Companion to Northbridge Rectory

Almost of the same excellence as the earlier novels, and in spite of the plethora of characters it is the best of her “war” novels, giving the flavor of wartime England in a small village. The plot revolves around Mr. Villars, vicar of Northbridge, his wife, and several officers billeted on them. Other war workers include Miss Pemberton and Mr. Downing, Poppy Turner and her nieces, Miss Hopgood and Miss Crowder, Miss Hopgood’s aunt, and Father Tubby Fewling. Highlights: birdwatching expeditions; watching for paratroop assaults from the church tower; a dinner party interrupted by an air raid; a visit from the garrulous Mrs. Spender; a disquisition on the trials of the Christmas season; Miss Pemberton tries to hide poverty and poor health while keeping Mr. Downing under her thumb; Mr. Downing’s occasional mild rebellion; many vignettes of the English people coping with wartime conditions with cheerfulness and ingenuity. The plot is rather slender and is used mainly to hang assorted incidents upon. The cast of characters is numerous but manageable and the number of memorable eccentrics is large.


Book Title and Abbreviation

High Rising HR
Wild Strawberries WS
The Demon in the House DH
Mrs. Morland and Son MMS
August Folly AF
Summer Half SH
Pomfret Towers PT
The Brandons B
Before Lunch BL
Cheerfulness Breaks In CBI
Northbridge Rectory NR
Marling Hall MH
Growing Up GU
The Headmistress H
Miss Bunting MB
Peace Breaks Out PBO
Private Enterprise PE
Love Among the Ruins LAR
The Old Bank House OBH
County Chronicle CC
The Duke’s Daughter DD
Happy Return HR2
Jutland Cottage JC
What Did It Mean? WDM
Enter Sir Robert ESR
Never Too Late NTL
A Double Affair DA
Close Quarters CQ
Love at All Ages LAA
Three Score and Ten TST


Character, Description, and Book Abbreviations

Annie The Villars’ second housemaid at Northbridge Rectory. Her footfall made one think of air-raids. NR
Barton, Walter Resident of Mellings House in Nutfield on Pomfret Estate. Senior partner of architecture firm Barton and Wicklow. Wife Susan, children Guy and Alice. His firm repaired Hiram’s Hospital. Author of Minor Domestic Architecture of East Barsetshire. PT, BL, CBI, NR, MH, HM, PE, OBH, WDIM, ESR, DA, CQ, LAA
Beasley, Commander Royal Navy, Ret. Elderly and crotchety resident of Tork Cottage in Northbridge. No one ever got up nerve to ask about the cottage’s name because he was so cross. While pretending to be a gas case in a drill during the war, got fed up and went home to write to the Times. Believed the key to the past and the future was to be found in Cleopatra’s Needle and explained all occurrences thereby. NR, WDIM, DA
Benton Col. Passmore’s dentist. Made his false teeth and told him he had the best mouth for fitting he’d ever seen. Wrote article about Passmore’s mouth, though Passmore sometimes had to have his uppers forcibly extracted. Also Mr. Villars’ dentist. NR
Bernardo Italian writer. Disagreed with Miss Pemberton’s theory that Giacopini was illegitimate offspring of Cosimo de Strelsa. NR
Bill One of a group accompanied by Betty Turner to Fish Hill, where they saw a golden-crested mippet. NR
Binder, General Visited the Spenders and admired Mrs. Spender’s method of carrying tea, sugar, and butter in boxes to help those for whom it was rationed. NR
Birkett, Amy Wife of William Birkett, headmaster of Southbridge School. “Ma Birky” to the schoolboys. Daughters Rose and Geraldine. Close friend of Laura Morland, the novelist. HR1, DH, SH, CBI, NR, GU, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, HR2, JC, WDIM, 3S&T, MMS
Birkett, William (Henry?) Headmaster of Southbridge School. Usually called William, but is called Henry in GU and 3S&T. Had been assistant master and Head of the Prep School before becoming Headmaster. Retired in 1947 and took the Dower House at Worsted. HR1, SH, CBI, NR, GU, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Bishop of Barchester Never mentioned by name. Parsimonious, low-church, unpopular. One son, said to be “in mission field” but really worked in office at Westminster. Preached love for Germans, Communists, etc., and was a Liberal. Nicknamed “Old Gasbag.” Worthy successor to Trollope’s Bishop Proudie. Never made on “on-stage” appearance. SH, B, BL, CBI, NR, MH, GU, HM, MB, PBO, PE, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, NTL, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Bompard Mentioned by Harold Downing as an advocate of certain methods of pronunciation of 12th-century French in Provençal dialect. NR
