On this day in 1900 James Stevens wrote in his Diary…
Mrs. Basset Rogers here staying at our house some days to see Rev. Rogers’ tombstone erected. (Sunday 14th October 1900)
… and a few days later…
At Penzance for tiles to put around Rev. Rogers’ tomb. (Wednesday 17th October 1900)
The following month it was reported in the local paper…
“In Memory of Rev. R.B. Rogers. Quite recently there has been erected over the grave of the late vicar of Sancreed a neat granite cross, inscribed as follows:-
“Sacred to the memory of Reginald Basset Rogers, for 20 years vicar of this parish. Born 12th of March, 1830. Died 23rd Dec, 1899, – He being dead yet speaketh. One day the Heavenly Sower, Shall reap where he hath sown, And come again, rejoicing, And with him bring his own.”
The granite cross and curb are surrounded by a gravel pathway and an outside tile border, 18 inches wide, planted with crocuses and violets, the whole having a very neat and attractive appearance.” (The Cornishman: 22nd November 1900)
As you can see, time has taken its toll on the grave.
Rev. Basset Rogers was first mentioned in the Diary when James took on the tenancy of Glebe Farm…
At Penzance afoot, saw Rev. B. Rogers about Sancreed farm. (Thursday 29th April 1897)
Walked St. Erth and rode in train to Helston to take Sancreed farm of Rogers at £93 a year tithe free. (Wednesday 26th May 1897)
According to Peter Pool…
When James Stevens came to Sancreed the Vicar, Rev. Basset Rogers, had been there since 1879 and was a man of 67 with a young family of four sons and two daughters; he was a Rogers of Penrose and a kinsman to the Bassets of Tehidy. In 1896 he had reported to the Bishop that the dissenters were ‘aggressive’, but he seems to have maintained peace with them. Doubtless he welcomed the arrival at his farm of a devout and hard-working churchman as tenant, and he certainly gained the respect and affection of James Stevens. More than seventy years after his death his daughter Gwen recalled him as “a real father to his parish”, taking much trouble to visit the old and sick; she also remembered James Stevens as a quiet man who “seemed always to have his mind on higher things”, but who was inclined to grumble about money when rent day came around! (Introduction. P.A.S Pool. A Cornish Farmer’s Diary, 1977).
Born on 12th March 1830, Reginald Basset Rogers married Laura Augusta Stuart in 1876. Their 6 children were…
- Hugh Stuart Rogers [Hugh] (b. 1878)
- Francis St. Aubyn Rogers [Frank] (b. 1879)
- Margaret Eyre Rogers [Daisy] (b. 1880)
- Reginald Basset Rogers [Regey/Regie] (b. 1882)
- William Hender Rogers [Willie/Hender] (b. 1883)
- Lucretia Gwendoline Rogers [Gwen] (b. 1885)
In December 1899 James had recorded…
Rev R.B. Rogers Vicar of Sancreed died this evening at 9.30 p.m. being vicar here about 21 years, aged 69 or 70 next March. (Saturday 23rd Dec 1899)
Was bearer to Rev. R.B. Rogers, were ten of us, was buried in three coffins, deal, lead and oak, 15 or 16 wreaths and crosses of flowers some costing 10 and 15 shillings each, we gave a nice one cost 7s 6d. (Wednesday 27th December 1899)
According to one Newspaper report of the funeral “The corpse was place in a wooden shell, which was enclosed in a hermetically sealed lead coffin, the outer covering being of unpolished oak with massive brass mountings“.
It was also reported…
“The mortal remains of the Rev. Reginald Basset Rogers, for 21 years the esteemed vicar of Sancreed, who died on Saturday, after a prolonged illness, were interred in the parish churchyard with great respect and reverence on Wednesday afternoon.” The coffin “was borne to the church by local farmers and tradesmen …the choir sang the beautiful hymn ‘For all Thy saints who from their labours rest’ …the organ presided at by Mr. Mitchell, schoolmaster. The officiating ministers were Revs. John Tonkin (St. Buryan) and De Romenstein (curate-in-charge) who impressively read the burial service. The first portion of the Church’s service over, the coffin was carried to the graveside, where, after the appropriate hymn, ‘Leave we now Thy servant sleeping’ …it was lowered into the ivy-lined grave.” (The Cornishman. Thursday January 4th 1900)
Peter Pool says that…
Sancreed also had a change of parson in 1900. Rev. Basset Rogers died at Christmas 1899, aged 69, after over twenty years as Vicar. James Stevens was a bearer at his funeral, and afterwards helped to organise a farewell present for Mrs. Rogers, who left Sancreed in March 1900; the family lived in Exeter for some years, but eventually returned to Penzance and were frequent visitors to Glebe farm. (Introduction. P.A.S Pool. A Cornish Farmer’s Diary, 1977).
… and these events are recorded by James as…
Was through the north part of this parish with Chris Hichens asking for subscriptions towards giving Mrs. Basset Rogers a Testimonial in respect for Rev. R.B. Rogers who served this parish as Vicar faithfully for 21 years, to which I subscribed the sum of 10s. (Friday 19th January 1900)
At the schoolroom to the presentation to Mrs. Basset Rogers of a silver tea and coffee service cost £34. T.B. Bolitho of Trewidden presented it, about 40 or 50 present. (Saturday 17th February 1900)
Put away luggage to Mrs. Rogers and family, they being leaving Sancreed Vicarage after living there about 21 years. (Saturday 10th March 1900)
Masters Reginald and Willie Rogers came here in our trap to stay a little while. (Saturday 11th August 1900)
Mr. Frank Rogers came here to stay few days. (Thursday 28th March 1901)
Mrs. Rogers and Miss Gwen come here to stay a while. (Thursday 12th September 1901)
Mr. Hender Rogers visit here. (Sunday 12th January 1902)
Mrs. Basset Rogers and Miss Gwen are staying here a few days, Miss
Daisy Rogers and Mr. Hender visit here. (Sunday 21st September 1902)
Mrs. Rogers and family visit here, seven of them. (Saturday 13th January 1906)
There’s a window in the South wall of Sancreed church commemorating Rev. Basset Rogers and his wife.
It contains figures of St. Piran, the Virgin and Child, and St. Margaret of Scotland. The dedication at the bottom reads “To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Reginald Basset Rogers, 21 years Vicar of this parish, and his wife Laura Augusta Rogers, erected by their children and sister”. The window was made by Frederick Drake in 1925.
You can read more about St. Creden Church, Sancreed in the church guide.