The Western Gazette 21 Apr 1911 Taunton The Late Archdeacon Ven William Henry ASKWITH Impressive Funeral

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The Western Gazette Friday 21 Apr 1911

Page 6 Column 2 and 3

<This newspaper article was very difficult to read, hence the large number of question marks on all the important words that were difficult to make out>




If any proof had been needed of the esteem and respect in which the late Archdeacon of Taunton, the Ven W. H. ASKWITH, was held by all classes of people, by the clergy (irrespective of any “school of thought”), and by his Nonconformist brethren, it was furnished on Thursday, when the funeral took place. During the time of the service at St. Mary's Church and at the Cemetery business was at a standstill in the town, all the principal shops being closed. The weather was beautifully fine, and many hundreds of the ordinary people of the town gathered in the streets to pay a last tribute of respect to one who had spent the last twenty-four years of a strenuous, and yet truly Christian life in their midst. The grand old church was filled by representatives of the various Societies with which the late Archdeacon had been associated, a large number of clergy from all over the Archdeaconry, together with the Mayor and members of the Corporation, and many others. The pulpit was draped in black, and the late Archdeacon's surplice and cassock were arranged on the desk at his seat??? in the chancel. The Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells (the Right Rev. Dr. KENNON??) was present, the Rev.Preb. HANCOCK?, vicar of Dunster, acting as Bishop's chaplain and carrying the pastoral staff, which was draped in crepe?. The Bishop was attended by the Archdeacon of Wells (the Ven. F. A. BRYMER), the Archdeacon of Bath (the Ven. L. J. FISH), and the Rev. Leslie NEWTON, curate of St. Mary's.

The pall bearers were the Rev. Dr. DIXON, vicar of St. James's, Taunton the Rev. E. A. DUCKER??, vicar of Holy Trinity, Taunton; the Rev George RUCK?, vicar of St. Andrew's, Taunton; the Rev. C. P. Graham MONTGOMERY, vicar of St. John's, Taunton; the Rev. A. A. BROOKINGTON, vicar of Carhampton, and until recently senior curate? at St. Mary's; and the Rev. E. H. Van COOTEN??, curate of Holy Trinity.

The family mourners were:- Miss ASKWITH (sister), Mrs. LEWIS, of West Kirby (sister-in-law), Mr. G. D. LEWIS, Mr. E. H. LEWIS, and Miss LEWIS (nephews and niece), Mr. G. R. ASKWITH, K. O? (cousin), the Rev. J. Haddon? ASKWITH, of Derby (cousin), the Rev. F. W. STOKES?, of Rugby (cousin), the Rev. C. H. STOKES?, of Stoke Poges? (cousin), Miss BIDGOOD and Miss BALE (of the Vicarage household).

Mr. J. H. CHALMERS (organist and choirmaster of St. James's Church) played appropriate music while the congregation was arriving including “O rest in the Lord” and “The Elijah.”

