For this church:
Monuments and Memorials
A feature that catches the visitor’s eye in the church is undoubtedly the fine set of alabaster effigies on the altar tombs commemorating the four successors of the Sacheverall family who were Lords of the Manor in the early 16th century to the middle of the 17th century.
Ralph Sacheverell (died 1539) and his wives, Cecily and Anna
The oldest and finest of the tombs stands under the canopy in the wall of the north aisle and commemorates Ralph (Randolfus) Sacheverall who died in 1539. He is shown in full plate armour with his first wife Cecily. Round his shoulders is the SS collar marking a follower of the house of Lancaster during the civil wars of the 15th century but from which hangs a double Tudor rose symbolizing the union of York and Lancaster in the Tudor dynasty. He later married Anna but her date of death was never added to the inscription.
The inscription reads:
Henry Sacheverell (died 1558) and his wife Lucy
In the chancel, parallel to the tomb of Randolfus, is that of his son Henry who died in 1558. Like his father, he is clad in full plate armour though lighter and less elegant. His first wife Lucy lies in a heavy cloak and her dress is not arranged in folds but stands stiffly out from her feet indicating the approaching fashion of wearing a farthingale, so much affected by ladies of Elizabethan times. The tomb chest is decorated with sixteen plain shields carried by children, and probably merely decorative weepers.
The inscription reads:
Henry Sacheverell (died 1580) and his wife Jane
Also in the chancel is the tomb of the second Henry who died in 1580. He is clad in half armour; his head rests on a heavy helmet; crested and mantled as are his father and grandfather. His wife Jane, daughter of Germain Ireton, lies on a heavy cloak and wears a voluminous gown, the small ruff collar of her mother-in-law has now swelled out into a full Elizabethan ruff standing out three or four inches round her chin. The tomb stands on a brick plinth and is the same size as that of the first Henry who died in 1625 leaving £30 for a tomb to his father and mother and £40 for his own monument. The tomb chest bears the images of three young men and three young women - the sons and daughters of the family.
The inscription reads:
The date of death (1580) was never added to the inscription.
Henry Sacheverell (died 1625) and his three wives, Mary, Elizabeth and Lucy
The tomb of the last Henry shows an effigy little different from that of his father. He alone occupies the tomb chest, which also shows two babies in swaddling clothes and his daughter. Above the tomb a flamboyant canopy frames his three wives, kneeling at small prayer desks, one behind the other. The sculptors’ attention to detail is here better displayed than on any of the other tombs. Here an attempt has been made to show each lady dressed as she would have been in her prime years during the reign of the first Stuart king.
Henry’s heir and one daughter died young. His surviving daughter, Eleanor, married Roger Columbell. Henry did not approve this match though the Columbells seem to have been an old family and as financially secure as this junior branch of the Sacheverall family. Henry bequeathed the manor of Ratcliffe to a nephew, Sir Thomas Hutchinson, the son of his sister Jane who was married to Thomas Hutchinson of Cropwell. Sir Thomas, having taken pity of Eleanor gave her half of the estate. The remaining half passed to Colonel John Hutchinson on the death of his father in 1643. John made the acquaintance of Lady Ann Somerset, who was in poor circumstances due to her catholic religion and unable to raise money from her land. John agreed to purchase her lands at Lowesby and needed to raise funds in a hurry, he did so by renting his portion to relative, John Ireton, the brother of Henry Ireton (Oliver Cromwell’s brother in law).
The inscription runs across two panels and reads:
The Sacheverall family supported Parliament in the Civil War. John Hutchinson also was a Parliamentarian and prominent military man defending Nottingham and the Castle against the armies of Charles 1st. He was one of the signatories who signed the Kings death warrant. John died imprisoned at Sandown Castle in 1664. The Sacheveralls were related to the Ireton’s of Attenborough (see above) and were the ancestors of the Sitwell family, one of Britain’s most prolific groups of authors. Sacheverall Sitwell received the family name.
The Sacheverall families are the ancestors of the Sitwells who have fame from their literary merits also being a renowned family for great influence and fortune. Henry Sacheverall married Jane Ireton of Henry Ireton fame; their daughter, Jane married Thomas Hutchinson of Cropwell. He inherited the Manor on the death of Henry Sacheverall in 1624. Their grandson was Colonel Sir John Hutchinson of Owthorpe. Famous for his stand against the Royalists at Nottingham during the civil war, he was a signatory to the death warrant of Charles 1. The Hutchinsons relinquished the manor at the restoration of the monarchy. John died in prison at Sandown castle in 1664.
The tombs were restored to their present condition in 1973 through a generous donation from the Pilgrim Trust. They were dismantled, cleaned and reassembled incorporating a waterproof membrane in the tomb chest. They are among the best examples of this characteristic Nottinghamshire craft.
