Object Details

Monument to John Ashburnham

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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Off A271 (Ashburnham Place)
Town:Ashburnham
Parish:Ashburnham
Council:Rother District Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:TN33
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Inside building
and in:Religious
Access is:Private
Location note:Ashburnham Family Chapel, Parish Church of St. Peter
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:101
Grid reference:M5
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.
OS Reference:TQ 689147

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Makers

Name : Thomas Burman
     Role:Sculptor
     Qualify:attributed to

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General Information

Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Ashburnham Thanksgiving Trust
Description:Large marble tomb. Three recumbent figures surmounting a sarcophagus extending into a recessed arch. The figures are of John Ashburnham (centre) and his two wives. There is a sculptural relief to the front of the sarcophagus representing his four sons and three daughters in kneeling position. There is a large plaque affixed to the wall inside the recessed arch. At the top of the monument is the Ashburnham coat of arms.
Inscription:Carved, gold painted letters on plaque set into the recessed arch:

HERE LYES IN THE VAVLT / VNDERNEATH IOHN ASHBVRNHAM / ESQ. OF THIS PLACE; SONN TO THE VNFORTUNATE / PERSON SR. IOHN ASHBVRNHAM WHOSE GOOD NATVRE / AND FRANCK DISPOSITION TOWARDS HIS FREINDS IN BEING / DEEPLY ENGAGED FOR THEM NECESSITATED HIM TO SELL THIS / PLACE (IN HIS FAMILY LONG BEFORE THE CONQVEST) AND ALL / THE ESTATE HE HAD ELSEWHERE NOT LEAVING TO HIS WIFE AND SIX / CHILDREN THE LEAST SVBSISTANCE WHICH IS NOT INCERTED TO / THE LEAST DISADVANTAGE OF HIS MEMORY (GOD FORBID IT SHOVLD BE / VNDERSTOOD TO BE A CHARGE OF DISRESPECT VPPON HIM) BVT TO GIVE GOD THE PRAYSE, WHO SOE SVDDENLY / PROVIDED BOTH FOR HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN AS THAT WITHIN LESS THEN TWO YEARES AFTER THE DEATH OF / THE SAID SR. IOHN THERE WAS NOT ANY OF THEM BVT WAS IN CONDITION RATHER TO BE HELPFVLL TO OTHERS THEN TO / WANT SVPPORTE THEMSELVES. MAY GOD BE PLEASED TO ADD THIS BLESSING TO HIS POSTERITY THAT THEY MAY NEVER / BE VNMINDFULL OF THE GREAT THINGS HE HATH DONN FOR THEM. THE WIFE OF THE SAID SR. IOHN ASHBVURNHAM WAS / DAUGHTER TO SR. THOMAS BEAMONT OF STAVGHTON IN THE COVNTY OF LECESTER. SHEE WAS VERY EMINENT / FOR HER GREAT TEMPER AND PRVDENCE. SHE DYED THE SEAVENTY FIFTH YEARE OF HER AGE AND BOTH THE / SAID SR. IOHN AND HIS WIFE LYE BURYED IN THE CHVRCH OF ST. ANDREWS IN HOLBVRNE LONDON / THE SAID MR. IOHN ASHBVRNHAM MARRIED THE DAVGHTER AND HEIRE OF WILLIAM HOLLAND OF / WESTBVRTON IN THIS COUNTY ESQ: WHO LYES ALSO HERE INTERRED AND BY WHOM HE HAD THESE EIGHT / CHILDREN. SHE MADE THE FIRST STEPP TOWARDS THE RECOVERY OF SOME PART OF THE INHERITANCE / WASTED BY THE SAID SR. IOHN FOR SHE SOVLD HER WHOLE ESTATE TO LAY OVT THE MONY IN THIS PLACE / SHE LIVED IN GREATE REPVTATION FOR PYETY AND DISCRETION AND DYED IN THE SEAVEN AND THIRTITH / YEARE OF HER AGE. THE SECOND WIFE TO THE SAID MR. IOHN ASHBVRNHAM WHO LYES ALSO HERE INTERRED / WAS THE WIDOW OF THE LORD POVLETT OF HINTON SNT. GEORGE IN THE COVNTY OF SVMMERSETT. SHE / WAS DAVGHTER AND HEIRE TO CHRISTOPHER KENN OF KENN IN THAT COVNTY ESQ: WHO LEFT HER A GREATE / ESTATE IN LANDS NOW IN THE POSSESSION OF THE LORD POVLETT. SHE WAS WORTHY IMITATION BY ALL / HER SEX FOR HER HONOVRABLE AND RELIGIOUS CONVERSATION, SHE BROVGHT GREAT ADVANTAGES TO THE / FAMILY OF THIS PLACE. AND DYED AT THE AGE OF SEAVENTY YEARES AND FOVR MONTHES. AND HER MEMORY / IS PRECIOVS TO ALL CONSIDERING PERSONS THAT KNEW HER. THIS MR. IOHN ASHBVRNHAM WAS OF THE / BEDCHAMBER TO THEIRE MATYES. CHARLES THE FIRST AND CHARLES THE SECOND WHO WHEN HE HAD / PERFORMED THE SERVICE TO GOD IN BVILDING THIS CHVRCH AT HIS OWN CHARGE DYED IN THE / SIXTY EIGHT YEARE OF HIS AGE ON THE FIFETEENTH / DAY OF IVNE IN THE YEARE OF OVR LORD 1671