Brandon, Delia b. 1920. Daughter of Lavinia Brandon. 18 at first appearance in B. Became engaged to Hilary Grant in B. Son Freddie, daughter Felicia. Worked in Barchester Infirmary during war. Competent and a bit overpowering, much like Octavia (Crawley) Needham and Geraldine Birkett Fairweather. Fascinated by nursing. B, CBI, NR, MH, GU, HM, PBO, PE, OBH, CC, HR2
Brown, Fred Mrs. Spender’s uncle, whom she was sure the Rev. Villars knew because he (ViIlars) had been head of Coppin’s School in Somerset. It turned out that Fred went to Harberton Grammar School in Yorkshire. NR
Brown, Lady Lived at Les Monettes, where she gave a Russian dancer carte blanche to gamble at Monte Carlo. He lost everything, including his gold anklet. NR
Bunce d. 1957. “Old Bunce,” the ferryman at Northbridge. Claimed the war would start in the fall because he knew the signs. Daughters Effie and Ruby. Foul-mouthed domestic tyrant, suspected of beating his daughters (who probably deserved it). Probably meant to be a descendant of Trollope’s Bunce, senior bedesman in Hiram’s Hospital, though Old Bunce represents all the negative traits of the “lower orders,” unlike Trollope’s Bunce. SH, CBI, NR, MB, PE, OBH, JC, WDIM, DA, LAA, 3S&T
Bunce, Effie Came by the day to do for Miss Pemberton in Northbridge. Worked at Master’s Dairy near Hallbury in MB. Had several illegitimate children by unknown fathers. SH, NR, MB, OBH, WDIM, NTL, DA, LAA, 3S&T
Bunce, Mrs. Wife of “Old Bunce” the ferryman, but in reality never married him. Died of excessive quantities of gin. SH, NR, MB, PE, WDIM, LAA
Bunce, Ruby Like her sister Effie, she was slovenly but hard-working, amoral, haphazard, and near illiterate. Had several illegitimate offspring by unknown fathers. SH, NR, WDIM, NTL, DA, LAA, 3S&T
Bunce, Young Son of “Old Bunce.” He was 63 and was hit with a mattock by Hibberd for digging a grave in “Hibberd’s churchyard” while Hibberd was delirious with flu. Cowman for the Mertons at Northbridge. SH, NR, OBH, WDIM, 3S&T
Camargou, Reynault Medieval Provençal poet of whom Harold Downing wrote a biography. NR
Champion, Peter Worked in office for Barsetshire Regiment. Was a male nurse in private life, and helped with Northbridge flu epidemic. NR
Chapman, Bert Illegitimate son of Bob Chapman and “Mrs.” Chapman. Served in Merchant Navy. During war found himself a mess waiter in same regiment as his father. Reported missing in Far East, but ran away with native girl while stationed there. Sent Mrs. Chapman a postcard every Christmas. NR, WDIM
Chapman, Bob Mrs. Chapman’s “husband.” Ran away and left her with a son, Bert. During war he and Bert were mess waiters in the same regiment. NR
Chapman, Mrs. Bob “Mrs.” by courtesy. Cook for the Villarses at Northbridge Rectory. Son Bert was originally in the Merchant Navy. Effie Bunce’s aunt. NR, WDIM
Clifford, Mr. Village schoolmaster at Northbridge. NR, WDIM
Coates, Adrian Publisher of Laura Morland’s books. Lived in London and had some “Jewish blood.” Proposed to Mrs. Morland under the influence of a motor wreck and George Knox’s punch, was refused (to his relief), later married Knox’s daughter Sibyl. HR1, DH, PT, B, CBI, NR, MH, MB, PBO, LAR, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, LAA, 3S&T, MMS
Copper, Mrs. Northbridge resident. NR
Crawley, Josiah Canon, Dean of Barchester. First seen as a friend of Lady Pomfret in PT. Eight children, 17 grandchildren in PE. Had shared digs with George Knox at Oxford. Once blackballed Sir Ogilvy Hibberd for Polyanthus Club. Grandson of Josiah Crawley, curate of Hogglestock in Trollope’s novels. Opposed Bishop’s parsimony and low-church, Liberal views. DH, SH, PT, B, CBI, NR, MH, GU, HM, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Crawley, Mrs. Wife of Josiah Crawley, Dean of Barchester. Gave lavish teas to county families, subtly underscoring the miserliness of the Bishop and Bishopess at the Palace. Two sons, six daughters, including Secunda, Tertia, Octavia. SH, BL, CBI, NR, MH, GU, HM, MB, PBO, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, NTL, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Crawley, Octavia Youngest daughter of Dean Crawley. Competent, managing, hard-working. Interested in nursing. Married Rev. Tommy Needham and was a conscientious clergyman’s wife. Numerous children. CBI, NR, MH, GU, HM, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, WDIM, ESR, DA, LAA, 3S&T
