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Composer dies at Hastings House - 1963

Loughborough Monitor - 25th January 1963

One of the Loughborough area's best-known personalities, 88 year old Mr Charles Murray Rumsey, died in Hastings House Old People's Hospital on Wednesday. Mr Murray Rumsey had recently returned from Leicester Royal Infirmary where he had been treated after a fall. He was well known in the Loughborough area for several activities.

He was born in Brixton, and claimed to trace his ancestry back to George Canning, the 18th century prime minister. He won an early reputation as a chorister and soloist, and studied for five years at the Royal Academy of Music, winning the silver and bronze medals. He became a lay clerk - paid chorister - at Southwark Cathedral, and also sang at Westminster Abbey and St Pauls. In addition he accepted many engagements in all parts of London for concert work, and, in summers, went "busking" at seaside holiday resorts.

But in 1910 he was advised to move to the countryside for health reasons, and paid a temporary visit to Quorn, where his brother, Canon H H Rumsey, was vicar. But he liked the village, and stayed there until a few years ago. His pension from the Royal Society of Musicians was not sufficient to keep him, so he embarked on several ventures. He became an insurance agent, sold sewing machines, and was also for a time sanitary inspector for the former Quorn Urban Council.

He had a hand in many of the village Church's activities and was a licensed lay reader. He composed many pieces of music, including hymns, carols and songs, and an anthem he wrote was played in Westminster Abbey. A keen poet, he published a book called "Rhyme and Reason" and wrote over 700 sermons.

A bachelor, he retired from his many activities in 1957. A nephew, the Rev S J Rumsey, is vicar of Whetstone.

Anthony Cove has informed us that Murray Rumsey was for many years a reporter with the Loughborough Echo. He lived on the north side of Barrow Road, about half-way down.

A parishioner, Rosemary Boaler remembers Murray Rumsey preaching and describes him as a character. No matter where he was preaching, he would always walk to the church. He wrote his sermon on tiny bits of paper, in which he would bury his face and fly through them at considerable speed! She goes on to say 'that any words which might have been caught by a quick ear, got lost in his beard!'

 Submitted on: 2011-01-11
 Updated on: 2011-04-18
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson. Additional information from Anthony Cove and Rosemary Boaler
 Artefact ID: 1165
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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