On Tuesday last mournful interest, especially amongst the older inhabitants of Rushden, attached to the proceedings in connection with the funeral of Mrs. Barker, widow of the late Canon Barker, formerly rector of the parish.
As was briefly announced last week, Mrs. Barker passed away on Thursday evening at Whitby, where she had resided for several years with her daughter. She had been in feeble health for several years past, and was attended with loving care by her daughter. When she passed away arrangements were immediately made for bringing her to Rushden, that she might repose by her husband, who was interred in close proximity to the church he loved in 1885.
The remains enclosed in a plain oak coffin, were conveyed to Rushden by train, Mr. Elliott Barker travelling to Rushden at the same time. Under the direction of Messrs. Walker and Butcher, the coffin, covered with beautiful wreaths, was reverently conveyed to the Parish Church, Mr. G. S. Mason accompanying Mr. Elliott Barker in the mourning coach which followed the hearse. At the church the Ven. Archdeacon Kitchin met the cortege in the churchyard, and read part of the funeral service whilst the deceased was conveyed along the nave to the choir. A number of people had gathered, and after two or three prayers the brief service closed, the deceased lying in the choir awaiting the service later in the day.
At 2.30 a large and sympathetic congregation gathered in the church, when the service was conducted by the Rev. R. C. Thursfield, rector of Cranford, son-in-law of the deceased, assisted by the Ven. Archdeacon Kitchin. The principal mourners were Mr. P. W. Barker, of India (eldest son), Miss Barker (daughter), Rev. R. C. and Mrs. Thursfield (daughter), Mr. Elliott Barker (son), Rev. Hy. Macnaghton (brother), and Mr. Melville Macnaghton (brother). Amongst those present were the churchwardens, Messrs. G. Skinner and G. S. Mason, and many of the sidesmen of the Parish Church, together with many prominent inhabitants of the town, including the Rev. J. Howes-Smith (Yelden), Rev. E. G. Bettenson, Miss Sartoris (Rushden Hall), Mrs. E. C. Browning (Rushden House), Mrs. Kitchin, Miss Mason, and others. Mr. E. J. Smith was at the organ, and played suitable selections as the congregation assembled. The choir was also in attendance. Psalm xc was chanted, and the hymn, “On the resurrection morning,” was sung. The Ven. Archdeacon Kitchin read the lesson. At the graveside the service was conducted by the Rev. R. C. Thursfield, and the hymn, “God that madest earth and heaven,” was sung.
As already stated, the deceased was laid to rest in a plain oak coffin with next to the fittings, a brass plate bearing the inscription:
Aged 72 years
January 10th, 1907
The grave is situated in the recess to the east of the north porch, and was decorated with white lilies, and other white flowers and green foliage.