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Sonning Church
Monumental Brass to William & Ann Barker

Chancel Floor: Brass effigies

The effigy of William, a Fellow of the Middle Temple,  is now lost and the outline given here is approximate only. The inscription and shields of arms were misplaced during the church's restoration of 1852. They now appear on an adjoining slab surrounding the figure of William's cousin, Anne, which belongs to the memorial brass of her father, William. The inscription reads:

"Here lyeth the corpse of William Barker Esquire in the bowel of this grave, whose days by all men's doom deserved a longer life to have. You widows wail his loss and orphans wish his life. You dearly want his wisdoms skill, whose causes are at strife. Nay you alone lament your friends untimely fate. His Ann doth morn among the most, who least may miss her mate. Ann sprung of Stoughton's stock, an ancient progeny. She with her children wail this chance and doleful destiny, yet this both we and all have instantly to rejoice his justice, faith and friendless heart, hath won the people's voice. His body in this soil and earthly seat doth lie, his fame in air, his ghost for aye, doth live aloft the sky."

The effigy of the wife, Anne Stoughton, shows her wearing the French hood, with lappet behind frills at the neck and wrists, a gown trimmed down the front and bottom edges, and close sleeves puffed and slashed at the shoulders, and a plain sash tied in a bow in front.

The arms may be described thus:

1. 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)
2. The same, impaling, on a cross engrailed, argent, five ermine spots sable (Stoughton).

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


    Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.