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Jacky Lawrence 2007
St. Mary's - Chapels

The Pemberton Chapel

The Pemberton Chapel from the north aisle
Pemberton Chapel
Extract from a note book of J E Smith Mr Walker who kept a private Boys School in Mr John Claridge’s house, Skinners Hill. This was in 1873-4-5 as I went thro’ to Souldrop. I saw a black boy amongst the others and Mr John Pendred, Auctioneer, of Wellingborough told me he attended Mr Walker’s School & he was there when Lady Robinson was married, eldest daughter of the late F. U. Sartoris Esq. of Rushden Hall, because Mr Pendred told me that he, with the boys, helped to decorate the Church for the wedding, that was when the hand of Goddard Pemberton (tomb on North wall of Pemberton Chapel) got broken off by a person who was trying to see the wedding, the Church was very full, he took hold of hand, it broke.

Joseph Enos Smith. Written here Sat. March 26, 1927.

Alabaster Memorial to Sir Goddard Pemberton Inscription on the Sir Goddard Pemberton Memorial Alabaster Memorial to Robert Pemberton
Sir Goddard Pemberton
Sir Goddard Pemberton Inscription
Robert Pemberton

In the chancel aisle is the Pemberton Chapel which has two large alabaster monuments erected to members of the Pemberton family who were squires of Rushden Hall for two centuries. One is for Robert Pemberton, a gentleman usher to Queen Elizabeth, and his 2nd wife Mary and the other to Sir Goddard Pemberton. They are both fine examples of 17th Century sculpture and have been extensively refurbished. Also in the chapel are memorials on the walls and floor to other members of the successors to the Pembertons; Ekins, Fletcher and Sartoris. On the North Wall, next to the altar, is a piscina.

Floor Stone Memorial to Dorothy Ekins Wall Memorial to John Ekins Floor Stone Memorial to Thomas Havey Fletcher
Left:Memorial to Dorothy Ekins - Centre: Memorial to John Ekins - Right: Memorial to Thomas Havey Fletcher

The Memorial Chapel  

This is in the South Transept and was originally dedicated to St. Catherine. The 402 names of those men and one woman who died in WWI are inscribed in panelling together with those who died in WWII. Behind the panelling, to the right of the altar, is a piscina. There are two windows, the east one shows Christ alive on the cross and around him the Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas, the Centurion and St. Luke who in turn represent women, sailors, soldiers and medicine. Above are the emblems and coats of arms of regiments in which Rushden men served. The south one commemorates the death, in action, of Randall Mason who was the last in line of an old Rushden family with close links to the church and shows Christ in Glory with below; St. Gabriel, St. Michael and St. Raphael.

The south window commemorating Randall Mason The Memorial Chapel from the nave The East Window showing Christ alive on the cross 1919 plaque WWI WWII
The South Window
The Memorial Chapel
The East Window
1919 plaques

Rushden Echo, 27th June 1919, transcribed by Kay Collins

Memorial Tablet—The 23 names of the soldier members of St. Mary's Church who have fallen in the war have been inscribed on an oak tablet to be placed in Pemberton Chapel (the south side of the Church). The tablet measures about one foot by two feet. The centre part is gilded, the names, being in black letters. Bordering the names is a carved coloured, scroll-like fringe, while the outer margin of the oak is stained only. The memorial is a very beautiful piece of work-manship. We understand that Pemberton Chapel is to undergo several alterations. About half of the seats are to be removed, and a communion table is to be placed there. The Chapel itself is to commemorate the fallen.

The Rushden Echo Friday 20 February 1920, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Victims of the War Memorial Chapel at St Mary's Supplementary Panel

The dedication of the supplementary panel in the Memorial Chapel at St Mary's Church, Rushden, will take place at the evening service next Sunday. The names on the panel are as follow:

A few seats will be reserved for the relatives and friends of the above who care to attend until 5.50p.m. Will they kindly accept this as a personal invitation to be present. Percy Robson, Rector.

Rushden Echo, 10th December 1920, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Memorial Chapel in St. Mary’s Church is now free of debt. The fact that the large sum (about £750) for its provision was raised in little more than a year is most praiseworthy. The Chapel, a beautiful memorial for all time, also provides for quiet meditation, and for worship for many communicants.

A Book of Remembrance has been put in the Memorial Chapel. One page is on view - and records burial of ashes for February and March.

The WWII list of men killed has an additional name added that does not appear on the War Memorial.

Frederick G Wallis

A Remembrance Book to
commemorate cremations and burial of ashes
WWII panel in the Memorial Chapel

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