Saturday, 5 January 2013

Chapter 24. Epilogue

Three years after Mr Barlow's death, the Revd George Sanger's ministry came to an abrupt and unexpected end.

The new church at Carlton was opened by the Archdeacon in March 1879.  George Sanger had done much of the work himself – it was a magnificent undertaking.  Unfortunately, his relations with his parishioners were growing increasingly difficult. 

At three o'clock in the morning on 19 October 1881, the new church was destroyed by fire.

Soon it became apparent that some of his parishioners fervently believed that their vicar had destroyed his own church.  A long history of petty grievances and village gossip had apparently combined to produce a combustible mixture.

Mr Sanger was arrested in London on a charge of arson soon after his marriage to his young and allegedly pregnant housekeeper (who seems to have been the niece of James Stanger's wife).  The case was dismissed by the Stokesley magistrates in January 1882, but the public opinion in Carlton remained unrelenting. 

Nevertheless Mr Sanger entreated his parishioners to build a new church:
Money is not wanting in the parish, where one parishioner can boast of being able to command £70,000, and the united income of the wealthy landowners is not much less than £1m a year. 
Perhaps the distinct lack of tact may explain some of his past difficulties in dealing with his parishioners.

He was inhibited by the church authorities from taking services for five years on an ecclesiastical offence, but for many years afterwards much of the parish continued to ostracise the poor man.  While parishioners attended services at Faceby, Mr Sanger lived on in the vicarage, spending his time walking on the moors.  A reconciliation took place as he came to his deathbed in 1894.  According to Major Fairfax-Blakeborough,
some of those who have had time to hear all the evidence, and every insinuation, are confirmed in the certain opinion that the Rev Geo. Sangar had no part in the burning of his Church.  The mystery will probably never now be solved, though it is said the late Vicar himself could have explained it and that spleen was the motive. 
The case inspired the Middlesbrough-born writer, E W Hornung, creator of Raffles, the gentleman thief, to write a fictionalised version in his novel Peccavi  [1]

By the time of Mr Barlow's death, his "cousin" James Stanger was the only one of his family to remain in England. 

After enduring some terrible hardships, the Faceby Mormons had prospered in their new home and James's brother George was able to make the crossing in 1869 to visit his family in Yorkshire.  When he left again for America, he took with him their parents, now aged nearly 80, and his brother John's daughter and her baby.  In 1855 the journey from Faceby by sailing ship and ox-drawn waggon had taken seven months.  In 1869 it took only two or three weeks by steamship and the intercontinental railroad to Ogden, where many of the family had settled.

John Stanger, who had been farming near James in Kirby Sigston, joined them in Utah in the summer of 1875.  He left England only a couple of years before the "Golden Age of Farming" came to an end with the opening up of the American prairies, and a disastrous drop in the price of wheat signalled the beginning of an agricultural depression that only came to an end with the First World War.  James Stanger died in 1898; he and his wife Ann are buried in Faceby churchyard. 

Lieut. Col. Hector Barlow Vaughan survived his uncle by only a few years.

He and his wife had two daughters, Caroline Wilhelmina Mathews Vaughan, born in 1870, and Hectoria Ricarda Nanny Mathews Vaughan, born in 1874.  It seems from the names given to the younger girl that her parents rightly feared they would not have any more children – Hectoria and Ricarda are the feminised versions of her father's and maternal grandfather's names.

By the 1880s Hector and his family were living at Chichester House, Surbiton.  In 1885 he made his Will, the terms of which show that he shared his uncle's forthright approach and unconventionality.

He named two executors.  One was Dr John Henry Trouncer, who was a general practitioner in Surbiton and had a daughter the same age as Caroline Vaughan.  The other was Lieut. Col. Sir Francis John Bolton (1831-87), a distinguished man who was married to Hector's sister-in-law Julia Mathews.  Sir Francis, a surgeon's son, had enlisted in the Royal Artillery and risen through the ranks.  He developed a system of naval signalling and was deeply interested in electrical matters, designing beautiful displays of illuminated water jets for exhibitions at South Kensington.  He was knighted in 1884. 

Hector Vaughan left £50 to the vicar and churchwardens of Rudby for the upkeep of the family tomb.  His estate went to his wife, with provision for all his "family portraits, paintings by old masters, books and objects of vertu" to be divided between his daughters.  By a Codicil, he gave Dr Trouncer £100 to be dispensed as he thought fit as "pocket money or otherwise" for the two girls, and he left his "faithful servant William Elston a legacy of £20". 

He declared his absolute disapproval of all funereal pomp.  No money was to be spent from his estate on "crape, hearses and the customary accompaniments of Sepulchre" and his body was to carried in his own vehicle, driven by his coachman in his usual clothes.  Any friends attending his funeral were also to wear their "ordinary attire".

He was a supporter of the Cremation Society, which had been founded only ten years earlier, and left instructions that he wished his body to be cremated.  If cremation proved inconvenient or expensive, his wife and children were to bury him in his own garden, if that was allowed.  If not, they were to choose some country churchyard for his burial – preferably Chale, near Blackgang Chine in the Isle of Wight.

