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Full text of "The journal of William Dowsing of Stratford, parliamentary visitor, appointed under a warrant from the Earl of Manchester, for demolishing the superstitious pictures and ornaments of churches"

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J Shelf No. &X..t.Z.a.. 



Register No. 



19 



THE 



OF 



WILLIAM DOWSING, 

OF STRATFORD, 

PARLIAMENTARY VISITOR, 

APPOINTED UNDER A WARRANT FROM 

THE EARX. OF MANCHESTER, 

FOB 

DEMOLISHING THE SUPERSTITIOUS PICTURES AND ORNAMENTS OP CHURCHES 

&C., WITHIN THE COUNTY OF SUFFOLK, 

IN THE YEAR3 16431644. 



A New Edition, with an Introduction, Notes, etc., by the 
REV. C. H, EVELYN WHITE, 

Honorary Secretary of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Natural History, 
Editor of the Society s Proceedings, and of " The East Anglian Notes and Queries." 



IPSWICH : PAWSEY AND HAYES, THE ANCIENT HOUSE. 
MDCCCLXXXV. 




IPSWICH : 
TOOTED BT PAW8XT AND HAYES, ANCIENT HOUSE, BUTTER MARKET. 



THE JOURNAL OF WILLIAM DOWSING, 

PARLIAMENTARY VISITOR, 

FOR DEMOLISHING THE SUPERSTITIOUS PICTURES AND ORNAMENTS OF 

CHURCHES, ETC., WITHIN THE COUNTY OF SUFFOLK, 

IN THE TEARS 1&(3 16^. 



WITH AN INTRODUCTION, NOTES, ETC. 



It falls to the lot of comparatively few, other than 
those whose lives and memories are consecrated in the 
affections of their fellow men, to acquire and retain so 
widespread a reputation (in this particular case such an 
unenviable one) as that which clings to the name and 
character of that uncompromising zealot of iconoclastic fame, 
William Dowsing. Judging from the scanty information 
we possess concerning him, it may possibly appear to 
some, that so uninviting a character, and one we are led 
instinctively to condemn, is scarcely worthy of anything 
likely to further perpetuate his memory, beside that which 
we already possess in the well-known Journal. Put 
understanding that the two or three previous editions of the 
Journal were out of print, and copies not easily obtainable ; 
that the Journal moreover, in its complete form was but 
little known, and where known, was for the want of a few 
brief notes, not sufficiently understood, I deemed the 
present opportunity a favourable one for adding certain 
information concerning Dowsing and his family connec 
tions, as far as appear to me correct and reliable. Also 
some further details, and sundry notes relating to his 
work in the character in which he is alone known, that 
of Parliamentary Visitor appointed under a warrant from 



the Earl of Manchester, for the demolishing of super 
stitious pictures and ornaments found in Churches, etc., 
throughout the assigned District. 

Of the original Manuscript of the l Journal nothing 
is known, further than the fact that it was sold in the year 
1704, together with the library of Samuel Dowsing, a son 
of William Dowsing, to Mr. ftuse, a London bookseller. 
It was from a transcript of this MS. made at the time, 
that the edition published by Mr. Loder, of Woodbridge, 
(4to. 1786) and afterwards a second edition, was issued in 
1818. To the transcript was added : 

" A true Copy of a MANUSCRIPT, found in the Library of Mr. 
Samuel Dowsing, of Stratford, being written by his 
Father, William Dowsing s own Hand, carefully and 
almost literally transcribed Sept. 5th, 1704." 

Mention is made in the Suffolk Traveller (2nd ed. p. 39) 
that a portion of Dowsing s * Journal found its way into 
the hands of the Editor of that work (Mr. John Kirby ), but 
whether it was any part of the original is not clear. Up 
to the time of the appearance of Mr. Loder s first edition, 
copies could only have existed in MS., and it is not 
surprising that in some such copies, slight differences 
should be found. The Journal was afterwards reprinted 
by Messrs. Parker, of Oxford, as a supplement to Wells 
" Rich Man s Duty" and afterwards (1850) by the same 
in a separate form. This present edition, drawn from 
the several previous editions, and MS. copies, carefully 
compared with each other, has the several points of 
difference, etc., duly noted.* Loder s edition has an 
Introduction which is of quite sufficient interest, in its 
way, to merit a place here, while it may to some extent 
serve a like purpose : 

"TOWARD the latter end of the reign of HENRY VIII., and 
throughout the whole reign of EDWARD VI. and in the beginning of 

* F. C. Brooke, Esq. , of Ufford, with his usual kindness has placed at my disposal 
an interleaved and annotated edition of the Journal (Loder, 1818, 4to.), with 
materials collected for an introduction by the late Mr. John Wodderspoon. I 
have occasionally availed myself of this, but as it consists mainly of notes 
illustrative of church ornaments, monuments, coats of arms, rood screens, 
brasses, stained glass, &c. , and a consideration of these being outside my original 
purpose, I have gleaned but little fresh information from this source. 



queen ELIZABETH, certain persons, of every county, were put in authority 
to pull down, and cast out of all churches, roods, graven images, shrines 
with their relics, to which the ignorant people came flocking in 
adoration. Or any thing else, which (punctually) tended to idolatry 
and superstition. Under colour of this their commission, and in their 
too forward zeal, they rooted up and battered down crosses in churches 
and church-yards, as also in other public places, they defaced and brake 
down the images of kings, princes and noble estates, erected, set up, or 
portraied, for the only memory of them to posterity, and not for any 
religious honour ; they crackt a-pieces the glass windows wherein the 
effigies of our blessed SAVIOR hanging on the cross, or any one of hia 
saints was depictured ; or otherwise turned up their heels into the 
place where their heads used to be fixed ; as I have seen in the windows 
of some of our country churches. They despoiled churches of their 
copes, vestments, amices, rich hangings, and all other ornaments where 
upon the story or the portraiture of CHRIST himself, or of any saint or 
martyr was delineated, wrought, or embroidered ; leaving religion naked, 

bare, and unclad." 

" But the foulest and most inhuman action of those times, was the 
violation of funeral monuments. Marbles which covered the dead were 
digged up, and put to other uses, tombs hackt and hewn a-pieces ; images 
or representations of the defunct, broken, erased, cut, or dismembered, 
inscriptions or epitaphs, especially if they began with an orate pro 
anima, or concluded with cujus animce propitietur Deus. For greediness 
of the brass, or for that they were thought to be anti-christian, pulled 
out from the sepulchres, and purlioned ; dead carcases, for gain of their 
stone or leaden coffins, cast out of their graves, notwithstanding 
this request, cut or engraven upon then, propter miserecordiam Jesu 
requiescant in pace." 

WEEVER S Discourses on Funeral Monuments, pa. l.li. 

What was thought to be left unfinished, by those Persons then in 

Power, the fanatical Zeal of the succeeding Century pretty fully 

accomplished ; a reference to this JOURNAL alone, is sufficient to shew, 
how far the Ignorance and Obstinacy of selfish Men may be persisted 
in, and carried on, against the Remonstrances of sober and moderate 
Reason. 

In the eventful days of the Long Parliament, men 
in the name of religion, ran to an excess of riot that ill 
accorded with the spirit by which they were supposed to 
be actuated, and of this party, William Dowsing may be 
regarded as a faithful exponent. Those who had assumed 
authority, held out every encouragement to the lawless 
fac tion, to persevere in their deeds of ill, and consequently 
many were to be found ready to distinguish themselves 



by acts of open violence. According to " Mercurius 
Xusticus" (p. 22) 

"In Aug. 1641. -there was an Order published by the House of 
Commons, for the taking away all scandalous Pictures out of Churches, 
in which there was more intended by the Authors than at first their 
instruments understood, untill instructed by private information how 
faree the People were to inlarge the meaning." 

It may I think be reasonably supposed, that many 
of the " reliques of idolatry" were, during the interval 
of time which elapsed between the giving of this Order 
and the date of Dowsing s Commission, forcibly removed 
by the people, and that it was left for Dowsing to smite 
and not spare, at the subsequent period. 

It was soon after the publication of the Order, that 
country committees were called into existence for the 
exercise of certain powers conferred upon them by the 
Parliament, in connection with this undertaking. At the 
instance, and under the direction of the Earl of Man 
chester, who received his commission as General of the 
associated counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincoln, 
Huntingdon, Cambridge, and Hertford, in 1642, and 
resigned it in 1645, William Dowsing received his 
appointment as Parliamentary Visitor of the Suffolk 
Churches. Of the five or six associations formed in the 
interest of the Parliamentarian party, this is the only 
one that stood its ground. 

A copy of the original Commission, formerly in the 
possession of the late D. E. Davy, has never I think been 
printed. It is as follows 

A Commission from the Earle of Manchester. 

" Whereas by an ordinance of the Lords and Comons assembled in 
Parliamt bearinge date the 28 th day of August last, it is amongst other 
thinges ordained y all Crucifixes, Crosses & all Images of any one or 
more psons of the Trinity, or of the Virgin Marye, & all other Images 
<fc pictures of Saints & superstitious inscriptions in or upon all & every 
y* s d Churches or Cappeles or other place of publique prayer, Church 
yards or other places to any y e s d Churches or Chapells, or other place 
of publique praier belonginge, or in any other open place shalbe before 
November last be taken away & defaced, as by the s d Ordinance more 
at large appeareth. And whereas many such Crosses, Crucifixes 



other sxiperstitious images and pictures are still continued within y" 
Associated Counties in manifest contempt of the s d Ordinance, these 
are therefore to will and require you forthwith to make your repaier to 
the seueral associated Counties, & put the s d Ordinance in execution in 
euery particular, hereby requiring all Mayors, Sheriffs, Bayliffs Constables, 
head boroughs & all other his Ma tlts< Officers <fe loveinge subjects to be 
ayding & assisting unto you, Avhereof they may not fail at their perill. 
Given under my hand & scale this 19 th of December 1643." 

(Signed) Manchester 
" To Willm Dowsing Gen. 

& to such as hee shall appoint." 

From a copy in my possession, nearly of the above date 

D. E. Davy: 

The destruction wrought by Dowsing- in Suffolk, 
was by no means the only task of the kind which he 
performed. In the same year (1643) he visited the 
county of Cambridge, also the University, where he 
entered and defaced the College chapels, demanding of 
each the sum of forty shillings for so doing. This 
abominable tryanny is set forth in a very rare and 
remarkable work, entitled " Querela Cantabrigicmis ; or, a 
Remonstrance, by way of Apology for the banished members 
of the late flourishing University of Cambridge. By some 
of the said sufferers" (Oxford, 1646) in these words : 

" And one who calls himself John Dowsing (a mistake for William 
Dowsing), and by vertue of a pretended Commission goes about the 
Country like a Bedlam breaking glasse windowes, having battered 
and beaten downe all our painted glasse, not only in our Chappies, 
but (contrary to order) in our publique Schooles, Colledge Halls, 
Libraryes, and Chambers, mistaking perhaps the liberall Arts for 
Saints (which they intend in time to pul down too) and having 
(against an Order) defaced and digged up the floors of our Chappels, 
many of which had lien so for two or three hundred yeares together, 
not regarding the dust of our founders and predecessors, who likely 
were buried there ; compelled us by armed Souldiers to pay forty 
shillings a Colledge for not mending what he had spoyled and defaced, 
or forthwith to go to Prison : We shall need to use no more instances 
than these two, to shew that neither place, person nor thing, hath any 
reverence or respect amongst them." 

In Master s " History of the College of Corpus Christi, 
with Continuations by J. Lamb, D.D" (1831) p. 47, is a 
further account of Dowsing s work in Cambridge. An 



8 

extract from a Journal which relates his doings at this 
place, is far too important to pass over ; I have therefore 
ventured to give the subject matter there contained: 

" By the greatest good fortune, the furious zeal of a bigotted fanatic 
has been the means of preserving to us the monument of a very 
considerable benefactor and great ornament to this University, I mean 
Dr. RICHARD BILLINGFORD, who in 1432 founded a chest as a fund for its 
members, which has been ever since called after his own name, put into 
it a hundred marks and placed it in St. Benedict s Church, in the 
Chancel of which, then the only Chapel made use of for the devotions of 
the College, he was buried, but his tomb-stone has by some accident 
been since removed into the north aisle. In 1643, a fatal aera for this 
seat of learning, one William Dowsing, of whom an account is given 
by Dean Barwick in the Querela Cantabrigiensis p. 17, 18, was authorized 
by those then in power, to go through Cambridgeshire and eradicate all 
the relicts of superstition in the parish churches : in which progress his 
ignorant and mad zeal led him not enly to deface all the painted glass 
he met with, to the great disfigurement of the windows, but also to 
reave and destroy all those inscriptions on brass or stone which had the- 
precatory form (in use till the time of the reformation) before them, to 
the utter ruin of many monuments in this country : so that he is to be 
traced very exactly through most of the churches in these parts by the spoil 
and havock he made wherever it was his mischance to arrive. He was so 
well satisfied with what he was about, that he kept a journal of the 
reformation he made in each church ; by means of which published by 
a worthy friend of mine from the original MS.,* this tomb was happily 
recovered from the oblivion it has laid in ever since. It is a grey marble 
of about six or seven feet long, having in the midst of it the portraiture 
of a doctor of divinity on his knees, in his robes of Congregation and 
hood over his shoulders, exactly like the modern ones, with a scrole 
issuing from his hands, having on it, I imagine this inscription, Me tibi 
Virgo pia Genetrix commendo Maria, probably addressed to the picture 
of the Virgin Mary with her Son in her arms above his head, which is 
shaved ; but as the brass from that, as well as from the scrole, with tho 
inscription beneath him, are reaved and lost, so nothing could have 
retrieved it, but the following barbarous account in the journal, which I 
take word for word as in the original, p. 50. 

" At Bene t Temple, \ There are seven superstitious pictures, 
Dec. 28. / fourteen cherubims, and two superstitious 

ingravings ; one was to pray for the soul of John Canterbury and his 
wife. And an inscription of a mayd praying to the Sonn and Virgin 
Mary, twas in Lating, Me tibi- Virgo Pia Gentier commendo Maria ; " a 
mayd was born from me which I commend to the oh Mary " (1432) 
Richard Billingford did commend thus his daughter s soule. 

