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The Rushden Echo, 26th February 1909

Death of Lady Robinson at Rushden

A Short Illness Proves Fatal
Leading Local Family Bereaved

The death of Lady Robinson, widow of the late Rev. Sir Frederick Laud Robinson, Bart., of Cranford Hall, Kettering, and Rector of the joint parishes of Cranford St. Andrew and Cranford St. John, which took place on Sunday morning last at Rushden Hall, caused a feeling of very deep sorrow throughout Rushden and the whole district. The deceased was 61 years of age.

Lady Robinson was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. Frederick U. Sartoris, of Rushden Hall, and of Mrs. Sartoris, who has now reached an advanced age. It was while on a visit to her mother at Rushden Hall that Lady Robinson was taken ill. Her ladyship arrived at Rushden on Monday in last week, from Brighton, and on the Wednesday she drove to Wellingborough, but was taken unwell in the evening. The services of Dr. Crew and Dr. Greenfield were obtained, and they found that pneumonia had set in. On Saturday Dr. Hichens, of Northampton, was also in attendance, but in spite of all efforts Lady Robinson expired on Sunday morning about six o’clock. All her children had been summoned and they were present when Lady Robinson breathed her last. She leaves one son (Sir Frederick Villiers Laud Robinson, Bart., one of the chief landowners in the parish of Cranford St. John) and three daughters – Mrs. L. R. Bagnall, Mrs. C. B. W. Brook and Mrs. C. E. Bagnall.

Since the death of her husband, the late Lady Robinson had resided at Cranford St. John’s. She had been wintering at Brighton, as had been her custom for several years past.

Lady Robinson had intended to be present at last Thursday’s concert in aid of the Rushden Nursing Association – of which her sister, Miss Evelyn Sartoris, is one of the Hon. secretaries – but she was too ill to attend, though at the time the symptoms were not of a nature so serious as they ultimately became. Throughout her life the deceased lady had always taken the keenest interest in the public affairs of Rushden, and especially in matters appertaining to the Parish Church, in which her late husband officiated on various occasions.

Pulpit References

At the celebration of the Holy Communion at the Parish Church, Rushden, on Sunday at 8 am the Rector (the Ven. Arthur Kitchin) received a letter from Miss Sartoris, informing him of the death of Lady Robinson. The Rector informed the communicants of the sad event, and asked for their prayers for the bereaved mother and family.

At the morning service at the Parish Church the Rector briefly aligned to the demise of her ladyship. He said that they would hear with sorrow of the death that had occurred a few hours earlier at the Hall, of Lady Robinson after a brief illness. Mrs. Sartoris and all the members of her family had for a long period been so thoroughly identified with the interests and well-being of the people in the town that any sorrow affecting them would touch a sympathetic chord in the hearts of many. He asked for prayers for the family, that they might be comforted of God and sustained in their affliction. At the close of the service the “Dead March” (from Handel’s “Saul”) was sympathetically played on the organ by Mr. J. E. Smith, the whole congregation rising.

At the evening service at the Parish Church Mr. Smith gave an expressive rendering of Chopin’s “funeral March,” the congregation standing.

Preaching at St. Peter’s Church, Rushden, in the evening, the Rector again adverted to the death of Lady Robinson. He spoke of the way in which she had drawn to herself the hearts of the people amongst whom she lived at Cranford by her kindly acts of unostentatious kindness and her deeds of charity.

The Rev. R. C. Thursfield, in the course of the morning service at St. Andrew’s Church, Cranford, on Sunday, referred in feeling terms to the death of Lady Robinson, and said that the parishes of Cranford St. Andrew and Cranford St. John had suffered a very heavy loss in the demise of one who had spent the greater part of her life there and who had gained the affection of all classes of the community.

At the close of the morning service the church bell was tolled.

On Sunday evening at Cranford St. John’s Church, the organist gave a very sympathetic rendering of “O rest in the Lord” (Mendelssohn).

Family History

The Rev. Sir Frederick Laud Robinson, to whom the deceased lady was married in 1870, was the ninth holder of the title, to which he succeeded in 1877, on the death of his brother, Sir John Blencowe Robinson. Sir Frederick died in 1893, and was succeeded by his only son of the marriage, Frederick Villiers Laud Robinson, who was born in December, 1880, and served in the South African War as an officer of the 2nd Northamptonshire Regiment.

Of the three daughters of Sir Frederick and Lady Robinson, one, Sylvia Joan, is the wife of Major Charles Edward Bagnall, of the 4th Battalion Alexandra Princess of Wales’s Own, Yorkshire Regiment. Another Evelyn Dorothy was wedded in 1900 to Lindsay Ralph Bagnall. The other daughter is the wife of Mr. C. B. W. Brook, of Geddington.

Lady Robinson’s husband was the squire and Rector of Cranford, where he was held in the highest esteem. He was particularly well-known as a public man through being a regular attendant of the Kettering Board of Guardians as an ex-official member by virtue of his being a Magistrate for the Kettering Bench.

The present baronet has recently been to Italy on a short trip. He was educated at Wellington College.

The Sartoris Family

The late Mr. Frederick U. Sartoris and Mrs. Sartoris had five children, of whom Lady Robinson was one. There were two sons, both of whom are now deceased. The eldest son, Mr. Frederick Maitland Sartoris, died in 1883, and upon his death his brother, Mr. Herbert Sartoris, of The Cottage, Weekley, became the heir to the estate. Mr. Herbert Sartoris died a few years ago at Ostend, Belgium, where he had been staying for the benefit of his health. The two surviving daughters are Mrs. Craven and Miss Evelyn Sartoris.

