Friday, September 15, 2006

Paston Church

'Not a single fiftenth century Paston tomb survives', Helen Castor tells us (Blood and Roses, Faber and Faber, 2004,302). But the 17th century tomb of Katherine Knevet makes up for the absence of previous generations, starting up from her elaborate monument on which thereis an inscription by John Donne:

'To the Reviving Memory of the virtuous and right worthy Lady, Dame Katherine Paston, daughter unto the Right Worp'll Sir Thomas Knevitt, Knt, and wife to Sir Edmund Paston, Knight, with whom she lived in wedlock 26 years and had yssue two sonnes yet surviving, vizt. William and Thomas. She departed this life the 10th day of March, 1622, and lyeth here intombed expecting a Joyful Resurrection'

And on the pedestal:

'Can a man be silent and not Praise find
For her that lived the praise of womankind
Whose outward frame was sent this world to gess
What shapes our soules shall weare in happiness
Whose vertue did all ill so overswaye
That her whole life was a communion daye.

And on another panel:

'Not that she needeth monument of stone
For her well-gotten fame to rest uppon
But this was reared to testifie' etc

Several generations earlier - in 1495 - 'the Paston-Heydon feud was decisively consigned to history' as Helen Castor says, when Sir William Paston IV (d February 16, 1544/45) married Bridget Heydon. Their daughter Eleanor Paston (12G grandmother) married Thomas Manners ist Earl of Rutland, and at least her tomb still exists, see earlier posting.

No comments: