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rated are William Carent, Esq., and Margaret his wife,
the daughter of William Stourton, Esq., and sister of
John first Baron Stourton, and the archives of the Bishop
of Bath and AYells, prove that the tomb was erected by
this William Carent, in his lifetime, to the memory of his
deceased wife and of himself. He was son and heir of
William Carent, by Alice his wife, sister, and ultimately
heir of Kichard Toomer, of Toomer, in this parish.

From the register of Bishop Beckynton, it appears that
on 20th November 1463 (3 Edward IV) the Bishop
granted forty days' indulgence to all true penitents, who
should go to the tomb of that worthy man, William Carent,
Esq., erected in the prebendal church of Henstridge, (qui
ad tumbam probi viri Willielmi Carent, armigeri, in ecclesia
prebendali de Hengstrigge, erectam et fabricatam ac-
cesserint,) and should devoutly repeat " Pater noster "
and " Ave "" for the welfare of the said William Carent,
and of the venerable Mr. Nicholas Carent, and John
Carent, senior, his brothers, and also of John Carent,
junior, his son, during their lives, and for the soul of
Margaret, late wife of the said William Carent, and the
souls of the other persons aforesaid, after their deaths.

The monument consists of an altar tomb, of Ham-hill
stone, surmounted by an arched canopy of the same ma-
terial. Underneath the canopy rest the effigies of the
Esquire and his lady, which, with the slab on which they
lie, are of grey sandstone. The tomb and canopy are still
in good preservation ; but the heads of the effigies are
much mutilated . The male figure is habited in a complete
suit of the armour commonly in use at that period, with


the exception of the hands, which are joined and elevated
in the attitude of prayer, and the head, which is also un-
covered, rests on a cushion. The hair is cut short round
the face. On the left side is a sword suspended from a
belt which passes round the body ; and on the right side
are a misericorde, or dagger, and gauntlets. The feet have
broad toes, and rest on what appears to be a lioness
couchant regardant. There is a little shield on each
shoulder, on which are depicted the arms of Toomer, viz.
gules, three bars xoavy argent. The female figure is a
good specimen of art and execution. The features, how-
ever, are much mutilated, the hands are raised in the
attitude of prayer, and the head rests on a cushion. The
mantle is fastened across the breast with a cord, and the
dress descends in straight folds, entirely coverhig the feet,
which rest on an animal, apparently muzzled, but it is
much mutilated. On each breast are painted the arms of
Stourton — not in the form of a shield but on the mantle —
viz. : sable, a bend or, betioeen six fountains. An inscrip-
tion, which was probably commemorative, ran round the
verge of the slab, but is now utterly illegible. Another
inscription occupied the moulding which runs up the side
and across the head of the canopy — only a few words are
now legible, but from these it appears to have consisted of
the lines so frequently met with on monuments of this
period : —

Sis testis Xste, quod uon tumulus jacet iste
Corpus ut ornetur sed spiritus ut memoretur.
Collinson thought the Toomers of Toomer, and the
Domers of Pen Domer, near Yeovil, in this county, were
one and the same family, but in this also he was certainly
mistaken. The Domers or Dummers were quite a dis-
tinct family, and bore a different coat of arms. They


sprang from the village of Dummer, near Basingstoke, in
Hampshire, where they were seated shortly after the con-
quest, and a branch of them continued there till the latter
end of the ]6th century. The elder branch removed into
Somersetshire, having become possessed of Penne by mar-
rying an heiress of that manor. She was living a widow
in the reign of King John. The Domers continued in
jDOSsession of Pendomer till the reign of Henry IV. The
Toomers took their name from the manor of Toomer, in the
parish of Henstridge, and Richard De Toomer purchased
lands in Henxtrigge, in 31 Edward I.

