DescriptionPainting by Alan T Shiers depicting Emily Matilda Easton of the Nest House in Felling, founder and benefactor of St Chad's Bensham. Miss Easton was born on 18th November 1818 and died aged 95 on Christmas Day, 1913. She had income from coal mining (the Oakwellgate Colliery in Gateshead among others was owned by her brother James and her elder brother Thomas - Thomas Easton & Co). In addition to the Nest House on Tyneside she also owned lands and the Manor of West Layton near Richmond in North Yorkshire following the death in 1880 of her brother John and his daughter in the same year. She spent some of her latter years living at West Layton. Hutton Magna church near West Layton has a window dedicated to Emma Easton, Emily's sister who died in 1883, and she also paid for the Harrison & Harrison organ and reredos in there. Her death merited a piece in the New York Times saying she left over 5 million dollars, with generous legacies to her servants as well as to various educational and charitable institutions, including Newcastle Medical College and Armstrong College of Science (both now part of Newcastle University). Her lady's companion of many years Edith Parker received over £8,000 and her gardener Jonathan Milner, £3,000. Miss Easton never married and she founded the Emily Matilda Easton Trust in 1908, still extant today, set up to help single women over 60 who are baptised in the Church of England and on basic state pension. The Nest House was on the banks of the river Tyne at Friar's Goose and was formerly known as Hawk's Nest. It no longer remains, the site being an industrial estate. Emily and the rest of the Easton family are buried outside the south door of the church of Holy Cross at Ryton on Tyne. At her funeral in St Chad's, Mr Walker the organist played Grieg's Death of Ase from the Peer Gynt suite, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and Chopin's funeral march to go out. Bells were tolled at St Chad's, also at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle, Ryton and Hutton Magna. Another copy of this painting was presented to Durham College of Medicine (now part of Newcastle University) by Henry Cawood Embleton, Emily Matilda's nephew and relative of Dr Dennis Embleton who was associated with the College.
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Further informationLink: https://www.flickr.com/photos/24383944@N07/2463451927/
Resource type: Image
Added by: Simon Cotterill
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