ID MMH_EMP

TitleEast Mersea Parish Church of St Edmund, King and Martyr
AbstractThe Church of St Edmund King and Martyr, and the nearby East Mersea Hall, are built in a moated area that is thought to have contained a Danish encampment from their visit in 894 AD, as mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle.

From seawards, the gaunt square tower of St. Edmunds stands stark above the East Mersea skyline, a dominant and trusty seafarers' landmark. But perhaps the best way to introduce oneself to this delightful country church is to cycle from West Mersea or from the Strood across the centre of the Island, each rise in the road bringing a little more of the tower into view until,, beside East Mersea Village Shop, Church Lane appropriately leads to the building itself. And what a gem it turns out to be.

Like its sister, St. Peter's and Paul at West Mersea, it is difficult to accurately date the church's foundation or the present building. Suffice only that it too is ancient and parts of a moat remain which once enclosed a good five acres including both the church and adjacent East Mersea Hall.

The building has had its fair share of ravages over the centuries, in clear contrast to the loving care and attention accorded by today's parishioners. Roundheads billeted there during the Civil War are thought to have destroyed the rood-screen and stained glass windows. Moreover, four of the five bells were stolen many years ago, only the heavy tenor bell - dated 1492 - remaining. Legend has it that the robbers made off with the bells by sea from a little quay at the foot of Church Lane, but that the weight of their haul sank their boat beneath them. Presumably somewhere under Blackwater's mud and silt four bronze bells await rediscovery.

The tower housing the surviving bell was built in the 15th century and is scaled from inside the building via an armoured door fitted with no less than three substantial locks. A beacon was once maintained atop the tower's little corner turret - a signal for local and national emergencies - but this has long been removed, probably following damages sustained during the 1884 earthquake. The three other tower corners are adorned each by a stone gargoyle - one in the shape of a ram; another a cow or calf; and the third weathered so much as to be almost indistinguishable, but thought to resemble a fish. Crosses of flint in the church's outer masonry indicate major repairs effected over the years.

St. Edmunds has no clock but just to the right of the main door can be traced the remains of a 'mass-dial' scratched into the stonework - a sundial which charted the times of services and, inside on the pulpit, is an old iron hour-glass stand. In case the sermon was dragging on, despite this advantageously placed reminder that folk were becoming impatient, a small opening at the side of the pulpit enabled the parish clerk of years gone by to prod the preacher with a stick when the occasion demanded.

On the side of the churchyard nearest the Hall is the unusual grave of 15 years old Sarah Wrench who died in 1848 at a time when body-stealing was possible. To this day Sarah rests in peace, protected by an impressive iron cage.

Another interesting reminder of those long-since departed this world is provided by a plaque marking the burial place of Maudlyn Outred who died in 1572, the wife of the then rector, who marked her passing with some verse inscribed and legible to this day.

The most famous of East Mersea's clerics, however, was the hymn and novel writer Rev. Sabine Baring Gould 1870-1881. He was author of over 100 books including the novel "Mehalah" set locally. He wrote "Onward Christian Soldiers" and is reputed to have composed "Now the day is over" to fit the five chimes of West Mersea Church.

St. Edmunds is an attractive English country church - a tranquil haven admidst the bustle of an East Mersea caravanning summer and, bearing in mind the small population of that part of the Island, a credit to the local community.

This history is based on an article in Mersea Island Society Mistral magazine, 1985, author unknown.

Read more:
The East Window in memory of Lazarus Barlow

SourceMersea Museum
IDMMH_EMP
Related Images:
 East Mersea Parish Church.  MMC_P755_105
ImageID:   MMC_P755_105
Title: East Mersea Parish Church.
Date:c1905
Source:Mersea Museum / Hardy Weaver Collection
 East Mersea Church Interior 1912. The box pews were replaced with chairs in 1913. Photo from A Short History of the Parish Churches of East Mersea and West Mersea, by J.B. Bennett. 1977 impression. Photographer not known.  IA004145
ImageID:   IA004145
Title: East Mersea Church Interior 1912. The box pews were replaced with chairs in 1913. Photo from A Short History of the Parish Churches of East Mersea and West Mersea, by J.B. Bennett. 1977 impression. Photographer not known.
Date:1912
Source:Mersea Museum
 East Mersea. List of Rectors.
 <b>The Living in the Presentation of The Prior and Convent of Prittlewell Benedictine.</b>
<table>
<tr><td>Instituted</td>
<td>Name</td>
<td>R or O</td>
<td>Notes</td></tr>
<tr><td>c1200 - 1224</td>
<td>Martin de Bockinge</td>
<td></td>
<td>'Persona de Mereseya'</td></tr>
<tr><td>c1239 - 1259</td>
<td></td>
<td></td>
<td>Vacant</td></tr>
<tr><td>1292 Jan 23</td>
<td>Antelinus Abili of Monte Rotondo   </td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>c1294</td>
<td>Antelinus de Monte Yuer</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>c1309</td>
<td>Adam de Skeghton</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>c1310 - 1317</td>
<td>John Stacey. CI.</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>c1324</td>
<td>John de Bredstrete</td>
<td></td>
<td>Chaplain</td></tr>
<tr><td>c1333</td>
<td>Rob le Payntor</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1349</td>
<td>Joh, de Apelton or Apeltre</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>c1352</td>
<td>Phil Covell</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1352 Oct 26</td>
<td>Will Palmer</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1355 Mar 4</td>
<td>Rob. Fleming</td>
<td></td>
<td>Not Instituted</td></tr>
<tr><td>1355 Sep 8</td>
<td>Joh. de Bradelegh</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1362 Mar 7</td>
<td>Rob. de Suardeby</td>
<td>Res ?</td>
<td>Beneficed 1367 when ordained</td></tr>
<tr><td>1371 Jun 23</td>
<td>Hugh de Philbert</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1371 Oct 26</td>
<td>Hugh de Gardeby</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1372 May 18</td>
<td>John de Folkyngham</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1372 Jun 19</td>
<td>Tho. de Walle</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>c1380 - 1409   </td>
<td>Joh. Delesle or de Lyls</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1409 Apr 19</td>
<td>Rob. Clerke de Bures</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1433 Feb 13</td>
<td>Will Martyn</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1472 Jan 26</td>
<td>Rad. Karvil</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1475 Dec 20</td>
<td>Ric. Chapman</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1476 mar 12</td>
<td>Ric. Greenle.</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1488 Oct 24</td>
<td>Rob. Faux</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1490 Mar 4</td>
<td>Joh. Hacton or Hatton Joh. Hawkins</td>
<td> Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1503 Oct 17</td>
<td>Joh. Wood</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1504</td>
<td>Geffrey Leeke</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1507 Jul 30</td>
<td>Will White, B.L.</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1528 Jul 16</td>
<td>Tho. Smith, A.M.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1532 Apr 25</td>
<td>Tho. Wayne, D.B.</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
</table>
<b>Presentation by the Crown</b>
<table>
<tr><td>1537 Mar 20</td>
<td>Joh. Barnardstone</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>c1548</td>
<td>Raffe Brykenhedd</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1555 Apr 4</td>
<td>Egid Hilling</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1550 Jun 2</td>
<td>Will. Hilton</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1560 Feb 18</td>
<td>Joh. Dodman</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1562 Jun</td>
<td>Marcellinus Owtred</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1574 Jan 15</td>
<td>Watt. Richardson</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1581</td>
<td>Thomas Tirrell, C.I.</td>
<td></td>
<td>Curate</td></tr>
<tr><td>1586 Jun 8</td>
<td>Will. Wells, A.M.</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1613 Jun 25</td>
<td>Joh. Wood</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1615 Aug 2</td>
<td>Israel Edwards, A.M.</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td>Commonwealth Period 1650-1661</td></tr>
<tr><td>1656 May 12</td>
<td>Tho. Aspinal</td>
<td></td>
<td>Admission by Triers</td></tr>
<tr><td>1657 Jan 30</td>
<td>Art. Okeley</td>
<td></td>
<td>Ejected in 1660, and Israel Edwards restored</td></tr>
<tr><td>c1660</td>
<td>William Noble</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1667 Feb 3</td>
<td>Geo. Woodward</td>
<td>Obit  </td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1668 Oct 14</td>
<td>And. Walton</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1677 Jul 9</td>
<td>Rob. Le Gross, S.T.P.</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1703 May 24</td>
<td>Richard Holland</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1706 Nov 14</td>
<td>Henry Sykes A.M.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1710 Aug 21</td>
<td>Gamaliel Lagden, B.A.</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1736 Jan 27</td>
<td>Naphtahli Hussey</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1769 Mar 25</td>
<td>John Tickel, B.A.</td>
<td></td>
<td>Both included in Institutional books P.R.O.</td></tr>
<tr><td>1786 Apr 3</td>
<td>John Tickel</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1803 Aug 13    </td>
<td>John Deeds M.A.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1806 Oct 23</td>
<td>Jno. Bramston Stane M.A. Nathaniel Forster, B.A.</td>
<td></td>
<td> Curate</td></tr>
<tr><td>1857 Mar 19</td>
<td>Chas. Fred. Hayter, B.A.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1871 Mar 27</td>
<td>S. Baring Gould M.A.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1882 Jan 27</td>
<td>Wm. Hy. Goddard M.A.</td>
<td>Obit</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1884 Aug 11</td>
<td>Fredk. Jos. Ball M.A.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1897 Sep 15</td>
<td>Alf. Leedes Hunt M.A.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1903 Oct 16</td>
<td>Ronald Dunn B.A.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1939 Sep 27</td>
<td>C.F.P. Bennett M.A.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1952 Feb 29</td>
<td>T.G.R. Hughes, A.K.C.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1957 Jul 13</td>
<td>R.W. East B.A.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1973 Oct 9</td>
<td>F.J. Sergeant A.K.C.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1976 Jul 17</td>
<td>J.E. Boxley M.A.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1981 - 1993</td>
<td>J. Swallow B.A. Dip. Th.</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td></td></tr>
<tr><td>1990 - 1995</td>
<td>Henry Heath</td>
<td>Res</td>
<td>Hon. Curate</td></tr>
<tr><td>1994 - 2002</td>
<td>Robin Howard Elphick A.L.C.D.   </td>
<td>Res</td>
<td>Priest in Charge</td></tr>
<tr><td>2003 - </td>
<td>Sam Norton M.A.</td>
<td></td>
<td></td></tr>
</table>  PG1_EMP_001
ImageID:   PG1_EMP_001
Title: East Mersea. List of Rectors.
The Living in the Presentation of The Prior and Convent of Prittlewell Benedictine.
Instituted Name R or O Notes
c1200 - 1224 Martin de Bockinge 'Persona de Mereseya'
c1239 - 1259 Vacant
1292 Jan 23 Antelinus Abili of Monte Rotondo   
c1294 Antelinus de Monte Yuer
c1309 Adam de Skeghton
c1310 - 1317 John Stacey. CI.
c1324 John de Bredstrete Chaplain
c1333 Rob le Payntor
1349 Joh, de Apelton or Apeltre Res
c1352 Phil Covell Res
1352 Oct 26 Will Palmer Res
1355 Mar 4 Rob. Fleming Not Instituted
1355 Sep 8 Joh. de Bradelegh Res
1362 Mar 7 Rob. de Suardeby Res ? Beneficed 1367 when ordained
1371 Jun 23 Hugh de Philbert
1371 Oct 26 Hugh de Gardeby Res
1372 May 18 John de Folkyngham Res
1372 Jun 19 Tho. de Walle
c1380 - 1409    Joh. Delesle or de Lyls Res
1409 Apr 19 Rob. Clerke de Bures Obit
1433 Feb 13 Will Martyn Obit
1472 Jan 26 Rad. Karvil Res
1475 Dec 20 Ric. Chapman Obit
1476 mar 12 Ric. Greenle. Obit
1488 Oct 24 Rob. Faux Obit
1490 Mar 4 Joh. Hacton or Hatton
Joh. Hawkins

