Monument to the Blagrave Family
North & South Walls: Marble Monument Fragments
of a curious monument were found, during the restoration of 1852, in the
Blagrave vault beneath the current vestry. There was no name upon it, but
there is every reason to believe it was a memorial to some member of the
Blagrave family. Ashmole does not mention it, so it must have been
deposited in the vault before his time. The main portion, now in the Lady
Chapel, represents six kneeling figures, the three sons and three
daughters of the deceased, dating from the reign of King James I.
Associated with this was the following inscription:
life or liking might be bought
These lines are thought to have been written by the poet, William Grey. He was MP for Reading and acquired the Manor of Bulmershe in the parish of Sonning, in 1545. William’s heir was his step-son, John Blagrave, who began the family’s association with the parish in 1551. A second inscription found in the vault, and now in the vestry, records the deaths of John’s parents: “Robert, who died 1533, Agnes, 1579” and, on the north wall nearby is fine heraldic marble plaque, probably from the figured monument. This was almost certainly erected by John’s son, Mr. Anthony Blagrave, but whether it was to the memory of his father, who died in 1597, or to his wife, Jane, daughter of Sir John Borlace of Little Marlow (Bucks), who died in 1605, is uncertain. The latter might be favoured because Anthony and Jane had three sons and three daughters!
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