Sir Thomas de Cheddre

I mentioned a couple of days ago that we visited Cheddar, not the famous gorge, but the actual town. We wandered about and went into the church of St Andrew which has many interesting features.

In the chancel is a tomb with a rather magnificent stone canopy. It’s the tomb of Sir Thomas de Cheddre, and Cheddre was the way Cheddar village was spelt for centuries, right up until the 1700’s. Robert was born in 1398, in East Harptree which isn’t far from the town; he was the son of Johanna Brooke and Robert Cheddre, born in 1380, whose father was also Robert, born in 1355.

Thomas was a wealthy Bristol merchant and he was married to Lady Isabel; I’m sure they had many children, but the only one I know of is another Thomas. Sir Thomas, who is buried in the church, died in 1443. Surely, this Lady Isabel de Chedder can’t be the same one whose ghost haunts St Mary’s churchyard in another Somerset village, Yatton; she is known as the grey lady, but is a benevolent spirit.

This Lady Isabel, apparently, commissioned  the south porch, built in 1490… I’m not sure, but I think that this Lady Isabel, might have been Thomas and Isabel’s wealthy daughter, who married John Newton, son of Sir Richard Newton of Yatton. If you know differently, please correct me!!

CHEDDAR TOWN 29.02 (25)Here is their tomb; Thomas has the brass of a knight, and adjacent to the tomb, hidden beneath a carpet so I couldn’t see, is Isabel’s brass; she died in 1476, and is wearing a fashionable wimple but sadly a widow’s ‘weeds’.


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