The church contains monuments and inscriptions from the 17th century onwards. There are four slate memorials of particular interest. On the north wall of the chancel Lewis Adams, Vicar 1571-1607, is depicted kneeling before a prayer desk with his wife dutifully behind him. In the south east corner of the south aisle Christopher Rogers of Lanke (now De Lank Farm), who died in 1609, is similarly depicted. In the north east corner of the south aisle is the tomb and slate memorial of Nicholas Burrough of Penquite, who died in 1654, with a delightful rendering of Psalm 131 - "0 Lord I am not puff in mind. I have no scornful eye. I do not exercise my selfe in things that be to hye". The fourth slate, set against the east wall of the south aisle, commemorates William Billing of Great Lanke (now Higher Lank Farm), buried in 1654; his father, Reginald, re-built Great Lanke in 1627; his initials and the date are still to be seen on arched granite doorways there.
The Royal Arms of William III may be seen over the south door. The practice of setting up the Royal Arms in churches grew up under Henry VIII, at the time of the Reformation, and became compulsory in 1660 at the Restoration of Charles II (1660-1685). St. Breward seems to have delayed some forty years in complying with this order, as the Arms are dated 1700, during the reign of William III (1689-1702).
William III's arms are unique in that superimposed on the Stuart shield was added in the centre the arms of Nassau in the shape of a shield `Azure billety and a lion rampant Or'. This shield still exists today as the arms of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
William was Prince of Orange in the Netherlands before coming to the British throne in 1688, reigning jointly with his wife Mary who was the daughter of James II. Mary died untimely of smallpox in 1694. William then ruled alone until his death in a riding accident in 1702.
While they ruled jointly the royal arms were uniquely split in two. The left half had William's arms as described above while the right half was Mary's which was the normal Stuart royal shield. After Mary's death William's arms assumed the whole shield. The shield was quartered. Quarters 1 and 4 had the arms of England
(3 gold lions passant) quartered with those of France (3 fleurs de lis). Quarter 2 had the arms of Scotland (red lion rampant) while Quarter 3 had Ireland's arms in the shape of a gold harp.
To learn more about St Breward visit the community website at
Rector Rev. David Seymour:
Jeremy Hooper & Paddy McShee 01208 851315 01208 850435