The clergy robed in the Central Schools, but a number also attended who did not take part in the prosession??. Those present included the Revs. T. Watson ALLEN, Thorne? St. Margaret, Preb. W. W. ALDRIDGE, at Weston-super-Mare; P. G. BULSTRODE, Broomfield, Bridgwater; J. BYRCHMORE, West Hatch; W. J. BATCHELOR, Winsford, Dulverton; A. B. C. BESSEBEY??, Donyatt; C. BAZELL?, St. John's, Bridgwater; W. A. BELL, Charlynch; J. F. BRISCOE??, Bagborough; A. E. BAYNHAM, Cothelstone; H. E. BARNETT, St. John's, Taunton; J. Montgomery?? BALDWIN, Chipstable; J. R. BROUGHTEN? Oake?; C. Fenton BOLLAND, Holy Trinity, Bridgwater; F. W. BRANCKER??, Brent Knoll, J. A. G. COOPER, Beercrocombe; W. H. CROCKETT, Taunton; F. E. COOSE??, Staple Fitzpaine; J. A. CRAIGIS??, Otterford; C. F. CHORLEY, Monksilver; E. J. CORLETT?, Clatworthy; V. S. S. COLES, A. E. DUCKET?, Holy Trinity, Taunton; H. E. DUNN, Upton; W. F. EUSTACE, Bishop's Lydeard (R.D., Wellington); J. Digby ELLIS, Lyng; P. C. Wyndham EARSE??, Angersleigh; Preb. W. FARRER??, Chard; T. Francis FORSH??, Hestercombe; F. F. FELTON??, Milverton; H. GIBBON, Isle Brewers; J. D. GEDGE, Shoreditch???; G. W. GEVAN, Withycombe; H. F. S. GURNEY, Stoke St Gregory; H. G. GREAN??, Dulverton; M. J. GIFFITHS, Ashill; W. Prowse HEWETT, Norton Fitzwarren; C. B. HARRISON, Luccombe; Dr. P. C. HARRIS, Staplegrove; F. L. HUGHES, Lydeard St. Lawrence; A. N. HAWKEN, Pitminster?'; C. H. LUXTEN??, Langford Budville; C. E. LUCETEN??, the Grammar School, Chard; J. J. LANGHAM, Weston-super-Mare; F. J. MONTGOMERY, Halse; C. L. MARSON, Hambridge; G. H. W. MALLET, Cannington; H. NEWMAN, Hawkridge; W. W. PULMAN, Wellington; P. T. PRYCE-MICHELL, North Petherton; F. E. POWNING?, West Harptree (former curate of St. Mary's); Dr. A. H. POWELL, R. D., Bridgwater; H. F. B. PORTMAN, Orchard Portman and Thurlbere; F. W. PERCY?, West Monkton; Preb? W. F. H. RANDOLPH?, Frome; W. T. REEDER, Wedmore; R. C. W. RATIAN??, Bishop's Hull; G. W. SAUNDERS, Curry Rivel; D. H. SPENCER, Winsham; C. H. SHAW, Leighland, Washford; James STREET, ? D., Ilminster; G. T. STEACY??, Somerton?; Preb. De SALIS?, Weston-super-Mare; W. F. SHILLITO?, Creech St Michael; R. Payne SMITH, Cheddon Fitzpaine; S. H. SHEDDON?, Kilton and Lilstock; E. P. SPURWAY, Heathfield; J. H. SOUTHAM, formerly vicar of Trull; J. THOMAS, Cutcombe; A. G. TOMLIN, Kingston; E. H. VAUGHAN-JONES, Ilton; G. H. VAUGHAN-ROBINSON, Corie?; C. T. WILSON, Hatch Beauchamp; T. R. WINTERTON, Yeovil; Prebendary A. P. WICKHAM, Martock; H. S. WILLIAMS, Skilgate, Wiveliscombe; A. E.. WANSBROUGH, Brompton Ralph (a former curate of St. Mary's); and J. N. WALLIS, Fitzhead. The clergy were accompanied by Mr. W. J? JEWELL, registrar of the Archdeaconry. Among the the <sic> clergy unable to attend was the Rev. Thomas? WILINSON, vicar of Lutherland?, Liverpool, who was minister of Paul's Meeting, Taunton, from 1894 to 1904, and a personal friend of the late Archdeacon.

The Mayor and Corporation attended in state, assembling at the church, but joining the procession to the Cemetery. His Worship the Mayor (Alderman H. J. SPILLER) and the ex-Mayor (Councillor W. H. WESTLAKE) wore their scarlet robes, and were preceded by the Mace-bearer (Mr. BURGE?). The Town Clerk (Mr. G. H. KITE) and the Deputy-Town Clerk (Mr. E? B? KITE) were also present, and the members of the Corporation in attendance were Aldermen? A. J. SPILLER, W. F. WHITTINGHAM, and J. G. PRICE?, Councillors George SPILLER, H. J. Van TRUMP, F. W. PENNY, W. PEARSE?, C. J. BARTLETT, H. Byard? SHEPPARD, E. T. ALMS?, J. TOLMAN, G. HINTON, E. J. M. CHAMPMAN, Ernest CHAPMAN, E. WINTER, R. HITCHCOCK, and J. HAWKINGS. The officials included Messrs. J. H. SMITH (borough consulting engineer), F. JARVIS (rate? Collector), and J. MATTOCK (school attendence? officer).

