A Book About The Church Memorials

ST LAWRENCE WHITCHURCH - ITS MEMORIALS AND ITS PEOPLE is a book published in 2022 by Phillimore Book Publishing. The author, Stuart Cawthorne, is a local historian and a guide at the church. If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, please contact us using the form on the "GET IN TOUCH" page.

ISBN: 978-1-8384510-1-1

Published: 2022

234mm x 156mm


272 pages

Price: £20 plus postage and packing

Publisher's promotional text:  Three hundred metres from Canons Park tube station in the outer London suburbs is an unlikely place to find a stunning baroque interior. Here, the church of St Lawrence Little Stanmore attracts visitors from near and far to see the paintings and the mausoleum created for the Duke of Chandos. The Duke's association with the church lasted little more than thirty years but his life and times remain the focus of interest in the building almost to the exclusion of others before or since. This book aims to remedy this deficiency. It takes a guided tour through all the memorials in the church and reveals a varied group of people commemorated here. They include a bookseller, a musical clockmaker, a lady who wrote a popular travelogue about the journey from India to England, a maker of wood planes, and the first European woman to climb Mount Fuji. Their biographical sketches feed into a historical narrative that follows the transformation of a little country church on the boundary of a ducal estate to today's church serving a diverse urban community.


The Brydges Memorials:  The reader is taken on a guided tour of the memorials in the family mausoleum created for James Brydges, First Duke of Chandos (1674-1744)

Memorial to Mrs Mary Oakeley:  Tracing the life of Mary Oakeley (1677-1748), who was from a family of Shropshire gentry and became a servant of Cassandra, Duchess of Chandos.

What lies under the carpet:  There are four graves under the carpet in the aisle of the church. Two are associated with the family of John Pudsey (c.1713-1775), secretary to the First Duke of Chandos. In addition there is a grave of two members of the Moseley family and the grave of Alexander and Ann Ougsten.

St Martin’s Lane Comes To Little Stanmore:  Three men who spent their working lives amongst the artistic community of St Martin's Lane settled in Edgware and were buried in St Lawrence's:-

William Hallett (1707-1781), a successful cabinetmaker who purchased the Canons estate from the Second Duke of Chandos.

Samuel Harding (1695-1775), a bookseller and stationer, who was lampooned as a connoisseur of old prints and who claimed to have an extremely valuable collection of pictures in his house in Edgware.

James Wills (1703-1776), an artist and director at the St Martin's academy where he taught portraiture, who was appointed as the curate of Little Stanmore in 1763, becoming the minister in 1772 until his death in 1776.

The Norton Memorials:  The legacy of Eardley Norton (1728-1792) who established a reputation as a musical clockmaker, with three monarchs amongst his clientele.

The Mutter Memorials:  George Mutter (1742-1813), a maker of wood planes with several business premises in Westminster and Covent Garden, purchased the house in Edgware formerly occupied by Samuel Harding. His son, George Mutter junior (1777-1843), was ordained in 1801 and spent the next thirty years pursuing what he believed to be his rightful claim to the incumbency of St Lawrence Little Stanmore.

Sarah Lushington:  Sarah Gascoyne (1789-1839) was born in India and married Charles Lushington, a civil servant in the East India Company's Government of Bengal. She developed a taste for travelling and when the couple left India to settle in England in 1827 she decided to take the "overland route" via Egypt rather than spend five months sailing round Africa. She wrote an account of her journey that was published under the name of Mrs Charles Lushington.

The Plumer Memorials:  Members of the Plumer family owned the Canons estate in the first half of the nineteenth century. Amongst the Plumer memorials in the church are two commemorating Fanny Plumer (1832-1879) and her husband, the diplomat Sir Harry Smith Parkes (1828-1885). Parkes' robust pursuit of British imperial interests in the far east arguably still has repercussions on international relations today.

The Brass Memorials To The Pikes:  A family of liquor merchants and solicitors whose connection with the church can be traced to a seventeenth century curate.

Benefactions to this Parish:  Seventeenth century bequests to the parish that supported the education and welfare of the poor over the following three hundred years.

Transition to the suburbs:  The historical context that traces the social changes that have transformed the church of St Lawrence Little Stanmore and its community.

Postscript on Mr Handel:  The legacy of George Frederick Handel (1685-1759), who was the composer in residence at Canons between 1717 and early 1719. The Chandos Anthems were first performed in St Lawrence Church.

Stuart_Cawthorne_Book_Front_Cover, JPG


Stuart_Cawthorne_Book_Back_Cover, JPG