While Simon Swann and his team from Wrentham were conserving the inscription under the east window of St Lawrence Church in St Lawrence Street, I used to cycle along most days to follow progress. Greasy soot obscured the end of the inscription particularly badly, and the day they reached it they warned me that I was in for a shock.
Early records showed that the 1488 flushwork read: 'Pray for the soules of John Baldwyn Draper and Jone hys wyf and alle xtn soules am' The three letters 'xtn' stood for Christian or Christen, and 'amen' was also shortened. What the conservators were almost afraid to show me was: 'Pray for the soules of John Baldwyn Draper and Jane hys wyf and for alle the good donors'
Edward Duck, brazier, whose house was where Edinburgh Woollens are today, recorded in notes now in the Society of Antiquaries Library: "The stone work of the outside of the chancel was so out of repair that the above said was obliged to be cast over with stone morter this present year 1752." In other words, stuccoed. It was at the 1858 restoration that the inscription was next exposed and by then it was in a poor state. What we see today is mainly a Victorian restoration, and because 'xtn' completely defeated them, and they thought 'Jone' was 'Jane' misspelt, they altered that name too.
We have to live with the new ending, awful as it is, but at least Jone Baldwyn gets her correct Christian name back. Do go and see for yourselves.
[Editor: Dr Blatchly's information above is a useful correction of 'The Writing on the Wall' (July Newsletter) which was based on an earlier publication.]