St._Michael,_Breinton,_Herefordshire_sally

Norman church, on the banks of the Wye, restored in 1860s. Associations with Elgar.  Prominant names include, Rudhall Booth, Pritchard, du Buisson, Cooke

this font was part of the renovation carried out in 1867

this font was part of the renovation carried out in 1867

The east Window above the altar was a memorial to Edmund du Buisson and his wife Charlotte, installed in 1914 (the original window was also dedicated to the du Buisson family)

The east Window above the altar was a memorial to Edmund du Buisson and his wife Charlotte, installed in 1914 (the original window was also dedicated to the du Buisson family)

Thomas Pritchard, and his wife Ann who died March 1820 aged 82.

Thomas Pritchard, and his wife Ann who died March 1820 aged 82.

William Symonds Cooke, son of Thomas and Helen, surgeon in the service of the East India Company.  Died in camp near Visapour in December 1821 aged 25.

William Symonds Cooke, son of Thomas and Helen, surgeon in the service of the East India Company. Died in camp near Visapour in December 1821 aged 25.

Captain Rudhall Both, died 29th October 1653 whilst in command of the Holy Island Garrison.  (His brother Charles went into exile with King James 1 and died in France).

Captain Rudhall Booth, died 29th October 1653 whilst in command of the Holy Island Garrison. (His brother Charles went into exile with King James 1 and died in France).

This is a most delightful church, steeped in history. Just to the left of the west door there is a wood memorial to Captain Rudhall Booth whose ancestor was Bishop Booth of Hereford. The family were much embroiled in the English Civil Wars, and Rudhall died whilst commanding the Holy Island Garrison. He had a brother, Charles, who was exiled with King James l, and he died in France. Charles had a son, also called Charles, who having renounced the English Government was unable to return to Breinton to claim his estate. He secretly, with the help of a friend, leased the land to the Dean of Hereford, but when the friend died, his housekeeper Alice Shaw inherited the land. Eventually the whole estate was gifted to Thomas Cooke of Kinnersley who had built up a thriving Tannery in Weobley. Thomas passed on the land to his brother James Cooke who was a bookseller at the British Museum in London, and James returned to Herefordshire. James had one son, Thomas, who after going to Eton and Oxford became a Barrister, then later a Lieutenant Colonel in the Hereford County Militia. There is a memorial to him and his wife Helen, along with one for their son William who was a surgeon who died in India at the age of 25.

There are windows dedicated to members of the tragic Eckersall family………..Frederick died in 1865 at 31 after “long and patient suffering”. He was the only son of the Rev. Charles and Mrs. Mary Anne Eckersall. Frederick’s sister Catherine, died in 1849 at the age of 18, and another sister, Agnes, died at only 5.

There is a memorial dedicated to Edward Charles Bulmer……..during the second world war when he was in the RAF he was tragically killed when a stricken bomber returning to the airfield veered off course, and Charles was struck by a wing tip. He and many others of the Bulmer family lived in the parish of Breinton, but most were actually buried at Credenhill or St. Nicholas.

The du Buisson family feature large in the history of this parish, and in 1867 Lucy du Buisson played a harmonium for the first time ever at a service. the du Buisson family were responsible for building the rectory, which is now Breinton Grange, althought they themselves lived at Breinton Court, and they also were instrumental in building the school which could cope with 40 children. Sadly, the aforementioned Lucy, who was one of five children, was mostly very unwell, and although she married the son of the Curate after a delay when she contracted Chickenpox, this was shortlived as a month after their honeymoon Lucy died. Perhaps some blame can be laid at the door of a drunken coachman, who some years earlier went off the road when bringing Lucy and her brother back home from a party in the depths of a freezing winter…….they all ended up in the pond! This could not have been good for anyone’s health. Also given to the church by the du Buisson children were the oak lectern (in memory of George Proctor) and a crucifix in memory of Lionel Thomas Ricketts. The East window is in memory of Edmund du Buisson and his wife Charlotte.

Outside amongst the graves are some gems: Charles Vincent Gorton has a line of music on his stone, from the Apostles, by Elgar. The grave is part of the famous Elgar trail.

Charles Hassard Wilfred Dodgson lies buried near the West door of the church….he lived in Breinton House and was related to another Dodgson who is more commonly known as Lewis Carroll.

In 1785, a Glaswegian by the name of John Cranston developed huge nurseries in the Breinton parish and one of his sons,  James, was responsible for planting most of the Cedar trees around Hereford.  Both men are buried under a Cedar of Lebanon tree planted by James in the churchyard and the name of Cranston lives on in the shape of an onion – Cranston’s Excelsior – which was named in their honour.