Eveline RODGER (1850-1905)
Eveline was an active participant in reviving the Lace trade in Buckinghamshire. Undate minutes of the North Bucks Lace Association Committee meetings state:
"Mrs Forrest, a devoted friend of this organisation has encouraged the revival for the past 15 years in Lacey Green, She is partial to the fine old Bucks designs which she considers equal to those worn a hundred years ago by our ancestors ... Her workers undertake from the finest Bucks at one guinea a year to narrow Torchon at 2½ d a yard without discarding Duchesse or Maltese. They use from the finest Honiton to the coarsest linen threads."
"Harris's flax linen thread is invaluable for the new and cheap art coloured lace inted to match the embroidery of linen curtains, teacloths and bed spreads eagerly sought after often by old women workers with failing eyesight and trembling hands. True for many engaged in household work the earnings are scarcely over 3/- per week but often the sum is a real windfall considering it has been gained with moments otherwise lost."
From an account 'Buckinghamshire Lace making' written in 1900 by Miss M.E. Burrowes, first secretary to the North Bucks Lace Association, who organised the Buckingham Lace Industry:
"We have among others Mrs Forrest, Lady Thistleton Dyer and the late Duchess of Buckingham and Chandos, the Countess Spencer and Mrs Nind to all of whom we are deeply indebted for the basis of the recent revival of Bucks lace trade now some twenty or thirty or more years ago and many are now working with success on the foundations of their good efforts and we trust that interest in real and well made lace has come to stay in England at least and we can clmost say that at the present time the demand for good lace is greater than the supply but there is still much uphill work before its supporters and promotors for many reasons [latter part missing]"
John and Eveline had four sons together:
- i. John Graham FORREST, born on 20th April 1875 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
- ii. Charles Evelyn FORREST, born on 21st August 1876 in Lacey Green, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.
- iii.George Francis FORREST, born on 11th August 1877 in Longdon, Worcestershire.
- iv. Guy Archibald FORREST, born on 24th June 1879 in Lacey Green, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.
Records for the above births and accompaning census records show that John and his family lived in a large property with five servants called 'Rivershill' in Cheltenham before moving to Eveline's father's house at No.1 College Lawn also with five servants. In 1901 they were recorded living at Grymsdyke Manor with six servants in Lacey Green, Buckinghamshire.
“It is with much regret we have to record the death of Mrs Forrest, wife of Mr J. Forrest, J.P., of Grymsdyke Lodge, Lacey Green, which took place on Friday evening, January 27th after a somewhat protracted and painful illness. The deceased lady for a number of years was associated with the Lacey Green Primrose League, in which she took a deep interest. Mrs Forrest was also interested in the welfare of the village in which she resided with Mr. Forrest for some years past. The poor have lost a generous friend, ready to help in cases of necessity by kindly word and deed. Mr Forrest, for whom much sympathy is felt, has to mourn the loss of a beloved and devoted with and the sons (four in number) an affectionate mother.”
She was buried in Lacey Green churchyard. The Bucks Free Press also reported her funeral:
“Not for a long time past has so largely attended a funeral, and one in which so much sympathy and respect were shown, taken place in the quiet hamlet of Lacey Green as that on Wednesday, when the mortal remains of the late Mrs. Forrest were reverently interred in “God’s acre,” adjoining the picturesque village Church. The cortege left Grymsdyke at 1 o’clock. The procession of carriages containing the mourners was preceded by a car, laden with a quantity of most exquisite and costly wreaths, this being followed by a Washington car, containing the coffin. The Rev A. Marshall recited the opening sentences as the mourners entered the Church. The Rev. A. K. Whitfield conducted the service, at the conclusion of which the Choir chanted “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.” The service throughout was of a most impressive character. The organist (Miss Hawes) played the “Dead March” in Saul, as the congregation left the Church. The Rev. A. Marshall performed the committal service at the grave, after which the Rev. W. Robson pronounced the Benediction. The church was crowded at the service.
The coffin was an oak shell with leaden case, the outer case being of panelled oak with brad mounts and a plain oak lid, upon which was a brass cross with an inscription at the foot. The breast plate bore the following inscription:-
Born September 26th, 1850.
Died January 27th, 1905.
The remains were interred in a bricked grave, lined with ivy and white flowers. A lovely cross of white flowers, a token of love from the family, was placed upon the coffin and buried with it.”
A stained glass memorial window was also erected in the chancel of the church, with the inscription:
“To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Eveline wife of John Forrest who died 27th January 1905. This window is erected by her husband and their children.”
- Old Parochial Register, Births, Govan, OPR Ref. 646/0030 0121
- General Register Office, Births, Cheltenham, GRO Ref. 1875/Q2/6A/437
- General Register Office, Births, Wycombe, GRO Ref. 1876/Q3/3A/534
- General Register Office, Births, Upton, GRO Ref. 1877/Q3/6C/334
- General Register Office, Births, Wycombe, GRO Ref. 1879/Q2/3A/562
- Public Record Office, England Census, PRO Ref. RG11/2574/23/9
- Public Record Office, England Census, PRO Ref. RG12/2048/121/2
- Public Record Office, England Census, PRO Ref. RG13/1352/29/20
- General Register Office, Deaths, Wycombe, GRO Ref. 1905/Q1/3A/508
- Last Will and Testament of Eveline Forrest (17th July 1905)
- Gravestone of John and Eveline Forrest, Lacey Green
- Bucks Free Press – Obituaries (3rd Feb 1905)
- Last Will and Testament of Eveline Forrest (17th July 1905)