Simon Conyers Scrope and Valentine Cary-Elwes


With deep regret we announce the death of Mr. Scrope, which took place at Danby Hall on Wednesday, after a short illness, during which be received all the Last Sacraments. Born in 1858, and educated at Stonyhurst and the Oratory, Mr. Scrope lived almost all his life at Danby. He was a devoted Catholic, a thorough sportsman, and a true friend. He was a Justice of the Peace and a Deputy Lieutenant, and for many years served in the Yorkshire Artillery Militia, in which he held the rank of Major and Hon. Lieut.- Colonel. Of the family he represented, it is probably superfluous to speak in a Catholic paper. The Times says : “Mr. Scrope was the head of one of the oldest and most famous families in English history. In the course of three centuries from Edward II. to Charles I. the house of Scrope produced two earls and twenty barons, one Chancellor, four Treasurers, and two Chief Justices of England, one Archbishop and two Bishops, five Knights of the Garter, and numerous Bannerets. Shakespeare mentions three of the Scrapes. The grandfather of Mr. Scrope, who died in 1872, laid claim to the earldom of Wiltshire, a creation of 1397, but the decision of the House of Lords was adverse, their decision not following the Devon case.” R.I.P.


We regret to announce the death of Mr.[ Valentine]  Cary-Elwes of Great Billing, Northamptonshire, and of Roxby and Brigg, Lincolnshire. He was taken ill with double pneumonia on Sunday, and died at his Northamptonshire residence on Wednesday. Mr. Cary-Elwes, who was born in 1832, was the only surviving son of Cary Charles Elwes of Great Billing, was formerly in the 12th Lancers, and served in the Kaffir War in 1831-32. He was a magistrate and Deputy-Lieutenant for Lincolnshire, of which he was High Sheriff in 1873. The following year he was received into the Catholic Church. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He was twice married, his second wife being Alice Geraldine, youngest daughter of the Rev, the Hon. Henry Ward of Killinchy, County Down, brother of the third Viscount Bangor. He leaves two sons and one daughter. The funeral will take place at Billing on Monday. R.I.P.

The above text was found on p.14,19th June 1909 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Downside’s War Memorial – The Nave Of The Abbey Church. August 1925

Downside Abbey

This contains a brace of great, great uncles and aunts, a recently widowed great, great uncle, and a first cousin twice removed.


The dignity, the magnificence and the friendliness which mark great functions at Downside were present in more than their usual abundance last Saturday on the occasion of the solemn opening of Downside’s war memorial—the nave of the abbey church. The weather was perfect; the capacity of the place was tested to its utmost by a representative gathering of interested well-wishers; the hospitality of the monks was worthy of their best traditions; and the ceremonies had all the stateliness and symmetry peculiar to Downside. Even in its curtailed stages the abbey church lent itself well to great ceremonies; but on Saturday, and now nearly complete, the spectacle of the crowded building during High Mass was truly magnificent. The fine sanctuary with the two Cardinals and their assistants; the choir filled with the clergy of the diocese, specially invited; the monks and the choir; the body of the building filled with the school and the friends of Downside, made a vivid, wonderful picture. High Mass was sung by His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Gasquet being present in the sanctuary. The separate processions of these dignitaries as they entered and left the abbey church, composed of Bishops and Abbots, the secular and regular clergy of the diocese and the monks of the community, winding their way through the aisles of the old and new building, were most impressive in their mixture of humility and medieval splendour. Cardinal Gasquet’s pro-cession, as a son of the house, was singularly picturesque and touching. The Mass was Christopher Tye’s Euge Bone; the proper of the Mass was plainchant. The deacon of the Mass was Dom Aidan Trafford; the sub-deacon Dom David Knowles; assistant priest, Dom Hugh Connolly. The two assistants at the throne, Dom Ethelbert Horne and Dom Lucius Graham; assistants to Cardinal Gasquet, Dom Odo Langdale, Dom Stephen Rawlinson. The master of ceremonies, Dom Charles Pontifex, assisted by Dom Paul Brookfield.


