Rev Henry Dowsett

Henry Dowsett was Rector of Holcombe from 1875 until 1905.  He is best known for his two books “Notes on Holcombe” (1901) and “Holcombe Long Ago” (1902).  These show his great love of the area and his interest in its history, geology and wildlife.  He was instrumental in the erection of the monument now on the site of the Pilgrim’s Cross.

Memorial in the Church
Memorial in the Church

Dowsett’s memorial at the east end of the nave in the church is shown above.  His grave is on the north side of the church.  It seems to have been originally created in 1893 for his wife Lydia whose inscription is on the top of the memorial as shown below.  Dowsett died in Southport but was buried beside his first wife.  His inscription on the vertical edge of the stone below is difficult to read.  On the western end of the memorial is a further inscription to another wife Betsey who died in 1954 aged 89.

The Dowsett Grave by the Church

Article No 10 of Ramsbottom Heritage Society’s 6th Magazine describes an altercation on Whit Friday in 1892 between Rev Dowsett and some of the senior scholars at the Village School who he had caught indulging in the (to him) sinful pursuit of dancing.