The Carents first appear in this county and in Dorset-
shire in the early part of Edward IITs reign, when they
held lands in Hinton S. George and Kingston, in Somerset,
and in Marnhull and Todbere, in Dorset. At one period,
during the reign of Henry IV, they resided at Carent's
Court, in the parish of Swanage, in the Isle of Purbeck,
but after becoming possessed of Toomer by their marriage
with an heiress of that place they made it their principal
residence. William Carent, who erected the monument
above described, was some time high sheriff of Somerset
and Dorset, and member of Parliament for the former
county. He died on the 8th of April, 1476 (16 Edward
IV). His brother, Mr. Nicholas Carent, was elected Dean
of Wells 22nd August, 1446 (24 Henry VI), being then
a Canon of that Cathedral, and he died 3rd May, 1467 (7
Edward IV). John Carent, senior, their brother, was
seated at Silton, in Dorsetshire, in right of Alice his first
wife, who held it in jointure from a former husband. His
second Avife was Isabel, daughter and heir of Robert
Rempston, of Godlingston, in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset,
and he died 4th April, 1478 (18 Edward IV). The manor
of Toomer continued in the Carent family till James Carent,


Esq., of Toomer, conveyed it, toc^ether with the manor of
Venn, in 1675, to trustees, to the use of himself for his
life, and after his decease in trust to raise money for pay-
ment of his debts. He died before 25th March, 1676, and
the estate passed to Edward de Carterett, Knt, gentleman
usher of the Black Eod, whose son, Sir Charles de Car-
terett, and Elizabeth his wife, afterwards wife of Alexander
Waugh, Esq., sold it in 1696 to James Medlycott, Esq., of
the Middle Temple, ancestor of Sir AVilliara Coles Medly-
cott, Bart., the present owner.

Mr. Batten observed that it was satisfactory to find
that what he had come prepared to suggest to the meeting
was confirmed by so high an authority as Mr. Bond. He
produced a copy of the Indulgence referred to, taken
from Hutton^s Extracts, which document, by stating the
Christian name of the wife of the entombed Wm. Carent
to be Margaret, clearly identified him as the son, and not
the husband, of Alice Toomer. He was satisfied that Col-
linson had, as Mr. Bond said, confounded the two families
of Dommere or Dummer, and Toomer. The Dummers of
Chilthorne Domer and Pendomer were no doubt one family ;
he had charters in his possession showing this. But he could
not trace any connection between them and Toomer, or that
they were ever known by that name. In every variety of
spelling the initial D is preserved. The arms of Toomer
are said by Collinson to be three bars wavy, whereas those
of Dummer were — Az hillety, and in /esse a crescent or,
ascribed to " Joan Domare " in Charles' Eoll. This coat
is borne also on the shield of the recumbent eflSgy of one
of the family — perhaps Sir John Dummer, temp Edward
III — in Pendomer Church ; and Mr. Batten exhibited a
letter of attorney, dated 19th November, 9th Hen. IV,
fi-om Edmund Dummer, Esq., to William Staunton and


others, to deliver seizin of his manor of Pendomer to
John Stourton and others, to hold to them and the heirs
and assigns of John Stourton, to which is attached a seal,
with a fine impression of the same arms, and an inscription
— Sigillum Edmundi Dummere. Mr. Batten mentioned
also, that the Carents were owners of a manor and estate
in Yeovil Marsh and Kingston juxta Yeovil, which in the
reign of Elizabeth, passed to the Comptons, and the
greater part was conveyed by them, 2nd Jac. I, to John
Harbyn, Esq., lineal ancestor of the present Mr. Harbin,
of Newton.

Having visited the church, and examined the varied and
valuable Museum of objects of interest collected in
different parts of the world by Mr. Medlycott, the members
and their friends, by the courteous invitation of the
President, assembled in the beautiful grounds of Ven
House, where they were sumptuously entertained by Sir
William and Lady Medlycott.

The courtesy and hospitality of the President and his
lady having been duly acknowledged, votes of thanks
unanimously carried, were presented to the Rev. Hill D.
Wickham, and Mr. Herbert Messiter, for their valuable
services as Local Secretaries ; to the Rev. Prebendary
Scarth, Mr. T. E. Stevens, and other gentlemen who had
read papers ; to the General Secretaries, and to Sir William
C. Medlycott, as President. The Annual Meeting was then
declared to be closed, and all the members present could
not fail to have considered the proceedings as in every
respect among the most successful and agreeable in the
annals of the Society.