The Bishop of Clifton preached the sermon, his whole chapter being present capitulariter. A close friend of Downside, he knew many of the boys whose memories were that day being perpetuated; and his words, scholarly, sympathetic and paternal, met with the demands of the moment, for they stimulated as well as they soothed. In illustrating the fight of centuries between ” barbarism and the Creed of Christ “ he showed how Europe in the sixth century, through the savagery of Totila who loved war, and the saintliness of St. Benedict who loved peace, became divided into two main camps, and how ” after years of slumbering hostility the last culminating conflict between the modern representatives of those two camps came in our own day.” The Great War was, he said, ” the crowning struggle between the brood of Totila and, whether they knew it or not, the heirs of the centuries that had been moulded by Rome and St. Benedict . . . And so among the youth and manhood of England the sons of Downside, both as soldiers and chaplains, were well to the front when in Belgium our first small but gallant force bore the brunt of the enemy’s onslaught; and, when recruited and augmented, they entered upon that long weary and wasting war in the trenches. . . . And so they went down, cheerfully and gallantly, one hundred and nine of them, some of them mere boys. . . . In that day Deborah sung and said ‘ 0 ye of Israel that willingly offered your lives todanger, bless the Lord’; but this day (to-day) the cry of the Prophetess is taken up by the Foster-Mother of our own warriors, nor Mother of the fallen only but of them, too, who came out of the fiery ordeal unscathed. . . . She seems to say I sent you forth with mourning and weeping, but the Lord has brought you back to me with joy and gladness for ever. This soaring nave, these graceful aisles . . . will stand unto all time as a memorial to you, not an empty memorial . . . but a living home where Heaven and earth ever meet. Where soul can draw nigh to soul. . . . Your spirits will for ever haunt this holy place; the memory of your deeds, of your simplicity and gallantry, of your long-sustained patience, of your cheery comradeship, of your fidelity to God and country, will be for ever graven on the hearts of children yet to be mine, who will worship where you worshipped, nourishing the same holy thoughts and high inspirations and drinking large draughts out of the heart of Him over whom death bath no longer power.’ ‘ . . . Ending his eloquent and touching discourse with the hope that with religion in a more flourishing state, wars might entirely cease, he said, ” Thoughts and hopes and visions such as these must assuredly rise in the hearts and gather to the eyes of all of us whose lot it is to take some part in the solemn festivities of this memorable and happy day.”

Turning to the two Cardinals, the Bishop concluded his stirring and beautiful sermon with the words : ” My Lord Cardinal of Westminster, none but yourself could have lent so proper and becoming a lustre to this monastic celebration; for on your shoulders lies the Roman pallium, the emblem of jurisdiction worn by Augustine of Canterbury, and Dunstan of Glaston, and Elphege of Bath, and Lanfranc and Anselm of Bec, all of them monks of St. Benedict, whose example in upholding the faith of our forefathers you emulate so nobly. And without your presence, my Lord Cardinal of Santa Maria in Campitelli, Downside’s cup of joy would have been far from full to-day. Just twenty years ago, at the opening of this choir of your beloved Abbey, you told in touching words the story of the makers of Downside. Downside proclaims to-day with gratitude and with love that among the names of her makers, all great men and holy, last but by no means least, your own will be ever included.”


Sir Giles Gilbert Scott

” This holy place “ is the new building—seven bays of a spacious nave, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott; and they form a noble building which, bridging the ornate handsome transept, carries on and completes in harmonious fashion the chaste severity of the choir. The total length of the nave is, at present without the future three bays, 112 feet, the portion just added is too feet, and the total length of the church when finished will be 362 feet. The width of the nave, with aisles, fifty-six feet. From floor to groin the height of the nave is seventy feet. The new nave is not only a noble and gracious structure from the artist’s point of view but it is a church inspiringly devotional. One of its many beauties is the fact that its acoustic properties are perfect. Small, light voices in the sanctuary can be heard at the great west door. This surely is the test of good building.

The music, arranged and conducted by Dom Thomas Symons (choirmaster), was admirable. The choir, its sweet precision augmented by the fervour of the whole school, gave a rendering of O felix Roma, which was a stirring addition to the programme. The organ was played with skill by Dom Gregory Murray, the voluntaries being chosen with taste and executed in felicitous style.


Mass over, the Abbot of Downside, Dom Leander Ramsay, the monks and the school, who together with the guests, clerical and lay, numbered about seven hundred (guest-master Dom Christopher Batley), sat down to luncheon in a marquee erected on the cricket field. A Royal Artillery Band played during the meal and in the afternoon. There were five short speeches : by the Cardinal Archbishop, Cardinal Gasquet, the Bishop of Clifton, the Abbot of Downside, and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott..


Proposing the health of the guests, with which he coupled the names of Their Eminences Cardinals Bourne and Gasquet, the Abbot of Downside spoke of the completion of the nave of the church as not only an addition to that edifice itself but a multi-plication, as the beauties of the earlier parts of the building had now been greatly enhanced. Years ago, said the Abbot, during the agonies of war, that form of a memorial to the old boys of Downside School had been discussed by the school authorities, and the idea met with ready acceptance. Thus their new nave would stand as a memorial of the Old Boys of Downside, and also as an external memorial of the Christian ideals for which they gave their lives, besides being a further work accomplished for the glory of God. He trusted that the boys who in the future came to worship in that portion of the church which was built under such conditions would receive influences which would have an effect upon their whole lives.

