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 St. Leonard's 
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The Church of St. Leonard, Broad Blunsdon, Wiltshire

This is a transcription of the monument and information about the Potenger family.  Copied from photograph 0034.

Sacred to the memory of John Potenger, armiger, and Philadelphia, his wife, deservedly most deal.  She was the daughter of John Ernle, a Knight of the Golden Order and Chancellor of the Exchequer.  An unexpected death blow struck her on the 12th day of April in the year of our Lord 1692 aged 38.  He, surviving her for a long time, died on the 18th day of December in the year of our Lord 1733 aged 87.  He was up-right in public business, concerned with active kindness towards his own family and with generosity towards the poor; until his end he was a patron of the writings of men.

He wished his body to be buried next to the remains of his beloved wife.

Richard Bingham, armiger, erected this marble monument out of honour and duty, being the nephew of the only daughter of her dead parents.


Philadelphia Potenger was a member of the Ernle family who inherited the nearby Burytown estate in the 17th century.  Her arms appear on the right of the shield at the top of the memorial and are still borne as a quartering by the families of Money-Kyrle of Wiltshire and Ernle-Erle-Drax of Dorset.  The arms of Potenger on the left passed down through the line of Bingham of Dorset and are still quartered by the Earls of Lucan.

The memorial was moved from the tower to its present position in November 1999.  The scupltor, Peter Scheemakers, came from Antwerp but lived most of his life in England.  He was one of the most fashionable and prolific monumental sculptors of the mid-1700s, particularly noted for his memorial to William Shakespear in Westminster Abbey.

Other memorials in the floor of the church record Thomas Haydock of Bury Blunsdon, who died in the early 1600s without male heirs, and his wife and daughters.  They depict the arms of Ernle impaling Haydock, the estate descending to the former through the marriage of the elder daughter, and Elrington of Middlesex impaling Haydock, signifying the marriage of the younger daughter.

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This page was last updated on 20/02/2022 12:55:37
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