Reverend William Tristram Edward Cary (1864-1944)

The plaque on the lectern

You may have noticed a small lectern in St Mary’s which has a brass plate on it which gives an enticing clue as to why it is there. The plate says: “Presented to the Rev. W.E. Cary by the people of Teeton. October 1924.”  Teeton is in Northants.   So, how did it come to be in Martham especially as Rev Cary was not a vicar at Martham?

The lectern can be found in the Chancel

The Reverend Cary was born in Rathmines just south of Dublin in December 1864.  He was ordained in 1891 and held various posts thereafter as follows:-

  • Vicar of St James’ Acton Trussell, Staffordshire from 1891 to 1895.
  • Curate in Charge at St. Andrew’s Church, Shottery, Warwickshire and All Saints’ Church, Luddington,  Warwickshire from 1895 to 1902.
  • Secretary of the Churches of England Temperance Society 1902 to 1908.

He married Elizabeth Cambell McCay in Belfast in 1904 and by 1911 they had three daughters and were living at The Vicarage, Hollowell Northampton which includes the nearby hamlet of Teeton. He was Vicar of Hollowell from 1908 to 1924 and it seems he was so popular with the people of Teeton that they presented him with the lectern when he left there.  He left Hollowell and became the Vicar of St Andrew’s, Foxton, Leicestershire from 1924 to 1939 when he moved to live at Great Ormesby.  By that time his daughter Dorothy had married the Rev. Basil Clarke who was the Vicar at Hemsby from 1936 to 1958. It seems that Rev. Cary retired to this area and so the lectern followed him here.  Apparently when he preached it was in a broad Irish dialect and he was quite stern and used to stand in the pulpit grasping the edges of his black preaching scarf rather as a man might grasp the lapels of his jacket.

He lived at Great Ormesby in 1939 and later lived with his daughter and son-in-law at The Vicarage at Hemsby where he died in 1944.  A photo of his grave at St Mary’s, Hemsby  is shown here.

The gravestone of Rev. William & Elizabeth Cary

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