Church Artefacts

On approaching the west door of St. John’s Church, one’s attention is drawn to three commemorative tablets on the walls of the porch beneath the tower. First is the tablet in memory of Joseph Wood of Long House erected by his widow, Eleanor, and daughter, Susanna. The Woods were an old, leading Pembroke Parish family. Within the year the wealthy widow married Captain Sir
William Burnaby RN and continued to live at Long House. Susanna married the Hon. Robert Kennedy, the first Colonial Secretary to come to serve in Bermuda. They built and lived in Rosebank on the adjoining property. Both of these grand houses have since disappeared.

windowIn the southwest corner of the west porch is a plaque dedicated to Robert Alexander Windsor who was born in Port au Prince, Haiti, in 1808, and who died in Bermuda in 1848. He was the brother-in-law of the then Governor Charles Elliot and died at Government House.

The third tablet is in memory of James Adams Conyers RWO, a leading merchant of Hamilton and Honorary Consul of Spain, Germany and Sweden. In 1892 the King of Sweden conferred on him the honour of a knighthood of the Order of WASA for his long service as Honorary Consul and especially for his assistance to the captain and crew of the man-of-war, “Saga”, which came into Bermuda with all hands ill with influenza. This tradition of service to Sweden is carried on today by his grandson, Neville, who was also honoured in 1976 with the Order of the North Star. This plaque records the fact that J. A. Conyers’ widow, Emma Maria Conyers, in 1912 gave a chime of bells in his memory. These bells were placed in the tower above.

On entering the west door one is immediately aware of a large plaque recording a further gift of 13 bells which augmented their number to a full carillon. These bells were given in memory of former worshippers. (The donors’ names are listed at the back of this booklet in an appendix.) The electrical ringing equipment, which allows all 25 bells to be played from a keyboard beside the organ console, was given in memory of Norah Marguerite by her husband Lieut. Albert E. Nicholl RNR and family.

On the west wall, on the left of the door is a list of the churchwardens dating from 1645 which was compiled by Joyce Hall as part of the 1971
exhibition marking the church’s 350th anniversary. It has since been brought up to date (See Appendix). On the south wall in the baptistry is a beautifully illuminated list of the rectors of St. John’s, the work of former Warwick Academy art teacher Maureen Tate for the same exhibition. (prior to 1775 the dates shown are uncertain.)

The Queen Victoria diamond jubilee (1897) font dates from 1898 and was dedicated by Bishop Jones on 20 February of that year. The present font originally stood on a platform large enough to accommodate the officiating minister. On the side of it was a handsome brass and enamel plaque recording the details of this memorial. This plaque was lost at the time of the alterations to the platform. The font replaced one given by a daughter of Vice-Admiral Sir Francis W. Austen and niece of Jane Austen, the famous English novelist. It now stands in St. Augustine’s, one of the two mission churches.

baptistryThe Baptistry

The baptistry cedar candlesticks were made by George Trott, one of Bermuda’s outstanding mid-century cedar craftsmen and a faithful worshipper at St. John’s. These were given in memory of Mrs. Lena Peel by her friends. The marble tiles in the baptistry were laid in 1948 to replace earlier tiles given by Pembroke Sunday School children. This baptistry was restored in 1968 to commemorate the visit to the church by the Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Dr. Arthur Michael Ramsey, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, who was the first Archbishop ever to visit Bermuda.

The baptistry’s restoration is recorded on a plaque which was unveiled by his Grace. The west doors were given to the church in June 1977 by Nancy Trott Ferguson and Sir James Pearman in memory of their parents and of Sir James’s wife Prudence.

The baptistry’s brass ewer was presented to the church by Philip F. Heyl at Easter in 1902. He was an American half-brother of William H. and Leveson Heyl who were leading members of Pembroke Parish and very active in the church and Pembroke Sunday School.

The most recent addition to the baptistry is a pair of stained glass windows executed by Vivienne Gardner and depicting Simeon at the temple where Jesus was presented. They were given in memory of Theodore “Ted” S. White (1924-1994), long-time vestryman, church-warden and member of both the Church Society and Synod from 1968 to 1994 being secretary of the latter for 25 years.

‘There are three cedar galleries in St. John’s, over the west, south, and north doors. The west gallery is the oldest of the three and is where the church’s first organ was installed. The cedar paneling on the gallery fronts is the work of David Ifor Nisbett. The supporting cedar pillars were at one time painted. The paint was later removed and the cedar uncovered. The square casements surrounding the lower portion of the pillars were also added by Mr. Nisbett because the original round pillar bases had become chipped and were in need of repair.

The two windows in the west gallery depict the fishermen St. Peter and St. Andrew, two brothers who were disciples of Jesus. The windows were given in memory of Leon Graham Bento Powell by his two sons, Graham and Edmund, who also gave the organ console in memory of their mother, Dorothy.

Descending the steps from the gallery and facing down the aisle, you will come to a window on the northern side dedicated to the John Greenslade family, a gift of Miss Emma A. Greenslade.