A number of alabaster floor slabs dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries adorn the church; many are largely undecipherable. Several incised slabs, however, have been identified:
Isabella, the wife of John Babington (1485)
Isabella was the only daughter of Henry Bradburne, of Bradburne and the Hough, in Ashbourne and married Sir John Babington, of Dethick and Kingston who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
Thoroton (1677) recorded the inscription as it appeared in the late 17th century:
Elizabeth, the wife of Anthony Babington (1505)
Elizabeth died 28 November 1505. She was daughter and co-heir of John Ormonde of Alfreton and was the first wife of Sir Anthony Babington of Kingston-on-Soar. Godfrey (1887) notes that 'she was not (as stated in the inscription) an heir of, or at all descended from, Robert Lathome, who married one heir of Alfreton, her ancestor marrying the other.'
Thoroton (1677) provides the text of the inscription as it appeared in the late 17th century:
John Prescott (1497)
Prescott was rector of Ratcliffe on Soar from 1478 to his death in 1497.
Sir Thomas Finderne and his wife Elizabeth (1574)
Elizabeth was a daughter of Ralph Sacheverall; she died in 1574.
Thoroton (1677) has recorded the inscription as it appeared in the late 17th century:
Hector Ridyng (1509)
Ridyng was rector of Ratcliffe on Soar from 1497 to his death in 1509.
Jacob Eadmunson (1519)
According to Thoroton (1677) the inscription read:
Jacob Damport (1458)
Thoroton (1677) provides the inscription:
Other incised slabs
In addition to the incised slabs listed above, there are several badly damaged and worn slabs to people who can no longer be identified.
Other Family Monuments
By the early 19th century most of the principal farming families of the parish had their graves in the church. The Hickinbothams and the Bosworths owned the two largest farms and have their grave stones set in the floor.
Sarah Higginbotham and her sister Mary Smith in 1859 bequeathed money for the relief of the village poor, which became known as the Smith-Hickinbotham Trust. A memorial to this is on the south wall of the chancel.
On the south aisle wall:
At the west end of the south chancel wall:
to the Memory of
youngest Son of
by FRANCES his Wife.
He departed this Life
the 15th day of January
Aged 52 Years.
To the Memory of
Sarah Hickinbotham, Relict of
and Daughter of
Patrick and Mary Cork
of ASTON upon Trent
She was an affectionate faithful
Wife, a tender Mother, benevolent
Mistress and sincere Friend;
Her Patience was exercised
with variety of Afflictions
till made meet for Glory,
She surrendered her Soul into
the Hands of him who gave it
June the 1st 1787,
at the advanced Age
of 82 Years.
to the Memory of
in the County of Leicester:
second Son of the late
and Frances his Wife
He departed this Life
the 13th day of November
Aged 19 Years.
Floor slabs to members of the Bosworth family are in the centre section of the south aisle.
|… the Body of
[JOHN] … Son of
[and AN]N his Wife
[dep]arted this Life
... th of Decr 1778
... h Year of his Age
… Infant sleeping lies
…th it’s Ashes lent
gain mere glorious rise
… changed trump shall blow
… to Bodies join,
… will with their lives below
… as short as thine.
|BENEATH rest in hope
all that could die of
youngest Son of
by ANN his Wife;
who being freely justified by
grace, and knowing in whom he had
believed, piously resign’d every
earthly enjoyment June 10th 1800.
Aged 26 Years
This humble monumental stone we raise,
Is to the Saviour’s, not the sinner’s praise;
Sin was the whole that he could call his own,
His choicest good deriv’d from Christ alone;
To Sin, his conflicts, pains and death he ow’d,
His conq’ring faith and patience, Christ bestow’d;
Reader may’st thou obtain like precious faith,
To smile in anguish, and rejoice in death;
Precious is Christ to those who do believe,
They die to rise and when they die they live.
Another group of floor stones in front of the west arch of the nave is of the Chamberlin family who owned Redhill Farm. John Chamberlin became the High Sheriff of Nottingham in 1789. Israel Chamberlin was unfortunate in being poisoned in 1839 by his housekeeper who instead of his medicine mistakenly gave him a lethal dose of opium. The fate of the housekeeper is currently unrecorded.
For thee blest shade, whose mem’ry I revere
There are also two badly worn floor slabs:
Mary Bigsby, daughter of the late John Chamberlin of Redhill and wife of John Bigsby M.D. of East Retford, died 15 October 1821 aged 53
Joseph Chamberlin, fourth son of John Chamberlin, died 16 August 1809 aged 31
In the chancel is a floor stone to Martha Chamberlin:
The floor stone is in the north-east corner of the chancel:
HERE LYETH THE BODY OF ANN DAV[GHTER]
Elizabeth Kirkland, the first schoolmistress, also made a bequest in 1923; a plaque beneath the tower commemorates this Kirkland Gift:
IN MEMORY OF
In 2000 it was determined that these charitable bequests were no longer relevant and both were wound up, a once-only payment being made to Abbeyflelds Homes which was in keeping with the original intention gifts to the aged poor.
In the north aisle is the seriously damaged but reassembled gravestone of Edward Trowell. This was dug up from the churchyard a few years ago and brought into the church.
He was a yeoman famer buried in the churchyard on 14th February 1663. A transcript of his will is also displayed nearby.
A brass plaque commemorates Frank Lee who died in 1902. It reads:
This Brass Commemorates