Sunday, 1 November 2015

So who was Henry Fearon?

The Rev. Henry Fearon

On 29th December 2013 I wrote the following at the end of my blog post about the burst water pipe in Loughborough:
“Hmmm, clean water supply? That reminds me, I was going to blog about my partial research into Archdeacon Henry Fearon: Better save that one for another time.”
Well, it’s been a long time coming, and it certainly isn’t a traditional potted biography, but here are a few bits about Archdeacon Henry Fearon.

Born in 1802, in Cuckfield, Sussex, Henry Fearon was the son of Rev. J.F. Fearon, and was a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Here’s the entry from the Ipswich Journal, Saturday 14 June, 1834, issue 5021
“At a congregation on Wednesday last [11 June 1834], the following degrees were conferred …
Bachelor in Divinity. Rev. Henry Fearon, Fellow of Emman[uel] …”

In 1853, Henry Fearon attended the following meeting, as reported in the Morning Chronicle, Friday 10 June, 1853, issue 26977:
“Society of Arts: Yesterday the annual conference between the representatives of the institutions in union and the council of the Society of Arts was held at the Society of Arts, John-street, Adelphi; Mr H. Cole, chairman of the council in the chair. A large number of representatives were present, amongst them many gentlemen who have distinguished themselves by the interest they have taken in the general subject of education.”
In 1863, Henry Fearon became Archdeacon of Leicester, as described in this report in the Leicester Chroncile, or Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser, Saturday April 18, 1863, p. 5:

“THE NEW ARCHDEACON OF LEICESTER. – The Bishop of Peterborough has appointed the Rev. Henry Fearon, B.D., one of the Honorary Canons of Peterborough Cathedral, and rector of All Saints’, Loughborough, to the Archdeaconry of Leicester, vacant by the death of the Rev. Thos. Kaye Bonney, M.A. Mr Fearon was educated at Winchester College, was Gold Medallist in 1820, and on leaving obtained an Exhibition to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where, after taking the Degree of Senior Optime and Third Class in the Classical Tripos, he was elected to a fellowship. He served in active duties as a curate and private tutor for 16 years, and was in 1848 presented by the college to the highly important living of Loughborough, where, in addition to the zealous discharge of the ordinary and anxious duties of a parish priest connected with so large a population, he was by his writings and exertions mainly instrumental in bringing about great sanitary improvements to the town. Mr Fearon is also well known as the author of several sermons, as well as of lectures delivered at the Literary and Philosophical Societies and Young Men’s Christian Institutes in Leicester and Loughborough. We need scarcely add that Mr Fearon is highly respected by both clergy and laity throughout the county, and that the appointment appears to give the highest satisfaction.”    

One of Henry Fearon’s sermons followed the opening of All Saints’ Parish school, as described in the Leicester Chronicle, or Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser, Saturday August 13, 1864, p.5

On Thursday evening last [11 August, 1864], a sermon was preached in All Saints’ Church, by the Venerable Henry Fearon, Archdeacon of Leicester, and rector of Loughborough, on the occasion of opening the new school-rooms belonging to this parish. These school-rooms, which were greatly needed in this locality, are very commodious and ornamental, and reflect much credit on the tradesmen who have had the carrying out of the works, which they undertook in a considerate and liberal spirit. The builder is Mr E. Thurlby, High-cross Street. There was a collection after the sermon. The sum collected was £20 18s. 2d..”

The Rev. Henry Fearon married many couples, and there are some familiar Loughborough names mentioned.

Here’s one taken from the Nottinghamshire Guardian, Thursday June 28, 1855, p.8, issue 484. The Henry Toone referred to was Henry Toone, solicitor of Leicester Road.