A little further along on that same wall is a plaque to the memory of John Wainwright of Waterloo, Pembroke, who died in 1838, and of his wife Margaret, who died in 1852, erected by their children. Capt. Wainwright was for many years the largest shipowner in Bermuda and a Member of the House of Assembly and of the Corporation of Hamilton.

On the opposite wall at the west end of St. John’s is a window dedicated to Benjamin John Alfred and Calista Theresa Hayward, a gift of the Hayward family, several of whom for many years had been intimately associated with the church and all of its functions.

Also on the south side is a commemorative tablet raised to the memory of Francis Augustus Eve, MD who was of a prominent Bermuda family and who died at the age of 45 while on special assignment in the Bahamas.

The Madonna and Child wood relief sculpture was given in memory of Gwendolyn (MacDonell) Conyers, who died in 1964, by her son Lt. Col. James D. Conyers, CD. The cedar north door in memory of William James Hassell, who died in 1978, was given the following year by his wife Lily, his family, employees, friends, and associates. Mr. Hassell came to Bermuda from Saba. He was a faithful Anglican and did much work towards the upkeep of St. John’s Church.

In the early 1920s, it was decided that the north transept be converted to a memorial chapel commemorating the nearly 40 years of devoted service by Bishop Llewellyn Jones, Bishop of Bermuda, and of Newfoundland. It was proposed that all those who had been confirmed in St. John’s by Bishop Jones would contribute to the cost of the establishment of this “Memorial Chapel”, as it was long referred to in the church records. No plaque to this effect was provided. It is only in recent times that it has begun to be referred to as ”The Lady Chapel”. The handsome mahogany altar,
reredos and paneling were the gift of Nellie Seon Thompson in memory of her parents, George William and Eleanor Feild Thompson.

St. Alban - St. JohnThese gifts were dedicated by Bishop Browne in April 1933. Also in the north transept on the western wall is a window erected to the memory of Canon Edward Nowel Bewes Chapman, MA, rector of St. John’s from 1952 to 1965, which was given by the St. Alban’s Guild and Friends.
Rev. Chapman was installed as the rector by Bishop Jagoe and was appointed a Canon of the Bermuda Cathedral in 1959. In 1963 he attended the Toronto Congress in a private capacity. He was greatly inspired by his experiences there and on his return started C.E.M.S. (Church of England Men’s Society) in Bermuda. Also as a result of his visit to Toronto, the church became linked with a parish in Guyana: St. Francis Village, and, together with Pembroke Sunday School, enjoyed a very active relationship with its parishioners. Canon Chapman in 1961 was responsible for a highly successful mission – the Pembroke Parochial “Mission for Christ and His Kingdom”. From 1965 until his death the following year he was designated Canon Emeritus.

The plaque above the north door and over the porch was erected as a tribute to the group of twelve ladies who were the original trustees of Pembroke Sunday School, Bermuda’s first, which was opened on Palm Sunday in 1819. (Their names are recorded in the appendix.)

The Sunday School was originally housed in the church vestry which at that time stood on the site of this porch. It was demolished in 1821 to make way for church expansion.

The credence table in the Memorial Chapel was the gift of a few friends in memory of Miss Helen Darrell and the dwarf screen a gift of the congregation. Both were dedicated at the same time as the communion table and rail. The communion rail was the gift of Olivia Estelle Groves, the rector’s wife, and given in memory of her parents, Benjamin William and Olivia Jane Walker, and of her friend Miss Dagmar H. Dickinson.

The oak sound-through above the reredos was designed by Neville Tite and made by Grenville Gilbert in the Sea-Land workshops.

The brass crucifix and candlesticks were given by G. S. Richards in memory of his wife and his wife’s father who was himself a bishop, the Rt.
Rev. T. H. Dudley. They were dedicated by Bishop Browne in 1929.

The aumbry, for reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, and the sanctuary lamp were given by Canon Jack Peel in memory of his wife, Lena, who died in 1967. The round wafer box in the aumbry is part of the communion set used on the Queen of Bermuda. The prie-dieu on the north side of the chapel, which was made by A. G. Cresdee, was presented to the church in 1945 by his wife, Gertrude, as a thank-offering for recovery from a serious illness.

The priedieu carved with an Easter Lily motif sitting on the opposite side was presented to St. John’s by Sir Edwin and Lady Leather in 1977. Sir Edwin is a licensed lay reader and served as
Governor and Commander-in-Chief from 1973 to 1977, a difficult period in Bermuda’s history following the assassination of his predecessor, Sir Richard Sharples. The Leathers became residents of the Island.

Conyers Window

The simple cedar lectern standing in the chapel is one of a pair. The other stands on the opposite side of the church below the chancel steps. The pair were given to the church by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Doughty in commemoration of the ordination to the priesthood in 1993 of their son, Andrew William Doughty.

There are several memorials to the Conyers family in the north transept. Of two windows in the north wall, the one to the left, depicting the visit of the women to the tomb, was erected in memory of Emma Maria Conyers, widow of James A. Conyers RWO, and dedicated in 1930.

