THE STEPHENS MEMORIAL

In 1866 the mediæval church was pulled down and the present building was consecrated in 1868. Many of the memorials from the old church were saved and installed on the walls of the new one, most of them on the west wall or in the tower.

The most ornate and spectacular memorial that was so rescued is the one now on the east wall of the south transept.

This effigy of Thomas Stephens, who lived at Lypiatt, shows him kneeling and in his lawyer's robes, and it was sculpted by Samuel Baldwin of Stroud. Stephens was attorney general to both Henry and Charles Stuart. Charles later became King Charles II.

In his "Notes and Recollections of Stroud" (first published in 1871) the local historian Paul Hawkins Fisher translates the Latin verse underneath the figure, explaining why it contains one Greek word, which can be read as stephanon: "The Greek word in the last verse is a play on the name of the deceased: it means a crown."

Paul Hawkins Fisher’s English version of those lines is:


Died Stephens by the law? The law alas! kills all,
That law which doom'd our sinful race to die.
But Stephens lives: another law, Christ's law withal,
Gives him a crown and immortality.