William Barton
Brass memorial to John Bartonxs father, William Barton, in Thornborough church
Brass memorial to John Barton’s father, William Barton, in Thornborough church

William Barton was Coroner of the northern Hundreds of Buckingham from ci 372 (Jenkins, 1934, p 163) and Justice of the Peace. William had two sons, both of whom were called John Barton and both of whom became lawyers and members of Lincoln’s Inn (Roskell, 1992, p138-143). He lived in Castle House in Buckingham. William died on Sunday July 11th 1389 and was buried in Thornborough church where there is a memorial to him and his wife. A flagstone in the nave is inlaid with brass and depicts two figures dressed in long cloaks; he wears a hood, and his wife a veiled head-dress; beneath which is the inscription:

‘Hic jacet WiII[ieUmus Barton qui obiit festo Translat[io]nis S[an]c[t]i Benedicti Abb[a]tis anno d[olm[inU MiII[esim]o CCCLXXXIX et Regni Regis Ric[ard]i Sec[und]i xiii incipiente quando dies d[om]in[i]calis accidit sup[er] I[ite]ram C hora vesp[er]arum cuius a[n]i[m]e p[ro]picietur d[eu]s Amen’.

(‘Here lies William Barton who died on the feast of the translation of St Benedict, Abbot, in the year of our Lord 1389, at the beginning of the thirteenth year of King Richard II, and on whose soul God will have mercy by one hundred masses at the hour of Vespers every Sunday. Amen’).

His son, John Barton (junior), erected a memorial to his father, mother and elder brother in Thornton church, but this has long since disappeared. Willis (1755, p301) recorded it as:

‘At the bottom of North window of Thornton church was this legend: Orate pro bono Statu Wilhelmi Barton et Emmote, Uroris eius, necnon, Johannis Barton, senioris, quondam Recordatoris London. Quorum Animabus propicietur Deus’.