Bovey Tracey Church Plate

Devon Notes & Queries 2 (1902-3) p. 253.


Rev Walter Benjamin Vere-Stead, MA

Prepared by Michael Steer

This Note contributed by the Vicar of Bovey Tracey is supported by photographs of the church plate. It has been speculated that the Elizabethan chalice and paten described below, were made from silver left by Edward VI's Commissioners and needed for the Communion of the Laity. Google with the Archive Organization has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. The Internet Archive makes available, in its Community Texts Collection (originally known as Open Source Books), books that have been digitised by Google from a number of libraries. These are books on which copyright has expired, and are available free for educational and research use. This rare book was produced from a copy held by the University of Toronto Library, and is available from the Internet Archive.

202. We give illustrations of photos of the plate belonging to this parish.

The large silver paten or tazza, or whatever it is, is 12 ins. Across and 3 ins. High, and weighs 21 ozs avoir. The hall marks are RD, a crowned lion's head and a lion passant. The following is inscribed on the front of it: "Ex dono Gulielmo Stawell, Arm. Paroch de Bovey Tracey in Comt. Devon 1691. You can see the work on it. The foot is perfectly plain, and is beaten silver soldered on to the plate itself.

The silver chalice weighs 15 1/3 ozs and the cover 4 11/12 ozs; it stands 7 1/2 inches high and measures 4 inches across the mouth. The foot of the cover has a tudor rose on it, with the following inscription a little lower down: "The Paryshe of Bove Trace, Anno Domyne 1576". The following are the hall marks: I. IONS. B. and a crown with what looks like cross keys below it.

There are also two other articles, a basin and flagon, both of pewter. The flagon stands 13 5/8 inches high, and has on the handle IFBT, that is James Forbes, Bovey Tracey. The basin is 11 5/8 inches across and has on it a rampant lion (I presume the lion of Scotland) and "Ia Forbes, Scot., Vic. Anno 1635". James Forbes, an account of whom will be found in Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, was a native of Aberdeen, Chaplain to King Charles I, and Vicar of Bovey Tracey. He married the daughter of Thomas Gardyner of Grove Place, Co. Buckingham. She died in 1655 and the following curious entry is found in the register of burials in the parish: - "Maria, the wife of James Forbes, Vicar of this parish and Chaplain to King Charles the First, daughter of Thomas Gardyner of Grove Place in the Countie of Buckingham, Esquire, dies the Seventene of June, nere noon, and buried Thursday the Twentie One, Anno dom. 1655.