Crowder, Miss Lived at Glycerine Cottage, Northbridge, with Miss Hopgood. They were maiden ladies who were convinced they were spiritually French, so they went to the Riviera each year and mystified the natives with their language. NR, WDIM, DA
Danby, Rev. Vicar of Southbridge. CBI, NR
deCourcy, Lady Aunt of Tommy Greaves. Was hard up and occasionally had to let her villa on the Riviera. Mother of George deCourcy. NR, LAR, ESR, DA, LAA
Doris Maid to Mrs. Turner at The Hollies, Northbridge. NR
Downing, Harold b. 1886. Writer on Provençal literature of Medieval Period. Rented room from Ianthe Pemberton in Northbridge, and was practically imprisoned by her possessiveness. Was compiling anthology of 12th-century Provençal lyrics, had written life of poet Reynault Camargou. Almost married Poppy Turner in NR, did so thirteen years later in WDIM. NR, PBO, PE, CC, HR2, JC, WDIM, DA, 3S&T
Dunsford, Barbara Lived with widowed mother in Hovis House at Northbridge. Daughter of Gen. Dunsford. Helped with spotting duties on church tower on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. NR, PE, WDIM, DA, CQ, LAA
Dunsford, Gen. Deceased resident of Northbridge. Interested in Norse legends. NR, PE, DA
Dunsford, Mrs. Along with her daughter, helped with spotting duties on church tower, but only on Mondays. Typical country widow of middle-class family. Distantly related to the Hallidays. NR, PE, WDIM, DA, CQ
Dutton, Lt. Young officer of Barsetshires billeted on Villarses at Northbridge. In private life was a leftist intellectual don. Was sent back to depot by Col. Passmore because of his habit of asking uncomfortable and ironic questions. NR
Duval, Mme; Mlle. Marie-Claire; and Mme. Henri Members of Free-French family who spent Christmas with Misses Hopgood and Crowder at Northbridge. NR
Egouts, Vidarne de Provençal resident of Middle Ages. Made his wife eat her lover’s heart, according to novel by Prof. Gawky, though according to Miss Pemberton it was his lungs and liver. NR, WDIM
Fairfax-Raven Friend of John Villars. Hurt his foot parachuting. NR
Farker, Derrick Mrs. Poppy Turner’s youngest evacuee child. NR
Fewling, Father George “Tubby” Former Naval chaplain (Commander), son of a successful merchant. Anglo-Catholic priest in Northbridge. Rector of St. Sycorax and head of boy scouts. Later became Vicar of Greshamsbury and Honorary Canon of Barchester. Fond of Margot Phelps but she married Donald Macfadyen, the large-scale market gardener. After Macfadyen’s death, he married her. NR, PE, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Filgrave Dentist in Barchester. NR
Finlay Boy at Coppins’s School. Pinched some toffee from Holden and got into an awful row. NR
Fitchett, Sid Son of Northbridge grocer. Worked with Trowel the Builder. Caught with Effie Bunce in the air-raid shelter. Possible father of one of her numerous illegitimate offspring. NR, PE
Fitchett Grocer and Coals in Northbridge. NR, PE
Foster Parlormaid at Northbridge Rectory. Tyrannical and disapproving. NR, PE, WDIM
Foster, Giles, Lord, 7th Earl d. 1940. Old Lord Pomfret. Resided at Pomfret Towers. Fabled for rudeness, boring dinners, and efforts to prevent modernization of the surrounding countryside. Brother of Lady Emily Leslie and Lady Agnes Foster. Married Edith Thorne. Author of A Landowner in Five Reigns. Bought Pooker’s Piece to keep Sir Ogilvy Hibberd from building on it. Died in May 1940 in CBO, with the names of his dead wife and son on his lips. PT, B, BL, CBI, NR, MH, GU, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, NTL, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Freddy Son of a friend of Verena Villars. Was being promoted. Had sister Rosemary, lived in Norfolk. His father, Freddy Sr., had just gotten over influenza NR
Frobisher 2d Lt. In the Old Scrapiron destroyer with Father Fewling. He referred to a kitchen boy as a galley slave. NR
Fyffe-Thompson Nephew of Prof. Fyffe-Thompson. Passed his school certificate at age 14. NR
Fyffe-Thompson, Ivy Sister of Prof. Fyffe-Thompson. Was at school with Poppy Turner, who remembered her as an “odious girl in a blue serge suit and red  flannel blouse with white spots.” (One assumes the blouse, not Ivy, was spotted.) Popular and good at hockey. NR