Welcoming the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Abbot said : ” We thank him for his presence to-day ; and also for singing solemn Mass. We thank him also for the personal friendship he has always shown to Downside, and also because he comes to us as the representative of the hierarchy of England. By his presence Cardinal Bourne has shown his continued interest in the work which this community is endeavouring to do in the far west and has for some time been trying to accomplish to further the work of the Church of God in this country.” Abbot Ramsay spoke also of the pleasure given them that day by , the presence of Cardinal Gasquet, who really looked on Downside, the speaker believed, as his home. It was to the Cardinal that Downside owed the origin, fifty years ago, of the scheme for building its abbey church ; the inception of that difficult task was due to His Eminence’s initiative and courage. At that time their financial resources were more slender than they had since become ; but Cardinal Gasquet faced the enterprise, and their great abbey church might virtually be looked upon as his memorial. Continuing, the Abbot thanked the Bishop of Clifton for his sermon. He believed, he said, that his lordship looked upon Downside as his second home. Members of that community were always glad when the Bishop came amongst them, and he really was, in a true sense, ” one of the family.” The Bishop of Clifton had identified himself in a wonderful way with the fortunes of their monastic house. Next the Abbot welcomed at that celebration many Old Boys, some of whom he knew had submitted to the same hazards and dangers of war as had the fallen whom they commemorated that day. They had done their duty in like manner ; and had earned the gratitude of their fellow-countrymen. The Abbot next welcomed, the parents of the Old Boys whose memory they commemorated ; and finally extended a welcome to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of the new nave. He congratulated Sir Gilbert on the manner in which he had accomplished his task. He had added to the work of two previous schemes of construction which already existed, and had succeeded in expressing his own individuality, without destroying the character of the earlier work.


Cardinal Bourne

Replying to the toast, Cardinal Bourne spoke of that day as an occasion for devout thankfulness for what had been accomplished. His Eminence complimented Cardinal Gasquet upon the unhesitating boldness with which he had embarked on the scheme for building the abbey church fifty years ago. For the Catholics of this country, he said, no dreams could be too great, no schemes too large, no enterprise too far-reaching, it they were to do the work which God had committed to their hands. They owed a debt of gratitude to all who had been associated with this work. The Cardinal recalled that one of his previous visits to Downside was some thirteen years ago, when the new school buildings were opened. He paid another visit some four years ago, when the relics of their Irish Catholic martyr, Blessed Oliver Plunket, whose sufferings formed a bond of association between the Irish and the English Catholics, were placed in their present shrine. Through the prayers of that martyr, no doubt great spiritual blessings had already rested upon that foundation. Many of their countrymen who did not yet accept the authority of the Holy See must be impressed by the evidence all over the country of what their communion could accomplish in England.


Cardinal Gasquet

Cardinal Gasquet, who followed, told a story of his Downside days to illustrate his point, subsequently made, that for years it has been a mistake on the part of many Catholics to embark upon building schemes which turned out ultimately to be far too small. When, said His Eminence, he first urged, he desirability of building the church at Downside the President-General was appealed to to stop ” this lunacy.” The Cardinal, in his speech, traced the successive steps in the building of Downside Abbey. First came the transepts and the choir, then the lady chapel and the other beautiful chapels, and finally their nave. All that now remained was to complete two or three bays and the tower. Cardinal Gasquet announced that a holiday would be granted to the boys next term in commemoration of this celebration, and concluded by proposing the health of the architect.

Sir Gilbert Scott briefly replied.

The Bishop of Clifton, in a short and happy speech, expressed his thanks for the many kindly references made to himself by various speakers that day. The Catholics of England, said his lordship, had a very good leader in Cardinal Bourne, who knew the mind of the Church and always let the public have it. They were greatly indebted to the presence of His Eminence.


On Sunday the Mass, sung by the Bishop of Clifton, was for the Old Gregorians who returned from the war. The great requiem for the fallen, on Monday, a most impressive Mass, was sung by Bishop Keatinge, Army Bishop; all the ministers on the altar on this occasion being ex-chaplains; Cardinal Gasquet present on the throne; the O.T.C. in the body of the church in full uniform. This stately ceremony rivalled the function of Saturday, some thinking the austere beauty of the latter outshone the magnificence of the former; but each in its lofty fashion suited the occasion.

After the Mass Sir Hugh Clifford, G.C.M.G., in the presence of the O.T.C., the monks and friends, unveiled the memorial tablets at the west door, on which are recorded the names of the dead : and with that solemnity the ceremonies at Downside ended.


The prelates and clergy present included : His Eminence Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, His Eminence Cardinal Gasquet, the Bishop of Clifton, the Archbishop of Cardiff the Bishop of Lancaster, Bishop Butt, Bishop Vaughan, Bishop Keatinge, the Abbot of Buckfast, the Abbot of Belmont, the titular Abbot of Glastonbury, Mgr. Provost Russell ; Canons Lee, Chard, Davey, Lyons, Sugden, Murphy, O’Riordan ; Mgr Barnes, Mgr. Watson, Mgr. Pyke, Mgr. Coote ; Father Bede Jarrett, Provincial O.P. ; Father Prior of Wincanton, O.D.C. Father Daniel, O.M.C. ; Father Guardian, O.F.M., of Clevedon Father Meyer, S. J. ; Dora Philip Langdon, ; Fathers Bilsborrow, Carroll, Byrne, Jackson, Long, Groomes, Hackett, Grorod, Hudson, Morvin, O’Sullivan, Valluet, Iles, Hayes, Ellis, Cashman, and O’Connell.