Among others present, either in the church of at the graveside, were the Hon. E. W. B? PORTMAN, president of the Taunton and Somerset Hospital; Mr. A. CAJNT????, a member of the Board of the Bath and Wells Diovenan?? Sonis----???? for the Dunster Deanery; Captain H. E. METCALFE? Chief Constable of Somerset; Mr. A. W. COWAN, Bishop's Hull; Mr. D. R. LYALL, C.S.I.?, Bishop's Hull; Mr. HOSONKIS??, churchwarden St. John's; Mr. J. E. W. WAKEFIELD, president of the Taunton Y.M.C.A.; General EMERSON, Captain FOX?, Mr. G? L? KENT Biddlecombe, a former churchwarden of St. Mary's; Mr. T. S. PENNY, J. P?, Mr. F? C? SANDERSUN??, and Mr. G. E. COLTHURST??, representing the Taunton Free?? Church Council; Dr. L. H. C. BIRKSTOCK??, the Archdeacon's medical advisor?; Dr. A. R. ILES??, Dr. J. A. MacDONALD, Dr. WILLCOCKS, Dr. JOENELYNE??, Mr. C. E. LANE, Mr. A. EASTWOOD, J.P., Mr. C. J. GOODLAND, J. P., Mr. S. W. NOBLE, Mr. D. BROWN, Mr. W. J. VILLAR, chairman of the Taunton Market Trust and churchwarden of Holy Trinity; Mr. T. J SERLE?, Mr. Eland CLATWORTHY??, Mr. J. G. LOVEDAY, Mr. G. F. SPENCER (treasurer), Mr. H. P. PALMER, M.A. (vice-president), and Mr. H. MAYNARD (late secretary), representing the Taunton Literary and Philosophical Society, Mr. C. TITE (president) and Mr. Cuthbert SHORT, representing St. Mary's Men's Bible Class; Mr. H. St. Geo. GRAY (assistant hon.? Secretary and curator) and Mr. H. FRANKLIN, representing the Somerset Archaeological Society; Mr. A. F. SWEET, treasurer of the Diocesan? Schools' Association; Mr. W. LOCK, an ex-Major of Taunton, Mr. J. P. SIBLEY, an ex-Major of Taunton; Mr. C. W. STANSELL, churchwarden of St. George's, Wilton; Mr. A. J. BEARE?, Mr. A. C. ALLEN, Mr. F. J. HALLETT, of Clevedon, licensed lay reader; Mr. J. C. BOCKLAND?, Mr. W. POOLE??, J. P., Colonel WADDY?, Trull'; Mr. E. H. CLARIDGE, Mr. D. STONE, Mr. LENTHALL?, Mr. H. G. SMITH, Mr. H. W. POLLARD, Mayor of Bridgwater; Mr. James TIPTEN?, head-master of the British School; Mr. James MECTAGUES????, head-master of St. James's School; Mr. J. B. MALE, head-master of the Holy Trinity Schools; Mr. W. R? DYER, head-master of St. John's Schools; Mr. C. J. BALE?, head-master of the Central Schools; Mr. C? COLLIS?, St. Mary's Mission Hall; Mr. A. D. CROSSMAN, Taunton Free Church Council; Messrs. E. J. SMALL, W. B. JUDD, and G. E. YELLAND, representing Taunton Y.M.C.A.; Mr. H. POWELL, Mr. Thomas S? TAYLOR, Mr. R. L. COZENS, Mr. F. S. DODSON, Mr. T. St. V. TAYLOR, Mr. E. T. HORWILL?, secretary St. Mary's Men's Society; Mr. W. NORMAN?, Mr. W. NASH, Mr. T. SERLE, Mr. MOSSMAN?, Mr. John E. RIVATT??, Mr. Banfield WHITE, the Rev. Jeffery WORTHINGTON, of Cullompton (formerly Unitarian minister at Taunton); Mr. W. MOSS, Bishop's Hull; Mr. A. KENDRICK??, Mr. O. R. M. CHANNER?, Mr. Archibald CHANNING, Mr. T. INCLEDON??, Mr. HUNT, Mr. F. J. CHEEK?, Mr. H. J. STEEVENS?, Mr. H. O. SAMSON?, Mr. R. U. HARTNELL, Mr. Jonathan BARRETT?, mayor of Taunton 1883-1886; Mr. J. DUDER, a former churchwardens of St. Mary's; Mr. SERCOMBE???, Soldiers' Home?, and others, including members of the congregations of every church in the town.

The Archdeacon was chaplain in the troops in Taunton, and the Depot was represented by Major THEYTS??, Captain WARDLAW, Colour-Sergeant SMITH, and seven non-commissioned officers and buglers.

