Monumental Brass to Sir Anthony Barker
Chancel Floor: Heraldic Brass
This large brass plaque was erected in 1649 by William Barker to the memory his immediate family who had died in the previous twenty years. His father, Sir Anthony, was the second son of Wiliam Barker of Sonning who died in 1575 and is commemorated nearby. He married Jane, daughter of Edward Eldrington of Beech Hall in Essex, and they had a number of children, as recorded here. William, who instigated the memento mori, was his eldest son. He became J.P. and Sheriff of Berkshire and married Mary, daughter and coheir of William Bridon of Ipswich as his first wife. They had a large family, many of whom died young, before William married, secondly, Frances, by whom he had a son and heir, also William. William Senior died in 1675 and William Junior, or small-pox, nineteen years later. They are commemorated on a marble mural monument now hidden by the organ. William's heirs were his half-sisters: Anne, who married Sir Pope Danvers, Bt. of Culworth in Northamptonshire, and Frances, who married Richard House of Whitley in Berkshire.
The brass consists of a quadrangular inscriptive plate, 36 inches by 23 inches, with an achievement at the top on a plate, 13½ inches by 11 inches, and another at the bottom, 9 inches by 8½ inches, both with the arms of Barker, the top one with mantling and a crest. The inscription is of particular interest to the genealogist as it records both the names and ages of dead, and those who survived them. It reads:
To this Vault are committed the Bodies of Sir Anthony Barker, knight, who
deceased February 16th 1630 Anno Aetatis 72 and had issue here deposited:
The arms may be described thus:
Party per chevron engrailed or and sable, a lion rampant counterchanged
(Barker) quartering, argent, a chief sable, three tilting spears palewise,
heads in chief, counterchanged a crescent for difference (Burleigh)
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