Thursday 6 July 2017

Sir John Pender and All Saints Church, Foots Cray

Sir John Pender GCMG
And his Association with All Saints Church Foots Cray

John Pender leased the Foots Cray estate from Coleraine Robert Vansittart (1833-86), for a period of 21 years, on 16 May 1876.  For the next twenty years he divided his time between Foots Cray Place and his London residence 18 Arlington Street.  He died at Foots Cray Place on 7 July 1896.

The grave of  Sir John Pender  (1816-1896)

The Funeral of Sir John Pender took place on Friday 17 July 1896.  He was buried in the family tomb, alongside his second eldest son Henry (Harry) Denison Pender (1852-1881) and his second wife Emma (1816-1890).

Harry, who died from typhoid at Foots Cray Place on13 January 1881, was the first Pender to be buried at All Saints Graveyard.  The funeral took place on 19 January 1881 and he was laid to rest in a simple grave behind the church to the east, close to the boundary fence.  Harry was an accomplished organist and the Penders donated a hand pumped bellows organ to All Saints Church in his memory.  It was made, at a cost of £120, by Henry Jones of 135 Fulham Road in London and installed by G B Wallaston of Chislehurst.  On 13 August 1882 a service of dedication took place, attended by John and Emma.A plaque was placed above the keyboard which reads:

‘Dedicated in memory of Henry Denison Pender who died at Foots Cray Place .January 13 1881, art 28, by his parents John Pender Esq. M.P. and Emma, his wife.’

Although it has been repaired on several occasions and the bellows has been replaced by an electric pump, the organ and plaque are still there.

The Henry Denison Memorial Organ

A 16 foot (4.88m) Celtic cross was erected over Harry’s grave on 6 September 1882, witnessed by Emma Pender.

Emma Pender died at the Pender’s London home of 18 Arlington Street on 8 July 1890.  Her funeral took place at All Saints on Saturday 12 July and she was buried, as was her dying wish, alongside her eldest son and so John Pender arranged for a family vault to be excavated.The Celtic cross was mounted on a frustum and epitaphs engraved on three sides.

The first photograph above, taken at the funeral of John Pender shows,behind the tomb, the south-east boundary fenceand large trees surrounding the grave.  The OS map of 1897 makes it clear thatshortly after John Pender’s funeral, the graveyard was extended a significant distance to the east and,in so doing, the boundary fence was moved and the trees surrounding the tomb were cut down.

On 18 April 1902, Anne Denison Denison-Pender, the eldest daughter of John Pender,died at the London home of her younger brother John Denison Denison-Pender.  Her funeral took place at All Saints on Wednesday 23 April and she was buried in the family tomb.  An additional epitaph was then added to the north facing trapezoid of the frustum.

The picture below was probably taken in the 1950’s andshows the Memorial with the Celtic cross, looking back towards the Church from the extended graveyard.

The original Pender memorial

On 15-16 October 1987, the Celtic cross was toppled by an ancient Elm tree that was blown down in ‘The Great Storm’,andthe cross was broken just below the circular top.  The cost of repairing the Memorial wastoo high for the Pender family to contemplate, so nothing was done until 1992 when Cable & Wireless plc, the successor of the company that John Pender founded in 1872, agreed to pay for the cross to be repaired,to make and engrave a new frustum, replace the original engraving and add additional engraving to the skirt of the frustum as well ascreatinga new gravel garden surround to cover the tomb.  On 6 July 1993, the refurbished Memorial was re-dedicated in a short service attended by the late Baron Pender, John Willoughby Denison-Pender (1933-2016), and directors of C&W.

The refurbished Memorial in 1993

The original frustum below the Celtic cross was engraved in all four trapezoids and all these engravings have been transferred to the new frustum   The side facing away from the church is engraved ‘This Memorial was Erected by Sir John Pender K.C.M.G.’ on the opposite side facing the church is ‘In Memory of Emma the Beloved Wife of Sir John Pender K.C.M.G.  Born 19th Oct 1816 Died at Arlington St 8th July’.  On the south facing side of four is the original dedication to ‘Henry Denison Pender Born October 8th 1852 Died at Foots Cray Place January 13th 1881’.  John Pender was not knighted KCMG until 1888 and so the frustum and all this engraving was commissioned by Sir John Pender after the death of his wife Emma in 1890, when the family tomb was excavated.

When Sir John Pender died the following citation was added under Emma’s epitaph; ‘Also of Sir John Pender G.C.M.G Born 19th September 1816 Died at Foots Cray Place July 7th 1896’.
When the new frustum was made two additional epitaphs were added to the skirt.

Under Emma and John:
Sir John Denison Pender G.B.E., K.C.M.G. Born 10th October 1855, Died 6th March 1929, and his Wife Beatrice Catherine Denison Pender Married 2nd August 1879 Died 11th November 1920.  Both Interred at Slaugham, Sussex’

And below Henry:
‘Sir James Pender Baronet Born 28th September 1841, Died 20th May 1921, Interred at Dunhead Salisbury’

The Memorial Frustrum May 2017

Celtic Cross May 2017
Stewart Ash 1017

pictures of the original and refurbished memorial courtesey Telegraph Museum Porthcurno with thanks

1 comment:

Capt Greg Holmes said...

Where would we have been without John Pender. And there are still ships laying cables underwater today.

Greg Holmes