Mr. A. Hugh Sartoris, J.P., who recently refused to accept the captaincy of the Northamptonshire County Cricket team, is the son of the late Mr. Herbert Sartoris, J.P.

Lady Robinson’s death plunges a large number of county families into mourning.

The Robinson Baronetcy

The Robinson Baronetcy was created in 1660. The first Baronet, Sir John Robinson, was a nephew of Archbishop Land, and was Lord Mayor of London. He was Lieutenant of the Tower and did much in promoting the return of Charles II. The Robinsons have long been associated with Northamptonshire, the fifth and sixth baronets each sat as M.P. for Northampton.

The late Sir Frederick Laud Robinson died while on a visit to his friend, the Rev. W. R. Finch Hatton, of Weldon Rectory, in February, 1893. Sir Frederick was the youngest and only surviving son of the late Rev. Sir George Stamp Robinson, Bart., of Cranford, Hon. Canon of Peterborough, who diedin 1873, by Emma daughter of the late Robert Willis Blencoe, of Hayes Middlesex. He was born in 1843, and succeeded his brother, Sir John Blencoe Robinson in 1877. He married Miss Madeline Caroline Sartoris in 1870, having been ordained deacon the year before his marriage. On his ordination he became curate of Cropredy, Oxon. And in the year of his marriage he settled down at Cranford and became Rector of the parish, being himself the patron of the living.

The Deceased Lady’s Father

The late Mr. Frederick U. Sartoris, J.P., purchased Rushden Hall on his marriage. The deceased gentleman was a manager and one of the founders of the National Schools at Rushden, having given the ground upon which they stand and a handsome donation towards their erection. He was a prominent member of the Oakley Hunt. In 1857 Mr. Sartoris was appointed High Sheriff for the county. He was elected churchwarden in the year 1857, and at the time of his death he was the people’s warden at the Rushden Parish Church. He sat on the Church Restoration Committee, and headed the subscription list with a large donation. Four almshouses for aged parishioners were erected by him in memory of his eldest son. Mr. Frederick Maitland Sartoris, second Secretary of her Majesty’s Embassy at Constantinople, who died on January 5th 1883, aged 38 years, and was buried in the English cemetery at Sentara. The late Mr. F. U. Sartoris married Mary Ann, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Pratt, of Paston, Peterborough.

Impressive Funeral

The funeral took place on Wednesday, the body being removed in the morning from Rushden Hall to Cranford St. Andrew’s for interment. The body was encased in a black shell, made by Messrs. Clark and Sanders, of Rushden, under the superintendence of Mr. F. James, the House-carpenter. The coffin was of unpolished oak with brass fittings, the breastplate bearing the inscription:-

Died 21st Feb., 1909,
Aged 61 years.

As the coffin left Rushden Hall it was covered with beautiful wreaths. The hearse in which the coffin was placed was followed by a mourning coach in which were seated Sir Frederick Robinson (son of the deceased lady) and Mr. A. Hugh Sartoris J.P. (nephew). The hearse and mourning coach proceeded slowly along High-street and on to Higham Ferrers, thence to Cranford, reaching there about noon. The Rector of Cranford (Rev. R. C. Thursfield), on the arrival of the corpse, read the opening sentences of the Service for the Burial of the Dead.

A large congregation assembled at 2.45 to take part in the last rites. The Rector was joined by the Rev. A. S. Lindsay, of Leicester (a former Rector), who read the lesson. The choir sang the hymn “Thine for ever, God of Love,” and as the coffin was borne from the church by servants on the estate, the organist played “O rest in the Lord.” The Rector read the committal portion of the service, and after the Benediction, the choir sang “God who madest earth and heaven.”

The grave, which adjoins that of the late Sir Frederick Laud Robinson, was lined with moss, and at the head and feet respectively were a crown and a cross worked in snowdrops. On one side of the grave the figures 1848 – 1909, signalising the deceased lady’s year of birth and death, were worked out with aconites.

The chief mourners were:- Sir Frederick Robinson, Bart. (son), Mrs. L. R. Bagnall (daughter), Mrs. C. B. W. Brook, Geddington (daughter), Mrs. C. E. Bagnall (daughter), Miss Evelyn Sartoris, Rushden and Mrs. Craven, Brighton (sisters), Mr. A. H. Sartoris (nephew), Mrs. H. Sartoris, Weekley (sister-in-law), Mrs. G. E. Ripley, Cottingham (niece), Colonel G. E. Ripley, Major C. E. Bagnall and Mr. L. R. Bagnall (sons-in-law), and Lionel Sartoris.

Wreaths had been sent, amongst others, by the following:- Her children; Mrs. Sartoris (Rushden); Mr. A. H. Sartoris; Joan and Rex Bagnell and Dickie, Geoff and Rosemary Brook (grandchildren); Colonel and Mrs. Ripley (Cottingham); Mr. and Mrs. L. Sartoris (London); Mrs. Craven (Hove); Misses. Bagnall (Ombersley, Droitwich); Lord and Lady St. John (Melchbourne); Mrs. Fellows and Mrs. Hetap; Mrs. Herbert Sartoris (Weekley); Mary, Lady de Capell Brooke (Woodford); Sir Charles and Lady Gunning (Benefield); Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Robinson (Cheltenham); Major C. E. Bagnall and the Misses Bagnall; Miss Thyra Craven: Winifred Lady Robinson; Mrs. Edith Craven: Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Browning, Miss Mary Browning, and Miss Rosa Browning (Rushden House);the indoor and outdoor servants at Cranford and Rushden Hall.

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