Sir William Vernon (1418-1467)

Sir William Vernon (1418-1467)
© Copyright text based on Tong Church guide by R.M.C. Jeffery , picture R.J.L. Smith, Much Wenlock
Picture 42 of 45

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This altar tomb is of Purbeck Marble inlaid with brasses. It is the tomb of Sir Richard’s son, Sir William Vernon (1418-1467). He was Treasurer of Calais and also Knight Constable of England to King Henry VI. In the absence of the King, the Constable’s task was to command the army. The Latin inscription around the tomb is translated as:

Here lie Sir William Vernon Kt. sometime Knight Constable of England son and heir of Sir Richard Vernon Kt. who sometime was Treasurer of Calais which Sir William indeed died 30th June in the year of Our Lord 1467 and Margaret wife of the said William daughter and heiress of Robert Pype and Pernoe Kt. which Margaret indeed died in the year of Our Lord 146- on whose souls may God be merciful Amen.

In his will, made on the 29 June 1467 he expressed the wish to be buried in Tong Church where a ‘tombe was to be made after his own devise’ and also that a priest should ‘sing thereat for three years’. Sir William is shown on the tomb in chain and plate armour of the Yorkist period, sword, dagger and spurs. He has the Boar’s Head crest at his head and above his head a scroll with the motto -‘Blessed be God for his Gifts.’ His wife has a hood and wimple, a mantle over her shoulders with cord and tassels and her feet resting on a strange dragon (looking more like an elephant!). His wife is wrongly described in the inscription. She was sometimes known as Margaret de Pype but she was the daughter of Sir William Swynfen of Pype Ridware, Staffordshire, who had inherited the Pype Estate from his mother. At the feet of the two main figures are twelve children (two are missing). The sons are all dressed, alike in ankle length gowns and wearing pointed shoes, while the daughters have fret head-dresses and full-length gowns. Around the figures are texts of short prayers.

See also:
Sir Richard Vernon (1391-1451), Sir Henry Vernon (1445-1515)

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