The Funeral of Pendock Barry Barry in 1847

Last updated on 20 September 2019

Pendock Barry Barry of Roclaveston Manor (Tollerton Hall as it is now referred to) died on 3 July 1847 in his 65th year. His funeral was reported in the Nottinghamshire Guardian Newspaper on 15 July, 1847. Below is a transcript of this report.

The Late Pendock Barry Barry Esq

In our last obituary we recorded the death of Pendock Barry Barry, Esq., of Roclaveston Manor. The body of the deceased gentleman lay in state in the entrance hall of the manor from 12 o’clock on Monday until the hour appointed for the funeral, 11 o’clock on Tuesday morning. During Monday, about 800 persons were kindly admitted to view the imposing scene. The hall was hung with black, tastefully arranged; a beautiful painted glass lantern was suspended in the centre, and fourteen wax candles shed their solemn light around. On a bier was placed the coffin, which was covered in black silk velvet; the handles were magnificent, and on a brass plate was the following inscription:

 Pendock Barry Barry, Esq.
AEtat 64.
Obit 3 July 1847

At either end of the coffin stood a mute; the pall was placed on the right, and a plume of ostrich feathers on the left. Altogether, the room had a very sombre and mournful appearance, and could not fail to inspire the most sombre emotions in all the beholders.

Precisely at eleven o’clock on Tuesday morning the coffin was carried out by eight labourers, and the funeral procession was formed in the following order:

Two mutes
Fifteen Sunday School children attired in new mourning
attended by their their mistress.
The tenants, with hatbands and scarfs.
Rev. R. Ward and Rev J. Peatfield.
The clerk.
J.N. Thompson, Esq.
The undertakers.
A flume of ostrich feathers.
The pall being supported by Sir R P Joddrell, Dr. Williams
Parsons Esq., C. Welby Esq., A. Flint Esq.,
and A Welby, Esq..
The relations of the deceased – Pendock Neale, Esq., Phillip Neale, Esq.,and the Rev. W. Otter.
Master Parsons.
Mr Russell.    Mr Lacey.
Servants, with hatbands, etc.
Female servants and labourer’s wives.

When the procession came out of the grounds, we found a large concourse of people, numbering upwards of a thousand, assembled to witness the solemn spectacle. It was pleasing to observe the respect which was manifested on all hands towards the memory of the deceased. The greatest decorum and most profound silence prevailed. On arriving at Tollerton church, the burial service was read in a most impressive and feeling manner by Rev. R. Ward. At the conclusion of the ceremony, and when the cavalcade had moved away, the people assembled were admitted to the vault; and afterwards, those who thought proper were permitted to view the hall where the body had lain in state, which was considered a great privilege.

We should add that the lead coffin was made by Mr Rhoades, and the shell and outer coffin (which was of highly creditable workmanship) by Mr Russell, Bridlesmith-gate. The preparations at the vault were effected in the most complete and satisfactory manner under the direction of Mr. George Walker. The whole arrangements were superintended by Mr. John Swann.


The mute’s job was to stand vigil outside the door of the deceased, then accompany the coffin, wearing dark clothes, looking solemn and usually carrying a long stick (called a wand) covered in black crepe. There are plenty of accounts of mutes in Britain by the 1700s, and by Dickens’s time their attendance at even relatively modest funerals was almost mandatory. They were a key part of the Victorians’ extravagant mourning rituals but these arrangements died out in the 1880s/90s.