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The New Lead-Free Cathedral Font Christened

1660

Information

According to the Cathedral registers, the font in the church was pulled down by Cromwellian troops. The registers state that it was 'puld downe, and the lead taken out of it by Cromwell's Souldyers.' A new font was ready for its first christening by November 1660. The first child to use the font was a girl named Hellen Austin on 7th November 1660. An elaborately carved font dating from the 13th century was rediscovered in 1820 in a canon's garden. It was unclear how long it had been in the garden and could possibly have been the one pulled down by Cromwell's soldiers. The lead in reference might have been an inner lining to the font. Knowing what we now do about lead, Hellen was lucky to to be the first child not to have a lead-lined christening.
Reference:
W.D. Sweeting, Historical and Architectural Notes on the Parish Churches in and around Peterborough, (Whittaker and Co, 1868) https://archive.org/stream/historicalarchit00swee/historicalarchit00swee_djvu.txt
Photo credit:
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © J.Hannan-Briggs - geograph.org.uk/p/3661559