" From which particulars it is easy to gather that this must mean Dr. 

* Zachary Grey, LL.D., "Schismatics Delineated," 1739. 



Billingford, who, by his interpretation is metamorphorsed, into a maid, recom 
mending her daughter s soul to the Virgin Mary. The date and name are 
a sufficient proof of what is advanced : though it must be confessed there 
is as much obscurity thrown over it as the thing would admit of. In 
this instance however and one or two more he is of service : and had he 
been equally careful in minuting down the names and dates of other 
monumental inscriptions as in this, by the help of other lights which 
might have occurred, the mischief he did would not have been irrepar 
able ; but this is so singular that he deserves not our thanks. Besides 
it would have taken up too much of his time, which was employed from 
December to March in this business : especially in places where they 
abounded ; as for instance in St. John s College Chapel, where there was 
no less than forty-five superstitious monumental inscriptions ; an 
abundance that would have employed more of his leisure, than we can 
suppose a person of his importance in the business of reformation had 
to throw away." 

As a record of wanton mischief, intermingled as one 
cannot help observing, with a desire for plunder and 
notoriety, such as makes it hard for the most determined 
enemy of superstitious ornaments to palliate or defend, 
this Journal stands without an equal, and it is to be 
most devoutly hoped, that the outburst of intolerant zeal, 
almost bordering on barbarism, may long remain without 
a parallel in the history of the country. 

The form of appointment of any one of Dowsing s 
Deputies is given at the foot of the Journal in the 
following form : 

" Feb. 4th. By Virtue of a Warrant directed to me, by the right 
Hon b . Ie the Earl of Manchester. I do hereby depute and appoint You 
T. D. fQy. Thomas Denning ) in my absence to execute the said Warrant 

in every particular, within the County of According to an 

Ordinance of Parliament therein mentioned, and Power given unto me 
by the said Warr 1 as fully as I myself may, or might execute the same. 
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal." 

This Memorandum of appointments made, is placed at 
the head of the Journal : 

"WILLIAM DOWSING substitutes Edmund Blomfield of Aspell- 
Stonham, Edmund Mayhew of Gosbeck, & Thomas Denning &, Mr. Thomas 
Westhorp of Hundon, (a godly man) and Mr. Thomas Glanfteld of 
Gosbrock, Francis Verden for Wangford, Suthelham, Blything, Bosmere, 
Sudbury, Clare, Fordham, Blacksmere, and would have had Hartsmere. 
And Francis Jessup of Beccles, for Lethergland and Shutford Hundred, 

C 



10 

and Bungay, Blitkborough, Yoxford, and Ringshall."* 

Of these Deputies, one a " Mr. Thomas Westhorp, of 
Hunden," is referred to as "a godly man," probably 
owing to his excessive zeal in the cause. The same 
epithet is applied in the Journal to the Lecturer at 
Aldborough, and to a Churchwarden of St. Margaret s, 
Ipswich, who shewed themselves ready to pull down and 
destroy at Dowsing s bidding. Two other of Dowsing s 
associates, Blomfield and Glanfield, appear to have been 
related to him by marriage. A deputy, by name Crow, 
not included among those already mentioned, appears 
from the l Journal to have exercised his office at Elmsett 
previous to Dowsing s arrival. Whatever may be said of 
the others, we need have no hesitation in speaking of the 
Deputy " Francis Jessup, of Beccles," as the very embodi 
ment of ignorance, presumption, and knavery. A former 
Vicar of Lowestoft, the Kev. James liowse, has left oa 
record this account of Jessop s visit to the parish church : 

" In the same yeare after, on the 1 2th of June, there came one 
Jissope with a commission from the Earle of Manchester to take away 
from gravestones all inscriptions one wch hee found orate pro 
anima. A wretched commissioner, not able to read or find out that 
wch his commission injoined him to remove : hee took up in our church 
soe much brasses, as hee sould to Mr. Josiah Wild for five shillings, wch 
was afterwards, contrary to my knowledge, runn into the little bell that 
hangs in the town house. Thear wearr taken up in the middle alley, 
twelve peeces, belonging to twelve severall generations of the Jettors. 

In the chancell, one belonging to Bpp. Scroope ; the words there, 
1 Richardus Scroope, Episcopus Dromorocensis, et hujus ecclie vicarius, 
hie jacet. qui obiit 10 May. anno 1364. 

There was alsoe by this Jyssop taken up in the vicar s chancell one 
the north side of the church, a fair peece of brasse with this inscription : 
Hie jacet Johannes Goodknapp, hujus ecclesise vicarius, qui obiit 4 to 
Novembris, anno Dni, 1442. " 

The doings of this man at Gorleston, surpass 
every tiling of the kind on record, and the account given 
here, is an example of the thoroughness, which, alas ! 
characterized so much of the work done by these sacrilegious 
invaders of the churches of East Anglia. 

* Gosbrock, Suthelham, Blacksmere, Lethergland and Shutford ought respectively to 
be read as, Gosbeck, South Elmham, Blackbourn, LotJiingland and Mutford. 



11 

GORLESTON. " In the chancel, as it is called, we took up twenty 
brazen superstitious inscriptions, Orapro nobis, &c. ; broke twelve apostles, 
carved in wood, and cherubims, and a lamb with a cross ; and took up 
four superstitious inscriptions in brass, in the north chancel, Jesufilii 
Dei miserere mei, &c. ; broke in pieces the rails, and broke down twenty- 
two popish pictures of angels and saints. We did deface the font and a 
cross on the font ; and took up a brass inscription there, with Cujus 
animce propitietur Deus, and Pray for y e soul, &c., in English. We 
took up thirteen superstitious brasses. Ordered Moses with his rod and 
Aaron with his mitre, to be taken down. Ordered eighteen angels off 
the roof, and cherubims to be taken down, and nineteen pictures on the 
windows. The organ I brake ; and we brake seven popish pictures in 
the chancel window, one of Christ, another of St. Andrew, another of 
St. James, &c. We ordered the steps to be levelled by the parson of the 
town ; and brake the popish inscription, My flesh is meat indeed, and my 
blood is drink indeed. I gave orders to break in pieces the carved work, 
which I have seen done. There were six superstitious pictures, one 
crucifix, and the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus in her arms, and 
Christ lying in a manger, and the three kings coming to Christ with 
presents, and three bishops with their mitres and crosier staffs, and 
eighteen Jesuses written in capital letters, which we gave orders 
to do out. A picture of St. George, and many others which I 
remember not, with divers pictures in the windows, which we 
could not reach, neither would they help us to raise ladders ; so 
we left a warrant with the constable to do it in fourteen days. We 
brake down a pot of holy water, St. Andrew with his cross, and St. 
Catherine with her wheel ; and we took down the cover of the font, and 
the four evangelists, and a triangle for the Trinity, a superstitious picture 
of St. Peter and his keys, an eagle, and a lion with wings. In Bacon s 
isle was a friar with a shaven crown, praying to God in these words, 
Miserere mei Deus, which we brake down. We brake a holy water 
font in the chancel. We rent to pieces a hood and surplices. In the 
chancel was Peter pictured on the windows, with his heels upwards, 
and John Baptist, and twenty more superstitious pictures, which we 
brake ; and I H 8 the Jesuit s badge, in the chancel window. In 
Bacon s isle, twelve superstitious pictures of angels and crosses, and 
a holy water font, and brasses with superstitious inscriptions. And 
in the cross alley we took up brazen figures and inscriptions, Ora 
pro nobis. We brake down a cross on the steeple, and three stone crosses 
in the chancel, and a stone cross in the porch." 

At Somerleyton, Jessop removed the painted glass, 
and exacted the sum of 6s. 8d. for his labour. Some 
times it would appear that the Deputy wrought indepen 
dently of Dowsing, at other times * master and man 
were associated together in the work of spoliation. 



12 

Concerning Dowsing himself, it is difficult to speak 
with any degree of certainty. Nothing in the way of a 
pictorial representation of him is known to exist, it is 
however easy enough to imagine, from the word por 
traiture by which he has becoine so familiar to us, that 
his severe and relentless spirit came out strongly in his 
personal appearance. 

There has been some difference of opinion respecting 
the place of Dowsing s birth. In the l Journal, he is 
alluded to as " of Stratford," (Stratford St. Mary, Suff:) 
but his connection with this place is unknown. It would 
appear that, probably, during some portion of his life 
Dowsing resided at Stratford, but there is no evidence 
to prove that the family ever settled there Three 
individuals of the same name, mentioned in the Register 
as being interred in this parish, have apparently no 
connection with William Dowsing s family. It has been 
asserted, and "universal tradition" is said to confirm 
the opinion, (!) that Dowsing was a native of Pulham 
St. Mary, in Norfolk. Several entries in the parish 
Registers in which the name of a William Dowsing 
occur, seen to have led to the formation of this opinion, 
and to the consequent acceptance in some quarters of 
the theory. It is, however, plain from a monumental 
inscription in the churchyard at Pulham St. Mary,* that 
a connection existed between the Dowsing s residing 
there, and others of the same name at Laxfield, at which 
latter place the Iconoclast s family were located, and 
where William probably drew his first breath and also 
expired. 

Mr. F. C. Brooke, has inserted in his Wodderspoon 
collection, previously referred to, a MS. note to the 

* In the churchyard of Pulham St. Mary, near the S.E. corner of the 
Chancel is a brick tomb covered by a slab, bearing the following 
inscription : 

" Here lyeth the Body of Margaret, the wife of Peter Watts, daughter and 
sole Heiress of William Dowsing, of Laxfield, in the county of Suffolk, Gent., 
obijt 14th day of February, Anno Domini, 1707." 

Above is a shield bearing the arms of Watts, a lion rampant with a mullet for 
difference, impaling Dowsing, a fess between two lions passant. 



13 

effect that he was informed by W. Stevenson Fitch, in 
April 1849, that Dowsing lived at Eye; that he had in 
his possession Dowsing s admission as a copyhold tenant 
to the Manor of Eye Priory, and further that he had 
compared Dowsing s autograph (where this appeared is 
not stated,) with the one on the Eye document, and 
found them to be facsimiles. The date of the admission 
is not given, but most likely it was previous to the 
troublous times when Dowsing assumed the r&le of a 
mighty despoiler. Dowsing is sometimes referred to as 
" of Coddenham," but the village of Laxfield appears to 
be fairly entitled to the honour of having given birth 
to the man, who, in his mature years, did his utmost to 
disfigure the church of the parish in which he had been 
nurtured. In the course of his Journal, under Laxfield, 
Dowsing incidentally mentions a " William Dowsing of 
the same town," as appointed to pull down the chancel 
steps. We find mention made of the. name of Simon 
Dowsing, of Laxfield, as lending the sum of ten pounds 
for the defence of the Parliament in 1642, so that the 
family sympathy was clearly with the Parliamentarians. 

In the Laxfield Registers the William Dowsing is 
entered as baptised 2nd May, 1596, which would make 
him of about the age of fifty years at the time of his 
visitation. 

"1596. Will m Dowsinge sonne of Wollfran & Johane was 
bap ty zed the seconde daye of maye." 

To this is appended the following note : 

" This man was by the Earl of Manchester, in the Great Rebellion, 
A.D. 1644, appointed Visitor of the Churches in Suffolk, to destroy and 
abolish all the remains of popish superstition in them. There are few 
which do not yet bear marks of his indiscreet zeal. 1804." 

This note, it must be borne in mind, is no older than 
the early part of the present century, and appears to be 
in the neat hand-writing of the late I). E. Davy. 

Dowsing seems to have been twice married. By 
his first wife, Thamar, he had ten children one of whom, 
Samuel, (born 1633, and living in 1682), is mentioned in 

D 



14 

the introductory note at the commencement of the 
Journal. He is likewise there stated to be " of Strat 
ford," which is the more remarkable as his father, 
William Dowsing, although said to be also " of Strat 
ford," was buried at Laxfield, and Samuel is alluded to 
in the Will of his kinswoman, Mary Blomefield (1682 
Suff: Archd y .), as of Neyland. The genealogical place 
of these Laxfield Dowsings, may be clearly seen on 
reference to the valuable pedigree which Mr. J. J. 
Muskett, whose intimate acquaintance with Suffolk 
family history eminently fits him for the task, has 
skilfully and most kindly worked out for me. 

The earliest known reference to the Dowsing s of 
Laxfield, dates back as far as the middle of the 15th 
century, and for a long period they retained a respectable 
position among the yeomanry of the county. 

There are several monumental inscriptions in 
Laxfield church and churchyard, to various members 
of the family. A brass has or had the following : 

"HERE LYETH BURYED THE BODY OF WILLM 
DOWSING, WHO HAD ISSUE BY ELIZABETH 
HIS WIFE, 4 SONES AND 1 DAUGHTER, BEING OF 
ABOUT THE AGE OF 88 YEARES, DECEASED THE 
SECOND DAY NOUEMBER, ANNO DNI. 1614." 

There is also a brass to John Smyth and Margaret his 
wife, daughter of Wolferan Dowsinge, and who died 
1621. A stone with a Latin inscription to Sybilla, wife 
of William Dowsing, who died 21 March, 1(376, ret. 68. 
This stone bears the arms of Dowsing, a fcss between iwo 
lions passant, impaling Green. 

The following entry without doubt refers to the 
William Dowsing :* 

"Mr. William Dowsing was buried the 14th day of March, 1679. 
And no Affidavit was given me in of his buriall according to the late 
Act in that case provided. And I certified the Churchwardens and 
Overseers of the same, vnder my Hand March 22th 1679. 

W. Adamson, Vicar 

* Two other Dowsings, bearing the same Christian name of William, are also entered 
as interred at Laxfield during the latter part of the seventeenth century. 