It was given by her children, Edith, Cecil and Gerald. A commemorative tablet next to the window was also dedicated to her memory. The Conyers family were regular worshippers at this church for several generations.

The window to the right is dedicated to the memory of Lieut. Walter Neville Conyers, the son of James and Emma Maria who was born in 1890. He served in the 8th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment in the First World War and was killed in action in France in 1916. The window was unveiled by his mother in 1924.

To the left of these windows is a plaque in memory of James Warren Harris who served in the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps and the Lincolnshire Regiment during World War II and was killed in action in 1944, at the age of 22.

St. Johns Pulpit & Organ

The mahogany pulpit was designed by Rev. George Coster in 1821. It was originally a three-decker pulpit like the one in Old Devonshire Church. The pulpit used to stand at the juncture of the south transept with the nave and was moved to its present location at the corner of the northern extension in 1914 when the lower portion was detached and used as the rector’s stall.

Above the Harris plaque is a tablet to the memory of Cecil Herbert Conyers, another son of James A. and Emma Maria, which was erected by his wife, Gwendolyn and son, Lt. Col. James D. Conyers, CD. A plaque positioned on the north wall of the Memorial Chapel denotes that the lighting fixtures in it were placed in memory of Winifred Conyers, nee Stevens, by her husband Gerald,
who was also a son of James A. and Emma Maria, and their three children, Anne (Mrs. W. Semans), Natalie (Mrs. Michael Gregg), and Neville.

Returning to the nave on the left below the pulpit is a table on which sits a brass cross which was given by Shirley Wright in 1951. This cross was made by her father, Fred Wright, a fitter at HM Dockyard who, together with his family, lived on the North Shore and worshiped at St. John’s. Shirley attended Pembroke Sunday School.

In front of the dwarf screen are three cedar chairs which are Bermuda-made and were given by the Hugh Masters family. These chairs are used by the servers. Above the pulpit is an olive wood crucifix acquired by Rev. Clive Southerton whilst on a tour of the Holy Land in 1971.

The silver book-rest in the pulpit in memory of Rev. Eustace Mordaunt Strong OBE, MA, rector from 1936 to 1949, was given by Maud and Morris Gibbons in 1954.

St. John’s has had an organ since at least 1830 (see Appendix), and the first organist was Miss Susan Wood of Woodlands who was also a co-founder with Miss Anne Butterfield Hinson of the Pembroke Sunday School.

In 1887 a new organ was obtained from Wedlake of London but it was never considered totally satisfactory. The problem was thought by Wedlake to have been the climate. This instrument was reconditioned several times.
Work was done in the 1890s by Jardine & Son of New York when a mechanical/tracker mechanism was installed. Much rebuilding was also done by Casavant Freres of Hycinthe, Quebec, who electrified it in 1936. For some years Mr. Fred Anfossi provided maintenance for this organ. Later, Mr. Thad Outerbridge also did much work on the instrument, and in 1968 installed the new nave organ. The pipes now number in excess of 2,500, while the decorative pipes and the case are all that remain of the Wedlake installation.

The chimes in the organ were a gift from the churchwardens and sidesmen (whose names are listed in the Appendix) and were blessed by Bishop Jagoe in 1949. The present Austin console, replacing the two manual keyboards by Casavant, is located on the southern side of the choir and was the gift of Edmund and Graham Powell in memory of their mother Dorothy Tucker Powell who died in 1963.

On the north side of the chancel behind the piano: a Stein way concert grand on loan from the Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society, is a plaque which reads: “Beneath this chancel lie the bodies of William Bennett Perot of Par-la-ville in this parish. Died 13 October 1871, aged 80. And his wife Susanna Butterfield Granberry Perot. Died 17 April 1871, aged 75. Elizabeth Bryan Perot, died on 9 August 1913, aged 93.”

William Perot was a leading citizen much involved in church and civic affairs, better known for being Postmaster in Hamilton who in 1848 produced a simple stamp, Bermuda’s first, which is today one of the world’s rarest. He lived at Par-la-ville which had been built by his father. The building on Queen Street today houses the Bermuda Library and the Bermuda Historical Society Museum.

crossOn approaching the sanctuary to the left and right are two framed panels bearing the Ten Commandments with decorated edges. They are thought to have been painted by Miss Maude Lefroy, the second daughter of Governor Major-General J. H. Lefroy.

The altar imported from England was donated in 1914 by the relatives and friends of those buried in the church and churchyard and was placed in the new apse after the church was extended eastwards that year.

The communion rail in walnut and decorated iron was given by Thomas Reid of Pembroke Hall, Mayor of Hamilton from 1898 to 1905.

The silver crucifix on the altar was the gift of two long-serving vestrymen and church-wardens: William R. Hayward Sr., who also served as a teacher at the Sunday School for 45 years, as well as being a member of the Bermuda Church Society and Synod for many years and treasurer of the latter; and C. E. Hinson Cooper, also a member of the Synod and an architect in whose memory the new vestry was built.


