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A Memorial for Thomas Grimshawe

External memorial to Thomas Shuttleworth Grimshawe April 2012
External memorial to Thomas Shuttleworth Grimshawe April 2012

The Bedford Mercury of June 1861 carries the following interesting story about a former Vicar of Biddenham.

“The late Rev. T. S. Grimshaw. – A special court for the diocese of Ely, was held at Great Saint Mary’s, Cambridge, on Saturday week, before Ref, Edward Ventris, M. A., as surrogate for Mr. Chancellor Sparke, in order to consider an application for a faculty for an enclosed burial place, in the churchyard of Biddenham, Bedfordshire, in which are deposited the remains of the Rev. T. S. Grimshawe, 40 years vicar of that parish, and rector of Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, who is well-known as the editor of the works of Cowper, and otherwise distinguished in the literary and religious world. – It appeared from the petition of Legh Richmond, Esq., the son-in-law as the alleged sole surviving executor and trustee of Mr. Grimshawe, that in 1835 that gentleman lost his son J. B. Grimshawe, a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, who was buried in the churchyard of Biddenham, in a brick grave at the east end of the church. Mr. Grimshawe himself died 17th February 1850 and was buried close to his son, a vault being made for the reception of his wife, who died in the following year, was buried by the side of her husband, as was subsequently another member of the family. The spot was fenced off from the rest of the churchyard. Mr. Richmond proposed to erect within the enclosure a table, commemorating Mr. Grimshawe and his wife. – Mr. Charles Livius Grimshawe, only surviving son of the deceased, however, claimed the entire control of this place of sepulture; and Mr. Richmond now applied for a faculty. – The application was opposed by Mr. Lavender, one of the churchwardens, whose objections, however, were very speedily overruled. – It was also opposed in person by Mr. C. L. Grimshawe, aided by his wife, whose interference was of a very active character. Mr. C. L. Grimshawe contended that having proved his father’s will, he was still one of his executors, although after probate he had renounced his trusteeship. He, moreover, entered into a lengthened statement relating to certain matters in difference between himself and Mr. Richmond. – Mr. Cooper appeared for the petition, and, after an animated discussion, which occupied nearly two hours, the learned surrogate decided upon granting a faculty to the executors, and settled the terms of the inscription to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Grimshawe to be affixed over their remains, containing a reference to other monumental inscriptions which were put up in the chancel come years since”.

Grimshawe has a memorial plaque on the exterior east wall of the chancel. It reads as follows:

Within the vault enclosed by these rails
are interred the remains of
The Revd. Thomas Shuttleworth Grimshawe
Rector of Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire
and late vicar of this parish
for a period of 40 years.
He died 17th December 1850
aged 73 years

Also of Charlotte Anne, his wife
who died 28th June 1851
aged 58 years
Together with others of their family, to all of whom
monuments are erected in the chancel of this church.

Internal memorial to Thomas Shuttleworth Grimshawe April 2012
Internal memorial to Thomas Shuttleworth Grimshawe April 2012

Grimshawe’s monument in the chancel reads as follows:

In memory of
Thomas Shuttleworth Grimshawe M. A.
late Rector of
Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire
and upwards of forty years
Vicar of this parish

He was eminently distinguished
for his zeal and eloquence
in advocating those Christian institutions
of his country
which promote among Jews and Gentiles
the unsearchable riches of Christ.
He walked in faith
Adorning his high and holy calling
by a blameless life and a liberal mind,
and closed in peace
an extensive career of usefulness
on the 17th of February 1850, aged 75 years.

“Behold, his reward is with him;
and his work before him”.
Isaiah XL.10

Also in memory of

John Barham Grimshawe, Esqre.
son of the above
who died at Trinity College, Cambridge,

May 25th 1835
aged 23 years.

And of Charlotte Anne, the belov’d wife
Of the above Revd. T. S. Grimshawe
who died June 28th 1851 aged 58 years.
in sure and certain hope
of the resurrection to eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Memorial to the children of Thomas Grimshawe April 2012
Memorial to the children of Thomas Grimshawe April 2012

Nearby is a memorial to their children, which reads as follows:

Underneath this tablet are deposited the Remains
of three Infants and lamented Children

Of the Revd. THOMAS SHUTTLEWORTH GRIMSHAWE,
Vicar of this Parish and of CHARLOTTE his wife.

Viz. EMILY, died July 4, 1813, aged 19 months;
Likewise a still born Child;
and FREDERICK who departed Jany 11 1818, aged 3 Months.

Bold Infidelity turn pale and die;
Beneath this stone three Infants’ ashes lie,
Say are they lost or sav’d;
If death’s by sin, they sinned, because they’re here;
If heaven’s by works, in heaven they can’t appear,
Reason ah! How depraved!
Revere the Bible’s seared page, the knot’s untied.
They died, for Adam sinned; they live, for Jesus died.

Grimshawe’s adult son, Thomas Barham Grimshawe is buried in the graveyard at the east end of the chancel. Sadly, his grave is beginning to show signs of weathering.

The tombstone of John Barham Grimshawe April 2012
The tombstone of John Barham Grimshawe April 2012