
sundial 64
Victualler 6
Yeoman 20