Memorial: M2012

Memorial in St Nicholas’s Church, Deptford  to Edward Fenton d. 1603


St Nicholas's Church, Deptford, London, England


[Upper] ‘M.S / H . S . E . ROGERVS BOYLE . RICHARDI COMITIS CORCAGIENSIS FILIVS PRIMO, / GENITVS, QVI IN HIBERNIA NATVS IN CANTIO, SOLO PATRIS NATALI DE / NATVS, DVM HIC INGENII CVLTVM CAPESSIT PVER EXIMIAE INDOLIS / PRAECOCITATEM INGENII FVNERE LVIT IMMATVRO SIC LVCIENTI SED / TERRENI, PATRIMONIO FACTVS EXHAERES CAELESTVM CREVIT HAEREDITA / TEM. DECESSIT AD. M. DC. XV. EID VIII BRIS’ [Lower] ‘RICHARDVS PRAENOBILIS COMES CORCAGIENSIS / VXORIS SVAE PATRVO B.M.P. / MEMORIAE PERENNI EDWARDI FENTON, REGINAE ELIZABETHAE OLIM PRO COR / PORE ARMIGERI IANO O-NEAL, AC POST EVM COMITE DESMONIAE IN HIBER / NIA TVRBANTIBVS FORTISSIMI TAXIARCHI; QVI POST LVSTRATVM IMPRO / BO AVSV SEPTENTIONALIS PLAGAE APOCHRYPHVM MARE ET EXCVSSAS / VARIIS PERIGRATIONIBVS INERTIS NATVRAE LATIBRAS. Ao. M. DCIII. / LXXXVIII. IN CELEBRI CONTRA HISPANOS NAUMACHIA, MERUIT NAVIS / PRAETORIAE NAVARCHVS, OBIIT ANNO DNI M. DC III / COGNATOS, CINERES, ET AMICAM MANIBVS VMBRAM / O FENTONE, TVIS, EXCIPIAS TVMVLO / VSVRAM TVMVLI VICTVRO MARMORE PENSAT / ET REDDIT GRATVS, PRO TVMVLO TITVLVM.’ [Translation of lower inscription] 'Richard Earl of Cork erected this well deserved monument to his wife's paternal uncle. To the perpetual memory of Edward Fenton, formerly Esquire of the Body to Queen Elizabeth, and who afterwards served with great distinction as Brigadier in the civil commotions occasioned by Shane O' Neil and afterwards by the Earl of Desmond, in Ireland. He subsequently undertook many bold and adventurous voyages in the unknown seas of the Far North exploring previously uninhabited regions. Finally he commanded the Admiral's flagship in the famous naval engagement against the Spanish Armada. He died in 1603.' 'Mid kindred dust Fenton, we lay thee down, Where kindred shade shall greet thy high renown. Not that the living marble shall set forth To future times a sailor's, soldier's worth; Recorded but the line 'Here Fenton lies' Shall living marble's self immortalize'


Description: Two Ionic pilasters support an entablature and broken pediment within which is the arms of Boyle above which is a helm and crest. Within the pilasters, a relief depicting a youth kneeling with his left hand placed on a bible open upon a draped priedieu. To the left, a small lion and a cherub drawing back the sides of a tent to reveal a skull within on a table. To the right, above the altar, a scene of shipping on a river. Two inscription tablets below, on either side is scroll work and a shield suspended by a ribbon in looped bows. The shield to the left bears the arms of Boyle with a crescent for difference and on the right Boyle impaling Fenton.
Type: Wall monument
Position: East wall north side
Materials: Alabaster, marble
Artists: Epiphanius Evesham


Spanish Armada

Event Date



Fenton, Edward
Date of Death: 1603
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: naval commender


Notes: The monument was erected by Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork to his eldest son Roger Boyle d. 12/10/1615 aged 9 while at school in Deptford and to his wife's uncle, Edward Fenton. The latter was was an Elizabethan naval commander and was involved in a attempt to find a North West Passage. Roger Boyle is the figure depicted in the relief.
Bibliography: J. Summerson 'Monuments in St Nicholas Deptford', 'Mariners Mirror' vol. 27 p. 280 (Cambridge, 1941). Amy Louise Harris 'The Funerary Monuments of Richard Boyle Earl of Cork', 'Church Monuments' vol. xiii, pp. 70-86 (1998)
Recorder: The Arts Society (NADFAS)