Langford

Farrer describes “a fine monument” in the church, covered up with a view to restoration. In the booklet “Sculptured monuments in Norfolk Churches”, Noel Spencer2 describes it as “A mighty monument in a little church…” and it is of Sir Nicholas Garrard, died 1727, a salter (or manufacturer or dealer in salt or other chemicals3), an Alderman and Sheriff of the City of London. He lies in Roman clothing upon his sarcophagus, with his father and grandfather behind him, both similarly clad in short tunics, flanking a pedestal bearing an urn (this used to have a cherub upon it). Spencer records that his widow, “Dame Cecilia, who caused this monument to be erected ‘in duty and respect as much as in obedience to his desire’. This she did ‘to perpetuate the Memory of her Dear and entirely Beloved Husband together with his worthy ancestors’.” The sculptor was Christopher Horsnaile the Elder, the partner of Edward Stanton, who was working 1700-1742; he was mason to Westminster Abbey until 1737, and also mason to the Inner Temple. This is reckoned to be his finest monument, among many produced with Stanton and alone4, and according to Blomefield5 it cost 400 guineas.

GARRARD family at Langford

On the pedestal the inscription recorded that Sir Jacob Garrard, “an Eminent, Wealthy, and Honourable Citizen”, was knighted by Charles I in 1641, and made baronet by Charles II in 1662, “having aided and assisted the Royal Family with Men, Money, and Arms, in their Distress and Exile, for which he became obnoxious to the Usurpers of Authority, and was Try’d by the Committee for raising Supplies, as a Delinquent, but nobly Defended both his Life and Estate with unshaken Resolution and stedfast Loyalty.” Quite an encomium. He married Mary Jennings, and died 1666; only four of their many children survived.

Below the figure of Sir Nicholas there is another inscription. This tells us that his son Thomas inherited the estate and title; he married Sarah, only daughter and heiress of Nicholas Bermen of Peasenhall, Suffolk. Of their nine children, only two sons and a daughter survived. The daughter Mary is buried here, as is Sarah. Jacob, the eldest son, died before his father, and he is buried with his family. Sir Nicholas Garrard, the third son, succeeded his father in the title and estate; he married Cecilia, daughter of Sir Edwin Stede of Stede Hall in Kent. Sir Nicholas died 11 March 1727.

The position of the inscriptions and of the figures demonstrates a remarkable familial piety, awarding pride of place to his grandfather and father above the person remembered in the monument.
When Blomefield recorded this monument, on the wall opposite were his shield, mantle, torse, helmet, spurs and sword, with several banners: Garrard impaling Jennings (Argent a Chevron Gules between three plummets Sable), and Garrard impaling Berman (Argent a Fleur-de-lis Gules). These insignia were placed here by his widow.
An earlier authority says that in the church at the funeral of a knight, his sword was allowed to be hung, because at their first dubbing,the knight did promise to defend religion and the church. A cleric in a London church had taken similar arms, claiming they were offerings to the church, but Justice Yelverton ruled that they were not oblations but hung in honour of the deceased, and therefore neither parson nor anyone else had the right to remove them or lay claim to them.  There is no sign of the arms on this church wall now.

Wyvern crest at Langford

Nearby, there is a painted coat of arms on an ornate carved fitting presumably detached from the monument. The dexter half is just discernable and shows: (Azure) two lions guardant and combatant (Argent) with the baronet’s badge above. – GARRARD, impaling Argent a chevron between three Boars’ heads couped Sable, muzzled (Or). – STEDE.

The crest is a Wyvern Vert; it should have a spear Or, headed Argent, piercing its throat, and the tail should be nowed6 Sir Nicholas Garrard married Cecilia, daughter of Sir Edwin Stede of Stede Hall in Kent, and died 11th March 1727. He was the third son of Sir Thomas Garrard, Bt., and his wife Sarah, daughter and heiress of Nicholas Bermen of Peason Hall, Suffolk; and Sir Thomas’s parents were Sir Jacob Garrard, the eldest son and heir of Thomas Garrard, Esq., who died in 1666.

PHOTOGRAPHS by Charles Charles-Donne

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