Holy Trinity Church was (it was pulled down in the 1940's) very near to Whitehaven Castle, one of several Lonsdale boltholes in the Northwest. The Rev. Mr. Anderson, though certainly no match for his profligate patron, had a reputation of his own. He lived apart from his wife and had been previously cautioned by his Bishop.
However, by early 1902, after new complaints reached the Bishop's palace in Carlisle, Anderson was the subject of a formal inquiry under the Clergy Discipline Act. He was accused of being drunk, occasionally during services. But the more serious allegations were of a sexual nature.
On a summer's day in 1899, in White Park, the Lonsdale woodlands, John Cowan, one of the foresters employed by the Earl, claimed to have seen the Rev. Mr. Anderson sitting on a bench with a young woman, "handling her indecently." Cowan watched for an hour; he described how - whenever anyone approached - Anderson got up, walked away some distance, and then, when the coast was clear, returned to the bench. The woman in question was very well-known in Whitehaven: her name was Isabella Hetherington, she was about 30 years old and very nearly blind.
In a second incident, a year later, in the Granary Yard near Whitehaven Castle, James Barnfather, a local cabinet-maker and one of the churchwardens, said he walked in on Rev. Anderson and Miss Hetherington in "the act of fornication.: She was standing against a wall and the clergyman was in front of her with his frock coat loosened and open. Barnfather said he immediately denounced Anderson as a scoundrel and a villain. When these charges reached the Bishop and the inquiry was ordered, the word around Whitehaven was, "Poor old Jimmy's been nabbed at last!"
During the inquiry, the Rev. Anderson insisted he had never misconducted himself in any way with Miss Hetherington, a woman he had known since she was five years old. Her character was irreproachable. She had been active in the music and choir at Holy Trinity and all his attentions toward her over the years had been entirely pastoral in nature. He swore before God that he had never committed fornication or any indecent conduct with this woman. Isabella, also, was closely questioned and denied that she had willingly or unwillingly been subjected to any indecent behaviour on the vicar's part.
The five church assessors delivered their verdict. The evidence of Anderson's drinking was strong and conclusive. The most serious charge of fornication was not proven. However, he was found guilty of indecent conduct on that bench in White Park. Some weeks later, in the Cathedral at Carlisle, Bishop Bardsley pronounced the greatest punishment, depriving Anderson of all his preferments.
Anderson disappears from the various clerical lists. But, as for Miss Hetherington, it appears she left scandal behind and emigrated to Australia where she dedicated the rest of her long life to missionary work among the Aborigines. "Kindly and cheerful, Miss Hetherington evinces genuine and unfailing affection for her dark skinned charges, among whom she has laboured unswervingly."
The Rev. John Seton Karr owed his living to the notorious Berkeleys. That celebrated scandal is one of those told in Clerical Errors, A Victorian Series, Vol. 2.