This crucifix replaced a simple but handsome silver cross which was the first such ornament to be used in the church. An offer was made by Leveson H. S. Heyl in 1925 to present a silver
cross to go on the communion table in memory of those from the parish who fell in the Great War. As no such ornament had previously been used on the altar at St. John’s the vestry decided that the rector should give notice in the church concerning the proposed gift to ascertain the wishes of the congregation.

The congregation did accept the gift.

The silver candlesticks were given by William R. Hayward Jr. in thanksgiving for the ministry of John Armstrong, Bishop of Bermuda from 1963 to 1968. Prior to his arrival on the Island the Ven. John Armstrong was honorary Chaplain to her Majesty the Queen from 1958 to 1963, Chaplain to the Fleet and Archdeacon of the Royal Navy. The crucifix and candlesticks
were dedicated at the midnight Eucharist in 1969.

Samuel Saltus Family Tomb

The two cedar chairs in the sanctuary were designed by Ven. the Hon. Aubrey George Spencer, Bermuda’s first Archdeacon, and made in time for the visit to Bermuda of Bishop John Inglis in 1826, the first time the Island had received an episcopal visit. A. G. Spencer had been made Archdeacon in 1825. In 1839 he became the first Bishop of Newfoundland, to which diocese Bermuda was transferred.

The Archdeacon was responsible for the building of some 13 schools in Bermuda in the early 19th century with the help of the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) and other missionary organisations for the Christian education of the newly emancipated slaves.

The credence table on the northern wall of the sanctuary (left of the altar) is believed to have been given by Bishop Feild.

In the sanctuary are two tablets to the memory of three great mends, the Hon. Joseph Wood, who died in 1869 aged 64, of the prominent Pembroke family of that name; Samuel Saltus, who died in 1880 at the age of 79 and was the principal benefactor of Saltus Grammar School; and Donald McPhee Lee, who died in 1883 aged 79. Mr. Lee came from Nova Scotia, married locally, and managed the Bermuda Gazette for 55 years. The Minton tiles laid in the sanctuary were placed there as a memorial to these three men. Unfortunately, they no longer exist.

First Bermuda Bishop

Of the three windows in the sanctuary, the one on the left is dedicated to Bishop Edward Feild, Bishop of Newfoundland, of which diocese Bermuda continued to be a part during the time of his tenure 1844-1876. It was erected with contributions made by churchmen throughout Bermuda.

At the apex of the window is a coat of arms which, while not specifically identified, is recognised as having elements of the Feild Family Coat of Arms and of those of the original Diocese of Newfoundland. Born in 1801 and consecrated in 1844, Bishop Feild was a towering figure of boundless energy and determination. It was widely acknowledged that without his enthusiasm St. John’s Chapel of Ease: Trinity Church, which was built on the site of the present Cathedral, would not have been completed. Having been consecrated Bishop of Newfoundland, he came to Bermuda later in 1844 on the first of 16 visits he was to make during his 33 years service to the Church.

Bishop Feild Window

His ruggedness was evidenced by his travelling around the desolate coast of Newfoundland on the church ship, “Hawk”, on which he journeyed to Bermuda on a number of occasions. Bishop Feild had a marked influence on the Island. He died here in 1876 after retiring to Bermuda and is buried in the churchyard.

The central window, like the two on either side of it, came from the stained glass works of James Ballantine & Son of Edinburgh and is after designs by the late R. Herdman RSA. Its three lights depict Christ’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. It was given in 1876 by Frances Russell Reid of Pembroke Hall in memory of her parents Joseph John and Frances Russell Dill, her sister Margaret and her brothers Lucius Richard and Joseph John. Mrs. Reid was most generous to this church and to the Cathedral.

On the right is a window depicting the Parable of The Sower in the left light and in the right The Good Shepherd. It was erected by the parishioners to the memory of Rev. Joseph Fraser Lightbourn AB (Cantab). He was the grandson of Rev. Alexander Richardson who was a long-time rector of St. George’s and was affectionately known as “The Little Bishop”. Rev. Lightbourn ordained Deacon in Pembroke Church in 1826 by Bishop Inglis on his first visit to Bermuda. He was later ordained priest in 1827 by Bishop Inglis in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Rev. Lightbourne WindowHe was a faithful rector for the Parishes of Pembroke and Devonshire for 46 years, never missing a service. He was loved by his parishioners and °as affectionately known as “Pa Josey”. Born to him was a son, Frederick John Fogo Lightbourn, °ho also became an ordained minister and Canon. In 1872 Rev. Lightbourn died as the result of a fall in the graveyard following the burial of a child of the parish in the late evening. He sustained an injury to his head and died a fortnight later. It was estimated that at least 2,000 people attended his funeral.

The credence table to the right of the altar on which the bread and wine for Holy Communion are placed before they are consecrated, was given in memory of Marian Elizabeth King, who died in 1921, and of Henry William King, who died in 1949, by their children John, Dorothy, Ethel, and William.

Turning from the sanctuary, on the left, there is a window depicting Jesus’s baptism in the left light and in the right Jesus with the children. It was erected by the parishioners of Pembroke to the memory of Canon Mark James, rector of Pembroke and Devonshire for 27 years.

