The Clopton Family
and Holy Trinity Church

At the eastern end of the north aisle, from before 1300 until the Reformation, was the Lady Chapel, with separate altars to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St John the Baptist. The vestments for the priests and wax for the candles and torches were provided by the Guild of the Holy Cross. After the destruction of the 1550s, however, the space was steadily transformed into the Clopton Chapel, a kind of family mausoleum, dominated by three great tombs.

The Clopton Chapel

In the 1490s the layout of the chapel was altered by installation of a tomb chest with an elaborately decorated canopy under the last arch separating the chapel from the nave. This was in readiness for the burial of Hugh Clopton, who had already paid for the building of the north porch in 1485 and the stained glass windows in the new chancel (1490) and whose bequest would pay for the new clerestory above the nave (1505-10). Hugh was a wealthy mercer, who had risen to become Master of the Company of Mercers and Lord Mayor of London, but it happened that he died in London, so his tomb remains empty.

Below the window is the tomb chest of William and Anne Clopton, who died in the 1590s. They remained devoutly Catholic throughout their lives and were recusants during the punitive reign of Elizabeth. On the wall above are two panels showing the family arms and effigies of their six children.

Against the eastern wall, where the altar to Mary once stood, is the grand monument to George and Joyce Carew, installed in the 1630s. He enjoyed a spectacular career, in military service for three monarchs (Elizabeth, James and Charles). She was the daughter of William and Anne, and became a Lady in Waiting to both Elizabeth and Anne, wife of James I.