Fyffe-Thompson, Prof. Provençal scholar derided by Harold Downing in his book. NR
Garagon, Numa (M. Bontemps) 12th-century Provençal poet to whom Miss Pemberton attributed authorship of The Andalhou. An ardent Filibriste, maire of small commune near Lille. NR, CC, WDIM
Gawky, Prof. Female Provençal scholar who wrote historical novel, Gaily the Troubadour, about the Vidame des Egouts. Had communist views. NR, WDIM
George Mrs. Spender’s gruff and disagreeable uncle. Was Mixo-Lydian consul. NR
Giacopini, Giacopone, detto II Giacopinaccio Creator of two altar-pieces not seen since 1474, on which Ianthe Pemberton was writing a monograph. Thought by Miss Pemberton to be the illegitimate son of Cosimo de Strelsa and Violante, a nun. NR
Gibbs Residents of Northbridge who took in evacuee children because all of theirs died young. NR
Glendower, Evan Minor lyric writer interviewed on BBC. All long hair and legs too short for his body, with an inferiority complex. NR
Goblin, Prof. A Russian who tried to claim discovery of the star Porter Sidus for himself. NR
Grantly, Archdeacon Theoph. Archdeacon of Barchester in 1850s, son of old Bishop Grantly. Choleric and conservative. Rector of Plumstead Episcopi. Great-Grandfather of Rev. Septimus Grantley of the Thirkell novels. NR, PE, OBH, HR2, CQ
Grantly, Susan (Harding) Wife of Archdeacon Theophilus Grantly in 1850s. Daughter of Rev. Septimus Harding, sister of Eleanor Harding Bold Arabin. Mother of Charles, James, Henry, Samuel, Florinda, and Griselda. In The Warden and Barchester Towers, less prominent in Dr. Thorne, Framley Parsonage, and Last Chronicle. NR
Greaves, Lt. Tommy Young officer of Barsetshires billeted on Villarses at Northbridge. Jovial, life-of-the-party type. Nephew of Lady deCourcy. Stockbroker in London after war. NR, DA
Haella Thane for whom Hallbrook stream was named. NR, WDIM
Hamilton, Derek A submarine lieutenant. NR
Hampton, Miss Hard-drinking, masculine spinster. Resided at Adelina Cottage in Southbridge with friend Miss Bent. Author of earthy novels, usually selected by the Banned-Book-of-the-Month Club. Drove ambulance in Northern France in WW I. Helped support four nephews—two in Army, one Navy, one in Consular Service. CBI, NR, GU, MB, PBO, OBH, CC, HR2, JC, WDIM, NTL, CQ, 3S&T
Harker, Mr. Curate in Northbridge, practically a celibate, “an uninteresting man.” NR
Hibberd Sexton of Northbridge Church. Also gardener at Rectory when the mood struck. NR, PE
Hibberd Grandson of the Northbridge sexton. A bright lad who put a fan in the St. Sycorax A.R.P. shelter. Probably son of Doris. NR, PE
Hibberd, Doris Worked for Mrs. Turner at Northbridge (probably daughter of the sexton). Had illegitimate child. NR, WDIM
Hicks, Mrs. Bessie Bunce Tubby Fewling’s housekeeper. Niece of “Old Bunce.” Was once in service at Gatherum Castle. Rented rooms. NR, JC, WDIM, DA, CQ, LAA
Hislop, Father Priest at St. Oregon’s at Nutfield. Very high church—incense, bowing before altar, striking head on floor, etc. The Misses Talbot attended his church briefly, a welcome respite for Father Fewling. NR
Holden, Lt. b. 1907. Lieutenant in Barsetshires billeted on Villarses in NR. Was in Adrian Coates’ publishing firm before war, was also assistant master in school headed by Gregory Villars. Was sentimentally attracted to Mrs. Villars. Promoted to Capt. and transferred. Became Adrian Coates’ partner after the war. Married with three children in WDIM. NR, JC, WDIM, DA
Hooper, Lt. Young officer in the Barsetshires billeted on the Villarses in Northbridge. His false teeth once fell out at depot. Was a captain in GU. Obnoxious without intending to be. Not “quite quite.” In military intelligence. NR, GU, MB, PBO
Hoots Gunner in Barsetshires who visited Mrs. Turner’s nieces. NR
Hopgood, Helen Called Florrie in WDIM. Known as “Miss Hopgood’s aunt,” resident of Northbridge. Large, competent woman with badly-cut clothes. Widow of American astronomer who discovered the star Porter Sidus in the constellation Algareb while working at Matthew Porter observatory in Texas. She supplied a telescope for the airplane spotters on the Northbridge Church tower. NR, PE, JC, WDIM, DA