Note — In reference to a statement made during the ex-


cursion as recorded (p. 19), the editor begs to add that
while these sheets were passing through the press, he
was favoured with a note by Mr. W. A. Franks, from
which it appears that there is authority for the use of
metal shoes for mules and asses in Roman times, and
that iron " slippers '^ which seem to have been used for
the hoofs of animals have been frequently found with
Roman remains. The specimen in the British Museum
however, would seem to have been designed to protect
the sides of the hoof as well as the base. In the article
SoLEA, by Mr. James Yates, in Smithes Diet, of Greek
and Roman Antiquities, it is stated, " iron shoes (soleae
ferreae) were put on the feet of mules, (Catullus xvii. 26);
but instead of this, Nero had his mule shod with silver,
(Sueton, Nero, 30), and his Empress Poppoea her^s with
gold, (Phi. Hist, xxxiii. 11. 3. 49)."


December \2tk, 1870 :

On the Castle and Manor of Taunton Deane, by W.
A. Jones, Esq.

On some Rare Birds recently taken in the neighbour-
hood of Taunton, by Cecil Smith, Esq.

On the Origin of the word "Junket," by W. P.

January 9th, 1871 :

On Charles II in Somersetshire, by E. Chisholm-

Batten, Esq.
On the Somersetshire Dialect, by the Fev. W. P.


February 6th, 1871 :

A Summer on the Quantocks, by the Bev. W.

On the Great-Bustards recently killed in Devonshire,

by Cecil Smith, Esq.
On the Manor of Taunton Deane : its Lords and its

Customs, by W. A. Jones, Esq.
On the Dialects of Somersetshire, by R. C. A. Prior,

Esq., M.D.

i^h^ IKtts^ttin.


Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archceological

Journal of the British Archceological Association.

Journal of the Royal Historical and Archceological Asso-
ciation of Ireland.

The Archceological Journal.

Proceedings of the Bath Natural History and Antiquarian
Field Club.

Associated Architectural Society's Reports and Papers.

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Report of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, U^S,

Bulletin of the Essex Insitute, vol. 1 ; and Proceedings of
the Essex Institute, vol. 6, part i ; Salem, Mass., U.S.

Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archceology and
Natural History.

Collections of the Surrey Archceological Society.

Journal of the Royal Dublin Society.

Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and

Crania Britannica, 6 parts, by Mrs. Plowden C. Weston.

On the Rodentia of the Somerset Caves, by Mr. W. A.

VOL. XVI., 1870, PAKT I. g


Memoranda Illustrative of the Toinhs and Sepulchral
Decorations of the Egyptians, by Mr. E. Jeboult.

First Report of the Royal Commissioners on Historical
Manuscripts, by Mr. E. Chisholm-Batten.

Flint Chips, and Some Account of the Blackmore Museum,
Salisbury, by the Author, Mr. E. T. Stevens.

Glossary of the Dialect of Forth and Bargy, by the
Author, the Rev. W. Barnes.

Black-letter folio Bible, by the Rev. J. W. Ward.

Visitation of Somerset, 1G23 ; Copy of Old Deed of
Bamfield ; Gloucester ^lonumental Inscriptions, ^c, by Sir
Thos. Philltpps, Bart.

M.S. Church Notes of Horsington, by the Rev. H. D.


First Report of the Americaii Museum of Natural History.

Engraved copper plate of St. Mary Magdalene, Taun-
ton, by Mr. Samuel Sheppard.

Ancient key found in the churchyard at Cricket St.
Thomas, by j\Ir. Wills.

Ammonite from the chalk at White Horse Hill near
Wantage, by Mr. Chas. []arte.

Engraved copper plate of a window at Horsington, by
Rev. H. D. Wickham.

Stones of an Australian fruit, and copper ores from
Australia, by Miss Cavill.

Coal fossils from Ashton-under-Lyne, by Mr. Geo.

Specimen of the Clifton " Landscape Eock,'^ by Mr.

Iron and magnetic ores from Dartmoor, by Mr. C D.

Head of a cross found at East Harptree, by Mr. F. W.


Ornaments and articles of dress, weapons, and shields,
and musical instrument, from the Dyak tribes of Borneo ;
an armadillo and other animals, by His Exc. Hajah
Brooke, Sarawak.

Fifteenth century abbey token found at Wiveliscombe,
by Mr. E. Slopek.

Opium pipe, comb, and tail of a fish from India ; arrows
from the Feejee Islands, by Mr. O. W. Malet.

African quiver with arrows, by Mr. Ckoss.

Old tobacco pipes found at Taunton.
Purchased —

Palcconto(j rap] deal Sucietijs Journal.