15 

It would appear from this, that William Dowsing 
lived to pass fourscore years, leaving behind him a name, 
which although probably an enduring one, can only 
continue, subject to the reproaches that will be heaped 
upon it, not only by an ever increasing number of such 
as cherish with affectionate feelings the " wonders of old 
time," but by those who hate base injustice and cruel 
wrong, especially if done, as not infrequently has been 
the case, in the name of truth and charity. 



THE 
JOURNAL, &c. 

SUDBURY, Suffolk. Peter s Parish. JAN. the 9th. 
1643. We brake down a picture of God the Father, 2 
Crucifix s, and Pictures of Christ, about an hundred in 
all ; and gave order to take down a Cross off the Steeple ; 
and diverse Angels, 20 at least, on the Roof of the 
Church. 

SUDBURY, Gregory Parish. JAN. the 9th. We 
brake down 10 mighty great Angels in Glass, in all 80. 

AlhallowSj JAN. the 9th. We brake about 20 super 
stitious Pictures ; and took up 30 brazen superstitious 
Inscriptions, ora pro nobis, and pray for the soul, &c. 

1. SUFFOLK. At HAVER L - JAN. the 6th. 1643. 
We broke down about an hundred superstitious Pictures ; 
and seven Fryars hugging a Nunn ; and the Picture of 
God and Christ ; and diverse others very superstitious ; 
and 200 had been broke down before I came. We took 
away two popish Inscriptions with ora pro nolis ; and 
we beat down a great stoneing Cross on the top of the 
Church. 

2. At CLARE, JAN. the 6th. We brake down 1000 
Pictures superstitious ; I brake down 200 ; 3 of God the 
Father, and 3 of Christ, and the Holy Lamb, and 3 of 
the Holy Ghost like a Dove with Wings ; and the 12 
Apostles were carved in Wood, on the top of the Roof, 



16 

which we gave order to take down ; and 20 Cherubims 
to be taken down ; and the Sun and Moon in the East 
Window, by the King s Arms, to be taken down. 

3. HUNDEN, JAN. the 6th. We brake down 30 
superstitious Pictures ; and we took up 3 popish Inscrip 
tions in brass, ora pro nobis, on them ; and we gave order 
for the levelling the Steps. 

4. WIXO, JAN. the 6th. We brake a Picture; 
and gave order for levelling the Steps. 

5. WITHERSFIELD, JAN. the 6th. We brake 
down a Crucifix, and 60 superstitious Pictures ; and gave 
order for the levelling the Steps in the Chancel. 

6. STOKE-NAYLAND, JAN. the 19th. We brake 
down an 100 superstitious Pictures; and took up 7 super 
stitious Inscriptions on the Grave-Stones, ora pro nobis, &c. 

7. NAYLAND, SUFF. JAN. the 19th. 1643. We 
brake down 30 superstitious Pictures ; and gave order 
for the taking down a Cross on the Steeple ; We took up 

2 popish Inscriptions, ora pro nobis, fyc 

8. RAYDEN, JAN. the 20th. We brake dow an 
Crucifix, and 12 superstitious Pictures; and a popish 
Inscription, ora pro nobis, &c. 

9. HOUGHTON, JAN, the 20th. We brake 6 
superstitious Pictures. 

10. BARHAM, JAN. the 22nd. We brake down 
the 12 Apostles in the Chancel, and 6 superstitious more 
there; and 8 in the Church, one a Lamb with a Cross X 
on the back ; and digged down the Steps ; and took up 4 
superstitious Inscriptions of Brass, one of them Jesu, Fill 
Dei, miserere met, and mater Dei, memento mei, mother 
of God, have mcrci/ on me ! 

11. CLAYDEN, JAN. the 22nd. We brake down 

3 superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to take down 3 
Crosses of the Steeple ; and one of the Chancel. 

12. CODDENIIAM, JAN. the 22nd. We gave 
order for taking down 3 Crosses of the Steeple ; and one 
of the Chancel. 

13. YKE, JAN. the 23rd. We brake down 25 



17 

superstitious Pictures ; and took up a superstitious Inscrip 
tion. 

14. DUNSTALL, JAN. the 23rd. We brake down 
60 superstitious Pictures ; and broke in pieces the Rails ; 
and gave order to pull down the Steps. 

15. ALDBOROUGH, JAN. the 24th. We gave 
order for taking down 20 Cherubims, and 38 Pictures ; 
which their Lecturer Mr. Swayn^ (a godly man) undertook, 
and their Captain Mr. Johnson. 

16. ORFORD, JAN. the 25th. We brake down 28 
superstitious Pictures ; and took up 1 1 popish Inscriptions 
in Brass ; and gave order for digging up the Steps, and 
taking of 2 Crosses of the Steeple of the Church, and 
one of the Chancel, in all 4. 

17. SNAPE, JAN. the 25th. We brake down 4 
popish Pictures ; and took up 4 Inscriptions of Brass, of 
or a pro nobis, &c. 

18. STANSTED, JAN. the 25th. We brake down 
6 superstitious Pictures ; and took up a popish Inscription 
in Brass. 

19. SAXMUNDHAM, JAN. the 26th. We took up 
2 superstitious Inscriptions in Brass. 

20. KELSHALL, JAN. the 26th. We brake down 
6 superstitious Pictures; and took up 12 popish Inscrip 
tions in Brass ; and gave order to levell the Chancel, and 
taking down a Cross. 

21. CARLETON, JAN. the 26th. We brake down 
10 superstitious Pictures; and took up 6 popish Inscrip 
tions in Brass ; and gave order to levell the Chancel. 

22. FAKNHAM, JAN, the 26th. We took up a 
popish Inscription in Brass. 

23. STRATFORD. We brake down 6 super- 



24. WICKHAM, JAN the 26th. We brake down 
15 popish Pictures of Angels and S ts ; and gave order 
for taking 2 Crosses ; one on the Steeple, & the 2nd on 
the Church. 

25. SUDBURNE, JAN. the 26th. We brake down 

E 



18 

6 Pictures, and gave order for the taking down of a 
Cross on the Steeple ; and the Steps to be levelled. 

26. UFFORD, JAN. the 27th. We brake down 
30 superstitious Pictures; and gave direction to take 
down 37 more ; and 40 Cherubims to be taken down of 
Wood; and the chancel levelled. There was a Picture 
of Christ on the Cross, and God the Father above it ; 
and left 37 superstitious Pictures to be taken down ; and 
took up 6 superstitious Inscriptions in Brass. 

27. WOODBRIDGE, JAN. the 27th. We took 
down 2 superstitious Inscriptions in Brass ; and gave 
order to take down 30 superstitious Pictures. 

28. KESGRAVE, JAN. the 27th. We took down 
6 superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to take down 
18 Cherubims, and to levell the Chancel. 

29. RUSHMERE, JAN. the 27th. We brake down 
the Pictures of the 7 deadly Sins, and the Holy Lamb 
with a Cross about it ; and 15 other superstitious Pictures. 

30. CHATSHAM, JAN. the 29th. Nothing to be 
done. 

31. WASHBROOK, JAN. the 29th. I broke down 
26 superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to take down a 
stoneing Cross ; and the Chancel to be levelled. 

32. COPDOCK, JAN. the 29th. I brake down 150 
superstitious Pictures, 2 of God the Father, and 2 
Crucifixes; did deface a Cross on the Font; and gave order 
to take down a stoneing Cross on the Chancel, and to 
levell the Steps ; and took up a Brass Inscription, with ora 
pro nobis, and cujus animce prcpitietur Deus. 

33. BELSTEAD. We brake down 7 superstitious 
Pictures, the Apostles, and 2 others ; and took up 4 In 
scriptions in Brass, of ora pro nobis, &c. 

34. IPSWICH, Stoke Mary s. 2 Crosses in Wood, 
and 2 Cherubims painted ; and one Inscription in Brass, 
with ora pro nobiSj &c. 

35. At Peter s, was on the Porch, the Crown of 
Thorns, the Spunge and Nails, and the Trinity in Stone ; 
and the Rails where there, which I gave order to break 
in pieces. 



19 

36. Mary s at the Key. JAN. the 29th. I brake 
down 6 superstitious Pictures. 

37. St. Mary Elmes, JAN. the 29th. There was 4 
iron Crosses on the Steeple ; which they promised to 
take down that Day, or the next, 

38. Nicholas, JAN. the 29th. We brake 6 super 
stitious Pictures; and took up 2 Brass Inscriptions, of 
ora pro nobis ; and gave order for another, cujus anima 
(sic) propitietur Deus ; and there was the Crown of 
Thorns. 

39. Matthew s, JAN. the 29th. We brake down 35 
superstitious Pictures, 3 Angels with Stars on their breasts, 
and Crosses. 

40. Man/ 9 a at the Tower, JAN. the 29th. We took 
up 6 Brass Inscriptions, with ora pro nobis, and ora pro 
animabus, and cujus animce propitietur Deus ; and pray for 
the soul, in English ; and I gave order to take down 5 iron 
Crosses, and one of Wood on the Steeple. 

41. Margaret?*, JAN. the 30th. There was 12 
Apostles in Stone taken down ; and between 20 and 30 
superstitious Pictures to be taken down, which a (godly 
man) a Churchwarden promised to do. 

42. Steven s JAN the 30th. There was a popish 
Inscription in Brass, pray for the Soul. 

43. Lawrence, JAN. the 30th. There was 2 popish 
Inscriptions, one with Beads, and written ora pfo nobis. 

44. Clements, JAN. the 30. They four Days before 
had beaten up divers superstitious Inscriptions. 

45. At Elcns, JAN. the 30th. Nothing. 

46. PLAYFORD. JAN. the 30th. We brake down 
17 popish Pictures, one of God the Father; and took up 
2 superstitious Inscriptions in Brass ; and one ora pro nobis 
and cujus animce propitietur Deus, and a 2nd pray for the 
soul. 

47. BLAKENHAM, at the Water, Feb. the 1st. 
1643. Only the Steps to be levelled, which I gave them 
8 days to do it. 

48. BRAMFORD, FEB. the 1st. A cross to be 



20 

taken off the Steeple ; we brake down 841 superstitious 
Pictures ; and gave order to take down the Steps, and 
gave a fortnight s time ; and took up 3 Inscriptions with 
ora pro nobis, and cujus animce propitietur Deus. 

49. SPROUGHTON. We brake down 61 super 
stitious Pictures; and gave order for the Steps to be 
levelled, in a fortnight s time ; and 3 Inscriptions, ora pro 
nobis, and cujus animce propitietur Deus. 

50. BURSTALL, FEB. the 1st. We took off an 
Iron Cross off the Steeple ; and gave order to levell the 
Steps. 

51. HINTLESHAM. FEB. the 1st. We brake 
down 51 superstitious Pictures ; and took up 3 Inscrip 
tions, with ora pro nobis and cujus animce propitietur Deus ; 
and gave order for digging down the Steps. 

52. HADLEIGH. FEB. the 2nd. We brake down 
30 superstitious Pictures, and gave order for taking down 
the rest, which were about 70 ; and took up an Inscrip 
tion, quorum animabus propitietur Deus ; and gave order 
for the taking down a Cross on the Steeple ; gave 14 
days. 

53. LAYHAM, FEB. the 2nd. We brake down 6 
superstitious Pictures, and take down a Cross off the 
Steeple. 

54. SHELLY, FEB. the 2nd. We brake down 6 
superstitious Pictures ; and took off 2 Inscriptions, with 
cujus animce propitietur Deus. 

55. HIGHAM, FEB. the 2nd. We brake down 15 
superstitious Pictures in the Chancel ; and 1 6 in the 
Church, (so called) ; and gave order to levell the Steps 
in 14 days. 

56. FFB. the 3d. WENHAM Magna. There was 
Nothing to reform. 

57. FEB. the 3d. WHENHAM Parva. We brake 
down 26 superstitious Pictures, and gave order to break 
down 6 more ; and to levell the Steps. One Picture was 
of the Virgin Mary. 

58. FEB. the 3d. CAPELL. We brake down 3 



21 

superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to take down 31, 
which the Churchwarden promised to do ; and to take 
down a stoneing Cross on the outside of the Church, (as 
it is called.) 

FEB. the 3d. We were at the Lady BrucJs House, 
and in her Chapel 1, there was a Picture of God the 
Father, of the Trinity, of Christ, and the Holy Ghost, 
the Cloven Tongues ; which we gave order to take down, 
and the Lady promised to do it. 

59. NEEDHAM-MARKET, FEB. the 5th. We 
gave order to take down 2 Iron Crosses on the Chappel, 
and a stoneing Cross. 

60. BADLEY, FEB. the 5th. We brake down 34 
superstitious Pictures ; Mr. Dove promised to take down 
the rest, 28 ; and to levell the Chancel. We took down 
4 superstitious Inscriptions, with ora pro nobis, and cuj us 
animce propitietur Deus. 

61. STOW-MARKET, FEB. the 5th. We gave 
order to break down about 70 superstitious Pictures; 
and to levell the Chancel, to Mr. Manning, that promised 
to do it ; and to take down 2 Crosses, one on the Steeple, 
and the other on the Church, (as it is called) ; and took 
of an Inscription, of ora pro nobis. 

62. WETHERDEN, FEB. the 5th. We brake 
a 100 superstitious Pictures in S r Edward Billiards Isle ; 
and gave order to break down 60 more ; and to take 
down 68 Cherubims ; and to levell the steps in the 
Chancel ; there was taken up 19 superstitious Inscrip 
tions, that weighed 65 pounds. 

63. ELMSWELL, FEB. the 5th. We brake down 
20 superstitious Pictures ; and gave orders to break 
down 40 and above, and to take down 40 Cherubims. 
We took up 4 superstitious Inscriptions, with ora pro nobis. 

64. TOSTICK, FEB. the 5th. We brake down 
about 16 superstitious Pictures; and gave order to take 
down about 40 more ; and to levell the Steps. We took 
a superstitious Inscription, with ora pro nobis. 

65. BURY St, EDMUND S, FEB. the 5th. Martf* 

F 



22 

Parish. Mr. Chaplain undertook to do down the Steps ; 
and to take away the superstitious Pictures. 

