We have been working at what at first appears to be an almost illegible memorial slab on the floor of the chancel in St Nicolas', Great Coates in the south-eastern corner. The 'Thomp' near the bottom caught my eye because Edward Thompson was Rector of Great Coates 1707-1733; I wondered whether perhaps his widow had died in 1741 which is a date beneath the 'Thomp'.
Going in last week on a dull day and making use of a strong lamp it was surprising how much we could read after we got our eye in.
[In] M[emory of]
[Rector of] this Parish
[who] died [...]
[and x his] W[i]fe wh[o]
[Died ...]6th 171[...] A[ged ...]
[and] their Son [...]
[William] Thompson Re[ctor of]
[Brock]lesby who Died
[...] 1 Novr 1741 Aged [...]
Letters in normal type can be read clearly on the memorial stone.
Letters in italics are uncertain readings from the memorial stone.
Letters in [brackets] are simply speculation, so beware.
A William Thompson, Rector of Brocklesby, is recorded as having died in April 1742 and a William Thompson, Rector of the next door parish of Great Limber, is recorded as having died in November 1741, so it is seems likely that they are the same man (in which case perhaps April 1742 is the date a successor filled the vacancy rather than the date of his death). But we can’t assume this.
We also can’t assume that the memorial stone marks where they are buried; the sanctuary area of the church appears to have been repaved during a Victorian restoration and this memorial stone is very likely to have been moved at that time (like the one immediately west of it commemorating Edward Thompson’s successor as Rector of Great Coates).