Some 17th Century Residents

Memorial to Captain Rudhall Booth, 1685
Memorial to Captain Rudhall Booth, 1685

The earliest monument is a painted and framed oak panel to Captain Rudhall Booth, 1685.  Captain Booth was brought back to Breinton having died in Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1685, during the English Civil War.  He was a descendent of Charles Booth, Bishop of Hereford, 1516-1535.His brother Charles was exiled with King James I and as he was unable to return to England, his estate eventually passed to Thomas Cooke of Kinnersley.In the churchyard, to the east of the vestry there are stones for Katherin, wife of Major John Booth 16[9]3, and to John Booth, 1690.


Some 19th Century Residents

The large tomb surrounded by rails near the south door of the Church [1] commemorates Thomas Pritchard who died in 1811, and other members of his family. It was Grade II listed in 1987[2].  The churchyard also includes some other interesting gravestones.  Canon Charles Vincent Gorton (1854-1912) has a large cross with a line of music from Elgar’s Oratorio The Apostles.  He and Elgar enjoyed the annual Three Choirs Festival of music from Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire together.  Near the west door lies Charles Dodgson, a relative of another Dodgson, alias Lewis Carroll. Charles Dodgson lived at Breinton House and died in 1941.  James Cranston, an architect who helped to restore the church in 1869 is buried near the church window dedicated to him.  Some of his relatives, including his grandfather John Cranston who founded the plant nurseries on Kings Acre Road can also be found.

Dr. Henry Graves Bull (1818-1885) is buried in Breinton churchyard and is remembered for founding the British Mycological Society (for the scientific study of fungi).  He was a founding member of the local Woolhope Field Naturalist’s Club, and as a doctor he pioneered the use of anaesthetic and worked to improve health and sanitation in Herefordshire.  He also studied orchards and cider-making with his friend the Reverend Charles Bulmer of Credenhill, and Robert Hogg, which resulted in their book, the “Herefordshire Pomona”[3][4][5].

Breinton has strong links with Bulmer’s cider: with nurseries at Kings Acre, extensive orchards and homes of family members.  The company Messrs. Bulmer was founded in 1887, by Henry Percival Bulmer of Credenhill, and with his brother Fred  and his descendants built the company up to become a household name (later called H.P Bulmer & Co. Ltd.)  Although Henry Percival Bulmer’s son Edward Charles (1907-1944) was buried at Credenhill, he lived in Breinton and there is a memorial to his death (hit by a wingtip of a plane) in the Second World War.

The Du Buisson family built the rectory (now Breinton Grange), and the school by the church, but lived at Breinton Court.  Edmund du Buisson, M.A. Oxon (1821-1875) was Vicar of Breinton between 1854 and 1875, and the east window is a memorial to him and his wife Charlotte.

The Cassey Directory of Herefordshire for 1858 tells us:

“… The living is a perpetual curacy, worth £109 yearly, and in the patronage  of the Bishop of Hereford; the Rev. Edmund Du Buisson, M.A. is the  incumbent.  The chief landed proprietors of this parish are John Edwin Jones, Esq.;  John Cranston, Esq. of King’s Acre; Edward Lewis, Esq.; John Davies,  Esq.; Daniel Pearce, Esq.; and Edmund Russell, Esq., of the Showers,
Kingsland.  Here is a chapel and school endowed by Lady Southampton, the latter of which is applied to the education of 42 children, and is conducted by Mr.  James Pugh.  At Warham is also a Church of England school for boys and girls, established January 22, 1855.  This is partly within the limits of the city of Hereford.  There are charities of about £9 yearly value.  The population, in 1851, was 366, with 1,639 acres.  The crops are wheat, beans, turnips, &c., with pears and apples.” [3]

In addition the Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Herefordshire (1876-7)[4] listed the main landowners of the day, and highlighted the extensive  Kings Acre Nurseries belonging to Messrs. Cranston and Mayos, declaring  that their roses were among the best in the country.  It described the  recently rebuilt church, under the superintendence of F.R. Kempson, and  noted that the parish registers began in 1625.  The Directory also tells us that adjoining Kings Acre Nurseries the former Coach and Horses Inn  had been turned into a reading room, particularly for the use of workers employed by Cranston & Mayos.

Some 20th Century Residents

 Herbert Gatliff  (1897- 1977) was the son of a Rector of Breinton who became a top civil servant at the Treasury in London. He loved long-distance walking between youth hostels. He went to the Outer Hebrides with John Cadbury, chairman of the Youth Hostel Association, but there were no hostels, – so he helped to fund some.  The Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust is still in operation today, and Herbert is buried in Breinton churchyard [6].

Also read about: The Reminiscences of Mrs Strange, 1988, compiled by Bronwen Wild, November 2016


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[5] From