Hopgood, Miss Miriam Occupant of Glycerine Cottage, Northbridge, which she shared with Miss Crowder. They were maiden ladies convinced that they were spiritually French, so they visited the Riviera each year, stayed in a pension that catered to the English, and spent most of their time mispronouncing French words and cooking bad imitations of French meals. NR, PE, JC, WDIM, DA
Hopper, Jimmy Son of Mr. Hopper, the cobbler. Broke his leg ice-skating on frozen water in the bottom of the air-raid shelter. NR
Hopper, Mr. Less popular of the two Northbridge cobblers. Avowed communist and atheist. NR, WDIM
Horkins, Lady Woman whom Miss Hopgood and Miss Crowder met on the Riviera. NR
Hover, Hovis, or Offa Wool-stapler of Northbridge who built Hover’s House, today known as Hovis House, where the Dunsfords lived. NR
Isadore Bus conductor on the Riviera on whose name Lady Horkins made a pun. NR
Jackson, Cpl. Arthur Fishguard Served as a sort of under-parlourmaid to officers of Barsetshires who were billeted on the Villarses at Northbridge. Married Edie Pover, the housemaid at the rectory. Became electrician in Northbridge. (Fishguard is a port town in South Wales.) NR, GU, CC, CQ
Jimmy Friend of Capt. Topham and Lt. Greaves. Accompanied them to Ascot. A gunner. NR
Keith, Helen Mother of Robert, Kate, Colin, and Lydia. Boring and domestic, not very intelligent. Lived at Northbridge Manor. Had “a bit of a heart.” During war went to Bournemouth to live with her sister Kate. Dead by WDIM 1954. SH, B, CBI, NR, GU, PE, OBH, HR2, JC, WDIM
Keith, Lydia Tomboyish younger sister of Robert, Kate, and Colin. Awkward, gauche, boisterous, and energetic, until marriage to Noel Merton moved her energy into constructive channels. Children Lavinia, Harry, Jessica. During war she miscarried her first child because of overwork. Hurt by Noel’s flirtation with Peggy Arbuthnot in PE but was reconciled to her husband, whom she loved dearly. SH, B, CBI, NR, GU, HM, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Keith, Robert Brother of Kate, Colin, and Lydia. Wife Edith. Senior partner of Keith and Keith law firm. Bought home in Nutfield in GU and sold Northbridge Manor to brother-in-law Noel Merton. SH, CBI, NR, MH, GU, PE, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, WDIM, ESR, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
le Biau, Guibert Provençal 12th-century poet to whom Harold Downing attributed authorship of the Andalhou. NR, WDIM
Longford Junior master at Coppins’ School. Kept Mrs. Villars’ handkerchief until he found out it was really Matron’s. Married Parton Major’s elder sister and went into Mr. Parton’s business. NR
Louisa Mrs. Dunsford’s aunt. Was rescued by a faithful ayah during the Mutiny by being dyed brown as an Indian. NR
Martha Maid to Miss Hopgood at Glycerine Cottage in Northbridge. NR
Martin One of a group accompanied by Betty Turner to Fish Hill, where they saw a Golden-Crested Mippet. NR
Mas-Cagnou, Vicomte de Mentioned by Harold Downing as an advocate of certain methods of pronunciation of 12th-century Proveneçal dialect. NR
Merriman Provençal scholar who had his knife into Harold Downing since Downing’s review of his Cultural Influence of the Court of King René. NR
Merton, Noel First seen in SH as a young barrister, Married Lydia Keith having fallen in love with her gradually while watching her grow up. Had miraculous escape at Dunkirk, convalesced at Beliers Priory near Worsted. Later in Military Intelligence. He and Lydia bought her old home, Northbridge Manor. Had flirtation with Peggy Arbuthnot in PE which caused rare friction with Lydia. (Jessica Dean straightened him out.) Became a QC, ran for Parliament in 1952. Became Sir Noel after Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. SH, B, CBI, NR, GU, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, JC, WDIM, ESR, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Miller, Rev. Justin Vicar of Pomfret Madrigal, with strong Anglo-Catholic leanings. Married Ella Morris to whom he was attached years before but separated because of theological disagreement with her father. Became Vicar of St. in 1949. Had stepmother in Harrogate. Was on rowing crew at Lazarus College, where he was nicknamed “Goggers.” B, CBI, NR, MH, GU, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, DA
Morland, Henry Deceased husband of Laura Morland. Somewhat of a nonentity, Laura said he was “quite easy to get on with and then he died.” HR1, DH, NR, GU, MB, JC, LAA, 3S&T
