Joseph Hardwick Pemberton (100) was born on 4th October, 1852 in Mile End, Middlesex, London.





In1861 he was a schoolboy living at home at St Mary Magdalen, Hastings.


He went on to board at Manston School, Dorset where he is recorded in 1871. His headmaster at Manston was Ebenezer Anderson, the Rector of Manston who came from Sherrington in Wiltshire.


He attended Sarum College, an ecumenical centre for Christian study and research, which still operates today in Salisbury, in 1878 and was ordained in 1880. He was made Curate of St Alban’s, Romford in 1881 and he also took on the curacy of the Collier Row Mission from 1880 through to 1923.


            Essex Standard 18th June 1881



He authored “The Coronation Service: with notes: published 1902.



The “every day” booklet for all churches to use.



The frontispiece of the 146 pages hardback edition of the Full Coronation Service



         Chelmsford Chronicle 4th June 1880


“St Edward’s church, Rev Canon Wm Maunder Hitchcock, MA; Rev Hy Millward Burgess, MA; & Rev Joseph Hardwick Pemberton, curates; 11 am, 2.30 & 6.30 pm; Wednesday 11 am & 7 pm & Friday 11 am”


From Kelly’s Directory 1882


From completing his education he lived at The Bower House, Havering-atte-Bower.


Joseph Pemberton was an Anglican curate who originated hybrid musk roses and lived all his life in a round house with his sister.


He never married.


Joseph Hardwick Pemberton died on 22nd July, 1926 in Havering.


            Essex Newsman 31st July 1926


            Chelmsford Chronicle 30th July 1926




National Probate Record


                                    Joseph's Armorial Bearings

            Chelmsford Chronicle 23rd May 1930


                        Chelmsford Chronicle 5th March 1897



However, far from spending his life as a humble Church of England clerk in holy orders, he devoted his time to roses and in so doing probably became the one individual in our family history to make a lasting impression on the world around us. I can buy “Pemberton” roses to this day from any reputable supplier !


“Joseph Hardwick Pemberton was born in England on October 5, 1852. After his father's death, Pemberton entered some of his family's roses in a show in 1874, and won second prize. After that, he became a rose show enthusiast, and was ably assisted by his sister, Florence. Ever mindful of his family home, and the happiness of childhood, he cherished his 'Grandmother's Roses' (including Amy Vibert, De Meaux, Tuscany and others).

He made a non-competitive exhibit of his grandmother's roses eight years later at the National Rose Society Show. This exhibit awakened the visitors' interest in such "old fashioned roses." Subsequently, Pemberton "set out to breed such varieties, with the intention that they should out-bloom his grandmother's,.... He wanted roses which would survive and bloom after all around them had perished...."

(From The Makers of Heavenly Roses, by Jack Harkness).

He chose Trier, a hybrid multiflora offspring of Aglaia ( itself the cross of R. Multiflora by the noisette "Reve d'Or") as the base of his breeding efforts. He introduced Danae & Moonlight" in 1913. In 1919, he began calling his roses Hybrid Musks "because of the R. Moschata in the Noisette's ancestry, a tenuous link to the Musk Roses...."-(Vintage Gardens website).

                        Chelmsford Chronicle 7th July 1905

This is where things become a bit murky in the universe of Hybrid Musk roses.

Some authorities attribute their sweet and fruity scents to the R.Multiflora & the Tea in their immediate parentage. Others attribute it to the R.Moschata genes in their distant ancestry.

Some limit the use of the term "hybrid musk" to those roses specifically bred by Pemberton until his death in 1926, plus those introduced by the Bentalls, his gardeners who carried on his work. Others however, use the term quite broadly, to include very varied creations by so many breeders, that the category becomes nearly meaningless.

What can be safely said is that "the Reverend J.H. Pemberton, in England, originated a group of varieties which he called Hybrid Musks. They are large bushes, in bloom more or less continuously, bearing flowers of varying size and doubleness, mostly white, pale pink, and pale yellow, in gigantic clusters"-(From The Old Rose Adventurer, by Brent Dickerson).

