James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

November 11

St. Martin’s Day

By Browne Willis (1682–1760)

  • An antiquary, known as Browne Willis—a sort of Old Mortality, who in the early part of the eighteenth century, devoted himself to the study and care-taking of old churches—having inherited a fortune from his grandfather, Dr. Thomas Willis, the celebrated physician, placed this inscription on a conspicuous part of a chapel at Fenny Stratford, dedicated to St. Martin, his grandfather having been born in St. Martin’s Lane, and on St. Martin’s Day.

  • IN honour to thy memory, blessed shade!

    Were the foundations of this chapel laid.

    Purchased by thee, thy son and present heir

    Owes these three manors to thy sacred care.

    For this may all thy race thanks ever pay,

    And yearly celebrate St. Martin’s Day.