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|Winwick: History and Antiquities: Part 5e|
|Written by Steven Dowd|
ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES.
Part 1. Etymology of Winwick.
THE RECTORS OF WINWICK. 1764 - 1866
1764.—The Honourable John Stanley was again presented to the rectory of Winwick by Edward, Earl of Derby on the 24th August, 1764, after the death of Thomas Stanley. John Stanley was born in 1692, and was educated at Cambridge, where he was elected Fellow of Sydney Sussex College and became a D.D. He was first rector of Lavant, in Sussex. On 20th April, 1726, he became rector of Liverpool. On the nth September, 1740, he was presented, as we have seen, to the rectory of Winwick. On 19th July, 1743, he was presented to the living of Bury. On 25th March, 1850, he was presented to Halsall. In the same year he preached a sermon in Liverpool for the benefit of the Liverpool Infirmary, which sermon was afterwards published. On the 24th August, 1764, he was presented for the second time to Winwick. In 1766 John Garton of Newton, who had obtained an exhibition from Manchester school to Brasenose College, Oxford, on the 26th February, 1747-8, and afterwards took holy orders, became curate to Dr. Stanley at Winwick. In 1742 Dr. Stanley resigned Winwick the first time. On 14th May, 1740, he resigned Liverpool, in 1757 he resigned Halsall, in 1778 he resigned Bury. He died on the 16th May, 1781, not in 1757, as stated in the History of Lancashire, (iv, 265). Dr. Stanley, who continued rector of Winwick until his death, though a mighty pluralist in that respect, was far behind that Sir John Mansell, a former rector of Wigan, of whom Lord Campbell, in his " Lives of the Chancellors," tells us that becoming Lord Chancellor he appointed himself to every living in his gift which fell vacant wThile he held the seals. There is an epitaph to John Stanley on a tablet against the west end of the north aisle of Winwick church which states that he held his several preferments " conjunctim aut divisim." During this rector's incumbency died the Reverend John Lowe, who had been curate of Winwick during the long period of 57 years.
The Reverend Thomas Seddon, author of " Characteristic Strictures on 100 Portraits of Eminent Persons in Lancashire and Cheshire," many of whose strictures are libellous, writes thus favourably of this rector:—" Did the feelings of the heart always regulate the pencil, the copies from nature would in general be more exact. This honourable artist has commendably paid the greatest attention to his silent monitor, in consequence of which, liberality shines with a lustre the ' gods may look upon with pleasure,' every expression is so nobly characteristic, and every feature so divinely benevolent. We sincerely lament that from the calculation of human life, protracted to the utmost verge, we cannot expect this ornament of the science to remain long with us, and yet it is prophaneness to wish his continuance here, beyond the period of enjoying the satisfaction of it, for such a wish would be to retard that celestial felicity which can only reward his exalted merit."
1781.—Geoffrey Hornby, presented by Edward, twelfth Earl of Derby, on 7th June, 1781, after the death of Dr. John Stanley. Mr. Hornby has a monumental tablet against the west end of the north aisle of Winwick Church. He died in 1812. In early life he is said to have been in the royal navy, and his curate, the Rev. Giles Chippendall, who lost an arm in the service, is said to have served with him on board the same ship. Besides this curate he had at different times the Reverends John Prince, Thomas B. Percival, Edward P. Waters, and H. W. Champ-neys as his curates. He married the Honourable Lucy Stanley, the sister of his noble patron, and had by her a family of seven sons and six daughters, all, of whom lived to be men and women, and to fill useful and important stations—
(i) Edmund, the eldest son, settled at Dalton, and served the office of high sheriff of Lancashire ;
(2) James John succeeded him as rector of Winwick, and will be mentioned hereafter;
(3) Phipps, who entered the navy and obtained distinction in the battle of Lissa, was knighted and became an admiral and one of the lords of the Admiralty ;
(4) Geoffrey, who became rector of Bury;
(5) Charles, who was a captain in the Guards;
(6) Edward Thomas Stanley took holy orders, became a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, and was author of the beautiful poem of "Childhood;"
(7) George, who took orders and became a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford ;
(8) a daughter, who married her cousin, Edward, 13th Earl of Derby;
(9) another daughter, who married the Rev.. Mr. Champneys;
(10) Georgiana, who, after a long life spent in works of piety and active benevolence, died unmarried, and was buried at Winwick ;
(11) Henrietta, who died at Winwick, also unmarried;
(12) Frances, who died unmarried at Winwick;
(13) Louisa, the authoress of Bible Stories, Universal Reform, The Full Loom, The Empty Loom, and many other works which will make her name remembered, who died unmarried at Winwick.
