So That's Where I Get It From

June 8, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: The collapsed table top tomb isn’t Cozens Read’s!!

A little while ago I did my first Tombstone Tuesday, showing the Table Top Tomb of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and went on to describe how I had been informed that his tomb had collapsed and that I was concerned the pieces would be thrown away etc..  I also mentioned that I was looking into obtaining grants for restoration of this tomb, but they take forever to make their decisions.

A couple of days ago I received a photo from my cousins in Australia.  Bob and Pam had been on a holiday taking in some family history research at Lower Winchendon, Buckinghamshire and took this photo of the collapsed tomb.

original photograph copyright 2010 - Pam and Bob Herbstreit

 and the full view photograph

original photograph copyright 2010 - Pam and Bob Herbstreit

While I was extremely surprised but relieved that this was not the Table Top Tomb of Cozens Read and his wife Elizabeth Shirley, I was still very saddened by the sight of it and immediately knew that  it was the tomb for Cozens and Elizabeth’s son William Read.  The tomb holds William (1736-1803); his wife Mary Pollard (1742-1821); their daughter Mary (1783-1850) and their daughter Mary’s husband John Moores (1783-1855).  (Cozens Read’s Table Top Tomb can be seen through the fencing that is now surrounding the collapsed tomb).

My partner Paul and I had visited this church in 2000 and 2004 and took various photos of the graves there and we realise now that the reason for the collapse of this tomb is obviously through a tree that was growing up from inside it.  Some of the following photos taken in 2004 show what was happening then and so Paul cut the branches back and we tidied the Table Top Tomb up as much as we could.

The following photos show the state the tomb was in and the tree roots and branches quite obviously did most of the damage which resulted in its collapse a few years later!

original photograph taken by me in 2004 at Lower Winchendon - copyright 2010

original photograph taken by me at Lower Winchendon in 2004 - copyright 2010

original photograph taken by me at Lower Winchendon in 2004 - copyright 2010

original photograph taken by me at Lower Winchendon in 2004 - copyright 2010

I will continue trying to find out what grants and help is available for trying to restore this tomb, but somehow don’t think we would ever be able to get it back like it once was.

Luckily on our visits in 2000 and 2004 I was able to take a transcript of the details engraved all around William, Mary, Mary and John’s tomb.  From the bits that have been laid flat as can be seen in the top photo, I think most of the engraving will have been more or less completely ruined.  I’m so glad that I have a record of it.


April 27, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Cozens Read

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.

My own photo taken in 2000 of the Table Top Tomb of Cozens Read and his wife Elizabeth copyright 2010

 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.

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