The window was made by Wailes & Strang of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. Rev. Mark James was born in 1845. He was inducted as rector of Pembroke and Devonshire in 1872 after having served in the Turks Island. He had been ordained priest in 1870 by Bishop Venables of Nassau. In 1895 he was appointed one of the first two Canons of the Cathedral.

For some time he also served as chairman of the Berkeley Educational Society which started the Berkeley Institute. He died in.1898.

Frances Russell Reid’s generosity to the church was acknowledged with the erection of a commemorative tablet on the south wall which states that her bequest of £1,000 made possible the building of “this chancel and organ chamber”.

Passing the organ console there is on the left a commemorative tablet dedicated to William Hopson Heyl, who died in 1916. He was the eldest Bermudian son of James B. Heyl and succeeded his father as Vice-Consul General of the United States in 1903.

The Heyl family had been intimately connected with Pembroke Sunday School since 1879 when William H. Heyl, at the age of 20, took over the responsibility of superintendent from Dr. John Lough. Mr. Heyl did not give up the post until 1920.

The building on Angle Street, almost as it stands today, the second on the site to house the school, was built under his direction in 1882, the foundation stone being laid by Bishop Jones on January 25 of that year.

It was in memory of Mr. Heyl’s dedication to the Sunday School and church as well as that of other members of the family that Miss Julia Heyl left the large sum of money which paid for the construction of the new Sunday School building near the church which was designed by Hinson Cooper and officially opened by the then Governor, Lord Martonmere in 1966. Until then the Sunday School had had its home on Angle Street since 1820.

The window on the south side behind the prayer desk and depicting the presentation of Jesus at the temple is dedicated to the memory of the Rt. Rev. Llewellyn Jones, Bishop of Bermuda and of Newfoundland, who was born in October 1840 and died in 1918.

It was given by the congregation and was dedicated in 1927 by Bishop Browne. The Rt. Rev. Ll. Jones was the fourth Bishop of Newfoundland and was appointed in 1878. In 1879 a Synod Bill was passed for the Colony of Bermuda, and Bishop Jones was invited also to accept the office of Bishop of the Church of England in Bermuda. Bishop Jones accepted the invitation more particularly, he said, because of the long association between the two colonies. He paid his first visit here in 1880 and then made biennial visits to the island for 39 years.

The curate’s stall was made and presented to the church by Alfred G. Cresdee of Cavendish Heights in June 1948. The desk matches the rector’s stall sitting directly opposite on the north side of the chancel. Mr. Cresdee, who came to the island in 1922 and was a member of the congregation from that time, ran his own business and was considered an outstanding cabinet-maker.

eagleThe brass eagle lectern standing at the foot of the chancel steps is inscribed: “In loving memory of Frances Isabella, wife of His Excellency General Sir George Digby Barker KCB Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda who died 14 May 1900.” This lectern was dedicated in 1902 by Archdeacon George Tucker DD.

The Bible resting on the lectern was given in memory of William To ure II Mayne who served as sexton of Pembroke Parish Church from 1937 to 1962. It was the gift of members of the parish.

Behind the stall are two plaques, one dedicated to the memory of Julia Stowe, who died in 1832 aged 67, and one to Louisa Susan Stowe, who married John T. Wainwright whose family was closely associated with the church in the 19th century. She died aged 29, leaving five children.

Tomb of Governor LaffanThe pews in the church were installed in 1972, replacing those dating from 1883, six of which are still in use in the west gallery. The front pew on the southern side of the nave is reserved for His Excellency the Governor and the front pew on the northern side was traditionally reserved for the Admiral, the Commander-in-Chief of the North America and West Indies Squadron, when he was in residence. A crown was painted on one and an anchor on the other to designate these two reserved pews.

The hymn number boards while very attractive and having been in place for as long as any can remember, no date of their instillation can be found.

On turning the corner and entering the south transept there is a plaque in memory of Sgt. Clive William Gorham who left Bermuda to serve with the Canadian Forces in the First World War. He was accidentally killed in Halifax before the troops left for Europe.

The large and beautiful window on the east-facing wall of the south transept depicting the visit of the Magi is a tribute to Robert Alexander Tucker, who died in 1886. He served as the Chief Justice of Newfoundland, replacing Francis Forbes, another Bermudian, who had been posted to New South Wales, Australia. In the bottom left-hand corner is the coat of arms of the Tucker family.

Thomas Daniel Hall, in whose memory the commemorative tablet next to the window was raised, owned, and resided for many years at Maria’s Hill, now the rectory and gave the land on the south side of St. John’s Road near Saltus gate for the building of a hearse house in which capacity it served for many years. After the advent of motorized transportation in 1945 the
use of the hearse was discontinued and the building has since been converted into an apartment.

The plaque on the south wall of the south transept is a memorial to Joseph Edwin Gibbons, 1864-1946, and Alveria Evering (Cooper) Gibbons, 1862-1937, the grandparents of the Hon. Sir David Gibbons, KBE, former Premier of Bermuda.

