Font, St.Mary the Virgin's Church, Tollesbury, Essex.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member greysman
N 51° 45.468 E 000° 49.997
31U E 350460 N 5736321
The unique 'Swearing Font' by the organ in St.Mary the Virgin's church.
Waymark Code: WME86G
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 04/17/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
Views: 4

The font is C18th with a moulded octagonal bowl inscribed on seven of its eights sides 'Good people all I pray take Care. That in ye Church you doe not Sware as this man Did'. It has an octagonal shaft and moulded octagonal plinth. The wording is incised into the stone and then painted, the lower case letters are black with the upper case red. The font is to be found, not as is usual near the main entry into the church, but by the organ and chancel steps as if to reinforce the message.

The panels numbered from 1 to 7 the wording is:-
[1] Good peo
[2] ple all I pray
[3] take Care
[4] .That in ye
[5] Church yo
[6] u doenot
[7] Sware
[1] As this man
[2] Did
Panel 8 is not inscribed and is the panel closest to the organ.

The following is an extract from 'Tollesbury - Village of the Plough and Sail' Copyright © 1999. Revd. Keith Lovell.

An entry in the registers for 30th August 1718 explains this unusual inscription: "Elizabeth daughter of Robert and Eliza Wood, being ye first child which was baptised in the new font which was bought out of five pounds paid by John Norman who some months before came drunk into ye Church and cursed and talked aloud in the time of Divine Service, to prevent his being prosecuted for which he paid by agreement the above said five pounds. Note that the wise Rhyms on the font were put there by sole order of Robert Joyce then Church Warden".
Approximate Age of Artefact: 1718

Relevant Website: Not listed

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Big Fish visited Font, St.Mary the Virgin's Church, Tollesbury, Essex. 07/30/2015 Big Fish visited it