66. James s Parish. Mr. Moody undertook for. 

67. KINFORD, FEB. the 6th. We gave order to 
take down a Cross, and other Pictures. 

68. FEB. the 6th. At NEWMARKET, They pro 
mised to amend all. 

69. COMEARTH Magna, FEB. the 20th. I took 
up 2 Inscriptions, pray for our souls ; and gave order to 
take down a Cross on the Steeple ; and to levell the Steps. 
John Pain, Churchwarden, for not paying, and doing his 
duty injoyned by the Ordinance, I charged Henri/ Turner, 
the Constable, to carry him before the Karl of Manchester. 

70. Little COMEARTH, FEB. the 20th. There 
were 2 Crosses, one in Wood, and another in Stone, 
which I gave order to take them down ; and I brake down 
6 superstitious Pictures. Had no Noble. 

71. NEWTON, FEB. the 21st. William Plume, 
Churchwarden, and John Shrive, Constable. I brake 
down 4 superstitious Pictures, one of Christ, and 6 in the 
Chancel, one of Christ, and one of the Virgin Mary ; 
and to see the Steps levelled. 

* NAYLAND, FEB. the 21st. Henry Hill, Henry 
Campin, Churchwardens ; Abraham Vanaover, Constable. 
Churchwardens promised the 6s. Sd. within a Week. 

72. ASSINGTON, FEB. the 21st. We brake down 
40 Pictures, one of God the Father, and the other very 
superstitious ; and gave order to levell the Chancel ; and 
to take a Cross off the Steeple. Constable, James Springes. 

73. At Mr. Thomas Humbcrfield s or Somber fold s, I 
brake down 9 superstitious Pictures, and a Crucifix, in 
the Parish of STOKE. He refused to pay the 6s. Sd. 
This was in the Lord Windsor s Chappel. 

74. FEB. the 23d. At Mr. Cap*. Waldgrave s 
Chappel, in BUERS, there was a Picture of God the 
Father, and divers other superstitious Pictures, 20 at 
least, which they promised to break, his Daughter and 

* Vide No. 7. 



23 

Servants ; he himself was not at home, neither could 
they find the key of the Chappel. I had not the 6s. Sd. 
yet promised it. And gave order to take down a Cross. 

75. BUERS, FEB. the 23d. We brake down above 
600 superstitious Pictures, 8 Holy Ghosts, 3 of God the 
Father, and 3 of the Son. We took up 5 Inscriptions of 
quorum animabis (sic) propitietur Deus ; one pray for the 
soul. And Superstitions in the Windows, and some 
divers of the Apostles. 

76. COMEARTH Magna. (Mentioned before, 
No. 69.) 

77. GLENSFORD, FEE the 26th. We brake 
down many Pictures ; one of God the Father, a Picture 
of the Holy Ghost, in Brass. A Noble. 

78. OTLEY, FEB. the 27th. A Deputy brake 
down 50 superstitious Pictures ; a Cross on the Chancel ; 

2 Brass Inscriptions ; and Moses with a Rod, and Aaron 
with his Mitre, taken down ; and 20 Cherubims to be 
broke down. 6s. 3d. 

79. MULLEDEN, FEB. the 27th. He brake down 
6 superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to levell the 
Steps in 20 Days. 6$. Sd. 

80. HOO, FEB. the 27th. A superstitious Inscription 
of Brass, and 8 superstitious Pictures brake down ; and 
gave order to levell the Steps in 20 Days. 65. Sd. 

81. LETHERINGHAM, FEB. the 27th. He took 
of three popish Inscriptions of Brass ; and brake down 
10 superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to levell the 
Steps in 20 Days. Qs. Sd. 

82. EASTON, FEB. the 28th. He brake up one 
Inscription in Brass ; and 1 6 superstitious Pictures ; 3 
Crosses he gave order to take down ; & to levell the 
Steps in 20 Days. 65. Sd. 

83. KETTLEBURGH, FEB. the 28th. In the 
Glass, 6 superstitious Pictures ; gave order to break them 
down, and to levell the Steps in 20 days. 65. Sd. 

84. HELMINGHAM, FEB. the 29th. Brake down 

3 superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to take down 4 



24 

Crosses; and 9 Pictures; and Adam and Eve to be 
beaten down. 6s. Sd. 

85. WOOLPIT, FEB. the 29th. My Deputy. 80 
superstitious Pictures ; some he brake down, and the rest 
he gave order to take down ; and 3 Crosses to be taken 
down in 20 Days. 65. 8d. 

86. BAYTON Bull, MARCH the 1st. He brake down 
20 Pictures ; and the Steps to be levelled in 20 Days. 
6s. Sd. 

87. KAYFIELD, APRIL the 3d. A Deputy brake 
down divers, which I have done. 

88. APRIL the 3d. BEDDINGFIELD. I brake 
down 14 superstitious Pictures, one of God the Father, and 
2 Doves, and another of St. Catherine and her Wheel ; and 
gave order to take down 3 stoneing Crosses on Porch, 
Church, and Chancel. 

89. TANNINGTON, APRIL the 3d. My Deputy 
brake down 27 Pictures, 2 were Crucifixes, which I 
brake of part. 

90. BRUNDISH, APRIL the 3d. There were 5 
Pictures of Christ, the 12 Apostles, a Crucifix, and divers 
superstitious Pictures. The Vicar have 2 Livings. 

91. WILBY, 4 superstitious Pictures. April the 4th. 
30 We brake down ; and gave order to take 10 more, 
and the Steps to be levelled ; and the Whip, and Pincers, 
and Nails, that was at Christ s crucifying, and the 
Trinity, all in Stone. 

92. STRADBROOK, APRIL the 4th. 8 Angels off 
the Roof, and Cherubims in Wood, to be taken down ; and 4 
Crosses on the Steeple ; and one on the Church ; and one 
on the Porch ; and 17 Pictures in the upper Window ; and 
pray for such out of your charity ; and Organs, which I 
brake. 

93. Nether, or LINSTEAD Parva, APRIL the 4th. A 
Picture of God the Father, and of Christ, and 5 more 
superstitious in the Chancel ; and the Steps to be levelled, 
which the Churcli wardens promised to do in 20 Days. 
And a Picture of Christ on the outside of the Steeple, 



25 

nailed to a Cross, and another superstitious one. Crosses 
on the Font. Will. (M.S. blotted) is Curate. 

94. LINSTEAD Magna, APEIL the 5th, Here 
was 2 superstitious orate pro animabus, and cujus anima 
(sic) propitietur Dens. There was 2 Crucifixes and 8 
superstitious Pictures, and 3 Inscriptions of Jesus, in a 
Window. And gave order to levell the Steps, to Mr. 
Evered. Will Aldice, Curate. D. ******* 
Francis Evered. 

95. Che ston, or CHEDISTON, APKIL the 5th. 2 
superstitious Inscriptions, and 7 popish Pictures, one of 
Christ, and another of St. George. 6s. Sd. 

96. HALLISWORTH, APEIL the 5th. 2 Cruci 
fixes, 3 of the Holy Ghost, and a 3d of the Trinity 
altogether ; and two hundred other superstitious Pictures 
and more; 5 popish Inscriptions of Brass, orate pro 
animabus, and cujus animce propitietur Deus ; and the Steps 
to be levelled by the Parson of the town ; and to take off 
a Cross on the Chancel. And then the Churchwardens 
had order to take down 2 Crosses off the Steeple. 

97. REDSHAM Magna, APRIL the 5th. A Cruci 
fix, and 3 other superstitious Pictures ; and gave order 
for Mr. Barenby, the Parson, to levell the Steps in the 
Chancel. He preach but once a Day. 

98. REGINGFIELD, APEIL the 5th. The Sun 
and Moon ; and JESUS, in Capital Letters ; and 2 Crosses 
on the Steeple : We gave order to take them down ; and 
levell the Steps in 14 Days. 

99. BECCLES, APRIL the 6th. Jehovah s between 
Church and Chancel ; and the Sun over it ; and by the 
Altar, My Meat is Flesh indeed, and My Blood is Drink 
indeed. And 2 Crosses we gave order to take down, one 
was on the Porch ; another on the Steeple ; and many 
superstitious Pictures, about 40. Six several Crosses, 
Christ s, Virgin Mary s, St. George s and 3 more ; and 
13 Crosses in all; and Jesus and Mary, in Letters; and 
the 12 Apostles. 

100. ELOUGH, APEIL the 6th. We brake down 

G 



26 

12 superstitious Pictures ; and the Steps to be levelled ; 
and a Cross to be taken off the chancel, which they 
promised to do. 

101. SATERLY. There were divers superstitious 
Pictures painted, which they promised to take down ; 
and I gave order to levell the Steps ; and to break in 
pieces the Rails, which I have seen done ; and to take off 
a Cross on the Church. 

102. BENACRE, APRIL the 6th. There was 6 
superstitious Pictures, one Crucifix, and the Virgin Mary 
twice, with Christ in her arms, and Christ lying in the 
Manger, and the 3 Kings coming to Christ with their 
presents, and St. Catherine twice pictured ; and the Priest 
of the Parish (M.S. blotted) matcrna (sic) Johannem 
Christi gubcrna. Christ govern me by ihy Mother s 
Prayers ! And 3 Bishops with their Mitres ; and the 
Steps to be levelled within 6 weeks. And 18 JESUS s, 
written in Capital Letters, on the Roof, which we gave 
order to do out ; and the Story of Nebudchadnezzar ; and 
orate pro animabus, in a Glass window. 

103. COCHIE, APRIL the 6th. We brake down 
200 Pictures ; one Pope, with divers Cardinals, Christ 
and the Virgin Mary ; a Picture of God the Father, and 
many other, which I remember not. There was 4 Steps, 
with a Vault underneath, but the 2 first might be levelled, 
which we gave order to the Churchwardens to do. There 
was many Inscriptions of JESUS, in Capital Letters, on 
the Roof the Church, and Cherubims with Crosses on 
their Breasts ; and a Cross in the Chancel ; all which, 
with divers Pictures, in the Windows, which we could 
not reach, neither would they help us to raise the ladders ; 
all which, we left a Warrant with the Constable to do, 
in 14 days. 

104. RUSHMERE, APRIL the 8th. We brake 10 
superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to levell the Steps 
in 20 Days, to make their Windows ; and we brake down 
a Pot, for Holy Water. 

105. MUTFORD, APRIL the 8th. We brake down 



27 

9 superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to take 9 super 
stitious Inscriptions of Jesus ; 2 Crosses on the Steeple ; 
and the Steps to be levelled. 

106. FROSTENDEN, APRIL the 8th. 20 super 
stitious Pictures, one Crucifix, and a Picture of God the 
Father, and St. Andrew with his Cross, and St. Catherine 
with her Wheel ; 4 Cherubims on the Pulpit ; 2 Crosses 
on the Steeple ; and one on the Chancel. And Mr. Ellis, 
an high Constable, of the Town, told me " he saw an 
Irish Man, within 2 months, bow to the Cross on the 
Steeple, and put off his hat to it." The Steps were there 
to levell, which they promised to do. 

107. COE, APRIL the 8th. We took down 42 
superstitious Pictures in Glass ; and about 20 Cherubims ; 
and the Steps we have digged down. 

108. RAYDEN, APRIL the 8th. We brake down 

1 superstitious Pictures ; and gave order to take down 
2 Crosses, one on the Chancel, and another on the Porch. 
Steps we digged up. 

109. SOUTHWOLD, APRIL the 8th. We break 
down 130 superstitious Pictures ; St. Andrew ; and 4 
Crosses on the four corners of the Vestry ; and gave 
order to take down 13 Cherubims; and take down 20 
Angels ; and to take down the Cover of the Font. 

110. WALBERWICK. Brake down 40 super 
stitious Pictures ; and to take off 5 Crosses on the 
Steeple, and Porch ; and we had 8 superstitious 
Inscriptions on the grave Stones. 

111. BLYFORD, APRIL the 9th. There was 30 
superstitious Pictures ; a Crucifix ; and the 4 Evangelists ; 
and the Steps promised to be levelled, and begun to be 
digged down ; a Cross on the Chancel they promised to 
take down ; arid a Triangle on the Porch, for the Trinity ; 
and 2 Whips, &c. Christ and a Cross all over the Porch. 

112. BLYBOROUGH, APRIL the 9th. There was 
20 superstitious Pictures ; one on the Outside of the 
Church; 2 Crosses, one on the Porch; and another on 
the Steeple ; and 20 Cherubims to be taken down in the 



28 

Church, and Chancel ; and I brake down 3 orate pro 
animabus ; and gave order to take down above 200 more 
Pictures, within 8 days. 

113. DUNWICH, APRIL the 9th. At Peter s 
Parish. 63 Cherubims ; 60 at least of JESUS, written 
in Capital Letters, on the Roof; and 40 superstitious 
Pictures ; and a Cross on the top of the Steeple. All 
was promised by the Churchwardens to be done. 

114. Allhallows. 30 superstitious Pictures ; and 28 
Cherubims ; and a Cross on the Chancel. 

115. BRAMFIELD, APRIL the 9th. Twenty-four 
superstitious Pictures ; one Crucifix, and Picture of 
Christ; and 12 Angels on the iioof ; and divers 
JESUS s, in Capital letters; and the Steps to be 
levelled, by Sir Robert Brook. 

116. HEVININGHAM, APRIL the 9th and 10th. 
Eight superstitious Pictures, one of the Virgin Mary ; 
and 2 Inscriptions of Brass, one pray for the soul, and 
another orate pro animabus. 

117. POLSTEAU, APRIL the 15th. Forty-five 
superstitious Pictures ; one of Peter with his Keys. 2nd 
a Bishop s Mitre on his head. 6s. Sd. 

118. BOXTEAD. We had 6 superstitious Pictures. 

119. STANSTEAD, APRIL the 15th. 5 super 
stitious Pictures. 

120. LAXFIELD, JULY the 17th, 1644. Two 
Angels in Stone, at the Steeple s end ; a Cross in the 
Church; and another on the Porch, in Stone; and 2 
superstitious Pictures on Stone there. Many superstitious 
Inscriptions in Brass, orate pro animabus, et cujus animce 
propitietur Deus. A Picture of Christ, in Glass. An 
Eagle, and a Lion, with wings, for 2 of the Evangelists ; 
and the Steps in the Chancel. All to be done within 20 
Days ; the Steps, by William Dowsing, of the same Town. 

