|Abstract||Death of The Reverend E. Musselwhite of Salcott, (October 12th 1906)
(As reported in the Essex County Standard)
In last week's Essex County Standard, we announced that the Rev. E. Musselwhite, rector of Salcott - Virley
since 1878 and Rural Dean of Mersea, was very ill with acute peritonitis, and we now regret to state that
his illness has terminated fatally on Friday, the 12th October. The late Mr. Musselwhite was a native of
Monmouthshire and born on July 19th, 1831 and was thus in his 86th year. He was ordained Deacon in 1858
and priest in 1859 (Lichfield). He held a curacy at Child's Ercall, Salop till 1860, passed on to the
curacy-in-charge of Acton Trussel with Bednall, Staffordshire and in 1865 came to Essex, being curate at
Messing, then of Great Clacton. In 1869 he went to Great Cressingham in Norfolk; two years later to
Knebworth, Herts., in 1875, Buckland, Herts, and in 1875 back to Essex again as Curate of Little Wigborough
which position he held till 1879 when he became Rector of Salcott with Virley. The patrons of the living
which is valued at £206 gross and £153 net, are Sir William Abdy, Bart., and others.
The deceased, who was much respected by all who knew him, was largely instrumental in restoring the parish
church of St. Mary at Salcott at a cost of about £1,400 in 1893. He also took an active part in all
affairs connected with his own parish and was at all times willing to give his assistance by presiding at
meeting and other events not directly connected with his parish. He was an active supporter of the
Conservative cause and was, for a long period, something like twenty years, the Chairman of the local
branch of the Conservative and Unionist brand of the Harwich Division. His loss in this respect will be
deeply felt by the Association for he regularly attended all meeting in all weathers often at great
inconvenience to himself. He was also for many years a member of the Rural District Council and Guardian
of the Poor for Lexden and Winstree Union and into this branch of work he also put his whole heart having
attended every possible meeting during the last year.
That his loss is deeply felt was amply testified at the funeral which took place on Tuesday, October 16th
at Salcott in the presence of a very large congregation, some of whom were unable to obtain admittance to
the church. The funeral cortege left the Rectory at One O'clock, the drive being lined by members of the
church choir, Girls Friendly Society, Sewing Class, Mothers Meeting and other village organisations and by
the Sunday School teachers and scholars. The coffin was born by members of the choir and was preceded by
the officiating clergy, the Revds. Canon Corbett (Colchester), Felix M Crate (Chelmsford) who had been duty
for the deceased during his illness, W. Carter (Tollesbury) and Chas. Werninck (Abberton). The other
clergy present included the Revds. T.O. Price (Layer), J. Easterling (Donyland), C. Pierrepont Edwards
(West Mersea), Ronald Dunn (East Mersea), F. Theolbold (Wigborough), D. Johnson (Peldon), F.G. Russell
(Tolleshunt Knights), E.P. Henderson (Tolleshunt Major). The chief mourners were Mr Chas. Musselwhite
(nephew) and Mrs Musselwhite, Miss Ada Musselwhite (niece) and Mr. Ralph Musselwhite (nephew).
The Rev. W.B. Hutton, rector of Langenhoe was unavoidably absent through being in the north of England but
he was represented by his brother-in-law, Mr F.E.L. Matterson of Langenhoe Rectory. The Rev. G.A. Hicks, vicar of Fingringhoe was also unable to attend as the funeral of the labourer, Smith who worked for Mr.
Joe Proctor of Langenhoe and had dropped dead in a field at Peldon, was fixed for the same hour as Mr Musselwhite's funeral. In the church where the first part of the service was held, in addition to the
ordinary service, the Nunc Dimittis was sung. Also, the hymns, "On the Resurrection Morning" and "Now the
Labourer's task is o'er". At the grave the service was concluded with the hymn, "Jesus, Lover of my soul"..............
[ Last line of the original has frayed off! ]
Salcot Village Life in Rev. Musselwhite's time
Letter from Mrs A.M. Osborne to Essex Countryside January 1964
I have read the articles and letters written about Mehalah, Ray Island and Virley Church.
My father lived in the village as a youth and I served four years as a pupil teacher at Salcott-Virley School.
No one so far has mentioned the man who was the rector of Salcott when Baring-Gould was at East Mersea. He was Mr Musslewhite [sic]
and he became a friend of the author.
My father told me that Mr Musslewhite told Baring-Gould of a queer marriage that had taken place in
Virley Church, when the bride had been married with an iron ring.
My father also said that on the marshes between Old Hall and Salcott were the remains of a cellar where once
a house had stood, and the local people during 1870-90 said this was the cellar where Elijah Rebow kept his
The blacksmith's shop and cottage where the Rev. Edward Rabbit lived stands beside the main road from D'Arcy
to Colchester. It is now called Forge Cottage and is very well kept.
I last saw Virley church ruins when the late Mr Coker lived at the rectory and served both parishes.
The ruins then were in the rectory garden and they were clean and free from ivy. Inside the church flowers
had been planed and the place was quiet and very peaceful. I had an aunt named Mehalah, and I remember one
of my pupils having the same name, but of course she was called Glory. I do not think the name is in use today.