At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries in 1542 under Henry VIII, George Nodes was apparently the tenant farmer for Shephall. He had led a very interesting life as his brass in Shephall Church reveals. He was Master of Buckhounds to Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. When he died in 1564 a brass plaque was erected in Shephall church with a space available for details of his wife, she outlived him by 18 years but these details were never inscribed on the brass.
His will in 1564 starts with the evocative words:-
In the name of God, Amen The last day of March in the year of Our Lord God a thousand five hundred threescore and four, I, George Nodes of Shephall in the county of Hertford, gentleman, being of good and perfect mind, thanks be unto God, make this my last will and testament in manner and form following:
First I bequeath my soul to the living God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and by the merits of Christís passion I hope to be partaker of eternal life; Item, I will that my body be buried in the church of Shephall if it shall fortune me to die within the same parish or within three miles thereof, and if it shall fortune me to depart this transitory life in any other place, then I will my body to be buried where it shall please God so to call me to his mercy, and the charges of my burial to be at the discretion of my executors in this my present last will and testament;
Item, I will and bequeath to the parish church of Shephall ten shillings, to Aston church 6s 8d, to Benington church 6s 8d, to Thetcheworthe church 6s 8d; to Knebworth church 6s 8d, to Codicote church 6s 8d;
More of an excellent translation from the National Archives
138 years after the death of of his great great grandfather's brother, yet another George Nodes signs a lease for the Swan Inn in Stevenage in 1706.
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Monuments in the church
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