Agnes Tiarks

Agnes Tiarks lived for 46 years at Foxbury in Kemnal Road. She kept a diary throughout that time, which records the life of the family, and events in Chislehurst and nationally. A short booklet containing extracts from her diaries during the Great War is available for download here...

Agnes reading

The following appeared in the “District Times” Friday February 16th, 1923:


Last week, in our beautiful God’s Acre, was laid to rest a lady whose memory will long live amongst us, and whose presence in our midst has been a benefaction.

Mrs Tiarks, of Foxbury, will be missed and mourned alike by rich and poor, and her life of consistent unselfishness, and wide but unobtrusive charity, will leave a blank which cannot be filled. True, her left hand knew not what her right hand did, but when the alabaster vase is broken, the perfume cannot but steal forth. With no mean estimate of the blessing of worldly endowments, these were to her, first and foremost, rather trusts to be used, than possessions to be appropriated. A lady of culture, proficient in modern languages, a reader of Greek, a lover of Dante in the original, an ardent votary of the science of astronomy, keenly interested in contemporary history, she yet ever maintained that gentle and quiet simplicity of manner and bearing familiar to those who knew her, and was accessible to all. She loved earth’s beautiful things. Flowers and harvest fields, and golden gorse, music, and little children.

Agnes as a young woman“Within her heart were fair guest chambers, Open to sunrise and the birds.”

In sincerity, constancy and unfailing affection, she was a friend of friends. She loved to share with those with whom she was in sympathy whatever claimed her interest, or brought her help, whether a newspaper cutting, a poem, a book, or a quotation. Of her religion, so vitally real, so unobtrusive, so all-pervading, little dare be said. Though hers was, as a whole, a testimony to Christianity rather of the life than of the lips, none who knew her well could ever be left in doubt that the source of her beautiful self-forgetting character lay high upon the hills of God. Devout and reverent, a believer in prayer, an habitual student of the Divine Book, possessing a clear and simple faith, less common, perhaps, now than in the generation to which she belonged, she lived out her long day, “an epistle of Christ, known and read of all.” She loved her Church, and, Sundays and weekdays, sought refreshment in its services and sacraments.

From the sanctity of family life we would not, if we could, lift the veil. Her children, and her children’s children, rise up and call her blessed. Home was to her the very centre of earthly joy, and to others, where she was, was home.

On Wednesday, the 7th of February, when Mrs Tiarks was laid to rest, a great gathering of all classes testified to the affection and esteem in which she was held. We then bid her our last farewell, but in many a heart and many a home her name will long be laid up in the lavender of a fragrant memory.