Res
1503 Oct 17 Joh. Wood Res
1504 Geffrey Leeke
1507 Jul 30 Will White, B.L. Obit
1528 Jul 16 Tho. Smith, A.M. Res
1532 Apr 25 Tho. Wayne, D.B. Obit
Presentation by the Crown
1537 Mar 20 Joh. Barnardstone
c1548 Raffe Brykenhedd
1555 Apr 4 Egid Hilling Res
1550 Jun 2 Will. Hilton Obit
1560 Feb 18 Joh. Dodman
1562 Jun Marcellinus Owtred Res
1574 Jan 15 Watt. Richardson Obit
1581 Thomas Tirrell, C.I. Curate
1586 Jun 8 Will. Wells, A.M. Obit
1613 Jun 25 Joh. Wood
1615 Aug 2 Israel Edwards, A.M. Obit Commonwealth Period 1650-1661
1656 May 12 Tho. Aspinal Admission by "Triers"
1657 Jan 30 Art. Okeley Ejected in 1660, and Israel Edwards restored
c1660 William Noble
1667 Feb 3 Geo. Woodward Obit  
1668 Oct 14 And. Walton Obit
1677 Jul 9 Rob. Le Gross, S.T.P. Obit
1703 May 24 Richard Holland Obit
1706 Nov 14 Henry Sykes A.M. Res
1710 Aug 21 Gamaliel Lagden, B.A.
1736 Jan 27 Naphtahli Hussey Obit
1769 Mar 25 John Tickel, B.A. Both included in Institutional books P.R.O.
1786 Apr 3 John Tickel Obit
1803 Aug 13     John Deeds M.A. Res
1806 Oct 23 Jno. Bramston Stane M.A.
Nathaniel Forster, B.A.

