It is with sincere sorrow that we record the death, which took place on Tuesday morning last, of Mr. John Cave, of The Cottage, Rushden, founder and senior partner of the firm of Messrs. John Cave and Sons, Ltd., boot and shoe manufacturers, government contractors, and exporters, of Rushden.
Mr. Cave, who had attained the advanced age of 82 years, was in fairly good health up to five or six years ago. For the last two years he had seldom been able to leave his bedroom, and during the last twelve months a trained nurse has been in constant attendance. An external cancer on the right ear caused him intense pain at times, but throughout his illness he showed great fortitude and patience. A week or two ago it was seen that the end was very near. On Monday the patient who was under the care of Dr. Crew became almost unconscious, and the end came about
Deceased leaves four sons Messrs. Paul, Amos, Arthur, and
and two daughters (Mrs. Duplock, of Leicester, and Mrs. Sherwood, of
). He had also lost by death two daughters and one son (Elias). Mr. Paul Cave is in
at the present time.
The late Mr. Cave was born at Bencroft Farm, on the Bedford-road, and he married Miss Jane Rokesby. His wife pre-deceased him, having passed away in March, 1897.
The growth of the firm which was, for family reasons, converted into a limited liability company in February, 1898 is really remarkable. A full account of the firm’s progress appeared in the “Rushden Echo” some years ago, but we might here state that Mr. Cave started in business when he was comparatively a young man, his first premises being the shop in High-street now occupied by Mr. G. Clarke, green-grocer, and near Mr. Powell’s. He started making handsewn boots, and eventually purchased a small factory and dwelling-house on the site opposite Succoth Chapel built by the late Mr. S. Knight, jun. Various additions to the premises were made from time to time, until in 1877, came the disastrous fire in the ruins of which Mr. Elias Cave met with his death. A larger factory was erected on the same site by Mr. Joseph Bayes, who is now in
. Further enlargements were made in 1897, when six lock-up shops were erected facing High-street, and the factory at this time was one of the finest and most commodious in the country. Then came the terrible fire of July 1901, resulting in the total demolition of the works, followed by the erection of the model premises in College-street.
The late Mr. Cave was one of the men who helped to develop Rushden from an insignificant agricultural village into a manufacturing town of 14,000 inhabitants, and his most lasting memorial is the huge business which, with the help of his sons, he built up in the course of half a century. But Mr. Cave will not only be remembered for his business acumen and dogged perseverance, he will be long held in the highest esteem for his sterling worth and his integrity of character. He was, in the most real sense of the term, an honest, upright, and unassuming Christian gentleman. For sixty years he was associated with the
, having been baptised in 1843 by the Rev. Jonathan Whittemore (the founder of the Christian World), and he was, at the time of his death, one of the four oldest members of the church. He was a deacon for 23 years, and the greater part of that time he was the church treasurer. It is impossible to estimate the vast amount of good that he did, for his beneficence was of an unassuming character. Scores of people in Rushden, in their time of trouble and affliction, found in Mr. Cave a real friend.
As a total abstainer, Mr. Cave stands out conspicuously. Everyone admits that the growth of Rushden was almost solely due to the temperance principles of its leading residents, and Mr. Cave had the honour of being one of the first fifteen men in Rushden to sign the pledge in 1840. He was one of the founders of the Rushden Temperance Society, and, as Mr. John Claridge states in a letter to the family, “by his death the last link has been severed that bound the founders of the society with the next generation.”
A little incident well remembered by Mr. Jos. Farey shows the high standard of honour and business integrity which Mr. Cave had set up for himself. A number of boots were being packed for export, when it was found that one pair worth 7s. was missing. “Put in a pair worth 10s.,” said Mr. Cave, “I would not for the world have them think I was robbing them for the world.” And this was characteristic of him. In replacing a pair of damaged boots he would always give a pair worth more money.