This allusion to the daughter Charlotte, who married her cousin, the Earl of Derby, from whom the noble earl of that name is descended, occurs in her brother's poem of " Childhood "
Large was our circle ; and as still it grew.
Few parents could ever more justly point to the valuable lives of a numerous family than could the Rector "of Winwick, and the Hon. Mrs. Hornby.
Mr. Hornby, who died in 1812, was buried at Winwick, where this inscription marks his resting place :—¦
In the Vault of this Chancel lie interred the Remains of the Rev. Geoffrey Hornby, Rector of the Parish of Winwick. He was born on the 14th, O.S. of August, 1750, and presented to the Rectory of Winwick by Edward, Earl of Derby, A.D. 1781, In the affectionate discharge of his sacred and important trust, and in the exercise of all the social and charitable sympathies continuing for more than Thirty years, Admired, Respected, and Beloved, He died on the 31st of July, 1812. We sorrow not as men who have no hope ; we look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Mrs. Hornby, who survived her husband many years, died at Orford Hall, and was buried at Winwick, where the following inscription marks the place :—
With the remains of her Husband, lie those of The Honble. Lucy Hornby,
Wife of the Revd. Geoffrey Hornby, and second daughter to James Lord Strange. She died On the ioth day of February, 1833, aged 82 years. Descended from a noble family She was raised above the vulgar pride of birth, Counting it to be true honor To be numbered with the children of God. To much native strength of character Grace brought the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, Accompanying the wisdom that is from above Pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, Full of mercy and good fruits, She showed ehr faith by her works. No one ever loved her fellow creatures better Or served God in more lowliness, Thinking of herself nothing In simplicity and sincerity, and with gladness She did justly, loved mercy, And walked humbly with her God.
1812.—James John Hornby, who was presented to the living by Edward, Earl of Derby, was the son of the late Rector and the Honourable Lucy, his wife, the noble patron's sister. Born on the 27th Aug., 1777, he was of the suitable age of thirty-five when he was presented to the living.
The new Rector had received his early education at Eton, from whence, at the usual age, he removed to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he completed his studies, and in due time took the degree of Master of Arts.
Another change as signal as complete, Mercutio, in thy wayward mind we greet!
Winwick, with its four chapelries of Ashton, Lowton, St. Peter's Newton, and Newchurch, and its nine townships, each larger than an ordinary parish in the south of England, was like a little diocese, the head of which was the Rector, who was almost looked upon as a Suffragan Bishop. It was such a Lancashire parish as Fuller had in his eye when he said, " Some clergymen who have contrasted God's honour with their own credit and profit could not better desire to have for themselves a Lincolnshire Church as best built, a Lancashire parish as largest bounded, and a London audience as consisting of most intelligent people.", Mr. Hornby was not wanting in many of the qualities which are required to make a good parish priest; he had great benevolence, an open hand, a dignity of manner, such as became an ambassador of heaven, and a persuasive address.
Yet had his aspect nothing of severe,
In his original small cure, Mr. Hornby had earned the reputation of a great preacher, and the fame of it preceded him at Winwick, where, when he arrived, a large congregation gathered from every part of his vast parish assembled to hear his first sermon. The sermon, which was no effort to please curious ears, was a faithful exposition of Christian doctrine, in which the preacher dwelt largely on the Saviour's love; and his hearers listening to his rich mellow voice, rare elocution, and deep earnestness, forgot the preacher in his subject, and even the curious " went not empty away." There was real eloquence without display, and an entire forgetfulness of the preacher's self.
At home Mr. Hornby was principally employed in the useful but unobtrusive duties of a parish pastor, and in giving counsel and directions to the curates of the several chapelries under his charge. Ere long he became well known in almost every house in the parish, and everywhere by his urbane manner, and the interest he evinced in his people's welfare, he acquired their affectionate regard, and was looked up to by them, not with respect only but with pride, as their friend as well as their pastor.
In his teaching he could not be said to identify himself with any separate party in the Church as he was for the whole Church, of which he was a true son, and none knew better than he how to use the precept " Try all things, hold fast that which is good," for by a happy alchemy, his excellent understanding, and sound judgment, enabled him at all times to draw good from evil, and truth from falsehood, and profitable warning or encouragement from all.