121. TREMBLY, AUG. the 21st., 1644. Martini. 
There was a Fryar, with a shaven crown, praying to 
God, in these Words, miserere mei Deus ; which we brake 
down ; and 28 Cherubims in the Church ; which we gave 
order to take down, by Aug. 24th. 



29 

122. AUG. the 21st. BRIGHTWELL. A Picture 
of Christ, and the Virgin Mary, that we brake down ; 
and the 12 Apostles painted, in Wood ; and a Holy Water 
Font; and a Step to be levelled; all which, we gave 
order to be broke down, and Steps to be levelled, by 
Aug. 31st. 

123. LEVINGTON, AUG. the 21st. The Steps 
only to be levelled, by Aug. olst. And a double Cross 
on the Church. 

124. UFFORD, AUG. 31st. (See No. 26.) Where 
is set down what we did, JAN. the 27th. " 30 superstitious 
Pictures ; and left 37 more to brake down" ; and some 
of them we brake down now. In the Chancel, we brake 
down an Angel ; 3 orate pro anima, in the Glass ; and 
the Trinity in a Triangle ; and 12 Cherubims on the 
Roof of the Chancel; and nigh a 100 JESUS MARIA, 
in Capital Letters ; and the Steps to be levelled. And 
we brake down the Organ Cases, and gave them to the 
Poor. In the Church, there was on the Roof, above a 
100 JESUS and MARY, in great Capital Letters ; and 
a Crosier Staff to be broke down, in Glass ; and above 
20 Stars on the Roof. There is a glorious Cover over 
the Font, like a Pope s Tripple Crown, with a Pelican 
on the Top, picking its Breast, all gilt over with Gold. 
And we were kept out of the Church above 2 hours, and 
neither Churchwardens, William Brown, nor Roger 
Small, that were enjoined these things above three 
months afore, had not done them in May, and I sent one 
of them to see it done, and they would not let him have 
the key. And now, neither the Churchwardens, nor 
William Brown, nor the Constable James Tokelove, and 
William Gardener, the Sexton, would not let us have 
the key in 2 hours time. New Churchwardens, Thomas 
Stanard, Thomas Stroud. And Samuel Canham, of the 
same Town, said, "I sent men to rifle the Church;" 
and Will. Brown, old Churchwarden, said, " I went 
about to pull down the Church, and had carried away 
part of the Church." 

H 




30 

125. BAYLHAM. There was the Trinity in a 
Triangle, on the Font, and a Cross ; and the Steps to be 
levelled, by the Minister, in 21 days. 

126. NETTLESTEAD,AuG.the22d. An Inscrip 
tion in the Church, in Brass, orate pro anima ; and 6 
of the Apostles, not defaced; and St. Catherine with 
her Wheel ; and 3 superstitious Pictures more, 2 with 
Crosier Staves, with Mitres; and the Picture of St. 
George, St. Martin, and St. Simon. 

127. SUMMERSHAM. The same Day. A Cross 
in the Glass, and St. Catherine with her Wheel, and 
another Picture in the Glass in the Church; and 2 super 
stitious Pictures in the Window; and a Holy Water 
Font in the Church ; and on the outside of the Chancel 
Door, Jesus. Sancta Maria. Jesus. 

128. FLOUGHTON, AUG. the 22d. A Holy 
Water Font in the Chancel. 

129 ELMSETT, AUG. the 22d. Crow, a Deputy, 
had done before we came. We rent apieces there, the 
Hood and Surplice. 

130. OFTON, AUG. the 22d. There was a Holy 
Water Font in the Chancel ; and the Steps ; and some 
Crosses on the outside of the Church, and Chancel ; and 
we gave order to deface them. We gave order to have 
them all defaced, and 2 more in a window of the Church ; 
and 2 Stone Crosses on the top of the Steeple. All 
which we gave order to mend all the defaults, by Satur 
day come Sennight. At Ipswich, at Mr. Colcy s. 

131. BARKING, AUG. the 21st. There was St. 
Catherine with her Wheel. Many superstitious Pictures 
were done down afore I came. There was Maria s on the 
Church Door. 

132. WILLESHAM, AUG. the 22d. An Holy 
Water Font in the Chancel ; the Steps were levelled ; and 
had been so once before, by a Lord Bishop s Injunction ; 
and by another Lord Bishop after commanded ; testified 
to me, by him that saw it done, Mr. John BroivnlriJge. 

133. DAMSDEN, AUG. the 23d. Three Crosses in 



31 

the Chancel, on the wall, and a Holy Water Font there; 
and the Chancel to be levelled by Saturday S ennight 
after. 

134. WETHERINGSETT, AUG. the 26th. 19 
Crosses. 16 about the Arches of the Church ; and 3 on the 
Porch ; a Picture on the Porch a Triangle for the Trinity, 
to be done. Thomas Colby, and Thomas Elcy, Church 
wardens. Constables, John Suton, and John Genktliorne. .. 

135. MICKF1ELD, AUG. the 26th. 2 Crosses. 
And the Glasses to be made up by Saturday come three 
weeks. And 105. to be paid to the Poor within that 
Time ; and the rest afterwards. 4s. 6d. 

136. HORH AM, AUG. the 27th. In the Chancel a 
Holy Water Font ; and the Steps to be levelled ; and 
there was the 4 Evangelists ; and a part of a Crucifix ; 
and divers Angels, 8 ; and other superstitious Pictures ; 
and, orate pro animdbus ; and on a Grave Stone, cujus 
animce propitietur Dcus. All which I brake up ; and gave 
20 days to levell the Steps, and make the windows. And 
in the Church, crate pro animabus ; and divers superstitious 
Pictures ; and a Triangle on the Font ; and a superstitious 
Picture 6 <? 8d 

137. ALDINGTON, AUG. the 27th. In the 
Chancel, was Peter pictured, and crucified with his heels 
upward; and there was John Baptist; and 10 more 
superstitious Pictures in the Church. 

138. WALLING WORTH, AUG. the 27th. A 
Stone Cross on the top of the Church ; 3 Pictures of 
Adam on the Porch ; 2 Crosses on the Font ; and a 
Triangle for the Trinity, in Stone ; and 2 other super 
stitious Pictures; and the Chancel ground to be levelled; 
and the Holy Water Font to be defaced; and Step 

levelled in 14 days. Edmund Dunstone, and John 

Constables. Will. Dud, and Robert Bemant, Church 
wardens. 3s. 4d. 

139. HOLTON, by Ilalesivorth, AUG. the 29th. 2 
superstitious Pictures in the Church ; and I J- H 4* S the 
Jesuit s Badge, in the Chancel Window; promised by 
the Minister, Mr. Wm. Pell. 



22 

140. WANGFORD, AUG. the 28th. 1G super 
stitious Pictures ; and one I brake. 14 still remain ; and 
one of God. 

141. WRENTHAM, AUG. the 28th. 12 super 
stitious Pictures ; one of St. Catherine with her Wheel. 

142. HOXNE, AUG. 30th. 2 Stone Crosses on 
Church, and Chancel; Peter with his Fish ; and a Cross 
in a Glass Window, and 4 superstitious ones. The 
Virgin Mary with Christ in her Arms ; and Cherubims 
Wings on the Font. Many more were broken down afore. 

143. EYE, AUG. the 30th. Seven superstitious 
Pictures in the Chancel, and a Cross ; one was Mary 
Magdalene ; all in the Glass ; and 6 in the Church 
Windows ; many more had been broken down afore. 

144. OCKOLD, AUG. Divers superstitious Pictures 
were broke. I came, and there was Jesus, Mary, and St. 
Lawrence with his Gridiron, and Peter s Keys. Church 
wardens promised to send 5s. to Mr. Oales, before 
Michaelmas. 

145. RUSSINGLES, AUG. the 30th. Nothing but 
a Step. The Pictures were broke before. 

146. METTFIELD, AUG. the 30th. In the 
Church, was Peter s Keys, and the Jesuit s Badge, in the 
Window ; and many on the top of the Roof. I. for Jesus, 
H. for Hominum, and S. for Salvator ; and a Dove for the 
Holy Ghost, in AVood; and the like in the Chancel ; and 
there, in Brass, orate pro animabus ; and the Steps to be 
levelled, by Sept. the 7th. Mr. Jermin, the Gentleman in 
the Town, refused to take the Inscription, as the Church 
wardens informed, whose Name is . 

147. DINNINGTON, SEPT. the 26th, 1644. Angels 
in S r John Eousc s Isle, and 2 Holy Water Fonts ; and 
in Bacon s Isle, 9 Pictures of Angels and Crosses, and 
a Holy Water Font, and 2 superstitious Inscriptions of 
Christ ; the Spear and Nails, on 2 Stools, at the lower 
end of the Church ; and a Cherubim in S r John House s 
Stool. 

148. BADDINGHAM, SEPT. the 28th. The Steps 



33 

to be levelled in the Chancel; and 16 superstitious 
Cherubims with Crosses on their Breasts. All to be done, 
by the Churchwardens, by the 13th of October. 

149. PARHAM-HATCHESTON, OCT. the 1st. 
There was 21 Cherubims with Wings, in Wood; and 16 
superstitious Pictures, and popish Saints ; with a double 
Cross in the Church ; and the representation of the 
Trinity on the Font ; and the Spears and Nails, that 
Christ was pierced and nailed with ; and 3 Crosses, all 
in Stone ; 4 superstitious Pictures in the Chancel, and a 
Cross, all in Glass ; and the Steps to be levelled, by Mr. 
Francis Warner, by Oct. 15th. All to be done. 

Thomas Umberfield of STOKE, refused to pay the 6s. Sd. 
A Crucifix ; and divers superstitious Pictures, Feb. 21st.* 

END OF THE MANUSCRIPT. 

* A reference is made in the previous editions to No. 6. (the Stoke-Nayland entry) 
but except in the name of the parish, this has no bearing on the note. The reference 
should have been to No. 73. (" The Lord Windsor s Chappel in the parish of STOKE.") 



NOTES ON DOWSING S JOURNAL. 



[The following l Notes are compiled as having a distinct 
bearing, more or less, on the subject matter of the several 
entries in the Journal} The ordinary sources of information, 
will, as a rule, supply what might otherwise be thought lacking 
in this Edition, in which an attempt is made to supply the 
shortcomings of any former one, and it is thought equally 
superfluous to encumber these notes with what after att, can 
scarcely be said to elucidate the text. 

For the purpose of reference and identification, the 
figures used are those which mark the various entries, and the 
names of the several parishes are given in the modern and more 
generally accepted mode of spelling."] 



34 

The parish Churches throughout the land, must have 
suffered considerably at the time of the Reformation. In 
the year 1559, commissioners were appointed "to establish 
religion," and the orders issued by them were carried 
into execution by "the common people," with great 
avidity. This was especially manifested in " beating 
down, breakinge and burninge images * * in many 
places, walls were rased, windows were dashed down, 
because some images (little regarding what) were painted 
on them. And not onely images, but rood lofts, relickes, 
sepulchres, bookes, banners, coopes, vestments, altar 
cloathes, were in diverse places, committed to the fire, 
and that with such shouting and applause of the vulgar 
sort, as if it had been the sacking of some hostile city." 
(Hayward s Annals of Queen Elizabeth, pp. 28, 29). 
Proceedings of this disorderly nature, were probably of 
short duration, and did not reach anything like the 
height witnessed during the Great Rebellion, either in 
point of vehemence or continuance. 

The work of William Dowsing in Suffolk, of which 
an account is here given, extended from January 6th, 
1643, to October 1st, 1644. During this period upwards 
of one hundred and fifty places were visited in less than 
fifty days. The greatest apparent vigour was shewn in 
and near the Town of Ipswich, where in one day (Jan. 
29th, 1643) no less than eleven churches appear to have 
passed the fiery ordeal of the despoiler s wrath. No 
regular plan appears to have been followed, fancy and 
convenience seem alone to have led the way, although 
a centre where the choicest spoil was likely to be found, 
no doubt influenced Dowsing greatly in the principle of 
selection. Notwithstanding the excitement attending so 
strangely fascinating (!) a work, the long intervals of time 
that often elapsed between the several visits, whatever 
the cause may have been, seem to shew that the perform 
ance at times really flagged. The work was in great 
part, executed in the months of January and February, 
and, with the slight exception of five days, drawn from 



35 

the ensuing months of March, July, September, and 
October, the undertaking may be said to have been 
wholly confined to the four months of January, February, 
April, and August. 

The number of churches often rich in decoration 
and ornament, in the districts visited, that were 
seemingly quite passed over, and as far as we know 
remained unmolested by Dowsing, is remarkable. With 
abundant exercise of power, and with no lack of help on 
the part of the appointed deputies and their adherents, 
to which the oft recurring and significant *WeJ gives 
expression, we should, if only the work had been con 
tinuous and more systematic, have certainly looked for a 
wider range of * objects, and an amount of havoc, which 
would have caused the details related above, to sink 
into comparative insignificance. Probably Dowsing s 
presence was required elsewhere on a similar errand, 
and certainly his Journal in the form bequeathed to us, 
gives but a partial account after all, of the task committed 
to Dowsing and his associates. There are in Suffolk 
considerably over five hundred parishes, but little more 
than one third of the whole number, find any mention 
in the * Journal. At the same time it would be idle to 
attribute anything like the entire work of destruction, 
wrought during the period of the Rebellion, to Dowsing 
and his emissaries. The unrestrained violence of the rank 
and file of the Parliamentary party during periods of 
comparative leisure, doubtless accomplished what Dowsing 
in his moments of haste was scarcely able to perform. 
The profanation of the Sanctuary of God, by oft repeated 
acts of vandalism at subsequent periods, must have 
wrought no inconsiderable amount of damage, which is 
frequently and most inconsiderately, laid to the charge 
of Dowsing. Such spoliation, often under the garb of 
Church Restoration, &c., is constantly going on still, to 
the lasting disgrace of those, who can scarcely be held 
so free from blame as even William Dowsing and his 
Deputies. The latter, although clearly guilty of extreme 



36 

wantonness, have at least something to urge, which in their 
own minds at any rate, would justify such conduct, 
heinous as it is. It seems necessary to say this much, in 
order to remove any misapprehension which may exist, 
with regard to the present state of much of the ancient 
work in many of our Churches, and especially as to the 
origin of the evil we so much deplore. 

