The Effigies in the Church

In the Transactions of the Birmingham Archeological Society Vol. 69 1952, S. A. Jeavons F. S. A. describes:-

"A priest c.1350. The effigy lies under an arched recess in the north wall of the chancel and is badly worn. No features are visible but the tonsure can be seen. He lies with his head resting upon a cushion. The arnice is still visible and below the chasuble is seen the dalmatic and alb, while the feet rest upon a rounded projection from the end of the slab."

This is presumably the effigy of Hugh de Byshbury, which was outside the church until the late eighteenth century.

A. Oliver, writing in "The incised effigies of Staffordshire" 1913, has this to say:

Bushbury: Francis Colley 1626. Chancel. Half effigy in a gown with full sleeves; much worn and the inscription nearly obliterated. Verses below the effigy not decipherable except for a few words: "Here lyeth the body of Francis Colley Clarke which lived 38 years near this place, who dyed the 22nd August and was buried the 24th August 1626. He gave to the poor of Bushbury and Brewood £3-6s-8d yearly for ever. And he gave £10 towards a bell."

A worn slab with the remains of a figure of a woman, the linen almost obliterated. The inscription missing. It may be the monument to Jane, wife of William Allicock, 1608, from its position at the upper end of the chancel, adjoining the south wall. Others given by Shaw are not to be found, but only a few fragments.

An article in the Express and Star, 18th September 1925, refers to the epitaph of John Colley, the infant son of Francis Colley, the vicar of Bushbury from 1567/8 to 1626. John died on 15th March 1593 and was buried in the chancel. The article records the epitaph as reading:

Loe, here an ymp of tender age,
Whose body was scarce out-blowne;
But cut off as soon as does appear
Before his deeds were knowne.
Who should have been by succession
His father's sonne and heire;
As now by God's permission,
Enjoyeth the heavenly quire.

The son of the Revered Francis Colley appears in the register of the Wolverhampton Grammar School. In those days the school was in John Street, which disappeared in the construction of the Mander Centre in the 1960s.

How did he get to school? Did he walk - or perhaps he had a pony? And, more importantly, which way did he go? The present day route would, of course, be down Bushbury Lane, over the Gorsebrook and up Stafford Road to Five Ways and North Road. I think it more likely, however, that we went on the old route, following the parish boundaries, down Old Fallings Lane and Park Lane, to the site of the present Paget Arms. Then following the path across Fowler Park, with Spa Well down the bank on the right, offering a drink to boy or pony. Then along Fox's Lane to Five Ways and North Road to the town centre.

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