The oldest monument in the cemetery

To the east, and in the position of the former chancel of the Holy Ghost, is a tomb slab with the weathered stone figure of a cross-legged knight.

This is the tomb of William de Brayboeuf, Lord of the manor of Eastrop who died in 1284. William was a descendent of Geoffrey de Brayboeuf who had arrived with William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest.

In 1272 William de Brayboeuf had the custody of Porchester Castle, and was Sheriff of Hampshire in 1279 and 1280. Hackwood Park owes its origin to him; for in the first year of his office as Sheriff he obtained the King’s license to impark “his wood of Hagwood with its timber,” which at that time formed part of the forest of Eversley. In the following year he was summoned, with some others, to “show his title to free chase of the cat, the hare, and the fox, within the hundred of Basingstoke, and showed to the satisfaction of the jury that his ancestors had enjoyed the right from time immemorial, that is to say, from the time of Richard I.” William de Brayboeuf was also one of the circuit judges for the South of England.

This tomb would have been in a canopied niche against the wall of the Holy Ghost Chapel. The figure apparently wears a long surcoat over chain mail on the left side is a shield which now defaced, and the left hand appears to be grasping the hilt of a sword; what remains of the legs were crossed, and an angel or falcon supported the head.

Sir William de Brayboeuf

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