After the death of his first wife Margaret Trussell (1348-1399), Sir Fulke Pembrugge married Lady Isabel Lingen, who lies beside him and wears a plain widow’s dress. At her feet is a fawn which has had the head broken off. The crown collar, which indicates that she was a lady at the court of King Richard II, remains. She died in 1446. By tradition, a bunch of roses is placed in the hands of the foundress on Midsummer’s Day, the Feast of St John the Baptist. This custom is still continued. It was in about the year 1200, well before the building of the present Church.
Roger de la Zouche .... did grant unto Henry Hugefort and his heirs, three Yardlands, three Messuages and certain Woods in Norton and Shaw in this Parish of Tonge with Pannage for a great Number of Hogs in the woods belonging to this his Manor; also Liberties of Fishing in all waters there except in the Great Pool of Tonge, with other privileges viz: of gathering nuts in his woods there, etc., rendering yearly to the said Roger and his Heirs a Chaplet of Roses upon the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist in case he or they shall be at Tonge, if not, then to be put upon the Image of the Blessed Virgin in the Church of Tonge.
It seems that this custom continued until the Reformation. The Lady Chapel with the statue of Our Lady was next to this tomb and when the Lady Chapel and the statue were removed at the Reformation it is likely that the villagers, not to be thwarted, continued to place the roses on the tomb of the other Lady of Tong Church, Dame Isabel.
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