Rev. Gabriel Gillett

Gillett in 1866. Click side arrow to view more images.

Rev Gabriel Gilett

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Waltham owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Rev. Gabriel Gillett. He restored the church in the 1840s when it was almost derelict. He also built the primary school, as well as the rectory (now Waltham Hall Nursing Home).

We recently discovered a newspaper report mentioning Gabriel: “Another great day in Waltham’s history was December 7, 1843. On that day Queen Victoria and Prince Albert changed horses at the Royal Horse Shoes Inn, where they were attended by the Rev. Gabriel Gillett, rector of the parish, and Joseph Jarvisa of Waltham House.”

And that’s about as much as I know about the Reverend Gillett. If anyone can add any more, please either leave a comment below, or get in touch using the contact page.

More photos: photo 1

Grateful thanks to Alan for sending these additional details about the Rev. Gabriel Gillett

Reverend Gabriel Edwards Gillett

1799 – 1871
Rector of St. Mary Magdalene C of E Church – Waltham on the Wolds – for Forty Years

Gabriel Edwards Gillett was born in London and christened on 13th January 1799 at Old Church St. Pancras. His parents, Gabriel and Mary Ann Gillett, were wealthy having an interest in The Upper Diamond Estate in St. Vincent, West Indies. This was a sugar plantation and in 1825 had 127 Slaves.

He graduated from Oriel College Oxford with BA and MA in 1823 and married Elizabeth Woodall in St. Pancras on 7th February 1826. They had four children.

In 1831 he was appointed Rector in Waltham on the Wolds and served as such until his death, on 22nd April 1871, aged 72 years.

Shortly after his arrival he started to renovate the dilapidated church building. The interior was gutted, redesigned and refurbished. The minstrel gallery was removed and the organ installed. The nave at the west end was extended and the heating system improved. This work was carried out mainly at his own expense, for the benefice, was, at that time well endowed and had 500 acres of glebe land.

He translated ‘Angelus ad Viginem’ a carol for the English Carol Book and composed the hymn ‘It is finished’ – No.* 380 in the English Hymnal. The Reverend Gillett built the huge rectory (now a nursing home) and set it in 19 acres of landscaped grounds on the edge of the village and in 1861 the family employed seven servants. He funded the building of the village school, also on glebe land.

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