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Saint Marys Repairs and Additions

The chancel east window in Saint Marys May 2008
The chancel east window of Saint Mary's May 2008

The following information is taken from former County Archivist Chris Pickford's Bedfordshire Historical Records Series volume Bedfordshire Churches in the 19th Century: Appendices. In 1637 it was reported that: "the steeple wants three stone pinnacles". In 1700 the bell frame was renewed and in 1781 the three old bells were replaced by five, which were later transferred to Saint Barnabas. When this new church was completed in the expanding New Linslade in 1849, Saint Mary's, in Old Linslade, ceased to be the parish church becoming, instead, a mortuary chapel for the old churchyard. Lead was removed from the roof in 1854 and three years later it was described as: "nearly disused".

Saint Marys interior looking east May 2008
Saint Mary's interior looking east October 2008

J.T.Lawrence, who also worked on Saint Barnabas, carried out repairs in both 1876 and 1877 including re-flooring, whitewashing the walls, creating a new north porch and closing the old southern entrance. Between 1897 and 1898 Lawrence did further work re-roofing the nave, reopening the south entrance and adding a porch, repairing the walls and placing new stained glass in the east window.

 The Corbet and Peacock bequest texts in May 2008
The Corbet and Peacock bequest texts in May 2008

Boards on the north wall of the chancel or nave note three bequests to the parish:

  • Peacock Bequest: "Mrs [sic].Mary Peacock late of Redbourne in the County of Hertford, spinster, left by will dated 30th Sep 1830 and proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury June 8th 1837 the sum of one Hundred Pounds Consolidated 3 per cent annuities to the Minister and churchwardens of this Parish upon trust to apply so much of the Dividends as shall arise therefrom as will be necessary to keep the Tomb Stones over the Graves of her late Father Abraham Peacock, her late mother Mary Peacock, her late brother William Peacock, her late Aunt Jane Wilson, in the Churchyard in good preservation particularly that the same be painted and repaired once in three years and distribute the surplus annually in half crowns among aged widows the sick and most necessitous families resident in this Parish at the discretion of the Minister and Church Wardens for the time being. The said one Hundred Pounds Stock was transferred by the Exors of the late Mary Peacock free of legacy duty on the 9th Jan 1838 to the Revd Benjamin Robert Perkins Minister and Messr John Osborne and William Cotching Church Wardens".

Saint Marys graveyard May 2008
Saint Mary's graveyard May 2008

  • Corbet Bequest: "In the year 1826 twenty-five Pounds were given by Sir Andrew Corbet Bart, the income to be distributed annually in Bread among the Poor of Linslade Parish, which sum has been invested in the Purchase of £24-15-11 stock £3 per cent consolidated bank annuities. William Steven Cooper, William Cotching, John Osborne Junior Trustees 1852".

Hadley bequest text in May 2008
Hadley bequest text in May 2008

  • Hadley Bequest: "Mr.James Hadley by his will dated January 4th 1890 bequeathed the sum of £100 free of legacy duty to the Vicar and Churchwardens for the time being of Linslade in the County of Buckingham to be laid out and invested by them in their names, and the interest or income arising therefrom applied by them in maintaining in good repair his Family tomb in the churchyard of Linslade Church, the residue or surplus of such interest or income to be given by the said Vicar and Churchwardens to the poor Widows in the same Parish in bread on St.Thomas' day. Mrs.James Hadley as sole surviving executrix of her husband's will subsequently added £50 to the above Bequest and agreed that instead of bread, tickets for bread or anything else might be substituted, as the Vicar and the Churchwardens might think fit and in compliance with conditions suggested by the Charity Commissioners further agreed that the total income arising from the Bequest, thus augmented, should be applied to the relief of poor Widows, the Bequest as to the maintenance of the Family tomb notwithstanding. The augmented Bequest of £150 was thereafter placed by the Trustees in the hands of the Charity Commissioners to be invested by them for the purposes of the Charity".

 Corbet coat of arms Saint Marys chancel May 2008
Corbet coat of arms Saint Mary's chancel May 2008

The nave also contains a plaque to the Corbet family, Lords of the Manor of Linslade from 1498 to 1821, erected by Sir Andrew Corbet Bart and listing the following family members:

  • Sir Andrew Corbet of Moreton Corbet [Shropshire] and Linslade [Buckinghamshire] died 1637;
  • Sir Vincent Corbet Bart died 1656;
  • Viscountess Corbet died 1679;
  • Sir Vincent Corbet Bart died 1680;
  • Sir Vincent Corbet Bart died 1688, aged 19;
  • Richard Corbet died 1690;
  • Richard Corbet died 1710;
  • Andrew Corbet died 1757;
  • Richard Prynce Corbet died 1779;
  • Andrew Corbet died unmarried 1796

Saint Mary's is still used for occasional services and, in its quiet, isolated location, is a perfect place for evensong or a sung compline on a summer's evening.

Saint Marys from the north May 2008
Saint Mary's from the north May 2008