Warsop (continued)

Fixed in the west end of the north aisle is a brass to the memory of George Fothergill, so quaintly designed, that we give an illustration of it. The inscription does not impress us as being engraved by an expert, and the ornament round, designed upon a wave line, when analysed is little better.

We next come to a very interesting figure in the history of Warsop and its church, that is Samuel Halifax, who was presented to the living in 1778, and three years later consecrated Bishop of Gloucester. Preferment did not end here, for in 1789 he was transferred to the See of St. Asaph. A marble tablet bearing the Bishop's mitre is fixed on the west wall, and a Latin inscription sets forth some of his virtues:

''Here, near to this, his most dear little son, who was some time since snatched away by untimely fate, the Very Reverend Samuel Hallifax, LL .D. and S.T.P.. wished his paternal remains to be deposited. Born and instructed in the first rudiments of learning in this neighbourhood he afterwards held the position of Public Lecturer and Regius Professor of Civil Law in the University of Cambridge, Master of Faculties in Doctors' Commons, Rector in this church, and Bishop, first in the Cathedral Church of Gloucester, and afterwards in that of St. Asaph, through all of which offices he distinguished himself by his ability, profound learning, and wonderful industry; by his unswerving allegiance to the English church; by the power and sweetness of his discourses; by the touching grace and eloquence of  his writings; and moreover by what he held to be of paramount importance, the uprightness of his life.

He was born at Mansfield, Jan. 8th, 1733: worn out by stone he died a premature death alas! March 4th, 1790, aged fifty-seven years. His wife, Catherine, being left his survivor with an only son and six daughters has erected this monument as somewhat of a mournful solace to her grief."

This eminent divine was educated at the the Mansfield Grammar School, and proceeded to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he gained a sizarship, and in due course graduated B.A. in 1754, and M.A. three years later. He was chaplain in ordinary to George III. The shield, surmounted by the Bishop's mitre (see illustration) is copied from a fine piece of heraldic glass preserved in one of the rectory windows.

Another rector was Samuel Martin who held the spiritual oversight of the parish for the unusually long period of nearly sixty years, being rector fifty-seven years. A brass to his memory has the following inscription:

"In the churchyard, six feet from the centre of the east chancel window lie interred the remains of Samuel Martin, rector of this parish for a period of 53 years. He died on the 4th of April, 1859, aged 89."

During the short time Alleyne FitzHerbert was rector he restored the rectory—raising the roof to form a third storey, and otherwise enlarging it. The brass tablet to his memory states:

"In memory of Alleyne FitzHerbert, one year rector of Warsop, third son of Sir Henry FitzHerbert, Bt., of Tissington, Derbyshire, and Agnes Beresford, his wife: born May 9th, 1815, married May 5th, 1841, Angelina, third daughter of James Happenden, Esq., of Homewood, House, Tenterden, Kent; died April 15th, 1860, leaving a widow with five sons and six daughters."

In addition to the rectors whose memory is perpetuated in the form alluded to, we might mention that John Mosley, was of the same family as the Mosleys of Rolleston Hall, near Burton-on-Trent. He was the second son of Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart., and on the death of his brother without issue in 1757 succeeded to the baronetcy. In 1777 he presented himself to the living of Rolleston, but did not resign Warsop till the following year. In the church chest the present rector found an inventory of church goods signed by Sir John Mosley, as follows;—A great Bible, common Prayer Book, register of parchment, book of homilies, a surplice, a carpet for the communion, linen cloths for communion table and to cover the elements, cushion for pulpit, hearse cloth, pewter flagon, chalice and paten of silver and basin for the offertory,  of  pewter.

Robert Southgate had the honour of having been the first rector who started a Sunday school in Warsop, in fact he was one on the pioneers of the excellent movement begun in 1781 by Robert Raikes, of Gloucester.

Warsop did not come under the survey of the Parliamentary Committee who sat at Nottingham in 1650, but particulars of the incumbent and the name of the patron were obtained at the inquiry held at Retford. From there we learn that the rector kept a "preachings minister at Sookholme." The description of the Rev. Oliver Dand as entered by the committee is somewhat singular. He is described as of " lowe of voice." Here is the entry in full:

"Oliver Dand, clerk, present incumbent, who keeps a preachinge minister att the chappell of Sookholme, in the said parish, who has the cure of soules there, and the said Mr. Oliver Dand is an able preachinge minister, but lowe of voice."

Shaw, in his "History of the English Church," under the heading of Parliamentary sequestrations of Royalist clergy, has the following entry:

"27th December, 1646: Oliver Dan, to Warsop, Notts., loco Mr. Spurr, deceased."

This sets at rest any doubt as to the date upon which the son of Mr. Francis Dand, of Mansfield Woodhouse, came to the living. The present rector points out that it is very certain he was rector prior to the date given by Bishop Hallifax, for his signature appears in 1653. We have it here that he succeeded the Rev. Wm. Spurr at the end of the year 1646. The Parliamentary inquiry records that the patron was William Willoughby, and the living worth one hundred and three score pounds.