Morland, Laura b. 1891. Widow of Henry Morland, sons Dick, John, Gerald, and Tony. Lived at High Rising. Author of Madame Koska mystery thrillers, which she began writing to support herself and sons. Also wrote two books anonymously. Attractive but rather scatter-brained, tended to lose glasses and hairpins. Acted as unofficial secretary at Southbridge School during war. It is generally thought that she is at least partially based on the author herself, though AT was, by repute, a more sardonic personality than Laura Morland. HR1, DH, SH, B, CBI, NR, MH, GU, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, JC, WDIM, ESR, NTL, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T, MMS
Morland, Tony b. 1921. Son of Henry and Laura Morland. Student at Southbridge School at first appearance, major interest was model trains. Became Sr. Monitor at Southbridge. Talkative, self-centered, well-intentioned with frequently disastrous results, one-track mind when a child. Attended Oxford. In Army in Burma during war. Worked for Red Tape and Sealing Wax Office after war. Married with four children. HR1, WS, DH, SH, B, CBI, NR, MH, GU, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, JC, WDIM, ESR, NTL, LAA, 3S&T, MMS
Moss, Pvt. Office typist for Barsetshire Regiment. Formerly employed by a firm of racing touts. NR, GU
O’Brien, Mr. Master at Coppins’ School. Came to school entertainments in a saffron kilt because his ancestors were Kings of Ireland. NR
Passmore, Col. Officer in Barsetshires, billeted at Northbridge Rectory. Middle-aged solicitor who had also served in WWI. Flirted facetiously and outrageously with Mrs. Paxon. Was a grandfather. NR
Paxon, Mr. Husband of Minnie Paxon. Worked in Barchester as bank manager. A bit lower class, and something of a nonentity compared to his energetic wife. NR, WDIM
Paxon, Mrs. “Minnie” Called “Minnie” because she played Minnehaha in Hiawatha with the South Wembly Amateur Choral Society. Ran almost every war-related organization in Northbridge, with a uniform for each. Small and wiry. Maddeningly conscientious about rationing. A bit lower class. Flirted outrageously and facetiously with Col. Passmore. Real name was Florrie Paxon. NR, WDIM
Pemberton, Ianthe Spinster of Northbridge. Wrote a life of Elizabeth Rivers, Edward IV’s queen, as well as essays on Umbrian landscape. Short and ugly, necessarily parsimonious, she wore homespun sackcloth-looking dresses, a felt hat, and carried an alpenstock for poking dogs into the gutter. Lived at Punshions Cottage, rented room to Harold Downing, whom she bullied possessively and jealously. Was dead by mid-1950s. NR, MB, PBO, CC, HR2, JC, WDIM, DA, LAA
Percy Mr. Greaves’ cousin. Had been in a destroyer commanded by Father Fewling. NR
Perry Butcher in Northbridge. NR
Peters Porter at Mrs. Spender’s London club. NR
Petitot Did liaison with French for the Barsetshires when they were in France. Married the daughter of Mrs. Ramsden of the Pension Ramsden (where Miss Hopgood and Miss Crowder stayed). NR
Pettinger, Bertha Headmistress of Barchester High School. Highly unpopular. Known to the girls as “The Beast.” Had tired waved hair and painted her face. Madeleine Sparling lived with her before the Hosiers’ Girls’ School moved to Harefield Park. Received OBE when she retired. SH, B, CBI, NR, GU, HM, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, DD, JC, WDIM, 3S&T
Phelps, Admiral “Irons” Retired Rear Admiral. Small, dry-faced, quiet, and efficient worker on vital committees. Lived at Jutland Cottage in Southbridge. Secretary of British Legion, Boy Scouts, and District Nursing Association, and churchwarden. Wounded at Battle of Jutland. Not well off financially. In increasingly poor health. Died in CQ. CBI, NR, GU, PE, JC, WDIM, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Pilchard Owner of largest store in Barchester. NR, MH, DA, 3S&T
Pomfret, Giles, Lord, 7th Earl d. 1940. Old Lord Pomfret. Resided at Pomfret Towers. Fabled for rudeness, boring dinners, and efforts to prevent modernization of the surrounding countryside. Brother of Lady Emily Leslie and Lady Agnes Foster. Married Edith Thorne. Author of A Landowner in Five Reigns. Bought Pooker’s Piece to keep Sir Ogilvy Hibberd from building on it. Died in May 1940, in CBO, with the names of his dead wife and son on his lips. PT, B, BL, CBI, NR, MH, GU, MB, PBO, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, NTL, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Pont, Mrs. K. Contributor to Parish newspaper of a household tip about making a receptacle for soiled linen out of a music stool with a hinged lid. NR
