On a reasonably sunny day in June, my fiancee surprised me with a trip to Robertsbridge, in Sussex, to find the grave of Sir Edward Dallingridge. Those of you who have read The Scourge and are reading Nostrum will understand my affinity with Sir Edward. He’s my man crush, so I have wanted to visit the Church of St. Mary in Salehurst (next to Robertsbridge) for a long time but I could never seem to get there. I had read that Edward was buried there. Needless to say, I was ecstatic at the surprise trip.
The church was beautiful. Attractive on the outside, but absolutely gorgeous on the inside. What architecture professors like to call ‘really cool shit.’ I strolled through the nave, along the aisles, through the transepts, around the altar. I was like a kid looking for that one really cool Easter egg. But I couldn’t find it. There was no sign of Edward’s tomb. Could he be buried outside? Would they have buried a former marshal of London and builder of Bodiam Castle out in the elements? The shame!
So we wandered the churchyard, but there were so many gravestones, and so many worn away epitaphs, that we had no way of finding the grave. Worse, Annabelle had paid for a guide book about the church and told me there was no mention of Sir Edward in the book. So we decided to go to the source. Bodiam. The place where Sir Edward and Lady Elizabeth spent their days. Someone in Bodiam would know where they were buried, no?
We spoke to a few people from the National Trust at Bodiam Castle and there was no consensus about where he was buried. The general impression was that he had been entombed at an abbey in Robertsbridge. Mike Williams of the National Trust was particularly helpful. He said that he was almost certain that the final resting place of Edward Dallingridge was at the Robertsbridge Abbey, although the entire place had long since fallen into ruin.
Edward’s son, Sir John Dallingridge, definitely had a tomb at the Robertsbridge Abbey. We know this because a section of Sir John’s effigy was found on the site (and is now on display at Bodiam Castle). So were Sir Edward and Lady Elizabeth also buried there? Probably. But one of the National Trust guides at the castle said she thought that one or both of them might have been buried at St. Giles Church, not far from the Castle in Bodiam. And yes, it’s the same St. Giles that Edward talks about in The Scourge and Nostrum.
Seeing as how we were in Bodiam, we thought it was worth a look. What did we find there? I’ll let you know in the next Finding Edward post.
Thanks for reading!