St. Leonard and St Mary Church Beaumont
The foundations of this Church go back to the 12th century, much of the
existing building was conceived in the 14th and 15th centuries, and all this provides the
"corner stone" on which today's congregation wish to build, more details on
the history of the church building can be found inside the church in a very
informative booklet. But once you step inside beware, this gorgeous little
church will capture your imagination and compel you to return time and time
To prove that there's more to church than a building, not every service is
conducted within the existing walls. The Church remnants at Moze provide a base
for one of the outside services.
Below you can see a recent group from the Tendring Hundred that confirmed
their faith at Beaumont Church.
THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST LEONARD & ST MARY
The Church of
St Leonard & St Mary is built mainly of rubble stone and is composed of a
chancel, a nave of three bays, a north aisle which formerly was probably a Lady
Chapel, a south porch and a western bell-cote containing two bells.
Church is situated in the south-west part of the Parish, and all that remains of
the ancient fabric - according to the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments -
are the eastern buttresses and the chancel walls.
These were probably built in the 14th and 15th centuries.
The foundations are probably of the earlier date possibly 12th century.
A writer in the 18th century states that the nave is of "one
pace" with the chancel, i.e. there was no chancel step.
The east wall of the Church was restored in 1950 while the nave and other
parts not previously mentioned were restored in the 19th century.
1678 Moze Church was pulled down and some of the stone used to repair Beaumont
Church. Tradition has it that the
north aisle was repaired at this time. A
stone Cross was erected within the precincts of Old Moze Hall on the site of St
Mary's Church, Moze in 1959: two mature oak trees mark the gateway.
The name of St Mary was added to that of St Leonard, Beaumont in the same
year. An open air Rogationtide
Service was held at Moze until the 1970s, and was revived in 1989.
1922 the north wall, which includes the vestry wall, was underpinned and the
whole of the roof was relathed and retiled.
The white plaster was removed from the roof that was then boarded and
felted throughout. The porch was
restored and the two oak gates were erected at the western entrance to the
Churchyard. Some underpinning was
undertaken in 1947 at the south-east corner of the Church.
In 1950, as a result of large cracks in the wall at the East End of the
Church, practically the whole of the all had to come down, together with the
window, and had to be rebuilt. The
east wall was underpinned and 50 tons of Ferro-concrete helped to reinstate the
foundations and support the wall and window.
While taking out the
19th century window the builders came across the
framework of a 14th century window. This
had to be removed but some of the stonework was built into the east wall, and
may now be seen on the outside.
In the south wall of the
chancel is a 14th century priest's door with chamfered jambs and a two-centred
ITEMS OF HISTORICAL INTEREST
A TABLE with a modern top but with turned legs of the 18th century
origin. Formerly this table served
as an Altar.
RAILS are of the same design and date as the Table legs.
3. TWO FLOOR
SLABS in the sanctuary under which were buried a former Rector and his first
wife. These are the Reverend JAMES
RATHBORNE who died in 1720 and Mrs R.E. Rathborne who died some thirty years
earlier in 1689. This former
Rector's gravestone reads as follows:-
"Here lyeth the body of
the late Rev. Mr James Rathborne, Master of Arts of Jesus College, Cambridge and
Rector of this Church 50 years who first united the living of Moze to this
Parish of Beaumont. He was venerable
in his life, for his gravity and great Sanctity of manners, and his learning and
prudence were so well known to his late Diocesan that he justly conferred on him
the dignity of Rural Dean and in Respect of his great merit he was in the year
1706 preferred to the Parsonage of Lawford by the Rev. Dr. Thomas Dent of
Lawford Hall and Prebendary of the Church of Westminster.
While he lived he was a generous to both of the livings, having showed a
bright example in his good works of Piety and Hospitality.
He died March 30th, 1720 of his age 76 years.
This stone in respect of to his Memory was laid over his grave by his
Memory of the just is blessed"
On an adjoining slab is found:-
Rathborne was buried
June 28th Anno Domini
Some doubt existed as to whether
this former Rector and his wife were actually buried under the altar because at
one time it was customary in Church. It
was discovered, however, in 1949 during excavating work that there were two
coffins containing human remains under the Rathborne and his first wife.
