Noteworthy Parishioners

John & Adolphus Cooke

On the wall of the north transept, there is a memorial to John Cooke of Cookesborough, who died in 1733. The text of the memorial reads “Here lies the body of John Cooke of Cookesborrough Esqr. who died the 1st of October 1733 in the 77th year of his age. This monument was erected by the direction of Elizabeth his wife.

IMAGE: 17 Cooke Memorial

Cooke was the great-grandfather of the well-known local eccentric Adolphus Cooke (1792–1876). Cooke believed in the transmigration of souls and was convinced that one of his turkey cocks was his reincarnated father, Robert. In preparation for his death, Adolphus erected a huge marble vault at Cookesborough. After his death, however, Rev. Francis Swift directed that he be buried alongside his father in Reynella Cemetery, between Mullingar and Delvin. One concession to Adolphus’s eccentricities was that his tomb was built in the shape of a beehive.


IMAGE: 18. Beehive

Adolphus Cooke’s beehive-shaped tomb


John Charles Lyons

The antiquary and author John Charles Lyons was born in 1792 in Ledeston, on the shores of Lough Ennell. He was an authority on local topography, gardening, and mechanics. In 1837, he constructed a printing press at Ledeston, which he used to print some of his books. These included On the Management of Orchidaeceous Plants (1843), The Book of Surveys and Distribution of the Estates in the County of Westmeath Forfeited in the Year 1641 (1852), An Historical Sketch of the Family of D’Arcy from the Norman Conquest to the Year 1853 (1853), and An Historical Notice of the Family of Lyons, and its Connexions (1853). Lyons served as High Sheriff of Westmeath in 1816, while captain of the Westmeath Militia, and he was Chief Magistrate of Mullingar from 1817 to 1837 He was also a benefactor of All Saints, contributing a generous sum to help fund renovations in the church in the 1860s. Lyons died in 1874 and was buried in All Saints. The semi-chapel behind the pulpit is popularly known as the Lyons Den and contains a memorial to Lyons.


IMAGE: 19. Lyons Memorial

Memorial to John Charles Lyons in the “Lyons Den
Charles Howard-Bury

Renowned explorer Charles Howard-Bury was a benefactor of this parish. He lived for more than 50 years in Belvedere House on the shores of Lough Ennell, having inherited the property in 1912. Howard-Bury travelled extensively and was fascinated by the religious practices of India, Tibet, Indochina, and China. The explorer is probably best known as the leader of a 1921 expedition to Mount Everest. The main purpose of the expedition was reconnaissance, although George Mallory and others reached the north col of Everest, a height of 27,000 feet. In later years, Howard-Bury led an extravagant lifestyle but also involved himself in humanitarian and charitable work, much of it anonymously. He also had ecumenist tendencies and enjoyed good relationships with local Catholic clergy. According to one anecdote, Howard-Bury refused to attend church for some time after the rector reportedly said that Protestants had to keep their heads down in Westmeath.

IMAGE: 20. Everest expedition

Members of the 1921 Everest Expedition Standing:     Wollaston ,  Howard-Bury ,  Heron, Raeburn Sitting:     Mallory,   Wheeler,   Bullock ,  Morshead

Dr. Trevor E. Winckworth

Dr. Trevor Winckworth was a well-known medical practitioner in Mullingar until his death in 2003. Born and raised in Mullingar, he was educated in All Saints’ National School in Harbour Street, Wilson’s Hospital School in Multyfarnham, Mountjoy School in Dublin, and Trinity College Dublin. Dr. Winckworth was a keen sportsman, playing rugby for Trinity and for the Mullingar team of 1946–1947, which reached the semi-final of the Leinster Senior Cup. He was also a founder of Lough Owel Swimming Club and one of the driving forces behind the building of Mullingar’s swimming pool, which opened in the town park in 1973. Dr. Winckworth had a long association with All Saints, particularly with regard to documenting the history of the church and its people. He was the author of All Saints Church Mullingar: Notes Concerning the History of the Church Since 1814 (1991).

 IMAGE: 21 T. E. Winckworth