Curate
1857 Mar 19 Chas. Fred. Hayter, B.A. Res
1871 Mar 27 S. Baring Gould M.A. Res
1882 Jan 27 Wm. Hy. Goddard M.A. Obit
1884 Aug 11 Fredk. Jos. Ball M.A. Res
1897 Sep 15 Alf. Leedes Hunt M.A. Res
1903 Oct 16 Ronald Dunn B.A. Res
1939 Sep 27 C.F.P. Bennett M.A. Res
1952 Feb 29 T.G.R. Hughes, A.K.C. Res
1957 Jul 13 R.W. East B.A. Res
1973 Oct 9 F.J. Sergeant A.K.C. Res
1976 Jul 17 J.E. Boxley M.A. Res
1981 - 1993 J. Swallow B.A. Dip. Th. Res
1990 - 1995 Henry Heath Res Hon. Curate
1994 - 2002 Robin Howard Elphick A.L.C.D.    Res Priest in Charge
2003 - Sam Norton M.A.
Date:6 November 2011
Source:Mersea Museum / Peter Godfrey
 East Mersea Parish Church - East Window in memory of Ernest Arthur Lazarus Barlow. c1920.
</p> <p> After the end of the Great War 1914 - 1918 the family of Ernest Arthur Lazarus Barlow gave the parish church of St Edmund King and Martyr East Mersea an East Window celebrating the feast of the Epiphany. At the top, scarcely visible from the ground, is a small 'hand of God'. Below this are the four seraphims six angel musicians and then a large depiction of the Holy family, shepherds and 'wise men' or kings.
</p>
<p> The inscription at the bottom reads To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Ernest Arthur Lazarus Barlow this window is erected by his wife and children. Born Dec 7th 1855 died Jan 9th 1914. The souls of the righteous are in the Hand of God.
</p>
<p>
The artist was Thomas Curtis 1854 - 1924. The installers were Ward and Hughes and the stained glass was made by Howard Burkin OBE.
</p><p>Lazarus Barlow lived at Smiths Hall, West Mersea
</p>  CPK_EMP_001
ImageID:   CPK_EMP_001
Title: East Mersea Parish Church - East Window in memory of Ernest Arthur Lazarus Barlow. c1920.

After the end of the Great War 1914 - 1918 the family of Ernest Arthur Lazarus Barlow gave the parish church of St Edmund King and Martyr East Mersea an East Window celebrating the feast of the Epiphany. At the top, scarcely visible from the ground, is a small 'hand of God'. Below this are the four seraphims six angel musicians and then a large depiction of the Holy family, shepherds and 'wise men' or kings.

The inscription at the bottom reads "To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Ernest Arthur Lazarus Barlow this window is erected by his wife and children. Born Dec 7th 1855 died Jan 9th 1914. The souls of the righteous are in the Hand of God.

The artist was Thomas Curtis 1854 - 1924. The installers were Ward and Hughes and the stained glass was made by Howard Burkin OBE.

Lazarus Barlow lived at Smiths Hall, West Mersea

Date:2019
Source:Mersea Museum / Chris Parkinson