Appended are further details which will be read with interest :-
Mr. John Cave was the son of a farmer, and was born on
April 21, 1822
. His parents were well-to-do country folks, and having arrived at the age of ten, young John was started at the plough on his father’s farm. Owing to the sad misfortune which unfortunately overtakes so many, his father was reduced to being a very poor man before his son had reached the age of fourteen. His mother was desirous of his following anything but farming, and on being asked his choice of a trade he selected that of which he was for such a number of years so prominent a figure. He therefore entered the service of the late Mr. Edmund Sherwood, of Rushden, giving his time for the first year for nothing. The second year he was with Mr. Parker and in receipt of the handsome sum of 1s. a week, the third 2s. and so on until, at the age of thirty, Mr. Cave was earning the most it was possible for any man in the trade in those days to earn, viz., 16s. a week. For some time before he had arrived at this age it had been his constant thought how he could improve his position, and after much anxiety he determined to commence business on his own account. In 1850 he took a small cottage in High-street, at a rental of £10 a year, and with the help of one boy commenced the career of this now most important establishment. In 1852 Mr. Cave had two clickers, and used to go to
himself in order to sell his manufactures. The largest parcel he sold about this time, amounting to £80 value, was to a gentleman, who, being desirous of obtaining as much more as Mr. Cave could produce, he became security for the payment of leather to the amount of £150 to be supplied to Mr. Cave. This was the turning point of what up to this time had been a most hardly-fought battle with the world. In six years after having commenced business, Mr. Cave was able to buy a plain workshop at a cost of £500, and in a position to sell to any
house and to the principal shippers.
It was on returning from one of his journeys to
, where he had been to see some buyers, that Mr. Cave met with one of his best customers. He had lost his train and had to follow by another. Only another gentleman travelled in the same carriage with him; they got into conversation, and after a time Mr. Cave happened to tell this gentleman he was a boot manufacturer. The passenger asked to see his samples, and they were accordingly shown. Having carefully examined them, he said he was a South African merchant, and had come to
for the express purpose of buying boots. It was arranged that he should call upon Mr. Cave the next day, which he accordingly did, and, having inspected other samples, he gave the large order for 16,000 pairs, with the provision that they were all to be delivered in six months. But upon it being found the next day that it would be impossible to manufacture them in the time, Mr. Cave made a special journey to
in order to inform his newly-found friend of the fact. So pleased was the South African merchant with the straight-forward way in which Mr. Cave explained the matter to him that he agreed to give him his own time in order to complete the delivery of this parcel. It is of interest to note that this South African merchant was for many years one of the customers of the firm.
In March, 1877, Mr. Cave had a most disastrous fire; the whole of his extensive shoe warehouse and factory, with all its contents, were totally destroyed, involving a net loss of nearly £3,000, in addition to the greater part of twelve months’ trade, only the books of the firm being saved. The stock of leather at this time was unusually large, and, with many large orders to execute, the firm were for the moment in a most unpleasant condition. To make matters worse, Mr. Cave had to regret the serious loss of his third son, who was killed in the debris of the ruins a few weeks afterwards, while superintending their demolition. But Mr. Cave was not the man to sit down and bemoan his losses; at once he secured temporary premises, and continued business in the best possible way, and quickly gave order for the erection of the works in High Street. These works, as we have stated, were enlarged from time to time and were destroyed by fire in 1901.
is to take place this (Friday) afternoon, the cortege starting from The Cottage at 3.15. A brief service will be held in the
, conducted by the Rev. W. F. Harris. Two of the favourite hymns of the deceased “We speak of the realms of the blest” and “When Thou, my righteous Judge, shall come” will be sung. Mr. Harris will give a brief address; and the “Dead March” from Handel’s Saul will be played.
The factory of the firm closed at 12.30 today until to-morrow morning, all the hands being paid for the time.
MESSAGES OF SYMPATHY
have been received from all quarters, including the following :-
THE EMPLOYEES, College Street, Rushden,
Jan. 5, 1904
- Messrs. John Cave & Sons, Ltd.
Gentlemen, - At a meeting of your employees held this evening it was unanimously resolved that a vote of condolence should be sent you in the sad bereavement you have sustained by the loss of your father, and to mark the respect and esteem in which he was held by those who have been associated with him as employees of the firm in former years. Assuring you of our deep sympathy and sincere regret in your bereavement, we remain, gentlemen, yours respectfully.
Signed on behalf of the employees, - John Noble.
RUSHDEN TEMPERANCE BAND
Mr. Cave was the president of the Band and was a generous contributor to the funds of the same. The following letter has been forwarded to the family by Mr. Chas. Ashby, secretary to the band :-
Dear Sir, - At a meeting of the Rushden Temperance Band held this Wednesday evening I was instructed to convey the Band’s deepest sympathy to the family of the late Mr. John Cave, who was one of our most generous supporters. The Band feel they have lost a real friend.
