Montagu(e) Pennington Sparrow

The following information has been extracted from a number of sources, including Alumni Cantabrigienses and the Clergy of the Church of England Database.

Montague Pennington Florentio Romulus Sparrow was born on Florence in 1819. He was the second son of Robert George Sparrow (1788-1844) and his wife Theodora Louisa (née Pennington, 1797-1869), the only child of Thomas Pennington who was Rector of St James the Great, Thorley, from 1798 until his death in 1852, and his wife Mary Sarah (née Sale).

Montague entered Clare College, Cambridge, in 1839 and was awarded the degree of B.A. in 1843 and that of M.A. in 1848. He was ordained Deacon in 1844 and Priest the following year.

Montague was licensed as Curate of St George's Chapel, Deal in Kent in 1844, where his maternal grandfather's younger brother, Montagu Pennington, was the Perpetual Curate, a term then used to describe an incumbent who was supported by a stipend rather than by the income from tithe rents or glebe land.

On 2 September 1845 Montague married Catherine, the eldest daughter of the Revd Daniel Francis Warner, Vicar of Hoo St Warburgh in Kent, at St Margaret's next Rochetser in Kent. The following year he became Curate of his maternal Grandfather's benefice of Thorley.

Montague and Catherine had a daughter, Catherine Pennington Sylviana Rose, who was baptised at Thorley on 28 October 1846, but died when only three months old and was buried in the Churchyard of St James on 29 December 1846.

Montague's wife died the following year and was buried in the Churchyard of St Catherine's, Kingsdown in Kent on 6 May 1847, where his maternal grandfather held the Rectorship in plurality with that of Thorley.

Monatgue left Thorley following the death of his grandfather, aged 91, on 21 December 1852. Alumni Cantabrigienses records him as serving as Curate of High Laver in Essex from 1853 -1874, but he was clearly Curate of Stanford Rivers in Essex during at least part of this time, and he is recorded in Crockford's Clerical Directories for 1868 and 1874 as the Curate of Magdalen Laver in Essex.

In 1860 Monatague married Elizabeth Platt at St Peter's, Pimlico in London.

In 1874 he was instituted as Vicar of Temple Grafton in Warwickshire, where he served until his death, aged 65, on 25 April 1884.


Philip Hargrave
February 2014


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