SUDBURY. It will be observed that the first 
entries in the Journal, having reference to the three 
Sudbury parishes of St. Peter, St. Gregory and All Saints, 
stand by themselves in a kind of isolation, and that the 
acts there recorded, were perpetrated three days after 
those of which an account is given in the entries 1 5 
which follow. The cause for this is not clear : if not a 
mere whim, it may perhaps be attributed to pure acci 
dent, anyhow the precise arrangement does not seem to 
possess any real significance. 

ST. PETER S. "A picture of God the Father." 
There is frequent allusion to such a representation, 
generally it may be assumed in the stained glass of the 
windows, which Dowsing < brake down. Mediaeval art 
was somewhat partial to this most objectionable form of 
caricature, which found its way into the books of devotion, 
as well as the painted glass frescos, carvings both of 
wood and stone, etc., that adorned the Churches. This 
class of pictorial imagery can certainly be well spared, 
and on no ground whatever ought we to lament the 
destruction of that which can only tend to debase the 
Deity. The very conception of the idea, seems lowering 
to the mind, while the actual representation is nothing 
less than an outrage upon all true religious feeling, 
against which we feel we must instinctively rebel. 

"2 Crucifix s, and Pictures of Christ " Of all mediaeval 
art subjects, the representation of Christ our Lord under 
a variety of forms, and especially as seen in the great event 
of the crucifixion, is the most frequent. Such representa 
tions, whatever may be said for or against them, have 



37 

frequently ministered to superstition and idolatry ; the 
belief that such is the case, is however, by no means 
universal, but in former days men thought differently, 
and, as a rule, the balance of opinion was decidedly 
in favour of retaining them. Bishop Sandys, in his 
letter to Peter Martyr, April 1, 1560 (Zurich Letters, 
First Series, p. 34), says, "the Queen s Majesty con 
sidered it not contrary to the Word of God, nay 
rather for the advantage of the Church, that the image 
of Christ crucified, together with those of the Virgin 
Mary and St. John should be placed as heretofore in 
some conspicuous part of the Church, where they might 
the more readily be seen by all the people,"* but, with 
praiseworthy boldness he adds, " some of us (Bishops) 
thought far otherwise." In the eyes of the Puritans 
they became so obnoxious, that a speedy destruction 
followed their discovery. 

" A cross off the Steeple and diverse angels on the roof" 
might well have remained unmolested; the beauty of 
the roof must have been considerably enhanced by the 
presence of the latter, whilst the Church fabric in losing 
the cross could not be said to be improved. Such 
destruction may be denominated thorough, but it may be 
more properly regarded as the work of reckless fanatics. 
In reply to a request made by Mr. Wodderspoon, in 
the year 1843, Mr. Gr. W. Fulcher wrote, concerning the 
mischief wrought by Dowsing in connection with the 
Sudbury Churches, that the remains of Dowsing s painted 
angels were discovered in 1825, when the workmen 
were employed in paving the town. Also directly 
opposite the Church, a large quantity of stained glass 
was found broken into very small pieces, but these frag 
ments, beneath the men s pick-axes, became "beautifully 
less "; what remained has been lost to the town. Mr. 
Fulcher added "about 10 years ago, when the walls 
were scraped, preparatory to whitewashing them, sundry 
paintings in fresco of Saints and Angels were brought to 

* The allusion is of course to the well-known rood-loft arrangement. 

K 



light, just over the rood-loft, which were doubtless 
objects of devout invocation in the olden time, and would 
provoke the unmitigated wrath of Master Dowsing." 

ALL SAINTS. (< ALHALLOWS ) " took up 30 brazen 
superstitious Inscriptions." Perhaps there is no single 
feature of Dowsing s work of so reprehensible a character 
as that which concerns the destruction of monuments, 
and especially the sepulchral brasses. The parliamentary 
visitor carried out his designs without reverence for the 
deceased, with scarce a thought for the living, and certainly 
regardless of posterity. An unfortunate * orate pro animaj 
1 ora pro nobisj or l cujus animce propitictur DeusJ sealed the 
fate of these interesting memorials of the dead, and 
thus it was that brasses, which at one time existed in 
such profusion, perished to so large an extent. Weever s 
work on Funeral Monuments, which gives very full 
information upon the subject, and contains the inscrip 
tions found on the sepulchral brasses, etc., is the result 
of an examination personally made in the year 1631, 
twelve years prior to Dowsing s visit.* It is hence a 
reasonable supposition, that the brass inscriptions noted 
by Weever, which might be in any way deemed super 
stitious, were reived by Dowsing and his colleagues. 
This receives undoubted confirmation upon a comparison 
of the earliest church notes subsequently made. 

1. HAVERHILL. (<HAVER L )" Seven Fry ars hugging 
a Nunn" It is difficult to say what so strange a picture 
really was intended to represent. At first sight it might 
appear to be a gross exaggeration of some legendary or 
other story, depicted so charity should incline us to 
think, for the purpose of inflaming the devotion of the 
people, and not calculated to endanger the moral sense. 
But it was undoubtedly the work of the seculars, who 
lost no occasion of shewing their dislike of the regulars, 
and many of our Churches still give evidence of this in 
the ancient carved work now remaining. A picture of 

* The shadows cast by coming events in all probability influenced Weever to undertake 
this useful work, in which he was followed by Sir William Dugdale and others. 



like character to the above, is to be seen among the 
illustrated Manuscripts in the British Museum (Decretals. 
10 E iv. f. 185 b.) where a monk is represented embracing 
a nun. In the following ff. 187, 187 #., the same Monk 
and Nun are together in the stocks ! Perhaps the most 
determined * Dowsing hater, ought to be grateful to that 
un- worthy for the removal of so incongurous a subject 
from a parish church. 

11 200 (superstitious pictures} had been broke down 
before I came" It is plain from this and other similar 
allusions, that an infuriated populace, released from the 
bands of law and order, had preceded Dowsing in the 
endeavour to efface and demolish every vestige of 
superstition, without apparently calling into exercise any 
nice feelings of discernment as to what did or did not 
constitute an object of superstition. Certain portions of 
old stained glass remain here still. 

" We beat down a great stoneing Cross on the top of the 
Church" Undoubtedly a gable or pinnacle Cross of 
Stone, such as is to be found ornamenting the different 
parts of a Church exterior. I have elsewhere,* in my 
paper on "The Stoneing "* Cross of Dowsing* s Journal" 
inquired into the precise meaning and application of the 
term Stoneing Cross (which epithet has for a long time 
awakened some amount of interest), and I have there 
adduced examples in support of my contention as to a 
more restricted use, than that applied to it in the 
Journal. 

2. CLARE, " We brake down 1000 Pictures super 
stitious" &c. The stained glass in this Church must 
have been both rich and abundant, and the pictorial 
effect grand in the extreme, especially when it is 
remembered that Dowsing passed over glass having 
armorial bearings. The Chancel which had fallen down, 
was rebuilt in the years 1617 and 1618, and the glass 
then inserted in the windows contained the names and 
arms of the several benefactors, which were rather 

* Proceedings Suff : Inst: of Arch : Vol. vi., pp. 1-8. See also Vol. vi., pp. 88, 89. 



40 

numerous. As Tylletson saw these when he visited the 
Church in 1658, it is clear that Dowsing did not put forth 
a hand to touch them. 

" 3 of the Holy Ghost like a Dove with wings" The 
emblem of a Dove, with which we are familiar as repre 
senting the Holy Spirit, apparently somewhat exercised 
Dowsing s mind, the three however which he found, 
he " brake down." 

" 20 CheruUms to be taken down" The Cherubims 
would be represented as heads merely, with two, four, 
or six wings. " The Sun and the Moon * * to be 
taken down" Dowsing could scarcely have been ignorant 
enough to suppose that there was the slightest danger of 
the Churchmen of his day, becoming worshippers of the 
Sun and Moon, but the desire for a clean sweep of every 
thing emblematic, and therefore superstitious, (!) probably 
was the cause of the order. 

One point in connection with the " Journal," which 
is deserving of special notice, is the scrupulous exactness 
with which the various details are throughout recorded ; 
this is especially marked in connection with the numerical 
portion of the entries. 

3. HUNDON (HUNDEN), " We gave order for the 
levelling the Steps" This forms as might be expected, a 
prominent feature in Dowsing s work. Seven or eight 
years previously the order had gone forth to raise the 
Chancels, then it afterwards became a perfect rage to 
throw them down. Facilis est descensus. 

4. WIXOE (wixo). 

9. HOLTON? (HOUGHTON). 

10. BARHAM, " A Lamb with a Cross x on the 
back" would correspond with that which in the Clare 
entry Dowsing terms " The Holy Lamb," the Agnus 
Dei * a frequent device found in ancient Christian Art, the 
earliest known representation of this emblem of the 
Saviour is in the Catacombs, and probably dates from the 
Fourth Century. 

* See also No. 29 Rushmere. 



"4 superstitious inscriptions of brass, one of them, <^c." 
Several stones have had the brasses abstracted. One of 
these shews ejaculatory labels to have issued from the 
mouths of a male and female figure, probably having the 
very words here mentioned by Dowsing. 

13. EYKE (YKE). 

14. TUNSTALL (DUNSTALL), " Broke in pieces the 
Rails." An act quite on a par with pulling down the 
Chancel Steps. Where found, the one would surely follow 
the other. 

15. ALDBOROUGH, " Their Captain, Mr. 
Johnson," may have reference to a party organized 
for the purpose of furthering the interests of the Parlia 
mentarians, and having a duly appointed leader or 
" Captain." 1 

18. STANSTED, occurs again (see No. 119) 
Probably STERNFIELD is intended here, it is nearer to 
Saxmundham and Snape. 

20. KELSALE (KELSHALL). 

21. CARLTON (CARLETON). 

23. STRATFORD ST. ANDREW (STRATFORD). 

25. SUDBOURNE (SUDBURNE). 

27. WOODBRIDGE. The superstitious pictures 
were probably in connection with the rood-loft and 
screen, erected by John Albrede and Agnes his wife 
"whereupon the pictures of the Cross, Crucifix, the 
Virgin Mary, of Angels, Archangels, Saints and Marters, 
are figured to the Life ; which how glorious it was when 
all standing may be discerned by that which remaineth." 
Weever. This rood, now removed, had drawings made of 
it by Johnson, of Woodbridge, previous to demolition ; 
they were sold to Nicholls ( Gentleman s Magazine ) for 
fifteen guineas. 

30. CHATTISHAM (CHATSHAM), "Nothing to be 
done" " Had the worthy Squire at the Hall been 
beforehand with him ? This was Daniel Meadows, of 
Chattisham, 1577 1651. ( Suffolk Bartholomeans ), pp. 
7,8. 



42 

32, COPDOCK, " Did deface a Cross on the Font" 
The slight mention of damage done to Fonts, which 
frequently had subjects carved upon them, and some 
times inscriptions, that must have given great offence, is 
rather remarkable. We constantly hear " Dowsing s 
chisel " blamed, for hacking and defacing what there is 
certainly no record of his having been instrumental in 
accomplishing. Considering Dowsing s accuracy, and 
evident desire above all else, to relate his doings very 
fully, the guilt of bringing our Suffolk Church Fonts (as 
is so often the case) into their present forlorn condition, 
may be attributed to other hands than his. The Font 
at Copdock, which is Octagonal, having on its panels 
Angel and rose alternately, is much mutilated. 

33. BELSTEAD, "Brake down 7 superstitious 
Pictures" These were probably in glass : some small 
portions I believe still remain, including the head 
(apparently) of an Apostle, which is almost entire. At 
least one brass has it label reived. Dowsing s ""," 
may include inter alia damage done to the rood-screen, 
the portion now remaining having the faces of the figures 
mutilated. 

IPSWICH. ST. MARY AT THE QUAY (KEY). 
The good open timber nave roof at this Church has been 
almost entirely denuded of the figures that formerly 
ornamented the hammer beams ; those which remain are 
much mutilated. Here again the rude axe of Dowsing is 
held responsible for this atrocious work, but there is no 
allusion to it in his Journal. Neither again does he 
mention the destruction of superstitious inscriptions, for 
several fine brasses have been reived. The celebrated 
Pownder Brass may have escaped, having no super 
stitious inscription, although it probably was overlooked 
by Dowsing, as owing to the devotional attitude of the 
figures, and the emblems of the Evangelists in the four 
corners, it could scarcely have been deemed unworthy of 
attention. 

ST. MATTHEW S. " We brake down 35 superstitious 



43 

Pictures" 6fc. These may have been wholly of glass, 
but some at least, probably formed part of the interesting 
parclose screen now in the vestry, consisting of three double 
panels, painted and gilt, and representing St. Erasmus 
and other male and female figures ; the latter are 
apparently pictured to represent the sisters of St. 
Erasmus Guild. 

"3 Angels with Stars on their Breasts" most likely 
taken down from the ancient Nave roof, which has 
wholly disappeared. 

ST. MARY AT THE TOWER. The brasses now 
remaining must have escaped Dowsing s notice. 

ST. ^MARGARET S. "There was 12 Apostles in 
Stone taken down." These were probably dethroned 
from the Church exterior, which was highly ornamented. 