Raij Socktifs Publications.






ii^t^ri^al |lj}lt^ ^| tlii> (3|Iuu;rli of


THE following notes on the history of Castle Cary
Church are designed to supplement the paper read in
1856 before the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural
History Society, and printed in the Society^s report of

That paper described the manorial history, and that of
the proprietors of the manors, but did not include any
notice of the church. The few particulars I now can give
for the first time are but scanty, and are chiefly taken from
the Registry of the Bishops at Wells, from old church-
warden's accounts, and the parish register.


Previous to the Conquest the manor of Gary, with the
advowson, belonged to the Abbot of Glastonbury, having
been given to him by Kentvvine, a king of the West
Saxons. It was taken from the monastery by the Con-
queror, who appears to have allotted it first to Walter de
Douai, or Dowai — his name appears as proprietor of Castle
Cary in the Domesday Book.* In a short time subsequent
to the Conquest all the rights of the manor, excepting the
patronage of the church, are found in possession of the
family of Perceval. Robert de Perceval, Lord of Breher-
val, Yvery, Montinny, and Vasse, in Normandy, came
over with the Duke, on his successful expedition to Eng-
land in A.D. 1066, and received a grant of the manor of
Cary. Returning, however, to his own country he devoted
himself to a religious life, and was succeeded in his Englisli
estates by his son Ascelin.t It will be remembered that
this family afford a curious instance of the capricious
origin of surnames, and that William Gouel de Perceval
being called " Lupellus " or the young wolf, after Ascelin
his father, who from his warlike qualities had been called
" Lupus " the wolf, the word Lupellus anglicized became
Lupcl and Lovel, and was transmitted as the name of two
noble families! in the ancient peerage of Great Britain.

It appears that the patronage and rectory of Cary was

given, by the wife of Walter de Douai, § to the Benedictine

Priory at Bath, founded by King Edgar about 970 ; and

remained in possession of the Monastery until the dissolu-

* Vol. I, page 95a.
t Anderson's Genealogical History of the House of Yvery.
t Lovell of Castle Cary, and Lovell of Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire,
and Titclimarsh, Norts.

§ Temp John de Villula, a.d. 1090. This medical bishop re-built
the Monastery at Bath, and a]3pointed a prior over them, they having
had abbots before for 100 years. He also translated the See from Wells
to Bath, and called himself " Bishop of Bath" only.


tion. In 1548 King Edward VI granted the rectory and
advowson to the Bishop of Bath and Wells, in exchange for
some lands which belonged to the See. The ecclesiastical
estate remained in possession of the bishops until the year
1810, when the rectorial estate was sold in fee to Sir
Richard Colt Hoare, Bart., who had previously held it
under a lease for lives from the Bishop ; but the patronage
of the vicarage continued in the Bishops of Bath and
Wells. The church is dedicated to All Saints, and con-
sists of a nave with two aisles, a chancel, and tower at the
west end, with a vestry attached to the north wall of the

No vicar having been resident in the parish for more
than one hundred years, before 1845, the church had fallen
into decay, and was disfigured by most unseemly con-
trivances for room — supplying not more than forty free
seats for a population of about two thousand. No tradition
exists as to where the vicarage house formerly stood, al-
though it is recorded in the Terrier at Wells that there was
a vicarage house, with a cottage, barn, and orchard ; these
had all passed away from remembrance. In 1845 about
seven acres of rectorial glebe were obtained by exchange
from Sir Hugh R. Hoare, Bart., then the Lord of the
Manor, and proprietor of the rectorial glebe,t and upon
that, annexed to a few lugs of garden ground, called the

* There are no documents remaining which show at what i^eriocl
the church was built, but the architecture indicates that it was in
the reigji of Hen. VI. The nave has a clerestory, which was pro-
bably raised some time subsequently to the building of the church
and the tower. The latter was in a ruinous state previous to the
restoration of the church, and was the oldest portion of the structure.
The principal features of the church are of the Early Perpendicular
period. The pulpit, and portions of the rood screen, which now enclose
the organ chamber, are beautifully carved, and have been well restored.
+ See supra.