Porter, Walter Concord American who put up the money for publication of Biographical Dictionary of Provence by Harold Downing and Ianthe Pemberton. Owned most of Porterville, endowed observatory where Miss Hopgood’s aunt’s husband used to work. NR, CC, HR2, JC, WDIM, DA
Potter Storekeeper at Northbridge. NR
Pover, Alice Edith (Edie) Kitchenmaid to Villarses at Northbridge Rectory. Half-witted, terrified by Mrs. Chapman, the cook. Rabbit-faced and spectacled with pale scant hair. Married Cpl. Arthur F. Jackson. NR, CC
Powell-Jones, Capt. Officer with Barsetshires billeted on Villarses in Northbridge. Taciturn man used to coaching men in Cymric at Bognor. Expert in Welsh languages. NR
Powlett, Mr. Verger at Harefield. Wife cooked for the Rector. Now deceased. Usually drank his wages on Saturday. His father was the sexton. NR
Preston, Jackie Friend of the Spenders near Nutfield, whose children are the same age as the Spenders but considered much inferior by Mrs. Spender. Daughter Joan. NR
Proudie, Bishop Thomas Bishop of Barchester in 1850s and 1860s. Small man with great pompousness, dominated by his wife. Most prominent in Trollope’s Barsetshire novels. B, NR, PBO, OBH, JC, ESR, DA, CQ
Puckle Barchester linen-draper whose office formed an unofficial County Ladies’ Club. NR
Pumper, Derrick Mrs. Turner’s elder evacuee. NR
Ramsden, Mme. Widow of a British Army Sgt.-Major. Daughter of Mrs. Petitot. Ran the Pension Ramsden where Misses Crowder and Hopgood stayed every year in France. NR, DA
Ron Small evacuee staying with Mrs. Turner in Northbridge. Cousin of Derrick Farker and Derrick Pumper. His Mum had a new baby sister. NR
Rosemary Daughter of a friend of Verena Villars. Just got through her high school certificate with 8 credits. Lived in Norfolk. NR
Sampson Printer in Northbridge. Had mentally defective nephew who helped him. NR
Scatcherd Son of Mr. Scatcherd of Scatcherd’s Stores, Northbridge. According to Father Fewling, would make an excellent troop leader for the St. Sycorax scout troop. NR
Scatcherd Old storekeeper in Northbridge. Brother of the Hatch End artist. Had muttonchop whiskers. Daughter Hettie, one son. NR, PBO, WDIM, ESR
Scatcherd, Jean Daughter (or granddaughter) of Scatcherd the Northbridge grocer. A VAD during war. NR
Spender, Billy b. 1934. Elder son of Major Robert Spender. In NR he was to attend Coppin’s School the next year. Had written and illustrated stories, and doting father thought him “as good as Balzac and Michael Angelo.” NR, GU, LAR, DD, ESR
Spender, Clarissa b. 1939. Daughter of Maj. Robert Spender. According to doting mother she was a gifted ballerina at age 3. Her second teeth were coming in all crooked in GU. Was attending Barchester High in DD. NR, GU, DD, ESR
Spender, Major Robert Major in Barsetshire, billeted on Villarses at Northbridge. Thin and sensitive, he spent his spare time writing to his wife and 3 children. Went to Coppin’s School where Mr. Villars was formerly head. Had voluble and tiresome wife whom he loved dearly. Called “Hopkins” in ESR. NR, GU, LAR, DD, ESR
Spender, Mrs. Maiden name Williams. Talkative and exhausting wife of Maj. Spender. Spent some weeks at Northbridge Rectory. Mother of Billy, Jimmy, and Clarissa, about whom she bragged constantly. Bullied her husband and talked baby-talk to him (called him “Bobbums”). Short, stout, and forty, she followed quotations of her own thoughts with “she said” and “though I say it as shouldn’t.” Was fond of telling of her economical but appalling recipes. Deceased father was Mixo-Lydian consul. NR, GU, LAR, DD, ESR
Stables, Dr. Gordon Deceased publisher of the Boy’s Own Paper. NR
Strelsa, Cosimo da 15th-century member of the Italian branch of the Pomfret family, exiled and fined for seducing Violante, a nun. Miss Pemberton believed their offspring was Giacopone Giacopini. NR, ESR
Talbot, Dr. Tufnell, F.R.P.S. b.1852. Brother of Prof. Amorel Talbot of Northbridge. Widower for 52 years, liked to complain of loneliness. NR