We have little space left in which to deal with the registers. They contain many interesting entries, and are five in number. All save one, are in good preservation. The oldest contains the baptisms from 1539 to 1637 at one end, and the burials and marriages from 1538 to 1637 at the other. There are no baptisms, however, recorded in 1555; no burials from 1543 to 1578 inclusive, and no marriages from 1543 to 1578 inclusive. Register B contains the baptisms, burials, and marriages from 1638 to 1742. No entry of any kind, however, was made for the year 1645. There are, two volumes known as Register C, the first containing the baptisms from 1743 to 1812 at one end, and burials for the same period, and marriages from 1743 to 1776, at the other. Vol. II. contains the marriages with banns from 1754 to 1812. Register D consists of three paper volumes containing the baptisms, burials and marriages up to the present time.

Here are a few extracts:

1563. "Sept. 22nd. Henry Earl of Rutland is dead."

The Earl of Rutland was lord of the manor of Warsop and patron of the living, and that undoubtedly is the reason the entry of his death is made here. He was buried at Bottesford, and died five days before the date stated in the Warsop register.

1587. "Buried John Parker, a helpless old man, who was found dead in a place called Nether Breck."

"Buried a certain beggar boy, who died in the house of William Coo."

1596. "Thomas Woomwell, slayne with a wayne."

1622. "Buried Thomas, son of Thomas Jepson, who was killed by an axe."

1626. "Baptized, Alice, the daughter of a poor stranger."

1630. "Buried Leonard Silleot, a centenarian."

1631. "Buried Joanna Ryall, a wandering beggar."

In Register B there are quite a number of entries of  this character:

1646. "Samuel, the Sonne of Richard Jackson and Jane, his wife, was borne upon the 26th day of January, about the brake of day, in the morning, and was baptized on the 31st of January, the next Lord's day following."

One register is for the greater part a transcript from old paper registers. This is evident from the memoranda on the fly leaf, before the entries of baptisms:

Memorandum I.—" Warsoppe. A Register book containing chrystenings, marriages, and burialls, since 1539 (sic) as they were trewlie copied out of old paper books. Written or copied Anno 1612.

Per Thomas Lions, pedegogus. Churchwardens then—

Robert Wheatlie, Tho. Whiteheads."

Memorandum II.—"An agreement made betwixt the inhabitants of Warsoppe and Soukeholme concerning Church levys. November, the tenth, Anno Domini, 1626. whereas heretofore there have been divers differences betwixt the Inhabitants of Warsoppe and Soukholme concerning the payment of Soukholme men to the church levys, it is now agreed betwixt them as followeth: That Soukholme men shall paye to the churchwardens of Warsoppe the fourth part of all charges to wind and weather, and to the keeping of the bells in repayre, and to the charges at visitations: And in lieu of all other charges Soukeholme men do allow Warsoppe men the benefitte of all burialls within the Church: And upon the agreement there is a seat appoynted to Soukeholme hall above the long seates for women on the north side before the pulpitte, vearging to the cross alley by the hall seates of Warsoppe. And this is entered in this booke by the consent of William Spurr, Rector of Warsoppe, James Clarke and William Deane, churchwardens, then being and with the consent of the Inhabitants of Warsoppe, as also by the consent of Henrie Lukin, gentleman, Henri Wode, and the Inhabitants of Soukholme.



William Spurr,




James Clarke,




William Deane,


Henry Lukin, Henry Wood,


of Soukholme"



There is another very interesting memorandum in this book having reference to the allotment of seats. With four exceptions the men and women sat in different parts of the church as was the custom in English churches at that time. On the 22nd of January, 1615, the parishioners of Warsope, by general consent agreed that the parson, Mr. Willm. Spurr and the churchwardens, with the assistance of Robt. Remington, John Whitehead, Cr. Cove and Willm. Barker should sett forth and appoint to the Inhabitants their seats and places in the church, both for men and women, and how much every seate and place shall paie towards every single levy or assessment for the use of the church so proportionately to be increased and diminished as need shall require . . . ." There is a diagram or plan of the arrangement of the seats according to allotment (which we reproduce). Mr. Digby, Mr. Jarvis Wilde, and their wives were allotted one pew, Mr. Ffoster, Robt. Remington and their wives. Mr. John Whitehead, Ffra. Kitchen and their wives had the three pews opposite the pulpit on the south side of the middle aisle and a fourth pew near the tower was alloted to Warsop Hall.

