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Welcome to St Anne's Church, Baslow
You can use this plan to guide you as you walk around St Anne's. Simply follow the numbers and refer to the explanations below.
1. Dog Whip
As you enter the church there is a glass case by the door containing a leather dog whip used by the church Dog Whipper. It was his duty "to whip the dogs, which had followed their masters, out of the church, and generally to look after the orderly behaviour of both bipeds and quadrupeds during Divine Service."
It was not uncommon for household dogs to accompany or at least follow their owners to church services at this time. If at any point they became loud, fought with other animals, attacked congregation members, or were otherwise disruptive, it was the job of the Dog Whipper to remove them from the church to allow the service to continue in peace.
Dog Whippers were usually provided with a whip (hence the title) and sometimes a pair of large wooden tongs with which to remove the animals.
However, the Dog Whippers became less common from the late 18th century, because animals were increasingly unwelcome at church.
2. The King's Arms
Looking to the right of the dog whip cabinet you will see a picture of The Kings Arms which was painted in 1721 at a cost of £9.00!
The Kings Arms were painted and placed in various churches as a sign of loyalty.
The succession of George, Elector of Hanover, to the throne as George 1st in 1714 led to changes in the royal coat of Arms to include his territories. The fourth quarter was divided into three, showing two golden lions on a red field, a blue lion on a gold background and in the lowest part a galloping white horse on a red background, the symbol of Hanover.
The lion and the unicorn supporting the shield represent England and Scotland respectively. Around the shield is a belt or strap with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense ("Evil to him who evil thinks"), the symbol of the Order of the Garter.
The sovereign's motto, Dieu et mon droit ("God and my right") can also be seen at the foot of the picture.
The painting lay neglected in the old vesty under the Tower for many years but was restored and rehung in the 1930s.
3. West Window (South Aisle)
Looking to your right, you will see a memorial window to the memory of Isabel, youngest daughter of the late Rev Joseph Wilson of Sheffield.
He was the headmaster of Sheffield Grammar School from 1810 until 1818 when he took his own life. He was well known in town as he had a false leg (made of cork) and was the last person in Sheffield to use a sedan chair.
The windows depict two of the gospel writers, St Luke and St John. Above the figures is the inscription "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away".
Reading Luke's gospel gives a good idea of his character as one who loved the poor, who wanted the door to God's kingdom opened to all, who respected women, and who saw hope in God's mercy for everyone.
Christian tradition says that John was one of Christ's original twelve apostles. His gospel gives more focus to the relationship of the Son to the Father than the other gospels. It also focuses on the relation of the Redeemer to believers, the announcement of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter and the prominence of love as an element in Christian character.
4. West Window (Nave) - a curiosity?
The next window on the west side of the church contains the inscription "In memory of John Henry Manners seventh Duke of Rutland".
The Manners family, who later became the Dukes of Rutland, had been Lords of the Manor of Baslow and Bubnell for generations and maintained a close interest in the village.
However, the inscription in the window is confusing. It refers to the seventh Duke, who was in fact John James Robert Manners, who succeeded to the title in 1888.
Sensibly, it should have been the fifth Duke as he died in 1857 and the window was installed in 1859.
MORE TO FOLLOW...........
However, in the meantime, if you would like to know more about the windows and tablets in the church, there are two very good pamphlets compiled by David Dalrymple-Smith:
The Windows in the Church
This pamphlet records the inscriptions in the windows in St Anne’s Church Baslow, and makes comment on the people and places written in them.
Tablets on the walls inside the Church
David says, "This pamphlet records all the plaques, or hanging tablets, in Baslow Church. I have photographed them and, as they can be difficult to read, have added a copy of the text. The brief description comes from a survey of the church furnishings made in 1990 by The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) and kindly provided by the Parochial Church Council.
Many are centuries old and add to our knowledge of the village. Using additional resources, I have tried to bring them to life by adding a little background and interest to each of them.
I have included the war memorial in the churchyard, listing the names inscribed on it".
Every church-yard has its interesting stones. My favourite is the coffin shaped memorial to Robert Stafford, situated to the right of the drive near the Old Vicarage.
The body of Robert
Stafford who was buried
here March ye 20th
Ano 1702 aged 78
The Latin "Surgite mortui" means "Arise ye dead". This is the only Latin in the whole churchyard and suggest that Robert was an educated man. There are also two intricate carvings: one is a skull and crossbones - reflecting mortality and the transient nature of life on earth, the other is more intricate including a snake and an hourglass with the same message. Both are well preserved indicating high quality materials and workmanship.
Parish records show that Robert and his father before him were both born in Baslow and that the family originally came from Darley Dale. Apparently he had no children: he died at Parkgate.
I have discovered that he was the sub-accountant at Chatsworth from 1668 to 1689, responsible for managing all income and paying local bills before forwarding any balance to the main accountant at Hardwick. then the main Derbyshire residence of the Cavendish family. This was a busy time. William Cavendish became the fourth Earl in 1684 and started a fundamental reorganisation of the gardens at Chatsworth. Accounts show that he spent £4325 in 1686, a vast sum representing millions today. Later, mainly after Robert’s time, the house was rebuilt costing up to £2,500 a year for six years. Accounting was of course a clerk’s job, but even so it was a very responsible one.
Reading between the lines, Robert Stafford came from a well-to-do Baslow family of the yeoman class. He was educated, maybe at the Charity School at Stanton Ford, before going on to university at Oxford or Cambridge. Later he joined the household of the third Earl of Devonshire rising to the trusted post of sub-accountant. His status is reflected in the memorial in the churchyard
St Anne's has no more need of a dog whipper! An article in the Guardian newspaper describes the strange relic of a long redundant rural occupation.