A service was held on Friday 4th December to commemorate the bicentenary of Anthony Trollope. The ceremony included the laying of a wreath on the memorial tablet in Poets’ Corner by HRH The Duke of Kent.
After the congregation was welcomed by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, Joanna Trollope, Vice-President of the Trollope Society gave the reading from Ecclesiasticus. “Let us now praise famous men…There be some that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported. And some there be, which have no memorial.”
Michael Williamson, Chairman of the Trollope Society read the poem on Trollope by Mowbray Morris Junior, published in 1883, following Trollope’s death.
“What though the man was rugged to the view
And blunt of speech; no one who knew him knew
A soul more gentle, generous and true”
The Address was given by The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Richard Chartres KCVO, Bishop of London and President of the Trollope Society. He spoke of Trollope’s life and works mentioning specifically The Warden, The Way We Live Now (his personal favourite) and Mr Scarborough’s Family.
Tim Frances, fresh from his recent role playing Anthony Trollope in the production of Lady Anna: All At Sea at the Park Theatre, London then read the concluding paragraphs of The Last Chronicle of Barset, in a musical setting by Alex Woolf, the BBC Young Composer of the Year 2012, as The Barchester Prayer, accompanied by Vivian Williams on Cello.
HRH The Duke of Kent laid a wreath incorporating pink roses on Anthony Trollope’s memorial stone.
After prayers, the congregation sang the hymn “Ye holy angels bright…”.
After the service HRH The Duke of Kent met those who had taken part in the ceremony together with other members of the Trollope Society including Hugh and Barbara Trollope.
Other notable guests at the ceremony included Lady Flight, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, and Lord Flight, and Susan Hampshire, famous for her roles in The Pallisers and Barchester series. The Trollope Society of New York was represented by its president, Douglas Gerlach.
Organ music before and after the ceremony was provided by Matthew Jorysz. (Gibbons’ Fantasia in Four Parts, Byrd’s Fantasia in G)