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Rushden Hall - Staff Notes

The Church & the Park Gates
Sketches by Clive Wood

Sometimes snippets of information are found in other documents or obituaries giving us a brief note of members of staff at the Hall and the Park. We will add these as and when they come to our notice.

We will be pleased to receive others.


24 January 1885 - Northampton Mercury

Funeral - On the 15th inst. Mrs. Bland, who for many years was engaged at the Hall as nurse, but who, since the family has grown up, was located at the entrance lodge to the Hall, and spent her time as she pleased between the lodge and the Hall, was interred in the churchyard, the Rev. Disney officiating. The deceased was 80 years of age, and, as a mark esteem, Mr. F. U. Sartoris, J.P., and his son, Mr. H. Sartoris, followed among the mourners, together with a number of old servants, including Mr. Rhodes, for many years bailiff on the estate.

Extract from "The Baker Brothers":
Mr. Baker also spoke of his grandfather, Benjamin Baker, who, he said, used to be shepherd at the Hall at the time the Fletchers were living there. Benjamin used to kill one sheep a week for the people at the Hall.
Extract from History of the Hall, by J E Smith

In 1811, as can be seen from an engraving, the house was in its old state. Later the present front was added, and, old Mr. William Clayton, who was a boy gardener at the Hall at that time, told me that Barrington Brown built the front.

Extract from a Note Book of J E Smith

In August 1924 - Mr Charles Clayton a son of the late William Clayton, who was as a lad in the garden at the Hall, many years head gardener at Rushden House (now Sanatorium) under Mr Currie, this William Clayton helped set the Chestnut tree in the centre of the Green, now pulled down for Memorial. He also helped pull down the old Round House which stood on the Green. His son told me this August that his father William Clayton had the old key of the Round House.

I wonder where it is now, J. E. Smith

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, 13th July 1900, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Recent Accident—A few weeks ago we recorded an accident to Mr Roads, steward of the Sartoris estate. During the great storm several trees fell down in Mrs Sartoris’s grounds, and Mr Roads and others were sawing the wood so as to remove it out of the carriage way, when the saw slipped and went into Mr Roads’s leg, grazing the shin bone. Mortification, we regret to say, has now set in, and the patient is lying in a serious condition, though happily a slight improvement is now noticeable.

Richard Rhodes, born in Quinton, Buckinghamshire, about 1812, was Farm Bailiff for the estate by 1851, then being a single man, aged 39. By 1861 he was married to Hannah and by 1871 he was running the farm and employing 2 men, a boy, and a farm bailiff, presumably for the Hall Estate. They were living in High Street (south), and now with four sons, Harry, Willie, Frank, and Walter. Frank was at first a carpenter, and succeeded his father as bailiff, when his father became Steward for the whole estate. Richard lived on well into his 80s, and Frank became the Estate Agent. (Research done on this website by KC)

Extract from Memories of Cliff Iliffe
When my Dad, Joe Iliffe, first came to Rushden he was employed at the Rushden Hall eventually working up to be the Butler .........
Stockman - Mr J Clayton - Golden Wedding 1909
Coachman - Mr. William Clipson Hollis - Obituary 1912
Extract from his Obituary 1913
Rushden has lost a much respected and honoured old townsman in the person of Mr. James Bailey, late of High-street South. The deceased, who was 67 years of age, had lived in Rushden practically all his life and had been a gardener at Rushden Hall for about 46 years.
Extracted from the Obituary of Mrs Sartoris 1913
The bricked grave was lined with moss, and at each end was a cross composed of chrysanthemums and asparagus sprengeri. Upon the sides were wreaths of chrysanthemums, and the bottom was covered with ivy, this work having been carried out by Mr. H. Pettit, gardener at the Hall.
Rushden Echo, 19th May 1916

The Funeral took place yesterday week of Mrs. Mountjoy, aged 79, widow of Mr. George Mountjoy, of Peterborough. Mrs. Mountjoy who died on May 15th, survived her husband only 12 days. Mrs. Mountjoy, who was for some years maid to the late Mrs. F. U. Sartoris, of Rushden Hall, came from Werrington, near Peterborough, where Mrs. Sartoris lived before her marriage.
Chauffeur - Mr Frederick Bailey killed in action 1917.

Rushden Argus, 1st March 1918

Nonagenarian’s Death—The funeral took place at Floore on Monday of Mr. John Badham, who passed away at that village on the previous Thursday at the great age of 94. Mr. Badham was born at Bristol in 1823, and his early life was spent at Uxbridge as a builder and contractor. He then removed to Rushden, where he acted as estate manager and house carpenter at Rushden Hall for forty years. The deceased was much esteemed by Mr. Sartoris and his family, as well as by the townspeople generally. Upon retiring he went to live at Floore. [another report]

Gardener - Mr. John Underwood - obituary 1918.

Rushden Argus, 3rd January 1919

Servants’ Party—The New Year Servants’ Party was held at Rushden Hall on Tuesday evening. Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Sartoris were present, and Mr. Sartoris in a short speech wished all a Happy New Year. Mr. Pettit, the gardener, suitably replied. The arrangements were undertaken and carried out by the cook, Miss Tipler, and the festivities were kept up into the early hours of the morning. The music was provided by Mr. J. Randall and Miss F. Litchfield.

Gardener - Mr Clarke Smith obituary 1919.
Extract from an obituary 1928
Mr Lack was apprenticed to hand-sewing in the boot trade as a young man. His father was in the service of the late Mr F. U. Sartoris for 14 years, passing away while fairly young.
Miss Harriet Warner retired as housekeeper at Rushden Hall c1908 - see her obituary 1934

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 4th June 1954
These usually quiet grounds, extending to about thirty acres, will be well worth a visit at Whitsuntide. Bands play there on Sunday afternoons and evenings, and seats are plentiful. The bandstand Mr Harry Pettit
New foliage on the fir trees, blossom and gaiety of flowerbeds have brought the scene at Rushden Hall to its full beauty.
Greenhouses at Rushden Hall hold pleasant things in store for the summer – among them some hanging floral baskets soon to be seen about the town. Mr Harry Pettit, veteran gardener, who served the Sartoris family before the town acquired the grounds, is seen preparing one of the baskets.

Rushden Echo, 21st June 1963 Percy & Fred
Planting Time

Mr Percy Head and Mr Fred Churchman transplant plants from the greenhouses at Rushden Hall Park at the start of the summer season. They will last until late in September, when they will be replaced with winter-flowering plants.



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