All the pictures on this page are derived from photographs kindly donated by Margaret Greiff. More pictures of Thurcaston and its church can be found on the Leicestershire Villages web site. Those mentioned on the memorials shown on this page are connected with the Dedham pedigree.
Robert Alfounder BD was appointed Rector of Thurcaston in 1668. The Churchwarden's accounts for this period have not survived, but Robert Alfounder made the following notes in the parish register, book 2 (transcript by Margaret Greiff):
In the year 1684 the Church being very foul and out of order was whited and painted, the King's Arms new done and the seats mended and the charges may be seen in the Churchwarden's Book of Accounts.
There was ten pound given towards it by George Robins Esq., formerly my pupil and at my request he gave it, which was thus laid out:
£ s. d. Purple cloth for the pulpit, cushion and carpet etc. 5 - 14 - 09 Fringe, tassells, silk etc. 9 - 08 The damask Comunion cloth and two napkins 1 - 4 - 00 The new Comunion Table, forms and the cover for the font 3 - 3 - 00 In all £10 - 11 - 05 So there is due to me 11s. - 05d. This with the rest of the charges being £11 - 14 - 03,
I did give them
£11 - 14 - 03
Also if I live until Michaelmas next, I will give them the charges for the King's Arms being two pounds five shillings which sum I lent to the Churchwardens to pay for them.
Also I paved the Causey to the Church which did belong to the Town, for it is a publick way
The Town of Thurcaston paid for the new Churchyard gates. The Town of Cropston set up a new Churchyard gate at their end.
Also the same year I paved the Chancel with quarre which before was coarse plaster, some little quarre and some bricks and some stone. I also whited and painted the walls. Also I set up a new pewe for the Parsonage. It cost me in all nine pounds 11 shillings and 7 pence.
I, Robert Alfounder have done these things for the good of the Parsonage.
I knew that the Town was to repair the Causey to the Church, being a common way, but yet I did for some reason do it. I leave my successors free from engagement by my practice.
The quarre [quarry] stones installed by Robert Alfounder are still in perfect condition:
(1) Robert Alfounder died on 12th March 1700/1 and was buried in the chancel.
Here lieth the body of Robert Alefounder, B.D. and Rector of Thurcaston 32yrs 10m Who died March ye 12th 1700-1 in the 69 year of his Age
(2) Just to the left of his stone is the one for Mary, his wife, who died in 1693, and their son, Benjamin Billers Alfounder.
Mary ye wife of Robt Alfounder She Departed March ye 11th 1693/4 Hauing
liued 37 years 1 Month 2 dayes
Beniamin Billers Alfounder their Son died Mar 16th 1693
Some altar rails were later added just to the east of these stones, partially obscuring the stone marking the burial place of their daughter Martha. This stone is next to the wall on the south side (3).
The complete inscription is recorded by Davy (1840):
Here lieth the Body of Martha daughter of Robert Alefounder & of Mary his wife who died May 6 1691
Beyond the altar rails is the grave of their son John, partially hidden under a radiator and skirting board (4).
Here lieth the Body of John, the son of Robert Alefounder and Mary his wife who died June 5th 1686
Next to John lies Mary Hill (5), a granddaughter of Robert Alfounder by his daughter Mary. The stone is partially obscured by the altar rails.
The inscription is given by Nichols:
Here lieth the body of Mrs. Mary Hill, daughter of Mr. Richard Hill, attorney at law, of Leicester, by Mary his wife and grand-daughter of the Rev. Mr Robert Alfounder, B.D. formerly rector of Thurcaston. She died June 26, 1722, aged 65 years.
Next is the stone for Jane Alfounder (6) with the altar rail running across it and the upper part being partly hidden by a carpet.
Under this stone are the remains of the late Mrs Jane Alefounder, spinster, the second daughter of the Rev'd Mr Robert Alefounder, BD. rector of Thurcaston, by Mary his wife eldest daughter of Mr Benjamin Billers of the Bishops fee near the Borough of Leicester by Jane his wife, the daughter of George Allen, of Dingley, in the County of Northampton, Gent who was born at the Parsonage house of Thurcaston the 22d of April 1687, and changed this life, in expectation of a better, the 18th day of August, 1768, in the 81st year of her age at the house of her nephew Mr Richard Hill, in the parish of St Martin, Leicester the son and heir at law of Richard Hill, gent deceased, by Mary his wife, the eldest daughter of the said Robert Alefounder and Mary his wife.
Just to the west of Mary Hill's stone is that for Richard Hill (7), grandson of Robert Alfounder by his daughter, Mary. The top of the stone is obscured by a choir stall.
The inscription is given by Nichols:
Here lies interred the body of Richard Hill, esq. of Leicester, and son of Mr. Richard Hill by Mary his wife (the eldest daughter of the Rev. Mr Robert Alfounder, B.D. formerly rector of Thurcaston, and lineally descended from Henry de Alfounder, servant king Henry the Seventh when he was Duke of Richmond, and, as a reward of his bravery in the battle of Bosworth Field had his arms given him). He died March the 11th, 1773 aged 52 years.
It was this Richard Hill who donated Mr Hill's Stoop to Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
One more memorial appears to have some connection to the family.
Here Rest ye Sacred Remains of that Admirable Wife, more Admirable Mother; And still more Admirable Christian, Mrs Helen Hill, Wife of Rich. Hill, Rector. She died July 7, 1713
Precious in the light of the Lord is the Death of his Saints.
Psa. 116 15.
According to Nichols there was also a coat of arms, of which there is now no trace:
Quarterly, 1 and 4, Azure, a chevron between three fleurs de lis and a Canton Or; Hill; 2 and 3, Argent, on a cross Azure, between four Cornish choughs Sable, five passion nails Or; Alefounder. Crest, a lion rampant Argent, pierced through the body with an arrow Gules.
This must have been a painted memorial, and its loss is indeed unfortunate. The relationship of Helen Hill to the Alefounder family has yet to be established.
Finally, two more pictures of the interior of the church:
Facing east, towards the altar
Last updated 6th January 2008 by Peter Alefounder