Some Gravestones in Dishley Churchyard

The follow-on article to that in Volume 26, pages 20-22.   [Link > "The Dishley Saga"]

[from Vaughan Archaeological and Historical Society Transactions, Volume XXVII (1985-86), pp.9-13]


Most of the stones found, were lying embedded in thick vegetation and some may not even be in their original positions in the Churchyard.  Thirty-three slate headstones (probably Swithland slate) were uncovered and one large grave slab.  Of these, 14 were pre-1750 date, 9 the latter half of the century and 11 post-1800.  The earlier stones were small and of these, two especially should mentioned as the head is carved with an angel with “down turned” wings.  This was a feature in the early 18th C. of a school of Masons who were operating on the Leicestershire-Nottinghamshire border.  Although only two were uncovered by the working party, there may be others lying in the undergrowth.  Sadly, the base of these stones were broken, otherwise we might have discovered a mason’s name (25 and 27).

In old churchyards, individual stones to members of one family are to be found in rows – see here MEES, RICHARDS, LOE, THRONE and GUTTRIDGE. A rough plan of the churchyard helps the reader to identify numbered stones to the text.

1.        William TAYLOR d. 1730 aged 66.  At foot (on left) Henworth, Loughborough.  (on right) “Sculpt” with hour-glass between; scroll work encases all this; lettering good.

2.        Joseph THRONE d. 1733 aged 77 wife Elizabeth died 1755 aged 60.  Stone 23 x 36 ins. with straight head.

3.        Thomas THRONE d. 1791 aged 41 wife Elizabeth died aged 38.  Stone 24 x 40 ins. curved head.  Sculptor Wynfield of Wymeswold.  Verse reads: Afflictions ore long time they bore / Physicians were in vain / Till God above in tender love / Did ease them of their pain

4.        Joseph THRONE d. 1798 aged 77 wife Mary d. 1772 aged 55.  Stone 2 x 4 ft.  Sculptor was again (as No. 3) Wynfield of Wymeswold.  Verse: Death is the way that all must tread / Joyful to them, by virtue led / Grieve not for us, our children dear / Because your friends lie buried here, / Our time is spent, our glass is run, / So children dear, prepare to come.

5.        Thomas THRONE d. 1799 aged 80.  Stone size 1’6” x 4’.  Lived at Thorpe Acre upwards of 40 years; cousin to the late Samuel Phillips Esq.  Sculptor again as No. 3.  Verse: Neighbours and friends by death are snatched away / and we that are alive and well today / may drop into the grave for aught we know / Before we are prepared and fit to go.  On all of the THRONE stones, the text is enclosed within classical columns and on No. 4 the columns are mounted on brick pillars.

6.        ANN wife of John Winsall of London, sister to Thomas and Joseph Thorne d. 1813 aged 72.  Verse: With serious thoughts spectator view their fate / Thus mortals pass to an immortal state. / Through death’s dark vale we hope she’s found the way / To the bright region of eternal day.  Stone 1ft.10ins. x 5ft. (largest one found).  Engraver Keightley.  Text enclosed within classical columns.

7.        John CLETON d. 1725 aged 48

8.        William WRIGHT d. 1818 aged 82 years.  Below this on lefthand side of the stone “In hopes of a Joyful Resurrection”.  On righthand of the stone “Mary, late wife of William Wright Senr.  died 1785 aged 55.  Beneath, following verse: With lingering pain I was opprest / which wore my strength away / and made me wish for endless rest / Which never will decay / Oh! cruel death, how could’st though thus destroy / At once a father’s hope, a mother’s joy / Duteous he was, lov’d his friends sincere / But now in sacred dust lies mouldring here / Yet he may rise with bliss supremely given / and mingle, with the blest, the saints in h’vn.

9.        John BREEDON d.1796 aged 55.  Engraver was Pollard of Quorn.

10.     Thomas JACKSON d. 1800 aged 51.  Engraver Swain – Clawson.

11.     William PHIPPS d. 1835 aged 61.  Verse: Dear wife weep not for me no more / Nor children shed a tear / For I am gone but just before / To meet a Saviour dear.  Engraver – T. Rudkin.  NB Wm. Phipps had been miller at Dishley Water Mill.

12.     Charles FREEMAN d. 1707 ages 41.  The earliest stone found, small, plain only 1 ¾ x 2.  The Freemen family had been connected with the Water Mill about this time.

13.     John LEGO d. 1742 aged 63.  Verse: Afflictions ore long time I bore / Physicians were in vain. / Till death gave ease as God did please / To healing of my pain.  NB: very similar to verse on No. 3.

14.     ANN daughter of Geo. and Martha MORRIS d. 1776 aged 9.  Engraver – Webster.  Verse: This world is nothing, Heaven is all / I have left nothing by my fall. / Pray tell my friends when they do weep / I am not dead but gone to sleep.