“At Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, on the 26th inst. [“instante mense” meaning a date in the current month, in this case, June], by the Rev. Henry Fearon, B.D., rector of All Saints and canon of Peterborough, the Rev. Thomas White, M.A., eldest son of Wm. White, Esq., of Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield, to Mary Anne, second daughter of Henry Toone, Esq., Loughborough. After the ceremony, the Holy Communion was administered by the Rev. Robert J. Bunch, B.D., rector of Emmanuel and canon of Peterborough.”

Here’s another marriage, the John Henry Eddowes referred to being a local doctor, taken from The Leicestershire Chronicle, or Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser, Saturday December 1, 1855:

“On the 27th ult. [“ultimo mense”, meaning in the preceding month, i.e. November 1855, not today’s meaning of something being more than unbelievable], at All Saints’ church, Loughborough, by the rector, the Rev. Henry Fearon, B.D., Joseph Phillips, jun., Esq., of Stamford, to Mary Anne, second daughter of John Henry Eddowes, Esq., of Loughborough.”

What about this one, featuring glasshouses and bells! From the Nottinghamshire Guardian, Thursday July 17, 1856, p.8, issue 539:

“At Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, on the 10th inst., by the Rev. Henry Fearon, B.D., Mr T.G. Messenger, of Loughborough, to Jemima Emily, second daughter of Mr J. Taylor, bellfounder, Loughborough.”

And what about this one? From the Nottinghamshire Guardian, Thursday August 13, 1857, p.8, issue 595:

“At the Parish Church, Loughborough, on the 11th inst., by the Rev. Henry Fearon, rector, Beauvoir Brock, Esq., of Shelthorpe Cottage, to Harriet, youngest daughter of the late John Hall, Esq., of Loughborough.”

The Rev. Henry Fearon also performed marriages in the place of his birth, Cuckfield, as can be seen from this report in the Leicestershire Chronicle, or Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser, Saturday September 11, 1858:

“On the 7th inst., at Cuckfield, Sussex, by the Rev. Henry Fearon, rector of Loughborough, Henry, third son of William Pott, of Wallington House, Carshalton, Esq., to Constance Mary, second daughter, and at the same time, the Rev. Thos. Ayscough, eldest son of Ayscough Smith, of Leethorpe Hall, in the county of Leicester, Esq., to Ethel Ann, third daughter of John Peter Fearon, Esq., of Cuckfield.”

A more detailed description of this event comes from the Morning Chronicle, Friday September 10, 1858, issue 28598:

“Fashion at Brighton: fashionable marriages: Married on Tuesday 7th September, at Cuckfield Church, by the Rev. H. Fearon, uncle of the bride, the Rev. Thos. A. Smith to Etha [sic] Anne Fearon; also Henry Potts Esq., to Constance Fearon, both the brides being the daughters of J.P. Fearon, Esq., of Cuckfield. Upwards of 140 partook if a dejeuner a la fourchette in a marquee in front of Mr Fearon’s house, the marquee being tastefully adorned with flags, banners etc.. The two brides were led to the altar by their father, J.P.Fearon, Esq., and there were no less than twenty-two bridesmaids accompanying them. The Rev. Henry Fearon performed the marriage ceremony, assisted by the Rev. T.A. Maberley, Vicar of Cuckfield, and the Revs. H. Hawkins and Cooper, curate. The church was crowded to excess…”  

The Venerable Henry Fearon died on 12 June, 1885, and his will was proved on 7 September that year. He was described as the Venerable Henry Fearon late of Loughborough in the County of Leicester, Archdeacon of Leicester. He never married and so the executors of his will were Jessy Tyndale Fearon, his niece, and the Reverend Thomas Ayscough Smith (probably related to the Thomas Ayscough who he had married on 7th September 1858), of Tenbury in the County of Worcester, who was Clerk Vicar of Tenbury.

The memory of Henry Fearon lives on in Loughborough, in the portrait that is upstairs in the Parish Church (and possibly in the Old Rectory Museum too, but my memory might be playing tricks on me), in the drinking fountain in Market Place, in the Fearon Hall, and in the street named after him. 

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