Posts Tagged ‘Hanwood’

Hanwood Church

Hanwood: Stained Glass roundel memorializing William Wood of Marche Hall

I was sure that there was some memorial to the Wood family in the parish church at Hanwood, 4.5 miles from Shrewsbury and 8 miles from Marche Hall. The various memorials to the Warter family were prominent, diarist John Clavering Wood’s sister Emma (1783-1863) having married prominent nearby landowner, Henry Degory Warter (1771-1853). Their son, John Wood Warter (1806-78), married Edith Southey, daughter of Poet Laureate Robert Southey (brother-in-law of Coleridge).

Re-checking each memorial still yielded no Woods. I was almost about to give up the search when I spotted the stained glass window on the right hand side near the altar.
A painting of the church which hangs in St Mary's, Hanwood.

A painting of the church as it appeared in the 18th C which hangs in St Thomas’, Hanwood.

The wording read:

(inscribed round 5 medallions of scenes from the life of Christ.) In memory of William Wood, Esq., Marsh Hall, who died Dec 22nd, 1813, aged 68. Also of Esther Wood his wife, who died Sept. 21st, 1804. Also of Anne Wood his sister who died March 15th 1810. Also of John Clavering Wood, Esq. his son, who died June 24th, 1835, aged 57. Also of William Warter his grandson, who died June 27th, 1819, aged 1 year.

This window would have been installed some time after 1835 when John Clavering Wood died.

At the base of another window is a “Sacred to the Memory of…” commemoration to: “Henry Degory Warter who died on April 5th, 1853 and Emma S M Warter [nee Wood] his wife, who died on June 3rd 1863, and also also Charlotte Gertrude Warter, their daughter in law, who died August 28, 1854. The latter (nee Harries) was the first wife of their son, Rev Edward Warter (1811-1878) of Hanwood.

On the subject of funerary memorials, this well-worded “piae memoriae” (‘of pious memory’) in St Mary’s Church, Leyton in London, dating from ca 1626, honours Eliza Wood (nee Barker), the beloved wife of Tobias Wood (a likely ancestor of the Woods of Marche Hall):

Wayle not, my Wood, thy tree’s untymely fall;
They weare butt leaves the Autumn blast could spoyle;
The bark bound up, and some fayre fruit withal
Transplanted onely, shee exchanged her soyle
Shee is not dead; shee did but fall to rise,
And leave the Woods, to live in Paradise.
At the base of another window is a dedication to Emma  Warter (nee Wood), sister of JC Wood.

At the base of another window is a dedication to Emma Warter (nee Wood), sister of JC Wood.

Hanwood window for the Woods

This part of the window commemorates John Clavering Wood (diarist of ‘A Shropshire Squire’).

Wood window at Hanwood

The window dedicated to the Wood family is at the front of St Thomas’ church, Hanwood, to the right of the altar.


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NAMING their first daughter ‘Maria Helena Rathbone’ suggests that Capt William and Esther Wood were honouring a maternal ancestor, but who?

The noted Rathbone family of Liverpool were certainly acquaintances. William Rathbone IV (1757-1809) was a founding member of the Liverpool Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and a Quaker for most of his life. He married Hannah Mary (1761-1839), daughter of Richard Reynolds of Bristol and Hannah (née Darby), at the Friends Meeting House, Shrewsbury.

In this way, the Rathbones were a link to the Coalbrookdale ironmasters who paved the way for the Industrial Revolution.

Hannah Rathbone’s diary shows that Captain Wood often visited their family home, Greenbank, Liverpool, between 1798 and 1805. Indeed, Maria Wood and Miss Kewley were guests at Sunday dinner on 3 November 1805.

After one such visit, William Rathbone sent this letter to Captain Wood at his home in Hanwood, Shropshire:

My dear friend,

We partook in your feelings on your return home of finding Mrs Wood so very much indisposed, and we shall with great pleasure receive the account that you have less cause for anxiety on her account, if it be in your power to send us such a one.

Be pleased to give our affectionate remembrance to her and your family. Could our wishes avail for your relief, your portion of suffering would be of short continuance. But we know not what is best even for ourselves and still less so for others. Happily there is One who does know what is for one’s good, and administers that and that only to us, tho’ it is sometimes very hard to turn it to its appointed effect.

My Book is at length finished and I send you a copy, not expecting however that you will have time to peruse much of it, and indeed fully sensible that it cannot excite much interest out of the limits of one’s own society. You will accept it however as a token of the remembrance and good wishes of  Yours very sincerely,

W. Rathbone, G’bank [Greenbank, Liverpool], 10 April 1804

Rathbone Papers, University of Liverpool, RPII.1.168 pg 196

It seems that the Woods were very likely related to the Rathbones, but the direct link has yet to be established. Can you help us to make it?

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