" Between 20 and 30 superstitious pictures to be taken 
doivn" By the frequent expression taken downj the 
supposition is that the objectionable pictures existed in 
the windows. Many mural paintings were formerly 
here. A fine St. Christopher has been only recently 
blotted out. No old stained glass remains. No 
mention is made of the glorious roof, covering the 
nave. The numerous figures once occupying the place 
of supporters to the hammer beams have been sawn 
away, and others have been decapitated, but the 
cornice, which has upon it the emblems of the Passion, 
etc., has only very partially suffered from harsh treat 
ment of this kind. The unique octagonal Font has 
been most roughly used. Dowsing does not allude to 
it, which makes it probable that a greater part of the 
mischievous work that characterized this period, had 
been previously enacted. The godly man, as Dowsing 
terms the individual, who at the time was Churchwarden, 
most likely had something to do with the horrible mutila 
tion which this Font has undergone, and its former 
position, placed with one of its faces against the wall, near 
the South entrance, probably saved a part of the interest 
ing inscription 0ai tt Stlltfotl appearing on the scrolls 
borne by angels. 



44 

43. ST. LAWRENCE. The depredations which 
had previously been committed here, are exemplified in 
the return, from which the following is taken, made in 
obedience to the King s command A.D., 1547 : 

" Item we have in our Churche and chancell ix glas wyndows of 
fayned storyse contrary to the king s majesties injouncions whiche we 
have bargayned for to be glaced w whyght glas ffor the wiche we haue 
payd and must paye for the said glas xij" 

A mistake is often made in hastily attributing such works 
of destruction to the period of the Great Rebellion. 

44. ST. CLEMENTS. " They four days before had 
beaten up" fyc. This probably has reference to the 
virulence of the Parliamentary party, who had a strong 
following in Ipswich. 

45. AT ELENS ( ELMS ). So it is printed in the 
Journal as hitherto printed, and drawn forth the 
remark, that it may refer to a second visit to St. Mary at 
Elms, or, Quere, St. Helens ? The reference is of course 
to the latter, which was constantly written, as it is indeed 
sometimes now spoken by working-class people, ELENS/ 

47. BLAKENHAM MAGNA (< BLAKENHAM AT THE 
WATER ). " Gave them 8 days to do it" Such work as 
levelling chancel steps, &c., which it was impossible to 
carry into immediate execution, was generally ordered 
to be done in the least possible time ; the position of 
affairs fully warranted the belief that delay was dangerous. 

48. BRAMFORD. " We Irak down 841 superstitious 
Pictures" The great proportion of this very large 
number was probably in glass. The handsome exterior 
of this church still retains several remarkable stone 
carvings, chiefly marking the contest between the 
" regulars" and the "seculars"; it is strange that even 
these were allowed to remain. 

52. HADLEIGH. " gave order for taking down the 
rest" (pictures). Probably this was never wholly carried 
out, for a large number of " superstitious pictures" (Virgin 
and Child, &c.) were found among the stained glass in 
the early part of the last century. 



45 

55. HIGHAM, " the Church so called This mode 
of expression serves to give some idea of the spirit in the 
whole undertaking was carried out. See (58) CAPEL and 

(61) STOWMARKET. 

57. WHENHAM PARVA, " One picture was of the 
Virgin Mary" From some cause or another the mention 
of such representations is not so frequent as might have 
been exrjected. 

58. CAPELL. " The Lady Bruces Chapelt Thus 
we see that Parish Churches were not alone in experienc 
ing the stroke of the scourge which the Iconoclast 
wielded. Whether Dowsing did not really overstep the 
boundary line in such interference with the rights of a 
private person, may be questioned. But perhaps, as a 
Chapel which formed part of a private establishment, 
was usually licensed by the Bishop, it might be therefore 
deemed a "place of publique prayer." The ready 
compliance of "the Lady" (awed into submission prob 
ably by Master Dowsing and his troopers ), and the show 
of respect for her person, if not for her property, is 
noteworthy. 

60. BADLEY, " Mr. Dove promised to take down the 
rest." This individual it would seem, with all the 
gentleness with which his name is associated, and per 
haps with not a little of a distinctly opposite tendency, 
pleaded, at least, for a more convenient season, and thus 
averted to some extent the destroyers hand. 

61. STOWMARKET, "gave order to break down 
about 70 superstitious Pictures" In the Churchwardens 
Accounts for the year (1644) is the following entry : 

" Laide out for the towne paide to ffyler for glassinge i 

where the pictures were battered out 

This appears to have been but half the sum actually 
paid. The havoc which resulted from Dowsing s visit, 
as far as here recorded, was unfortunately only a part of 
the lamentable work of destruction which soon followed. 
Organ pipes, carved seat-ends, pinnacle cross, surplices, 
and tippet, &c., were all in turn given over to the 

M 



46 

destroyer, who received payment for his work out of the 
Church funds. " Mr. Manning," (William) who promised 
to perform the task allotted to him by Dowsing, is 
mentioned by name in Hollingsworth s Stowmarket as 
one of several who opposed the compulsory loan levyed 
by King Charles. From Manning s descendents, Mr. 
Hollingsworth obtained an oil painting of Dr. Young, 
the puritanical Vicar of Stowmarket, and Tutor to John 
Milton. 

62. WETHERDEN, " Sr Edward Silliard," read 
Sir Edward Sulyard, 

" 19 superstitious Inscriptions that weighed 65 pounds" 
This is the only time that the actual weight of the 
purloined brass is mentioned. The weight was probably 
taken in prospect of a ready sale. 

64. TOSTOCK OTOSTICK ) 

65. BURY ST. EDMUNDS ( ST. MARY S ). " Mr. 
Chaplain" Thomas Chaplin, Esq re Justice of the Peace 
for Bury, and the County of Suffolk. 

66" ST. JAMES . " Mr. Moody," Samuel Moody, 
Esq., of Bury- St. Edmund s. His daughter Margaret 
was the wife of that godly man previously referred to, 
Mr. Thomas Westhorp of Hunden. 

67. KENTFORD ( KINFORD ). 

69. CORNARDMAaNA( coMEARTHMAGNA ). "John 
Pain, Churchwarden, for not paying, fyc" Stout hearted John 
Pain, who rather than lift a finger to destroy, or pay one 
farthing in aid of so outrageous a work as the dismantling 
of the church, of which he was the legally appointed 
custodian, was content to be hauled before the Earl of 
Manchester by the parish constable, and to suffer the 
pains and penalties of the default. Where not otherwise 
mentioned, it may be taken for granted that the appointed 
* fee of 6s. 8d. (a Noble] was duly paid, however 
reluctantly. Here it was refused point blank ! 

70. CORNARD PARVA ( LITTLE COMEARTH ). 
"Had no Noble" From some cause or other the required 
fee was not forthcoming. 



47 

71. STOKE NAYLAND ( NAYLAND ).* 

73. Mr. Thomas Humberfield.^ 

74. BURES ST. MARY (< BUERS ) " At Mr. Cap* 
WaldegravJs Chappel" This chapel was either annexed 
to the cl lurch, or far more probable at the mansion of the 
family known as u Smallbridge" 

75. BURES ( BUERS ). The fine brasses of the 
noble family of Waldegrave were once very numerous : 
they have now entirely disappeared, and the church has 
been thoroughly * cleansed ! 

77. GLEMSFORD (< GLENSFORD ). 

78. OTLEY. " Moses with a Hod, and Aaron with a 
Mitre, taken down" This sufficiently shews the determina 
tion to take away every kind of pictorial representation, 
albeit the Christian Church has never shewn the slightest 
inclination to render any form of worship to Moses and 
Aaron. Probably such figures were of a date subsequent 
to the Reformation. 

79. MONE WDEN (< MULLENDEN ). 

81. LETHERINGHAM. "He took," #c. The 
reference here and elsewhere is to Dowsing s deputy. 
The payment of the " 6s. 8d." is now mentioned with 
something like regularity. 

84. HELMINGHAM. "Adam and Eve to be 
beaten down" Another instance that Biblical story was 
counted on a par with the legendary fable that tended 
to foster superstition. 

86. BEYTON( BAYTONBULL ). The Bull probably 
was the Inn at which the Deputy sojourned, and 
perhaps held his Court ! but no such Inn l sign is now 
found in the parish. 

87. CRATFIELD(?)orBEDFIELD(?) ( KAYFIELD. ) 
An old MS. copy of the Journal reads " My Deputy^ broke 
down divers pictures and I have done the rest," which is 
really but an expansion of Dowsing s imperfect wording. 
However successful in his marauding, the Journal is 
certainly not a literary success ; of this fact there is 
repeated evidence. 

* See No. 7. f See Note at the end of the Journal. 



48 

90. BRUNDISH. "The Vicar have 2 Livings: 
The only instance adduced in the Journal of a plurality 
of benefices. 

91. WILBY. " The Whip and Pincers and Nails 
that was at Christs crucifying: The emblems of the 
Passion, so frequently found represented in our Churches 
are thus referred to. 

92. STRADBROKE. " Pray for such out of your 
charity" is an unusual form for such words as these to take. 
The mention of " organs which I brake" seems to imply 
the existence here at this time of the antiquated payre 
of instruments. (See also Ufford.j 

95. CHEDISTON ( CHESTON, or Chediston). 

96. HALESWORTH ( < HALLISWORTH ). 

97. REDISH AM MAGNA (< EEDSHAM MAGNA ), "The 
parson * * preach but once a day" A state of things 
apparently less common in the year 1643 than a hundred 
years later, when it was not an unknown thing for one 
service to suffice for a fortnight in this locality. 

98. RINGSFIELD ( < REGINFIELD ). 

99. BECCLES. " Jehovah 7 s between Church and Chan 
cel ; and the Sun over it" (i.e. Chancel). The Jehovah s, 
if indeed the expression be correctly given, were probably 
some form of that Divine name figured in connection 
with the rood loft : it may be that the Hebrew word was 
employed. 

100. ELLOUGH ( ELOUGH ). 

101. SOTTERLEY ( SATERLY ). 

102. BENACRE. The decorations at this church 
seem to have been profuse, and judging from the other 
entries here made, of a rather uncommon character. 
The blotted MS. leaves us in doubt as to a portion of the 
entry, but it is worthy of notice that the Incumbent is 
alluded to as " Priest of the parish." 

103. COVEHITHE ( COCHIE ), commonly called 
"COTHIE," otherwise "North Hales. We brake down 
* * the pope with divers Cardinals. 1 The only mention 
throughout the Journal of anything precisely of this 



49 

character. These were perhaps mural paintings, to which 
the expression " brake down" must occasionally be held 
to apply. 

" Divers Pictures in the Windows, which we could not 
reach, neither would the}/ help us to raise the ladders" That 
strong resistance was frequently shewn by the parishioners 
is evident, if they could not quite frustrate the designs 
of those making onslaught upon their Parish Church, 
they would be no party to the actual work of destruction. 
The church is now a picturesque ruin. 

104. RUSHMERE (near Lowestoft). " We brake 
down a Pot for Holy Water" There are several allusions 
of this kind in subsequent entries. 

106. FROSTENDEN. The little bit of narrative 
here is unique, and doubtless duly impressed Dowsing 
with a high sense of his mission, and of the desirability 
of leaving l neither root nor branch? 

107. SOUTH COVE (CoveMagna) ( COB. ) There 
has been some little doubt as to which of the two parishes 
(North or South Cove) is here meant. That the steps 
which are said to have been digged up still remain at 
North Cove, apparently undisturbed from that time to 
the present, is conclusive as to South Cove, and as the 
latter parish adjoins the parish of Frostenden, and 
Rayden between which two entries in the c Journal 
Coe stands, and Nortli Cove being some miles distant, it 
may be taken for granted that the parish is South Cove. 

109. SOUTHWOLD. It is a matter of surprise 
that so much beautiful decorative work has been allowed 
to remain. The Church exterior still carries enriched 
crosses on its battlements, elaborate tracery with grotesque 
carved work, &c., while the interior, with the beautiful 
rood screen paintings of the Apostles, the sculpture which 
adorns the Lady Chapel (angels, evangelists, &c.) and 
the parclose screens furnishes a remarkable instance of a 
"brand," (in some way or another,) " plucked from the 
burning. 

110. WALBERSWICK. A fine ruined church. 

N 



50 

112. BLYTHBOROUGH (< BLYBOROUGH. ) A 
grand church made desolate by repeated acts of vandalism. 
Although Jessop, the deputy, had the task apparently 
allotted to him, yet we find from the Churchwardens 
accounts, that Master Dowsing was actually before him. 
The following entries having reference to this visit, are 
singularly corroborative of that made in the * Journal : 
1644 April 8th. Paid to Master Dowson that came with 



the Troopers to our Church, about the taking 
down of Images & Brasses off the Stones. 

Paid that day to others for taking up the Brasses 



6s. 



Is. 



of Gravestones before the Officers of Dowson came 

(Qy. for Concealment 1) 

And the next day to Edwards & Pretty taking\ K , n , 
down 26 Rheila / 

Rec d this 6 l . h day of January 1644 from out of] 
the Churche, 40 pounds Weyght of Brasse, atj- 11s. 8d. 
three pence Halfpenny per pound 

The pre- Reformation references to the ornaments, 
&c., existing in this church, witness to the profuse 
liberality shewn in providing things superstitious. 

113, DUNW1CH. The churches now submerged. 
*S7. Peter s was lost in the year 1702, and All Saints 
(Allhallows) was dismantled in 1754. 

116. HEVENINGHAM ( HEVININGHAM ). 

118. BOXTED ( BOXTEAD ). 

120. LAXFIELD. " The steps to be done by William 
Dowsing of the same Town." It must not be supposed that 
the Dowsing s were inferior people so far as worldly status 
went (see Introduction), or that manual labour or anything 
of the kind was required of l William Dowsing of the 
same town, in the matter of the steps. It is just such 
another allusion as that under (115) Bramfield, were the 
steps were " to be levelled by Sr Robert Brook." 

121. TKIMLEY ( TEIMBLY ) St. Martin. " There 
was a Fryar, with a shaven crown praying to God. J> A 
praying Monk, hooded and tonsured was the no uncom 
mon adornment to a bench end, where this Fryar was 
probably found. 



51 

124. UFFORD. "We brake down the Organ cases 
and gave them to the poor" Such kind consideration for 
the poor was apparently restricted to a gift of firewood ; 
what was of real value seems to have entered some other 
channel. 

" On the Roof above a 100 Jesus and Mary in great 
capital letters" A large number of these are still to be 
seen. 