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Classification

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

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Object Parts

Part 1:Back wall of monument
     Material:Dark grey marble
     Height (cm):500
     Width (cm):290
     Depth (cm):5
Part 2:Sculptural relief
     Material:White marble
     Height (cm):60
     Width (cm):180
     Depth (cm):15
Part 3:Statuary
     Material:White marble
     Height (cm):40
     Width (cm):180
     Depth (cm):155
Part 4:Whole monument
     Material:White and grey marble
     Height (cm):430
     Width (cm):260
     Depth (cm):170
Part 5:Sarcophagus
     Material:White marble
     Height (cm):120
     Width (cm):260
     Depth (cm):170

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Fair
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Broken or missing parts
     Condition 2: Loose elements
     Condition 3: Cracks, splits, breaks, holes
     Condition 4: Replaced parts
     More details:Cracks to top of monument. Large crack to left hand side column. Small shield broken off monument and resting on top of sarcophagus. Thumbs missing from furthest statue in recess. Crown on nearest statue to front chipped along upper edge. Evidence of previous repairs to sculptural relief particularly to the hands of the figures.
Condition 2 of type:Surface
     Condition 1: Metallic staining
     Condition 2: Corrosion, Deterioration
     More details:Inscription very worn in places. Rust stating to various parts.
Date of on-site inspection:26/02/2008

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History

History:‘The nave is wide and light, filled with box pews and dominated at the west end by a gallery reached by a staircase with beautifully turned balusters. At the east end of the church the chancel and its twin north and south chapels are raised a great height above the floor of the nave in order to accommodate family vaults beneath. The north chapel, separated from the chancel by a beautiful wrought iron screen made locally by the forge that made the village famous throughout England, contains two superb monuments to the brothers who rebuilt the church.
That to John Ashburnham (who died in 1671) shows him and his two wives lying in prayer on a tomb chest. The front of the chest has 'weepers' of small half-figures of his four sons and three daughters. Its classical design is a stark contrast to the gothic of the church itself, although the design of this tomb is out of date for its period and really belongs to the beginning of the seventeenth century rather than the middle. On the west wall is the monument to his brother William who died in 1679. This is in the up-to-date classical style showing a completely contrasting design with both the figures of William and his wife raised from the traditional horizontal pose to one which makes the composition much more lifelike and moving. Two cherubs pull back a marble curtain whilst William (wearing an amazingly bushy wig) kneels before his dying wife. It is the work of the sculptor John Bushnell whose other monuments can be seen in Toddington (Bedfordshire), Westminster Abbey (London), Little Gaddesdon (Hertfordshire) and Great Billing (Northamptonshire).’
(http://www.britannia.com/tours/ssxchurch/ashburnham.html)

John Ashburnham the Cavalier (1603-1671) and his wife Frances Holland.
John Ashburnham was only 17 when his father died. His father had had to sell the estate to the Relf family to clear debts and died in Fleet Prison in 1620. John finally managed to obtain a warrant to reclaim the estate in 1639, using funds from the sale of his wife’s estate. He began a career at court and kept King Charles’ personal account book, travelling with him during his evasion of Cromwell. When the King was caught, John was imprisoned in Windsor Castle. After Charles’ execution, John’s estate was once again seized and he was imprisoned and banished for some eight years. After the Restoration, John regained his position of Groom of the Bedchamber and given an eighty year lease on Ampthill Park, Bedfordshire. he was later elected MP for Sussex. John rebuilt and refurnished the church and and his younger brother William built an almshouse. Together they rebuilt Ashburnham Place but John died in 1671 before its completion. William died in 1679. The brothers are buried in the crypt, containing 45 places, that John built. John’s memorial also commemorates his two wives and shows his four sons and four daughters. The estate passed to his grandson (his son William had predeceased him), John, 1st baron Ashburnham. As he died childless, the estates of John’s brother William also passed to the 1st Baron. Lady Catherine Ashburnham (1890-1953), the last of the Ashburnham family, filled the 45th and final place in the family crypt. On her death the estate passed to John Bickersteth (1926-1991) the grandson of the 5th and 6th Earls’ sister, Lady Margaret Ashburnham. On 1 April 1960, he formed the Ashburnham Christian Trust, giving to it the house and estate.
(Ashburnham Guide)

The Chapel was traditionally known as the Chapel of St. James.

The monument is included on the database by kind permission of the Ashburnham Thanksgiving Trust.

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'An Intoduction to the History of Ashburnham Place'
     Type:Book
     Author:Jones, Rhod & Rachel.
     Publisher:Ashburnham Christian Trust.


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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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