The laity present were : Mr. and Mrs. Allan, Mr. and Mrs. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Armour, Mrs. Awdry, Mr. and Mrs. Baker, Mr. E. J. Bellord, Mrs. Bethell, Count and Countess Blucher, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Dyne, Mrs. Byrne, Mr. and Mrs. Bisgood, Mrs. Callender, Mrs. FitzGerald, Mrs. Cawston, Mrs. Cocquerel, Mr. and Mrs. Coke, Mrs. Collingridge, Mrs. and Miss Coppinger, Capt. and Mrs. Crichton-Stuart, Mrs. Cryan, Mrs. and Miss Chichester, Mrs. Maidlow-Davis, Mr. and Mrs. de Cosson, Mr. and Mrs. Devas, Major and Mrs. Dorehill, Mr. Julian Duggan, Col. and Mrs. Ellis, Mrs. W. A. Fitzgerald, Mrs. Finnigan, Mr. Justice and Mrs. Foster, Mrs. and Miss Gleadell, Sir Charles and Lady Gordon-Watson, Mr., Mrs. and Miss Green-Armytage, Mrs. Greenwood, Mrs. Hayward, Mr. and Mrs. Hernu, Mrs. Leary, Mrs. Heydon, Mrs. Sherborne, Mrs. and Miss Inns, Mrs. Keenan, Dr. and Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Kestell, Mrs. Lattey, Mr. and Mrs. A. Le Sueur, Mrs. Lethbridge, Mrs. Lewton-Brain, Mrs. Mackenzie, Mr. and Mrs. McCormack, Mrs. and Miss MacDermot, Col. and Mrs. Macmillan, Mrs. Marshall, Lady Ware, Mr. T. Mathew, Professor and Mrs. Maxwell-Lefroy, Mrs. May, Sir Thomas Molony, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, Mrs. and Miss Morrison, Mrs. Murray, Mrs. O’Connor, Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, Major and Mrs. Pettit, Mr. and Mrs. Pettit, Mr. and Mrs. Pierson, Mrs. and Miss Poett, Mr. Powys-Lybbe, Mrs. Purdon, Mrs. Powers, Mrs. Radcliffe, Mr. Everard Radcliffe, Sir James and Lady Reynolds, Mr. and Mrs. Robertson, Lady Rose, Sir Mark and Miss Sheldon, Sir Dodington and Lady Sherston-Baker, Col. and Mrs. Sleeman, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Squire, Mr. and Mrs. Steel, Mr. Wolseley, The Misses Stonor, Mr. and Mrs. Stowell, Mr. E. Sumner, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Thompson, Miss E. Eckersley, Mr. and Mrs. Thornely, The Baroness Van der Straten-Waillet, Mrs. Walford, Capt. and Mrs. Wegg-Prosser, Mr. Francis Weld, Dr. Ware, Capt. Joseph Warrington, Lt.-Col. Alfred V. Agius, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Arathoon, Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Baker, Mr. G. Bellord, Mr. C. F. Blount, Mr. C. F. Bull, Mr. H. J. Bunbury, Mr. C. F. Bates, Mr. and Mrs. Gerard E. H. Butterfield, Mr. C. J. Byrne, Mr. D. N. Byrne, Mr. F. L. Byrne, Viscount and Viscountess Campden, Mr. H. C. Callaghan, The Hon. Charles Clifford, Mr. A. Cryan, Mr. J. Cuming, Capt. D. W. Daly, Mr. R. D. S. Daly, Mr. Francis W. Denman, Capt. Hubert de Trafford, Mr. Rudolph de Trafford, Mr. P. H. de Bromhead, Mr. A. Divan, Mr. G. D. Dillon, Mr. A. J. Ellison, Mr. R. C. S. Ellison, Mr. H. O. Evennett, Mr. J. Ferrers, Mr. Roger Ford, Mr. T. E. Fox-Hawes, Mr. C. H. French, Mr. B. F. Giles, Mr. F. W. Grey, Capt. Hubert Hanley, Mr. G. E. Hecht, The Hon. Martyn Hemphill, Mr. Matthew Houghton, Capt. Noel Huth, Mr. B. Rawdon Jackson, The Rev. F. R. James, Mr. N. D. Jennings, Lord Killeen, Mr. M. B. Koe, Mr. Francis Langdale, Mr. R. Lamb, Mr. R. F. Lethbridge, Mr. T. M. Ling, Mr. James MacLachlan, Mr. R. Maidlow-Davis, Lt.-Col. and Mrs. Maskell, Mr. M. W. B. May, The Hon. Michael Morris, Mr. J. J. Mostyn, Mr. and Mrs. John Mulhall, Mr. James Mathew, Mr. Robert Mathew, Mr. C. Nichol-son, Mr. L. V. Parker, Mr. J. A. Pearson, Mr. George Rendel, Mr. T. St. A. Ronald, Mr. R. N. Roskell, Mr. Leslie Rowell, Mr. W. B. Rumann, Mr. G. L. Russell, Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Ryan, Major T. W. Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Stokes, Mr. Martin Saunders, Mr. George Sumner, Mr. R. R. Stokes, The Hon. John Stourton, Mr. Anthony Stokes, Mrs. P. S. Stokes, Sir Richard Throckmorton, Mr. Harold Turnbull, Mr. K. Turnbull, Mr. H. P. Turnbull, Mr. B. R. Turnbull, Mr. T. F. Turner, Mr. S. N. Turner, Baron Guy Van der Straten-Waillet, Mr. William Vowles, Mr. R. R. A. Walker, Mr. M. C. Walter, Mr. R. J. Woodroffe, Mr. A. B. Woods, Mr. and Mrs. Bulfin, Miss Symes, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Baker, Mr. Thomas F. Batt, Mr. and Mrs. Cary-Elwes, Mrs. Chute, Sir Hugh and Lady Clifford, Mr. and Mrs. Kidston, Mr. and Mrs. Segrave Daly, Mr. and Mrs. Ellison, Mr. and Mrs. Eyre, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fisher, Mrs. Fogarty, The Countess of Gainsborough, Mr. George N. Gresley, Mr. Herrenberger, Mrs. Hyatt, Lt.-Col. and Mrs. Mainwaring, Dr. and Mrs. Langran, Mrs. Monk, Mrs. P. M. Payne, Mr. and Mrs. Pontifex, Mr. J. F. Radcliffe, Dr. Ryan, Mr. John Thatcher, Col. and Mrs. Trevor-Cory, Miss Agnes Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Alban Woodroffe, Mr. A. R. T. Woods, Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Sumner, The Rev. Mr. Mostyn and Miss Mostyn, The Rev. Mr. Freeman, Mr. Dean, Sir John O’Connell, M. and Madame Unzue, Commander and Mrs. Hippisley, The Hon. Mrs. Strachey, Mr. and Mrs. J. Sumner Dury, Mr. and Mrs. Barlow, Lady Hoare, Miss Freame, Miss Christmas, Mr., Madame and Miss de Navarro, Col. Huntley G. Spencer, Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher, Mr. and Mrs. Pike, Major and Mrs. Leadbitter, Mrs. Brookfield, Mr. Parnell, Mr. Glyde, Mrs. Scrope, Lady Hylton, Mr. and Mrs. White, Mr. A. K. W. Peacock, Major and Mrs. Stapleton-Bretherton, Mr. and Mrs. King, The Rev. and Mrs. Sparrow, Dr. John Taylor, Miss Denham, Mr. Ward, Dr. Wigmore, Mr. George H. Wheeler, Mr. Alec Waley, Sir George Oatley, Mr. George Gregory, Dr. and Mrs. Jones, Mr. Alfred Jones, Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Le Sueur, Mr. Wylie, Mr. and Mrs. Lush, Mr. and Mrs. Watts, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, Mr. Cunningham, Monsieur and Madame Cartel, Mr. and Mrs. Woollen, Mr. and Mrs. Moorat, Mr. and Mrs. Davies, Mr. Leeming, Mrs. Emery, Mr. and Mrs. Brameld, Mr. Goosens, Major Fryer, Mr. and Mrs. Harriss, Dr. and Mrs. Pollard, Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, Miss Hickie, Miss Holden, Miss O’Neill, Dr. Scales, Mr. Chambers, and Dr. and Mrs. Mitchell.