Miss WILLS (head mistress) attended with several of the senior girls of Bishop Fox's School, while Mr. Arnold GEOSLLIFFE???? (head-master), Mr. T. TATE, Mr. W. S. DENTON, Mr. C. W. TERRY??, Mr. HANKS, and a number of the senior boys of the Huish Grammar School were present in the church, while the whole school walked in the procession to the cemetery. The children of St. Mary's Sunday School were accompanied by their teachers, while a detachment of Boy Scouts wore their uniform.

The Nonconformist bodies were represented by the respective ministers as follows:- The Rev. W. Gregory HARRIS? and the Rev. J. C. WHITING? (Taunton Wesleyan Circuit), the Rev. A. J. DAVIES and the Rev. W. A. FINDLAY (pastors of Silver-street and Albermarle Baptist Chapels), the Rev. J. H. COX, the Rev. J. WILKINS, and the Rev. R. ANDERSON? (pastors of Paul's Meeting??, North street and Rowbarton Congregational Chapels), the Rev. J. C. BASSETT and Mr. C. W. GAGY??? (Ebeneser??? United Methodists), Mr. F. EADES? represented the Octagon Sunday School, of which he is superintendent, and Mr. Edwin WINTER and Mr. Herbert? HAWKES? the congregation at the Octagon.


At twelve o'clock the cortege was met at the west door by the Bishop and the choir (Mr. H. A. JEBOULT being the conductor) and the churchwardens, Messrs. Alf. E. GOODMAN, George SMALL, and H. J. Van TRUMP, who, with the assistance of Mr. F. W. WATERMAN??, a former churchwarden, made the seating? arrangements. The churchwardens carried new and handsomely-carved staves. These were to have been used on Easter Day for the first time, having been given by Mr. SMALL, and the Archdeacon was to have handed them over. The churchwardens, however, decided to use them for the funeral service. They are carved in perpendicular design, and were the work of Mr. W. S. WILLIAMSON. Each staff was draped in black?. As the cortege passed up the nave to the chancel the Rev. Leslie NEWTON recited? the opening passages. The remains were enclosed in an elm shell?, and the coffin was of unpolished English oak. The breastplate bore the following inscription:-


Archdeacon of Taunton.

Died 9th April, 1911.

Aged 67.

The coffin was placed in the chancel, the pallbearers standing on each side, and then the whole congregation joined in the singing of the hymn “The saints of God, their conflict past,” after which Psalm xc? was chanted. The Rev. A. A. BROOKINGTON read the appointed Lesson, and the anthem, which was most beautifully rendered, was “The Sleep” the appropriate words of which are by Mrs. E. E. BROWNING, and the music by Sir J. F. BRIDGE, organist of Westminster Abbey. The hymn, “Peace, perfect peace.” was rendered, and the procession to the Cemetery was in the following order:- The choir; the churchwardens; the clergy; clergy pall-bearers; the chief mourners; the Mayor and Corporation; the borough magistrates; the Market Trustees; the Governors, teachers, and pupils of the Huish and Bishop Fox's Schools; the Church of England Men's Society; Men's Bible Class; Boy? Scouts?; the teachers and children of St. Mary's Sunday School; Deputations from other churches; Taunton Free Church Council; Somerset Archaeological Society; Taunton Literary and Philosophical Society; other Societies.

A large number of the general public were admitted to the Cemetery, where the best order and reverence prevailed. The interment took place in a spot selected by the Archdeacon himself, and next to the grave of his mother.

The Rev. Leslie NEWTON read the opening sentences at the graveside, and the committal portion of the service was most feelingly received by the Bishop, who also pronounced the Benediction. The weather was gloriously fine, and in the brilliant sunshine the scene at the graveside was most impressive. The choir sand Goss's? “I heard a Voice from Heaven.” and previous to the Benediction the Nune Dimittis? was chanted, the service terminating with the rendering of Stainer's Sevenfold Amen.

The floral tributes formed one of the most beautiful collections seen in Taunton in recent years, and the large number from religions and public bodies afforded striking testimony of the widespread regret and sympathy occasioned by the Archdeacon's death. The greater portion of the wreaths, in addition to those on the surrounding the coffin in the hearse, were conveyed to the cemetery in two landaus?, which they completely filled.

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<NOTES: J.B. MALE is Joseph Bond MALE son of Susan MALE, married Rebecca FRANKS and Annie Josephine FEATHERSTONE>