For my first addition to Geneabloggers’ suggestions of Daily Blogging Themes, I had to start with Cozens READ, my 6 x great grandfather. It was his burial anniversary two days ago, 25th April 1783.
Cozens READ was baptized 24th May 1706 in Caversham, Oxfordshire and died in Lower Winchendon (I much prefer it’s ancient name of Nether Winchendon) in 1783. From at least his marriage in 1734 to Elizabeth SHIRLEY they lived in Lower Winchendon and had 20 children.
He was my 6 x great grandfather and I discovered that he was a Churchwarden for a number of years and also the Overseer for the Poor.
The above photo was taken at what I call The READ Plot at the parish church in Lower Winchendon. Cozens READ’s Table Top Tomb is one of three READ such tombs. Two of his sons, Michael and William have their Table Top Tombs very close to their father’s.
Sadly, I was informed a short while ago, that Cozens READ’s Table Top Tomb has now collapsed!! And because of new rules and regulations it has meant that much of the parts of this tomb will have been taken away and some laid flat for safety. I have requested that none of the collapsed pieces should be thrown away, perhaps they could be stood around the wall edging the boundary of the churchyard? I am hoping that as a direct descendant my wishes have been granted.
In the meantime, I have been trying to make enquiries as to what grants are available to allow restoration of a Table Top Tomb. It seems these types of graves are historic so are part of our heritage, and because my 6 x great grandfather appears to have been very important to this village, I am hoping that we can restore his tomb. But, the authorities that allow grants for historic monuments can take half a year to a whole year before they meet up to discuss whether to allow a grant or not.
So I am just waiting and really hoping that all the pieces haven’t just been thrown away. Any Inscription on Cozens READ’s tomb was almost completely gone when we saw it in 2000 and then again in 2004. But I did see myself the letters COZ and a gap and then READ (but very feint) with the name Elizabeth underneath it, so I know it is his tomb. I could also make out a date that started 16.. on another side of the tomb, which suggests to me that another READ was also buried in this tomb first, as Cozens READ and his wife were born in the 1700s. But it was all much to feint to make out.
There is nothing in the Parish Register to show another earlier READ being buried there, so I wonder if it was saying something about the family Cozens READ came from?? Now I will never know!!!
All the other gravestones that can be seen in this photo are for the children, grandchildren and later generations of Cozens READ and his wife Elizabeth SHIRLEY.