Tuesday, 21 October 2008


I quite often visit Southwark Cathedral - it's a little treat I give myself after sitting around for hours in the rheumatology clinic in nearby Guy's Hospital.

A place of Christian devotion for over 1,000 years, Southwark is a beautiful oasis of peace, light and tranquility poised on the banks of the Thames, alongside London Bridge which spans the river from the hustle and bustle of the fruit and vegetable traders of Borough Market and that of the bankers and brokers of the City.

Whenever I'm there I renew my acquaintance with the Once-Great-and-the-Good who are buried here in an aggregation of the most characterful - and colourful - tombs...

There is, for example, the final resting place (well, it's more like a very elaborate, slightly gaudy, canopied bed) of John Gower, the fifteenth century poet and friend of Chaucer with whom he shares - at least amongst literary historians - the distinction of being one of the fathers of English poetry...

But, my favourite tomb (if that doesn't that smack of too much morbidity) is that commemorating the life of...

John Trehearne
Gentleman Portar to King James the First

who died in 1618 and who is depicted alongside Margaret with whom "he lived together man and wife for fifty years" and (below) a collection of children and Very Small People...

Click image to enlarge

The plaque that Mr and Mrs Trehearne are holding is inscribed with a piece of doggerel that is quite clearly not the work of the aforementioned J Gower Esq...

Had Kings a power to lend their Svbject's breath,
Trehearne thov shovld'st not be cast down by Death,
Thy Royal Master still wovld keep thee then.
Bvt length of days are beyond the reach of men,
Nor wealth, nor strength, or great men's love can ease
The wound Death's arrows make, for thov hast these.
In thy King's Covrt good place to thee is given,
Whence thov shalt go Ye King's Covrt in Heaven.

Now, the Trehearne tomb has given me the idea for a new


What I'm inviting you to do is suggest what conversations, comments and observations might be being exchanged by the Trehearnes as they pass yet another day in their getting-on-for-400-year-long sojourn in Southwark...

Click image to enlarge

Submissions via the 'Thoughts' option below.

Closing date 26 October
. Usual Terms and Conditions apply!

Images: Brian Sibley & David Weeks © 2008

1 comment:

Brian Sibley said...

First entries already received! Keep those captions coming!