THE RUSHDEN TEMPERANCE SOCIETY,
of which Mr. Cave was one of the founders, held a meeting on Wednesday evening, the Rev. M. E. Parkin presiding. There was a very large attendance, including two representatives of the B.W.T.A. Mr. John Claridge explained that the meeting had been called principally to pass a vote of condolence with the family of the late Mr. John Cave. The proposition was then carried unanimously.
The Rushden branch held a meeting on Wednesday night and decided to send two representatives to the funeral.
Mr. John Claridge writes :--
“I have had the privilege of working with your father in the temperance cause for many years, and I shall always look back with pleasure and delight to those happy days. It was in connection with this work that I learnt to love and revere your father, and I have always held him in the highest regard. I admire the many good qualities which he possessed. He adorned the temperance cause and the Christian religion by his life and conduct, and now he has entered that rest which remains for the people of God.”
A TOUCHING TRIBUTE
comes from Mr. A. G. C. Vann, M.A., of Higham Ferrers, who is now in the
, where he has undergone an operation.
Mr. Vann writes :-
“His life has been a pattern one, and of the greatest service to the town he loved so well. Only a few have the privilege of living so long and honourable a life, and of passing away amidst the respect of all who have been associated with them. I am writing this on my back in bed. It is my first attempt since I came here. I am glad I am progressing most rapidly, and shall be home next week.”
, writes :-
“He was a good man, upright and reliable, and leaves a character behind him which we may all desire to deserve. For many years I have been acquainted with him, and I never remember a word or thought to lessen our friendship. He has gone to rest, and the world is all the poorer.”
From Mr. G. T. Hawkins, of
, comes the following :-
“I was sorry indeed to know that a gentleman of such high character and sterling qualities, whom I had known for 40 years, had been taken away. He was one of the best-living men I have known, and he leaves a monument of good character behind him that every member of his family may be proud of.”
AN OLD FRIEND’S TRIBUTE
It must be more than 50 years ago since I first made his acquaintance, and during the whole of that time his name stood for a thorough honest Englishman.”
A BEAUTIFUL SIDELIGHT
on Mr. Cave’s domestic life comes from
“I so well remember the great kindness and sympathy he so freely showed to me on more than one occasion when I met him in Rushden. There is deep down in my memory of him the loving and tender care he bestowed upon his stricken wife during her later days. I remember how at luncheon he selected the most choice little bit of chicken for her first, how carefully he arranged it on her plate, and how clearly he blessed it before sending it to her room.
8th January 1904
The Late Mr. John Cave
IMPRESSIVE FUNERAL SERVICE
AN APPRECIATION BY THE REV. W.A. DAVIS
The Rev. W. A. Davis, of Acton, and formally pastor of
, sends us the following tribute to the memory of the late Mr. John Cave, of Rushden, whose death we recorded last week :--
Will you allow me to express, through the medium of the Rushden Echo, the sorrow felt by many outside Rushden at the news of the decease of the late
His honoured name is associated with a noble band of high-principled, brave-hearted men who, under God, laid the foundations of Rushden’s unique prosperity.
To forget the early struggles of those who paved the way to our larger privileges and opportunities would be base ingratitude.
Mr. Cave was a man who held tenaciously principles which he believed were sound and true. Whether these related to business, temperance, or religion, one always knew where he stood. He was no time-server, tossed about by every wind of doctrine commercial, political, or theological. Whether his principles were popular or unpopular, so long as they worked well and squared with life’s claims and needs he clung to them and had the courage of them. Even when one could not exactly agree with him, we knew what the differences between us were, and why he held his own ground. He was ready to give a reason for his hopes, and honestly believed the reason was all sufficient.
The secret of our friend’s strength was in the bed-rock of religious convictions upon which his life was built. He feared God, loved Jesus Christ, believed in the Holy Spirit, and trusted in Holy Scriptures.
Will the rising young men of Rushden remember that?
I hold treasured memories of happy seasons of fellowship with him during my five years’ residence in Rushden, and remember gratefully the gracious message brought to Acton when he, and another noble spirit, the late Charles Bayes, spoke at my recognition service 18 years ago.
