Answers to Questions


TURNER, Therfield, 18th Century

April, 2005




Carolyn Turner (carolynjt @t of Mackay, Queensland, Australia, writes: My 5xgreatuncle Louis Marmaduke Sackville Turner 1740 - 5.9.1774 died in the shipwreck of the "Elizabeth" on Ness Point. His brother Barnard placed a tablet to the memory of Sackville and his wife Sarah on the south wall of Therfield Church. This tablet also has the family crest.

My question is how can I obtain a photo (I have a small B/W) of this tablet or in particular the crest. I would dearly love to know the colours if they haven't already faded with time.

For the sake of other readers of this page, let me first quote the description of the tablet as printed in Cussans' History of Hertfordshire, published in 1873:

      Against the pier, on the south side of the chancel arch, is this tablet:-

To the memory of Sackville Turner, Esq., a Captain in his Majesty's 83rd Regiment, and of Sarah, his wife, the only child of Edward Crockley, of Watton, in Norfolk, Gent., who were cast away and drowned in their passage to Ireland on the night of the 5th September, 1774. This stone is dedicated by their most affectionate and most afflicted brother, Barnard Turner.

Arms above:- Quarterly; I and IV.; Argent; a Chevron between three Mill-rinds sable; II and III.; Azure; on a Fess between three Martlets or, as many Fleurs-de-lys sable,  for Turner. On an Inescutcheon. Gules; a Lion rempant argent, debruised by a Bend azure, for Croxley. Motto:- Optimum quod evenit.


The above describes the colours in standard heraldic nomenclature - Argent (silver), Sable (black), Azure (blue), Gules (red).



Information on St Mary's Church

What is there now is another matter, as the old church was in danger of collapsing (see picture on the Therfield pages) and was totally rebuilt in 1878. Some of the church fitting were saved - possibly including the above tablet. If so it may be that someone reading this who lives nearby can take a picture and send you a digital image. However you might get a quicker response if you visit the Royston Crow (the local newspaper) web page and posted a request on their Forum. If you do get a picture can you let me have a copy and I can post it here as well. 

It might be worth adding, in case you do not already know, that Cussans has quite a lot of information about Sir Barnard Turner and reports:

      In the churchyard, at the east end of the south aisle, is a large square monument surmounted by an obelisk, to Sir Barnard Turner, Knt., ... Adjoining are many other memorials of the family of Turner, and also of Fordham. Scarcely any of the inscriptions are now legible, but they are given at length in Clutterbuck's The History of the County of Hertford      


Carolyn has since written saying I did as you suggested and advertised on the Royston Crow Forum and had a contact yesterday to say he would be looking over the long weekend and send me a digital copy. I will also be posting details of the inscriptions mentioned in Clutterbuck's The History of the County of Hertford.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.


Page updated April 2005