Following the recent flooding in church, it was necessary to lift the carpets in the N and S aisles in order to dry them out. This revealed seven grave stones laid in the N aisle, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The most legible of these was that of Henry Shapcott:
“Here lyeth interred Hennery Shapcott of this parish gent. and also Margaret his daughter y wife of M Christopher Samford of y city of Exon merchant who died the 13th day of January 1689.”
Further research found that Henry was a rich man, owning a great deal of property in the area. He was born in Knowstone but lived in Bradninch, where he requested to be buried. Henry’s first wife was Wilmott Hill, by whom he had five children–Winifred, Elizabeth, Margaret, Robert and Francis. Wilmott died in 1627 and Henry subsequently married Mary Codner who survived him. Henry died in 1632, when all his children were still under 21 years old. He had been a churchwarden of St. Disen’s from 1621 to 1625 and Mayor of Bradninch in 1625 and 1630.
Henry’s son, Robert, was a colonel in Cromwell’s army. He was also Recorder for Bradninch and Tiverton before 1647. He is commemorated in a window, above the stage, in St Disen’s Hall.
Further names to be researched are three more Shapcotts, Humphrey Marshall, Anne Martyn, Samuel Lymmington and Catherine?, the wife of Thomas?.