|From ‘R22’ Note Book of J E Smith, transcribed by Kay Collins
The very top of the Spire (before it was restored in 1885, when a few feet were taken of the top) is at present on the wall of Church-room yard near the Rectory.
The next stone from the top is at present inside of the organ. (My Museum)
An Old Stone Clock weight is also inside the organ. Mr. Fisher who has charge of the Church Clock told me that the weight once belonged to the old clock. I found it in the Churchyard covered by grass grown over it, 2 or 3 years ago.
Mr. Ginns, Blacksmith has at present one of the old Bell-Clappers taken down in 1874-5 at the great Restoration of the Church. It belonged to the great or Tenor Bell & I think it was the clapper which was rung at the death of the Prince Albert (Abert as the Registers puts it) “paid the ringers 6s. for tolling for Prince Abert.”
14 Aug 1844 - Rushden Church St Mary’s. Answers to an Enquiry.
Rushden Church? Date about 1350 I think
Population? About 1400
Patron? The Lord Chancellor
Rector? Rev. G. E. Downe
Where does he reside? At the Rectory
Services? Two full Services generally. The same on Xmas Day. The Baptisms after 2nd Lesson.
Lent? On Good Friday. Prayers Easter-week.
“Church Fabric”? Is large and handsome.
Town & Spire? Of one character, most magnificent with flying Buttresses, the Spire is crocketted.
Porch? The North Porch is very elegant, with pointed roof, and chamber above, with an excellent window. From Door Early English.
Walls? Leans tolerably good.
Windows? Several very beautiful of perpendicular style.
Roof? Of Lead, some of it not very good.
Walls of Chancel? Are tolerably good, want pointing.
Windows? Three excellent of Perpendicular style at the East-end.
Roof? Of Lead.
Drains? Should be opened.
Spouts? Are long leaden ones.
Graves? Have been made too near the Fabric.
Crenulations? Have in some degrees been removed, but are still considerable.
Doors & Locks? Are old but in tolerable state.
Aisles? N & South with n & South Transepts having back screens.
Inside Walls? Stone colour.
Arches? Very good, pointed 8 Columns, across the Nave is a very rich pierced “Strainer Arch” as at Finedon.
Windows? Diamond Panes & pretty good.
Floors? Of stone colour & a good deal broken. There is a Piscina in South Transept also in the South Aisle.
Roof? Timbers open, not covered in some places.
Belfry? Closed up, arch is good.
Galleries? One for Singers.
Inside walls of Chancel? Stone colour, 2 arches on each side which lead into the side Aisle, these are flush with end of Chancel. There are 3 good Sedilias & a Piscina.
Windows? The East is good but dingy.
Arch? Good, pointed.
Floor? Stone and broken.
Roof? Open timbers.
Casements? A few.
Vestry? In North Transept.
Pews? Open Seats? Both, chiefly pews.
What wood? Of Oak & deal, the “Hall-Pew” is railed round the upper part with a Sounding Board.
Regular? Only middling.
Floor? Several in a bad state.
Pulpit? Oak carved, & painted, Stairs very bad.
Sounding Board? No.
Reading Desk? Stone colour.
Font? Handsome of stone, carved, and octagonal, said to be Early English.
Communion Table? Oak, old and dirty.
Carpet for floor? Nothing.
Hassocks for Communion? Low Benches covered with mats.
Communion Rails? Of deal painted stone colour.
Iron Register Chests? Yes.
Where kept? At Rectory.
Clock? In bad condition, Frames & wheels said to be bad.
A Rate was granted legally the [space] the payment [space] because parties promised to defend themselves in a High Court. Won’t interfere.
Bible? Toteroth, Oxford 1807.
Prayer Book? Very bad.
Prayer Book? Middling.
Communion Book? Very decent. The ten Commandments are on the Chancel Arch.
Normities? No. Table of Degrees ? No.
Is there any Passages of Scripture? One on Chancel Arch.
List of Benefactions? Yes, in South?
Surplices? 2 both fair.
Communion Cloth? Green baize.
Linen Cloth & Napkins? Are of diaper & decent.
Pulpit cushion? Of purple cloth with worsted fringe, very much moth eaten. Cloths Pulpit & Desk ident.
Flagon? A good pewter ….
Cup? Cup & cover of Silver.
Paten? Large pewter.
Benefactions? None whatever for repair of church.
Churchyard & Fencing? The south consists of buildings and a stone wall. West wall under repair but cannot be completed for want of funds.
To whom belongs? Mr. Daniel.
Churchways? Are pretty well.
Trees? Several good.
Parsonage? In bad state but the Rector talks of rebuilding.
Parochial library? No.
Parish Clerk? Joseph Packwood.
Conduct? A drinking man. In other respects good, a good reader. I spoke to him privately about his conduct.
Stipend? About £20, the Parish allows about £7.10.0.
Schools? No, but several DAMES Schools.
Sunday School? Yes. Scholars? About 100.
Church Rate? Will raise about £80.
In a most unsatisfactory state thro’ the want of a Church-rate, and WALTER ROOKSBY a farmer & a Baptist refuses to pay, therefore the rest do the same. They are said to be backed by Mr. HILL a Magistrate, a rate was legally granted, but because the parties promise to defend themselves in a higher Court the Magistrates do not interfere.
Accumulations should be removed, the floor & roof repaired as well as the floor of the pews, and stairs of the Pulpit. The clock, frame and wheels of the Bells should be attended to. Another Prayer Book for the Clergyman is wanted. The Cloth for the Communion Table and the Pulpit cushion are in a shabby state. The Fence of the Churchyard needs repair.
Everything remains as before. I wrote to this gentleman (Walter Rooksby) August 28th 1844 according to promise but with slight of success.
From a Book marked Higham, Oundle & Weldon on the back in the Archdeacon’s Library at Peterborough Cathedral on Wednesday Aug 21st 1918 by kind permission of Mr. Gray, Registrar. J E Smith Organist and Choirmaster, Rushden Parish Church.