A Jacobite Gazetteer - England

Great Mitton

The village of Great Mitton is located in Lancashire approximately ten kilometres north of Blackburn. Attached to the north side of the parish church of All Hallows is the Shireburn Chapel, a family mausoleum built in 1594 for the Shireburn family of Stonyhurst. Among the tombs are two whose inscriptions specifically mention the Jacobite connections of the family.

Tombs of the Shireburn Family
Tombs of the Shireburn Family

Along the north wall of the chapel are four tomb chests. The centre one of these bears the inscription, "Sacred to the memory of RICHARD SHIREBURN of Stanihurst, ... departing this life (in Prison for LOYALTY to his SOVERAIGN) at Manchester AUG. 16th Aº. Dom. 1689. in the 63d year of his Age." 2

Monument to Richard Shireburn
Monument to Richard Shireburn, died 1689

At the east end of the chapel are two monuments erected at the expense of Maria (née Shireburn), sometime wife of the 8th Duke of Norfolk, and after his death presumably wife of the the Honourable Peregrine Widdrington. This lady held strong Jacobite sympathies throughout her life. As a six year old child she had been sent to St.-Germains for seven months in 1698 in order to be touched for the King's Evil by King James II and VII. In 1725 she engaged as her personal chaplain Father Thomas Lawson, S.J. who had formerly served as almoner to Queen Mary Beatrice.

The first of these monuments is the monument to Maria's second husband, "the Honble. PEREGRIN WIDDRINGTON . . . who was with his Brother in the Preston affair 1715, whear he lost his Fortune with his health by a long confinement in Prison."

Monument to Peregrine Widdrington
Monument to Peregrine Widdrington, died 1749

The second monument erected at the expense of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk is to her younger brother, Richard Francis Shireburn. The inscription bears no specific references to his Jacobite loyalty. However, the carved putti at the sides of the monument and the glory of angels at the top bear a significant resemblance to those from the London Chapel Royal of King James II and III now at St. Andrew's Church, Burnham-on-Sea. The glory definitely looks like it comes from another monument. Is it possible that these pieces were originally intended for the London Chapel Royal?

Monument to Richard Francis Shireburn
Monument to Richard Francis Widdrington, died 1709



Image 1 (Tombs of the Shireburn Family) © Noel S. McFerran 2011.

Image 2 (Monument to Richard Shireburn, died 1689): © Noel S. McFerran 2011..

Image 3 (Monument to Peregrine Widdrington, died 1749): © Noel S. McFerran 2011.

Image 4 (Monument to Richard Francis Widdrington, died 1709): © Noel S. McFerran 2011.

This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran (noel.mcferran@rogers.com) and was last updated June 22, 2017.
© Noel S. McFerran 2011-2017.