DEATH OF CANON W E ALLSEBROOK, A WELL BELOVED FIGURE
Canon William Carmont Allsebrook, for 42 years Vicar of Badsey and Wickhamford and one of the most gifted and scholarly churchmen ever connected with the Evesham district, died in a Lillington (Leamington Spa) nursing home on Monday in his eightieth year. His passing will be mourned not only by his former parishioners but b many people in Evesham (where he had lived recently) and within a very wide area of the town.
From his early years at Oxford where his career was particularly brilliant it was apparent that he had the ability to reach very high office in the church and though the Evesham district profited by the fact that he was content to remain a parish priest there were those amongst his closer friends who regretted that his great powers were not employed on a wider scale. That he did not seek high office was due partly perhaps to his deep-rooted dislike for ostentation but one reason was undoubtedly his love for the Evesham district and its inhabitants.
Canon Allserook’s human qualities endeared him to people of all classes and creeds. He had considerable personal charm, great imagination and understanding and a delightful sense of humour. His sermons reflected his sincerity, his knowledge of human nature and his faith in the great future of the Church. Like most singers – he had an excellent baritone voice – his speaking voice was musical and engaging, giving his words, whether spoken in or out of the pulpit, added appeal. He was a recognised authority on Canon Law.
A born musician, he had an extensive knowledge of church music and took an active part in the advancement of choral singing in the Evesham district. His ability as a pianist, singer and conductor made him a particularly valuable exponent of a form of music to which he was devoted.
Early in 1945 he had an accident in which he broke a leg and though he made a good recovery, he retired from the living of Badsey and Wickhamford which he had held since 1903 and went to live at 84 Port Street, Evesham. Soon afterwards, he again broke his leg in a fall and during recent months most of his time had been spent in the Leamington nursing home. He bore his injuries with remarkable fortitude and after his second accident he again made a wonderful recovery and was once more able to walk.
A week or two before his death he was able to attend Divine service.
A Lancashire man, Canon Allsebrook was the son of the late Sir William Allsebrook of Liverpool. Part of his early education was received at Sheffield Grammar School. He graduated from Jesus College, Oxford, in 1891, proceeding to his MA in 1895. He was ordained deacon in 1891 and priest in 1892 by Bishop Royston for the Bishop of Liverpool. He served curacies successively at Great Crosby and Sefton (Lancashire) and Stratford-on-Avon where he was precentor of Holy Trinity Church from 1894 to 1897. He was Chaplain of Christ Church (Cathedral), Oxford, from 1897 to 1903; of Jesus College, Oxford, 1897-1900; and of New College, Oxford, 1899-1903. He was also Senior Proctor of the University of Oxford from 1899 to 1900.
He was appointed Vicar of Badsey and Wickhamford by the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church. From 1921 until 1944 he was Rural Dean of Evesham. He was secretary of the Vale of Evesham Clerical Society for nearly 40 years. In March 1930 he was appointed an Honorary Canon of Worcester Cathedral, in succession to the late Canon James Davenport.
To mark his long connection with Badsey and Wickhamford, the parishioners presented him with a letter of appreciation and cheque for £115 on his retirement.
Canon Allsebrook’s wife, who died about 15 years ago, was a Miss Hands of Solihull, Warwickshire. They had two children, a son, Mr William B Allsebrook, who died about ten years ago, and a daughter, Miss E J C Allsebrook, who lives at 84 Port Street, Evesham.
The funeral is at Badsey Parish Church today (Friday).
Someone has written, "A dear old friend, RIP" beside Canon Allsebrook's photograph. The article refers to his father being Sir William Allsebrook; this is incorrect.
We are grateful to Peter Stewart for providing a copy of this article.