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Eyam Church Interior - Mompesson's Chair


In 1887 the then Rector of Eyam, the Rev. Egbert Hacking, acquired a wooden armchair that had belonged to Rev. William Mompesson. Mompesson had played a prominent part in stopping the plague of 1665-6 from spreading into the surrounding area and this chair, of carved oak, bears his initials at the top of the solid back. The letters "M. O. M" were carved in a horizontal panel, together with the year 1665 and the name of the village of Eyam. Below this is a fairly crude carving of what is assumed to be a Virgin and child.

According to the local paper it had been bought by Rev. Hacking's brother who subsequently gave it to the Rector. The chair had been purchased from Elijah Womack of Bolton and apparently had been in the Womack family for over 50 years before it was returned to Eyam. It was said to have been bought by Mr. Womack's father from a man called Needham who lived in Rotherham[1]. It seems to be a mixture of styles with the main part of the chair probably Jacobean whereas the bottom of the chair could be of more recent date - possibly Carolean.

Rev. Hacking was appointed to a new parish in Derby in 1888; he presented the chair to Eyam church[2] and the plaque was then inscribed as follows:

"This chair formerly the property of
the Revd. William Mompesson, Rector,
was presented for use in the Church of Eyam:
by the Revd. Egbert Hacking. Rector. A.D. 1885-1888
."



The plaque on the chair



Eyam is mentioned in the following on-site transcripts:

Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811, Parishes E-G, which has more about the village.
Kelly's 1891 Directory, Eyam

The Wolley Manuscripts, Derbyshire - Charters, Documents & Deeds : Places C - E, mentions Eyam

"Mompesson's Chair, Eyam Church". Published by E. L. S. (Edgar Leonard Scrivens), No.164-84. Unused.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References:

[1] "Derbyshire Times", 24 September 1887.

[1] "ibid.", 18 August 1888.



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