" Vicarage plot," a new and convenient vicarage house
was built under the " Gilbert Act," chiefly with money
borrowed by mortgaging the rent charge. In 1856 the
church was also enlarged and restored.* It is now 110
feet long, and 42 feet wide; the spire is 139 feet high;
and the church contains when quite full 730 persons ; 363
of the sittings being free and unappropriated.

There is, in the churchyard of Castle Gary, an old tomb-
stone which has somewhat unjustly cast a stigma upon
the parishioners. The late Mr. Russ, when at South-
ampton, fell into conversation with a gentleman who told
him that he, Mr. R., came from the most barbarous place
in England, as being the only place, it was believed, ex-
isting where cock-fighting was thought to be a practice
fitting to be recorded on a tombstone in a churchyard.
Mr. Russ heard this statement with some surprise, and on
returning to Castle Cary hastened to the churchyard,
where, after some search, he found an old headstone, a
good deal out of the perpendicular, but containing appa-
rently a representation of two birds standing opposite,
ready to peck at one another. Not satisfied, however,
with appearances, Mr. Russ had the long coarse herbage
cleared away from the opposite side of the tombstone, and
there he was pleased to find an inscription, shewing that
the stone was erected in memory of a respectable family of
the name of Swallow, who are mentioned in Collinson's
History of Somerset, as having given some gates to the
the church. The birds, therefore, mistaken for cocks, were
intended probably for swallows, forming a rebus upon the
family name.f

It will be remembered that in September, 1651, King

* On plans of Mr. Ferrey, the Diocesan Ai-chitect.
t See the lithograph taken from a rnbbing of the stone and inscription.


T[5iH7Tl^-3^ v^**^**^


ley Ixii T^^ BODY ;'w

*' ^^ii^ Si iiDAY OF


Charles 11, on his escape after the battle of Worcester,
slept at Castle Cary, in the house of Mr. Edward Kirton,
or Kyrton. This Mr. Kyrton is said to have been resident
agent of the Duke of Somerset at Castle Cary, or, as is
supposed by Mr. Batten, in his able and interesting paper
on Somersetshire Sequestrations, was lessee of the parks
under the Marquis of Hertford ;* and lessee also under the
Bishop of the rectory and rectorial glebe. That he (Mr.
Kyrton) was a man of some eminence is clear from his
being a Member of Parliament in 1623 for Ludgershall,
and in 1628 for Great Bedwyn. In the Parliament of
1640 it appears also that he sat for Milborne Port.

In the account of Somersetshire Sequestrations, by Mr.
Edward Curie, it is recorded that Mr. Edward Kyrton
was one of those proceeded against as a "royalist delin-
quent," and made a composition for his estates, at a re-
duced fine, in consideration of his settling £50 a year out
of the rectory for the augmentation of the maintenance of
the minister of Castle Cary. I am sorry to say that no
trace of this augmentation now exists.

In the old churchwardens' accounts for the years 1633

* A MS. note of the late Ptight Hon. Henry Hobhouse, of Hadspen,
formerly " Keeper of the State Papers," informs us that " The manors
of Castle Cary and Almesforth (Ansford) were settled 24 Car. 1, 1649,
on the marriage of Henry Lord Beauchamp, eldest son of Willm.
Marquis of Hertford, with Mary, eldest daughter of Arthur Lord
Capell, in trust to pay £1600 per annum to the said Mary for her
jointure. On the death of John Duke of Somerset, in 1675, without
issue, these manors descended to his niece, Lady Elizabeth Seymour (only
surviving issue of the said Lord and Lady Beauchamp), who married,
A.D. 1676, Thomas Lord Bruce, eldest son of Piobert Earl of Ailesbury,
and were conveyed in the same year to t'tees, in trust to sell or pay
off the jointure of the said Lady Beauchamp, then Marchioness of
Worcester; and also certain annuities charged by the will of Duke
John. In 1684 they were sold to Ettrick, Player, and others. Player
made partition in 1703." [Cart. orig. H. H.]

VOL. XVI, 1870, PART n. A


and 1634 Ave find an item among payments for church rates

in these years ;

Edward Kirton . . . . . . . . vii^ 6 vii' 8"^
the Sunday after Easter . . /

Query, was the second item intended as a special re-
joicing on the return of Mr. Tompson to his parishioners ?











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Online LibrarySomersetshire Archaeological and Natural History SProceedings (Volume 16) → online text (page 4 of 9)