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Blofield

Blofield is a large commuter village which lies 7 seven miles east of Norwich.

Inside St. Andrew and St. Peter's church there is a fascinating literary epitaph which was only discovered when the choir stalls were removed from the chancel. It is attached to the grave of a Margaret Paston (not the letter writing Margaret Paston) - and was written specially for her by John Dryden the Poet Laureate after she died in 1689.

Blofield Church

St. Andrew and St. Peter's Church

Grave of Margaret Paston

Grave of Margaret Paston with epitaph by John Dryden


The epitaph reads as follows:
 

Soe fair, soe Young, soe Innocent, soe Sweet
soe ripe a Judgment and soe rare a Witt
Require at least an Age in one to meet
In her they mett, but long they could not stay
Twas Gold too Fine to fix without Allay
Her Maker's Image was so well exprest
the sight of her upbraided all the rest
Too justly sever'd from an Age like this
now She's remov'd the World is off a peice


It's an indication of the wealth and power of the Pastons that they could procure an epitaph from a poet as influential as John Dryden. Interestingly there is an epitaph attributed to John Donne for Katherine Paston inside Paston church.

The Manor of Blofield was held by the Paston family and there is a monument on the north wall of the chancel which depicts Edward Paston and his wife Margaret and their nine children. The family are kneeling in prayer. Edward died in 1630 and his wife in 1641.


Paston Family Monument

Paston Family Monument

On the floor of the chancel there are other family graves belonging to John Paston and a Clement Paston. There is also a stone bearing the Paston coat of arms.
 

Links:

More Paston Family Photographs

 

 

 

 

 

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