His society was much courted, and those who had the privilege to enjoy it ever found it edifying and instructive.
When he took the living the only places of worship of the Established Church within it were the above four chapels, and his only ecclesiastical helpers were their four curates. Three of these deserve especial mention here. The first of them was the Rev. Edmund Sibson, curate of St. Thomas's, in Ashton, the rector's right hand, a man of iron mould, an accomplished scholar, and a great mathematician, who loved the work of a parish priest and never shrank from the call of duty, whatever might be the sacrifice. Mr. Sibson fully appreciated the character of his rector, and on him the latter devolved the laborious task of arranging and digesting the extensive charities of the parish, and of reducing their accounts into order and substantially managing them. Mr. Sibson also relieved the rector almost wholly of the anxious care of building and finishing the new church of Holy Trinity, in Ashton, with its parsonage and schools, and also of the parish schools in Haydock. Mr. Hornby found another efficient helper in the Rev. Joseph Jones, M.A., the curate of Newchurch, a man of study, as Mr. Sibson was a man of action, but in very many ways a valuable ally of the rector. He laboured industriously to carry out, in his own district, the rector's work, and in ix was as successful as an honest worker in a right spirit is always sure to be. Without neglecting higher duties Mr. Jones found time for literary labour, and issued from the press many volumes of Christian literature, all calculated to further and advance the cause of true religion. The third remaining name on this Bead roll of departed worth, was Mr. Hornby's curate at Winwick, the Rev. Richard Greenall, who laboured earnestly to further the rector's plans, and left his mark in the parish as a zealous worker for his Divine Master. Mr. Greenall, who afterwards became Archdeacon of Chester, and a bright and shining light of the Church he loved, gained his clerical experience under Mr. Hornby's teaching, and died as he had lived, pleading his Master's cause, and with the Redeemer's name upon his dying lips—a death following such a life as honourable as a martyr's fate.
Mr. Hornby had the rare faculty of reading character with ease, as if his large and expressive eyes could look into the heart and see what was passing there, and this gave him the power of discriminating all the nicer traits, the lights and shades of character. When he lost a friend he had always a melancholy satisfaction in doing full justice to his memory, and he especially loved to paint in vivid colours the brighter parts of the deceased's character. The epitaph to Richard Gwyllim, Esq., in Warrington Church, and the still longer epitaph on the Princess Sapieha, in Farnworth Church, may be cited as instances of this tendency. If they have a fault his epitaphs, though always giving the discriminative shades of the deceased's character, may be censured as being too long.
Oft though wisdom wake suspicion sleeps At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill Where no ill seems.
In the year 1841 Mr. Hornby, who had long revolved the subject, now resolved to carry into effect a cherished plan of dividing his large parish into a number of smaller and separate parishes. Since he first came to Winwick several of the outlying parts of the parish had become very populous, and the four curates now found themselves unequal to the labour of their increased work. It seemed, therefore, a measure likely to advance the spiritual welfare of the parish if it were divided, and more hands were provided for the work. In pursuance of this object, and with the consent of the patron and ordinary, an Act of Parliament was obtained this year under which Croft, Newton, and Culcheth (since called Newchurch, in honour of Bishop Wilson, whose first cure it was), were raised to the rank of rectories, and endowed with the tithes of their separate districts, and at the same time St. Peter's in Newton was made a chapelry, and had a district assigned to it. In order to carry out still further Mr. Hornby's plan, the first Winwick Act of 1841, in the year 1845, was supplemented by a second, under which the chapelry of Lowton was raised to a rectory and endowed with its tithes, the township of Golborne became a rectory, also endowed with its tithes, and the township of Ashton became a rectory attached to the newly built church of the Holy Trinity there, and was endowed with its tithes, while the chapelry of St. Thomas in Ashton became a vicarage, with an augmented endowment. In this manner, instead of four dependent chapelries and the mother church, the parish of Winwick had now no less than eight separate parishes and chapelries. To accomplish this great work
Having completed his design and having furnished the new parishes both with their material fabrics and the means of carrying on the spiritual work within them, Mr. Hornby next turned his attention to some restorations needed at the mother church. Here he carefully renewed the old and unique inscription which runs round the church, under the cornice, and which records that there King Oswald lived and died. In the churchyard he set up again the fragment of a very ancient cross, which was one of those said to be originally set up by Paulinus in the place where he first preached the gospel, and which have since been called by his name. But the Winwick cross was more probably a work of King Oswald's than of Paulinus' time, and when Mr. Hornby found it, some profane hand had desecrated it and. converted it into a tombstone. But the greatest work connected with the fabric of Winwick Church was Mr. Hornby's taking down the ancient chancel, which, after 500 years, had begun to show signs of age, and rebuilding it upon an improved and far more beautiful plan, under the directions of the well-known architect Pugin, at an expense of more than £6,000. This exquisite structure, in . which the architect adhered to the style of the gothic original, is a work of art which is admired by all who have an eye for church architecture and can appreciate its beauty.