The above text was found on p.12,1st August 1925, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Obituaries of two grandsons: Leonard J. Bidwell ,1916, and Wilfrid Cary-Elwes, 1917

Two Roper-Parkington grandsons died during the First War. Leonard’s  was an accident caused by a soldier’s rucksack leant against a train door, which managed to turn the door-handle so when he leant against it, the door opened and he fell from the moving train. Wilfrid died at the Battle of Bourlon Wood in France on the 27th of November 1917, thirty-four days after arriving in France. He has no known grave.


Midshipman Leonard Bidwell, whose death is announced, was accidentally killed on the 17th instant. He was the eldest son of Mrs. Bidwell, of 15, Upper Wimpole Street, and the late Leonard A. Bidwell, F.R.C.S., and grandson of Sir J. Roper Parkington. Mr. Bidwell was born in August, 1897, joined the Royal Naval College, Osborne, at the Easter term, 1910, and at the outbreak of war was in H.M.S. ” Cumberland ” and saw service in the Cameroons where he was severely wounded. At the time of his death he had not completely recovered, but was employed on special service by the Admiralty. A Requiem Mass was said at St. James’s, Spanish Place, and the burial took place at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Kensal Green. Amongst those present at the funeral service were :—Mrs. Bidwell (mother), the Misses Bidwell (sisters), Master T Bidwell (brother), Fleet Surgeon L. Bidwell, R.N , Miss Edith and Miss Agnes Bidwell, Mr. E. W. Farnall, C.B., Mrs. Farnall, Sir J. Roper Parkington, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cary-Elwes, Mr. Wilfrid & Miss Lilian Cary-Elwes, Mrs. Sherston Baker, Monsignor Bidwell, Mr. Harry Lawrence. Amongst the naval officers present was Captain Fuller, C.M.G., who was in command of H.M.S. “Cumberland ” during operations in the Cameroons. The Admiralty provided a firing party at the grave, the coffin being carried by men of the R.N.V.R.—R.I.P.

