Object Details

Monument to the Hon. Thomas Sackville and the 5th Earl and Countess of Dorset

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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:B2110 Withyham Road
Town:Withyham
Parish:Withyham
Council:Wealden District Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:TN7
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Inside building
and in:Religious
Access is:Private
Location note:The Sackville Chapel, north east corner of the Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:13
Grid reference:M8
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : Caius Gabriel Cibber
     Role:Sculptor

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General Information

Commissioned by: The Countess of Dorset
Construction period:1678 (original tomb pre 1624, destroyed by fire 1663)
Installation date:1678
Unveiling date:1678
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Earl De La Warr
Object listing:Grade I: of exceptional interest
Building listing:I
Description:A stepped black marble base supporting a large black and white marble chest tomb. Atop the chest tomb is the reclining figure of the young Hon. Thomas Sackville, sculpted in white marble, with the left hand resting on a skull, symbolising that he predeceased his parents. To the back of him is the figure of his father, Richard, 5th Earl of Dorset, kneeling on the top step of the base with his gaze directed towards the statue of his wife. In front of the reclining figure is the figure of the Hon. Thomas Sackville's mother, the Countess of Dorset. The statue is in white marble, kneeling on the top step of the base, right hand leaning on the chest tomb and supporting her head. The figures of mother and father appear transfixed with grief. At each end of the chest tomb is an inscribed panel and, at the feet of the reclining figure on the east side, a large upright sculptural relief of the Sackville coat of arms. On each side of the chest tomb are sculptural reliefs of the other children, six sons and six daughters. The monument is set in the centre of a large private chapel enclosed by railings with other monuments to the Sackville family affixed to the walls.
Iconographical description:The child's left hand rests on a skull, symbolising he predeceased his parents.
Inscription:Carved inscription, east side:

This Monument was design’d to be Erected
before the decease of ye Rt Hon Richard
Earl of Dorset Father of this Youth
who departed this life ye 27th of Auguft
in the year of our Lord God J677
And in ye 55th year of his age, And ye
Rt Hon Franfces Countefs Dowager of
Dorset Relict of the faid Father
And Mother of the faid Youth
Erected the fame to perpetuate ye memory
of her Hufband and Son in the year
of our Lord J678

Carved inscription, west side:

STAND NOT AMAZ’D (READER) TO SEE VS SHEAD
FROM DROWNED EYES VAINE OFFERINGS TO YE DEAD
FOR HE WHOSE SACRED ASHES HERE DOTH LYE
WAS THE GRAT HOPES OF ALL OVR FAMILLY
TO BLAZE WHOSE VERTVES IS BVT TO DETRACT
FROM THEM, FOR IN THEM NONE CAN BE EXACT.
SO GRAVE AND HOPEFVLL WAS HIS YOVTH
SO DEARE A FREIND TO PIETY AND TRVTH
HE SCARCE KNEW SIN BVT WHAT CVRST NATVRE GAVE,
AND YET GRIM DEATH HATH SNATCH’D HIM TO HIS GRAVE.
HE NEVER TO HIS PARENTS WAS UNKEIND
BVT IN HIS EARLY LEAVEING THEM BEHEIND
AND SINCE HATH LEFT VS AND FOR ERE IS GON
WHAT MOTHER WOULD NOT WEEPE FOR SVCH A SON.
MAY THIS FAIRE MONVMENT THEN NEVER FADE
OR BE BY BLASTING TIME OR AGE DECAY’D
THAT THE SVCCEEDING TIMES TO ALL MAY TELL
HERE LIETH ONE THAT LIV’D AND DIED WELL.
HERE LYES THE THIRTEENTH CHILD AND SEAVENTH SON
WHO IN HIS THIRTEENTH YEARE HIS RACE HAD RVN.
THOMAS SACKVILLE

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Classification

Categories:Funerary, Sculptural, Composite, Free Standing, Commemorative
Object type1:Statue
Object type2:Sculpture
Subject type1:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Group
Subject type2:Portrait
     Subject subtype1:Group

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Object Parts

Part 1:Stepped (3) base
     Material:Black marble
     Height (cm):43
     Width (cm):263
     Depth (cm):368
Part 2:Chest tomb
     Material:Black and white marble
     Height (cm):90
     Width (cm):120
     Depth (cm):230
Part 3:Kneeling male statue
     Material:White marble
     Height (cm):150
     Width (cm):65
     Depth (cm):85
Part 4:Kneeling female statue
     Material:White marble
     Height (cm):150
     Width (cm):65
     Depth (cm):55

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Cracks, splits, breaks, holes
     More details:Crack to top left hand corner of south facing relief. 2nd.step facing east cracked in 3 places.
Date of on-site inspection:23/01/2008

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History

History:The Honourable Thomas Sackville (c1660 - 1675) was the son of Richard Sackville, 5th Earl of Dorset (16 September 1622 – 27 August 1677) and Lady Frances Cranfield (c1620 – 20 April 1687), daughter and heiress of Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex. He married Lady Cranfield when he was only 15 years old. They had seven sons and six daughters. On the 5th. Earl's death, Charles Sackville became the 6th Earl of Dorset.

The Sackville Chapel was added to the church by the 5th. Earl. On 16 June 1663, the whole church was largely destroyed after a lightning strike. The heat generated was so great that even the bells melted. The original Sackville monuments were completely destroyed. The church was rebuilt but did not reopen until 1672 and the rebuilding of the Sackville Chapel was not completed for another eight years. The chapel is unusual in that it does not come under the jurisdiction of the Bishop but is privately owned by the 11th Earl De La Warr, who is patron of the church. The church was given a Grade I listing because of the monuments.

The largest and most important monument is that to the young Hon. Thomas Sackville and his parents, the 5th Earl and Countess of Dorset. The figure of the Hon. Thomas Sackville is depicted reclining on the top of a black and grey marble chest tomb. His left hand rests on a skull, symbolising he predeceased his parents. His parents are depicted kneeling at either side of the chest tomb, his mother in front, his father behind. The figures of both mother and father appear transfixed with grief. On each side of the tomb are reliefs depicting the other children, six sons and six daughters.

The Hon. Thomas Sackville was only thirteen when he died in 1675 at Samur on the river Loire in France. The 5th Earl, his father, had intended to erect a monument to his memory but he died himself within two years and eventually it was Lady Dorset who erected the monument to her husband and to all of her children. The contract for the monument can still be seen in the Sackville archives; dated 1677, it states that the work should be: “Substantiall rare and Artificially performed” and was to be finished in 10 months. Cibber was to be paid £350, and the monument was to be to “Ye well liking of Mr. Peter Lilly, his Majesty’s painter, or any other Artist who shall be desired to give their Judgement thereof”.
(Source: ‘The Sackville Chapel’)

This entry is included in the database with kind permission and support from Countess De La Warr.

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:‘The Sackville Chapel’
     Type:Book
     Author:Countess De La Warr, & Innes-Smith, Robert.
     Publisher:English Life Publications Ltd. Derby.

Source 2 :
     Title:'Historical Notices of the Parish of Withyham in the County of Sussex, With a Description of the Church and Sackville Chapel'
     Type:Book
     Author:Sackville-West, Reginald Windsor.
     Page:58-100
     Publisher:John Russell Smith. London.


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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