He followed normal breeding practices, breeding strength to strength. He employed species roses (i.e. foetida), contemporary roses with species genes in their recent past (i.e. Trier), and also the "big names" of his day: Hybrid Teas (i.e. Ophelia & Chateau de Clos Vougeot), Bourbons (i.e. Gruss an Teplitz), Hybrid Perpetuals (i.e. Gloire de Chedanes-Guinnouseau), and Polyanthas (i.e. Miss Edith Cavell).

With all the resultant diversity, "what binds the Hybrid Musk group together is its shrub-rose nature. These roses are best grown freely, without pruning, allowing their natural grace to develop. They are mostly fragrant, bearing subtly coloured smallish flowers in clusters, often very large clusters, especially in the fall. Healthy, lustrous foliage is a hallmark of the Hybrid Musks and several varieties can be pushed quite far with shade tolerance. ..... (they) require little pruning, and thus little familiarity with rose culture, suit people who want the showy beauty of roses without the upkeep. They are mostly hardy to about 15 degrees F."-(Vintage Gardens website).


            Joseph Pemberton with his roses

The bushes are healthy and vigorous; they will live a long time. They will not require constant monitoring and treatment. Many readily tolerate some shade and poor soil. They bloom prolifically. They have "good genes;" some of them have a prodigious number of successful descendants. Several years ago, I traced the "family trees" of many roses that I was interested in. The frequency with which his hybrid musk, Robin Hood, appeared in the ancestry of many roses was very striking. Clearly, many breeders felt his rose had of this rose family. The blossoms are their achilles' heel. The blossoms are nice; they are pretty; they photograph well at their peak. But generally speaking, they are not "achingly beautiful." Many tend to become "blowsy" quickly (not my favourite trait in a flower). Their colours are pleasant, but many tend to fade. Many have a pleasant fragrance, but not the equal of Crimson Glory, Mirandy, Double Delight, Fragrant Cloud, Sterling Silver, or Lagerfeld. In sum, Pemberton's hybrid musks were perhaps the first "carefree" or "landscape" roses.

"It is very likely that 50 or 100 years from now many of the Hybrid Tea roses we take for granted are gone and forgotten, but until someone invents roses with the same delicacy of form, same understated beauty, same completely care-free constitution, same good fragrance, and same freedom of blossom, Pemberton's Hybrid Musk roses will be widely loved by rose afficionados. his spare time, (he bred) four or five of the world's greatest roses as well as a parent (Robin Hood, 1927, A.R.S. 8.6) to what is arguably the world's greatest rose (Iceberg).... His work inspired ..... Bentall who, in turn, produced Ballerina, The Fairy, and Belinda. The first two of which continue to be consistent best-sellers" (Rosafile website).

Considered among his best are: Cornelia 8.9 (1925; apricot-pink); Felicia 8.3 (1928, rich pink/salmon); Francesca (1922, apricot-yellow); Kathleen 8.8 (1922, white); Moonlight 8.3 (1913, lemon-white); Pax 7.8 (a white with golden stamens, from the end of W.W. I ); Penelope 8.8 (1924, creamy pink); Prosperity 8.5 (1924, creamy white); and Vanity 8.3 (1920, rose pink). It is also believed that he bred Buff Beauty 8.1 (apricot blend, 1939), but died before he could test, or introduce, it (ROSES, by Peter Beales).

Some well known Hybrid Musks bred by others include: Ballerina 1937 Bentall 8.8; Belinda 1936 Bentall 8.7; The Fairy 1932 Bentall (actually a polyantha 8.7); Erfurt 1939, Kordes 8.5; Eva 1933 Kordes; Lavender Lassie 1960 Kordes 8.0; and Skyrocket 1934 Kordes 7.7.

If you want the legacy of a humble man, wrapped in colour, health, and fragrance, get yourself a hybrid musk.”


I make no apology for including a full list of his most famous roses, many of which are available today.


