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Portrait of Rev Douglas Leopold Heath.
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Rev Douglas Leopold Heath
of Bushend, Hatfield, Essex

Born: 1849 and died 1926.
Son of: Rev Dunbar Isidore Heath (1816-1888) and Emily Mary Heath (nee Harrison, 18??-1897)
Brother of:
1. James Dunbar Heath (1853-1936).
Douglas married: in 1879 Mary Heath (nee Penkivil) (1848-1926).
Douglas and Mary had issue:
1. Rev Douglas Montague Heath (1881-1961) who married Edith Heath (nee Bagnall).
2. Rev Cyril Moore Penkivil Heath (1882-1951) who married Dulcie Heath (nee Sides,1890-1973).
3. Rev Raymond Audley Dunbar Heath (1884-1962) who married Vera Heath (nee Greatrex, 1889-1969).

Rev Douglas Leopold Heath: An Overview

We know about Douglas from the following sources:

1. Entry in the book "Records of the Heath Family" Vol 1, by George Heath, 1913.
2. Entry in the book "Records of the Heath Family" Vol 2, by George Heath, 1920.

Records of the Heath Family, Vol 1, page 86, reads as follows:

Douglas Leopold, was born at Brading Vicarage, July 18th, 1849. Being a delicate child, not considered robust enough for school, he was educated at home. On the removal of his parents to Esher, he was under various private tutors, of whom he mentions Edmund Thorman as his "friend, and the source of whatever degreed of scholarship I may possess." After the age of 21, he continued to live with his parents for some years entertaining various projects for his future career, but not putting any into execution. His tastes were literary, for he contributed to newspapers and magazines, nor was he unknown in Poets' Corner indeed, a little poem of his, "FairyBreeze," was set to music by J. Stanislaus, and Edith Wynne (a fine singer in her day) was announced to sing it at St.James's Hall, in connection with the National Thanksgiving for the recovery of the Prince of Wales, Feb 27th, 1872. At this time he was devoted to musical pursuits, assisting the Esher Choral Society and acting as deputy organist at Esher Church and elsewhere, besides appearing as vocalist at amateur concerts in London and various parts of the country. (Mr.Editor here wishes to record that he had a fine tenor voice.)

In 1876 he read for ordination with Rev.S.L.Warren, Rector of Esher, and son of Samuel Warren, author of "Ten Thousand a Year" and other works. The Bishop of Winchester accepted him for ordination after passing the Cambridge Prelim. Exa for candidates for Holy Orders, in which he took a 1st cl.; thus gaining the distinction of being appointed Gospeller at the Ordination Service. He was ordained Deacon in 1878, and Priest in 1879. On Dec.27th, 1879, he married Mary, daughter of Wm. Jones Penkivil, Solicitor, a descendant of the old Cornish family of Penkivil, formerly of Penkivil Manor St.Michael Penkivil, near Falmouth, and had issue three sons, of whom presently.

He held curacies at Esher and Chessington, Surrey, proceeding in Aug., 1882, to the Vicarage of St.John's, Bushend, Hatfield Broad Oak, a living which he still holds. As Bushend is a small agricultural parish, the Rev.D.L.Heath has been able to engage to some extent in outside work, such as that connected with religious education, and at one time served as Assistant Diocesan Inspector of Schools in the Harlow Deanery. He published "The Child's Guide to the Prayer Book," which was adopted for use in the Diocesan Training College at Bishop Stortford, and was favourably reviewed in various journals.

The education of his sons claimed much of his spare time, and, since they started in life, he has  devoted his leisure more to literary pursuits, lecturing at the Students' Association, Bishop's Stortford, for many years  on various subjects., viz.: English Poets, Carlyle, Shelley, the Crusades, etc. His contributions to the Church Times and other journals have also been numerous, comprising one during the current year on the philosophy of Bergson.


Records of the Heath Family, Vol 2, page 4, reads as follows:

I have been asked for a general account of the chief events in my branch of the family since 1913, the date of the Heath Records. In the autumn of that year, my wife was in failing health, and I was advised to take her to a warmer climate than that of Bush End, Essex, of which I was then the Vicar. I therefore resigned my living, and went to reside at Stoneycroft, Shanklin, I.W., where I joined the Winchester Diocesan Registry for the supply of clerical duty, and at first travelled rather widely in the diocese for that purpose, but was subsequently compelled, by the state of my wife's health, to confine my ministrations to churches near at hand, especially St. Saviour's, Shanklin, where, from 1914 onwards, I had a permanent engagement, which might be called war work, since it was to supply the deficiency in the usual clerical staff which war condition had caused.

Early in 1918, I had a slight paralytic seizure, and was obliged to discontinue my services at St. Saviour's Church, and indeed, for a time, all clerical work. I have recovered from the worst effects of the seizure, but it has left me somewhat of an invalid. In the same year, I also lost my wife. She had been, as already said, in failing health for some years, but the end at last came suddenly, from heart failure. She passed away on December 13th, 1918, only a few days after her 70th birthday, and is buried in the cemetery at Shanklin. After her death I gave up the Shanklin house, and went to live with my son Montagu; first at Sarisbury, where he was curate; and, in the spring of 1918, at our old home, Bush End, Essex, of which parish he is now vicar.

Since our return to Bush End, I have resumed to some extent, my clerical functions, holding the Bishop's licence to officiate in the diocese, and helping a little in the Church services, etc.

In a later chapter I subjoin brief particulars as to my two elder sons, my third son contributing a note of his own. 


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