Tombstones in Church

Missing Priory Tombstones

When the floor of the Priory Church was raised 2’ 6” in 1829 (see the ‘tide-marks’ on the columns) the tombstones in the floor, many of alabaster, were broken and discarded.  This, added to the destruction at the Reformation, means that surprisingly for a Norman Church, there are no tombstones in the Church.

Sir Oswald Mosley of Rolleston, the local landowner and benefactor of the area, noted the inscriptions on the tombstones and monuments and from history books then in his possession in 1832.

From history books

William, Earl Ferrers caused the body of his ancestor, Henry de Ferrers, to be translated[1] and deposited on the right hand of the high altar, in the Priory Church; a tomb with a recumbent figure, representing Henry de Ferrers, was also erected in this spot, upon which was the Latin inscription with the following meaning:

“Here lies Henry, Earl of Ferrers, founder of this church, whose name the above image bears.  In the year of our Lord, 1080, the Priory of Tutbury was founded by this new patron.”

Recorded on a mural tablet:

“In this chancel lies entombed the body of George Watson Hutchinson, A. M., eldest son of Elisha Hutchinson, Esq., of Hagley Row, Birmingham, and grandson of the late Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., the Governor of his Majesty’s Province of Massachusetts Bay in North America at the time of the revolution,

Who died May 11th, 1818,

of a pulmonary consumption, in the thirty-sixth year of his age; having been first curate and afterwards vicar of this parish, over which he exercised his ministerial care, during the period of twelve years, with that peculiar faithfulness, diligence, and anxiety, which rendered him justly eminent among the clergymen of the Church of England, a church, for whose superior excellence he was a constant and strenuous advocate, and of which, both in his public and private life, he was o. bright and valuable ornament.   He preached and lived with a simplicity and purity, well corresponding with the great work he was pursuing; and with his views of the supreme importance of religion, and the leading  principles of Christianity, there existed strong mutual affection between him and his people, as was especially evinced on their part by the universal and unexampled regret occasioned by his death; and, in testimony of love and esteem for his memory, this monument was erected at the voluntary expense of all classes of his parishioners.

‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.’

Phil. iii 10.’ “

Another marble slab records the departure of a kindred spirit in the following words:

“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”


“Near this place are deposited the remains of the Rev. Jonathan Stubbs, M.A., some time curate of Uttoxeter in this county, and previously of the parish of St. Alkmund in Derby.  A man of sober, active, and solid piety, of laborious and unwearied diligence in the public and private duties of his office. A true minister of the gospel; day by day instructing his flock by sound doctrine and by holy ex­ ample; living not unto himself, but unto the Lord, who died for him.    In bumble and exclusive reliance on the merits of that Redeemer, he died November the 27th, 1810, in the thirty-eighth year of his age, in consequence of the fracture of a limb, occasioned by an overturn of an open carriage within a short distance of this town.

“• Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord!”

On the chancel wall is another marble, inscribed with these words:

“In memory of John Bott, and Sarah, his wife.  He died April the 9th, 1816, aged eighty-one years; she died August the 27th, 1804, aged sixty-four years.  This monument is erected as a sincere though inadequate memorial of filial affection!’

The remains of Mr. Charles Dott, their son, who was the father of the present John Dott, Esq., of Coton, were deposited near the same place on the 14th of January, 1822.

In the chancel there is also a neat mural monument of white marble, bearing- the following inscription:

” Sacred to the memory of John Spencer, Esq., of Rolleston Park, in this county, who died Dec. 4th, 1823, aged 72; and also to Ann Spencer, his wife, who died January the 27th, 1824, aged 88.”


When the recent alterations (1829) were in progress, several alabaster slabs were discovered under the old pews, near the first large column on the right from the western entrance, under which had been buried the ancestors of Mr. Richard Wakefield, the munificent founder of a charity hereafter noticed; the churchwardens. were desirous of placing them in some visible part of the church, rather than of permitting them to be concealed by the new pews, but the slabs were broken in attempting to remove them; and as they are also covered with a layer of earth, in consequence of the floor being raised, it is probable that all remembrance of them may be lost, unless they are here recorded.

This circumstance as well as respect for the memory of one, to whom the town of Tutbury is so much indebted, will, I trust, afford an adequate excuse for the insertion of the following inscriptions, which were found upon them:

“Here lye the bodies of Robert Roworth, late of Tutbury, and Dorothy his wife, which Robert departed this life the 3rd day of October, 1623, and Dorothy departed this life the 16th day of July, Anno Domini, 1622.

“Here lyeth the body of Richard Wakefield of Tutbury, mercer, who married Dorothy the daughter of Robert Roworth, by whome he had Joseph, Sara, and Dorothy, who departed this life the 2nd day of April, Anno Dom: 16fi0, aged 63; and Dorothy Wakefield departed this life 19th day of May, A.D. 1679.

“Here lyeth the body of Joseph Wakefield, mercer, who, in hopes of a joyful resurrection, departed this life the 4th day of December, Anno Domini

“.AEtat suoe 60.
“Succubui et resurgam.

“Here lyeth the body of Joseph Wakefield the youngest, who departed this life the 17th day of June, and was buried the 29th of the same month, A.D. 1681.

Ao AEtat suoe.

“Thus health and wealth, thus youth and beauty have.
Early or late their summons to the grave,
And there must lye till angel’s trumpet cryes,
‘Awake, ye dead, and into judgment rise.'”

On the floor of the church are the following inscriptions:

“To the memory of Joseph Willington, Gent., who died Jan.5th, 1743, aged 60, and of Hannah his sister, who died Nov. 9th, 1746.

Thomas Matthews of Tutbury, mercer, who died on the 9th Sept. 1760, aged 73, and Mary his wife, who died on the 22nd Feb. 1782, aged 8:

Thomas Smith, mercer, who departed this life on the 20th Feb. 1781, aged 49, and three of his children who died infants.

Esther the wife of Thomas Smith, who died March 11th, 1792, aged 54, and Ann their daughter, who departed this life April 6th, 1792, aged 22.

William Smith, late of Tutbury, mercer, who died on the 7th March, 1828, aged 69, and Elizabeth his wife, who died March 18th, 1797, aged 31 years, together with their son Thomas, who died in his infancy.

John Hunt and Hannah his wife; the former departed this life on the 10th Oct. 1778, aged 76, and the latter on the 27th Nov. 1771, aged 73.

Ann wife of Charles Bott, who departed this life July the 20th, 1807, aged 38 years, and two daughters who died in infancy.

“Also Sarah Bott, wife of John, died August 27th, 1804, aged 66; and John Bott, who died April 9th, 1815 aged 81 years.”


[1] Essentially dug up and reburied