Website of the Laceby History Group

The Church Plate

The collection of silver at St. Margaret's is not a very large one, but nevertheless all the pieces have been given by people having a love of the Church, and each of the pieces has a story to tell.

Some of the pieces are over 250 years old, and research has shown that they have a unique history. Here is their story, something about who made them and about who gave them.

Stanford Alms Dish

This silver plate was given to the Church in 1725 by Mrs. Sarah Stanford, the founder of the Stanford Charity and School.

The plate is beautifully engraved with the Stanford Coat of Arms. Investigations into the hall-marking on this plate have shown that
it was made in London i n 1676 by F S? (Not known). The plate was probably bought for the gift or more likely it may have been a family heirloom which could have been in regular use and was then engraved before being donated. The records of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths have been checked (ref 1) and it was first thought that it was made by Francis Spilsbury in 1726 going by the date letter (L). However the records show that he was not enrolled into the Company until 1829 . The previous date letter (L) was used in 1676 but unfortunately this date is before the Company kept detailed records of individual Gold and Silversmiths.

A fascinating mystery

Wray Chalice and Paten

These two pieces were given to st. Margaret's by Mary, Lady Wray in 1724.

Both pieces are engraved with a very fine representation of the Wray Coat of Arms, consisting of a large multi-sectional shield with fine cross-hatchings, leaping animals (deer), a headpiece in the shape of a shell and the family motto beneath "Et Juste et Vray" - In Justice and Truth. A clever play on the family name.

The chalice is of very simple design reminiscent of a much earlier medieval period. The hall-markings show that the pieces were made by Jonah Clifton who was born in Northampton (refs 1 & 2). He was apprenticed in 1693 and admitted to the Company of Goldsmiths in 1703. He worked i  Tower Street, near St. Martin's Lane and then in The Strand.

Mary, Lady Wray was the wife of Sir Cecil Wray, the 8th Baronetof Glentworth in the County of Lincolnshire whose family held the
patronage of the living of St. Margaret's in the 17th Century. Sir Cecil was a direct descendant of Sir Christopher Wray the 1st Baronet, who was Lord Chief Justice to Queen Elizabeth I (ref 3). The Wray family undoubtedly owned property in the village during the 17th and 18th centuries because the first Sir Cecil's grandson also Sir Cecil released (sold) certain lands, namely the Manor House, to William Atkinson (ref 4).

Bell Flagon

This elegant Georgian flagon was given to the Church by Charlotte Bell in 1864. It was made by James Charles Eddington in London
in 1841. He was a registered platemaker who was admitted to the Company in 1828 after being apprenticed to William Ker Reid since 1817. He worked in Berwick Street in Soho and then in Leicester Square.
Charlotte Bell lived in 1841 in Caistor Road in what is now known as "Archways" next door to Rannard's Farm.

Mawer Wafer Box

This fitted box in a silver case was presented in memory of Ronald Naylor Mawer in 1971 by his wife and children. Mr. Mawer who died in 1969 was a well-known local farmer who lived in Manor Farm, Grimsby Road and who had been a regular member of the Church for many years as well as serving the village in many ways. The box, which is engraved with a decorated cross on its lid was made in London in 1971.

Anderson Chalice

This piece was presented by Mr. Ernest Anderson, at this time (1985) the oldest member of the Church. It was given in 1973 in loving memory of his wife Madge Anderson. The chalice was made in London in 1973 and is of a shallow bowl design on a short ornamental stem.

Lowe Paten

This piece was presented to the Church by Mr. and Mrs. Pat Anderson in loving memory of Mrs. Anderson's parents Jack and Alice Lowe who used to live in Caistor Road  This simple unadorned paten was made in London in 1977.

Cater Finger Bowl

This silver plated bowl was presented in memory of Ronald Cater in 1981 by his loving wife Ethel, a Church and choir member for many years.

That is the story of the Church Plate, an interesting blend of 'Ancient and Modern '.


1. English Goldsmiths and Their Marks - Sir Charles Jackson FSA
Dover Publications Inc New York

2. London Goldsmiths 1967-1837 - Arthur G Grimwade FSA
Faber and Faber, London

3. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant
Baronetcies - Burke's
4. Title Deeds - Nags Head Inn , Laceby

The Author wishes to thank the Rev Canon Peter Hawker FSA Custodian
of the Cathedral Treasury, Lincoln for his help and guidance during
research for this article.