Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A DRAGON IN SALCOMBE REGIS CHURCH

I have discovered a dragon in Salcombe Regis Church which I want to record for posterity.  No doubt she, dragons are mostly female, has been recorded by others but I don't want to take any chances.  She has almost disappeared beneath the feet of worshippers.   Sometimes I think worshippers should , like the early Nonconformists, be encouraged to take to the fields. In a decade or so this dragon will have completely disappeared.  Right now one can just about trace her wonderful tail and her dragon legs.  She is on the floor just West of the font. What I can read of the inscription is as follows:

HERE LYETH Ye BODY OF
GEORGE DRAKE WHO DEP
ARTED THIS LIFE Ye
2nd (?) of AUGUST 164?.

The dragon or wyvern or wyver-dragon is that of Drake of Ashe, an ancient family with which Sir Francis Drake tried, and initially failed, to share the fiery beast.  This is canting heraldry of course,  Drake being, or considered to be, derived from  draco &c and nothing to do with ducks. She is a red dragon. Who this George Drake was I do not know.  I wish the indefatigable Ray Girvan was still here to find out.  The great slab beneath which George was buried signifies he was a man of substance.

This Wayland Wordsmith blog has now registered more than half a million page-views but for a long while has been much neglected by me.  Today's post constitutes a significant change of direction and, for me, a liberation.  There are personal reasons why I can no longer limit myself to blogs of a salty, estuarial or coastal nature and I hope readers will follow me elsewhere, who knows where?   Perhaps to the stars!

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