The reference numbers refer
to the location of the memorial
and can be found either
on the
Church Plan
or the
Churchyard Plan

Some thoughts on inscriptions
in St Mary's Church Felmersham

Bishop Wilkinson died 1914
 
Annie Margaret Green, one of Henry Green’s sisters (see below), married the Right Rev T E Wilkinson. Dr Wilkinson served the church as a bishop for 44 years and at one time was bishop of Zululand, South Africa. He also spent 25 years as bishop of North and Central Europe. Annie died in 1878 and her bishop husband honoured her memory and that of one of their daughters, by installing the gates and steps leading to the church’s Early English west front.


St Boniface Anglican church in Antwerp was built 1906–09, in the Early English gothic style, and it was consecrated by Dr Wilkinson, on 22nd April 1910.

Bishop Wilkinson died in 1914, and was buried in Khartoum. However, at his request, a cross was erected in St Mary’s churchyard to his memory and to the memory of the dear ones lying around this churchyard. The Celtic cross is a copy of the 8th century St Martins cross on the Island of Iona in Scotland.

Ref: 115. Bishop Wilkinson's memorial  >

  
Richard Otway died 1621 aged 74 years


Ref: 14 and 13.
HERE LYES THE BODY OF RICHARD OTWAY CITIZEN
AND MARCHANT TAYLER OF LONDON WHO WAS BORNE
AND DYED IN THIS PARISH AFTER HE HAD LIVED IN
THE FEARE OF GOD THREE SCORE & FOVRTEENE YEARES
AS BY HIS DEEDS OF PIETY AND CHARITY MAY APPEARE
HEE WAS BURIED THE 10TH OF IANVARIE 1621 STILO ANGLIAE
 IAM SEPVLTVS TANDEM RESVRGAM
 

Richard Otway was a citizen and Merchant Taylor of London and yet was born and died in Felmersham. Does this make him our first commuter?  The Latin inscriptions, on the brass plaque, are of interest:
 
Stilo Angliae (English style)


From about 1100, in Western Christendom, the first day of the New Year  was regarded as 25th March. It was gradually replaced by 1st January, but (perhaps because the Reformation had separated us from papal practice) the 25th March was retained in England until 1752, when we adopted the Gregorian Calendar.

Richard Otway's executors were aware of the two different dating conventions in Europe, and that the attribution of a year to any date between 1st January and 25th March was potentially ambiguous. The executors therefore tell us that Richard Otway was buried on the 10th January in the year 1621 English style, which means the 10th January 1622 in both the Papal style (of the period) and in today's modern style.

Iam Sepvltvs Tandem Resvrgam ([Though] buried now, at the last I shall rise again)


"I" means the physical I, "I in my flesh". The writer refers to the Resurrection of the Body, which in 1621, was a highly cherished article in the Apostles' Creed. At the last trump our bodies (even though destroyed by worms) would rise from the earth and be reunited with our souls.

Translation and interpretation by Patrick Lepper
The Rev Thomas Orlebar Marsh 1749 - 1831

Ref: 37.
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
THE REVD. THOMAS ORLEBAR MARSH
OF FELMERSHAM HOUSE, IN THIS PARISH
AND VICAR OF STEVINGTON
BORN IN 1749. DIED 25TH DECEMBER 1831
............. (cont.)

The Rev Thomas Orlebar Marsh was born in Felmersham House in 1749 and attended a school kept by the Rev Samuel Rogers at Chellington. It was intended that he should follow his father into a career in law, however being of a mild and unobtrusive disposition he preferred the Church.
In 1776, at the age of 27, he was appointed vicar of Stevington, although he continued to live in Felmersham where he studied botany and fossils. He made several contributions to published works but never published his own work in book form. He studied Hebrew and poetry and made notes on local events and items of interest within the parish.
 
Orlebar Marsh remained vicar of Stevington for the whole of his ministry until he died on Christmas Day in 1831, at the age of 82.

 
Felmersham House circa 1820

watercolour by Thomas Fisher
demolished circa 1836 replaced by Felmersham Grange
He had spent all his life living in Felmersham House and on his death the property passed to his wife who outlived him by only 10 days! William Edward Ludlow, her son by a previous marriage, inherited the property and in 1834 he sold the estate by public auction to Charles Smith.
 
