The name of Martin Hussingtree has evolved from two Saxon manors of Meretun, (‘farmstead’ or ‘estate by the boundary’) and Husa’s Tree (the old English person’s name of ‘Husa’). In 972 the parish was known as Husan Treo and belonged to Pershore Abbey. By Domesday 1086 it had passed to Westminster Abbey. Later a small portion of the parish was given back to
Pershore Abbey and the parish remained in the hands of these two monasteries until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536-39.
The two manors of ‘Meretun’ and ‘Hosa’s Tree’ otherwise known as ‘Merton’ and ‘Hosintre’ continued as two separate manors until the 18th Century when, through an inheritance, they passed to the second Pinson Wilmot and were merged into one manor. The parish by then was known as ’Martin Hussingtree’. Ownership of the manor continued in this family for 190 years until it was sold in 1936. Several owners followed, with the last of the manorial rights coming to an end in the 1970s.
Near the organ, a plaque commemorates Thomas Tompkyns who was the Composer and Organist at Worcester Cathedral from 1596 to 1649. During the Civil War in 1649 Oliver Cromwell closed the Cathedral down and Thomas retired to live with his son Nathaniel, at nearby Martin Court. Thomas Tompkyns was buried in the churchyard on 9thJune 1656.
In 1932 the old Holt organ was replaced with a Swedish Orchestrion barrel (one manual) pipe organ with pedals. It was rebuilt in its present form and installed by Percival Daniel
of Clevedon, Somerset, who found it in a country house in Gloucestershire.
There are two bells rung from the floor. The larger is inscribed ‘GOD SAVE KING JAMES 1617 T.W.’ with fleur-de-lis separating the words and was probably cast by Henry Farmer of Gloucester. The smaller bell, a treble, was cast by Joseph Smith of Edgbaston, and it is inscribed ‘RICHARD WALLING CHURCH WARDEN 1725’ with silver coins of George I embedded between the words.
The font is octagonal, adzed plain, squared below and mounted on a square pedestal. In 1644 the Puritans brought in an Act banning the use of fonts. This font was therefore removed into the churchyard where sometime later it was dug up and put back into the church near the north door. During the restoration work of 1883 the font was repositioned further back towards the west window.
Given by The Worcesterhire Hunt in memory of John
The Tompkyns Family
In the chancel is a monument dedicated to Thomas Tompkyns, SS. Professor of Theology, who died at Exeter on the 20th August 1678 aged 37. His body was brought here and buried inside the church. Thomas Tompkyns was Charles II’s licenser of books and nearly refused to license John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ as he was a firm believer of the divine right of kings and objected to the phrase ‘perplexes monarchs’.