4 months ago
There are two shields pendent from the gold surround of the plaque on the face of the monument:
Come to find out, the definition of "prebend" is "a stipend allotted from the revenues of a cathedral or a collegiate church to a canon or member of the chapter."
Or maybe not so much; in the Church of England, at least these days, a "prebendary" is "an honorary canon having the title of a prebend but not receiving a stipend."
WILLIAM AYERST was installed in the third prebend of Canterbury Cathedral on Nov. 5, 1724. He was educated at Maidstone school, and then at University college, Oxford, and afterwards was fellow of Queen's college, in Cambridge; in 1703 he attended lord Raby, afterwards earl of Stafford, to the court of Berlin, as chaplain and secretary to the embassy; and again to the Hague in 1711, and to the congress of Utrecht in 1712; in the succeeding reign he attended Sir Robert Cotton, as chaplain of the embassy to France. He had been, at times, rector of Gravesend and Sturmouth, and vicar of Northfleet, and was afterwards rector of St. George and St. Mary Magdalen, Canterbury, all which he resigned, and in 1724 was promoted to this prebend. He published an elegant edition of Sallust, which he dedicated to Sir Joseph Williamson; he died on May 8, 1765, age 83, being then rector of North Cray, in this county, and of St. Swithin's, London. He was buried in the middle of the nave of the cathedral.