4. THE SOUTH
PORCH built of ancient roof timbers and 15th century moulded wall plate.
In the porch near the outer door is an indented gravestone in which
formerly there was a 15th century inscription.
5. SMALL BRASS
PLATE on Chancel Step inscribed "John Cooke and Isabella his wife".
Probably early 16th century.
6. AN ANCIENT
STONE of unknown origin over the chancel arch inscribed with the monogram IHS.
7. AN ANCIENT
OAK CHEST in Priest's Vestry - date unknown.
REGISTER of MOZE and BEAUMONT of births, marriages and deaths.
first entry in the Beaumont Register is dated 1564 while the first entry in the
Moze Register is dated 1548. There
are printed transcripts of these Registers printed by the Reverend John Cooper's
private printing press in 1867.
original Registers are in the safe keeping of the Essex Record Office,
ELIZABETHAN CHALICE AND COVER formerly used as a paten.
The ornamentation of the Beaumont Elizabethan Chalice takes the form of a
band with interlacing strapwork which encircles the bowl but possesses nothing
in the way of foliation. It also
illustrates the hyphen pattern ornament. The
chalices at ASHEN, BEAUMONT, LITTLE TEY, WEELEY and WORMINGFORD are the work of
the same maker who was probably a local craftsman.
He used as his mark "GL" in monogram within a stamped shape.
10. A PATEN,
1683 an example of Restoration Church Plate.
11. A PISCINA or drain in south
wall of sanctuary, with moulded jambs and cinque-foiled head.
THE WINDOWS AND STAINED GLASS
the NORTH side of the chancel is a replica of a Norman window which contains a
Puginesque medallion of stained glass of Christ Blessing The Children.
It is quite possible that when the Church was restored in the 19th
century this window replaced an original Norman window.
EAST Window depicts the Nativity and the Resurrection.
These are in memory of Mr & Mrs Wilson of Thorpe Green.
The centre panel is of the Crucifixion and is a War Memorial window of
the 1914-1918 War.
1927 the tracery work of the EAST window was filled in with stained glass
depicting the Holy Angels and the Dove - the symbol of the Holy Spirit.
This stained glass was given by Mrs R.J. Wyatt of Thorpe Green.
During restoration work in 1950 the Dove was replaced, in error, upside
the SOUTH side of the chancel are two 19th century stained glass representations
of St Peter and St Leonard and a more recent one of the Virgin and Child.
The latter was placed in memory of Sarah Marrington in 1935.
the NORTH aisle are two small windows depicting Our Lord as the Light of the
World and as the Good Shepherd. The
former was given by Miss K. Marrington in memory of her father and the latter
was given by Mrs R.H. Mathews.
window by the pulpit was given by the Mathews family in memory of the Reverend
H.G.S. Mathews, M.A., Rector of Beaumont- cum-Moze 1907-1944.
It depicts St Francis and St Leonard.
THE BYNG MEMORIAL
Byng of Vimy died in 1935 and was buried in Beaumont churchyard.
The following inscription appears on a brass tablet to his memory.
memory of Julian Hedworth George Byng, Field-Marshal, Viscount Byng of Vimy, who
worshipped here for 20 years. This
Church was restored redecorated and re-furnished in 1936 by his wife, his sister
and some of his
friends. Opposite hangs his banner
of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, which during his life hung in King
Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey and at his death was presented to
Beaumont Church by his wife."
Lady Byng, as a memorial
to her husband, bore the cost of renovation and of supplying the blue Brussels
carpet and hassocks. Captain P.
Hudson formerly A.D.C. to Lord Byng and Lady Margaret Boscowen, Lord Byng's
sister, each gave a wrought iron chandelier fitted with electric candles*.
The altar curtains were given by Lady Susan Birch of Beaumont Hall and
other curtains by Miss Eva Sandford of Thorpe Hall.
The wrought iron lantern outside the porch was given by the Hon. Bernard
Yorke. The two tall wooden
candlesticks were given by Lt. Col. Oswald Balfour.
