After the Vicar’s talk to the Mothers’ Union about St Anne’s Church, I wondered how a clergyman could have enough money to pay for a new church, so I started investigating Mr Perry. I re-read the bicentenary book and then went on the web.

Samuel Perry was born in Shenfield, Essex in 1818 the 2nd child of Samuel and Frances Perry. They eventually had 15 children, 7 boys and 8 girls, 13 surviving infancy. The father was a schoolmaster.
Samuel studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and excelled in ancient languages. He moved north to Manchester (by train?) and was made deacon in 1842, then priest in 1843. His 1st curacy was in Clitheroe 1842-1846, his 2nd in Lambeth 1846-1849.

He married Anne Walmsley in St John’s Church, Preston on 12th July 1847. I wonder where he met her?

He became incumbent of St Ann Tottington in 1849, where their 1st child Anne was born. Sadly she died a few weeks later. Another daughter was born in January 1851, Margaret Eliza.

The 1851 census lists the inhabitants of the Parsonage House Tottington as Mr & Mrs Perry, Margaret E (2 months old), Mrs Perry’s sister, Margaret Sanders, Mr Perry’s sister, Anne Adelaide and 3 servants.

Then came all the upsets about crosses and candles on the altar, and the burning of an effigy in Chapel Street. This must have been upsetting for the family. During this Samuel Walmsley was born in July 1852.

Did he have some kind of breakdown or was he just annoyed with Tottingtonians? Because in the 1861 census he was living in Ivy House, Shenfield, Essex with Mrs Perry, 6 sisters, a brother and sister-in-law, 2 nieces, plus servant. Margaret and Samuel were in Southport with Mrs Perry’s sister Margaret. (On holiday?)

He did move back to Tottington and at some time added an “e” to St Ann.

Things did not go well for the Perry family. In January 1868 Samuel Walmsley died and on April 11th 1872 Margaret Eliza died.

In the 1871 census as well as the Perry family, the parish clerk and choirmaster, Joseph Taylor, also lived in the Vicarage.

Mrs Perry did not recover from the loss of her children and moved to Preston and died therein 1875. Mr Perry died on June 22nd 1881 and was buried in St Anne’s graveyard. He left £22,335 1s 2d, a lot of money then. I still haven’t found out if he saved it, inherited it, or something else, but it wasn’t used to build a new church in place of our much loved one.