Gloucestershire Archives holds a volume of Campden Grammar School’s early Accounts from 1629 to the end of the nineteenth century, which reveals a fascinating history of building practices, school administration and the help available to the poor and sick of the town.
As the Accounts are transcribed we will add more information. Scroll down the page to view the Accounts from 1629-1659.
Paid Nathaniel Evans for the moniment in the schoole
£03 2s 6d
To start with, one discovery concerns the elaborate carved fireplace and overmantel in the old Schoolroom on the High Street. In the accounts for 1636 there is an item:
Paid John Page the Mason for building two chimmies in the schoole £04 02s 0d
Further down the page for the same year:
Paid Nathaniel Evans for the moniment in the schoole £03 2s 6d
This must surely be the mantelpiece with the bust of a gentleman in ruff and robe, with his hand on a skull. A few years later, in 1639, there are two more entries:
Paid Nathaniel Evans for amending the moniment and makeing it sutable for the verses Mr Edwards hath made £00 01s 4d
Paid Nathaniel Evans for engraving the Epitaph on the schoole moniment
£00 02s 0d
Mr Edwards was the schoolmaster, and the verse he wrote, apparently about the school’s Founder, John Fereby (or Varby), was:
DIGNA TUIS MERITIS NON HAEC MONIMENTA PUTAMUS
EBUR NEC INDICUM PARIVE MARMORA
AUREUS HIC ESSES IN FRAUS TUA MUNERA NOBIS
RAPINA TORSERAT DOLUSQUE PERFIDUS
AT TUA FAMA VIGENS ET LAUS PIA FACTA LOQUENTUR
MALUM IMPROBI BREVIQUE NOMEN INTERIT
If your Latin is a little rusty, Percy Rushen gives us a translation:
“We do not deem this marble worthy thee,
Though Parian ’twere or Indian ivory;
A golden figure should this niche have graced
Had craft and rapine spared their cruel waste.
The foul slanders made will shortly leave your name,
And flourishing praise declare expiation of your fame.”
A somewhat strange epitaph, it seems to me!