Talbot, Miss (Marjorie) b.1891. Lived at Aloes in Northbridge with younger sister Dolly and elderly father Prof. Amorel Talbot. In appearance, similar to her sister. Their enthusiasm for the Church is a severe cross borne by Father Fewling. Pillars of the Red Cross. NR, PE, WDIM, DA
Talbot, Miss Dolly b.1892. Lived at Aloes in Northbridge with her sister Marjorie and elderly father Prof. Amorel Talbot. Gray hair, battered tweeds, and brogues NR, PE, WDIM, DA
Talbot, Prof. Amorel (1860-1945) or (1857-1952) or ? Father of Miss Talbot and Miss Dolly Talbot of Northbridge. Expert on Medieval Church. Had brothers Sir Alwyn and Dr. Tufnell. Mind not what it once was. Dead by time of PE. Dead again by WDIM, and again by DA (1957) — Wow! NR, PE, WDIM, DA
Talbot, Sir Alwyn 1857-1945. Brother of Prof. Talbot of Northbridge and Dr. Tufnell Talbot. Former principal of the Board of Tape and Sealing Wax. NR, WDIM
Topham, Capt. Crosby Billeted on the Villarses in Northbridge during war. Member of the Barsetshires. Married Betty Turner. Inherited a place in Dewitt’s Broad from an uncle and became the local squire. NR
Tower, Mrs. Old lady whose grave Hibberd had to dig while the drought was on and the ground hard. NR
Trouncer, Mrs. “Old” Mrs. Trouncer whose grave was almost late being dug because the sexton was admiringly watching Misses Hampton and Bent digging their wartime garden. Died at 99 in Northbridge, despite a bet with Hibberd the sexton she’d live to be 100. Hibberd was sick with flu and mad with disappointment that he couldn’t dig her grave. Young Bunce dug it. CBI, NR
Trowell Builder in Northbridge. NR, WDIM
Trowell, Norma Worked at the telephone exchange. Apparently daughter of Trowell the builder. NR
Tudor, Glamora Seemed to be the star of every motion picture at the Barchester Odeon, including “Moonlight Passion,” “Lips of Desire,” “They Loved Too Well,” etc. Always with a different leading man. B, BL, CBI, NR, MH, MB, PBO, LAR, OBH, CC, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, NTL, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Tupper, Mr. Air-raid warden near Mrs. Spender’s home. NR
Turner, Betty Young niece of Mrs. Poppy Turner of Northbridge, with whom she and her sister lived after their parents died of influenza. First encountered on a picnic in B. Began each new statement with her favorite word, “Ackcherly.” Married Capt. Crosby Topham, lived in Norfolk after war. B, CBI, NR, MB, PE, WDIM
Turner, Cecil Deceased husband of Poppy Turner. An unmitigated cad and waster until death removed him after a year of marriage. Spent his final days in a home for alcoholics. NR, JC, WDIM
Turner, Miss Other niece of Mrs. Turner, first name never given. Married Tommy Greaves. CBI, NR, MB, PE, WDIM
Turner, Poppy Resided at The Hollies in Northbridge with her two nieces, Betty and “Mrs. Turner’s other niece.” A sprightly and energetic widow. Ran communal kitchen during war. Harold Downing was attracted, but was prevented from marrying her first by his dominant landlady’s possessiveness (Miss Pemberton) and then by his belief that his studious life was not suited for Mrs. Turner. Mrs. Turner lived with Betty and her husband after war, but returned to Northbridge and married Downing in 1953. CBI, NR, MB, PE, JC, WDIM, DA
Vidler Poulterer in Northbridge. NR, PBO, WDIM
Villars b. 1914. Elder son of Gregory and Verena Villars. A professor in a provincial university. NR, PE, CQ
Villars, John b. 1918. Younger son of Gregory and Verena Villars. Rather likeable but self-centered and immature. Wing Commander in Air Force during war. Married with two children by 1952. NR, GU, PE, JC, CQ
Villars, Rev. Gregory b. 1886. Vicar of Northbridge. Former headmaster of Coppin’s School. Canon of Barchester by LAA. SH, CBI, NR, GU, MB, PE, CC, JC, WDIM, DA, CQ, LAA
Villars, Verena b. 1892. Wife of Rev. Gregory Villars, vicar of Northbridge. Typical languid, middle-aged, attractive Thirkell heroine. Had “a bit of a heart.” Two sons. SH, CBI, NR, GU, MB, PE, DD, JC, WDIM, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Violante A nun seduced by Cosimo de Strelsa whose offspring is believed by Miss Pemberton to be Giacopone Giacopini, creator of altar pieces. NR
Walton Butcher in Northbridge. NR
Wheeler, Ernie Evacuee who stayed with Mrs. Gibbs in Northbridge, but moved to Poppy Turner’s home when Mrs. Gibbs’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law moved in with her. NR