I often recall his intense love for the public means of grace, especially prayer meetings and communion services.
He once told me that he could not neglect the prayer meeting. When out for a country drive he would look at his watch and say “We cannot go further or we shall be late for the meeting, and the horse was whipped round and hastened home. It was a means of grace to hear his fervent supplications at the Lord’s table and elsewhere. Mr. Cave was a spiritually-minded man. And yet there was nothing of the recluse about him. He believed that God has given us all things richly to enjoy, and that of all men Christians should be the most joyous and hopeful.
I have heard his voice ring with laughter, and have seen his eyes brim with tears as he told or listened to a good story with a touch of genuine humour in it.
Like his Master he could be happy on a festive occasion as well as sympathetic at a scene of mourning or grief.
And withal there was an earnestness, an enthusiasm in his spirit, which seemed never to flag.
I do not wonder that his family loved him dearly, that the town mourns him deeply, or that many in the outer circle of sympathising friends desire with me to offer a lowly but affectionate tribute of honour to his memory.
W. A. DAVIS.
LETTER FROM THE REV. THOS. SPURGEON
The Rev. W. F. Harris has received the following letter from the Rev. Thomas Spurgeon, pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle: Clapham,
January 9th 1904
My dear sir and brother, -- I am sorry indeed to hear of the death of my dear friend, Mr. Cave. Please express to his relatives and fellow church members an assurance of my deep sympathy. My visits to his house will live in my memory. He was heartiness itself. You will have, I am sure a very solemn and helpful service. The veterans are falling oh! for others as brave and consecrated to take their places! Praying for the prosperity of
amongst you, I am sir, yours in true sympathy.
The mortal remains of Mr. John Cave were laid in their last resting-place on Friday afternoon last, amid many tokens of grief and of respect. Most of the shops were closed, and almost all the blinds of the houses passed by the funeral cortege were down. The factory of Messrs. John Cave and Sons, Ltd., of which the deceased was the founder and senior partner, was closed during the whole of the afternoon, as were also the Standard Rotary Company’s works. The funeral obsequies were watched by a dense crowd of people, and the cortege was a remarkably long one.
Shortly after 3.15 the body of the deceased, enclosed in a shell placed in a moulded oak coffin, was removed from The Cottage and reverently deposited in the hearse. The breast-plate of the coffin bore the inscription :-
Preceding the hearse came the Rev. W. F. Harris (pastor), and the following deacons of the
: Messrs. D. Darnell, Joseph Clark, F. Corby, F. Cowley, W. Estow, J. Lack, J. T. Colson, F. Ballard, and W. H. Perkins. Next came the following foremen as representatives of the workpeople, all of whom had been for a great number of years in the service of the firm : Messrs. Joseph Farey, R. Rice, W. Skinner, and T. Brightwell. Following them came the clerks of the firm, as under :- Messrs. S. Michell, F. Woodward, W. Knight, S. C. Brightwell, G. E. Woodward, H. Holyoak, W. L. Michell, H. Perkins, A. Perkins, W. Capon, J. Denton, and Coulson. Messrs. M. T. Denne and T. Tompkins represented the employees of the Standard Rotary Co., and Mr. C. Rice, of Wollaston represented Messrs. Cave’s branch in that village.
Then came the hearse, accompanied by the following workers, who acted as bearers at the chapel and the cemetery: Messrs. David Farmer, H. Tye, A. Moon, A. Newell, W. Langford, John Mackness, G. Barnes, and C. White.
THE PRINCIPAL MOURNERS
First carriage: Mr. and Mrs. Amos Cave (son and daughter-in-law) and Mr. and Mrs. Duplock (daughter), Leicester.
Second carriage: Mr. Fred Cave and Mrs. Paul Cave, and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Cave (sons and daughters-in-law).
Third carriage: Mr. J. E. Cave (grandson) and Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood (daughter).
carriage: Mr. and Mrs. John Cave (nephew), and Mr. and Mrs. Ruffhead (niece).
Fifth carriage: Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, Miss Lowick, and Nurse Griffiths.
Sixth carriage: Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Pettitt (Harrold), Mr. S. Manby (
), and Mr. W. Hensman.