15.     M.L. 1707 foot stone near LOE stones [especially No. 20, see also No. 23] so may also be family.

16.     T.L. 1714 – foot stone (see above [No. 15])

17.     Benjamin PILKINGTON d. 1816 aged 39, late coachman to T M Phillips, Esq.  Stone 27 ½ x 51 ins. curved top, oak leaves either side of an Urn.

18.     Mary wife of John LEWIN d. 1800 aged 48.  Her inscription only on righthand side of stone, other side blank.  Size 2’5” x 4’6”.  Curved top with a draped Urn.  Sculptor – Ainsworth, Loughborough.

19.     Frances wife of John COOK of Critchley in Coy. of Bucks. d. 1725 aged 30. Small stone 1’9” x 3’.

20.     William LOE d. 1774 aged 74, also ELIS 2nd wife died 1760 aged 69 (on lefthand side of slab).  On righthand side Sarah wife of William Loe of Holywell Hall, daughter of Thomas Deacon of Balson d. 1729 aged 38.  Stone 2’6” x 3’.  Classical columns, divided inscriptions.

21.     Ann – 2nd wife of Thomas RICHARDS d. 1754 aged 55.  Stone 2’ x 3’6”; curved top complete inscription framed in acanthus leaves.  Sculptor – W. Charles.  Verse: Stay, Reader, stay and drop a tear / And think of me who now lies here / And whilst you read the state of me / Think on, the glass that runs for thee.

22.     Mary wife of John Richards of Thorpe Acre d. 1776 aged 39.  Stone 2 x 4 ft., curved top with border decoration.  Engraver – N. Webster.  Verse: Within this grave a social friend is laid / Who hath the common debt of Nature paid / When living, honest, generous and kind / Now dead, a loss to all friends left behind / But she’s to happy regions wing’d away / Where souls enjoy soft rest and endless day.

23.     Nicholas LOE d. 1719 – partly underlies stone to John Richard’s wife [Mary] (No. 22).

24.     George son of Thomas & Maria MEE d. 1827 at 15.  Stone 1’8” x 4’, top curved.  Engraver was Edward Booth of Loughborough.  Verse: Not vigorous youth nor weeping friend / Could lengthen out my mortal days. / Sicken’d – died – and then resign’d / Those glittering toys on which I gaz’d / Dry up your tears surviving friends / Nor think my sudden exit hard / Up to God may my spirit tend / With him to enjoy his great reward.

25.     John GUTTRIDGE d. 1720 aged 35.  Broken stone 1’6” x 2’.  At top – angel with down-turned wings.

26.     Dorothy wife of Thomas GUTTRIDGE d. 1728 aged 36.  Stone 2 x 4 ft.

27.     Elizabeth daughter of Thomas & Dorothy GUTTRIDGE d. aged 3.  At head of stone Angel with down-turned wings.  On one side “come-ye” and on the other “Blessed”.  Verse: Short was her race, long is her rest.  God takes them soon who he lov’s best.

28.     Charles MEE died in infancy 1806 and Sophia MEE d. 1815 aged 1 yr. 5 months.  Stone 14 x 27 ins.  Engraver – Booth.

29.     Andrew TEMPLETON d. 1766 aged 68.  48 years in service of Sir Wm. Gordon (and wife Catherine) d. 1840 aged 95.  Engraver Winfield, Wimeswold (as spelt on stone).

30.     Mary Ann WRIGHT eldest daughter of Francis and Sarah Wright of Thorpe Acre d. 1835 (no age given).  Engraver as above [No. 29].

31.     Stone broken – John aged 11, Thomas aged 6.  Sons of John & Lyd[ia] (broken where surname should be).  Verse: Two brothers dear in silence lie / Free from pain and misery / Their bodies at ease, their souls at rest / And who can wish to be more blest.

32.     Edward aged 6, John aged 3 d. 1709.  Sons of Luke and Rebecca GIMSTON.  Stone 1’6” x 2’.

33.     John RANSDALE d. 1711 aged 89, wife Elizabeth died 1702 aged 77.  Grave SLAB 6’ long by 2’6” wide, bears no decorations.  Inscribed: “He having given six pounds annually for ever to the poor of Thorpe Acre and Knight Thorpe.  Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy”.  Slab was restored 1886.

34.     Catharine daughter Thomas and Maria MEE of Burleigh Fields d. 1830 aged 21.  Stone 22 x 44 ins.  Engraver – Booth, Loughborough.  Curved top enclosing urn – border round inscriptions.  Verse: The love that in her dear Redeemer shone / By humble active faith, she made her own: / Still at his feet an ever ready guest / She lov’d adorn’d and his free mercy blest / And now amid the Heavenly flock receiv’d / Enjoys those raptures which she once believed.

Without doubt, there are more stones in Dishley Churchyard which our working party did not uncover in the three seasons that the project on the whole site was undertaken – 1955/57.  Most of the work in the first two years was done on the structure of the Church.  Thorpe Acre church, only about a mile away was built in 1845, so it is very doubtful whether there was any burials at Dishley after that date.

D C Valentine (Hon. Secretary) [retired 1989]


Rough plan of Dishley Churchyard





Aug. 87

Last revised 4 May 2004