The above text was found on p.24, 29th July 1916  in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Wilfrid Gervase Cary-Elwes,

Second-Lieut. Wilfrid Gervase Cary-Elwes, Irish Guards, officially reported ” missing, believed killed,” but of whose survival no hopes are entertained, was the eldest son of Mr. Charles Cary-Elwes, of Courtlands, Eltham, Kent, and grandson of Sir J. Roper Parkington. Born nineteen years ago, he was educated at Downside, where he was distinguished as an athlete. On receiving a nomination in the Irish Guards, he went to Sandhurst in 1916, and was gazetted in the August of that year. He was anxious to go to the front, and made repeated efforts to be sent there, but only received marching orders on the eve of his nineteenth birthday. He left for the front on October 25, and fell on November 27.

The above text was found on p.28,15th December 1917,  in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Lord Petre 1817 – 1884

The reason for including some of the Petres is partly they are a great story, and also that at George Lynch, and Carmela Lescher’s wedding the present from “the Hon. Mrs. Petre” was “a writing case” . She can only be Julia, who becomes the 15th Lady Petre in June 1908, and the Dowager Lady Petre five months later.

It is with much regret that we have to announce the death of LORD PETRE, which took place at a quarter to eight on Friday evening at his lordship’s London residence, 35, Portland-place For a lengthened period Lord Petre had been in failing health, and, as he had been gradually sinking for the last few weeks, his death did not come as a surprise to his family. The Right Honourable William Bernard Petre, twelfth Lord Petre, of Writtle, in the peerage of England, was the eldest son of William Henry Francis, eleventh Baron, by his first wife, Frances Charlotte, eldest daughter of the late Sir Richard Bedingfeld, of Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk ; he was born at Thorndon Hall, Brentwood, on the 20th of December, 1817, and succeeded to the title on the death of his father in I85o. His lordship came into the possession of large estates chiefly in the parishes surrounding Brentwood. The Petre estates are, indeed, among the most extensive in Essex, and, in addition to reaching into many other parishes, comprised almost the entire acreage of East Horndon, West Horndon, Ingrave, and Herongate. For several generations Ingatestone Hall was the family seat, but in the earlier part of the last century Thorndon Hall was built by the ninth Baron—who, it may be mentioned in passing, held the title for the remarkably long period of fifty-two years—and this magnificent structure succeeded Ingatestone Hall as the chief country residence of the family. It was sumptuously furnished and contained an almost priceless collection of paintings by the old masters, as well as a very valuable library. At one time George III. was a guest at the Hall, and a handsome oak chair in which the King sat when holding his court there was carefully preserved. Unfortunately, Thorndon Hall was destroyed by fire on the morning of the 22nd of March, 1878, and though most of the works of art and other heirlooms were saved, the damage done was estimated at little less than £100,000. Lord Petre at once gave up any intention of rebuilding the Hall, thinking it better to leave such a serious task to a younger man. He and his family resided at Felix Hall, Kelvedon, after the fire, subsequently at York House, Twickenham, which he rented from the Right Hon. M. E. Grant-Duff, and afterwards at Roehampton. Lord Petre, like his predecessors, held a foremost place among the laity of the Catholic Church in England, and in 1869 Pope Pius IX. expressed his appreciation of his lordship’s services to religion by conferring upon him the Grand Cross of the Order of Pius IX. Lord Petre was an unfailing supporter of Catholic institutions, and, when the state of his health permitted it, was always to be found at important gatherings in this country in connection with his church. In Essex he and the other members of his family have ever been ready to contribute of their substance to the maintenance of their Church ; and the archives of the family are not without instances of great sacrifice—the sacrifice of freedom and liberty—in the cause of the faith to which the Petres have clung with so much devotion. The fourth Baron ended his life a prisoner in the Tower, and about the same period others of the family showed a readiness to give up freedom, and, if necessary, life in defence .of their faith.

The late Lord Petre was a considerate landlord, and during the agricultural distress regularly allowed handsome reductions of rent to his tenants. His lordship was a magistrate and a deputy-lieutenant for Essex and Middlesex, but he did not take a prominent part in the public life of either county. He was co-heir to the baronies of Howard, Grey, Stoke, &c. In 1843 he married Mary Teresa, eldest daughter of the late Hon. Charles Thomas Cliflord, and grand-daughter of the sixth Lord Clifford, who survives him, and by whom he has left a family of twelve children—namely, four sons and eight daughters. The eldest son, who succeeds to the title, is the Hon. and Right Rev. Monsignor William Joseph Petre, who was born on the 26th of February, 1847. He is a deputy-lieutenant for Essex, and resides at Woburn Park, Weybridge. The eldest daughter, the Hon. Frances Mary, was born in 1844, and married in 1873, the seventh Earl of Granard. The third, fourth, and fifth daughters are Nuns, and the sixth is a Sister of Charity at Darlington. Three other daughters are married, the most recent wedding in the family having been that of the Hon. Eleanor Mary Petre with Mr. E. S. Trafford, which was Celebrated at Kelvedon in 1880. His lordship is survived by one brother— the Hon. H. W. Petre, of Springfield-place—two sisters, three half-brothers—the Hon. F. C. E. Petre, of 49, Courtfield-Gardens, the Hon. E. G. Petre, and the Hon. A. H. Petre—and one half-sister, who married in 1845 the eighth Baron Clifford. An aunt of the late Baron and the widow of a son of the ninth Baron are also living. There are many representatives of collateral branches of the family residing in different parts of the country.

