11 December 2012

William Mompesson in Eakring, Nottinghamshire

William Mompesson (1638 or 1639 –1709) was an Anglican clergyman from Yorkshire who became Rector at Eyam (pronounced 'Eem') in Derbyshire in 1664. The bubonic plague came to the village in 1665, reputedly in a box of cloths containing infected fleas. Mompesson isolated the village to prevent further spread, and his wife was one of the many people who died in the village.
 
In 1670 Mompesson became the Rector of Eakring, although tradition has it that the villagers didn't welcome him because of his association with the 'plague village' and he therefore had to preach outside at Pulpit Ash. However, a plaque in front of the parish church claims that he preached outside because the church was in such poor repair that it was dangerous to use. Mompesson's Cross is about a half mile from Eakring village.
 
'NEAR THIS SPOT STOOD
PULPIT ASH WHERE
MOMPESSON PREACHED
ON COMING TO EAKRING
AS RECTOR IN 1970 A.D.
AFTER LEAVING EYAM
IN DERBYSHIRE WHICH
HAD BEEN DECIMATED
BY THE PLAGUE.'
 
 A small cross lies on the ground inside the enclosure and is inscribed 'In loving memory of Cyril Hayes', although I have no idea of its significance.
 
Anna Seward was born in Eyam and wrote a poem of the same name, and William Howitt published a book, The Desolation of Eyam, in 1827.
 
ADDENDUM: The prolific Anonymous left a comment to the effect that Cyril Hayes of Bilsthorpe was born in Eakring and requested that his ashes be spread here. If it was me who inadvertently deleted the comment or Anonymous himself or herself, though, is a mystery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cyril Hayes was an Eakring-born resident of Bilsthorpe. As with several former Eakring natives he requested that his ashes be scattered at the site of the Mompesson Cross.