A case study of how important this survey is:

The Master of the Unusual W (c.1670-c.1745)

Looking at the ledgerstones in Churches Conservation Trust churches in the King’s Lynn area has produced a number of stones from a King’s Lynn mason’s yard dubbed the Master of the Unusual W. He has gained this soubriquet from an idiosyncratic cutting of the lower case “w” which appears as an “I” and a “u”, thus “who died” appears as “iuho died”. This oddity was first noticed when NADFAS Church Recorders were working at All Saints, South Lynn and again at St Mary the Virgin, Wiggenhall. This led me to look at the ledgerstones in St Nicholas’ Chapel, King’s Lynn and at St Margaret’s church, King’s Lynn, both of which have examples off this unusual chisel. Further examples have been found in Norfolk at Great Massingham and Mileham and at Ely Cathedral. They all cover the period 1670-1745, though the post-1720 ledgers show a more confident chisel. Could it be that we have a father and son at work here?

Ely Cathedral John Mingay, d.1676.

King’s Lynn, All Saints Thomas (d.1673) and Francis (d.1709) Spensly

William (d.1715) and Hannah (d.1716) Stringer

John (d.1727) and Alice (d.1703) Barsham

King’s Lynn, St Margaret Thomas Hobson (d.1673)

King’s Lynn, St Nicholas Robert Price (d.1683)

Alice Tussett (d.1696)

John Karey Jnr (d.1702)

Nathaniel Revett (d.1703)

Susanna Cropley (d.1706/7)

Mary Turner (d.1708)

Hawsley ledger, with inscriptions of 1727, 1745

and 1746

Mileham, St John the Baptist Edward (d.1666) and Charles (d.1702) Barnwell

Elizabeth Barnwell (d.1705)

Mary (d.17110, Ann (d.1723) and Philip

(d.1715) Barnwell.

Julian Litten

June 2010