St. John's Church, Burford
formerly the Holy Trinity Church
Written and researched by Margaret [nee Knight] Sypniewski, B.F.A.


Oxfordshire derives its name from the city of Oxford [a spot so illustrious in the annals of learning, so venerated in those or religion,] it is bounded on the east by Buckinghamshire; and on the west by the county of Gloucester; on the south, south-west, and south-east, its limits unit',with those of Berkshire; the river Cliarwell separates Oxford from Northamptonshire on the north-east; while the county of Warwick lies contiguous on the North-west. The city of Oxford is not more than seven miles across, while in the more northern prt, at no great distance, its diameter is thirty-eight miles.

A special thanks to George Bartholomew of Levittsburgh, Ohio, for sharing his photographs and information from his travels back to England:

Exterior view of
St. John's Church, Burford,
Oxfordshire, England

Although there are no records, it seems likely that an earlier church sat in this location in Saxon times.


1012 - The Danes raid Kent, burning Canterbury Cathedral and murdering Archbishop Alphege

1013 - King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark lands in England and is proclaimed king; Aethelred II the Unready flees to Normandy

1014 - The English recall Aethelred II, the Unready, as King on the death of Sweyn at Gainsborough

1015 - King Canute II of Denmark & Norway again invades England.

The building of St. John's began in the late 1100's, and it was dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

By 1250, the church was built in a cuniform (cross) shape.

For the last 200 years, St. John's has been extended and remodelled, until it now is one of the largest churches in all of Oxfordshire, England.

The Bartholomew Crest used by William Bartholomew
of New England and many other members of the family.
See the image of the drawing of the stone memorial below.

Drawing of one of the stone carvings dedicated to the Bartholomew family

The drawing above depicts one of the stone plaques dedicated to various members of the Bartholomew family. It is written in Latin. The translation is:

Behold Beneath Ye Traveler!!!

The Mortal Remains of:

William Bartholomew - June 6, 1662
Edith (nee Mart/Martin) - March 22, 1657

By the Grace of Richard Bartholomew - July 1657
William, son of (Richard) - August 5, 1644
Rebecca, daughter of (Richard) - August 16, 1640
William, grandson of Richard - July 15, 1667

In This Sepulchre

We are Sown into Immortality
As a Tranquil Death Springs Forth

Loe, huddled up together lie.
Grey age, green youth, white infancy
In death does nature's loue(love) dispence
And reconciles all difference
This fit one flesh, one House should have
One Tomb, one Epitaph, one Grave,
And they that lived and loved either
Should dye (die) and lye(lie) and sleep together.

Because I Live, Ye shall Live Also - John: 14:19

Erected June 2, 1668 by Richard Bartholomew.

Richard Barth Plaque

This floor tile shows the place where
Richard Bartholomew was buried in 1706.
Many families in this church are buried
beneath the floor.

Many wealthy people donated money to fund these improvements, including the Bartholomew family.

This is a photograph of the three Bartholomew Brother's Crypts:

John who died in 1643
Richard who died in 1632
William who died in 1634

These three crypts were placed here before Cromwell's (1645) war against the nobility and the Catholic Church. His soldiers tore all inscription brass plaques off the tombs. They were restored after Cromwell fell out of favor by the surviving members of the Bartholomew family. John Bartholomew was said to be the most prominent Bartholomew in Burford. His name is on the portal stone in St. John's Church. It is thought that he provided much of the money donated to the church. All Bartholomews seemed to have donated money and there are monuments for all the heads of the family.

Richard Bartholomew inherited from his uncle William. He was baptized May 17, 1642 and married Francis? Richard Bartholomew is buried in this church. Richard was the son of Richard Bartholomew, who was a member of the gentry. Richard Sr. married Mary Jordon of Burford. He held the Manor House called Westfall Hill. And was buried October 19, 1713.

A Sarah and Moses Bartholomew have a monument in Bartholomew Chapel. The South Chancel Chapel contains the exclusive memorials and crypts of the Bartholomew family. This location is also known as "Bartholomew Aisle." Many inscriptions here, in this section are from Roman's Chapter 13.

The parish records go back to 1612 and have been indexed since 1954.

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This page was last updated on August 23, 2015