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Rushden Hall - snippets

Extract from a Sale Notice Northampton Mercury 23rd September 1848

N.B. At the same time will be sold, some pure bred short-horned Stock, from the herd of F. Sartoris, Esq., who is selling in consequence of being over-stocked, comprising two in-calf cows, four in-calf heifers, three yearling heifers, a yearling calf, and one young bull. Particulars and pedigree at the time of sale. [the main sale was the farm of Wm Achurch dec'd]


Northampton Mercury,18 January 1868 

On Wednesday night, Rushden Hall the seat of F. U. Sartoris, Esq., was the scene of unusual festivity in consequence of a ball given by that gentleman which was attended by the principal nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood 


Northampton Mercury, 22 August 1868

Samuel Pettitt, Jerman Warren, and William Clayton, young men of Rushden, were summoned for wilfully breaking a gate, the property of F. U. Sartoris, Esq. ...… 

Committed to Northampton County Gaol
Samuel Pettitt, Jerman Warren, and William Clayton, for 14 days hard labour each, for damage at Rushden.


14 May 1870 - Northampton Mercury 

The Rev. F. J. Robinson, of Cranford, is engaged to Miss M. Sartoris, the eldest daughter of F. U. Sartoris, Esq., of Rushden.


02 May 1874 - Northampton Mercury 

W’boro Court—John Dickens, Joseph Hind, and Jeremiah Rice were summoned for game trespass on land belonging to F. U. Sartoris, Esq., of Rushden Hall.— Richard Rhode, farm bailiff to the prosecutor, appeared.— Rice only appeared in answer to the summons.—The case was .......


01 August 1890 - Northampton Mercury

A BAND CONTEST—arranged by the National Prize Band, and held, the kind permission Mr. Herbert and Mr. Charles Sartoris in the park adjoining the Hall at that place, on Saturday.


Bozeat - In 1884 Rachel Hill, wife of the parish churchwarden W F Hill, was buried on 16th January aged 71. A note added to the parish register states “This man formerly kept a lace school in Bozeat, when the lace trade was so good. He made lace himself, up to a short time before his death, and some of it was sold to Mrs Sartoris of Rushden Hall.”

Rushden Echo, 29th June 1900, transcribed by Kay Collins

An Unpleasant Accident befell Mr F Roads, steward to Mr H Sartoris, in the Rushden Hall grounds on Saturday. While giving directions as to the removal of some fallen timber in the avenue he struck at a branch with an axe to show where it was to be sawn through, but the blade of the axe glanced off and inflicted an ugly wound on Mr Roads’s leg. Fortunately the wound did not extend to the bone.

Rushden Echo, 1st January 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Boy Scouts—Mr and Mrs A H Sartoris kindly entertained the Boy Scouts at Rushden Hall on Saturday last, an excellent tea being served. Lord St John, the Rev W Pelham (Curate), and Scoutmaster F E Preston were among the guests. The boys thoroughly appreciated the good things provided for them. A good programme of music was afterwards provided. Songs were given by Mr Sartoris and a number of the boys, and the humorous content was introduced in several comic songs. Mr F E Preston was in command of the Scouts.


Rushden Echo, 12th August 1927, transcribed by Kay Collins

Extract from an obituary for Aircraftsman Sidney Sharpe (son of Mr. H. Sharpe, formerly of Rushden, now of Kempston):

The deceased aircraftsman was born in Rushden. His mother [Emma] died a few months later. His grandfather, Mr. Daniel Sharpe (born 111 years ago) lived in Rushden 70 years. He claimed to be the first man to make rivetted boots. He it was, also, who enticed crows to nest in trees at Rushden Hall. The late Mr. Sartoris had expressed a wish to have a rookery near the Hall, and Mr. Daniel Sharpe tried the idea of tying a few twigs together and putting them high up in a tree. Crows were deceived into thinking it was a real nest. There have been real crows’ nests in the trees ever since!


