Father Henry Rope, Marga’s brother, seems to have been a real character. Almost like a figure out of an Evelyn Waugh novel, he abhorred anything to do with the twentieth century, although he was something of a word-scholar and apparently a fine poet too.
Henry Edward George, as he was born (in 1880, making two years older than Marga), studied for the priesthood in Rome, from 1911 until his ordination in 1915.
Apparently, when he got his first appointment as priest, at Plowden in south Shropshire, he preached against the introduction of tractors! Perhaps an interesting choice of subject when you consider how rural Plowden is.
He is said never to have used a motor-car, and the story goes that on his retirement from his work in Rome in the nineteen-fifties, he refused the use of a car to take him on his way to the railway station, and insisted on a horse & cart instead…
One suspects that the reason he got his appointment at a Catholic college in Rome was because he wasn’t really fitted for life in a twentieth-century English parish.
Of course, he is not the only fascinating figure in Marga’s family tree. The stories about her siblings and other relatives fairly bristle with interest. There’s a book in them if someone only had the time.
It would be good to find some of Father Rope’s poetry and his works of history; I have not been able to so far.
Does anyone have any leads for me? (Use the Comments box below if you like, or email me).
‘A Family Recorded in Glass: The Windows of Margaret Rope in Shrewsbury Cathedral’ by Peter Phillips (Midland Catholic History Bulletin 2009, No 16)
Floreat Salopia – Essays about the Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury by Monsignor Christopher Lightbound (publ in booklet form in 2014). The essays include a short one about Fr Henry Rope