Monumental Quirks 2 – Lowick

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley | November 21, 2012

Before I get onto quirks, I want to address the fact that St Peter’s Church, Lowick is one of the most amazing, and perhaps incongruous churches that I have visited. The village of Lowick in Northamptonshire is small – the 2001 census put the parish population at 272 – and dominated by the church which can be easily spotted across the fields as you approach the village. It was somewhat surprising, therefore, to discover the amazing fifteenth and eighteenth century tombs housed inside the church. From the eighteenth-century there are the tombs of Sir John Germain and Lady Mary Mordaunt who married following her scandalous divorce from the 7th Duke of Norfolk and the tomb of Charles Sackville, the last duke of Dorset. The earliest of the medieval tombs commemorate the Greene

 family who were responsible for the rebuilding of the church.
I was there to see the tomb of Edward Stafford, earl of Wiltshire, d. 1499. A finely carved tomb with foliage tendrils winding through the epitaph it is also particularly well preserved. As a result it is clearly possible to make out the Stafford knots (he was the grandson of Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham), the heraldry carved into his surcoat and the Lancastrian SS livery collar.

For me the interesting quirk of this tomb is that Edward Stafford is buried in this mausoleum to the Greene family who were his mother’s family rather than with his father’s relatives. Indeed his will specifically asks to be buried near his grandfather Greene not near his parents or more illustrious relatives. Personally, I would speculate that as the son of a younger branch of the Stafford family whose land and wealth had come from his mother’s family he felt a closer loyalty or attachment to the Greene’s than to his paternal relatives.

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