On the completion of the chancel in December, ,1848, Mr. Hornby preached a sermon, of which he published extracts, which he dedicated to his parishioners, and it was his legacy to them of this chancel that, after his decease, prompted them to restore and beautify the fabric of their fine church, and make it what it now is, a great ornament of the neighbourhood, and a fitting testimonial to his memory. But although it began at Winwick Mr. Hornby's liberality did not end there, for when the church at Ambleside, near which he had a small property, was rebuilt, he was one of the benefactors, and amongst other things he contributed the beautiful stained glass of the large window at the west end of the church. This ornament of the church, although given in his lifetime, was not erected until after his death, and it may therefore be considered, in some sort, as a second tribute to his memory.
Mr. Hornby did not appear often in print as an author, but he edited, as a tribute of affection, the works of Alexander Knox, and wrote a life of the author, which is prefixed, to them. The biography, which shows that it was the work of a scholar and a Christian gentleman, is worthy of all commendation as a literary performance. Mr. Hornby also wrote a sermon on the opening of the new chancel of Winwick Church. Whenever Mr. Hornby read the Church services, he read them so devoutly and intelligently as could not fail to rivet his hearers' attention, and help to deepen their devotion.
Hornby, an elegant scholar, the author of a statistical account of Winwick, in 1837; which was published in the Transactions of the Statistical Society. He also wrote " Vale," a poem, in 1854 : and he was an early translator of the Greek inscription on the obelisk brought by Mr. Bankes from Philas. He survived his father but a short time, and died unmarried. Mr. Hornby, the Rector, married secondly, Miss Boyle, by whom he had no issue.
Obiit iv. non. April. Anno Salutis M.D.CCCXVIII. /Etatis xvii. Ingenium in eo fuit, Felix perspicax acutum Cujus non modo flosculos Sed jam certos atque deformatos fructus Ostenderat. Indiscendo acer ac promptus, In excogitando subtilis atque elegans, In sermone jucundus et modestus, His omnibus accesserunt Erga majores natu reverentia Inter aequales festiva comitas, Et quod maximum Sincerus amor religionis Summa morum innocentia conjunctus. Qui tale sui specimen juvenis dederat Qualis erat vir futurus.
He possessed a genius, clear, acute and happy ; of which not only the blossoms, but the distinct fruits had appeared.
" i commit my body to the earth, whereof it is desiring to be decently and privately buried (in the churchyard of Winwick, if i shall die within reasonable distance thereof, and if not then in the churchyard of the parish wherein i shall happen to die), without any funeral pomp and with as little expense as may be. My soul and spirit trusting in God's infinite mercy for Christ's sake, i commend into the hands of God the Father who created me, the Son who redeemed me, and the Holy Ghost who sanctifieth me and all the elect people of God. i humbly confide in the power of Christ's resurrection that i shall be raised from the dead, and that, through the grace of Christ my Saviour, i shall, body, soul, and spirit, be presented blameless before the presence of Almighty God. Amen, Lord, Amen."
A brass tablet to Mr. Hornby's memory, inscribed as follows, was placed in the north wall of the church :—
James John Hornby, Born August 27th, 1777, And instituted Rector of the ancient parish of Winwick, Dec. 19th, 1812. Deceased September 14th, 1855. " Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, From henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit; For they rest from their labours, and their Works do follow them."
1856.—Frank George Hopwood, A.M., the present worthy rector, was presented by Edward Geoffrey, Earl of Derby, after the death of James John Hornby. In 1866 Mr. Hopwood was made rural dean of Warrington, and he has since been made an honorary canon of Chester.
Transcribed by Steven Dowd from the original book which he owns, Originally publication is from 1878, this text version and layout, edits and errors is © 2008 Steven Dowd, for use at the Newton-le-willows website