On either side of a door onto the churchyard on the south side are two windows also made by Wailes & Strang dedicated to members of the Harvey family. The window on the left, depicting the Angel Gabriel’s visit to the virgin Mary and Jesus’s birth, is in memory of Dr. Adolphus John Harvey (1808-1858) and Jacobina, his wife, who died in 1895.

A physician who had been in practice for about 30 years, Dr. Harvey died suddenly at his Hamilton residence. It has been questioned why these Paget residents were remembered in St. John’s, Pembroke, as well as in St. Paul’s, Paget. The answer, obviously, is that their daughter Jeannette was married to Canon James Davidson, later Archdeacon, who was rector of Pembroke and Devonshire on two occasions, from 1899 to 1903 and from 1906 to 1922.

The windows were probably the gift of Augustus William, Jeannette’s brother and the nephew and heir of Eugenius who had established himself in a most successful business in Newfoundland.

Eugenius Harvey (1814-1889) was a member of the Legislative Council and died at his home, Mount Pleasant, in Paget at the age of 75. The window to his memory has as its subject the resurrection and the ascension. Adolphus John and Eugenius were brothers, sons of Dr. Augustus William Harvey. These were the forebears of the present Dr. Eugene Harvey and his sister Mrs. Peter Lloyd.

As one approaches the south balcony there is a tablet to Musson Wainwright, (1845-1920), who served as churchwarden of St. John’s for 22 years, and to his wife, Janie McEwen Barron, (1852-1917). During his time as churchwarden substantial additions were made to the church.

The southern porch, close to where his plaque has been placed was popularly known as Musson’s porch. On the doorpost of this porch is the poor box which has been burgled several times in the past. Today, it is left unlocked but is likely seldom used.

In 1829 it was decided that a south gallery, which was built that same year, was needed to accommodate the people already sitting in the west gallery who were displaced by the installation of the organ. The round window above it depicting The Good Shepherd was erected in memory of the Hon. James Tucker CMG of Dellwood, who died in 1899, and of his family. He was awarded the CMG (Companion of St. Michael and St. George) for 47 years’ service as a prominent figure in the public life of Hamilton, having been Assistant and Acting Colonial Secretary, Registrar General, and a Member of both the Legislative and Executive Councils.

His son Cecil was parish vestry clerk for many years. Directly opposite, over the north gallery there is another round window depictlng a Bermuda Easter Lily on a blue background. This beautiful window was given by Anna Blanche Vaucrosson in memory of her husband, lawyer Arnold Randolph Vaucrosson, MCP, who died in 1948. The location of this memorial was chosen because it faced the family pew.

The window in the south transept’s west wall is dedicated to the memory of Leveson Henry Somerset Heyl (1878-1947). It depicts the Parable of The Talents and was made by Sadie · IcLelian of Glasgow. Brother to William H. Heyl, Leveson served as churchwarden for 14 years from 1934 to 1947 and sidesman for 26 years before that. He passed away in the churchyard on Christmas Day.

The tablet placed on this wall is in memory of the Masters family of Olive Hill in Pembroke. Samuel Alexander Masters was a Member of the Colonial Parliament and a Marshal of the Court of Vice-Admiralty. Hal Masters now resides in a new, but traditional house, built on the site of the Masters’ home, Olive Hill.

The Jackson lectern

The cedar lectern beneath the gallery is in memory of Cyril Healy Jackson who fought in the First World War with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade Canadian Expeditionary Force and was killed at Langemarck in 1915, aged 21. The lectern was dedicated on 16 April 1924 and was originally placed in the Memorial Chapel.

It was given to the church by his mother, Alice Healy. The pedestal was made by his father, John Henry Jackson, in 1850 and was part of a display of his work shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 at Crystal Palace in London.
The book rest part was made by one of the Tite cabinet-makers.

Bishop Feild's grave

Surrounding St. John’s is the largest churchyard in Bermuda. The stone wall enclosing the old cemetery was built in 1747 and the pillars of the west gate in 1824. Among the graves lying just outside the south door of the church are some of particular historical interest. Bishop Feild is interred to the south-west, his stone being of polished Peterhead red granite.

Close by lies the body of Lieut.-General Sir Robert Laffan KCMG, Governor of Bermuda (1877-1882). His vault is covered with an elaborately relieved stone memorial of blue granite. Also buried in the vicinity are Rt. Rev. Arthur Heber Browne, Bishop of Bermuda (1925-1948), Bermuda’s first resident Bishop, and his wife. Canon E. Nowel B. Chapman and Rev. Eustace M. Strong, former rectors of Pembroke, are interred outside the church’s west porch. To the east of the south door is the elaborate tomb of Samuel Saltus (1800-1880), the benefactor of Saltus Grammar School.

Overlooking the churchyard is Maria’s Hill, the rectory since 1926. It is one of the oldest houses in the parish. The exact date of the earliest part of the building is not known but there are references to additions having been
made to the house in 1712. Norwood’s map of 1663 shows a house on the Maria’s Hill site.

Processional Cross first used on Palm Sunday 1847 and continues in use.

