The Revd. Henry Meredith Larner was the Rector of Busbridge from 1905-1927.

He was born on the 4 June 1866 in Woolwich, son of E W Larner, coffee merchant of Colwin, Upper Addiscombe Road, Addiscombe, Surrey. In the April 1881 census he was a pupil at a school run by Frederick Schriener, a South African, at Compton Place Road in Eastbourne, Sussex. He was admitted as a scholar to St Paul’s School on the 5th May 1881 and left the Maths 8th Form in 1885. He was awarded an exhibition at Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1885 and became a BA (26th Wrangler) in 1888, and MA in 1892. The Alumni Cantabrigienses also provides a biographical sketch of his clerical career. He took Holy Orders having trained at the Cambridge Clergy Training College 1888 and 1890, and was ordained deacon (Winchester) in 1890; priest 1891; Curate of Witley in 1890-4; Curate of All Saints' Cambridge 1894-7; Chaplain of Pembroke 1896-7; Curate of St Peter’s, Eaton Square, London, 1897-8; Curate of St Mary Abbots’s, Kensington 1898-1901; Chaplain to the Forces in the South African War, 1901-2; attached to the MI and the 3rd Battalion the Grenadier Guards; Curate of Hursley, Hants 1904-5.

He was Rector of Busbridge from 1905-27, twenty-two years. During this time he was the British Civil Chaplain at Calais 1915-16; temporary Chaplain to the Forces in France and Belgium 1917-18.

He was Vicar of Milford-on-Sea, Hants 1927-30, and Rector of Dogmersfield 1932-8.

Revd. Larner came back to Busbridge to assist the Revd. Symes Thompson at the funeral of Gertrude Jekyll in 1932.

While he was Rector of Busbridge he had researched the area and privately printed Busbridge, Godalming, Surrey, A History Ancient and Modern in 1947. This included chapters on place names, Hydon Ball, Old Mynster Church, Tuesley, Busbridge Hall, the Ramsdens, the parish (including the school, familiar figures, Holloway Hill, Ecclesiastical areas and civil areas), parish church, Winkworth Hill (distinguished residents), Gertrude Jekyll, First World War, and natural history (geological features, rainfall, mammals, a fox hunt at Munstead Wood in 1925, birds, butterflies, moths, fossils trees and wild flowers).

He died at Cambridge on 10 March 1950.

Godalming Museum © 2004



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