Lavington Church (vide antea) was rather harshly treated by Street ... although I do feel the need to remind myself that the much-criticised Victorians had to make something of church buildings which had often received at best little more than patchwork ad hocery since the Reformation. You will find within it Soapy Sam's crosier ... I wonder when Anglican bishops resumed the use of the crosier? And the little church has early Victorian widows in which, bestriding the gulf between the later ideologies of Zionism and Nazism, the Star of David and the Swastika alternate as decorative motifs. And, unmentioned by Nairn [Pevsner], there is what looks to me like a Georgian pulpit with a rather worn brass plate recording that it was given to the Church of ... S Mark's, Kennington! Does anybody know where it had been originally; how it got to S Mark's Kennington (the 'Waterloo' church opposite the Oval Underground Station, on the spot where they killed the officers of the Manchester Regiment after the '45); and how it migrated thence to Lavington?
As I turned away from Caroline's grave, I found myself wondering how often the Cardinal Archbishop quietly murmured, as the Ministers turned away from him at the Altar so as not to overhear the Names, "... qui nos praecesserunt cum signo fidei et dormiunt in somno pacis: et praesertim coniugis meae carissimae Carolinae ..." [the manuals of that age suggested that one could offer Mass for departed schismatics but only privately]. The former Rectory, later renamed Beechwood, does not seem to have a blue disk recording his residence.
Newman is sometimes, and naturally, thought of as the more 'Anglican' of our two greatest modern English Cardinals; but Lavington can suggest a new approach to Blessed John Henry's confrater in purpura. His background in England's Squirearchy; his own years as a country parson; above all, his affection through so many decades for a wife, surely give him a dash of 'Anglicanism' or at least of Englishness in fields where the mighty Beatus lacked it. Should the historians reclassify him as an outlier jure conjugis of the great Wilberforce clan? Could we thus insert Manning, and his role in settling the London Dock Strike, into a continuum linking the Anti-Slavery Movement and Rerum Novarum?