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.

DOWNSIDE’S WAR MEMORIAL – THE NAVE OF THE ABBEY CHURCH.

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 SERMON.

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.”

THE NEW NAVE.

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.

SPEECHES AT THE LUNCHEON.

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..

ABBOT RAMSAY.

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.

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

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.

THE CLOSING CEREMONIES.

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 GUESTS.

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 http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

A Historic Essex Convent – the 125th anniversary of New Hall, Essex in 1925

New Hall Essex
New Hall Essex

I stumbled across this when I was looking for more  information on the Roper Parkingtons, and this was on the same page as the notice of Lady RP’s death.

PARKINGTON.—Of your charity, pray for the soul of Marie Louise Parkington, wife of the late Col. Sir John Roper Parkington, who died on June 13, fortified by the rites of Holy Church, at Broadwater Lodge Wimbledon. R.I.P. 

It is all part of a very small world because Great, Great, Great, Great Aunt Jane Grehan joined the convent  about 1800, and Great, Great, Great Grandpa Patrick Grehan Senior left her, and presumably the convent, £ 1,500 in his will of 1830. It was a huge sum of money. New Hall was the girls’ equivalent of  either Douai, or more probably Stonyhurst (though 100 years later than either). It’s also entertaining that the house belonged to Thomas Boleyn because he was Jane Grehan’s third cousin about seven times removed, and the Butlers got the Earldom of Ormond back on the grounds of Thomas Boleyn not having any male heirs. The execution of his son George along with his sister Anne having something to do with it…

Anyway back to the Tablet in 1925

The one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation of the Convent of the Holy Sepulchre, New Hall, near Chelmsford, was commemorated on Tuesday, when new school buildings were opened by His Eminence Cardinal Bourne, in the presence of a distinguished gathering of clergy and laity. New Hall is an historic Tudor mansion, purchased at the end of the eighteenth century for the English branch of the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, which was founded at Liege in 1642, and came over to England in consequence of the French Revolution. The place originally belonged to the Augustinian Canons of Waltham Abbey, and was the summer residence of their Abbots, who frequently entertained royalty here on their way, via Harwich, to and from the Continent. It subsequently became Crown property. Henry VIII, who acquired it from Sir Thomas Boleyn, father of the ill-fated Anne, gave it the name of Beaulieu, and kept the great feast of St. George here with his whole Court in 1524. His arms are to be seen to this day in the chapel ,of the Convent, which was originally the ” great hall ” of the mansion. The blessed Thomas More, the martyr, visited here with the Court, and it was Mary Tudor’s favourite abode. Queen Elizabeth also visited here, and on the front entrance over the chapel door are the Royal Arms and an inscription to her. The new school buildings, designed by Mr. Sidney Meyers, consist of six new class rooms, a dormitory, an art studio, and practising rooms. The principal addition is a spacious hall to serve as gymnasium, as a theatre for the performance of plays, and as a recreation room in inclement weather.

Pontifical High Mass, “Coram Cardinale” was celebrated by the Bishop of Brentwood, with Father Wilfrid Thompson, rector of Chelmsford, as deacon, and Father M. Wilson, of Brentwood, subdeacon. The assistant priest was Canon Dolan, of Sheffield (brother of the Mother Prioress), and the deacons at the throne were Canons Shepherd (of Stock) and McKenna (Southend). Mgr. Wm. O’Grady, V.G., was assistant priest to the Cardinal, and Mgr. G. Coote master of ceremonies to His Eminence. In the sanctuary were the Archbishop of Bombay ; Abbots Smith and White, C.R.L. ; Mgri. Watson and Rothwell ; Canons Bloomfield, Shepherd, and Driscoll ; the President of St. Edmund’s College, Old Hall; the Rector of Beaumont College; the Rector of Manresa House, Roehampton ; the Superior of the London Oratory (Father Crewse); Revv. B. S. Rawlinson, O.S.B., Bede Jarrett, 0.P., C. Galton, S.J., Bradley, C.SS.R., G. Nicholson, C.SS.R.,Burnham, Blackett, S.J., James Nicholson, S.J., E. King, S.J. O’Gorman, S.J., P. L. Craven, Coughlan (Braintree), Gay (Kelvedon), and P. Butler (chaplain of the convent).

