16 July 2012

Writers in Churches in Nottinghamshire #3: Thomas Parkyns at Bunny

Sir Thomas Parkyns (1664–1741) of Bunny, second baronet, designed and built his own monument for St Mary the Virgin Parish Church in Bunny, a village several miles to the south of Nottingham.

 In the left bay of the monument is a figure in wrestling stance.

In the right bay the same figure has been felled by Time.

Wrestling was Parkyns's passion, and he published The Inn-Play, or Cornish-Hugg Wrestler in 1713. He believed the old sports were needed to provide strength against the French, and an idiosyncracy of this publication is the mixture of practical advice and scientific expressions. In 1712 he introduced an annual wrestling competition that was held in Bunny Park and continued until 1810.

Parkyns's other publications include A Method proposed for the Hiring and Recording of Servants in husbandry, arts, misteries &c Also, a limitation and appointment of the several rates of wages of artificers, handicraftsmen, husbandmen, labourers, servants, and workmen, within the counties of Nottingham and Leicester, etc [1721], and A Clause propos'd to be added to the late Act concerning bastardy [c. 1724].

Parkyns built a number of places in Bunny, of which this 1700 school is a notable example. The plaque below is above the doorway.

(I visited this church because of the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham's Open Churches Weekends (Saturday and Sunday 14 and 15 July and 21 and 22 July 2012). Details of participating churches and opening times are listed here.)

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