The custom of the separation of the sexes, was a very ancient one, the men sitting on the south side and the women on the north. In some parts there was a sub-division of the sexes, married and unmarried. Warsop differed from this, and the custom even of the men being on one side and the women on the other was not strictly aunered to, for as we have already pointed out the occupants of at least four pews were privileged to sit with their wives. As to the symbolism of separation Darandus, a monk of the 13th century says:—" In church men and and women sit apart, which according to Bede, we have received from the custom of the ancients, and then it was that Joseph and Mary lost the child Jesus, since the one who did not behold Him thought Him to be with the other. . . . The men remain on the southern, and the women on the northern side to signify that the saints who be most advanced in holiness, should stand against the greater temptation of this world, and they who be less advanced against the less."

There is in one of the parish registers a list of rectors from 1638 to the present time,  as follows:—

1638. William Spurre.
1658. Oliver Dand.
1661. William Lacy.
1663. George Fothergill.
1683. Thomas Fothergill, A.M.
1703. John Mandervile.
1735. Joseph Mosley, A.M.
1778. Samuel Halifax, D.D.
1790. Robert Southgate, A.M.
1795. Francis Herbert Hume, A.M.
1806. Samuel Martin, A.B.
1859. Alleyne FitzHerbert.
1860. Philip Davison Bland, A.M.
1871. William Alexander Woodward.
1872. Richard FitzHerbert.
1896. Richard J. King.

The old bells are, unfortunately, no longer in existence, and nothing of their history, so far as we know, remains. Those in present use are four in number, and of the following pitch: D, C, B, A. Bell D, the weight of which is about 41/2cwt., bears the maker's name, and the date of its casting: " S. Midworth, Mansfield. 1812."Bell C weighs a little heavier, and has the legend: " God be our speed. 1747." The next bell in the order mentioned is about 6cwt., and bears the following inscription: " Ut tuba sic sonitu Domini conduco cohortes. 1615." which may be translated: "As a trumpet so by my sound I assemble the hosts of the Lord." This bell was cast by Henry Oldfield, whose marke it bears. The other bell (A) is the heaviest of the quartette, being about 7cwt., and bears the date October 14,

1737. It also has the following legend:

"You that hear my doleful  sound,
Repent before you're laid in ground."

The following is a list of the church plate:

Chalice and paten, marked with the letter C.

Paten and alms dish with the inscription: "The gift of John Kirke, of Warsop, 1768."

Chalice, with inscription: "Presented to the church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Warsop, by the Rev. Sir Richard FitzHerbert, 1897."

Flagon, with inscription: "Given by the Rev. Sir Richard FitzHerbert, Bart., in 1897, to replace dilapidated one given by John Kirke in 1768."

This John Kirke was a noted blacksmith of Warsop. He took great interest in church matters, and at his death in 1767 he left a sum of £30 to be spent in the purchase of a silver flagon and plate for the Holy Communion at Warsop Church. He also left a further sum of £60 to be put out to interest and directed that the money arising therefrom should be given away in two equal portions on Good Friday and St. Thomas's Day, to such poor inhabitants of Warsop as the Rector and churchwardens might think most necessitous and deserving. Strange to say, however, nobody seems to know anything about the latter of these bequests. The £30 was spent as enjoined by the will.

One of the oldest grave-stones to be found in the churchyard is on the north aisle, and stands barely a foot high. The inscription it bears is very brief: "K. Middleton, wife of Tho Mid, 1649."

Another curious stone is to the memory of the person whose burial is here recorded. It has an ornamental border round the following inscription:

ND      E

There is a more modern sound about this:

Go Home Dear Wife
And shed not tears
I must lie here
Till Christ appear
And at His coming
Doth hope to have
A joyful rising
From the grave.

Two others are worth quoting:

Like crowded forest trees we stand
And some are mark'd to fall
The axe shall strike at God's command
And soon shall smite us all.

Read this O! man and be admonished
Though, with it thou may be Astonished
For thou must die as she has done
And meet Christ on his judgment throne
To timely warning O Attend
By Prayer and Faith make Christ thy Friend.

We cannot close this imperfect sketch of the history of Warsop Church without some reference to the late rector, Sir Richard Fitz-Herbert, Bart., who was for so many years the incumbent of the parish, and who prior to residing at Nettleworth Manor, lived at the Rectory. Sir Richard had more than once been heard to express a wish that he should some day see the fine Perpendicular east window of the church filled with stained glass. He did not live to have this wish gratified, but the parishioners within a few months of his death, had one of the most beautiful examples of the stained-glass worker's art, fitted into the six-light window as a memorial to this good man's worth. When the Rector, together with the church officials, first contemplated raising funds to defray the cost of a memorial window the idea was to fill a three-light chancel window, never for a moment believing they could gather in sufficient to pay for glass for the large east window. But they succeeded in raising £420, which enabled them to go in for the larger scheme. The subject of the design is "Love's sacrifice, and its reward." In the left corner is the following inscription:

"To the glory of God, and the memory of a good man, Sir Richard FitzHerbert, Bart., Hector of Warsop from 1872 to 1896, and Lord of the Manor from 1896 to 1906."

On the other side of the window is inscribed: " Given by the parishioners of Warsop and friends, July, 1906."