Lord Petre was representative, through the only daughter, of the last Earl of Derwentwater, executed for high treason in 1715, whose remains were buried at Dilston Castle, Northumberland, and removed, on the destruction of the chapel a few years ago, to the mortuary chapel in Lord Petre’s grounds at Thorndon.


On Wednesday the remains of the late Lord Petre were transported from 35, Portland-Place, to St. James’s, Spanish-place, which was reached at ten o’clock, escorted by the orphans belonging to the Creche in Seymour-street, which is conducted by the Sisters of Charity. The body was enclosed in a rich mahogany coffin, bearing gold coronets on either side, and a beautiful gilt Gothic cross on the lid. On arriving at the church, which was filled to suffocation with those who desired to pay a last token of respect and affection to the memory of the late Peer, the coffin was placed on the handsome catafalque, which was surrounded with innumerable flowers and candles. The Requiem Mass was then proceeded with. The Bishop of Emmaus pontificated, assisted by the Hon. and Rev. Algernon Stanley, the Revv. FF. Hogan and Forster, Ob.S.C., and the Rev. J. Guiron, as master of ceremonies. His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster assisted in cope and mitre, supported by the Very Rev. Provost Hunt and Canon Bamber, the Rev. M. Barry acting as his master of ceremonies. In accordance with the express wishes of the deceased, all the arrangements of the function were carried out with as much simplicity as possible. The service was entirely without organ, and harmonised chants throughout, except the Dies Irae, which was sung to Gregorian tones. At the close of the Mass, the Cardinal Archbishop gave the final absolutions. In deference to the wishes we have already alluded to, there was no funeral sermon or discourse of any kind. At the close, the boys of the choir sang the In Paradisum to music composed for the occasion by the Rev. F. Sankey (Mus. Bac., Oxon), who directed the choir during the whole service.

Among the relatives and friends present we remarked Lady Petre, the Hon. Henry and Hon. Frederick Petre (the brothers and executors), Hon. Bernard and Hon. Philip Petre (sons), the Earl and Countess of Granard, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Bretherton, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Trafford of Wroxham Hall, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Butler Bowdon, Lady Clifford of Chudleigh ; Hon. Charles Petre, Mr. Edward and Lady Gwendeline Petre, Hon. Mrs. Douglas, Mr. Henry Petre of Dunkenhalgh, Mr. F. Loraine Petre, Mr. Edwin de Lisle ; the Earl of Denbigh, Lord Emly, Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Mr. Everard Green, &c., &c.

The church remained filled with a prayerful congregation till two o’clock, when the body was removed to Thorndon Hall, Brentwood, in charge of the Hon. Bernard and the Hon. Philip Petre, and was received there by the Hon. and Right Rev, William Petre.


The burial-place of Lord Petre was the family vault in the Mortuary Chapel at Thorndon, built by him some years ago.

At the funeral the Very Rev. Canon Bomber said Mass, and the Dies Irae and other chants were sung by boys from Woburn School.

Among those present were Lady Petre, Lord Clifford, Agnes Lady Clifford (half sister of the deceased), the Earl and Countess of Granard, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. F. Bretherton, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Trafford, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Butler-Bowden, the Hon. and Right Rev. Mgr. W. Petre (now Lord Petre), the Hon. Bernard Petre, the Hon. Philip Petre, and the Hon. Joseph Petre ; the Hons. Henry, Frederick and Albert Petre, the Hon. Mrs. Douglas ; the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Herries, Sir H. Bedingfeld;  Sir T. Barrett Lenard ; Count Torre Diaz ; Messrs. Henry Petre, Edward Petre, Charles Petre, John Blount ; Lady Sophia Forbes ; Hon. Mary and Catherine Petre ; the Right. Rev Mgr. Weld, the Very Rev. Provost Hunt and the Rev. M. Barry.


