Henry Usborne,MA. Vicar
of Bitterne, Hants.
Born March 4th 1811.
Educated Eton (1826) and Balliol College, Oxford (1828).
Married December 27th.1847 to Grace, daughter of Philip Corbett of
Grace died June 12th 1888.
Henry died June 29th 1892. Buried at Bitterne
Carving on panel
Both buried in pink grave
in the foreground.
which Henry built in 1860.
It is hard to
believe that Henry, the Canadian timber entrepreneur is one and the same
person as Henry the country vicar. At 37 Henry was head of the Usborne family timber interests in Quebec. The Quebec Gazette of
August 1833 reported his success with his racing yacht Algerine.
His father acquired the Midanbury estate, at Bitterne, nr. Southampton in
1850 which he shared with Henry and his sisters Harriet and
Eliza. The move was probably to take advantage of the modern
docks built in 1843 and numerous timber stores that lined the
In 1852, with his sisters, he bought the land
and paid most of the cost (£3,100) of the new Parish Church of the Holy
was its first vicar (1856-1887). In 1860 he built Redcote Vicarage. "He was an earnest preacher but
had a stammer and was not always easy to hear. He used to ride
horseback to church but later came in a carriage and pair driven
by his coachman. His portrait in oils which hung in the Church
Institute was destroyed by enemy action in 1941."
He made daily visits to the children at Bitterne's first infant school
which his sister had built in 1856.
There are many entries in the school log such as:
"Rev.H. took the children to the pantomime and gave them buns
and oranges" and "gave the girls a treat of
strawberries". He was clearly much loved and still remembered.
Henry was, in 1876, one of the principal
landowners in Western under Penyard in Herefordshire between
Ross and Gloucester.
Barnaby Usborne has two leather-bound
volumes of Henry's 1866 "Sainte Bible illustree par Gustave Dore".
They have a gold monogram HL on the cover and an engraved