Henry Hilton Green 1839 - 1915
Thomas Abbott Green purchased Felmersham House (pictured above) in 1836, which was described as being a decent farmhouse with stables, coach-house, and having a barn. However, soon after purchasing the property Mr Green demolished the old house and replaced it with Felmersham Grange. On his death in 1855 the property passed to his widow and following her death in 1862 the property was inherited by her eldest son Henry Hilton Green. Thus began a period of wealth and expansion which brought employment to local people as servants, stable hands, estate workers and farm workers.

Felmersham Grange, late 1960's, after separation into two properties.
Henry married Jane Bourne, an Irish woman, and they had eight children. His family inherited his love of sport and two of his daughters were internationals at hockey. He doubled the size of the Grange in 1886 by adding the eastern extension. Henry was very active in politics and public life; he was at various times Churchwarden, JP for Sharnbrook Magistrates Court, High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire.
 
Henry Hilton Green died in 1915 at the age of 76 and was buried in the chancel. In his will he bequeathed a trust fund to provide help for the poor of the parish at Christmas. The Green family have their own burial ground in the north west corner of the churchyard which, at one time, was enclosed by railings and a gate. The Lych gate at the entrance to the churchyard, was built to his memory.


Ref: 40.
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN EVER LOVING MEMORY OF
HENRY HILTON GREEN
BORN APRIL 21: 1839
DIED AUGUST 11: 1915
BURIED IN THIS CHANCEL


AND OF HIS DAUGHTER
HELEN MARGARET BATCHELOR TAYLOR
WHO DIED WHILE NURSING ON ACTIVE SERVICE
AT MALTA ON NOVEMBER 15:1915
IN HER 42ND YEAR
THE LYCH GATE AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE CHURCHYARD
WAS ERECTED BY MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY.
------------
HENCEFORTH IS DEATH
BUT THE GATE OF LIFE IMMORTAL

 
Mrs Helen Margaret Batchelor Taylor was the daughter of Henry and Jane Green who served as a nurse in the First World war. She was a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment, attached 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.  On 15th November 1915 she died whilst serving in Malta and is buried in Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta. Her name is recorded on the war memorial and on a plaque in the church.

 
Joseph Pain (1797 - 1860)


Ref: 7.
Sacred to the Memory
of JOSEPH Son of
THOMAS and ELIZABETH
PAIN
DIED APRIL 11th 1850
AGED 86 YEARS

(In brass)

The above inscription, in the centre aisle of the church, is in memory of Joseph Pain (1764 - 1850). Joseph (1) was one of three sons born to Thomas Pain (2) and Elizabeth Pain. The others were William bapt. 1766 and Thomas (3) bapt. 1762. Thomas (3) eventually inherited his fathers farms and his eldest son was also named Joseph Pain (1797 - 1860) and it is this Joseph (2) who is featured opposite.

Joseph Pain (2) was a gentleman farmer from yeoman farmer stock, whose family had been farming in Felmersham for several generations.
 

The 1851 census for the parish was taken when the agricultural industry was booming and the number of people working in agriculture at a high point. Out of a total population of 520 there were nine farmers, 138 agricultural workers and two shepherds living within the parish. Joseph Pain was by far the most successful farmer, he farmed 1180 acres on three farms employing 76 men and boys, 3 sons, 3 servants and a nurse.
 

In 1818 he contributed £50 towards the building costs of Felmersham bridge and was Churchwarden for 40 years.

Ref: 21. Joseph Pain's grave
 
Joseph lived in the farm house known as “Majors”, which is now known as “The Manor House” in Memorial Lane, with his wife, Mary, and their eleven children.

By 1840 he was sufficiently wealthy to build the elegant extension to his more modest farmhouse. The late Georgian style building on the corner of Memorial Lane and Church End, is a fine example of a vernacular house for the period.
 
In 1853 Joseph Pain sold all his farming interests in the parish to Joseph Tucker, of Pavenham Bury, and then rented back.
He died in 1860 aged 63
 
Gypsy Joe Smith and his wife Abigail, known as Annie, were well known in the parish and as they got older they adopted the parish as their home. They camped on the grass verge along Carlton Road and carried all their worldly goods in two trucks and a pram. Joe earned a living by working on local farms, laying hedges, collecting rags and bones and occasionally scissor grinding. They visited local pubs where Joe smoked his clay pipe, sharing it with Annie.

Annie passed away first and as Joe got older he was presented with a wagon in which to live, but he always preferred to sleep in the open, even on the coldest of nights. When he passed away in 1976 he was buried in Felmersham churchyard and the parish marked his grave with a headstone.  Ref. 214

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