A correspondent writes to us : It is not often that we have to mourn the death of one endowed with such rare qualities as this nobleman or one so universally beloved and revered. In every relation of life, he showed himself to be the true Christian nobleman. In the colleges of Old Hall and Oscott he was educated, and learnt those principles which were his guide through life. When upon the death of his father in 1850, he came to his patrimonial estates, he made it his constant study to use his ample means in order to promote the good of others. There was not a poor person around his mansion who did not in some way partake of his beneficence. At a certain hour every day he was free to see any who came to him, and he was ready to advise them and afford them consolation and help according to their needs. His charity was not only generous but most considerate. He thought of the necessities of others and studied how he could relieve them. Perhaps nothing showed this so forcibly as in the comfortable cottages which he provided for them. These cottages had each three bed rooms, for the proper separation of the family, and two ample living rooms, besides a small larder. There was also attached to each pair of cottages a washhouse with copper and oven, and a large plot of garden ground, and the whole was let for the small rent of 1s. 6d. per week. Each cottage cost £200, it is therefore easy to see what a small interest he received for the money expended. He considered that he could not confer a greater charity than thus providing good houses for the poor, and in addition to the many which he found on the estate he added over fifty, which he let at that rate, within the means of the most humble. Another work of charity was the gift of milk to the poor. Each morning some thirty families of children were thus provided with what formed so necessary a part of their breakfast. On his birthday, the 20th of December, there was a donation of clothing to over one hundred families, without distinction of creed, who belonged to the three surrounding parishes. To the church he was a munificent benefactor. The chapels of Thorndon and Ingatestone belonged to him, and he mainly built the chapel at Brentwood, and made over the valuable plot of land upon which the new church, convent, schools, and orphanage were erected. The church and school at Romford, the school-chapel and school at Barking he erected, and almost entirely supported. He was also a great benefactor to the Church at Chelmsford and Ongar, and, indeed, there was no work undertaken for the benefit of religion in the county to which he did not largely subscribe. But his charities were not confined to his own county, he was always ready to give a helping hand to every work having the good of religion or the education of the poor for its object. He subscribed liberally to the reformatories, the poor school committee, the creche and night home, and the erection of the episcopal seminary. But what seemed dearest to him was the education of priests for the work of the missions. Until recently he had always five students who were studying for the priesthood, whom he either wholly or partially educated. It is only by these outward signs that we can judge of his interior virtuous qualities, for his modesty and retirement were equal to his liberality, and he tried to keep everything out of sight. It was this which prevented him from taking a leading part in public affairs, for which by his great abilities he was so well qualified ; and the same humility caused him to give orders that no discourse should be made over him at his funeral. He died as he had lived, calm, peaceful, full of charity for all, full of faith and confidence in the heavenly future. He was attended during his long sickness by one of his daughters, who is a Sister of Charity, and this was a real happiness to him. During the last painful days of his illness he was surrounded by almost all his children, who grieved over the loss of the best of fathers, whilst they were consoled by his peaceful, happy end. The poor around his residence, who loved him so well, as they had a right to do, are inconsolable, for they have lost in him a tender father. He died in his sixty-seventh year, having possessed the estates thirty four years. R.I.P.

The above text was found on p.25, 12th July 1884  in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Lady Roper Parkington 1849 -1925

Lady RP

from The Tablet 27th June 1925


We regret to state that Marie Louise, Lady Parkington, widow of Colonel Sir John Roper Parkington, formerly Consul-General for Montenegro, died suddenly on Thursday of last week at her residence at Wimbledon. Lady Parkington, who married Sir Roper in 1873, was a daughter of the late Mr. Sims Silvester, of the Stock Exchange. She possessed, as honours, the gold medal of the Order of Merite Civile (first class) and the Red Cross of Montenegro.

The requiem was celebrated on Monday, at Farm Street, followed by the interment at Mortlake.—R.I.P.

from The Tablet 28th November 1925


Dame Marie Louise Parkington, who died on June 15 last, widow of Sir John Roper Parkington, left estate of the gross value of £23,371, with net personalty £22,980. She bequeathed £1,000 to the Sister Superior of the Sisters of Charity, 109, Wigmore Street, W., towards the benefit and succour of poor children ; £1,000 to the Rev. Father O’Gorman, or other the priest in charge of St. Austin’s Church, Wimbledon Park, towards the erection, decoration, and upkeep of that church “in the knowledge that Masses will be said there in perpetuity for the repose of the souls of my dear husband and myself “; £1,000 to the rector of the church of the Jesuit Fathers, Farm Street, W., with a similar expression; £25 each for Masses to the rector of the College at Edgehill, Wimbledon, and Father Rankin (or other the priest in charge) of St. Winifred’s Church, Wimbledon. Bequests of jewellery and other property are made to her maid and butler; her motor-car and accessories are left to a chauffeur if still in her service ; and after mentioning a number of individual legacies the testatrix left the residue of her property to her grandchildren in equal shares.

from the Brisbane Courier  Sat 23 Jan 1926 –

“It is my most earnest and heartfelt desire that my children and their families shall live in harmony with- each other, and with all my love and understanding I pray them ever to keep in mind that this was my last wish. So, too, I adjure them and their families in no way to meddle or interfere with my servants, who have rendered my dear husband and myself such loyal service throughout so many years.” These unusual instructions are contained in the will of Dame Marie Louise Parkington, of Broadwater Lodge, Wimbledon, London, S.W., widow of Sir John Roper Parkington, formerly Consul-General in the United Kingdom for Montenegro, who left £23,371, with net personalty £22,980. Among numerous bequests to servants she left to her chauffeur, if still in her service, her motor car and accessories. All her wearing apparel she left to her housekeeper, and her late husband’s personal effects to her “faithful butler.” ” |

Brisbane Courier  Sat 23 Jan 1926 – 

The Tablet Page 31, 27th May 1911

Lady Roper Parkington presented her daughter, Mrs. Sherston Baker, wife of Capt. Dodington Sherston Baker, at their Majesties’ Court on Wednesday. Sir Roper Parkington accompanied them.