Among the laity were Audrey Lady Petre, Sir Thomas and Lady Neave, Lady Shiffner, Lady Horder, Lady Keith Price, Admiral and Mrs. Haggard, Commander and Mrs. Fell, Mr. Mitchell Banks, K.C., M.P., Captain and Mrs. Curtis, Major and Mrs. Fleming, Mrs. Hunter Blair, Major, Mrs. and Miss Tufnell, Madame Girod de l’Ane, Colonel and Mrs. E. Blount, Mr. and Mrs. Turville Petre, Mr., Mrs. and Miss H. S. Petre, Mrs. Weld Blundell, Miss Trappes Lomax, Mr. C. Trappes Lomax, and Mr. Robert Trappes Lomax (who was train-bearer to the Cardinal).

After lunch a splendid performance by the pupils was given of ” A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which was beautifully staged in the new Hall and produced by Miss Winifred Dolan. The young performers displayed a fine dramatic •instinct, and had an enthusiastic reception. At the close they sang for the first time “New Hall School Song” (in which are traced the historical associations of the place), the words by Miss Dolan. It was composed by Madame Emilie Clarke, who played selections from her own compositions, while the incidental music was played by Miss Janet Curtis.

THE CARDINAL’S ADDRESS.

Speaking at the close of the performance, Cardinal Bourne offered the very sincere congratulations of all to the Mother Prioress and the community of New Hall on the anniversary they had been celebrating. One hundred and twenty-five years !—well, they had not invented a name for such a celebration. They had jubilees of different kinds—silver, golden, diamond—and centenaries. What they would call 125 years he did not quite know. A century and a quarter, and on that occasion it marked the opening of what he believed was certain to be a new epoch in the history of the school. The community had, to his mind very wisely, not been afraid to embark on a great enterprise. They had seen that day in the splendid entertainment provided for them what one might call the first fruits of the new enterprise ; and in expressing to the children of the school their appreciation of what they had shown them, the excellent way in which every-thing had been staged and presented, he took that as an augury of the future. What they had done that day showed what they were capable of, and although they might be the first to admit that such an entertainment was not the most important thing in their school life, still it did take an important part in it, and gave them courage and to us all the assurance that in the most important things they would do as they had done in that entertainment. That morning in the chapel they had what he regarded as something to be welcomed—a truly liturgical High Mass with not a single word in the vernacular, and he appreciated a liturgical Mass like that very much. Then very wisely the community set an example for all of them that might be pursued in other places : there were no speeches at the luncheon. And so until that moment they had not an opportunity of offering their good wishes to the Mother Prioress, the community, and the children on what had been achieved and what that achievement meant for the future. The school occupied a very important place in the educational life of the country, and he hoped that would never be forgotten. It represented a very old and very important tradition. There was a time not so long ago when the number of children there seriously diminished, and, as he had said, the community had determined to place the school once again in the forefront of Catholic schools for girls. They had done so very wisely, and on behalf of the visitors he wished all those connected with the school, the Mother Prioress, the community, the young girls and the old girls, the realization of their hopes and dreams for the future. He had said that school had occupied a very special place on account of its links with the past, and he thought those communities that go back in the history of this country now for 125 years, and go back in their own history for a much longer period of time, had a very special place in the history of the Catholic Church in this country. They were one of the answers, and a very important answer, to the false theories of continuity that had become rife in this country in more recent years. New Hall, the Benedictine houses, the Canonesses Regular of the Lateran, and other religious houses were founded abroad, remember, because their existence was impossible in England ; their existence in England would not have been impossible had there not been a radical change in the religion Of the country. Let them never forget that. It was because their English Catholic maidens who had desired a religious life could not find that religious life in England, owing to the religious change of the sixteenth century, that those houses were founded abroad. They were living in happier and better times, and thanked God for it. Let them never forget the history of the past. They do no service to their country or to its religious interests if they forgot that. And so, said His Eminence in concluding, I thank this religious community for their continued existence. Their presence among us, their continuance in difficult and easier times, are things for which the country and the whole Catholic Church in this country have reason to be thankful. Looking at the new buildings and upon the children, we look forward to the future full of hope and confidence that the next seventy-five years, which will have to elapse between this and the second centenary, will see New Hall always growing in strength, always filling that religious place in the educational life of this country, and always doing the work for which it was founded.

THE BISHOP OF BRENTWOOD.