Althea (hybrid tea, Pemberton, pre 1927)


Aurora (hybrid musk, Pemberton, 1923)

Bernice (hybrid tea, Pemberton, 1927)

Bertha Turner

Bianca (hybrid tea, Pemberton, 1927)


Ceres (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1914)




                                                                                                Cornelia (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1925)



            DanaĎ (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton 1913)


                                                                        Daphne (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1912)



                                                                                    Daybreak (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1918)


                                                                                    Dorina Neave


E. Pemberton Barnes


Felicia (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1926)




            Fortuna (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1927)



Francesca (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1922)

Galatea (hybrid musk, Pemberton 1914)

Havering Rambler (rambler, Pemberton, 1920)

Helen Taylor

I Zingari (Hybrid Tea, Pemberton, 1925)

Iris Patricia Green

Joan Kathleen (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1922)



            Maid Marion (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1930)


Mary Monro

Miriam (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1919)

Moonlight (hybrid musk, Pemberton, 1913)



Rosa 'Moonlight' – Bred by Rev. Joseph Hardwick Pemberton (United Kingdom, 1913). Creamy white Hybrid Musk with yellow centres. Height of 8 to 10 feet. Zone 6 and warmer. Grows best where it can spread out. Canes are flexible. You can grow it on a pillar, but limit the canes to three. Good repeat bloom.



            Naomi (hybrid tea, Pemberton, 1926)


Nur Mahál


Pax (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1918)


            Pemberton's White Rambler


Penelope (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1924)



            Princess Nagaka (hybrid tea, Pemberton, 1922)


Prosperity (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1919)



Rosa 'Prosperity' – Bred by Rev. Joseph Hardwick Pemberton (United Kingdom, 1919.) Hybrid Musk. Height of 8 to 10 feet. Zone 6 and warmer. Grows best where it can spread out. Canes are flexible. You can grow it on a pillar, but limit the canes to three. Good repeat bloom.


Rachel (hybrid tea, Pemberton, 1929)

Rebecca (hybrid tea, Pemberton, 1930)

Robin Hood (hybrid musk, Pemberton 1927)




                                                                                                                        Ruth (pernetiana, Pemberton, 1921)


Sammy (hybrid musk, Pemberton, 1921)

Sea Spray

Star of Persia

The General

The Adjutant

Thisbe (hybrid musk, Pemberton, 1918)

Vanity (Hybrid Musk, Pemberton, 1920)


                        Winter Cheer





            The London Standard 6th July 1896


                                    The Era 18th July 1880


         Chelmsford Chronicle 31st December 1909





The frontispiece and dedication from one of Joseph’s books.





            St John the Evangelist Church, Havering-atte-Bower



            Chelmsford Chronicle 2nd August 1907




            Essex Newsman 17th March 1894



The Round House, Havering-atte-Bower, Essex, where Pemberton and his sister Florence were born, lived and died.




When it was built The Round House was described as providing ‘all conveniences of a country seat in miniature’. An oval stuccoed country villa of 3 storeys, it was built for William Sheldon in 1792-4, attributed to architect John Plaw, who designed St Mary's Church, Paddington Green. Its unusual shape is ‘thought to have been modelled on a tea-caddie in reference to Sheldon’s profession as a successful tea merchant’.


            Chelmsford Chronicle 18th January 1918


In the early C20th the Round House was occupied by the Revd. Joseph Hardwick Pemberton, the famous rose-grower and President of the National Rose Society who grew and hybridised roses there, including the Alexandra Rose as well as various Musk and Shrub roses. He was related to the Pemberton Barnes, who owned the Bower House and Havering Hall. The house is enclosed by trees, hiding it from view from the road, although it is visible from a distance. The grounds now have many rhododendrons. Adjacent to the access track from Broxhill Road, the high brick wall that encloses the former kitchen garden to Roundhouse Farm is visible. Now mainly grassed, the kitchen garden has remains of a large greenhouse. Part of the Roundhouse Farm land is included as a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation with Bedfords Park to the south.