White Hart Crest of the Royal County of Berkshire David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History

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Sonning Church
Monumental Brass to Elizabeth Chute

Chancel Floor: Brass effigy

A small effigy on an arch shaped plate, 10 inches by 5 inches, with inscription underneath on a plate, 19 inches by 9 inches, in Roman lettering:

"Here lieth Elizabeth Chute daughter of Sir George Chute, knight, and Dame Anna, his wife, who lived 3 years and 6 months and died the 18th of May Anno 1627.
What beauty would have lovely styled
What manners sweet, what nature mild
What wonder perfect, all were filed
Upon record in this one child
And till the coming of the soul
To call the flesh, we keep ye roll."

Although the inscription tells us that Elizabeth was only three years and six months when she died, yet she is represented as a full grown lady, wearing a dress reaching to the feet, with large turned up collar, and slashed sleeves. She is wearing a long cloak fastened over the shoulders and falling down behind. The bodice is embroidered and around her neck is a band or chain to which an ornament is suspended. It is probably of local workmanship.

Sir George Chute (1586-1649) was the son of of George Chute Senior of Bethersden in Kent and a younger brother of Sir Walter Chute who served with Sir Walter Raleigh. Speaker Challoner Chute of the Vyne at Sherborne St. John (Hampshire) was the son of his third cousin. As a young man of fourteen, George went to Ireland as part of the English forces tidying up the aftermath of the Second Desmond Rebellion. However, he was almost certainly not the ancestor of the Irish Chutes as is traditionally held. By 1605, he was back in England getting married to Margaret, the daughter of Thomas Welford. George probably returned to serve again in Ireland for he is said to have been knighted by Sir Arthur Chichester, the island's Lord Deputy, on 14th October 1608. The couple had two children before his wife died in childbirth in 1614. Thenceforth, Sir George lived near the Cripplegate in London, remarrying to Anna, the daughter of Martin Barnham of Hollingbourne in Kent. Elizabeth and two other children were born in the City, before they moved to the more countrified setting of Sonning. The family lived there between about 1624 and 1629 and two of Elizabeth's younger brothers were born in the parish. They later moved to Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey and two further children followed.

Costume Description taken from H.T. Morley's "Monumental Brasses of Berkshire" (1924)

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