" A glorious cover over the Font, fyc" Even the harsh 
eye of Dowsing could appreciate * a thing of beauty. 
This Font Cover is one of the finest specimens in the 
kingdom, and certainly receives only its due meed of 
praise, when it is referred to as glorious. It is, all 
things considered, in a marvellous state of preservation, 
and the hand of the would-be destroyer seems to have 
paused, ere it ventured to strike a blow, and the Cover 
was spared. In several places the delicate tracery has 
been renewed, but it appears to have been done owing 
to decay, rather than wantonness. The lower panels of 
the rood screen, with painted figures, still remain. 
Bearing in mind the persistency of the Church and 
parish officials in thwarting Dowsing in the accomplish 
ment of his purpose, we cannot but wonder that when he 
"carried away part of the Church "(!) he should have 
left so much behind, if not absolutely untouched, yet 
but little the worse for so portentous a visit. 

127. SOMERSHAM ( SUMMERSHAM ). 

128. FLOWTON ( FLOUGHTON ). 

130. OFFTON ( OFTON. ) "At Ipswich, at Mr. 
Coleys." Probably the name should be that of Mr. Jacob 
Caley, who was elected in 1643 by the "Twenty-four" 
to be one of that body of Town Governors, and after 
wards filled the office of Claviger and Guildholder. 

132. WILLISHAM (< WILLESHAM. ) " The Steps 
were levelled ; and had so been once before, by a Lord Bishop s 
Injunction ; and by another Lord Bishop after commanded " 
&c. The latter has reference to the action of Bishop 
Matthew Wren in causing an ascent to be made to the 



52 

Communion Table in the parish Churches throughout 
the Diocese, generally of three steps. 

133. DARMSDEN ( DAMSDEN. ) 

135. MICKFIELD. " The glasses to be made up" 
&c. It would appear that the window glass was ordered 
to be carefully preserved, instead of being battered 
down ; this seems to be a just inference. If too super 
stitious to remain, why was the glass accounted worthy 
of preservation?! Anyhow there is here a pleasing 
variation from the recognized principle, for the poor were 
to have 10s. and the rest afterwards! Whether this 
latter sum amounted to 4s. 6d. or whether the 4s. 6d. 
mentioned may not be regarded as the amount paid to 
the visitors by the parish, is uncertain, owing to the 
ambiguity of the entry. 

137. ATHELINGTON ( ARLINGTON. ) 

138. WORLINGWORTH (< WALLINGWORTH. ) 

139. HOLTON. " I * H * S (he Jesuit s Badge." 
A very hard and uncalled for epithet to be applied to 
this ancient monogram, signifying Jesus Hominum Salvator, 
which really is of Greek, (I H C the first three letters of 
the Greek JESUS) and not Latin origin. (See also (146) 
METFIELD, and Jessop s work at GORLESTON.) 

144. OCCOLD OOCKOLD. ) 

145. RISHANGLES (< RUSSINGLES. ) 

147. DENNINGTON I DINNINGTON. ) " S r John 
Rouses Stool" The seat or stall occupied by Sir John. 



" Thomas Umberfield of STOKE," &c. The Chapel for 
which Thomas Umberfield was held responsible, was that 
appertaining to Henry, Lord Windsor, of Bradnam, in the 
County of Buckingham, through his marriage with Anne, 
only daughter of Sir Thomas Revett, Knt. 

It would appear that many brasses (and of course 
divers other goods and ornaments) being spared by those 
authorized to demolish them, were subsequently taken 
away or destroyed by the soldiery during the Common- 



53 

wealth. Evelyn, in his Diary, alluding to a visit made 
by him to Lincoln in I 654, says 

" The souldiers had lately knocked off most of the brasses from 
the gravestones (in the Cathedral) so as few inscriptions were left ; they 
told us that these men went in with axes and hammers, and shut them 
selves in, till they had rent and torn off some large loads of metal, not 
sparing even the monuments of the dead, so hellish an avarice possessed 
them." 

Good Bishop Hall, of Norwich, draws a sad picture 
in his "Hard Measure" of the lamentable workings of 
the Spirit of the age. He says, in the well known 
passage (p. LXVI) : 

" What work was here. What clattering of glasses ! What beating 
down of walls ! What tearing up of monuments ! What pulling down of 
seats ! What wresting out of irons and brass from the windows and 
graves ! Wliat defacing of Arms ! What demolishing of curious stone 
work, that had not any representation in the world, but only of the coat 
of the founder, and the skill of the Mason ! What tooting and piping 
upon the destroyed organ pipes ! And what a hideous triumph on the 
market-day before all the country ; when, in a kind of sacrilegious and 
profane procession, all the organ pipes, vestments, both copes and 
surplices, together with the leaden cross which had been newly sawn 
down from over the Green-yard Pulpit, and the service books and 
singing books that could be had, were carried to the fire in the public 
market place ; a lewd wretch walking before the train, in his cope 
trailing in the dirt, with a service-book in his hand, imitating in an 
impious scorn the tune, and usurping the words of the litany used 
formerly in the Church. Near the Public Cross, all these monuments 
of idolatry must be sacrificed to the fire ; not without much ostentation 
of a zealous joy, in discharging ordnance, to the cost of some, who 
professed how much they had longed to see that day." 

Two extracts from Blomefield s History of Norfolk, 
will give some idea of a similar work carried out in that 
county, and will complete the picture, as pourtrayed by 
William Dowsing: 

"In 1644 April 7" 1 Captain Gilley was paid 6/- by the town for 
viewing the Church of Bressingham to abolish superstitious pictures, 
and immediately after, John Nunn was paid for two days work for 
taking down glass and pictures about the Church and filing the letters 
off the bells, and it was plain there were many effigies and arms for the 
glazing of the windows after this reformation came to 2 : 6 : 0. But 
though several of them were lost, some were preserved and put up in 
the hall windows, as the emblem of the Trinity, S - John, S l - Catherine, 

O 



54 

the Virgin and S u Margaret, together with the arms of Verdon (fee. 
The Church suffered much, for in 1644 54 : 11 : 8 was raised by rate 
to put it in order, and to buy its ornaments of all which it was spoiled." 

Blomefieldp. 70. Vol. i. 

" In the time of the Rebellion, the Church (Fersfield) was purged 
of superstition by the rebels, who defaced the carvings of the heads of 
the seats, with their swords, and hacked the effigies of the bosses. 
What few brasses there were, were all reaved and several arms broken 
out of the windows, and the altar rails pulled down. The evidences, 
king s arms &c. were taken down previously by Mr. Piddock, Church 
warden, who justly returned them at the Reformation." 

Blomefieldp. 112. Vol. i. 

In bringing the Notes to a conclusion, it is but 
fair to say, that throughout this unhappy period, the 
Church fabric always seems to have been respected, but 
the ruling idea all along, appears to have been to leave 
the building as bare of ornamentation as circumstances 
permitted, and expediency required. The disgraceful 
and often violent depredations, of which the Journal 
makes mention, were ostensibly wrought to extirpate 
idolatry. How far did this succeed ? It may well be 
questioned whether, supposing gentler modes of treat 
ment had been used, the desired object would not have 
far more effectually brought about to the lasting good of 
both the Church and the Nation. That many foul abuses 
did exist, and greatly needed to be uprooted with a firm 
hand is unquestionable, as for instance the many forms of 
creature and image worship, and their numerous adjuncts, 
and other objects of superstitious adoration. But far too 
often the work undertaken by these Parliamentary Visitors 
was as needless and profane as it was melancholy and 
indecent, and fraught moreover with no good to the 
inner life of the Church, unless indeed it be that the 
purification wrought by adversity, had her perfect work. 



It only remains for me to summarize the contents of 
Journal, and this I think can be best done by giving a 
short view of the districts traversed in the somewhat 
erratic course, and the time occupied in the whole under- 



55 

taking 1 , noting also the several districts of more or less 
importance, passed over by Dowsing, and his Deputies, 
at least so far as the entries in the l Journal are con 
cerned. 

Beginning on the Essex border Jan. 6th, 1643, 
the parishes of Haverhill, Clare, Hunden, Wixoe, and 
Withersdale, were visited, and after a break of three 
days, the town of Sudbury. An interval of ten days 
elapsed ere the work was resumed, when Stoke by 
Nayland and Nayland were taken, and two days after, 
leaving the western division, Raydon and Holton, (?) 
Barham, Clay don and Coddenham. The next day, Eyke 
and Tunstall were visited, followed the day after by a 
visit to Aldborough, the next day Orford, Snape and 
Stanstead, and the following day Saxmundham, Kelsale, 
Carleton, Wickham Market and Sudbourne. The day 
following, Ufford, Woodbridge, Kesgrave, and Rushmere. 
A day elapsed, when the last two days of the month of 
January were occupied in visiting Chattisbam, Wash- 
brook, Copdock, Belstead, Ipswich (12 Churches) and 
Playford. 

On the 1st February Great Blakenham, Bramford, 
Sproughton, Burstall, and Hintlesham were visited. 
The next day, returning to West Suffolk, Hadleigh, 
Layham, Shelley and Higham. The day following, 
having crossed the West Suffolk boundary, the Wenhams 
and Capel, including Lady Brewse s Chapel, and turning 
northwards, Needham Market, Badley, Stowmarket, 
Wetherden, Klmswell, Tostock and Bury St. Edmund s. 
The next day Kentford and Newmarket, and after 
an interval of a fortnight, the two Cornards, and the 
day following Mewton, Nayland, Assington and Stoke 
(Lord Windsor s Chapel). The next day but one, 
Bures. Three days after, Glemsford; the day fol 
lowing, Otley, Monewden, Hoo and Letheringharu. 
The next day, Easton and Kettleburgh. The next 
day, Helniingham and Woolpit. The following day 
being March 1st, Beyton; a month having elapsed, 



56 

Kayfield, Bedingfield, Tannington and Brandish were 
visited, and the day following 1 , Wilby, Stradbrooke, and 
Linstead Parva. The next day, Linstead Magna, Chedis- 
ton, Halesworth, Redisham Magna, and Kedingfield, and 
the day following, Beccles, Elough, Sotterly, Benacre, 
and Covehithe. Two days after, Rushmere, Mutford, 
Frostenden, South Cove, Ray don, South wold, and perhaps 
Walberswick. The next and following day, Blyford, 
Blythburgh, Dunwich, Bramfield and Hevingham. Five 
days after, being April 15th, Polstead, Boxstead, and 
Stanstead. The work was not resumed until July 17th, 
when Laxfield (the supposed home of the Dowsing s) was 
officially visited. Five weeks later (August 21st) Trimley 
St. Martin, Brightwell, Levington, Baylham and Barking. 
The next day, Nettlestead, Somersham, Flowton, Elmsett, 
Ofton and Willisham, and the day following, Darmsden. 
Three days after, Wetheringsett, and Mickfield ; the 
following day, Horham, Allington and Wallingworth. 
The next day, Wangford and Wrentham ; the day follow 
ing, Holton, and the next day being 30th August, Hoxne, 
Eye, Occold, Rishangles, and Metfield. After an interval 
of nearly a month, (Sept. 26th) Dennington : the next 
day but one, Baddingham, and three days after, (Oct. 1st) 
the work was brought to a conclusion by a visit to 
Parh am H atcheston . 

The Churches in the Hundreds of Mutford and 
Lothingland were visited by Jessop, the Deputy, and are 
almost entirely passed over in the * Journal. It seems 
likely that only those churches which Dowsing visited, 
either by himself or in company with the Deputy 
specially appointed for the work, are mentioned. Thus 
the town of Bungay, and also the parishes of Yoxford 
and Ringshall were presumably visited by Jessop and 
his subordinates, while he was apparently joined in the 
enterprise of despoiling Blythborough, which was (specially 
entrusted to him,) by his superior William Dowsing. 
Probably few, if indeed any suspected churches, were 
altogether passed by, although the entire number of 



57 

churches in some of the * Hundreds are almost wholly 
unmentioned. This of course is specially the case with 
the Hundreds for which Deputies were appointed, as 
Lackford, (in which is included Wangford) Risbridge, (in 
which is included Clare), &c., &c. Hartismere, towliich 
no special appointment seems to have been made, 
(although Francis Verden would have had it ), is poorly 
represented; so also Olaydon, Thingoe, Blackbourne, 
Wilford, &c., &c. Many of the churches omitted are 
among the most prominent ecclesiastical buildings of the 
county, and from what still remains of a like character, 
must have abounded with ornaments, etc., which would 
have been deemed, and in some cases were, really super 
stitious. Anyhow they have suffered by mutilation snd 
otherwise, equally with the rest. 

William Dowsing, with a disposition unworthy of 
respect, and apparently incapable of anything high and 
lofty, lias bequeathed to us this sad and unworthy 
memorial of indiscreet zeal. While it produces within 
us a feeling of strong revulsion at such practices as his, 
and the bitter spirit of which they doubtless were largely 
born, it should also lead us to reflect, whether there may 
not be after all, some cause for fear, lest we and our 
descend ,nts should desire and do the same things, which, 
have unfortunately caused the name of Dowsing to 
become famous. 

An old MS. of Dowsing s Journal in private posses 
sion, has the following variations inter alia from the 
generally received text. 

18. STANSTED, is written < Sternfield 

87. "KAYFIELD, April 3rd, 1644. My deputy broke down 
divers pictures, and I have done the rest." 

94. Reads "Will. Aldice, Curate, and drunkard ffrancis Evered." 

109. Thirty Cherubims." 

111. BLYFOED "twenty superstitious pictures" and "St. 
Andrew s cross in the window." 

114. " Twenty Cherubims. " 

137. ALLINGTON, " and Paul and another superstitious picture," 
in addition to those printed. 

140. WANGFORD 1 , . 

141. WRENTHAMJ are wntten Au g- the 29th - 

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ERRATA. 

p. 3, line 5, /or, in the years 1663-1665, read, in the 
years 1643-1644. 

p. 16, line 20, /or, dow an, read, down a. 

p. 39, line 7, /or, incongurous, read incongruous. 



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