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Hampshire Church Treasures: 4 St Thomas a Becket

Plaque Dedicated to the Memory of Raffe Smallpage

Churches are full of extraordinary items, some of them tucked away in hidden corners…..
Here is number 4 in a series of short posts, on the out of the ordinary artifacts and objects that can be found in Hampshire churches

The church of St Thomas a Becket in Warblington sits within a few hundred metres of the shoreline of Langstone Harbour. This is an ancient site settled by the Romans and close by is Warblington Castle, a Tudor building that was home to some of the most influential families of the time.

Inside the church, on the northern wall by the altar, is a small plaque that serves as a memory of the heated and tumultuous times when King Henry VIII was on the throne. The plaque is dedicated to the memory of Raffe Smalpage and reads thus;

Before this monument lyeth buried the bodye of Raffe Smallpage late chaple to the Right Honorable the Earl of Southampton Lord Chancellor of England and parson of this church obit 6 die May AD 1558

One can only wonder what confessions this parson heard as he moved in the circle of Thomas Wriothesley Lord Chancellor and Earl of Southampton