Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Richard Crutcher Fecit

This is the monument that Richard Crutcher signed. It commemorates Sir Robert Clayton, his wife Martha and their infant son, also called Robert. It occupies the south wall of the east transept of St Mary, Bletchingley, Surrey.

It's a tremendous thing- suiting the pocket of the man who commissioned it- the financier, MP and Lord Mayor of London whom the diarist John Evelyn called "this prince of citizens" adding, "there never having been any who, for stateliness of his palace, prodigious feasting, and magnificence, exceeded him." History- popular history, anyway- tends to forget such people- and he was probably no better and no worse than any other monster of that primeval sea. Through his wife he held a large estate in Bermuda, which must mean he was a slave-owner. His epitaph is fulsome, calls him Good and Great and avers that "the Welfare of his Country was the only Aim of his Publick actions."

Did the man who made this tour de force- with its passages of real beauty and feeling- also make the touching and relatively modest monument in West Peckham? I don't see why not.
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