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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Derbyshire
A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
Ashbourne, St. Oswald's Parish Church - Interior
Looking towards the altar

Above is the view of the chancel from the nave. This picture was a familiar site to anyone who boarded at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School. When the pupils attended Sunday Matins they sat in the pews almost level with where the photographer would have stood to take this picture.

St. Oswald's chancel is mostly Early English in style but there is a Perpendicular east window above the altar. There is no north aisle next to the nave but the south aisle is divided from the nave by four Decorated arches on "handsome" columns, some of which are shown on the right.

In 1840 an extensive renovation was undertaken. The galleries and pews were removed; the pews were replaced with oak and "a more convenient gallery" replaced the old one. The organ was re-sited and a partition that had separated the chancel from the body of the church was removed[1]. The church was to be also warmed with hot air[2]. cost of £4,568, raised by subscription, except £400 granted by the Incorporated society for building and repairing churches[3]. Further work was undertaken in the early twentieth century. Pews and galleries were removed, "mutilated" windows and pillars restored and the fabric renewed in oak. A partition, which had cut off the chancel from the body of the church, was completely dismantled. The church was re-opened in June 1910[4].

The brass lectern, in the crossing, was presented to the church in 1878 by the grandchildren of Lady Bent, in her memory[5]. A peal of 8 bells, dating from 1815, are in the tower above the crossing as well as an ancient sanctus bell. Although the bell ropes can't be seen, the bell ringers (campanologists) assemble below the tower.

On the left of the picture, on the far side of the buttress, is the north transept and a small part of the Boothby Chapel can be seen on the far side. Many of the churches important monuments and tombs are to be found both inside and just outside the Boothby Chapel.

church interior
Capital in the South Arcade

Monument to Penelope Boothby, Boothby Chapel, North Transept

Penelope Boothby

When Penelope died her parents commissioned this wonderful white marble tomb from Thomas Banks, R.A. According to Pevsner, Queen Caroline is supposed to have cried when she saw the statue at the Royal Academy exhibition[6]. Charles Cox remarked that "this exquisite work of art has been often described, but by no one more successfully than by the Rev. D. P. Davies, in 1811"[7].

"Nobody ought ever to overlook this tomb, as it is, perhaps, the most interesting and pathetic object in England. Simplicity and elegance appeal in the workmanship; tenderness and innocence in the image. On a marble pedestal and slab, like a low table, is a mattress, with a child lying on it, both being cut out of white marble. Her cheek, expressive of suffering mildness, reclines on a pillow; and her little fevered hands gently rest on each other, near to her head. The plain and only drapery is a frock, the skirt flowing easily out before, and a ribbon sash, the knot twisted forward, as it were, by the restlessness of pain, and the two ends spread out in the same direction as the frock. The delicate naked feet are carelessly folded over each other, and the whole appearance is, as if she had just turned, in the tossings of her illness, to seek a cooler or easier place of rest. The man whom this does not affect, wants one of the finest sources of genuine sensibility; his heart cannot be formed to relish the beauties, either of nature or art"[8].

The inscriptions round the monument are in English, Latin, French, and Italian. The English version reads:-

I was not in safety, neither had I rest, & the trouble came.
Only child of Sir Brooke Boothby, and Dame Susannah Boothby.
Born April 11th, 1785, died March 13th, 1791.
She was, in form and intellect, most exquisite.
The unfortunate Parents ventured their all on this frail Bark,
and the wreck was total

Penelope Susanna Boothby had been christened at Lichfield but was buried at St. Oswald's on 20 Mar 1791[9]. Her parents, Brooke and Susanna (nee Bristow), were married by licence on 15 Jul 1784 at St George, Hanover Square, Westminster[10]. Brooke Boothby was the eldest child of Sir Brooke Boothby of Ashbourne Hall by his second wife Phoebe, nee Hollins, and was born 3 June 1744[11]; he died in Boulogne[11] but was buried at Ashbourne on 13 Feb 1824, aged 81[9]. Susanna Boothby was the eldest daughter and the sole heiress of Robert Bristow[e], Esq.,[11] of Micheldever, Hampshire; Susanna's father had died before her marriage. Dame Susanna Boothby died in November 1922 at Dover[12], but was described as "of Ashbourne Hall" in Probate Records[13].

