Canon Edward Hoare was the vicar of Holy Trinity ( Link
) for 40 years and became known as the ‘Protestant pontiff of Tunbridge Wells’.
He was the son of a London banker and born into a Quaker family on his mothers side, and related to Elizabeth Fry the prison reformer. He moved to Tunbridge Wells from Ramsgate in 1853.
He was an outstanding preacher in the evangelical tradition who exercised his great talents to improve the spiritual life and shape the character of the town during the mid-Victorian period. His sermons were so powerful and compelling that parishioners would fill the church to the point of overflowing and many would travel from miles around just to hear him preach. Such was his powerful spiritual influence that the whole town and all classes benefited from his sermons, many rich and well-known families attracted by his personality bought or built mansions and villas and settled down in the town, developing a wealthy residential area. He also operated temperance meetings and soup kitchens for manual workers and the poor.
He was also instrumental in creating three new parishes and their churches in the expanding Victorian town. His affect on the town cannot be underestimated, it has been said that "his influence over the community's morals was as great as Beau Nash's had been over its manners".
Canon Hoare was the leading figure in the religious life of Tunbridge Wells for over forty years until his death in 1894. His funeral was a grand affair and the gothic memorial at the corner of Culverden Park Road was erected in his memory. The Memorial is Grade II listed. Link
He is buried in Woodbury Park Cemetery ( Link
)TQ5840 : Edward Hoare's Grave, Woodbury Park Rd
See other images of Canon Edward Hoare and Memorial