The Christopher Collier Bequest
Christopher Robert Collier (b. 1929 - d. 21.05.2013)
Lt. Colonel Christopher Robert Collier and his wife, Elizabeth, lived at 23 The Abbey, Romsey, for many years. Elizabeth was known to a generation of young Romsonians as a senior teacher at The Romsey School. She passed away some years before Christopher.
Neither Christopher nor Elizabeth Collier had any close family and on his death, a large part of his estate was left to causes close to Christopher's heart. Romsey Local History Society was one of the four charities so favoured and we have received a bequest of £27,060.
Our Committee decided that this sum of money should be used to instigate a major project, rather than used on bits and pieces. In view of Christopher’s long-running interest in the Anglo-Saxons, we have decided to sponsor a study of the history of the lower Test valley in the Saxon period; say 400-1120 A.D. We know from our own work on Romsey that there are a number of issues to be addressed and this money gives us the chance to look at them.
Christopher would drop in to our workshops from time to time to discuss his research and to see what we were doing. His study of Romsey Abbey was published in the Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club 46 (1991) pp.41-52 under the title ‘Romsey Minster in Saxon Times’. He had acquired a useful collection of books about Saxon England, some of which are now in our library, and which include the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in Anglo-Saxon.
He and his wife played a part in the wider community, being active members of the Romsey Abbey congregation, and they used to care for their neighbour, Mrs Aldyth Wellington, when she became old and rather frail. (Aldyth had been Romsey’s first lady mayor.)
Christopher died in 2013 and his ashes were scattered in the South Garth of Romsey Abbey. We miss him and wish we could tell him about our project.
Lt.Col. Christopher Collier
‘Romsey Minster in Saxon Times’ in the Hampshire Field Club Journal 46 (1991)