A man of great importance in our town

From: Stephanie Kemp, Wetherby Parish Church Archivist.

REFERRING to Marie Fox in Our Wetherby. Quentin Rhodes was a local important business man during the mid 1840s, a local Brewer.

The Rev Richard Kay curate of Wetherby made a census in 1770 and speaks of a Brewery in Wetherby. Kearby later on also had a Brewery known as Wharf Spring, it was christened by Henry Crossley, but carried on by the Rhodes family. Quentin Rhodes was obviously looked upon in the highest honour, he was asked to perform at the stone laying ceremony for St James’s Parish Church. On Monday, April 1 1839 Quentin Rhodes laid the first stone, at 11am Mr Rhodes, neighbouring clergy and a large gathering of Wetherby folk made their way from the Market place and entered the site of St James Church from the North Street approach. Mr Rhodes was handed a silver trowel, returned thanks for the honour and laid the stone in the appropriate manner.

Mr Rhodes also gave the church its first organ, the organist from Tadcaster attended along with a few young men to chant, the young men were duly rewarded with refreshment.

Mr Rhodes also gave originally four bells to the church in May 1845, then a further two bells. The four largest bells had an inscription of ‘The Gift of Quentin Rhodes Esquire 1845’, all six bells were hung on Saturday, November 15 1845.

There is a mural tablet on the South Wall of the nave in the church dedicated to the Rhodes family. Quentin Rhodes died on December 2, 1845 aged 90. It would be an honour to have his portrait displayed in Wetherby, suggestions made of the town hall, church etc, where it can be viewed but also be kept safe.