Sussex Churches: All Saints, Laughton, East Sussex

The sturdy church at Laughton in East Sussex isn’t particularly ancient, but it enjoys a peaceful setting and 13th century architectural origins. Of particular interest are the many memorials to the Pelham family.

And that connection is why it has the surprising distinction of being the burial site of two British Prime Ministers: two Pelhams who served in office in the middle of the 18th century. Although, neither could be considered particularly ‘memorable’ First Lords of the Treasury.

The first was Henry Pelham, MP for Sussex, PM from 1743 to 1754. He was succeeded by his brother Thomas Pelham-Holles, the 1st Duke of Newcastle who served a total of six years in two separate terms. Both were Whigs.

3 thoughts on “Sussex Churches: All Saints, Laughton, East Sussex”

  1. It’s a shame that you didn’t get any photos of the Pelham tomb, luckily for two people (included oneself) have been in the chamber and seen the medieval coffin lift to which the coffins could be lowered into the tomb, for which there are many coffins are sited including solid gold plagues..

  2. There are two slabs in the floor at the tower (west) end that commemorate my seven greats grandmother and her son, my six greats grandfather. There are also two iron slabs pinned to the tower wall that remember my six greats grandfather’s sisters who died in childhood (Lucy and Dinah).

    My seven greats grandmother Dinah, was the daughter of John Chauntler of Laughton, who had either a forge or furnace in that parish. She married William Benge who was the son of William Benge, cartographer and Ann Saunders, daughter of Nicholas Saunders of Pell….both resident in Wadhurst. William Benge jnr was a resident of Faircrouch, Wadhurst and was the proprietor of the Gloucester furnace in what is now Lamberhurst, which he named in honour of Queen Anne’s eldest son….the Queen and he being on a royal progress at that time (c1695). Dinah’s father subsequently remarried the widow of Egles of Uckfield (another iron making family) and had another daughter, Lucy. She went on to marry John Barham, also of Wadhurst. William Benge’s furnace subsequently went bankrupt and I know no more of him.

    William Henry Benge (my six greats grandfather), son of Dinah Chauntler and William Benge of Faircrouch, was a Lewes lawyer and died in his early to mid forties. His wife is interred in the churchyard of St Michael’s in Lewes, along with several of their children.

    I am writing this without recourse to my notes, so I’m reliant on my memory. My mother was born a Benge, daughter of Edward Norton Benge of Wadhurst. His father was Edward Benge, also of Wadhurst. His father was William Henry Benge of Wadhurst, and onetime of Ewhurst. His father was James Benge of Wadhurst. His father was William Norton Benge apothecary, of Wadhurst. And his father was Edward Benge, surgeon of Mayfield, he being the son of William Henry Benge of Lewes, lawyer and my six times great grandfather.

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