These are 17th century Italian work.
This was presented to
Beaumont Church in 1854 by Robert Canham Salmon.
This was given by Rose Helena Mathews in 1912 as a thank offering.
The two brass candlesticks were a Coronation gift in 1937 by the Reverend
H.G.S. Mathews, a former Rector.
A Brussels lace super-frontal was given by Lady Susan Birch in 1938.
It had formerly belonged to her Grandmother.
Lt. Col. Balfour in 1947 presented the Church with an ancient Spanish
silver sanctuary lamp.
Lady Byng in 1948 presented three frontals for the Altar.
These are of Italian origin and were made in the 17th century.
The most beautiful with its embroidered work is used for Festivals.
This was restored by a member of the Royal School of Needlework in 1970.
Plain velvet frontals on frames were given by Mrs Peter Wade, a former
Rector's wife in 1970 and Madagascan Lace for the altar cloths by their daughter
In 1949 Miss Eva Sandford presented the Church with a silver WAFER BOX
and a Sheffield Plate FLAGON.
In 1957 Miss Haines presented a
silver CHALICE and PATEN in memory of her brother Sidney.
Mr Stanley Reeve, Organist, gave
a glass COMMUNION CRUET in memory of his mother.
The WROUGHT IRON FLOWER STANDS
were given by Robert and Mary Cole and Picton and Nancy Warlow.
The Sanctuary and Chancel CARPET
was given by Edgar and Mary Traylen in 1972.
ALTAR BOOK STAND.
Inscribed "Presented in loving memory of A.C. Cooper by her husband,
the Revd. John Cooper, Rector of this parish from 1868-1907".
An old oak door formerly attached to the present pulpit was taken off and
made into a Litany Desk, the cost being borne by Mr F. Pullen.
CARVED OAK CHAIR.
This chair in the Rector's stall was presented to the Church in 1933 in
memory of William Carter, a former Churchwarden who held office for 33 years.
The inscription will be found at the back of the chair*.
Presented by Lady Byng in 1948.
Presented in memory of her husband Alexander by Mrs Eva Robson in 1960.
GREEN PULPIT FALL given by Mrs
H. Carter in memory of her mother.
Made and presented by Miss Dorothy Cole of Chelmsford.
Given by the Revd. W. Wade, Priest-in Charge of Beaumont.
Given in memory of Mrs Rose Mathews, wife of a former Rector and Organist
at the Church.
WROUGHT IRON FLOWER STAND.
Presented by Rosina and Barbara Purkiss of Frinton-on-Sea.
ALTAR KNEELERS - made and
presented by Mary Barton on 21st Sepember 1991.
The design incorporates the:-
Chalice - the Cup of Communion.
Cross - the accepted symbol of
Christianity - represents The Passion (and Resurrection) of Christ.
I.H.C. (or I.H.S.) - represents
the first two and last letters of the Greek word for Jesus.
Vine - The tree of life -
supplying the wine representing the blood of Christ.
Fleur de lis - symbol of
royalty, especially in France. In
Church, represents the Holy Trinity.
Dove - birds of Aphrodite and
Venus - Took men's souls to heaven, hence their association with the symbolism
of the Holy Spirit. Emblem of love
and religious ardour.
The oil painting
"Christ Blessing the Children" was presented to Beaumont Church by the
Hon. Claude Yorke in memory of his wife, and was placed on the North wall.
This was cleaned in 1976 by Mr L. Lawrence in memory of the wife of Mr
Felix Bayley of Frinton-on-Sea.
Derek Tilston, a former Rector, presented the Church with a print "The
Virgin of the Rocks" by Leonardo da Vinci, on his retirement in December
ORGAN AND CHOIR
The ORGAN was
built in 1872 by Walker and Sons and in 1949 was fitted with an electric blower
in memory of James Martin Acland Wyatt. This
was given by his wife. In 1927 the
Bourdon stop was added together with the necessary pipes.
The carved ends of the Choir Stalls are worth noting as are also the two
squirrels carved at the ends of the pews in the North aisle.
