Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/427

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

more interesting than this, although for charm it is not to be compared with, say, the Shurley monument at Isfield. The young man reclines on the tomb; at one side of him is the figure of his father, and at the other, of his mother, both life-like and life-size, dressed in their ordinary style. The attitudes being extremely natural the total effect is curiously realistic. On the sides of the tomb, in bas-relief, are the figures of the six brothers and six sisters of the youth, some quite babies. The sculptor was Caius Cibber, Colley Cibber's father. Other monuments are also to be seen in the Sackville Chapel, but that which I have described is the finest.

Had Withyham church not been destroyed by fire, in 1663, in a "tempest of thunder and lightning," it would now be second to none in Sussex in interest and the richness of its tombs; for in that fire perished in the Sackville aisle, now no more, on the northern side, other and perhaps nobler Sackville monuments. The vaults, where many Sackvilles lie, were not however injured. In the Sackville Chapel is a large window recording the genealogy of the family, which is now represented by Earl De la Warr, at the foot of which are the words in Latin, "The noble family of Sackville here awaits the Resurrection."

Withyham has three of the bells of John Waylett, an itinerant bell-founder at the beginning of the eighteenth century. His method was to call on the vicar and ask if anything were wanted; and if a bell was cracked, or if a new one was desired, he would dig a mould in a neighbouring field, build a fire, collect his metal and perform the task on the spot. Waylett's business might be called the higher tinkering. Sussex has some forty of his bells. He cast the Steyning peal in 1724, and earlier in the same year he had made a stay at Lewes, erecting a furnace there, as Benvenuto Cellini tells us he used to do, and remedying defective peals all around. Among others he recast the old treble and made a new treble for Mayfield. It seems to have been universally thirsty work: