Rodborough Tabernacle : Monumental Inscriptions.
Rodborough, near Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK
Transcript taken from :Gloucestershire Notes and Queries., Vol. II, 1884.
Edited by REV. BEAVER H. BLACKER, M. A. Published in 1884. London, England.
The notes below are taken from this volume, and the spelling and grammar are as the original. Additions are most welcome.
In his Recollections of Stroud (1871), pp. 118-20, Mr. Fisher has recorded several particulars of this chapel in connection with the Rev. George Whitefield, who was mainly instrumental (with "Thomas Adams, gentleman, of Rodborough, preacher of the gospel,") in raising the religious society, whose successors still assemble there for public worship. Within the chapel (to which a graveyard is attached) there are eight monumental inscriptions ; and a literal transcript, made in 1880, may be useful :-
1. This humble monument is designed to perpetuate the memory of Mr Thomas Adams, by whose labours the congregation assembling in this place was first raised and gradually increased, and who concluded his disinterested and successful service but a few weeks prior to the 10th of August, 1770, when he cheerfully exchanged his days of labor for eternal rest, aged 52. Elizabeth, his first beloved and affectionate wife, preceded him to that rest Decr 26th, 1765. Hannah, his second and deservedly beloved wife, followed April the 4th, 1800, aged 59.
2. Sacred to the memory of Samuel Marling, of Woodchester, who died December 3rd, 1777, aet. 29. And of Hester, wife of Mr John Figgins, of London, relict of the above Samuel Marling, who died May 12th, 1801, aet. 49. William Marling, Clothier, of Dudbridge House, only son of the above Samuel Marling, died October 16th, 1859, aged 83 years. And of Sarah, his wife, who died August 7th, 1856, aged 83 years.
3. In memory of Nathaniel S. Marling, Esqr, J.P., of Stonehouse Court, in this county, born April 2nd, 1797, died January 24th, 1861.
4. In a vault near this monument lie the remains of the Revd Robert Heath, who, after doing and suffering the will of God with apostolic zeal and Christian fortitude, resigned his soul to its Creator July the 18th, 1800, aet. 59. Also in the. same vault are deposited the remains of Benjamin, his son, who gave sweet evidence of his dying in the Lord July the 29th, 1797, setat. 15.
5. This monument is design'd to perpetuate the memory of Mr Edward Dicks and Elizabeth, his wife. She died Decr 28th, 1815, aged 82. He died Feby 6th, 1832, aged 87. Both members of this church for upwards of 50 years, they adorned their Christian profession as sincere humble followers of the Lamb of God. They rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.
6. In memory of the Revd Orlando Augustus Jeary, Minister of the Gospel in this place from the year 1802 until 1812, when on account of severe indisposition which he had for some time endured, and from which there seemed no prospect of recovery, he felt himself obliged to resign his charge. He died at Tilehurst, in Berkshire, December 13th, 1817, aged 38, and was buried in St. Giles's Churchyard, Reading. The theme of his ministry, and the foundation of his hope in death, may be seen in the following line, from which at his request the funeral discourse was delivered : 'Not according to our works.' 2 Tim. i. 9. Mrs Sarah Jeary, wife of the above, died at Reading, Feb. 4th, 1806. Mrs Elizabeth Jeary, Mr Jeary's second wife, died at Reading, March 4th, 1822, aged 35.
7. In the adjoining yard lie the remains of Hester, wife of Henry Hodges, of this parish, who departed this life December 18th, 1831, aged 58 years. The above-named Henry Hodges died September 19th, 1838, aged 64 years. Also of Rebecca Hodges, his sister, who died March 25th, 1874, aged 91 years.
8. This tablet is erected in memory of Anne, the beloved wife of the Revd Eliezer Jones, Minister of this church, who died June 10th, 1867, aetat. 31. Also of their two children : Mary Jane, died Febry 4th, 1835, aged 2 years; Louisa Anne, died April 17th, 1837, aged 3 years."
Lines on the back of an arm-chair, known as "Whitfield's Chair," in Rodborough Tabernacle, by the Rev. John Rees :-
"If love of souls should e'er be wanting here,
Remember me, for I am Whitfield's Chair;
I bore his weight, am witness to his fears,
His earnest pray'rs, his interesting tears.
This holy man was fill'd with love divine;
Art thou the same? Sit down, & call me thine."
In one of the rooms of this building there is an oil painting, with this inscription :-
" This portrait of the Reverend James Roome, late missionary at Berbice, was presented by him to the Rodborough Tabernacle Sunday School in pleasant and grateful remembrance of having been himself in early life a scholar in that institution."
In September, 1866, several "Centenary Services" were held in celebration of the original erection of the Tabernacle in 1766; and details of them, with a brief history of the place, are recorded in A Memorial of Nonconformity (London, 1866), a 12mo publication.