At the time that John Aubrey wrote his The Natural History and Antiquities of Surrey (1673-92) there were a number of memorials in St Peters church which relate to Woking Palace. Aubreys book is helpful in listing these. Many have disappeared but some remain today including the inscription on the Gallery This Gallery was erected at the Charge of the Right Worshipfull Sr.Edward Zouch Kt. and Knight Marshall of England, An. Dni. 1622. James II had granted the Palace to Sir Edward in 1620.
The Zouch memorial, with its Latin inscription which in translation appears fulsome and strangely worded, is now in the south wall of the chancel. At the time Aubrey was writing, this was on the north wall, but the commemorative brass plate was moved when the new vestry and organ chamber were erected at the end of the nineteenth century.
A translation of the Latin text of the memorial is:
of Lord Edward Zouch, a most noble and glorious gentleman, a golden knight of their most serene majesties King James and King Charles, a princely Marshal for as long as he lived.
The Zouch family rightly placed in this marble vault all that is mortal of the earthly traveller. A sense of duty, a pristine loyalty, the gratitude of monarchs, generous strength of mind, candour and integrity, bountiful skill, attachment to his family, a noble pedigree, and an extensive holding of landed property all these ought to have kept any man free of death; at all events, verily this man ought not to have been capable of dying. However, envious death has by no means snatched him wholly away. It possesses nothing other than the spoils of his body (or his physical attributes). The better of him has reached heaven, whence it originally came. Our sense of loss and his reputation outlive this world.
His grieving (or mourning) spouse justly longs for her husband (or rightly mourns) the best of husbands
He departed this life on the seventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and thirty four.
Unfortunately a number of memorials mentioned by Aubrey in his book have disappeared for one reason or another. These include:
- In a North Window are these Arms, viz. England, a Bordure Argent; this belonged to Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, Son to King Edw. I. According to Manning and Bray, King Edward III in the first year of his reign gave the Manor of Woking to Edmund of Woodstock.
- on a brass plate, fixed to a gravestone within the Communion Rails (Manning and Bray), Here Lyeth Anne Deveres, eldest Daughter to my Lord Fferys of Charteley. On her Soule, Jesu have Merci. Mill Stephenson suggests in his book A List of Monumental Brasses in Surrey 1921 that she was Possibly a daughter of Sir Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers in right of his wife Anne, only daughter and heiress of William, Lord Ferrers. He (Sir Walter) was created a knight of the garter in 1470, and slain at Bosworth in 1485, fighting for Richard III.
In 1469 Lady Margaret Beaufort became concerned for the safety of her son Henry Tudor, later to become Henry VII, who had been under the care of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke and his wife Anne Devereux at Raglan. In that year Warwick rebelled against Edward IV and Herbert was summoned to Edwards assistance but his forces suffered bloody defeat at Edgecote. Herbert was captured and executed by Warwick. The twelve year old Henry had accompanied Herbert but fortunately news arrived that the boy had been led from the battlefield and escorted to the home of Sir Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers, the brother of Herberts wife.
The association between Lady Margaret and her son with William Herbert and Sir Walter probably explains why the latters daughter was buried in St Peters and so near to the altar of what was after all Lady Margarets parish church.
- a brass plate with the Figure of a Man in a Gown, with wide Sleeves, bearing in a baudry a Bugle Horn about his Neck, and a Hanger by his Side, and a Hound at his Feet with an inscription, lost in Aubreys time, to Gilberti Gilpyn quondam Parcarii (park keeper) of Woking Parke who died 10th December 1500.
Gilbert Gilpyn, was originally steward of the household to Lady Margaret Beaufort and her third husband, Henry Stafford and came from Westmoreland. He had come into Stafford’s service through Lady Margarets properties in Kendal. Gilpyn chose to settle in Woking, and supervised affairs there until his death in 1500. On 13 April 1471 a horse was purchased for him, as he prepared to ride with his master to do battle for Edward IV at Barnet (The Kings Mother, Michael K Jones and Malcolm G Underwood. 1992).
For more information about Old Woking and St Peter’s Church visit www.oldwoking.org.