It is very unusual to
find a memorial to local men who fought in the Crimea as generally speaking war
memorials were not in vogue until the time of the Boer War.
On this memorial are mentioned the battles of Alma 1854 and Inkerman 1854
and also the hospital at Scutari 1855 where Florence Nightingale nursed the
A ROYAL VISIT
22nd June 1938, Her Majesty Queen Mary with the Earl of Athlone and H.R.H.
Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone attended Mattins at Beaumont Church.
Later in the day they returned to the Church to inspect the building, the
16th century registers and the Elizabethan Church Plate.
Queen Mary's visit is commemorated by a small brass plaque which was
inserted into the back of the pew where she sat for the service.
This pew is in the North aisle.
To mark the Coronation of
Queen Elizabeth II a Sundial was placed on the outside of the South Chancel
commemorate the Silver Jubilee Queen Elizabeth roses were planted in the flower
beds by the Porch.
flagstaff and Diocesan Flag were given in memory of Peter
and Peggy Raby
by their family in 1950; the present Flag being presented in 1967.
A Maple, a White Beam and
a weeping Silver Birch were planted on November 1987 in the North-east corner of
the churchyard, by the sons of Picton and Nancy Warlow to mark the place where
their parents' ashes were scattered.
are two bells in the Steeple, one large and one small.
The former is inscribed as follows:-
Darbie made me in 1684"
smaller bell is considered to be a great deal older.
earlier steeple at Beaumont Church at one time had three bells according to an
inventory of 1553. At Moze at this
time were four bells "hangying in the stepll".
These furnishings were stolen from the Church in 1990.
BYNG OF VIMY
1862 – 1935
was on 8 June at the little church of Beaumont-cum-Moze which he and Evelyn
attended and it was she who chose Psalm 15 to be sung at the service.
His plain oak coffin, covered with a Union Jack, had been brought there
from Thorpe on a gun carriage, and eight sergeants of the 5th Royal
Inniskillin Dragoon Guards had borne it into the church.
The regiments with which he was most closely connected were each
represented by two officers: -
Kings Own Hussars
Heavy Brigade Royal Artillery
Territorial Battalion of the Essex Regiment and
No one but the
bearer party and artillery drivers wore uniform and there was no military
ceremonial. At the service and
committal in the churchyard, only the family representatives of his regiments
and public bodies were present. All
this was in accordance with Byng’s wish for simplicity, set out in his will.
But all along
the route from Thorpe to Beaumont, hundreds of ex-servicemen and residents of
the district lined the road. The
British Legion branches of Thorpe, Clacton, Walton and Frinton had formed a
guard of honour at his house and his gamekeepers lined the path into the church.
A week after
his death a memorial service filled St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Field-Marshal Lord Allenby represented the King.
The Duke of Gloucester and the Athlones were there, the Army Council, the
Canadian High Commissioner, representatives of the fighting services and the
police, and a host of old comrades. Among
them were Col. Harden of the South African Light Horse, de Rougemont, his CRA in
the 3rd Cavalry Battalion and Roger Keyes of Gallipoli, Farmar,
Burstall, John Dill and Hoare-Nairns of the Canadian Corps, Louis Vaughan,
Haldane and Braithwaite of Third Army and Hugh Elles of the Tanks.
Among the soldiers sat writers and artists and businessmen, and many of
the Canadians who lived in England.
there were memorial services in Ottawa and Montreal and prayers were said in
churches across the country.
have been surprised that so many gathered to pay tribute to him and give thanks
for his life. One can almost hear
him say, “Please! - no fuss.”
in papers in Britain, Canada and the United States reminded people of the debt
they owed to Julian Byng as a soldier, a governor and a wise administrator and
for his example of integrity in public life.
There were many who would like to have written, as John Buchan had:
Yours is the kind of career which does one good to think about, just as
whenever I am depressed about human nature, I think about you yourself.”
from ‘Byng of Vimy, General and Governor-General’ by Jeffery Williams.
Acknowledgement is made to the work of the Reverend Canon
J.B. Allen B.A., Hon. C.F. Frequent
reference has been made to the excellent booklet he published in 1950.