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Monumental inscription from Church of St John under the Castle of Lewes

Monumental inscription from Church of St John under the Castle of Lewes

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1789

Shelfmark: Ktop XLII

Item number: 22 h

Genre: Topographical Drawing

Historian William Camden translated the inscription as follows: "Here lies a soldier good, Of Danish royal blood. Magnus was once his name, And like it great his fame. His greatness laid aside, An humbler life he tried, Exchang'd for ruffian's prize, An hermit's simple guise."

The note accompanying the sketch records: "This antient monumental inscription in graved on 15 stones, set circularly in the south wall o fthe Church of St John under the Castle of Lewes in Sussex - the 1st, 2d, 3d & 4th stones are of modern characters & replace the old stones, the letters on which by injury of time or removal were it is supposed scarcely legible - the 12th stone is also more modern & has been replaced - the ten remaining stones are very antient, the characters are Saxon & very rude & deeply cut - This Church lay neglected & in ruins its thought when Mr Camden saw this inscription & published it in his Britannia - the Church was afterward refitted for divine service by the Parishioners, except the chancel which was taken down, yet the foundations remains - it is reported that this inscription was originally placed round the Gothick Arch of the Entrance into the Old Chancel which being taken down, the stones were removed & inserted into the South Wall in the form they now stand with the form of the print in Camden's Britt. seems to tally with this tradition - The Diameter of the Semi Circle taking the two extreme ends of the stones is about 7 feet."

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