The Pye family were once based in Much Dewchurch, where several are buried in the church. They were a large family of great renown, both in UK, Canada and USA, and many were MPs. They were extensive landowners.
I am much appreciative of help given by Betty Wing whose family has extensively researched the history of the whole Pye family from their origins in Finland and Norway. Research shows that most Pyes are descended from, or named from, the family started by Hugh fitz William, Fitz Norman de LaMare, who is mentioned in the Breton Charter dated 1030. The genealogy of Hugh is somewhat of a puzzle. It was after their Kilpeck days that the name Pye came about. Continue reading A history of the Pye family→
A study of the epitaphs on the gravestones in the church can reveal a good deal about the thoughts and life-styles of some ancestors.
There are some splendid stones here, the earliest dated 1696. Many of them are the work of son and father Parry who lived here in the early part of the nineteenth century. Joseph Parry, who died in 1846, lived at Marlas and Richard Parry, who died in 1876, lived at Grafton Oak; both are buried here.
Some extracts from the book entitled Lewis’s Kilpeck Church published in 1842 by George Robert Lewis. He was an artist living in Herefordshire with, amongst others, a painting of ‘Harvesting in Dinedor’ which is part of the Tate Collection. He was a relative of the better known John Frederick Lewis, the orientialist painter and in late 1850s President of the Royal Academy.
This extraordinary book, published in 1842 by Lewis who had first visited the church in 1818, was paid for by public subscription by some 261 subscribers, many of them bishops. It was dedicated to Thomas Lord Bishop of Hereford. The first 18 pages of some 9000 words is entitled On Ecclesiastical Design and is very outspoken, with criticism, amongst other places of St Paul’s Cathedral. That is followed by another 38 pages of Explanation of the plates, (of which there are 28) which were drawn, probably on site, by Lewis. Many of them are faithfully drawn, but also reflect what clearly he thought ought to have been there. In particular views of the church from various angles are not true to life. A comparison with Lewis’ other images of the church is entertaining! Note ‘his’ cross at the west end where there actually was a belfry. The chancel appears to have neither door nor window!They are reproduced here.