Seventh carriage: Mr. Hugh Morton (
), Dr. Crew (Higham Ferrers), Mr. G. S. Mason, and Mr. Boothman (
Eighth carriage; Mr. and Mrs. Inwards (Irthlingborough, niece), Mr. Cooper (Delapre Abbey,
), and Ald. W. Spong (Mayor of Higham Ferrers).
Ninth carriage; Mr. Slee (Market Harboro’) and others.
Tenth carriage: Mr. T. Maddocks (Wellingborough), and Mr. J. Wykes Ashdowne.
came next, including :-
B.W.T.A. ; Mrs. M. E. Parkin, Mrs. Hartwell, Mrs. Tailby, Mrs. Jos. Knight, and Mrs. Crick
Rushden Temperance Society; Rev. M. E. Parkin (president), Rev. R. B. Woodward, Rev. E. Roe, Messrs. John Claridge (secretary), John Clark, F. Vorley, W. Clarke, John Sargent, Geo. Bayes, W. C. Knight, J. Jacques.
Coffee Tavern Company : Messrs. J. T. Colson and Joseph Knight.
Rechabites : Messrs. B. Vorley and J. Perkins (stewards), T. C. Clarke, D.C.R., J. Bull, H. Ward, Joseph Darnell, Samuel Parker, and W. Tew.
Temperance Band : Messrs. J. Abbott and J. Mackness.
Park-road Baptist Sunday School; Miss Bayes, Miss Cowley, Mr. H. Lack, and Mr. P. Collins.
Most of the other leading manufacturers and tradesmen of the town attended besides representatives of the leather trade in the district. It is impossible to give a complete list, but among others we noticed Messrs. Fred Knight, J.P., Geo. Miller, George Denton, C.C., G. H. Skinner, Thos. Bird, C.C. (
), F. Mobbs (
), W. Claridge (
), John Newman (
), H. Standley (
), C. G. Cunnington, W. B. Sanders, C. R. Owen, G. H. Groome, C. E. Knight, R. Marriott, Reg. Smith, C. L. Bradfield, J. Nattrass, John S. Mason, W. Webb, H. Staniland, G. Dawson, G. H. Parkin (representing Messrs. John Morton and Sons, Leicester), J. F. Hall (representing Messrs. Lilley and Skinner), W. Roe (Boston Blacking Co.), H. Seckington, and many others.
conducted by the Rev. W. F. Harris, was of a very impressive character. The hymns were “We speak of the realms of the Blest” and “When Thou, my Righteous Judge, shalt come,” both favourites of Mr. Cave. Mr. Geo. Farey presided at the organ, and the choir was present.
Mr. Harris gave an address. Although, he said, they had gathered that day in various capacities, they had but one prevailing thought and purpose to pay their last tribute of esteem to their dear friend who had been taken from them and who, as the memorial card so properly said, had “fallen asleep.” Wreaths, many and beautiful, covered the coffin, but those would soon fade. But there were many invisible wreaths more lasting and even more beautiful, even more grateful to the glorified spirit of their departed friend that they laid on his coffin that day. As fellow townsmen they brought their wreath of regard and esteem for one whose life for many years had been bound up with the life of the town, who rejoiced in its prosperity, and did not a little to promote it. Many of them as his fellow church members and some as his fellow church officers since for a quarter of a century he had held the office of deacon, and was the senior deacon at the time of his death also laid on his coffin their wreath of affection, as by his gifts, services, and prayers, he had done not a little to promote the prosperity of that church. To the members of the staff and workmen of the great business establishment, which his industry and enterprise had done so much to build up, he was more than a master, he was also a friend, so they too brought affectionate esteem. The members of the Temperance Society, of the British Women’s Temperance Association, and of the Independent Order of Rechabites, also brought their wreath of affection for one who was a pioneer in the temperance movement and who always confessed that he owed much of his prosperity to the recognition and practice of total abstinence principles. A wreath of affectionate regard was also laid upon his coffin by the poor, for whom almost his last hours had been spent that Christmas in kindly and generous consideration. And last, though not least, the inner circle of the bereaved and mourning family laid their wreath of undying affection. One of the most beautiful things he had seen had been the family life of their departed friend. He would be missed in all these circles. It would be difficult to fill his place in many, and impossible in some. But whilst there were thoughts of sorrow at their loss it would be almost criminal to forget his peace, triumph, and gain. Beyond everything else Mr. Cave was a simple believer in Christ, in the efficacy of prayer, and in the gospel of the Saviour. So they thought of him as gathered into the Father’s house. Death had been to him the coming of his loved Saviour to receive him unto Himself. He had passed the Slough of Despond and the Enchanted Ground, and reached the gates of the
. He (Mr. Harris) thought they might say of their friend whose white hair and long, flowing beard always made one think of him as a patriarch as was said of Job, “Thou shalt come to thy grave like a shock of corn in due season.” They thought of his death as seasonable, natural, and as the gathering of the ripened grain to the heavenly garners. Probably the suffering and disease had ripened him, as the lightning sometimes ripened the summer corn, for the God of health and sunshine was also the God of sickness and passing away. Mr. Cave never complained of his malady, and understood the secret of it now it had left him in the Saviour’s keeping, and the testimony of his life to them was that Christ was worthy of confidence, and a Saviour of the soul trusting in Him.
