Holy Trinity, Radcliffe-on-Soar.
ARMS OF SACHEVERELL—Argent, on a saltire azure five water bougets or.
THIS Church and its surroundings have a somewhat forlorn look which is out of harmony with the neat appearance of the adjacent village, but the edifice has capabilities, were the money forthcoming to put it in a becoming state of repair. It is a spacious Church for a small village, and the Chancel is roomy enough to comfortably contain three of the four alabaster Altar Tombs to members of the once important, but now extinct, Sacheverell family, who at one time were Lords of the Manor here, and whose large possessions spread into the neighbouring parish of Barton-in-Fabis, and also to Morley in Derbyshire, and elsewhere. Here are to be found some fine specimens of Gothic armour of the later period.
The first of these tombs in point of date is that to Radulphus Sacheverell, armiger, which stands under a canopy in the wall of the elongated north aisle. In its execution it is one of the most masterly specimens of alabaster work in the locality. On the mensa (if that term is admissable) may be seen the effigies of Radulphus Sacheverell and his first wife, Cecilia, daughter and heir of John Durance, of Isham. He gave instructions that he was "to be buried at Ratclyffe in the chappell where Cecily his wife lyeth buried," and willed that his executors " prepare a convenient tomb for him and Cecily his wife" (Torre MS.). He died in 1539, and Cecily predeceased him in 1528. The canopy covers the effigy of the lady, but is not of sufficient depth to also cover that of her husband. It is surmounted by his helmet, and is ornately carved throughout; the shields on the panels at the base of the tomb carry no arms; most probably arms were painted thereon originally, but all traces of paint have now vanished. The lady is represented in a long, loose robe, fastened by a brooch and chain over a tight bodice; a treble necklace with a cross is most delicately carved; her hands have been broken off. The Squire is in plate armour, showing a skirt of mail below the taces; his face is clean shaven; round his shoulders is the S.S. collar, from which is suspended a rose; the crest is broken off the helmet on which his head rests; doubtless it was that of the Sacheverells, viz., a goat passant, as may be seen on the other tombs in this Church; his hands, on the fingers of which are several rings, are in a devotional attitude, and his feet in sabbatons rest against a lion. The closely worded inscription round the chamfer is of pretty lettering, and informs the reader that his wives were named Cecilia and Anna; the latter probably survived him, as the date of her decease is not filled in, only the words, "migravit ab hoc sosculo."
Tombs of Radulphus and Henry Sacheverell.
Adjacent to the foregoing, under the westernmost of the two arches that separate the aforesaid north aisle from the Chancel, is placed the tomb of Radulphus' son, Henry, and "Lucie his wyf," who was daughter and heir of John Pole, of Hartington, co. Derby. This is, to some extent, in accordance with his wishes, for he willed to be buried "near to the wall of the chappel on the south side of the Chancel," and that "his executors do make a tomb of alabaster, or other fine stone, to be set over his grave, with a Scripture to be engraven therein, making mention that he and Lucy, his late wife, do lye there buried, with the day and the year of their deaths, to the intent that the beholders and readers of the same may remember his soul, and all Christian souls, and pray to God for the same." The chamfered edge, which carries the inscription, shows, as he desired it should, that he died on 29th July, 1558, and his first wife on the 10th of February, 1554. The tomb measures 6-feet 7-inches, and is 30-inches from the floor. Unlike his father, he is depicted with a beard and moustache; he is clad in a suit of plate armour, with a skirt of taces of rather smaller size than those worn by his parent; a double chain, from which a cross is suspended, is round his neck, frills at his wrists; his misericorde is placed under his thigh, whilst alongside his right leg lie his gauntlets; his feet and the animals, against which they press, are broken.