The window in the East end of St Bartholomew’s Church says that it was fitted “in memory of George Willows, and Ann Glover, his wife, who both died in the year 1852, by their son John Glover Willows”.

I did a bit of research into the Willows family using Ancestry. It’s hard to find out an awful lot about them, even though they seemed to be properous. John Glover Willows died in 1916 in Rushton, Kettering. He was living at the Manor House and, according to the census of 1891, he was a farmer / grazier with over 800 acres, a housemaid, cook and nursemaid.

The census of 1911, tells us that he is now a widower, but still a farmer / grazier. He died in 1916, leaving assets of over £7000, which was a fortune in those times.

John was born on the 23rd December 1827 in Covenham St Bartholomew. His sister Mary was born in 1830, and brother George Edward in 1838. Another sister followed in 1840, Sarah Jane. Both parents died in 1852, and he married Clara Mira Stephenson in January 1859.

In 1861 – we find him in Walmsgate – near Burwell. He’s farming over 400 acres, and has a housekeeper, a cook and a groom. So far no children. The census shows us that there are two visitors that day, Laurence Stephenson (age 15) and another whose name I can’t make out, but is also a Stephenson, age 16.

By 1871, the family have moved to Rushden, where he is noted as farming 500 acres of land. He has a daughter Clara, and a nursemaid and housemaid both. He’s employing 10 men and 5 boys. I can’t find him in the 1881 census, but by 1891, he is still living in Rushden, but in the Manor House.

He has now two more children, Jane and Richard, together with a housemaid, cook and nursemaid.

He must have thought a lot of his parents, to spend so much money on a window in their memory.

By Diane Seddon

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