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Catherine Booth-Clibborn - Highgate East Cemetery, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 34.007 W 000° 08.711
30U E 697852 N 5716718
Quick Description: Catherine Booth-Clibborn's grave is in an overgrown part of Highgate East Cemetery a few metres south of the cemetery's boundary with Waterlow Park.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/22/2013 12:45:14 PM
Waymark Code: WMHC3M
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member rangerroad
Views: 2

Long Description:

As the grave is in an area that is not well tended approach to the grave is not possible. The headstone can be seen from a minor footpath and is amongst several other headstones.

Due to not being able to get close to the grave some of the headstone inscription is unreadable. What can re read is inscribed thus:


Arthur Sidney Booth-Clibborn
xx Feb 1855 - xx Feb 1939

and his beloved wife
Catherine Booth-Clibborn
(The Marechale)
18th Sept 1858 - 9th May 1955
Founder of the Salvation Army in
France and Switzerland

Trough mighty signs and wonders
By the power of the spirit of God
I have fully preached the gospel of Christ


The Oxford Database of National Biography website tells us:

Clibborn, Catherine Booth- [called La Maréchale] (1858–1955), evangelist, was born on 18 September 1858 at Gateshead, the third of eight children and the eldest daughter of the Revd William Booth (1829–1912), then a minister in the Methodist New Connexion, and his wife, Catherine Booth, née Mumford (1829–1890). She had three brothers, including William Bramwell Booth, and four sisters, among them Evangeline Cory Booth. Her mother began preaching when Catherine (Katie to her family) was aged two; in 1862 William Booth resigned from the Gateshead circuit and the family lived as itinerant evangelists, finally settling in London in 1865. Catherine Booth distrusted schools, so Katie was initially tutored at the Booths' Gore Road home. It was proof of the young Catherine's determination that she persuaded her mother to allow her to attend school for a time to learn French and German.

During her childhood Katie was particularly close to William Booth's secretary, George Scott Railton (1849–1913), who lived with them for ten years and acted as her spiritual mentor. Already saved by the age of thirteen, she began preaching at the age of fifteen and shared the platform with her father at the East London Christian Mission's annual conference in 1876. It was at this time that Katie proved herself as a preacher, earning the nickname Blücher from her father—a tribute to her ability to rescue a failing meeting. She was the natural choice to begin Salvation Army operations in France, viewed as a particularly difficult and hostile country, and began work there in March 1881; her future husband, the converted Quaker Arthur Sydney Clibborn (1855–1939), was sent to Paris in October as her chief of staff. Arthur was the son of James Clibborn, co-founder of the model mills at Bessbrook in co. Armagh. Even before their marriage on 8 February 1887 Arthur actively supported Catherine's desire to ignore orders from army headquarters at variance with her own convictions. When they attempted to extend Salvation Army operations to Switzerland in 1882–3 she ignored her father's pleas for moderation, deliberately flouted a decree against holding army meetings, and was arrested outside Neuchâtel. She was tried, acquitted, and deported from Switzerland.

Catherine returned to France in October 1883 to find public opinion in her favour and the army began to flourish there. After fifteen years in France the Booth-Clibborns were sent to command army operations in Holland and Belgium. Confrontations with army headquarters continued over the necessity of social work (Catherine felt it to be a mistake and diversion), the interpretation of the Bible (especially those passages relating to holiness and physical healing), and the restrictive nature of the army's military style of government. Following the birth of their tenth child, Catherine and Arthur resigned from the Salvation Army in January 1902. At Arthur's wish, Catherine and the children travelled with him to the cult leader John Alexander Dowie's ‘Zion City’, a township about 40 miles north of Chicago. Catherine did not believe Dowie's grandiose claims—in 1901 he declared himself the prophet Elijah the Restorer, and in 1904 the first apostle of Jesus Christ—and was offended by his criticism of her father even though her resignation had made her an outcast from both her family and the army. For the rest of her life she had almost no contact with her father or with those siblings who remained in the army.

After a few months at Zion City they returned to the continent where Arthur began preaching Dowie's beliefs; in 1905 he was seriously injured while preaching in Paris and never fully recovered. Catherine supported her family by speaking and, with the help of her son Theo, built an impressive international reputation as a preacher. Her last major speaking tour was made in her ninetieth year, after which she retired to her home, The Haven, Ilsington, near Newton Abbot, Devon. She died there of double pneumonia on 9 May 1955, and was buried in Highgate cemetery, Middlesex.

Despite a preaching career lasting three-quarters of a century, comparatively few of Catherine's sermons and addresses were printed. Those that were strongly advocated a non-formulaic but demanding and apostolic Christianity. When writing and speaking about women, she concentrated on their spiritual rights, duties, and possibilities rather than on their political status. A charismatic and persuasive speaker, had she stayed in the army, Catherine Booth-Clibborn might well have been its first woman general. Her grandson Stanley Eric Francis Booth-Clibborn became bishop of Manchester.

See the detailed description.

Date of birth: 9/18/1858

Date of death: 5/9/1955

Area of notoriety: Religion

Marker Type: Headstone

Setting: Outdoor

Visiting Hours/Restrictions: M-F 10am to 5pm / S&S 11am to 4pm

Fee required?: Yes

Web site: [Web Link]

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