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Extracts from photocopies of J E Smith's notebooks
St Mary's Church

Notes relating to the Church by Joseph Enos Smith - Organist & Local Historian

Sometime around 1908 Joseph Enos Smith started to collect notes about Rushden from several sources. His note books are deposited at Northamptonshire Record Office (NRO) Ref: 285P/272-301. These few extracts regarding the Church have been extracted to give a sample of what may be found on the leaves of these notebooks. (*editor's comment)

1831 Oct 31 - John Packwood died - Parish clerk 16 years
1843 17 Feb F U Sartoris came to Rushden
1870/1 Rectory built
1862 Joseph Packwood died Dec 9 - parish clerk 31 years
1878 Choral Society formed - Mr Warren conductor
1877 Trumpet stop added to Rushden Church organ May 24
1879 New Clock & Chimes by Gillett & Bland
1882 Mission built Higham Road
1883 Infant School opened at Mission Room Higham Hill
1887 Jun 21 Queen Victoria's Jubliee 1600 children had tea and 600 adults Meat Tea - Skinner's Field
1892 Oct 08 Harvest Festival held for 1st time on weekday at R Church
1893 Jun 15 Church Harmonic Society's picnic at Pavenham
1893 Dec 04 Parachute Joe went up R Spire & put a flag on the weathercock.
1894 Aug 01 Tenders received for St Peter's new church - Marriott's accepted - £770 (the first one)
1736 Date on old Church Clock Rushden - now at Hargrave Church
Parish Church re-opened after restoration cost £5000 - Feb 02 - a beautiful day
1861 Old Communion Table from Parish Church presented to St Peter's, now standing in North Chapel
1875 April 25th - my birthday - played for first time at Rushden Church (trial Sunday)
1875 Apr 28 Engaged as organist
1875 May 23 Left Souldrop as organist
1875 May 29 Practice for first time at Rushden Church
1875 May 30 Commenced as organist at Rushden
1875 Jun 05 Came to live at Rushden
1900 Feb 22 I opened New Organ & gave recital at Independent Wesleyan Chapel - Thursday. Also composed a tune for the opening, set to words by John Mackness Choir Master.
1900 Mar 01 News of Relief of Lady-smith - Elm trees planted between old ones in Churchyard
1906 Sep 25 Stone laying at St Peter's - beautiful fine day
1907 Dec 11 William Packwood died at Northampton Infirmary - clerk of parish
1907 Dec 12 St Peter's large brick church opened by Bishop Glynn - very wet day
to 50 List of Incumbents of Rushden taken from Coles' History
This book commenced in July 1909 by me, Joseph Enos Smith organist P Church Rushden, 22 Church Street
The book deals mostly with Church facts gleaned from several sources.
Book Started 1909 - lists of churchwardens, oveseers etc. and extracts from the registers/accounts.
Notes copied from Parish register and from various books at Peterborough Cathedral (see p 5), notes from Higham Court Rolls. Also notes from Herbert Lack's Book 1910 and from Coles' History 1834
Popular Biography - small book lent by Mr Payne - signed J Cole Sep 13 1839 - p12. John Baker of Rushden. What may be recorded as very remarkable in the life of John Baker an old shepherd, was that he lived 89 years and during their revolution, he never slept a single night out of his native village; & the greatest distance he ever went from home was 15 miles. He died in December 1836.

This book belongs to Joseph Enos Smith of 22 Church Street Rushden, Northamptonshire & containing
"Notes for History of Rushden" was begun about January 1910 - one of my History Books.

Notes from newspapers - crime, transport etc. and Sales

1916 - Rushden Church Clock (from 285P/297)

Richard Gilbert, Cromwell Road, Rushden, verger, was summoned for a breach of regulation 12B of the Defence of the Realm regulation by allowing St Mary’s Church Clock to strike between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise at Rushden on August the 29th. Defendant said “It was a mistake”, PC Bonser said he heard the clock striking in the night. Defendant said he forgot all about it, on the night in question he “had no instruction to take the strike off”. He was not responsible for the clock, although he had taken the strikes off previously. Supt. MacLeod said defendant had been warned & mentioned that that was the first case in the county. The Chairman said they hold defendant responsible and he would be fined 5/6 inclusive.

The Verger to the Rushden Parish Church has been fined for allowing the Church Clock to strike during the night, contrary to the regulations now in force. (from Evening Telegraph 08 Sep 1916)

Miss Smith -1731 Dec 30.

“I in my prime was took away,
God called I might no longer stay,
All you that come my grave to see,
Prepare your hearts to follow me.”

Copied from a stone in Rushden Church near South door (in floor) – “da? of Thos & Mary Smith 28th year of her age 1731 Dec ye 30th”. (from 285P/297)

More Church Notes by JES

St Mary's Mainpage

Extracted by K Collins - from a locally held photocopy of these books which are now lodged at the Record Office - NRO Ref: 285P/272-301
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