To the north of the main church are two buildings, which on occasion may be opened to the visitor. In the first building are the sacristy and the Hinson Cooper Room where St. John’s Guild meets. The adjoining older building is the choir vestry in which is placed a memorial plaque to Miss Alma Early, secretary for many years to the choir and to Pembroke Sunday School. She devoted her entire life to the service of the church.

Not on view are a number of handsome church furnishings many of which have been gifts of parishioners and which are used regularly in service.

The beautiful silver processional cross was given to St. John’s in 1946 by Dorothy Ward who lived here during the Second World War. Its ebony staff was sent by her from England and fitted by Astwood-Dickinson Co. It was first used on Palm Sunday in 1947.

A communion set in silver and glass was given by Marjorie and Frederick Hasler, formerly of Seney and New York, to the Q.T.E.Y. Queen of Bermuda in memory of the late Captain Leslie F. Banyard, who served as captain of that ship tram 1948 to 1958. Included in the set were a halice, paten, glass cruets, lavabo, and a round rater box the latter of which is now kept in the aumbry. When the ship was decommissioned Mrs. Banyard secured these items and presented them to St. John’s Church.

Silver flagon presented by Mrs. Elliot

These churchwardens’ staves mounted with miniature sterling eagles replaced an original pair which were presented by the then rector, Canon Groves, to commemorate his 20 years of service in Pembroke Church;
from 1910 to 1921 as assistant curate and from 1921 to 1930 as rector. He continued in this capacity until 1935.

One of the oldest gifts is a sterling silver flagon which was presented to the church in 1852 by Mrs. Elliot, wife of Governor Capt. Charles Elliot, RN.




This collection of six sterling silver flower vases were given in matching pairs in memory of Jacqueline Bastin (nee Innes) in 1955, by Mr. and Mrs. Ira Outerbridge in 1956, and by William and Helena Hayward also in 1956 in memory of Benjamin John Alfred and Calista Hayward.

silver flower vases

Eight handsome silver alms basins were given in 1961 by Messrs. H. D. Butterfield, William “Billy” Wilson, Gerald Harnett, Henry Masters, William Hayward Sr., and Stewart Atwood who donated one each. Two were presented by Mr. Colin R. Young and family.

Of three smaller silver collection plates, one was presented to St. John’s by the Pembroke Sunday School in memory of Rev. Eustace M. Strong, rector from 1936 to 1949. The other two were given in memory of Miss Daisy Vallis who was killed in the United States while on demobilization leave, having served with the Women’s Royal Canadian Air Force in England during the Second World War. These plates were given by her mother, Mrs. Clive Vallis.

A burse and veil in blue and gold were presented by Mrs. W E. Tucker and dedicated on Easter Day, 17 April, 1938. They were made from material that was in the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey at the coronation of King
George VI.

A ciborium and paten in sterling silver were given in memory of Frederick Philip Speer (1859-1932).

In the Hinson Cooper Room is a collection of pictures of Bishops and past rectors of Pembroke Parish Church. One of Bishop Jones and one of Aubrey Spencer, Archdeacon of Bermuda and later Bishop of Newfoundland, of which diocese Bermuda was a part at the time, were donated in 1918 by Henry Darrell of Long House. The picture of Archdeacon Davidson was given by Miss Heyl and that of Bishop Inglis was obtained from Halifax by Miss Betty Wainwright for the 1971 exhibition and given on behalf of her cousin Mrs. Burton Taylor and herself. A number of other valuable photographs have been collected over the years: notably of Bishops Feild and Jones, as well as others.

A brass censer and boat were given in memory of Wellington Williams of St. Monica’s and St. Alban’s by his brother Ray Williams, a well known authority (collector and author) on Bermuda coins.

There are many other beautiful church furnishings which are not in continuous use and, therefore, not listed.

Donors of Carillon

The bells in this tower were increased in 1970 to a carillon of 25 in memory of:

Thomas Arnold and Beatrice Adderley by John and Catherine Adderley
Jeffrey Burgess and Lillian Maude Astwood by the family Thelma Atwood by Stewart and Amy Atwood Fredrick G. Barritt by Olive Barritt

The Hon. Harry Durham and Anna Maria Butterfield by Catherine
Darrell Rounthwaite, Effie Harriott Boyd, and Sir Harry Butterfield CBE
William A. and Lillian M. Campbell by Donald E. Campbell

Charles Theodore Collis by Mary Alfreda, Charles T. M. Collis and Carole Lobb James Adam and Anna Emma Maria Conyers by Gerald C. and James D. Conyers Alexander Samuel and Laura Anne Cooper by their children Charles Forster Whitter Cooper by his wife and children Albert and Mary Jane Milne Dallas by Thomas w., Joyce D. and T. W. Tucker Hall Arthur J. Gorham by Richard M. Gorham Rosina Harvey by Eric Harvey Mary Hassell by William J. Hassell

Arthur Clinton Hayward by Michael Hayward Benjamin, John Alfred and Calista Theresa Hayward by William R. and Helena A. Hayward
Eldon Lee Rance by William R. Hayward, Jr. Charles William Gladstone Hinson by Myrtle V. Hinson

Seth Otto, Edith Elizabeth and Percival Otto Hinson by Ismay G. Hinson
Blanche Kessell by Roy Kessell James and Nancy Lambe and E. Roderic Williams by Dorothy O. Williams Lena Peel by Jack Peel

John Willis Leslie Perin chief by Albert J. Perinchief Leon G. B. Powell and Dorothy T. Powell by Edmund and Patricia B. Powell John and Helen Talbot by Will, Charles, and John Talbot The Hon. Wesley Leroy Tucker by Cecilie Tucker

Andrew Wadson by David and Laurie Wadson George H. and Hannah White by Ted and Joan White Ernest Masters Young by his family.

