Thomas Maynard (1686-1742) of Hoxne Hall

Maynard Memorial

Maynard Memorial

If you visit Hoxne Church and look at the chapel in the north aisle, you will see a larger than life statue of Thomas Maynard clad in classical Roman dress. Above his head is the family shield, he wrests his left elbow on a large urn and in his right arm he holds a book. Beneath the urn on a plinth are carvings of mothers and their children. The elaborate and lengthy Latin text below extols his virtues and life.

We have to thank Charles Stanley [1703-1761] the Danish Court sculptor and stuccoist who was commissioned by the Maynard family to produce this elaborate memorial. Charles Stanley had an English father and Danish mother and was born in Copenhagen. Further examples of his work can be found at Little Easton Church in the Maynard Chapel. The main branch of the family resided at Easton Lodge near to Dunmow, Essex.

Thomas Maynard was the eldest son of William Maynard [the 2nd son of the 2nd Baron Maynard] of Bury St Edmund’s and his second wife Susan Evans the daughter of Thomas Evan a merchant from Bow, Middlesex. The Hoxne Hall Estate had been owned by the Prescott family and passed from Sir John Prescott to his son William who died without issue in 1642 and passed to his sister Jane who was firstly married to Sir Thomas Fisher of Islington and secondly to William Maynard of Bury St Edmund’s.

Thomas appears to have been privately tutored until he attended Christ’s College, Cambridge [1702-1704] and was afterwards looked after his estate in Hoxne and at Passenham in Northamptonshire. He became the MP for Eye [1710-1715] and was later employed as the Commissary-general of Stores in Minorca [1717-1723]. From 1723 Thomas gained the position of Commissioner of Customs a post he retained until 1730. Charles was involved in running his estates and did not get married. He died on the 6th September 1742 aged 56 and left his estates to his cousin Charles Maynard who later became the 6th Lord Maynard.

In his will he left monies to be used for educational purposes in Hoxne providing a property for a schoolmaster and mistress along with a schoolroom which was built using monies from the endowment. The present educational charity is known as the Maynard Educational Trust, which has benefitted many pupils in the village over the years with equipment, grants and for educational trips.

The elaborate memorial most probably covers a blocked up window to the former Lady Chapel which was endowed by the Barker family of Chickering for their use. An altar would have been positioned in front of the former window and tapers and candles would be lit to remember the souls of departed members of the Barker family. Robert Barker the priest was buried in the chapel here in 1475.

For many years the memorial had been obscured by the church organ which had been rebuilt from a Walker barrel organ purchased by the Kerrison family. The barrel organ was converted in 1876 and rebuilt in 1906 with a dedication to the Bateman-Hanbury family. The organ was moved to the tower chamber and the screen dedicated to St Edmund was taken down, this has recently been erected to form a new chapel in the north aisle. The raised benches in the chapel were formerly used by the Sunday School and the old poppy head benches have been restored and are used for seating.

Article provided by Stephen Govier