The choice is interesting.  Possibly he was stationed at the Albany Barracks on the island during his service with the 20th Foot, or perhaps he had known the place in his childhood – he may have visited his uncle James's summer residence, the Medina Hermitage, as a boy.

He may also have  known another occupant of the Hermitage, William Henry Dawes, who was its tenant by 1843 [2].  He had been a lieutenant in the 22nd Foot, and after the Crimean War he felt impelled to add another inscription to the Hoy Monument which had been erected to celebrate Michael Hoy's happy years in Russia.  Dawes' plaque commemorates the men who died fighting the Russians at Sevastopol and at Inkermann, where Hector had himself carried his regimental colours.

Two months after making his Will, Hector died at the age of 52, leaving a widow and daughters aged ten and fifteen.  In the same year, the Cremation Society carried out its first three cremations – but his was not one of them.

The Chancery case that had plagued Mr Barlow for so many years finally came to an end eleven years after his death, with the death of his former sister-in-law in 1889.

Marian and John Richard Digby Beste had settled in Italy on their return from America, acquiring the Tuscan estate of the Villa Torre dell Olmo, near Fiesole.

Several of Beste's children died young, far from England – in Italy, Indiana, New York, the Fiji Islands and India – while his son Kenelm became a priest and joined the London Oratory.

Marian's daughter Louisa had married the Marquis Guadagno Guadagni in 1861; he is said to have been born in 1833, and to have fought with Garibaldi.  They had three daughters, Catharine, Aurora and Mary, and a son Guitto. 

Elencho Marie Pera was usually known as Ellen Mary in later life.  She married Robert Claude Evans, a superintendant of insurance agents, in 1868.  At the time of the 1881 census they were were living at 4 Garden Road, Tonbridge, with their children Clarence, Agnes and James, and one middle-aged general servant. 

Marian died on 30 March 1885, at Number 2 Piazza Zecca Vecchia in Florence.

She left the Tuscan villa to her grandson Guitto, who was to pay annuities to his sisters; he also inherited the Bird family property in Essex.  The money that James Barlow Hoy intended for Elencho was at last paid, as Marian had taken care to insure her life for £5,000 with the Pelican Insurance Company for this very purpose; she added a codicil to her Will only a few weeks before her death instructing her executors to pay the legacy duty so that Ellen Mary Evans received the full amount, which must have been very welcome. 

Marian had established a charity school for poor children at the Villa and built a chapel there, paying for a resident priest, and she provided for this to be continued under her Will.  If the school and chapel ceased to exist, the money was to be spent on the nearest Roman Catholic church to her "paternal estate in Essex called Harold's Park".

Her husband John Richard Digby Beste outlived her by only a few months, and died aged 79 in August 1885 in Florence.

Another significant figure in Robert Barlow's life had died the previous year.

On 12 March 1884 Lord Falkland had died at the age of eighty at Montpellier in the south of France.  According to the memorial in Rudby church, his death took place in the "Villa Nevet".  It seems likely that this was the Hotel Nevet, described the same year by Henry James as
the model of a good provincial inn; a big rambling, creaking establishment, with brown, labyrinthine corridors [3].  
Lord Falkland had possibly retired to the south of France for his health, or because it was less expensive than London; his widow later returned to the south coast of England.

He was succeeded to the title by his brother Admiral Plantagenet Pierrepoint Cary, who himself died two years later aged 79.  The 12th Viscount was their nephew, Byron Plantagenet Cary.  He and his family lived for a time at Hutton Rudby, where they played an important part in village life, but were forced to sell up the estate for financial reasons in the 1890s.

An era was indeed passing.

The death of the Revd Joseph Ibbetson of Ayton in 1887 saw the last of the grand old clergymen of Cleveland.  Isaac Benson of Acklam had died in 1864, Charles Cator of Stokesley in 1873, and Ralph Grenside of Crathorne had died in the same year as Mr Barlow.

These men had come to their parishes in time to see the end of the wild smuggling days of Georgian Cleveland, and the freethinking artisans and deep-drinking gentlemen of Stokesley.  They had seen the rise of respectability, the great reforms of the early Victorian period and the growth of Empire, and had witnessed the amazing appearance of Gladstone's "infant Hercules", the town of Middlesbrough. 

The village of Hutton Rudby itself had changed since Mr Barlow's arrival in 1831.

Once a tough little township of linen weavers, by the 1880s only one, George Drydell, still made blue linen for butchers' aprons [4].  The year before Mr Barlow first came to his parish, the lively community on East Side had been in ferment over the supposed murder of William Huntley; the autumn after his death, the villagers began to plant avenues of trees to beautify their village greens.


[1]  sources for Sanger's history: Major Fairfax-Blakeborough's Yorkshire Days and Yorkshire Ways (1935); Harry Mead's A Prospect of the North York Moors (2000); and contemporary newspaper accounts. Peccavi (1900) may be read in the Northallerton Reference Library [and now online through the link provided]

[2]  Brannon's Picture of the Isle of Wight

[3]  A Little Tour in France by Henry James 1884

[4]  Winifred Blair’s Scapbooks:  Newspaper article:  Mar 1928

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