Monument to Sir John Jefferay (d.1578) Chief Baron of the Exchequer under Elizabeth I and MP for Arundel and East Grinstead. He lies in legal robes above his wife Alice Apsley.
The standing female is their daughter Elizabeth (d. 1611) opposite her husband Sir Edward Montague. Their daughter Elizabeth Montague kneels before them. She was later to marry Sir Robert Bertie, son of Peregrine Bertie, whose memorial is at Spilsby, Lincolnshire.(The only examples of standing figures in England are here and Spilsby).
The monument is in alabaster, possibly mined at Mountfield near Battle, and dates from 1612. The erect figures are standing on stone "drums", possibly representing cheeses placed before them as stepping stones along the muddy path from Chiddingly place to the church!
A heraldic top was dismantled after being shaken by a bomb in World War II, but was reinstated in 1996. The iron railing is original.
Tradition attributed the damage suffered to the monument as stemming from the Puritans of the 17th century, or that this Sir John was confused with the inhuman judge Sir George Jeffery of the Bloody Assizes and it was an act of revenge. From what we gather of his private and public life, Sir John Jefferay was a most just and estimable man.
The other members of the family whose monuments are still in the church are descended from the Pekes branch. William II and Awdray Harvey his wife with their two sons and seven daughters kneel in the charming monument, restored by the south door. This monument was originally behind the pulpit.
The inscription records that all the children survived their parents, a rare occurrence in the 17th century.
The remaining Jefferay memorial which is on the north wall of the chancel is that of Margerie, wife of Thomas II, who died in her early twenties. There are two allegorical figures either side of an urn, it bore the macabre device of a skull in it, with the stark words ‘Margarita fui’- I was Margerie. This skull was stolen in 1993.
See other images of Jefferay Memorials, Chiddingly church