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and who resided at Belton ; for I have not been able to ascertain what were the arms borne by that family. It has probably been placed on the top of the Belwood tomb, to be out of the way during some alterations, or to make room for some modern interments. We are informed by Mr. Stovin, the celebrated antiquarian, that it occupied its present position in the year 1750, when he visited Belton Church ; and that at one period “it had been carried out of the Church, and lay on the south side of the chancel, under the vestry window, in the church-yard *.”
If, however, according to the opinion of some antiquarians, I am to affix a still earlier date to this monument, I think it not very improbable that it may be the effigy of Geoffrey de Wirce, who at the Conquest was the original Lord Paramount of the Isle, or of his Vassal Gilbert de Gand, who, as we learn from Doomsday Book, had supplanted the Saxon proprietor, Ulfenisc, and was living at Belton. Dugdale tells us that Geoffrey de Wirce founded no family ; but he is not able to give us any further information. He is described as living and being in possession of this fee when the survey was made, which was between 1081 and 1087. He might die at Belton shortly after without issue, and although his property would then revert to the Crown this monument might be erected to his memory.
On the north side of Belwood's tomb are two antient gravestones, on which are the following inscriptions round the edge of the stone : HERE LIETH Robert MONSOUN, Esq. LATE OF BELTON, AND WAS BURIED TILE THIRD OF August, A. D. 1521, whom GOD HATH CALLED TO HIS MERCY.
And on an inner border, “ Also here byeru MARGARET his Wife, only Daughter And Heiress or Francis Belwood, Esq. BURIED 24th July, A. D. 1570. Arms, argent a fess crenelled between three escalops—saltire and border of the third.
Close by, round the edge of another stone, is this inscription, HIC JACET CORPUS SUB HOC TUMULO JOHANIS SHEFFIELD, ARMIGERI, NUPER DE BELTOFT,
* From a memorandum in Stovin's MSS. of the History of the Drainage of Hatfield Chase.
SECUNDI Fili Militis, QUI OBIIT 6 die NoyEMBRIS, Anxo. Dom. 1526, ET CORPUS Jane SLEEFORD, NUPER DE BELTOFT SENIORIS, FILIÆ Johanis SherFIELD, QUÆ OBIIT 27 DIE Nov. A. D. 1583.
Formerly, as Mr. Stovin informs us, there was in the chancel a white stone, with a double inscription about its edge, thus : Here LYEth the Body of John FERNE, Son to WILLIAM FERNE, Esq. WHO DIED THE 26th AUGUST, A. D. 1615. Here ALSO LIETU THE BODY OF Johan FERNE, WIFE TO THE SAID William FERNE, WHO DIED UPON THE THIRD DAY OF Sept. A. D. 1616.
In the north choir, round the circumference of a stone, Hic JACETWILLIAM Evers, ARMIGER. ET AGNES UXOR EJUS, FILIA ET HÆRES Willi. GARDI. NER, QUI OBIIT DIE MENSIS FEB. AGNES 16 DIE MENSIS Nov. 1500.
On two large blue marble slabs enclosed within iron rails, are the following inscriptions.
HERE LYETH THE BODY OF ROBERT RYTHER, sen.
1693, IN THE 62ND YEAR OF HIS AGE.
ALSO TO THE MEMORY OF REBECCA BARTON, WIDOW,
AND MARGARET HIS WIFE.
JOHN BARTON, ESQ. BOTH OF LONDON,
AGED 77 YEARS,
IIERE LYETH THE BODY OF ROBERT RYTHER, JUN. ESQ.
IN THE 44TH YEAR OF HIS AGE.
In the cemetery on the north side of the chancel are the following sepulchral memorials.
IN THE MEMORY OF FRANCES THE WIFE OF
IN THE 25 YEAR OF HER AGE.
LATE OF TEMPLE BELWOOD AFORESAID, BY
ONE OF THE DAUGHTERS OF JOHN SMITH, OF
OF YORK, WHICH SAID ELIZABETH DIED AT
WAS BURIED IN WAKEFIELD CHURCH.
HIC JACET ROB. POPPLEWELL, ARM.
ANNO DOM. 1720,
ÆTATI SUÆ 69.
1702, 15 ÆTATIS SUÆ.
HERE ALSO LIES
RELICT OF ROBERT STEER, ESQ.
LATE OF SANDTOFT GROVE,
LATE OF TEMPLE BELWOOD,
IN THE PARISH OF BELTON.
IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 1780,
HIC JACET CATHERINE, UXOR.
ROB. POPPLEWELL, ARMR.
AN. 50, ÆTATIS SUÆ.
ALSO LIETH THE BODY OF ROBT STEER,
ESQ. LATE OF SANDTOFT.
AGED 60 YEARS.
IN MEMORY OF
LATE OF THE SAME PLACE,
SMITH, OF NEWLAND PARK, NEAR
AGED 66 YEARS,
W. P. B. JOHNSON, ESQ:
TO THE MEMORY OF
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE,
IN THE YEAR
AGED 45 YEARS,
HE WAS AN AMIABLE MAN IN PRIVATE LIFE,
AND DISTINGUISHED AS A
AND A SINCERE FRIEND.
AND ELIZABETH STEER,
HER COURSE WAS GENTLE AS
THE NEW BORN BABE,
HER MIND MORE NOBLE THAN THE
HER HEART WAS WRAP'T WITHIN
A CHARMING FRAME,