|The Rushden Echo, 7th May 1965, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Long task of restoring memorial is over
St. Mary’s Church, Rushden, Pemberton Memorial has been completely restored, at a cost of about £450.
The work has been carried out over the past 12 weeks by Miss I. Norholt, and was sponsored by Mr. George Denton, the Rushden boot and shoe manufacturer.
Miss Norholt, who lives in St. John’s Wood, London, comes from Copenhagen. She specialises in restoration work of the type carried out at Rushden.
She told us that by far the longest part of her work had been the cleaning of the Jacobean memorial, which is made of alabaster. She explained that at the time only five colours were used for this kind of work and could be seen before she started work. She was able to restore the memorial to its original colours by finding scraps of old paintwork in places like the inside of an ear.
During the twelve weeks she was working on the memorial she replaced 500 broken pieces with plaster, and this included rebuilding a foot, hands and noses.
The memorial was set up in the church to Robert and Mary Pemberton.
Robert was the eldest son of Robert Pemberton, of Pemberton, in Lancashire. He was one of the gentlemen ushers to Queen Elizabeth I. His wife, Mary, was the daughter of Christopher Traughton, of Linford, in Buckinghamshire. She died on July 30, 1608, aged 58, and he died a year later, on April 18, aged 67. They had a family of four boys and four girls.
Already, when the restoration work had been almost completed, Miss Norholt found that children had been playing noughts and crosses on the freshly-cleaned alabaster work.
During her work she found the perfect skeleton of a bat behind one of the central figures.
It is thought that at one time the memorial, which is in the classic tradition of the Italian Renaissance period, collapsed, and that when it was rebuilt certain large pieces of alabaster were not replaced. This would also account for the irregular nature of part of the base on which the central figures are kneeling.