At the request of the Rector the Revd J.C.M. Mansel Pleydell on the 20th February in the year of our Lord 1883 the following gentlemen met at the rectory to consult as to the best means to be adopted for carrying out the restoration of St Leonard’s Church Bengeo.
Present – The Revd J.C.M.M Pleydell1, Messrs CE Longmore2 & George Palmer3 churchwardens & Mr Gerrard Gosselin4.
1.||_____ In the first place it was agreed that the aforementioned gentlemen should form a committee with power to add to their number.
The report on the Church together with plans for its general repair & also one for a new roof for the chancel a thing greatly needed were given in by Mr Gosselin who had asked Mr Micklethwaite (architect) of 15 Deans Yard Westminster to examine the Church & prepare the same report & plans.
2||__ The Report & plans having been duly considered it was agreed most unanimously that if possible they should carry out Under the superintendence of Mr Micklethwaite and that nothing should be done without his sanction, also that it would be advisable to ask him as to his charges.
3||__ Entering upon the important point of finance it was agreed that undoubtedly (the Church being an ancient monument and of interest to all), outsiders i.e. those not of the parish but of the country generally ought to help the work with money & influence, & therefore that they be told so & asked to send in subscriptions to the Rector,
4|| and in pursuance of this plan it was deemed advisable that Mr Longmore should draw up a circular to be printed& sent round to all those who could or ought to give and also, that, having obtained Mr Micklethwaite’s consent his report should also be printed and sent with the aforementioned Circular.
5| __ Proposed & carried, that various excellent people, given to charity should, as far as lay in our power have their feelings worked upon to get them to help – also that personal letters be written when the circular and report do not seem to take a salutary effect.
6||Proposed by the Rector & carried with acclamation that the Revd W. Wigram Rector of St Andrew’s Church Hertford be asked to belong to this committee his great knowledge of architecture being considered necessary to the forwarding of the work.
7||Also proposed that Capt Croft of Fanham’s Hall, Ware be asked to belong to this Committee, & carried * unanimously __ (*N.B. the proposal , not Capt Croft, badly expressed)
signed J.C.M. Mansel-Pleydell
1 John Colville Morton Mansell-Pleydell (1852 – 1938) was vicar of Bengeo from 1882 – 1895. In 1891 he lived at the rectory on Warren Terrace with Beatrice, his wife, and two daughters and two sons. By 1901 he was vicar of Sturminster Newton, Dorset.
2 Charles E Longmore (1856 – 1930) was a solicitor as was his father before him. The firm still practises in the town today. In 1891 he lived at Port Hill house with Helen, his wife, two daughters and two sons.
3 George E Palmer (1847 – 1919) was a farmer who at the beginning of 1891 lived at Revells Hall, Bengeo with Emily S, his sister, and his brother Edward H. towards the end of the year he married Helen Margaret Ord.
4 Gerard Joshua Hadsley Gosselin (3rd Feb 1855 – 1942) was a gentleman of means who lived with his aunts, Mary and Charlotte at Bengeo Hall. By 1901 he was living in Binham, Norfolk with marion his wife and later they moved to nearbyHindringham Hall.