The Rushden Echo and Argus, 24th July 1931, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Hall Paths
Reference having been made in this column some time ago to the paths in the Hall Grounds and the very small measure of comfort that attaches to walking over beach stones, I think it is only fair to draw attention to the fact that some improvement is now being effected. This question has been under consideration for some time, and it has been decided, in time, to give the paths the benefit of some judicious treatment. Early this week the stones were carefully swept off the main path leading from the entrance to the Hall, leaving the bare surface to dry in the sun (if any). Later the whole area is to be specially treated and gravelled and it is hoped that it will be similar to an asphalt path. This will certainly be a much needed improvement and make the approach to the upper parts of the grounds easier for older people and invalids. Writing about the Hall reminds me of one or two other matters. I noticed that a neat low fence has been erected on the left hand side of the path from the entrance thus shutting off the woodland glades. I should like to make a reference also to the wonderful sight which the kitchen garden has presented. (It was at its best something over a week ago!) I do not think I have ever seen such a magnificent blaze of colour, and the rambler roses on the far wall were a glorious sight. Now they have faded and have been cut down; how are the mighty fallen! It would be difficult to imagine a more typically English garden and I should like to know just how many varieties of flowers were to be seen blooming there. At present I think the lavender takes first prize with a beautiful overpowering scent.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 14th August 1931, transcribed by Jim Hollis

A Holiday Mystery
I have been trying to find out why the Urban District Council held its August meeting this week. The second Wednesday in the month is the normal day of meeting, but from the time when the bug of enthusiasm for civic business first sharpened its teeth on my cranium it has been the custom to defer the August meeting until the third Wednesday, the understanding being that members wanted their holidays like ordinary human beings, and could not be expected to attend committee meetings in the early part of the month. So I said to a councillor who ought to have known, “Why this departure from the time-honoured rule of postponement?” All he could say was that the Clerk approved it, and that committee meetings were held early in order to keep August Week clear of business. He seemed almost to have forgotten that in other years the decks could not be cleared until the third week. I believe there is mystery behind all this. I very nearly believe that Councillors are a declining race, denuded of their ancestral hereditaments and totally unable to find the kudos for a fortnight at Southend. Or is it that, having opened Rushden Hall, they have confirmed their flattering speeches by camping in the avenue? They may cloak themselves in secrecy, but you can’t get away from the fact that seventeen of them were seated round the table on Wednesday.

Extract from Council Meeting May 1959:-

Further damage to windows at Rushden Hall has been reported to the police.

Greenhouses at Rushden Hall can be inspected by the public on Sunday afternoons.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 17th October, 1952, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Young vandals smash restored hall
“If it wasn’t for us, this place would go to rack and ruin,” asserted a Rushden pensioner, referring to the vandalism at The Hall, where restoration of the centuries-old building has just cost the Urban Council nearly £5,000.

Looking at the damaged windows Seventy pensioners use the building every day for their reading, card games and darts, and they feel it is only their presence, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays, that is a deterrent to worse damage being committed.

As quickly as window panes are replaced, youths smash them again with sticks and stones. The improvised games room is one example; it would be cosily warm with its stove for heating if it were not for the continual draughts from the shattered windows – the majority composed of small diamond panes.

Most of the damage is inflicted by mischievous hands – and senseless heads – at the week-ends. Last week-end another half-dozen panes, a globe and two gas mantles were wrecked.

“On Sunday morning there were four or five boys, aged about 14, playing about in the next room,” one of the pensioners told us (he was referring to the room near the main entrance containing valuable wood carvings). “and we asked them to be quiet. The next thing we knew, they had smashed the globe and were running across the park.”

The globe was one of the new gas fittings only installed this autumn.

Two mantles over the dartboards – they were purchased 10 days previously from the pensioners’ penny-a-week fund – were found smashed on Saturday morning.

No respect

The men remonstrate with the boys when they find them fooling around the premises, but the boys show little respect.

The incidents described show that appeals and warnings from the Council have little or no effect, for it was at last week’s meeting that Coun. E. E. Newell, as chairman of the Parks Committee, announced serious vandalism and said that offenders would be prosecuted.

To the “Echo and Argus,” Mr. Newell said that the trouble began after new windows were put in two months ago as part of the restoration scheme.

“The Council takes a strong view of the matter,” he said, “and is prepared to take the necessary steps to quell it.”

Townspeople who deplore these depredations may well imagine that when so much is known about the culprits and their habits the protection of the Hall will soon be effective.

Although Rushden Urban Council has just footed a bill for nearly £5,000 for restoration of Rushden Hall, windows are continually smashed by boys. The vandalism is viewed with grave concern by the Council. In the picture one of the pensioners who use the premises points out the latest damage.


News Echo, Thursday January 29th 1976, transcribed by Kay Collins

Tree Appeal
Nine Town organisations have already responded to a council appeal for donations of trees for Rushden’s Hall Park.

Many of the trees in the Park have been felled because of Dutch elm disease.

East Northants council’s technical services committee has thanked local groups who have already offered replacements and are hoping other organisations will follow suit.



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