Stephen de Staplebrigge was a monk and past Templar when he was sent by the Bishop of Chincester to Chistchurch Priory in Dorset in the south of England. In 1319, Stephen a past Templar Commander of Lydley manor was 33 years of age. He had just spent five years rotting away in Newgate prison in London for escaping from St. Mary’s monastery in Surrey, England. He had his first tenure or monk style puddling bowl haircut at Christchurch priory in 1319 and he was considered a Novice for life as penance for violating the rules of the Catholic Church. Stephen lived until 1338 when he died at age 60 and was buried in the sw corner of the Cemetery at Christchurch Priory with the other monks buried there. His lid to his crypt was discovered in 1908 with a Templar two handed sword carved into the purbeck marble lid. Christchurch prior was doing some maintenance and selling off some marble grave stones found in the undercroft of the church. Stephen’s grave was violated because something was hidden in his expensive marble crypt which was hallowed out of a sold piece of purbeck marble which was very expensive and normal used for rich members of the church. My movie script describes some of the reasons for Stephen’s grave being robbed in 1908. Later in 1995 the marble lid re-appeared and was placed in the room over the lady chapel which later became a museum. Who really knows what was hidden in Stephen’s crypt and how did he manage to afford an engraved marble lid?
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