Two of the Cockayne family, Boothby Chapel

church interior Edmund Cockayne
(alabaster on freestone altar tomb)
Edmund, the son of John Cockayne, lies next to his father. He was slain at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1404 and his body was, reputedly, returned to Ashbourne for burial. He is dressed in the knightly attire of the period, with a pointed bassinet on his head[7].
church interior Sir John Cockayne and his wife
(alabaster altar tomb)
Sir John, shown here with his first wife Jane daughter of Sir John Dabridgecourt of Strathfield Saye, died in 1447. He is wearing armour from the reigns of Henry V and VI whilst his wife's clothing dates from the first half of the fifteenth century and includes a horned or pointed headdress[7].

The Bradbourne Tomb, Boothby Chapel

Bradbourne Tomb

Sir Humphrey Bradbourne (died 1581) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Turville[7]. Sir Humphrey is in armour, whereas his wife is in a long robe. Both have ruffs round their necks and cuffs (freestone altar tomb).

Some of the Bradbourne's children

Children on the Bradbourne Tomb, the near ones swathed in crysomes showing they had died as infants. There are actually three infant children. Next to them are two figures in long black gowns and then are two of the four eldest sons, also wearing armour[7].

Font, 13th century, with trefoil arches and small fleur de lis


1. Postcard "Ashbourne Church, Interior". No publisher. Not posted.
2. Sepia images from Mee. See [14] below. Mee acknowledges the work of his Art Editor, Sidney Tranter, but is not specific about who provided which picture, although contributors included the National Trust and Valentine and Sons.
All images in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Derby Mercury", 10 June 1840.

[2] "Derbyshire Courier", 4 May 1839.

[3] Francis White's Derbyshire Directory, 1857

[4] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 11 June 1910. "The renovation and repairing of the beautiful edifice, Ashbourne Church, is now complete, having been undertaken by Mr. Evans, Ellastone, under the able superintendence of L. N. Cottingham".

[5] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", 1912.

[6] Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953), "The Buildings of England, Derbyshire", Penguin Books.

[7] Cox, J. Charles (1877) "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire Vol II" Chesterfield: Palmer and Edmunds, London: Bemrose and Sons, 10 Paternoster Buildings; and Derby.

[8] Davies, David Peter (1811) "History of Derbyshire" pub. S. Mason, Belper. See Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811 (A) (scroll down to Ashbourne).

[9] Parish register information for Penelope Susanna's christening and burial can be found on FindMyPast. At her burial the entry is for Penelope Susanna Boothby junior, suggesting her mother may also have had two christian names.

[10] The marriage, recorded in Boyd's Marriage Indexes and in Westminster PRs, was reported in "The Derby Mercury" of 15 July 1784. They had married on " Thursday last". The service was conducted by the Rector and they were the only couple he married around that time. The Curate married everyone else. Susanna was described as the "eldest daughter of the late Robert Bristow, Esq of Micheldever, Hampshire" in the DM. This information rather scotches the rumours that were said to circulate in Ashbourne in the early 1900s, commented on by J. D. Firth in 1908, that Susanna had been an actress.

[11] Glover, Stephen (1833) "The History and Gazetteer of the County of Derby ..." Edited by T. Noble. pub. Derby and London. Pedigree of the Boothby family. Brooke Boothby's burial is recorded in Ashbourne PR.

[12] "London Courier and Evening Gazette", 7 February 1824. "Dame Susanna Boothby died Nov 1822, late of Dover".

[13] Will of Dame Susanna Boothby, Wife of Ashbourne Hall, Derbyshire, dated 5 June 1823 is held by The National Archives (Reference: PROB 11/1671/312). Her Will was proved after her husband's death although she died a few months before him. No probate records have been found for her husband.

[14] Mee, Arthur (ed.) (1937) "Derbyshire: The Peak Country",The King's England Series, Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London.

More onsite info about Ashbourne:
Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811 (A) See Ashbourne
The Gentleman's Magazine Library

Derbyshire Pictures Index
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