ROPE, Margaret Agnes

1882 - 1953

Margaret Agnes Rope

Margaret Agnes Rope was born on 20 June 1882 and baptised at St Mary's Church, Shrewsbury on 7 July 1882, second child of Dr Henry John Rope, M.D. (7 June 1847-13 September 1899) and his wife Agnes Maud née Burd (15 September 1857-10 December 1948), who married at Shrewsbury, Shropshire on 25 September 1879. The two Margaret Rope's were first cousins, granddaughters of George Rope (1814-1912) of Grove Farm, Blaxhall, Suffolk and his wife Anne née Pope (1821-1882). Known as Marga, she was educated at home until 1900, when admitted at the Birmingham Municipal School of Art, her studies included enamelling and lettering and from 1901 she studied stained glass under Henry Payne (1868-1940). Leaving school in 1909, Marga worked from her home at The Priory, Shrewsbury, on the large west window of Shrewsbury Catholic Cathedral, the first of the seven that she completed and from 1911, sometimes with her cousin ‘Tor’ Margaret Edith Rope, worked on the Glass House in Fulham. On 14 September 1923, Margaret took orders as a Carmelite nun, Sister Margaret of the Mother of God. Marga had been born into an Anglican family, both her father and her maternal grandfather being doctors, but her mother Agnes, along with five of her six children, converted to Catholicism soon after her husband's death in 1899. Bringing her children up in some degree of poverty, exacerbated by her strongly anti-Catholic father's will which denied money to any descendant ‘in religion’. Of her children two, Marga and Monica, became nuns and son Harry, a priest, of the other siblings Irene Vaughan, became a botanist, Michael Rope, an aeronautical engineer, who died in the R101 disaster and only Denys followed his father as an Anglican Doctor of Medicine. As Sister Margaret, an enclosed nun, first at Woodbridge, Suffolk and in 1939 at The Carmelite Monastery, Rushmere, near Ipswich and after the Second World War at Quidenham, Norfolk. From Woodbridge she was able to continue her artistic work by sending glass by train to the Glass House in Fulham for cutting, firing and leading up, but she reduced her work when at Quidenham. Margaret Agnes Rope died on 6 December 1953. A memorial window to her can be found at the Church of the Holy Family and St Michael at Kesgrave, near Ipswich. [Information from Arthur Rope]

Works by This Artist