The BISHOP OF BRENTWOOD thanked His Eminence for coming there and also for speaking words of encouragement to the good nuns who were living on that historic spot and doing a splendid work that had been carried on for 125 years. The existence of New Hall was one of the brightest features in the diocese of Brentwood. He believed there were some people who would not have known anything about the diocese of Brentwood or of Essex except for New Hall. One class knew of Essex by Southend, and another knew of Essex by New Hall. He had been in many parts of the country, and everywhere met people who had told him that they had been brought up at New Hall, and that meant to him that New Hall had made the diocese and the county known. He wished to thank the community for all they had done. When the nuns first came there 125 years ago they found the place very much dismantled. They paid a good sum of money for the property. They found the children were separated too far from the rest of the community, and it took them a year before they were able to get the work accomplished. He could not help thinking as he looked at the new buildings that day that the spirit of the nuns of New Hall was exactly the same spirit of 125 years ago. Anybody who had been associated with New Hall would say that those who had come from that school had always had the same charming homelike spirit. There was something about it, something about the children, that produced a most charming type and at the same time a love of New Hall that brought people back there again and to send their children in order to get the benefits of the place. He wished to thank the nuns for creating that spirit, and re-echoed the words of His Eminence the Cardinal. There was a charm, but they could not be content merely with that. They must move with the times. He thought the community had come to a right decision ; that they would go on singing the Divine Office and saying all the prayers, and also go on educating the children put into their charge. In order to do that properly they must have the buildings and equipment which’ they saw that day. He congratulated the nuns, and echoed the words of the Cardinal that that might be the beginning of a new epoch, and the next 525 years a more glorious period than the last in educating children to be staunch workers, and so help on the great work they were trying to do here in England.

FATHER JAMES NICHOLSON, S.J., who is acting as one of the chaplains, conveyed the thanks of the Mother Prioress and the community to the visitors. In a tribute to New Hall he observed that there is a home feeling in it that comes of the charity that exists there.

 

The above text was found on p.16, 27th June 1925 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

 

The Mayor of Hampstead’s Garden Party – 4th July 1914

It took a lot of digging to try to find out the answers to this one, but it was always the most intriguing photo. Some of the people are clearly identifiable from other photos. Particularly the members of the O’Bryen family, Ernest and Gertrude are easily identifiable either side of the clergyman, with Cis kneeling looking at her mother, and Kenneth and Molly also to the front with their parents. Rex O’Bryen and his wife Florence are standing on the far left.

The clergyman remained mysterious for rather longer, as did most of the others in the picture. He did provide a very useful spur in the search, which rapidly threw up two O’Bryen priests. The first was Father Philip, who was an older brother of Ernest, and Rex. The other was Mgr Henry O’Bryen, who was a much older half-brother.

The Mayor of Hampstead Garden Party 4th July 1914

The clothes provided the next clues, particularly the hat and ring. Fr Phil was a parish priest, so wouldn’t have dressed like that, and Mgr Henry was dead before Ernest and Gertrude married, so it couldn’t be him. Eventually I found this…..

The Tablet Page 17, 11th July 1914 NEWS FROM THE DIOCESES

WESTMINSTER-THE CARDINAL’S ENGAGEMENTS

THE MAYOR OF HAMPSTEAD’S GARDEN PARTY.—The Cardinal Archbishop was entertained by the Mayor and Mayoress of Hampstead, Mr. and Mrs. E. A. O’Bryen, on Saturday last (4th July) at a garden party at their house and grounds at Daleham Lodge. A large company had been invited to meet his Eminence, and were presented to him. Among the guests were Canon Wyndham 0.S.C., Sir Roper and Lady Parkington, Lady Parker, Mgr. Grosch, the Father Superior and several of the Fathers from Farm Street, Prior Bede Jarrett, and several of the Dominican Fathers from Haverstock Hill, Canon Brenan, Mr. Lister Drummond, K.S.G., and Mr. C. J. Munich, K.S.G., and very many others. Refreshments were served in the grounds, and there was some, very enjoyable music.

This now answered some of the questions, but not all, and also is one of the many odd coincidences. One of the Roper Parkington’s granddaughters  Marie marries Alan O’Bryen ten years after this photo, and Colonel Sir John Roper Parkington, and Lady RP have quite a part in this tale. We’ll come back to whether it is the two of them behind the Cardinal, and the Mayor.