St. John’s sidesmen whose contributions in 1949 purchased the chimes in the organ were:

Messrs: John Adderley, Walter Adderley, Ernest M. Astwood, John B. Astwood, H. Stewart Atwood, Jack Baldwin, Fredrick G. Barritt, Leon Belvin, Percy Belvin, Dudley G. Butterfield,

  1. E. Hinson Cooper, Ernest Cooper,
  2. J. Henry Dallas, Somers Early, Cleveland G. Franklin, Witfield F. “Chummy” Hayward,
    William R. Hayward Snr., J. Henry Masters, Walter O. Masters, Ira S. Outerbridge, Fred Snape,
    Charles H. Talbot, Edmund G. Young, Ernest M. Young Snr., Ernest M. Young Jr.

Two founders and ten other trustees of ‘Pembroke Sunday School in I919 were:

Miss Anne B. Hinson and Miss Susan M. Wood.

Misses: Anna Joell, Jane Ann Tucker, Jane N. Hurst, Susanna Cox, Mary J. Outerbridge, Margaret S. Wood, Catherine E. Stowe, Margaret J. Stowe, Katura Jane Wainwright, Mary H. Newbold.

St. John’s Organ

It is thought by Mr. Thad Outerbridge that the 1830 organ is still in Bermuda, as it was sold to the Methodists who installed it in their Shelly Bay chapel, which overlooks Burchall’s Cove.

This chapel was sold by the Methodists in c. 1972 to The Salvation Army, an officer of which states that an ancient organ is still in the chapel and while in considerable disrepair, is still used on occasion.

Governor Lefroy was promoted to Major General in 1877 at the end of six years’ service in Bermuda. He was made a KCMG (Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George) by Queen Victoria in her birthday honours on 24 May, 1877.

Letter referred to on page 14 regarding the proposed use, for the first time
in 1925, of a cross on the communion table: ‘Notice to be read in Church

Sexagesima 1925

At a recent Vestry Meeting, an offer was received of a silver cross for the Holy Communion Table in this Church. The gift is from a Parishioner and worshipper in this Church who desires to remain anonymous. It is given in memory of the Lads of this congregation who laid down their lives in the war. Their names will be inscribed upon it”. The Rector feels that nothing could be more appropriate or more beautiful, than the emblem of the Great Sacrifice of our Lord, to commemorate the sacrifice made by these men.

The Vestry unanimously accepted the gift but on further consideration, it was decided to announce the offer in Church before the congregation, so that if there should be any member whose spiritual feelings would be hurt by the placing of the cross on the Holy Table he may be able to come and talk the matter over with me.

It is not the Rector’s wish, neither is it the Vestry’s wish to disturb the innermost spiritual convictions of a man in any way as would prevent him from coming to Church.

If there is any member of the congregation whose feelings would be thus disturbed I would ask them to come and see me this week.

Signed W. J. F. Groves, Rector of Pembroke (Dedicated 1.11.25)

“this was never done”.

Donors of the 1972 Pews

His Excellency the Governor Lord Martonmere and the Lady Martonmere, Mr. and Mrs. H. Stewart Atwood, Mrs. C. N. A. Butterfield, Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Gibbons, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Hassell, Mrs. Agnes Helm, Mr. and Mrs. Edmund D. Powell, Mr. and Mrs. L. G. B. Powell, Mrs. Dorothy Sampson, Mr. and Mrs. Charles V. Talbot, Mrs. Clive Vallis, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Weinstein, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Welsh, Mrs. E. R. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Zuill.

Acknowledgments & Sources

We wish to acknowledge the considerable assistance of Rev. William R. Hayward, who has been associated with St. John’s Church all his life, and a fount of information, and the help provided by the Rt. Rev. Edward Marsh, Bishop of Central Newfoundland, Mr. J. Henry Dallas, Mr. Thad Outerbridge, Mr. Tony Cordeiro, Mr. Warren Cabral and Mr. Peter Willcocks, Mrs. Joseph Nixon, Mr. Tucker Hall.

The Lefroy “Memorials of the Bermudas”
Mr. David Ifor Nisbett, Mr. Wentworth Christopher
The notes of the late Miss Phyllis Place
Mrs. Joyce Hall’s extensive card index on the church and parish
derived from church minute and service books, newspapers and correspondence.

Bermuda Index 1784-1914
Mrs. Olive Hart
Mr. Leslie Wilson
Many others too numerous to name