Handel’s “Dead March” was feelingly played by Mr. G. Farey as the coffin was removed from the church.
The procession was then re-formed and moved quietly to the cemetery, where the remains were laid to rest in a brick grave next to that of his wife. Mr. Harris read the committal sentences, and, in the gathering darkness, deepened by the heavy fog, the friends took a last loving look at the coffin“until the day break, and the shadows flee away,”
In loving memory of my dear father Emma.
In loving memory of our dear father, from Paul and Emma.
In loving memory of our dear father, from Amos, Sarah, and their children.
In loving memory to dear father, from Fred, Aggie, and our children, Morton, Jessie, and Alan.
In ever-loving memory of dear father, from Arthur,
, and the children.
In ever-loving and tender memory, from Charlie and Jennie and grandsons Monty and Leslie.
In loving memory from Jack and Pattie.
In affectionate memory of an old and valued friend Mrs. Burrup, Sutton,
With sincere sympathy from Mr. V. and Mrs. G. C. Oliver, Leicester.
In memoriam Mr. John Cooper, Delapre Abbey,
With deep sympathy from H. P. Tyler,
With deepest sympathy Mr. W. Hosker, Johannesburg, S.A.
With heartfelt sympathy Mr. J. Hosken,
With sympathy Mr. J. Carrall,
With deep sympathy Mr. Matthew Kitchen,
With greatest sympathy and respect from the employees of
and Sons, Ltd.
With deepest sympathy Mrs. Chas. Oliver, Bexhill-on-sea.
With sincere sympathy Miss Lowick.
With deepest sympathy Mr. and Mrs. (Nurse) Griffiths.
A token of respect from the employees of the Standard Rotary Machine Company.
With sincere sympathy from the Park-road Baptist Choir.
In loving esteem for a true friend who has left us and gone home Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Pettitt, Harrold.
From his sorrowing friend,
With deepest sympathy Mr. and Mrs. G. T. Hawkins,
A tribute of sincere respect and affection from the family of the late Mrs. Morton, of Mosely,
With sincere regard from Mr. and Mrs. Inwards, of Irthlingborough.
The arrangements for the funeral were admirably carried out by Mr. Harry Knight.
A telegram was received from Mr. Wm. Lewin, of Wellingborough, regretting that urgently pressing business prevented his attendance.
A telegram was also received from
from Mr. Owen Parker, of Higham Ferrers: “Mr. Amos Cave, Rushden My thoughts and sympathy are with you all to-day. Am suddenly summoned here on sad business Owen Parker.
A MEMORIAL SERVICE
was held in the Park-road Baptist church on Sunday morning and was attended by a very large congregation. The choir touchingly sang Carey Bonner’s anthem, “Good-night beloved,” Mrs. Arthur Taylor taking the solo. Mr. Harris took for his text the two passages inscribed on the memorial card, “I waited patiently for the Lord” (Psalm x1., 1) and “So He giveth His beloved sleep” (Psalm cxxvii., 2). Nothing, he said, would have been more distasteful to the self-deprecating spirit of their friend than that that pulpit should be used for eulogism of him. But his death and burial had arrested public attention in no ordinary degree, and they were justified in taking advantage of such a moment to impress the reality, solemnity, and certainty of death and the hereafter.