Rev. Thomas Falkner 1867-1875
Thomas Falkner was born in Southwell, Nottinghamshire in 1828; the son of a schoolmaster who had been a former chorister at Southwell Minster. After his degree at Cambridge, he held two curacies in Wiltshire and Nottinghamshire prior to moving to York Minster as a Vicar Choral in 1857. This meant he was responsible for singing parts of the services, and became sub-chanter (the intermediary between the vicars choral and the Dean & Chapter) between 1862-75. His duties were such that they also allowed him to be Librarian of York Minster and Master of the Choristers’ School.
His years of involvement in the music at York Minster greatly benefitted St Edward’s. He introduced choral services at the church, and his wife often accompanied services, as well as helping with the choir. It was a very proud moment in 1868 when a splendid organ was installed in the chancel of St Edward’s church. It would be over a hundred years before this first organ was replaced.
When the Falkners moved on to Burton Leonard in 1875, they took their love of music with them. Mary Falkner continued to play the organ, as she had at Dringhouses, and within months of moving there Thomas arranged to have winter concerts with proceeds for the poor of the parish.
Their final move was down to a parish near Canterbury: Shepherdswell with Coldred, and after serving there for seventeen years, Thomas died in 1910. When they left Dringhouses in 1875, Sir James Meek expressed regret at the loss to the parish of their ‘excellent and faithful vicar, and of his amiable and accomplished wife.’